Troy B Balthazar
november 24th 2005
interview by Barbara H and SEB WOOd
Barbara H: How are you ?
Troy B Balthazar : I'm good
BH: We were wondering if you had recordd the album the same way you had recorded your two previous eps
TBB: no this time i went to a real studio, i was completely alone in the studio, i think it was more solitary this time, just complete solitude for three weeks in a stuio in Los Angeles. I learned how to enginneer a record and how to produce, i played all the instruments... it's kind of similar to my first solo recordings, but this time it felt like a full album, so it felt like a big weight. It was very intense, it felt more intense than before, for sure.
SEB WOOd: how many songs did you record ?
TBB: i recorded around twenty.
BH: there was an ep released right before the album and i was wondering if you had recorded the ep before the album or is it was the same sessions
TBB: no no no, i recorded it before the album. part of the album i also recorded on my four track, in my friend's house in France, near Strasbourg and also i recorded two songs in Germany on a four track, so it's like different pieces, basically if you follow where i went this year, it's on the album. I have some songs i did in Hawaii, Los Angeles, France, Germany... anywhere i went i had a four track and i recorded a song that made it to the album.
BH: do you have any influences among solo artists or did you work the same way than when you worked with chokebore?
TBB: I don't really try to take influences from music, my only goal is to sound like me. if i sound for a moment like somebody else, i take it out from the album, that's the part i take out. I like to some music but i won't say it's an influence because i don't want to get near anyone else. I just want to sound like me. So when i fail, that's when i sound like somebody else. That's me failing (laughs)
BH: There were good reviews of your record, soes it feel like a success after all those years with chokebore, like an accomplishment ?
TBB: the accomplishment was that i actually made the album, that i made exactly what i wanted to make in the studio and i can hold it in my hand. that's the accomplishment. that the pr"ess likes it, it doesn't affect me, i still don't have any money, it's the same... i'm glad that some people like it though, it feels good. But really the accomplishment was that i managed to make an album by myself.
BH: Do you think Chokebore is over, or is it just a break ?
TBB: i think it's over but i'm not sure, you know, it's over for now, for sure. Maybe in the future we'll do something, i would like to but i'm so busy now and i love to play alone, maybe in the future we'll do something. But i say it's over. It's dead but maybe it'll come back like a mummy. (laughs)
SWd: Is it easier for you to play alone ?
TBB: it's harder to play alone, because i have to play all the sounds, you know, so when i play a show it's much more harder for me, i have so many things to think about and so many more sounds to create... but for actually just touring, getting to the shows and being on the road it's easier to be alone, i just take a train with one bag and one guitar.
SWd: have you released the album anywhere else than in Europe ?
TBB: So far just in Europe, but soon it will be in Canada next month and then in Japan and the USA.
SWd: how do you feel about having more success in Europe than in the United States ?
TBB: Well i live here, i haven't lived in the USA for years, i mean i go back there sometimes for a couple of months in the year
SWd: just to record ?
TBB: just to record and to see my old friends, just to taste it and i'm always so happy to get out of the USA, i don't ever want to live there again. wherever i play more, wherever i put more i put my energy, that's where you'll se me more i think.
SWd: do you speak french now ?
TBB: no, not really, j'essaie de comprendre, but i don't really manage. I'm in Germany half the time also so everytime i start to learn french i go to Germany and it's completely...
SWd: you forget it
TBB: yeah, it's like wow! the culture is so different, and then i start to learn little pieces of German and then i go back to France. so maybe i'll just stick to English... that's ok.
BH: last time we saw you you were working with Melissa Auf Der Maur, did anything come out of it ?
TBB: yes, she recorded one of my songs and released it as a...
BH: a b-side ?
TBB: no as a single-something, a b-side on a single in the uk.
BH: what are the next plans for you ?
TBB: to make a better album, when i play live to make it better, make it more intense and then to stay alive as long as possible i guess unless i don't want to anymore (smiles)
BH & SWd: thank you