Behind the Beat: The Cure for Concrete Butts

The Who have Tommy. The Kinks have Arthur. The Pretty Things have S.F. Sorrow. Northampton’s TRUCKS have Glacier Man: “Glacier Man is about a cave man who sees his lady cave man kissing another dude,” says I-Truck, nom de rock of artist and musician Ian Reed. “He begins to sob uncontrollably at the very moment the Ice Age begins and he is frozen into a glacier, trapped in a wall of his own tears. Inside the glacier he begins to communicate telepathically with birds and they dig him eye holes. From there, he discovers he can love again, from his icy sorrow prison.”

TRUCKS—multi-instrumentalist Reed and drummer/singer/wordsmith R-Truck (Roger Knight)—bring a bunch of songs, including selections from the Glacier Man rock opera/concept album, to the Elevens stage Saturday, Dec. 4.

I-Truck says that he met R-Truck in Monaco during fashion week. Both felt it was time to do something “fresh,” so they spent the week on the former’s sailboat, tossing ideas around until they came up with TRUCKS.

“R-Truck was primarily a drumsmith before TRUCKS, so this was an opportunity for him to sing and apply his lyrical skills to a new project,” says I-Truck. “He also contributes ideas musically, of course. I was interested in writing more in the pop and dance tradition and had not done so seriously. This whole project was something new for us and very exciting.”

“Fashion week is so exciting you can’t help but get inspired by all the amazing sights and sounds, and, of course, beautiful people,” adds R-Truck. “The lyrics just poured out of me like white zinfandel falling from the sky. Also, our mutual love of late period Roxy Music and Bob Seger’s ‘Like A Rock’ solidified our musical bond that week. That’s pretty much our template right there.”

Like Roxy Music and Mr. Seger, TRUCKS are on a restless quest for jams both smooth and rocking.

“It is the mystery of songcraft that leads us forward,” I-Truck proclaims. “We occasionally are struck with glorious, sublime inspiration and the beats come through us into the material world.”

And what about the word wizardry found on their tracks?

“The lyrics come to me usually at night,” explains R-Truck. “I shut off all the lights, get a few scented candles going, and try to mind meld with Bryan Ferry. Sometimes we connect.”

In just a few short years, the two have recorded several EPs. In addition to the aforementioned Glacier Man, they have birthed the groovy Concrete Butts and the soon-to-be-released Smooth Waves.

Concrete Butts is a dance record,” I-Truck explains. “It’s about hitting the dance floor and abandoning your inhibitions. It’s also about robots and outer space. A concrete butt is a butt that is frozen and made of stone. We shatter those butts.”

“Too many people around here have butts made of stone,” laments R-Truck. “It’s sad, but we are here with the cure. We’ve got the musical hammer that’s gonna break through and loosen up the collective booty of the Pioneer Valley.”

Be forewarned, Valley music lovers.

TRUCKS appear Dec. 4 at the Elevens in Northampton with Friends of Yours and other special guests. TRUCKS invite you to find them on Facebook, but their stated preference is to promote their music through direct eye contact, ideally in a hot tub.

Author: Matthew Dube

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