Whilst attending Badlands Punk Festival in Lincoln (September 7th 2019), I managed to nab the talented members of punk rock trio Truth Equals Treason for a quick chat about themselves after their set of loud, hard hitting original punk tracks. I had some questions for Glen, Jam and Al so that you could learn a little about them.
// How did you guys originate? //
Glen: How did we originate? We started off round your house, didn’t we? (at Jam)
Jam: It was these two and we had a different guitarist originally
Al: He asked me if I wanted to start a band
Jam: What was it, 2015 I joined, august 25th
Glen: Bloody hell, that’s very specific.
Jam: Well the day after our last gig was my 4th anniversary with you. So yeah as a 4 piece we were going from august 2015 and that lasted until the start of 2017 I think.
Glen: Yeah something like that.
Al : I think it was more December 2016
Jam: It probably was actually. Then we had a bit of a falling out, reduced to a three piece and we toyed with the idea of adding another guitarist, auditioned a couple of people but it wasn’t working so we then thought I would take over as a guitarist and see how it goes. So over time, we have done some “electrickery” and worked out how to make it sound like there is a base in there. So that’s how we are what we are now.
// Can you give me a brief history of your band and your releases? //
Jam: yeah we have had two self released Cd’s out. First one was a 5 track EP out in 2016 which was with the original 4 piece which is sold out now. The second one was the start of 2018 which is the one we still base our sets around. We have been on half a dozen compilations and we do quite a bit for punk for the homeless who raise money for central American street kids. We are on a compilation with a band from the north east (deep control) about a year or so ago.
// What does the music scene mean to you guys? //
Jam: For me it’s something I’ve been involved with since 1980
Glen: Before Al was born!
Jam: But it’s a release from the dismal nature of life which ebbs and flows. When I was a teen, Thatcher had just been voted in and all the pit closures happened, industries closing down, 3 million unemployed and all the rest of it. Then it got a bit better and since about 2007 when the financial crash hit it’s been dismal since then. Now there’s this bunch of clowns we have in, you never think the Tories can get any worse but they are determined to prove you wrong.
Glen: You may have guessed and just for the record we are not a right wing band in any way. We are staunchly left wing or anarchists.
Jam: Politics and music for me have always gone together. The music scene without politics is meaningless to me. I think the music scene at the moment is tough, audiences seem to be dwindling. The retro bands and reformed bands seem to be filling venues. Any new bands or even bands like us who have been going a few years struggle for an audience now. People seem to be happy sitting at home listening to free downloads which is a shame.
// Playing these festivals must be important for you as a band to broaden your gig potential, is that typically your go to? //
Jam: It can be yes. We probably stand out a little bit from the line up of this particular festival because we are more overtly political than a lot of others so whether you get much opportunity from this is uncertain.
// What would you advise new bands who are just starting out? //
Jam: Don’t ever play a cover version, sing your own material. It’s a particular thing to me and my grumpy old man nature. Because nothing will ever move you forward with covers. Give voice to your own feelings and emotions because we all care about something. Whether you’re a punk band or an indie band whatever you are, just be genuine and honest and do things that matter to you. Don’t pretend to be someone else. A cover band may be the best at pretending to be, for example, AC/DC but what are they? I would say go for it, no matter your age . Pick up whatever instrument you can find and crack on. If you have something to say then do it.
Glen: Don’t expect to make a living out of it. You might get your 15 minutes of fame but that can end.
// Have you got any upcoming gigs? //
Jam; We are in Luton on the 28th of September which is a bit different for us. 9th of November we have an all dayer in Bradford then we are back in Sheffield on the 16th of November doing punk for the homeless again.
After listening to Truth Equals Treason and having the chance to chat to them, it has made me want to hear more of their material. They definitely have a lot to say and they do it loud and proud. They get the crowd going and certainly know how to utilize their instruments. You can check out all of their releases, give them a follow and find out if they are playing anywhere near you.