Though it had been up and running for years, Men I Trust had to slow down and act like a new band when they settled on Emma Proulx as a dedicated singer. Years of singles later Men I Trust is approaching their third album and has built up a dedicated fan-base for their new direction. We caught up with Proulx to talk about the latest endeavours from Men I Trust and what’s help them lock into their latest iteration.
Northern Transmissions: How did a real-life cabin story inspire “Seven” and how did you all want to recreate that in the video?
Emma Proulx: We made a promise not to reveal too much about the story because it’s about three friends of ours. It’s about that one friend everyone has that always has these crazy stories happening to them. So this is my friend who I owe all my crazy stories too. We had a track for six months that was instrumental, but there were no lyrics to it. We had a hard time figuring out what to say on it and how we felt on it. “Seven” was really instrumental, but once we found that story it became a natural fit to what we had had done already.
NT: What’s led you back to exploring singles for the last little while and what’s it offering you that an album won’t?
EP: We decided to do singles because we already had two albums and nobody knew us. We wanted to focus in and make every song important to build a following. Now we have more people listening so we’ve been working back towards an album. The guys really want to put that record now and it was definitely a struggle to make less music than more. People browse music so fast now, that to put out an album then wasn’t the best move.
NT: On this not however, what inspired you to record a live EP amidst all these singles?
EP: The songs were produced in a certain way and meant to be heard that way, but the live aspects of the Men I Trust were much more raw. So we decided to record our live versions, which was interesting because people started to latch on to these different takes of the songs.
NT: How did you create such a glossy sound for this EP by the way, considering how often live albums sound off?
EP: We’re doing everything by ourselves, so when we did these live sessions we recorded everything down to Ableton. We mixed it all down afterwards, so it wasn’t like a microphone or video clip that would capture it all as this one block. That way we were able to play with volume on everything and work with the ambient noises to enhance the quality of the song itself.
NT: Emma you joined the band a few years back, so how did that change gears and how has the consistency moved you all forward?
EP: It was a good change because it’s brought a lot of consistency and we’re able to write it all together. Before when it was guest singers you would go from one mood to another, whereas now we can all move together. The flow has improved well and we all feel like a family. We all ended up writing together rather naturally, we never even had a meeting to have me join.
NT: You’re also managing your entire PR, Label-type work and other non-musical work, so how do you find balancing this with music itself?
EP: We have always said, if we can’t create because we have to answer emails or something like that, it will be treated like a problem. It has stayed pretty manageable for now though, and Dragos just works super fast. We’re lucky to be able to do everything and split it in three. So far we’ve had time for it all, so we’re not close to getting helpers yet. The hard part is being on tour, and trying to create music while you’re on tour because we have so little time, but it’s been doable for now.
NT: How did your inclusion on Tyler, The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival festival come about?
EP: He just messaged me one night, asking about this song we’d put out on YouTube. He messaged me on Instagram and next thing we knew we were on the lineup.
NT: You talked previously about your third album coming as early as August, so how is that going?
EP: We’ve made a lot of drafts, and we’re writing a lot of music. It’s semi-official right now, but it’s coming out in February and it should be something like 20 tracks.
Words by Owen Maxwell