Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 8th, 2012 - Crushing Fans' Skulls: An Interview with Truce


On October 28th, Truce (sometimes known as Truce In Blood) played a free, pre-Halloween show at the Heavy Metal Shop in Salt Lake City, Utah.  All I (the Meista) can say is WOW!!  Okay, that's not really all I can say about this show, but talk about a GREAT gig!  One of the things I love about this band (and have always loved) is their honesty as musicians - their fierce integrity!  Front man, Sean Young's vocals and showmanship was aggressive, gruff, and totally engaging, peppered with humor and good spirit.  Tracy Sweetring's bass work was brutal, masterful, and thunderous, a mesmerizing work of brilliance.  Steve Busch's and Shane McCormick's guitar work was inspired, thrilling, fiery, and steadfast - true rock guitar gods.  And Travis Jaron's drum work combined the intensity of brutal thrash metal with the musicianship of a seasoned jazz man - his wizardry on the kit is amazing.  Combined... well combined their sound is a thing of beauty - a brutal, thrashing beauty, but beauty none-the-less!

Playing old-time favorites, new material, and a couple covers, Truce played a full set (FREE!) for the audience.  They blasted through the set list of fan-favorites like "De-Construct," "Sales Pitch For The Masses," "Borrowed Soul,"  "Gods Of War," "Be All That You Can Be," among others, and the new, kick-ass instrumental, "Drop A Bisket," which featured the drum mastery of Travis along with Tracy, Steve, and Shane's precision and drive.

I was lucky enough to sit down with the boys from Truce before the show at downtown bar, Maxwell's where we sipped some beer and discussed the band's history, approach to music, and future plans.  Oh, for this pre-show/interview pairing I went with a tasty pale ale from Moab Brewery called Fat Kid Pale Ale, a great, refreshing brew that fits perfectly with the thrashing power of Truce.  Here's the full interview:
1. Truce is probably the longest standing metal band in Utah.  How did you all meet and how did Truce come into fruition?

Steve: Tracy and Brent started the band back in 1983 playing Twisted Sister covers.  I joined up in about 1984 and turned them on to heavier stuff.
Tracy: We became serious once we landed the big guy. (smiles and points to Steve)
Sean: I met Dano (former member) of Hate X 9... guess I passed the audition!  (laughs)

2. Your music obviously has roots in thrash metal and old-school hardcore, but how would you describe your sound?

Sean: Loud!!
Steve: We don't have a set sound - just keep it heavy.
Tracy: We are thrash, but we've become more progressive since Travis joined... metal, but a lot more progression.  Some guy told us we sound like Dream Theater.  I don't know about that, but hey, whatever.
Travis: We are definitely metal, but with out own flavor, our own sound.

3. What bands/musicians have been the most influential on your sound and your stage show?

Sean: Slayer
Steve: Kreator, M.O.D., Anthrax, and a little bit of Sabbath
Tracy: My opinion - Death
Travis: Metal as well as jazz (fusion) and more progressive stuff like Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater
Shane: Anthrax, Kreator, Forbidden

4. What can you tell us about your new album and when will it be released?

Steve: Probably come out at the first of the year... maybe February.  Bit of a different step for us - less filling and more meat! (laughs)
Tracy: It is true to the roots of Truce from the '80s, but it is more technical in terms of groove and feel.
Sean: Lyrically it is all still death and destruction though!

5. Can you tell my readers a little bit about your songwriting process?

Sean: Well, it usually revolves around the guitars then the lyrics come.
Tracy: Yeah, it starts with the guitars... a nice, tasty riff!
Steve: We all contribute... everyone brings something to the table.

6. What has been the biggest challenge for you as musicians and as a band?

Sean: My work and school bullshit.
Steve: Family/kids, work without the band coming in second. 
Tracy:  Getting the shows!  But we've been teamed up with Kevin [Kirk, owner of the Heavy Metal Shop] forever and he has always kick stuff our way.  In fact we were the first act to ever play live at the Heavy Metal Shop at his original location!

7. If you could tour with any band, who would that be and why?

Sean: Slayer, yeah... definitely Slayer!
Steve: Not Voivod!  (laughs)
Tracy: Testament, Exodus, Death Angel, Kreator - those guys kill!
Shane: Justin Beiber (laughs)

8. Truce is currently playing quite a few live shows. I know how high-energy and entertaining your shows are for fans. Where can my readers see you perform in the coming weeks?

Steve:  We are playing with D.R.I. on November 9th and we something coming up that will kick your ass!  Just can't tell you about it right now.  But stay tuned!
Tracy: Black Friday we will be at Liquid Joe's. [November 23rd]

9. What does the future hold for Truce - both short-term and long-term?

Travis:  We've got a 5 song EP coming out with all new tracks sometime after the first of the year.  It was recorded in Bay 4 Studios.
Shane:  As long as I can put up with them, I'm still in! (points at the rest of the band and laughs)

10. As you know, my blog, Brews and Tunes pairs craft beer with music). So you get home from a hard day of thrashing, what beer do you grab and what album do you spin?

Sean: PBR and Exodus' "Bonded By Blood"
Steve: Busch Light with a shot of whiskey and Kreator "Live"
Tracy: Shock Top and Exodus' "The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A."  I love that song "Riot Act"!
Travis: and Sepultura's "Beneath the Remains"
Shane: Bud Light and Five Finger Death Punch

I want to give a HUGE thank you to the members of Truce for not only a great interview, but also for a KICK-ASS show!!  Also, special thanks to Truce Management: Bob Pierson and Stephen Hentschel as well as Tina Anderson, photographer extraordinaire!

If you dig heavy-hitting metal and thrash, check Truce out online at!/pages/Truce-in-Blood/116750271715806!!  And make sure you get to one of their shows to see them live if you are in the Salt Lake area!!  You won't be sorry!  They are playing with D.R.I. November 9th at the Complex!

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