Thomas Truax plays Cobalt Studios in Newcastle this Sunday (19th February).

The American singer songwriter and musical inventor has just brought out a new album, Dream Catching Songs, an intriguing musical collaboration with former Banshee and Creature Budgie.

An experimental and imaginative musician, Thomas Truax inhabits the space between art-rock, post-punk and his own distinctive brand of surreal Americana. Always a fantastic live performer where Thomas guitar and vocals are backed up by his Heath Robinson style musical inventions, whirling bicycle wheels, lights, whistles and washing machine parts.

In this tenth studio album Thomas is joined by Budgie and the inventor's eye catching percussive invention, Mother Superior. According to the biog “the trio found a special sort of synergy” together. The album certainly demonstrates that.

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Thomas Truax will be appearing this Sunday at Cobalt Studios, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Thomas Truax has been a frequent visitor for Sunday shows at Eaglescliffe's Waiting Room over the years. This year he is striking out north to Cobalt Studios in Newcastle. We chatted together over the phone the other day about the new album and it is exceptional and also what we might expect at Sunday's gig.

Q: You are definitely taking us on a journey, on this new album.

I have listened to the album several times and I keep hearing different things. A bit like seeing you live and the visuals of all the wheels whirling around and different devices attached to your Stringaling etc.

Oh cool. That's good to hear because that is something I always like in an album and I try to put whatever you call them, Easter Eggs.. will anyone hear that if I mix it too low... no lets do that and put that in there because somebody will find it.

Q: Well it is all about Dream Catching after all.

Yes, absolutely.

Q: We won't expect Budgie live on this tour but we might get you using your chopsticks in the corner.

Yes, that might be the case. Somewhere down the road we might do shows. He loves playing but is based in Berlin and has family and lectures so its not so easy. He said I will tell you when I am going to be through the UK to do something and try and set up some shows and a special event. It would be great hey. Or it might be a disaster.. (laughs).

Q: Definitely something to look forward to in the future.

Can you tell me something about the incredible finale – The Fisherman's Wishing Well ..

I am not quite sure what to say about that.

Q: It is such a strong finish and like many songs on the album has a really strong riff.

I exercised a lot ..(we laugh)

That again is one of those that your modern marketing experts would say oh don't pick the long song that goes all over the place but it is a bit like what we were saying before. There are different parts; beginning, middle and end sort of song. That has actually got Lunar in it in the middle.

I don't usually like to talk too much about what is going on lyrically because in my own experience, my idea of a song that I like, the more that I listen to it, it develops a story in my head, I may not what this says or that says but I know it says something to me. Sometimes you find out what the author was actually writing about and it is disappointing. Or it is not what you think it is.

But, that being said it sort of ties into the Dream Catching theme and looking for medicine basically. During the pandemic there was this disconnect thing. Well, I think I maybe didn't finish with that piece until we were out of lockdown. There is a lot in there where a lot of people were getting sick. There was a sense of loss and longing going on and a lot of it comes out of that. And also for me I often want to make a big production out of things and that one is. I thought put horns and strings in this and see what happens. So, when I am recording stuff I don't like to put the same limitations on myself that I have when I am playing live. It is something I definitely think about, when I am working on things and thinking OK I am going to be playing shows and selling records at the shows and you want it to be representative of what you do and at the same time there will be people that hear the record and I am a little concerned with this record that they will be expecting.. although it is unlikely if I am playing the Waiting Room that people are going to expect a full orchestra. There is the sort of dangerous area that you go into where you think I am not going to have a laptop with a whole lot of samples on because that is not what I do.

But so far playing a good number of these songs live I have found that underneath whatever decorations you put on it if there is a strong spine in there. If there is a skeleton of a song you don't necessarily have to have all the decorations and bells etc to make it effective. And sometimes it is more effective I think to a different kind of live version.

Q: A lot of us buy your albums after your gigs and look forward to recognising songs we have just heard but developed in a studio.
Oh cool.

Q: Am looking forward to seeing you in Newcastle and hearing some of the songs from the new album and am hoping there might be a few old favourites as well, perhaps.

Yes, of course can't get away from those number one hits once they are in the public domain.

Q: You can't take the Wowtown out of you?

Yes, you can take the man out of the Wowtown but you can't take the Wowtown out of the man. Or lets say you can take the Wowtown out of the set but you might not have as many happy customers.

Q: Thanks so much for chatting and look forward to seeing you soon.