Deep, Dark & Dangerous duo Truth have just announced their fourth studio album – Acceptance.
Describing the LP as the album ‘they’ve always wanted to write,’ Acceptance focuses on the more introspective and melancholic side of their style. Written during the last year and a half of lockdowns it takes us away from the dancefloors we’ve been denied of for so long, and provides a much more meditative, brooding and musical experience, capturing many of the emotions and feelings we’ve all experienced since March 2020.
Featuring long-time vocalist friend Lelijveld, artwork by Glass Crane, and written with the pair of them operating in two very different territories, Acceptance is the product of a unique set of conditions: one half (Dre) was under heavy US lockdown restrictions, while the other half (Tristan) was under some of the much more appealing lockdown laws in New Zealand, complete with all those major league shows we’ve been seeing happening over there since Christmas.
Created in the thick of their label, streaming and family responsibilities, it’s naturally developed into one of their most consistent and poignant bodies of work so far. The full album drops on their label Deep, Dark & Dangerous on August 6, the first single, Pages, is out now. Find out more:
How have things been in NZ this year with all those huge shows and all eyes on your country?
Things in NZ have been really good. Tristan certainly got to play some epic shows over our summer. Once lockdown ended, there was just an absolute explosion of events happening, and people really took advantage of the opportunity to go out and let off steam. Drum & bass in particular has just gone thermonuclear. Of course, that is one half of the Truth equation. Dre weathered the storm in the USA and basically didn’t leave the house for a year, then moved interstate to the pacific northwest away from the claustrophobia of LA. For him, it’s been a very testing 18 months, but shows are finally starting up again.
Ah yeah, two sides to the Truth! How was the whole lockdown experience for both of you?
That’s such a hard one to sum up. Over lockdown we took our weekly Twitch streams which we were already doing and took that whole thing to the next level and became full-time working on stream-related content. That has been an amazing and unexpected experience, some of the streams were pulling in excess of 4500 viewers watching at any one time. Our label Deep, Dark & Dangerous was full-on as ever, basically nothing changed there and releases were flowing thick and fast as we were always being sent amazing new music.
Production-wise, at the start of lock down it felt like “great, all the gigs are cancelled, we can focus on making music.” But the human psyche is a strange beast, and it really took a while to get out of the funk of the world being fucked, and into the zone of creating music under these circumstances. It probably didn’t help that the label was busier than ever, streaming had become a full time job, plus Tristan’s kids being home full time was nice, but a time killer.
Having said that, once we finally got in the flow, what a flow it was! We found we could really get creative. When we’re in lockdown, we’re making music for an audience of two… Dre and Tristan, so you just end up making stuff you really want to listen to and nothing else. Certainly nothing that you could say “oh this is gonna smash up a dancefloor.”
So Acceptance is a reaction to the world events…
100%, cannot deny that statement. The album is a reflection of everything that has been going on. You’re always inspired and influenced by your surroundings, it can’t be helped!
The interesting thing about this album for us was the way it completely turned our approach to making an album on its head. This is our fourth album, fifth when you consider the Shadow People project, so we have some experience with our “usual” approach. Acceptance came together completely organically, we can’t emphasise that enough. We were both working on music, which has this certain vibe to it and one day Dre was like “we should make an EP of all this melancholic kind of music we’ve been doing”. We decided to create an EP release around a vinyl record, where there would be four tracks and two interludes. So we set to work starting some instrumental pieces to compliment the tracks we had both already made. But then, without even really realising what was happening, between us the EP had expanded to two vinyl and 13 tracks. We’ve never approached making an album this way before, but once we stepped back, we knew that this was the album we’ve always wanted to make. Not only that, but it had pretty much made itself.
That sounds like a very natural process. There’s definitely a concept or message behind it isn’t there?
There are a number of concepts and messages, with the caveat that all art is in the eye of the beholder. You should take your own thing away from it. If you look at some of the track titles, you can get a glimpse. Acceptance, Transition, Deja Vu, Loose Ends, Unlearn etc, you start to see a theme. It’s about growth, it’s about accepting those things which happen which you can’t change, absorbing them, unlearning, learning and ultimately coming out the other side the better for it. It also recognises the continuity of life. We aren’t always in control of our destiny and that is okay. If we disappear tomorrow the world continues on without us, we’re all just fragile humans. You’ll notice that many of the tracks really don’t rush, there’s more time for progression and meditation through them. And yes, there were a few incidents which inspired specific tracks and for us those tracks really bring back particular emotions and feelings of those times.
Yeah it has a very dominant tone of poignancy and it’s very musical, too…
Yes we would tend to agree. We’ve released lots of musical and deep music in the past, but always balanced out with a mixture of styles in our releases. This is a much more cohesive body in that particular respect. At the end of the day we just want to make music which makes you feel something. Yes there are melancholic themes (among others), but not everyone wants to hear super happy, in your face music all the time. This is music for those times when you want to chill and just be yourself… Not being told to jump up, throw your hands in the air, or make some fucking noise.
What acceptances have you both had to make over these last weird 18 months?
That we’re not perfect. We’re flawed humans, and that’s fine, it’s reality. You can’t do or control everything, and you’ll drive yourself insane trying. Aside from that, We’d rather not go into specifics.
What else does the world need to know about Acceptance?
From a personal perspective, this is our favourite project we’ve ever made. It’s the album that in many ways we have always wanted to make. To us that’s a position which we are lucky to be in, because while we would like it if everyone else loves it, it’s okay if it’s not your cup of tea. We’re happy with what we created, it’s not trying to impress anyone else.
The cover art was created by an absolutely epic artist called Glass Crane who we met via our Quarantine Sessions livestreams and July 6 he is dropping an NFT of the artwork on Niftygateway. The vinyl release features his art across a gorgeous gatefold sleeve and has two coloured vinyl. The incredible vocalist Lelijveld features on the track Transition and she wrote the vocals for Tristan’s daughter, who was going through a bad period of having nightmares every night.