‘So… What does Treasuretroves sound like?’ There was a long pause echoing through the phone on that late Monday afternoon. ‘It’s a tough question,’ I said after an extended period of silence. ‘Yeah, you’re right about that one!’ came the reply.
It’s always a tentative situation, interviewing young creatives about why it is they do what they do. At the conclusion of the conversation, my phone buzzed assertively on the table. ‘Emo/post-punk due sent from BOG himself.’ My phone buzzed again. ‘It’s like you shot yourself in the head with a blank canvas behind you.’ Even backed by the dim glow of an iPhone, the words still had an incredible impact. Each and every creative communicates differently, but as a writer, words will forever hold merit with me.
I’d spent a good portion of the afternoon speaking to the frontman and brains behind the outfit Treasuretroves, a young local artist whose songs and associated words feel and sound as though they are literally drawing the blood from your veins and making every single cell in your body remember what it was like to feel. Take his latest EP, Depresso, for example: a full-frontal onslaught of abrasive, messy rock, with a punk backbone and emo undertones. But… there’s something else as well. Amongst the lo-fi noise and ambience there’s poetry, unfiltered heartbreak and total anarchy. ‘O Darling’ is a prime example of this; the music of Treasuretroves is all about unpacking the layers, peeling away pain and eventually feeling everything.
Having recently moved out to explore all the things our lovely town has to offer, the former Hunter School of Performing Arts student reflects on his ever-growing and changing passion for music. ‘I met a great group of people there [at school]; formed a really great network of supportive people. I started my first band with classmates from that school – we’re still playing together today. It was a great way to meet people and connect with other bands and stuff.’ But it seems it’s not just the supportive environment of high school that continues to spur on the creative; Newcastle as a community (as all of our loyal readers know, of course) is just as supportive. ‘I’ve always felt really supported by the Newcastle music scene – everyone is generally really accepting. Even when we just started to play shows back at Hombre Records, we would play in front of crowds of metalcore fans, [and] they wouldn’t pull us off or anything; they would always give us a go.’ Troves and I also took the time to briefly discuss the current gap in Newcastle in regards to an all-ages music venue. But… here’s hoping that another will surface pretty soon.
So when did Troves start making music formally? The writing process behind any sort of debut EP will forever fascinate me, so of course the questions flowed. ‘I’m also in another band called Shysters that I’ve been in for ages now, but I actually did a student exchange to Hungary, so obviously the band took a little bit of time out during that time. Treasuretroves kind of started as a solo project while I was over there – more, initially, to show the band when I got back, but I ended up starting to record demos on my phone. Everything was recorded on my iPhone in my bedroom while I was away. I guess I just kept it going as a bit of a side project.’
That side project has moulded into a full-blown live act: ‘Now I play as a two-piece – we’ve played a couple of gigs around Newcastle, they’ve all been really fun.’ The place he would most love to play (locally)? ‘I’d love to be able to sell out the Entertainment Centre [laughs]. I’ll pack that out one day.’ Who would he pick as his support? ‘Oilbaron. We would sell out the Entertainment Centre for sure [laughs]. We’re actually playing a gig with them the day before we play the gig at the Cambridge.’ Which brings me to the crux of this article… Treasuretroves are next in line to appear at the coveted Newcastle Mirage/Love + Rent mash-up for the Thursday Night Live extravaganza.
Troves’ Bandcamp is littered with the phrase ‘DIY till I die’, a phrase common amongst punk/indie kids in the music scene – and one that this music journalist personally appreciates. ‘I just love the creative control. I can spend as much time recording a song as I want to and not have to pay for it. I can make it sound whatever way I want it to. Even if it might be considered stupid by someone else, I have this free control over my music.’ Of course, this in turn brings a sense of authenticity to his music.
It’s not just music that Troves dabbles in, either. Art runs as deep as his lyrics do and creativity is what’s really at the forefront of his work. I asked who did the artwork for his EP: ‘I did… I like drawing and doing a lot of digital art and stuff. I did a course in digital media last year; it’s always been a big interest of mine. I almost run Treasuretroves as an art project as well.’ A natural extension of this is bandmerch, and Troves’ wearable art is also phenomenal. As a big fan of the T-shirt, I can, of course, highly recommend. ‘I make all of those designs, and design all the CD artwork as well. It’s fun,’ Troves adds with an air of creative nonchalance.
But back to the tunes. What can fans expect from the upcoming giggo at the Cambridge on the 9th of March? ‘We’re experimenting with some stuff; we’re going to play around with samples and stuff like that at the show. It’s going to be hot, it’s going to be real tight [laughs].’ Well, with words like that, of course we cannot wait.
My plea to you again, as you hold this wonderful little zine in your hands, is this: support your local musicians. Because really, for these guys, it’s all about authenticity, creating something wonderful, and like I said before, being reminded of what it’s like to really feel something. So I’ll see you at the Cambridge on the 9th, yeah? For free entry before ten, cheap bevvies and, most importantly, some super-hot tunes.
Want a taste? You can find out more about the creative deliciousness that is Treasuretroves here
And you can find his tunes here