“Waiting On You” is the debut single by The Trust Fund Kids. Formed in 2015 by Kevin Connor, the band has had many incarnations and he is currently the sole member. We were able to talk to him about the song, the importance of DIY and much more.
The song has been through a long process as it first appeared on a demo EP that was released in 2016. “I wrote the riff around New Year’s Eve when I was 16. I messed around writing a couple of choruses, originally thinking of a Karma Police-type piano based chorus. Originally, when I wrote the chorus that is in the final version, I didn’t like it. I began to really like it after recording a demo with it,” he said. Because of that experience, he now records demos of all of his songs and sometimes, it’s tough to see if a song is good until you hear all the instruments in the mix.
After winning The Deli Philly’s featured artist poll, he was able to get the song professionally mixed and mastered at Sleepless Sound Studios in Philadelphia. “They’re awesome. Super nice people,” he said. “The process revolved around me sending over the tracks with notes.” While he thought that his original mix sounded flat, the studio “mastered it right to life”.
“Waiting On You” was chosen as he knew he wanted it to be the lead single for the album which is planned to be released in the summer. “It was a bit rowdy, angsty, and catchy and I feel like it makes sense because it’s so immediate, “he said. “There’s a youthful energy to it. In general, I think it’s just a solid, poppy indie rock song.” Lyrically, the song introduces themes that are further explored through the rest of the record. As the release is something that he enjoys and is true to himself, he hopes that people like it but its fine if they don’t. “I just hope that, in general, some people enjoy it and it gets stuck in their heads,” he said. “I hope they get some interesting lyrics, a hooky melody and some interesting tones out of it.”
Being a DIY artist, the concept is very inspiring and important to him as it allows artists to create studio-level recordings and play big shows that they may not be able to otherwise. ”It allows for some great artists to get successful,” he said. “Especially in a pretty prejudiced industry such as the (mainstream) music industry, it’s nice to hear more perspectives from people of all sexualities, gender identities, ethnicities etc. despite the fact that there is so much progress to be made.” Additionally, he likes the ability to self-produce and self-record. “It’s nice that I don’t have to subscribe to the sort of modern industrial complex behind art,” he said. “I don’t have to go broke recording 40 minutes of music. Despite my name, I do not have a trust fund.”
Living in Philadelphia, he says that it’s nice to see such a flourishing DIY culture. “Artist wise, I like Slaughter Beach, Dog a lot. Jake is producing and writing some of the most compelling music the scene has seen, in my opinion. He is great at lyrics, arranging, and composing melodies,” he said. “Harmony Woods, Big Nothing, Radiator Hospital, and Alex G are all really good artists.”
Other artists he listens to includes a lot of modern indie rock such as Car Seat Headrest, Jeff Rosenstock and Mitski among others. “I also love 90’s alternative rock – especially that of Nirvana, Weezer, Neutral Milk Hotel, Elliott Smith, and Hole. The LP I wrote is partially modeled off the structures of Nevermind and In Utero, he said. “There’s the same amount of songs and a similar energy level flow.” Another time period he enjoys is 60’s pop, rock, and folk like the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel. Other influences include synthpop, garage rock, rap and bands such as Wilco and Death Cab For Cutie.
Being surrounded by music for most of his childhood, he developed the desire to learn guitar after learning violin in school. Over time, he learned several instruments from recording demos but his principal instrument has always been guitar. “My dad plays guitar and my earliest childhood memories are associated with that. My parents both love music with my dad being super into bluegrass and folk and my mom loving Springsteen (and others obviously),” he said. “Later, my older brother would teach me all about a lot of the rock that formed my early taste.” After getting into indie rock in 10th grade, his interest in playing music and song writing grew. Now, songwriting is the main craft that he focuses on.
For the upcoming debut album, his goal is to make something that is multi-faceted and lyrically transparent with lyrics that are as honest as possible. The lyrics explore a defined narrative arc about “accepting pain as an emotion that exists and confronting it and embracing it.” Some of the album’s themes include maturation, sadness, anxiety and mental illness. “I also want to construct a narrative that is fulfilling and compelling. Musically, I want to produce hooky indie rock songs with some interesting production/instrumental choices,” he said. “I want to make something that is original and powerful, but also universal and catchy. Wish me luck.”