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The Darkness Is Taking Over With Trust At The Helm

We spoke with Robert Alfons (aka Trust) on his brand of glittering-yet-deliciously dirty techno-pop.

by Suze Olbrich
May 30 2012, 6:00pm

Trust’s "Sulk," one of the best singles this year, has been taken to a deeper, sweatier place in this T.K.O. mix.

Check it out:


Trust - "Sulk" (T.K.O. Remix)

If you haven't yet come across Trust, he is another one of those breaking Canadian acts that seems to have appeared fully-formed with a heap of brilliant, deviant, electronically infused tracks.

The steady flow of Canadian acts worthy of serious listening time has been verging on the ridiculous this year. Recent daydreams of mine occasionally leading to a free range, musician farm hidden somewhere in the wilds of Canada from where all these artists recently broke out to give us something darkly weird and wonderful to get excited about. Look at it as the opposite of the major label music farms, which take millions of bits of individual animals that might have originally been tasty and mush them up together to push out a bland little squib of a product despite their heft. Canadian musical produce seemingly spends its formative years roaming wild on organically grown magic mushrooms and pure adrenaline rather than in a 4x4-foot cage and regularly pumped full of fake hormones and the pulped-up remains of their forebears.

The salient point after all that is without the likes of Purity Ring, Grimes, Doldrums, and Mozart’s Sister, 2012 would be far worse off musically. So—and without, in any way, demeaning the individual talent of the musicians themselves—thank you Canada.

Trust is Toronto’s Robert Alfons and, depending on what you read, also seems to (incorrectly) include Maya from Austra, who assisted in the writing of the debut LP, TRST, but is not actually part of the act. I caught up with Robert last week shortly after seeing Trust play an electrifying set of their industrially-infused, glittering yet deliciously gloomy, dirty techno-pop in London.

Hi. How’s the tour been going so far?
It’s been good. I was told not to expect too much from a UK audience, but it’s been really good for our first plays. Especially as the record’s not even out in UK yet.

How long have you been recording as Trust?
It’s been two years now; our first show was two years ago.The record came out at the end of February in Canada and the US.

Were any musicians particularly influential on this record? Were you listening to any European electronic or industrial music?
When I’m making music I try not to listen a lot of it as I’ll never actually make anything as it will sound like shit compared to what I’m listening to. It’s true.

I’m re-listening to Aaliyah a lot at the moment and early Janet Jackson. I don’t know if that’s more fueling what I’m doing now more so that what I was listening to when I made the album. I don’t have a huge extensive knowledge of industrial or techno, I like pieces of it.

Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?
Well yeah, my older sister used to play the piano classically and I always tried to mimic that. I’m not an excellent piano player but I do write songs on the piano before I dress them up electronically. As a little boy, I was playing the piano and trying to write music.

I know you also used to take photos, do you think you might want to do something more visual in the future?
I think making music comes to me more naturally, so just interpreting my music with help of someone else that fulfills my photographer side. The people I’m doing my next videos with are people I’ve done photography stuff with so I’m excited to work with them.

Are you hoping you will just get to continue to make more music, or are you thinking about bigger, commercial success in the future?
Well, the song are meant to be epic and they’re meant to be experienced in a big setting, so I’m interested out of my own curiosity to hear them in a really big space—in those kind of environments—but I don’t know if it’s a goal to be mainstream or not.

Apart from wanting to make songs sound epic, what else were you trying to do with this record?
I hope it feels like a story. I intended it to be a story. It should be listened to as a whole. I know it’s long—it’s like an hour—but I listen to the same albums over and over again, and that was what I was hoping to create. There are certain themes and ideas throughout.

It has an arc, a beginning and an end.

Have you started on the next record already?
I got a huge chunk of it on its way and this summer I’m going to get studio time to embellish it. I think it will go somewhere different to the last one, it has to go somewhere different.

@suzeolbrich

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