Interview: Truth & Tragedy
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music, what would you be doing today?
Meth, probably! Just kidding - well for Aaron, maybe. The five of us have all loved music since we were tiny, and although we each have other stuff going on in our lives (studies, jobs, even a baby!), we always come back to music - and that’s what we are focusing on now with Truth & Tragedy.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We all have a passion for a lot of different musical styles, which definitely has an influence on our creativity, and in turn, on the music we write for Truth & Tragedy. Whether it’s old school country, jazz, hip hop or glam-rock, you can guarantee it’s in our headphones and (in a way) in our music!
How long has your band been around?
Not long! We formed in September 2020, smack bang in the middle of Covid lockdowns!
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Truth & Tragedy formed in Bamberg in Bavaria, Germany, but Freddy (Guitar) is the only one of us who still lives there! Kai (Guitar), Vitali (Bass) and Domi (Drums) live in nearby cities and towns, and Aaron (vocals) now lives in the UK! Technology, plus the way we write our songs, means we can have this long-distance set up, where our musicians write and practice the music together in Germany, and our vocalist can write the lyrics and record with a backing track in the UK! Then when we need to practice for upcoming festivals and shows, or we just want to hang out and play, Aaron joins us in Germany!
How did you come up with the name of the band, and what does it mean to you?
Aaron originally pitched ‘Triumph & Tragedy’, inspired by lyrics in the powerful song ‘Aftermath’ by The Ghost Inside. But after some debate and a couple of beers, we settled on ‘Truth & Tragedy’.
6. Tell me about your memorable shows.
Since we formed in the middle of Covid restrictions, our most memorable shows are also our only two so far! But we definitely got off to a great start. Our first show was an open air festival in our home town of Bamberg, and at our second show, we got to share a stage with some amazing and established bands in the scene such as Oceans, Our Mirage, Watch Out Stampede, Marathonmann and Sperling. That being said, we are definitely making up for that now, with 2022 full of scheduled shows and festivals, plus more in the pipeline for 2023!
What is your favourite venue to play at, and do you have any places that you want to play at that you have not already?
We loved playing in our hometown, but there are of course so many places we want to play in the future! We are really looking forward to September this year, where we will pile into an RV and travel Central and Eastern Europe, playing shows in all sorts of weird and wonderful places. It’s something we have always dreamed of doing, and is something which seemed impossible last year at this time!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Of course it would be amazing to play some of those huge festivals, such as Wacken, Rock am Ring and Download! Some definite goals would be to play alongside To Kill Achilles (a band who massively inspires us in our music), as well as Being As An Ocean (Freddy’s favourite band), and Beartooth (because who wouldn’t!).
What is some advice you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
A good step is to figure out whether you want to play for fun, or whether you want to make a proper go of it. Before Truth & Tragedy, we have all been in other bands where we have wanted to invest and make it into a serious project, and others didn’t. Either way is fine! But it’s best to know where you stand, for yourself and for others!
If you could go back in time and give advice to yourselves, what would it be?
Spend less money on beer and tattoos and save up for an RV!
Of your songs, which one means the most and why?
This is definitely a different answer for all of us. For example, Aaron’s is probably our track ‘Helmand’, as it deals heavily with his own experiences and traumas from serving in the US Army in Afghanistan. For Freddy, it’s ‘Neo’, a song dedicated to his newborn son. Kai is proud of our new instrumental ‘Artery’, which he wrote. Vitali and Domi are huge fans of our track ‘My Brother’s Keeper’, because it gives them both an excuse to be extra loud, and it’s a lot of fun to play.
Which songs are your favourite to play? And which ones get requested most?
Thankfully our listeners’ favourite songs tend to be our favourite songs too - we love to play ‘Self Inflicted’, because it’s one we can jump around to on stage. ‘Helmand’ is a bit of a tear-jerker, and it brings a different element to our stage performances. We haven’t played the tracks of our upcoming EP ‘Blood on Blood’ live yet, but we will be showcasing them for the first time at Stattbahnhof Schweinfurt’s ‘First Act Night’ newcomer festival on 28th May, which we are super excited about!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write music?
Generally, Freddy, Kai, Vitali and Domi write the music for the songs, and then send the raw versions over for Aaron to write the lyrics and record the vocals. These are then mixed and mastered, and we then focus on album artwork, merch designs and promo for the release. We get inspiration from everywhere for our music, whether that be lived experiences, cultural issues, or something that catches our eyes and ears elsewhere in the music scene.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Our songs deal heavily with mental health, trauma and substance abuse, mainly stemming from Aaron’s experiences of war and its aftermath. However, we find that our listeners can relate to a lot of these topics outside the context of war, and we are happy to hear from fans that our music has helped them in some way.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band? And how do you get past them?
Like any band, or any group of people for that matter, we have our disagreements. There will always be different opinions and clashes of ideas when working together, especially on something creative. But we’re a pretty laid back bunch, and we communicate a lot, so on the (fairly rare) occasions we do disagree, we come to a resolution pretty quickly!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Yes! Our new EP ‘Blood on Blood’ will be released on 24th May! ‘Blood on Blood’ will be available in all the usual streaming spots, and will be released with a music video which you can find on Youtube (all links are below). You can also find all our music, videos and brand new merch directly at truthandtragedy.com!
We hope you enjoy our music, and thanks as always for the support!
Much love, Truth & Tragedy