Though only a year young, UK pop punk newcomers Trash Boat have made little short of a flying start. The St Albans based quintet came bursting out of the blocks in July 2014 with their debut E.P, the aptly titled Look Alive. Boasting buoyant guitar licks and vocal melodies custom built for impregnation on the temporal lobe, Look Alive saw Trash Boat quickly capturing attention. A flurry of live activity followed, the band hitting the road to share stages alongside Me Vs. Hero, Light You Up, Roam, Homebound, Six Time Champion and Knuckle Puck. They then secured a sought-after place on the Hopeless roster, alongside such well respected names as All Time Low, Neck Deep, Taking Back Sunday and New Found Glory. Trash Boat have just released the follow up Brainwork, which just saw release on 18th May. Here vocalist Tobi goes through the work, track by track.
Compared to our debut release Look Alive we actually wrote this EP fairly quickly. Our first EP was still fresh in our minds and we felt this was going to be a solid continuation of something we were pretty happy with and had received a really good response from so far. Sound wise we were really going for that chunk, as if a hardcore band had just done a pop punk album, I’m stoked on the tone, I mean…listen to Taylor, that intro is phat as.
Taylor was the first part of a longer song that I was writing lyrics for. When I laid down demo vocals over the riff we were trying out, it sounded huge and we were really pleased, we decided to keep it short as it was a perfect introduction to Brainwork, as it builds up the energy nicely.
It was the first song we heard with all the instruments recorded in the studio and it got us really excited as we’d been listening to our scratchy bedroom demos for so long, the difference was awesome and it really bought the tracks to life.
The lyrics are a reference to a certain group of medical ‘professionals’ who continuously let me down over the years, I will be writing more songs on this topic in the future, but for now it’s just this snippet.
I was torn as to whether I liked Saving Face at first, but it has grown on me to the point where it is nearly my favourite track! It was originally going to be in the same key as Perspective (I was suggesting this) but I’m so glad we kept it lower as it’s in a far more comfortable register live!
I try to make an effort to not ramble on about relationships, as its way too cliché and the topic doesn’t really hold enough significance to me to write multiple songs about, and that’s kind of what Saving Face is about: my general apathy towards relationships, my inability to voice my anxieties about them and how it has affected each subsequent relationship as they randomly appear in my life.
Perspective (lyrically) is probably the most emotive track on the EP and it took the longest to write as it was chopped and changed a lot. It was the last song we did and the studio was fast approaching, we were spending hours every day trying to get it right and we were close to being sick of, even on the way to the studio! Once we heard it recorded properly and started tracking vocals though we knew the hard work had paid off, banger!
The lyrics cover a specific day a few years back where I was woken from what was supposed to be routine joint surgery to having a group of doctors around me with varying sombre looks on their faces, along with my parents who had already been told the shitty news that I wasn’t going to be getting better anytime soon. It was pretty tough, it exposed me to emotional aspects of myself and my parents that I had never seen before. It was pretty overwhelming being confronted with it all at once, whilst coming to terms with the fact that I just had to deal with it. Lucky for me though I have some pretty awesome friends and family who were all there to help me slap a fat smiley face sticker on the whole situation!
As Seen On Screen
As Seen On Screen is probably my favourite instrumentally, it’s got some real fucking bounce to it and is so much fun to jam live. That song just fell together like it was written for us, barely altered, it was pretty much there in the first draft.
I didn’t want this song to be another sad jam so the lyrics aren’t as brutally emotional as the rest of them, so it keeps up the pace of being honest and aggressive in some respects, but it’s much less personal. From the age of 15 I’ve been drifting from one mind numbing job to another, under the guise of finding a career as that seemed to be the thing to do. I felt I was too young to pursue higher education, along with the maturity it required, so I held off on going to uni and got a job. I know in some respects it can seem as though I’m coming off as ungrateful, I was always appreciative of the fact I had steady work, but I was always considering the fact that I could be doing shit like this for the majority of my life and that thought scared the shit out of me! So I saved up enough to support myself while doing band stuff and wrote a fucking song about it, chasin’ the dream.
Eleven is my favourite tune overall, the energy is through the roof and that’s what I’m all about, getting a room full of people to kick off and throw themselves off stuff into stuff, expect the energy to continue to rise in our future records.
Again, this was a tune that really fell together, only some swapping of the structure closer to the studio. The lyrics to this song poured out, it was tough picking the right ones as I have a bunch more that will be the topic of some tunes in the future, they mean a great deal to me, but I’m afraid their content can’t be explained as I don’t feel it is my place.
Read our review of Brainwork here.