Arguably one of dubstep’s most remarkable albums of 2014 so far, Truth have struck solid sonic gold on their third album Hollow World. Delivered by Firepower, it shows the duo at their most creative and explorative, applying the now-trademark Truth motifs to myriad tempos without losing any of their original stark signatures.
A few months back we learnt that the duo – based separately in New Zealand and US – utilised the winter break, and the fact they were both on the same continent, to write the bulk of the album. Having had it on repeat since it landed we called them up to find out more about how the project came about.
About the title…
Dre: “Bijou wrote the lyrics to the track Hollow World and that line resonated with us straight away. It relates to the whole theme we’re pushing. A hollow world is a world that’s full of illusions. What you see isn’t always what you get. It builds on conspiracy theories we’re into. The truth is always out there and that’s what we seek.
Tristan: “There’s also the idea that we’re hollow worlds unto ourselves. We do all this stuff and say all this stuff externally. But internally it’s another case.”
About the process…
Tristan: “We always knew we’d write a third album and the plan was to sit down and write it start to finish and create the aesthetic. We had a few tracks that were already made but we didn’t know they’d fit into the aesthetic until we knew what that vibe was. Tunes such as Come With Me and The Only Ones were held back from release because we knew they had album potential but didn’t truly know until the time was right.”
Dre: “We’d been playing them all last year; they were always the strongest tunes in the set. It was a bit selfish to hold them back for so long but they were our special ammo!”
About the co-labs…
Dre: “With a lot of collaborations they were the last steps in the process. The tracks were done then we asked different singers and rappers to come on board. Evil Eye, for example, was a very late addition to the album. Joker hit me up when he came to San Francisco. He was looking for a place to stay. Taso’s another guy we’ve been producing with a lot and Tristan happened to be here on tour, too. All four of us sat in the studio and had a jam. We had no intention of making something for the album but we loved the track and it fit the album really well.”
Tristan: “Madman with Flowdan was the very very last addition. Even though it had been planned for the past year. We’ve always loved him. We delayed the masters for two weeks for this to happen. It was cool; we made the track and knew it would be perfect for him. He had a listen, he was feeling it but asked for a few more tracks to get inspired but came back saying the original one we wanted him on was his favourite. That was a good feeling, because we had him in mind with that.”
About the tempos…
Dre: “It’s been a very liberating project, exploring the Truth sound within different tempos. The track The Fact was a big deal for us especially. We made drum & bass for seven years then stopped making it stone cold. This was the first track we’ve made at a 170 tempo since then. It’s not conventional drum & bass but it’s the first time we’ve souped up the tempo and done something new.
Tristan: “It was awesome. Dre started it and sent me the rough idea and I loved it straight away. It felt very natural. It worked with our sound; dubstep was an escape from the full-on and fast aspects of drum & bass. And at the time the genre felt like everything had to be similar. When Mala first played us dubstep tracks it was an escape from that. There was so much space. But when I heard what Dre had started, it felt like there was even more space. It’s one of those tracks that on the surface it seems quite minimal, but the deeper you get into it you’ll hear more and more.”
About the aftermath…
Dre: “I’m happy to be in a position to watch the reactions. Like any artists embarking on a new project we’ve been so concerned with how it might be accepted and welcomed. So it’s a relief that it’s out there now, there’s nothing we can worry about now.”
Tristan: “An album is such a big creative process. When you release tracks and singles you don’t keep going back and tweaking them all the time. But with an album you feel you need to do that to make sure it’s consistent and perfect throughout. During that aspect of the album process there’s been a lot of creative energy building up in us. It feels like now we can go nuts again. We’re looking forward to experimenting!”