[Q&A] Truth Smash the Wilderness of Mirrors
[Q&A] Truth Smash the Wilderness of Mirrors

New Zealand dubstep powerhouse Truth stand as significant figures within the genre’s history for not only molding its initial personality during its conception, but also for helping fuel the continuation and growth of the sound today. With an unquenchable thirst for innovation aiding the duo’s overall vitality, Truth have only strengthened their forceful influence over the dubstep circuit with each and every release. Having unleashed strictly bass heavy beats for the better part of a decade now, Truth continue to persist in flexing their roles as pivotal creators of weighty sound system music with the announcement of their forthcoming Disciple release entitled The Wilderness of Mirrors.

Lending greatly to the duo’s resilience is their unprecedented ability to tap into a seemingly infinite range of feelings, atmospheres and influences whilst still remaining undoubtedly fresh and unwaveringly “Truth;” an irreplaceable skill set demonstrated throughout the entirety of The Wilderness of Mirrors. With its 14, highly versatile tracks, The Wilderness of Mirrors bridges the gap between deep, minimal and heavy dubstep; resulting in a hefty, multifaceted collection that boasts the newest breed of timeless ingenuity, savage sound design and infectious bass weight for the Truth sound whilst still showcasing their distinct, sophisticated and undeniably dark style.

 If you’re looking to get your hands on this one, individual tracks from the album will be gradually unleashed over the next few weeks with the full LP available from May 19 onwards. For now, check the in-depth discussion with Tristan and Dre as we learn some of the finer details and inner workings behind their highly anticipated LP.

Going into this highly multifaceted, 14-track release, would you say there were any inspirations, directions and/or goals you two had in mind during the creation of it?
As with any creative work by any artist, Wilderness of Mirrors was inspired by what we are surrounded with. In this case, metaphorically speaking, mirrors. The world in which we exist, the world we were brought up in, the world in which we will die. It’s a confusing, misleading, suffocating place. The “truth” is not only obscured, it has been reflected and refracted so many times, that nobody has any idea what is real and what is not, not even the so-called experts! There is no single “truth,” there are no facts, there are only images, distortions, reflections and mirage. That is reality…it’s always been this way, but people are starting to wake up to it. That’s what has inspired the creation of this LP. The goal, to create music that people can get down to, that affects them on an emotional level. Maybe inspire them to smash a few of those mirrors.

Over what span of time did it take to create and collect all of these songs into a single release?
Some of these tracks have been in progress for over two years, in different iterations. Some are only a couple of months old. When making an LP, we tend to make a lot more music than will ever see the light of day; we create a group of “album tracks” that potentially work within the album narrative; anything “album worthy” gets put in that group and then very late in the process, we start whittling down the music to the core of what we are going for. Even getting down to 14 tracks was a struggle. The goal was 12 tracks, but there was material we just had to include to make the release complete.

Although the release doesn’t fail to deliver the quintessential Truth sound, you two also managed to insert some new, uncharacteristic styles that add new dimensions to the ever-expanding personality of the Truth discography. What sort of message (or messages) do you want this release as a whole to convey about you and your sound to your fans, both old and new?
Our sound is us, Dre and Tristan. We’re not consciously trying to make music that sounds like “Truth”—we never have—but our fans and followers always tell us that there is a common thread in our music that they can identify. Toying around with “new” sounds is a lot of fun, but also some of the material that people might think is new might easily have been started one or two years ago, or we might have been playing with those kind of ideas for a while. We tend to make a lot of stuff, and not all of it sees the light of day. Music is always evolving and changing, styles and fashions vary over time. With our music, we just make what we are feeling at the time; there’s no way to predict trends and no point following them, so we just made this album that we love and hopefully everyone else likes it too.

The Wilderness of Mirrors features a significant amount of vocal collaborations, from T Man, D Double E, Killa P and Ill Chill to Jamakabi, Strikez and Lelijveld; can you two explain some main differences, obstacles and benefits that occur when working with vocalists on tracks?
Over time we have worked with more and more vocalists, but this is definitely our most vocal-driven release yet. The benefits are obvious. A vocal is a much more direct route to the listener’s brain, conveying the mood and message of a track instantly. It’s also more memorable; you might easily recall a vocal hook, while the dope bassline that went with it eludes you, and it’s a path back to the track for listeners who might have heard it at a gig or on a radio show, for example. Probably the biggest challenge, aside from logistics (actually getting people into a studio and recording them) is to make music that entirely conveys its intention, but still has enough space for a vocal to sit. It can be chicken and egg, too. Which came first?. You might record a vocalist over a certain track, but then go back and make a whole new tune from scratch for the vocal you just recorded. As with all music and creativity, it’s case by case, nothing is ever the same.

Having produced so many prolific and versatile, yet easily recognizable releases over the last decade together (this latest LP included), can you explain how you two have been able to keep the creative spark and enthusiasm alive while simultaneously retaining freshness for both yourselves as producers as well as for your fans?
We love it. We love making music. We love playing music. Making and playing music is so inspiring, how could we stop?

What are you most proud of or excited about with The Wilderness of Mirrors now that’s it all said and done? Are there any particular tracks that you’re most looking forward to sharing with your fans?
We’ve said this in interviews before; your tracks are like your babies. How do you pick a favorite when you love them all for varying and different reasons? This album in particular is no filler for us; we agonized so much over each track. So for us, it’s all about the overall vibe, the release in its entirety, which we couldn’t be happier with! Having said that, we could probably pick a few arbitrary tracks to highlight:

“Monster” – This track has been a long time coming; we were dropping a much older version of this on our Ninja Nation shows with Datsik. The addition of Strikez’s vocal really nailed it for us.

“Lyrical Murderer” – It’s D Double E! We’re both insanely massive fans. Not only did we make a track with D Double, we feel it’s one of his best vocals in a while. Double stoked!

“Inside Your Thoughts” – This one is something special. The vocal from Lelijveld is so haunting and we had to include it as the last track on the album as the thing which leaves with the listener when they walk away. “Am I inside your thoughts?” Hope so!

“The Moon” – A really fun one to make. When we finished this track, that was when we knew the album was complete. It’s “proper dubstep” in its most classic and raw form. Everyone we have shown this track to loves it. As Nicole from Sub.Mission in Denver put it, “THIS is the kind of dubstep I love the most.”

“Jack Ripper” – The two of us grew up listening to DnB and jungle; we met at DnB raves. This one is a flashback to that junglist vibe, but with a 2017 twist and a sick vocal from Strikez.

“Soldier” feat. T Man – This has been a staple in our sets for at least the last six months. This one always murks the dance. People love it, and we love playing it!

“Stuck” – Bass heavy, sample driven, percussion loaded.

“Echo Chamber” – Another in the “we had to include it” category. This track expresses the reality of living in an Echo Chamber. “Can you hear me, I’m suffocating.” Everything about the track is just burying the listener.

“War” feat. Killa P – This track is just so militant and driving. Killa P smashed it on his vocal. This track is very much war.

But really though, just going through the list of tracks and talking about them really hammers home how each one of the tracks adds to the release as a whole, and how happy we are to be getting it out there.

Looking back from where you two started to what Truth has evolved into over the last decade, what advice would you give this next generation of budding bass music producers?
Things have changed and things have stayed the same! At the end of the day, the very most important thing any young producer should focus on is their craft. Making the best sounds, crafting themselves their own identity. It takes time to nail that part of the equation, but if you do, you will have the integrity and foundation to build on. All the most successful acts over the past ten years have been recognizably themselves; you have to be you, do your own thing.