WORDS: BECTON SIMPSON
“When I write, I try to be as vulnerable as possible…because hopefully someone listening can feel less alone…Music is still my main way to vent…my sole way of expressing myself. If I’m feeling something, I’ll write lyrics to get it off my chest.” Vic, Elliot and Ness are the three friends and musicians who make up San Diego three-piece small talk., and Discovered had the pleasure of being able to catch up for a chat with all three of them to discuss the healing power of music, ghosts, being sad and their debut release ‘Drowning In Your Absence’, all of which are definitely connected.
“I have an obsession with ghosts and scary shit,” said Ness. “So I was very excited that got to be featured on the EP.” Which it did, in the form of the spooky (yet oddly playful) ghost adorning the front cover. “Drowning In Your Absence is about losing everyone and almost losing yourself in the process. It’s about hitting some lows in life, but ultimately persevering,” Vic explained.
“This record is so emotional and lyrically it has a lot of deep cuts,” Ness told us. “At the end of the day this is our therapy.”
The music on the EP is most definitely deep, upfront and honest when it comes to discussing things like emotions, and small talk. aren’t afraid to use the term ‘emo’ to describe themselves! “I would describe our sound as real sad emo boy music,” said Ness.
“Super sad without trying to sound super sad,” added Elliot.
“Sad but also hopeful,” inputted Vic.
But the bottom line is the songs are authentic and come from a very real place, with members of the band having dealt with the topics and issues themselves. “I lost two ‘close’ friends due to their own transphobia and it really took a toll on me,” said Ness. “I went from seeing them everyday to not seeing them at all and unlearning all of their toxic traits they’d taught me. This EP was all about getting better and getting out of the hole they dug me into.”
“I want people who come to our shows to feel like they’re in a safe space because we’re there for you.”
It’s also hugely important to small talk. that the songs they write have the potential to help out others who are struggling and their whole ethos as a band fosters a sort of community support network. “I want people who come to our shows to feel like they’re in a safe space because we’re there for you,” said Vic.
“We only play with bands that we know have the same morals as us,” added Ness. “Going to shows is the one place we can all come together as a community and support one another. As a trans person, I know that this band will give a voice to people like me.” And Elliot whole heartedly agreed. “Being a trans musician, I’m always hoping that the environment I’m in makes me feel comfortable and not excluded…inclusivity is really, really important to me in music.”
Being well represented from the LGBT+ community, it’s no surprise then that Small Talk are no friends of the Trump administration. “I hate even talking about Trump,” said Vic. “I don’t want to give him that attention that he craves. But I feel like music should always be about uniting people. Giving people a sense of community, a sense of belonging.”
“I think its extremely important to be involved in taking a stand against what that shithead has to say,” Elliot adds. “Music brings people together and the community that it forms is so strong, so that community should be used for a good purpose like getting rid of him and his values.”
“I never want to stop playing and I never want to give up on this dream….I would not be here if music didn’t exist.”
It’s clear that, throughout their lives, music has been the absolute passion and driving force of all three of the small talk. members and it’s something they absolutely can’t imagine their lives without.
“The feeling I get after playing a show is my favorite feeling in the world,” said Elliot.
“I get really nervous before a show,” Ness confided. “But the second we start playing it all disappears. I never want to stop playing and I never want to give up on this dream….I would not be here if music didn’t exist”
“I’d be a lot sadder,” said Vic, with Elliot adding: “Music has literally been the backbone of my entire life. I can’t imagine my life without it.”
And hopefully they won’t need to. Things are onwards and upwards for small talk. and a year from now they hoped to be “signed, releasing new music and touring.”
We’ll leave the final word to Ness: “I’m speaking this into existence, hello record labels we are a cool band, check us out.”