Trash Boat – ‘If anyone gets alienated by what we say, that’s their problem’

Words: Miljan Milekić

Trash Boat were never a band that plays by the rules. They create their own. And once again, they went all-in with their new album ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing?,’ standing firm behind what they say and what they believe in. Two years after doing a massive interview with them, we once again caught up with singer Toby Duncan for a word or two about their new record. Check it below.

Hi Tobi, how are you?
Tobi: Good. I’m actually with James in the car, we’re driving to Cambridge. We’re playing a show tonight with Skindred, so we’re hyped for that.

So, how many nipples does it take to shut down the award show?
Tobi: Apparently not mine. It was Milkie’s nipples that did it. But it’s crazy. It’s crazy that it happened, and it’s crazy that people are still talking about it. And it wasn’t something that we planned. Milkie picked up that outfit because she liked how she looked in it. We didn’t see it as borderline nudity or anything. It wasn’t a stunt. It wasn’t on purpose. And, you know, it’s always the kids that are brought up as the reason by people. You know, “We want to protect the kids. We don’t want gay teachers as we don’t want them teaching kids to be gay. We don’t want kids to see nipples and sexualize them.” No, kids don’t sexualize nipples. It’s not kids that do it – it’s you.

READ MORE: Check our interview with Sheffield metalcore heroes While She Sleeps

So, ‘Don’t You Feel Amazing’ was released a little over a month ago. Are you happy with the feedback so far? I’m really curious about this one, as it’s pretty different from your earlier work.
Tobi: Honestly, I don’t really pay much attention to the feedback. I don’t really read the reviews or the comments. I want to make music that I like. And that’s exactly what we did with this record. We created the record that we love, and to us, that was the most important thing.

You have always been eager to experiment and try some new things, but it seems like you really adopted the “everything goes” mentality for this one. Where did all those different sounds come from, and how did the recording process look like this time?
Tobi: All these sounds came from our various tastes in music. We listen to many different genres, many different artists, and this time we wanted to let it all in. With the previous record, we kind of tried to write it with a specific crowd in mind. We still did our thing, but we also tried to align it with what was popular at that moment. Like, we didn’t let in any of our influences that were older than, say, ten years. And this time, we didn’t want to do that. We just did whatever we felt we wanted to do.

On the record, you had guest appearances from Milke Way and Kamiyada+, two great artists who delivered amazing performances, but also not really the first people I’d guess to be on a Trash Boat album. How did it happen, and how was it to work with both of them?
They were both amazing to work with. They are both amazing artists, and we enjoyed working with them. And the way it happened is that we reached out and try to see who would like to work with us. We had a couple of options, but we really liked what Milkie and Kamiyada+ brought to the table, and we really like their performances on the album.

On the record, you had no restraints on what to write and speak about. How challenging was it to channel all those different emotions and thoughts into a cohesive body of work?
Tobi: It wasn’t challenging at all, it was actually quite easy. It’s far more difficult to use metaphors or to try to say something, and not make it obvious. Being honest is much easier than trying to hide something or get around it. So, no. I just get to speak what’s on my mind, and I don’t find it difficult at all.

READ MORE: Check our interview with a legendary Chicago punk rock band Rise Against

Unfortunately, some of the topics you cover on the record are still controversial, although they really shouldn’t be at this point and in 2021. Did you ever had any fear of alienating people, or did you just had faith in your fans, the label, and the people around the band?
Tobi: Well, you know, if that’s the case – if anyone thinks that we’re controversial, of if anyone gets alienated by the things we say, then that’s their problem. If that’s the case, maybe they should be alienated. These are the things that we find important, and we want to speak about. So, if someone has a problem with it – so be it.

Once again, Hopeless Records. It seems like some things won’t change anytime soon…
Tobi: Yeah, definitely, Hopeless is the best possible label for us.

So, what’s next for you guys, did you have the chance to test out new songs live, apart from the singles?
Tobi: Well, to some point. But these shows we have this week with Skindred, they were already sold out, and probably no one has any idea who the fuck we are (laughs). So, we are going to play new songs. It’s a perfect opportunity to actually play more new stuff and leave the old crowd-pleasers for our headline tour.

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