Second chances can be especially sweet, and for Trust Company, the four-piece hard rock band from Montgomery, Alabama, reuniting has been sweet indeed, allowing the band to fall in love with making music again because they’re doing it for themselves, free of the pressures, expectations and distractions of the business. On their new album, Dreaming In Black And White, the band branches off in exciting new directions while retaining the overpowering combination of intense hard rock and irresistible melodies that will delight both the hardcore base of fans that have been waiting for years for Trust Company to return, and a new throng of fans that will be hearing the band for the first time.
The last the world heard from Trust Company was in 2005, when after release of their second album, True Parallels, they announced that they’d be going on hiatus. As lead vocalist and guitarist Kevin Palmer remembers, “After True Parallels, we were in a bad spot. No one was happy. We had been rushed into the studio to meet a record company deadline and all those external pressures – all the outside opinions about how our music should sound – had it stop being fun, which is why we got into it in the first place.” Drummer Jason Singleton adds, “We never said ‘we’re breaking up.’ It just stopped being exciting. We had to get away from the big machine for a while.”
The band had made a lot of fans since its formation in 1997 and especially after their breakout success in 2002, with their gold selling debut, The Lonely Position Of Neutral and the hit single “Downfall.” Extensive airplay on MTV for “Downfall” and continuous touring with such bands as Korn, Papa Roach and Disturbed earned the band an especially rabid following, one that stuck around through the ensuing years that the band was apart. Jason recalls, “We all were in various side projects during our time apart and we made it a point to keep in touch with the fans via MySpace. But that whole time we were away we all kept getting emails asking, ‘When is the next Trust Company album coming?’”
But the time away was beneficial, allowing the band to fall in love with music again. As Kevin explains, “When we finally got back together – which just started with an email asking if we wanted to jam – we let our wounds heal. It had us focus on the music without any expectations. We started having fun again, and that was all the expectation we wanted. We played for ourselves. It was the same feeling that it was back in the good old days.” And after getting their road legs back with gigging in 2008 and 2009, the band (including original member James Fukai on lead guitar) settled in to make new music for the first time in years.
The evidence of all the good feeling created by their reunion is in their new album, Dreaming In Black And White. Produced by Chuck Alkazian (Pop Evil, Sponge, Emphatic) the album is less a return to form than it is the truest representation of the band ever captured on record. Kevin elaborates, “Working with Chuck was awesome. When we first got signed, we jumped into the whole label world of singles and all that. Chuck helped us forget about those things.” Jason adds, “We’ve all just grown and grown. We’re all married now. The natural progress of time will change people, and that has come out in the music.”
The material on Dreaming In Black And White covers a wide span of time, and the band found the ideal way to use modern recording techniques with their more tried and true methods. Jason says, “Some of the songs were ones that we worked on before the hiatus and some are from after. Now we put ideas down on our laptops, which is new for us, but we still write the song by getting together and hammering it out with all of us playing in the room as a unit. For us, it’s the right balance between using technology and keeping it old school.”
The sound of the album reflects the band hard rock and pop influences. “I don’t listen to a lot of new stuff,” admits Kevin. “We grew up on a steady diet of Skid Row, Guns N’ Roses, Queenryche, Van Halen – and Duran Duran.” On discussing the new songs, he demurs: “I like the idea of listeners deciding for themselves what the song is about. It is so much more personal and meaningful.” Jason allows about the new album, “I love it because we have gotten to revisit our old history and take it back. We are using weird chords and heavier parts.”
As the band prepares to hit the road to support Dreaming In Black And White, you can hear the excitement in their voices. Kevin says gratefully, “We’re so excited to have a second chance. Our future was really uncertain for a long time. But this is the first record that we’ve ever made that is 100% us – and we love it. Jason and I have been playing together for almost 17 years. I guess it really says something that I’m having the best time I’ve had playing music.”