Band Spotlight: Trueman

In our latest band spotlight, we talk to York/Hull-based indie artist Sam Trueman about his musical origins, building a band around his own unique sound, alongside his attitude to success. […]

In our latest band spotlight, we talk to York/Hull-based indie artist Sam Trueman about his musical origins, building a band around his own unique sound, alongside his attitude to success.

Talk to us about Trueman, and its development into a band?

In late 2017, I had just left a band, I began playing some solo shows, re-running a lot of my original material that people knew as well as some new stuff (somewhat aggressively I may add, I was compensating for a full group after all, call me self-conscious).

I played a local show for Fred Perry Subculture at a scooter rally in my local town, at a venue called The Priory, it was a menswear shop by day and I used to hang out there a lot, the owners often asked me to do gigs there on evenings if a brand was hosting a party. They’d pay me in clothes you see.

So I do this show on my own, amp going off the chain and the place starts to pack out, people just started to get into it. I played the old stuff first, that didn’t land as well, and then I played ‘Precious’ for the first time, I hadn’t figured the words out at that point I don’t think (it probably meant something just as dramatic though) but something went right, people came up to me afterwards and just complemented the odd line, or laughed about my guitar lead falling out. I was on the floor lest we forget, the point was people enjoyed it, I showed them me and they danced.

Lil, who now plays drums in the band came up to me at the show and said we should build a band around “that sound”, so we did. That’s the thing about me really, I’m not really a solo artist but I’m not in a band either.

‘Trueman’ has been my nickname since I was a kid, it was coined by PE Teachers shouting across great distances of turf, calling myself Sam Trueman on stage made me sound like your everyday acoustic singer and we have enough of them, Trueman felt like a statement. Also me and Leanne were planning on having a full female lineup at the time just to lean into the irony, but we couldn’t find enough players to create a reverse Blondie. So long story short; I’m Trueman, I write the stuff and play a couple of instruments, they change their respective parts or write their own for the song and the cycle renews. 

What inspires you outside of music, think people and places, movies or games for example?

Everything. But that sounds like a cop out answer. In all honesty though I’m a big consumer of all media, and I think it reflects in my songs. Transmedia is in apparently. I watch a lot of movies, especially cult stuff, and I tend to draw on specific scenes and images to articulate myself better or end certain lines.

I read a lot, and I grew up playing games, you’ll be hearing all about that in the next single coming out soon. I’ve never really been very observant out in public, because I have shit eyesight, so most of my lyrics come from overthinking everything and trying to make the mundane aspects of life theatrical or note worthy in some way. I do all that, and then cut and crop my songs, so they remain palatable.  

What is your definition of success?

My mum not having to work again, because I kept throwing mud at the wall till it stuck. My own home supply of proverbial mud, I may add. 

Talk us through the specific inspirations behind ‘Precious’?

‘Precious’ was one of those songs that kind of develops out of your control, you think it’s an investigation of one thing and then it turns out to be more a reflection of you than anyone else.

In all honesty, I just gave into ‘Precious’, as I started to write some of the lyrics I tried to maintain those feelings of instability and show that musically, that is where all those quick rhythmic changes come from. It’s a very introspective song and it reflects my constant state of indecision. But also cricket, and David Lynch. 

How does Hull’s scene, and indeed York’s scene motivate you?

Hull and York are great cities in their own right and they offer different live possibilities for bands and musicians. But they both reward risk taking, Hull more than York. York rewards risk taking as long as risk taking smells like gin and wears a “bride to be” sash!

What would you say your biggest challenge is as an artist?

Getting my sound out there and doing it independently, everyone is doing it this music stuff now. I’m proud of how the songs have been received, mind. I’m so grateful for anyone who has given my stuff a listen, or come to a live show. There are many more releases and gigs coming up in the near future! Are you sick of me yet?

For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/truemanband/

Dom Smith

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