Spreading the Truth
Christchurch dubstep outfit Truth have been thrilling dance floors around the world, and this week the duo, Andre Fernandez and Tristan Roake, performed at the influential South by Southwest (SXSW) showcase in Austin, Texas.
SXSW Music is the largest music festival of its kind in the world, with more than 2500 performers and bands playing in more than 100 venues over one week. World media and influential labels flock to it each year in the hope of discovering the next big thing.
The New Zealand Music Commission contingent to SXSW this year included: Six60, Lips, Ghost Wave, Die! Die! Die! and the band you're sure to be hearing much more about now - Los Angeles-based NO, fronted by Brad Carter, while London-based Kiwi Willy Moon and Oregon-based Unknown Mortal Orchestra also performed.
But Truth could be described as bigger than Texas in their genre.
Thanks to heavyweight support from the likes of Benga, Mala and Skream, Truth's signature beats have been making punters dance at clubs like Club Love in New York, Sonar in Spain and DMZ in London and have featured on the BBC's Radio One and Rinse FM. Closer to home Truth also have collaborated on tracks with Bulletproof, The Black Seeds and Shapeshifter.
"We have made a move to the United States," Roake says, while collecting bags from an airport in Denver which is the pair's destination for a few gigs fresh from SXSW.
"Denver is, surprisingly, the bass-music capital of the United States right now.
"First we were in Portland, Oregon, and now we're based in San Francisco and we've continued to tour heavily round North America and Europe.
"Late last year we did a six-date tour of South America, including Caracas Venezuela - one of the most dangerous places in the world, Bogota, Colombia; Buenos Aires and Cordoba, Argentina; Lima, Peru; and Santiago, Chile."
Truth released their second album, Love's Shadow, six month ago. Their last single was released on Tempa Records, which is the label which shot Skream, Benga and a bunch of other dubstep artists to worldwide fame.
"We're very proud of this achievement."
At SXSW Truth played some sets on the New Zealand stage but also played official showcases in a silent disco and even rocked a laser-tag session.
"Back home in Christchurch I don't think people are aware of the good things that have been happening to us; we're on the up and up here in the United States and in the United Kingdom.
"SXSW was unlike anything else we've experienced. We've toured much of the world and been to some pretty amazing festivals like Outlook and Burning Man, but SXSW was something else. To have that concentration and volume of creative talent in one place for that amount of time really made it special. It got the ideas bouncing around, very inspiring."
At the SXSW Sub Mission showcase Truth played with other dubsteppers including Caspa, 50 Carrot and Content.
"Later that same night we headlined an event at a laser-tag venue which was incredible. The venue itself wasn't incredible but the experience was. It was unlimited rounds of laser-tag and we played a set on a good sound system at like 3 in the morning and then we could bounce and play laser-tag while listening to music we're into.
"The other highlight set was definitely the SMOG vs UKF showcase. Amazing rooftop venue, great sound and visuals. The line stretched two blocks down the street."
A number of prominent musicians performed at SXSW, including Justin Timberlake, Smashing Pumpkins and Green Day, among others, with Dave Grohl a keynote speaker. Prince closed the festival, performing for just 300 people with a brass band-backed funk extravaganza that featured A Tribe Called Quest in a show which stretched till 3am.
"There was a tonne of random cool stuff going on," Roake says.
"Andre was standing in the lobby of the hotel, and Parliament's George Clinton just rocked over for a chat. George Clinton!
"The real highlight was meeting so many amazing people from around the globe and spreading the Truth sound."