Thomas Truax releases Songs From The Films Of David Lynch + live dates

Thomas Truax with David Lynch

Photo: Thomas Truax with David Lynch

Thomas Truax: Songs From The Films Of David Lynch; Released May, 2009


Thomas Truax (pronounced troo-aks) New Yorker currently residing in London.

Singer-songwriter and inventor of strange self-made instruments like his now legendary 'Hornicator' and motorized mechanical drum machines including new 'Mother Superior'.

Employs these as well as traditional instruments in exceptionally crafted, witty and often touching songs.

His activities have been documented in two feature-length films: 'Instrumental', from director Gabe Shalom (US, 2005) and Adam Clitheroe's 'One Man In The Band' (UK, 2008).

Education: NYU Film School.

Background includes work as a stop motion animator.

With three acclaimed full length albums under his belt: 'Full Moon Over Wowtown' (2004), 'Audio Addiction' (2005), and 'Why Dogs Howl at the Moon' (2007) Thomas took a break from near-constant touring and work on a nearly completed fourth original album to concentrate instead on an album of cover songs from the films of David Lynch. It was not in order to fulfill any contractual obligations.

Thomas Truax

Excerpts from "FBI Interrogation" of Thomas Truax:

FBI: Why David Lynch?

TT: "I think we share a similar taste for certain brands of strange and beautiful vintage rock n' roll. And for good shoes. (The first thing he said to me when we were introduced was 'Wow man, cool shoes!' ) I've also had my own music described more than a few times as the 'perfect soundtrack for a David Lynch film', so it seemed a natural. He always picks (and sometimes has a hand in writing) great songs for his films. At least half these songs I could have easily chosen outside the context of their association with the Lynch films. 'I Put A Spell On You', for example. In a way I was just lucky that a version ended up in 'Lost Highway', because the original Screamin' Jay Hawkins version was something I loved even as a kid. Curiously the Backbeater (self-made motorized rhythm contraption Truax wears on his back) had broken down a while ago and was now only able to play one wonky rhythm, but this wound up being the perfect beat for 'Spell'. Serendipity like that happened all the time in the making of this album, it was one of those projects where everything just went right."

FBI: You're known for your very original songs. Why a covers album?

TT: "A great song is a thing to celebrate, worth revisiting in different times. A strong song will glow in different ways through different voices. I really love all these songs, I love playing them and I feel an affinity for them. I only chose songs that I felt I could do something new with, twist or cast a different light on. One has to remember that in the history of music it's a relatively recent trend that singers even wrote their own songs. And It wasn't long before that that songs travelled and got known by being passed on from player to player or via sheet music and got around by different musicians playing them, rather than in any fixed recorded medium. So covers are a traditional part of a music person's life."

FBI: You're known for your very unusual self-made instruments. Why an album that is mostly guitar based?

TT: "My first inspiration was to do it all in a very stripped down rockabilly style, just me on vibrato guitar and voice backed by my (mechanical drum machine) Mother Superior. But then I found myself recording bats via a bat detector in Barnes (London) and thinking I've just got to use these sounds (they provide rhythm on 'In Heaven') I realized I had set my goals too narrow. So there's a fair share of self-made instruments and other sounds but I do love guitar and it is always part of my process to ask of a song: does it need more than guitar? Sometimes yes, it needs bass, or it needs bats, or Hornicator, or what have you. Other times no, keep it simple and sparse, let the reverb of the room have some space to work it's magic. In its original version 'I'm Deranged', the Bowie/Eno song, is this very busy rhythmic-dominated kind of drum n' bass-y thing. The chord progression that almost gets lost in that context is just beautiful though. As a mostly solo artist on a limited budget, I often take a deconstructive approach.

FBI: Are you going to be doing a Lynch-themed live show when you tour this spring and summer?

TT: You bet!

FBI: Will it feature a backwards-speaking dancing dwarf?

TT: Are you available?

FBI: At turns you've been referred to as antifolk, part of the one-man-band resurgence, and the Guardian even labeled you "Steampunk royalty". How does this album fit in with all that?

TT: It doesn't.

CATALOG #: PT-1010
LABEL: Psycho Teddy/SL Records


"Inventive and Romantic" - TimeOut

"Beguilingly Bizarre" - Uncut

"Genius." - NME

"A cranium pouring with genuine innovation. Imaginative, out-there, rich in content." - Plan B

"Like a trip to the frayed edges of sanity...unapologetically original." - Dazed&Confused

"Suddenly he's a serious proposition." - Q

Thomas Truax 2009 UK live dates:

(Dates and information subject to change.)

25 April - Electrowerks (early show, 6pm start) London
29 April - Orange Street - Sounds New Festival Canterbury
30 April - Fat Fox Portsmouth
5 May - Goodbye, Faithful Kingdom! @ The Macbeth London
14 May - Great Escape Festival Brighton
26 July - Truckfest Steventon

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Thomas Truax Official Website

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