New Jersey’s True Things dropped their debut record "Alone In My Room" a few months ago though Man Overboard’s Lost Tape Collective label, and cemented themselves as a band to keep your eye on in 2011. The band’s front man James Corbi answered a few questions for us in his spare time.
Start off by stating your name, your role in True Things and what are you hoping to receive for Christmas this year?
My name’s James I sing in True Things and honestly; I’m not a big fan of Christmas but my sister’s coming home and I haven’t seen her since the Man Overboard/Fireworks/Transit tour this past summer in Florida. I’m really excited about that.
What bands would you consider to be your main influences when writing material for the band?
A big influence for the first record would definitely have to be Superstitions of the Sky, The Anniversary, American Nightmare, Turning Point and Saves The Day; I’m trying to really create our own sound through my personal influences. New Jersey is actually a huge influence when writing.
A lot of people know you from your stint in I Call Fives, but can you fill us in on the other members of True Things?
The current lineup is me James-Vocals, Gabe-Guitar/Backup Vocals, Bob ‘Grease’ Akeret-Guitar, Mike Wolk-Bass, Brandon-Drums (he played in I Call Fives as well on the last tour before we both left).
The band’s debut record “Alone In My Room” is out now, what has the overall response to the record been like?
We’ve gotten great feedback surprisingly. Especially since they were all acoustic to begin with. We’re all very excited for the new record though.
Man Overbord’s Lost Tape Collective label released the record, what made you decide to release the record with them?
Well, I’ve been friends with all of them for a long time. I’ve known Nik and Wayne since 2003 from shows around southern NJ and met Justin when I was in ICF and we’d play with The Frontpage. Zac’s a really great friend of mine and they all pushed me to do the band in the first place; so it only felt suitable they release it. Justin has a good head on his shoulders when it comes to direct and online music promotions and knows a ton of people in the U.S and overseas. It’s awesome to have our first release on a label owned by our best friends.
I feel that I had already heard majority of the tracks on the record as an acoustic track released by yourself at one point, is this how most of the tracks started out?
Essentially, yes. I actually wrote my first acoustic song ‘Jefferson’ for a girl I was dating and had a falling out with. She ended up moving to Greece for school and to see her family. From there I just started writing a lot more. But that’s one of the songs that means the most to me and inspired me to write a record.
The intro track on the record is hilarious, what is the story behind this?
I’ve had numerous people tell me they know the girl who left the message. Not sure who it is. All I know is one morning I woke up and had the message on my phone. I had to have it for the first track. Everyone seems to be into it.
The record is streaming in its entirety on the band’s bandcamp page. Do you think bandcamp is the way to go now that the new myspace profiles are ugly as sin?
Bandcamp has made us a decent amount of money actually it’s an awesome tool. MySpace is just inferior to facebook and bandcamp. It’s just there for people who don’t know how to find new music. Every website has it’s pros and cons.
How does the band approach songwriting at the moment?
Well a lot of the song structure and lyrics are created by me at home. Then I present the idea and e-mail demos to everyone. From there we just play at practice and see where they go.
Have you been writing many new songs as of late?
We have about five new songs as a band that we’re currently working on.
Do you think we could expect to see some new material being released in 2011?
You have a run of dates scheduled for late December into early January, what are you looking forward to the most with these shows?
I’m really trying to reach out to the east coast and get a following. As of now we’re just a myth really. We’ve played very few shows around NJ/PA had a show in Long Island and Cambridge, MA. All the shows were really awesome. But I think this tour will break us out. I’m excited. Plus we’ll have a lot of awesome merch with us.
How has the band been preparing for the shows?
Just staying as healthy as possible. We all vibe with each other and have a lot of fun playing. Unfortunately Brandon can’t come due to his work schedule but my good friend Tyler is filling in and he’s done an awesome job learning the songs.
Have you been working on any solo material as of late? And can we expect to see you putting out a proper release of solo material anytime soon?
Eh..I have a few new songs that are considered solo material. I don’t know if I would ever release anything more proper than I have in the past. But I may definitely do another CD or digital release for sure.
Do you have any goals that you would like to achieve with this band?
I really just want to be a respected band who doesn’t play what’s trendy. I want to play music that sounds like New Jersey emo/punk should sound; and give you that nostalgic feeling. It should remind you of a time or place. It’s not just some songs to me. Each song is a story I felt important enough to share with people who are willing to listen. It’s so much more than music I can’t stress that enough.
Who are some bands that we should be checking out?
Top Ten bands I would recommend:
Lifeless – www.myspace.com/lifelesshardcore
Balance And Composure – www.myspace.com/balanceandcomposure
Daylight – www.myspace.com/daylightpa
Stick Together – www.myspace.com/sticktogetherwb
Born Without Bones – www.myspace.com/bornwithoutbonesband
Dead End Path – www.myspace.com/deadendpathwb
Mindset – www.myspace.com/mindsetsxe
Daytrader – www.myspace.com/daytraderny
Wrong Answer – www.myspace.com/wronganswerhardcore
What are your plans for 2011 with the band?
We’ve got some things planned.. All I can say right now is we’re going to have new music and be playing a lot more shows.
Thanks for doing the interview, any shout outs or last words for anyone reading this here in Australia?
I’d like to thank YOU for doing this interview it was really great I got to explain myself about a lot of things people may have either questioned or just based their own opinions about. I’d like to thank anyone who reads this interview and supports this band. Thanks again Tom, be safe.