Last year there was no other album quite like the debut from Trust. Far from the style that dominates the Canadian indie scene - where the two extremes are a sort of epic rock and a kind of naughty pop - what photographer/musician Robert Alfons did was pay tribute to the styles that had been instrumental in his youth: gothic pop, EBM and Eurobeat, resulting in a mixture of Depeche Mode, Front 242 and Ace of Base, with powerful synths so cold they seemed to cut the air.
But the real key behind Trust's style is Alfons's voice, capable of reaching disturbingly low registers that sound like they've come bubbling from the depths of hell. "Actually, that low register is so much more natural than my higher ranges," he says. "I mean, I don't use any effects or anything, but even if I'm super sick I can still sing really low."
Synthetic hedonism darkroom The entirety of Trust's debut album, entitled 'TRST' (2012), is a tribute to a cosmopolitan lifestyle with nights spent in the gay bars and clubs of major cities: their songs have titles like 'Gloryhole' and 'Dressed for Space' that lead us to conjure dark encounters in restricted-access clubs with loud music and a higher than average risk for contracting STDs.
Even the album cover is a picture of a knackered transvestite Alfons met one night in a Toronto club. He does not hide ("It's like a speedy trip of being gay in 1995!") and says the next album, which is already in the works, is going in the same direction. A lot of the songs on this upcoming album, to be released in 2014, will be part of the set list in Barcelona, where he'll be performing for the second time. The first time was at Sonar 2012, which he says "was such a blast last year".
A solo project Now Trust has practically become a full-time profession for photographer Alfons. "I haven't been taking as many photos as I used to. I used to take tons, and develop a roll or two a week," he says. This is good news for fans of his music, as it means he's focused on making better songs and integrating them into a more visual and braver show.
In the beginning he had help from Maya Postepski, the drummer with Austra, another Canadian goth-influenced pop band, but now she's busier with them, he's going it alone - with a new support band. "Trust has always been my baby," he says. And now that he's found a way to differentiate himself and trigger the most basic instincts, he'll be able to take his pop sound, all muscular and homoerotic, where it needs to go. Go along for the ride, but take protection.