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“I don’t think it’s fair for other [bands] to slog hard in your absence and then we just come back and, sweet titties, everything is as we left it. There has to be a sense of commitment and the ability to re-establish yourself,” Truth And Its Burden frontman Ashley De Beer tells me.
Joburg-based hardcore band Truth And Its Burden are polishing their licks and shining their axes as they get ready to embark on their nationwide Iron & Fire tour which kicks off in their hometown on the 12th of May at Rumours Rock City. The band is inching to their 10-year-anniversary but as Ashley tells things have changed since their inception and so has the scene. He explains, “When you step away from it, you see it differently. We’re having to rebuild ourselves, we’re having to re-establish ourselves in the scene. We’re having to work as hard as a brand-new band. The only difference is we have a history but our fan base has changed – there’s a lot of younger faces.”
Apart from keeping up with their audience, the band had to keep up with their members too. There’s been a fair amount of musical chairs during Truth And Its Burden’s 10-year reign and the latest member to join the fold is bassist Sean Gaisford. “It’s not easy to let someone go and having to replace them,” Ashley continues. “It’s a dreadful thought especially when you have a good dynamic with them. It is a challenge – and we’ve done it so many times – we’ve just gotten used to the idea so we did the usual by putting our feelers out there. Sean was the only guy that we’d auditioned… he’s a rad guy and he fits in with us.”
For Truth And Its Burden, being able to fit in and have an even, or chilled, temper is high on the priority list simply because the band spends a large amount of time on the road together. “Touring is just something that we love and something that we like doing. It also gives us the chance to get to know each other more deeply,” Ashley details. “I mean, you’re on your way home after a long night and you just get to share these rad conversations that you don’t necessarily share with others. From a dude perspective – that’s the best thing about touring, I reckon. Obviously, it’s cool to play new places for new faces, meet people, play with other bands and have a good time! At this point of my life, at 36-years-old, I’m learning to value relationships over experiences. When I was much younger, I was focussed on getting these awesome gigs and doing awesome things but now I’m more interested in the relationships between people because if those relationships are right then it makes the experience great. You know?”
When Ashley speaks about Truth And Its Burden, he’s quick to mention that the band has been a labour of love for all the members – past and present. In fact, their July 2017 release “I Labour” speaks directly to that declaration. “When we were making the album, the idea was to write good songs. We wanted to come together and write an album that is more palatable so the average listener could enjoy it [too] and not just the progressive audience,” he explains. And they did achieve exactly what they set out to do on their album with a resulting sound that’s more mature, especially on tracks like ‘Weightless’ and the title-track ‘Iron and Fire’ – there’s a renewed focused with more attention placed on their lyrics.
That aforementioned wider audience will get to hear and see “I Labour” in high-paced action when Truth And Its Burden hits the stage during their Iron & Fire tour which will also feature support from a range of bands like Facing The Gallows, Red Helen, Bottom Feeder and many more.
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Listen to “I Labour” on Apple Music.