Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Thomas Truax Photo Andy Werner.

Thomas Truax Photo Andy Werner.

Trash’d brings Thomas Truax to town TONIGHT!

Musician and soundsmith, Thomas Truax, he of the songs that are stories and self-created instruments will be appearing as part of the Trash Cannes Festival at a venue that is as unique as he is, Kino Teatr in St Leonards-on-Sea. HOT’s Zelly Restorick asks Truax some questions and discovers how his creative ingenuity and stubborn determination have helped forged his musical pathway.

Years ago, I saw Thomas Truax at The De La Warr in Bexhill; he’s one of those musicians who’s stayed in my mind ever since. I love the ingenuity of his unique instruments; the fact that he’s created his own musical tools to accompany his voice, lyrics and sounds and that he’s followed his own very distinctive musical path and not been restricted by the range of instruments usually available. HOT’s Zelly Restorick catches up with him.

Hello Thomas. Have you always had musical and creative inclinations and a sense that you would be a musician?

I liked music but I wanted to be a film maker because I have always been very visually oriented and loved stories, and I was warned by everyone and their brothers that the odds are against you making a sustained living in music even if you are really good at it. (“They” were right about that, incidentally, but I am stubborn and somehow just keep pushing my way through the highs and lows.) I went to New York University to study film, but music won out because I’m the opposite of a morning person.

Can you tell us about your artist’s/musician’s ‘life journey’?

It started in the womb I suppose, plucking my Mother’s umbilical cord. I spent time doing magic shows for kids parties, made animated movies and later worked for MTV and Cartoon Network on ‘Celebrity Deathmatch’ and ‘Robot Chicken’. I formed several bands… they always went down sooner or later. Usually you could trace that back to lack of financial sustenance and the irritation that manifests as a result. Or maybe it was just that I was so inspired by what most people would call abrasive or confrontational/challenging music. Anyway, I made a mechanical drum machine, I played an open mic night. My mechanical drummer and I got a gig. We got another gig, and another – and here we are, still playing shows, nearly a decade-and-a-half later.


Thomas Truax Photo Chris Saunders.

When and why did you start making your own instruments? What is the process – from conception to birth of an instrument?

My father, who was a carpenter and woodworker with his own shop, told me I could build anything I wanted using a giant bucket of mixed assorted nuts, bolts, nails, etc. The ones that he didn’t have time or inclination to sort back into their proper containers. I took apart a lot of discarded things – old record players or broken recorders, toys, sticks, vacuum cleaners, appliances – and put them back together into new things, most of which didn’t serve any purpose but made some nice noises. That’s pretty much what I’m still doing now. With guitar added.

*** Self-created Truax instruments include a motorized drum machine made of bike wheels called ‘Mother Superior’, a pimped-up Dr. Seuss-ian Gramophone called ‘The Hornicator’, as well as his venerable resonator guitar, ‘Hank’.

Where do you hail from?

I was born in Denver, Colorado. I’ve lived long stretches in New York City, London, and in Germany. These days I am either on the road or hovering between those. If I have a real home it’s probably Wowtown, which travels with me wherever else I am.

Have you been to Hastings and St Leonards on Sea before?

I played in a gazebo at an event in a park in the summer of 2008 (forget what it was called I’m afraid, but I remember it being an enjoyable gig and an enthusiastic audience). And last winter at the Brass Monkey for another Trash’d event.

Do you have a life philosophy?

Wherever you may land, shine brightly as you can.


Thomas Truax returns to Trash Cannes to headline Trash’d at the Kino Teatr on Friday 27 January 2017, with support from Gadzooks! and the Kamo Quartet. Starts 7.30pm.

Tickets £10 available from Kino-Teatr box office and online.

Posted 06:54 Friday, Jan 27, 2017 In: Music & Sound


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. Zelly Restorick

    Hello Penny,
    The article was posted before the event and sent out via HOT’s Facebook Page – and was then also included in the weekly round-up of articles sent out to subscribers.
    I’m really sorry you missed the concert – I can hear you’re disappointed.
    Warm wishes,

    Comment by Zelly Restorick — Thursday, Feb 2, 2017 @ 10:56

  2. Penny

    Pity we didn’t know until it was all over.

    Comment by Penny — Thursday, Feb 2, 2017 @ 09:38

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