James Fukai - guitar
Kevin Palmer - vocals, guitar
Jason Singleton - drums
Walker Warren - bass
When asked about Trust Company's new Geffen CD "True Parallels," singer Kevin Palmer pauses a moment before responding --- the guy takes this seriously. "Hopefully," he says, "it can help others overcome hard times in their lives, to feel less alone." It's an intriguing sentiment, coming from one of the hardest rocking neo-metal bands of the last few years. But this Alabama-based quartet was never about musical conventions. As "True Parallels" shows, Trust Company has forged a new amalgam of rock, melody and meaning.
"True Parallels" was produced by Don Gilmore and Howard Benson. Coming off the success of their gold-certified 2002 release, "The Lonely Position of Neutral," Trust Company had an abundance of pent up energy for the new one. There was plenty of room to make use of lessons learned. "Working with Don and Howard educated us on how to make a song nothing but muscle," says drummer Jason Singleton. "We wanted to make this one a little heavier."
Mission accomplished. "True Parallels" is a guitar-centric force of nature, brutal at times, but always compelling. If the last album explored the theme of personal relationships, the new one moves beyond arbitrary borders. This one is all about the external forces that can tear you apart.
The CD kicks off with the debut single "Stronger," a stage-setting rocker about triumphing over obstacles. The next few tracks - "Fold," "The War is Over," the scorching "Surfacing" and "Slave" - take the social Darwinism deal even further. Aggressive, almost predatory, Kevin's lyrics and James Fukai's hammerhead guitar depict a world where the only way out is to stomp on somebody's throat. "Writing lyrics is therapeutic for me," says Kevin, "so I write more when I'm going through a hard time. Most of this record qualifies as a hard time, and a lot of the album is just me dealing with it."
Trust Company has always distinguished themselves by blending melody with metal. Says Jason, "Smashing Pumpkins is one of our favorite bands, but we're also into Pantera and Deftones." Tracks like "Breaking Down" perfectly illustrate that split personality. "The Reflection" examines the inordinate pressures that come with success, while the confessional "Someone Like You" serves as rare counterpoint to the album's crushing themes.
One surprise is the band's version of the Clash's 1983 classic "Rock the Casbah," which Trust Company brings all the way up to date. Other songs, like "Silently," "Erased" and the acoustic "Without a Trace," similarly break new ground. Says Kevin of the latter track, "We've never done that before -- the song is different from what you'd expect from us but very much a part of who we are."
The band's origins stretch back to Kevin and Jason's boyhood days in suburban Montgomery, Alabama. "I got into music after watching hours of videos on MTV," recalls Kevin. "I started my first band when I was 13 and haven't stopped since." After high school, Kevin met Jason, who was playing in a band that Kevin eventually joined. In short order the two peeled off to form their own band group.
"We were a three-piece for three years, and then recruited James in 2000," adds Kevin. "We became weekend warriors, playing wherever and whenever we could, covering the southeast and as far west as Texas. We were an all original band, never playing covers. The goal was to get signed and reach as many people possible."
The band did sign with indie Dcide Records, which opened the door to major labels and, eventually, Geffen Records. After the 2002 release of "The Lonely Position of Neutral," Trust Company toured for a year with the likes of Korn and Papa Roach.
One big change since the last record is the addition of new bassist Walker Warren. At only 18, Walker is a remarkably skilled musician and a great asset to thhhe band. Though the tracks on the CD were performed on by Josh Moates - all except "Stronger", "War is Over" and "Rock the Casbah" which feature Chris Chaney, Walker will debut his impressive chops when the band hits the road.
With "True Parallels" ready to drop, the band is amping up the game plan, and is especially looking forward to touring. Whatever the future brings, it's all good as far as these 'Bama boys are concerned. "It was a long journey the last couple of years," reflects Kevin, "but we've turned a page as a band. Looking back, we feel good that we overcame and survived." Then he pointedly adds: "What doesn't kill you only makes you 'Stronger.'"
--- from the official Trust Company website