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Trash Boat: Tobi Duncan’s track-by-track guide to Don’t You Feel Amazing?

Vocalist Tobi Duncan goes through the inspirations behind every song on Trash Boat's superb third album, Don’t You Feel Amazing?

Trash Boat: Tobi Duncan’s track-by-track guide to Don’t You Feel Amazing?
Words:
Eloise Bulmer

Trash Boat's incendiary third album Don't You Feel Amazing? is full of brutal honestly and big ideas. From rock star indulgences and unhelpful surgeons to the mainstream media and economic injustice, the lyrical scope of the record is huge. We sit down with frontman Tobi Duncan to take a deep dive into each track…

1. Don’t You Feel Amazing?

“It's me being very honest about past dependencies, substance abuse problems. It's about that instant gratification mentality: 'I don't care how detrimental these things are as long as I get my short-term dopamine shot.' It's my guilt-free window into that feeling, where I can just enjoy the concept of it but it's not real. When I play that song it makes me feel those feelings, but it's not cheating. I wrote a song that I'm proud of and it makes me feel the same way.”

2. Silence Is Golden

“What I really wanted to do was go off on a Noam Chomsky, Zack de la Rocha 'this is what's wrong with the world, this is how we should fix it'. I don't have that – I only have my feelings and opinions. It's an expression of my frustration when I look at all the obvious injustices and imbalances in the world. It's a sounding board, a loud noise to keep the conversation going and keep people aware of all the inequalities that are running away with themselves at the moment.”

3. Bad Entertainment (feat. Milkie Way)

“Bad Entertainment is basically the same idea but just about the media. The things you see on the news every day are designed to oversimplify an overcomplicated world. We as individuals shouldn't have to bear the responsibility of understanding the economic strife that's going on in Venezuela, the civil war going on in Ukraine, the problems in Afghanistan… it's all too much for one person.”

4. Love Without Needing

“Can you love something or someone without needing it? Love is supposed to be selfless, but if you need something from the thing that you love then it's inherently not selfless. I've never been hit with that Disney love that may or may not exist, and I don't know why. It got me reflecting on who I am as a person; whether the way that I think and feel is more to do with my parents and my genetics, or my environment and the things I've been exposed to. It's a very reflective song – there's no answer, it's just music and thoughts on why we are the way we are.”

5. He’s So Good

“That's the hot-ticket song where people keep asking me how I feel being a gay icon in the scene. I don't understand why there's this massive conversation around sexuality because why do people care, why is it even a conversation? Let people put whatever they want in their mouth, man. It's just a fucking good punk rock song and it happens to be written by a bisexual guy.”

6. Vertigo

“It's such a butt-rock song, isn't it? Vertigo's one of the songs we pretty much wrote in the studio. We were channeling that Nirvana, Oasis energy where a song doesn't necessarily need to completely make sense. We were just going off our gut and it treated us real good. It's the biggest sleeper on the album.”

7. Alpha Omega (feat. Kamiyada+)

“The topic is very morbid, but it's a lot of fun. I've had serious medical issues for the past 10 years. There was a point where my surgeon was such a dick, man. I kept going back to him saying I'm in constant pain, and he kept taking this, 'If you're not going to listen to me as a doctor then I don't know what we're doing here.’ Like, what are you talking about? You're not fixing me, fix me – it's your job. This song is about him, that's why the chorus is just ‘idiot’ over and over again, because he's a fucking idiot.”

8. Idios

“It's kind of the tail-end of Love Without Needing, but the more aggressive metal side. What comprises me? What goes on in my own little world? Am I a good person? Do I do good things? I wanted to flesh that idea out in a heavier song. Originally, the album was gonna be called Idios.”

9. Cannibal

“It's a very, very simple song. If you have no consideration for others around you, and you're entirely selfish and you only think about yourself, you can achieve great things. There's not a lot of waffle there.”

10. Live Like A King Die Like An Animal

“This was the end of Cannibal. It was a five-minute song and the last minute-and-a-half was a moody instrumental, so we just decided to cut the end off and make it a transition into the second half of the record.”

11. All I Can Never Be

“Read the lyrics. They don't make sense – they're bullshit. I basically got that acoustic track in and just freestyled some lyrics and melodies that I liked. It sounds great, though, doesn't it? I wanted it to be a song that I felt more than I considered. It's one of my favourite songs on the album.”

12. Synthetic Sympathy

“This ties into the medical problems that I've had, and the futility of every single person that I've ever met saying, ‘Oh wow, that's really hard.' As much as I appreciate the support and the sympathy to an extent, after a decade I'd rather not be known as 'That guy whose been through all that medical stuff'. So the song is a little bit of frustration vented.”

13. Maladaptive Daydreaming

“I think the rhythmic structure of those lyrics, particularly in the verses, are some of my best work – if I say so myself. Over that drum'n'bass beat, the way they roll and flow and connect, I really fucking like those verses. The idea behind the song might not be the craziest, but I like that song in the way it hits and how different it is – it's kind of like a drum'n'bass song, kind of like a pop-punk song.”

Don’t You Feel Amazing? is out now via Hopeless Records.

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