Let’s give them something to TALK about!
Since releasing his now viral single “Run Away to Mars” in 2021, Canadian artist and storyteller TALK has been doing just that.
However, every celebrated character always has a legendary back story.
Originally from Ottawa, Nick Durocher, known by his stage moniker TALK, always dreamed of following in the footsteps of his musical inspirations, including Coldplay and The Foo Fighters.
In between the hours of his day job and nights as a bassist in a country band, he’d attempt to craft stories that resonated the same way those artist’s songs did, even writing an entire album in 2016, which has since been deleted, he revealed in an 1824 press conference.
Frustrated and lost, TALK struggled through an emotional five years. However, fate had other plans. As a result of the COVID-19 shutdown, he moved back in with his parents. Within the four walls of their basement, he began dreaming up his own sonic universe and discovering himself along the way.
“I think I’ve just been through such an intense last five years, just emotionally…Before all this stuff happened in the last three years, I was pretty lost. Once I found myself and what I knew I needed to do, and had proven to myself that all the hard work over the last decade of trying to do this was paying off – I just felt like I had to do myself the favor or the courtesy of telling my own story to myself,” he shared.
Those stories, which initially started as a cathartic release, became the makings of his debut album, Lord of the Flies & Birds & Bees, a 10-track odyssey rooted in authenticity. “I think the most important thing is they [the songs] come from the heart. And I think nine times out of ten, this is all I feel or have felt…It’s like you’re writing a story, but the emotions involved in those things are very much from my heart…I think that’s why a lot of people have resonated with what I have to say because it’s all true, and it all feels really authentic,” he said.
Although not fully fleshed out in the promotion due to time constraints, the album loosely follows the story of an astronaut from Mars who crash lands on an apocalyptic jungle-covered earth.
This narrative is especially evident in track four, “Run Away to Mars,” which TALK credits as “ a magical moment of my life that changed everything.”
Following a space-inspired watch party featuring Oscar-winning Interstellar and The Martian, TALK was woken up at 2 a.m. by a melody. “Space was on the mind, and “Runaway to Mars” was in my head, and the whole song was done in like 25 minutes,” he explained.
Two other stand-out tracks on the album and in the astronaut’s journey are “History” and “Set On Me,” the album’s closing track.
TALK revealed that “History” was the first day that we had worked. So it was myself, Justin [Tranter], Connor [Riddell], my guitar player, a producer named Sam Hommae, and a writer named Brandon Colbein.”
He continued, “The goal was to make something unpredictable. We wanted to make something spooky, but love-based, but like horror, love song, powerful, power ballad with guitar solos and breakdowns and all sorts of stuff. We basically went into it with no rules, and we knew it was really good when we left.”
The rousing power ballad has now become TALK’s live performance introduction.
“Set On Me,” an anthem of perseverance, is a fitting end to the album that ironically was the first written, and one of TALK’s favorites.
“It started in a session with my guitar player, Connor , and a couple of our buddies. It was starting kind of slow. We weren’t inspired by anything that was going on yet to write a song to. We had watched Midsommar, maybe a week before. So I told him [Connor] that I wanted him to play what it sounded like to be tripping on mushrooms in Sweden, like when the sun won’t go down in the middle of the daytime. And he was like, okay, and then like played that guitar riff.”
Connor’s epic guitar shreds are integral to TALK’s artistry and a conscious part of his production.
“We’ve known each other for like, I don’t know, 15 years or something crazy. He is the greatest guitar player in the world, hands down. I truly believe it. And so every single song, my favorite part is when he gets to play, um, Whatever he wants, basically. I just say, play the greatest thing you’ll ever play right now, and he just does these amazing solos. And they have become my favorite part of the song…Queen was just so good with guitar solos, as well as Def Leppard and Van Halen…I miss that in today’s music, and so I’m trying to bring it back.”
It’s impossible to tell a full story without acknowledging the people who contributed to your history. TALK is very close with his Grandmother, and when she fell ill before a recording trip out to LA, he couldn’t stop thinking about her. At her insistence, he continued on with the planned trip and returned with a song inspired by her, “Afraid of the Dark.”
“I was like crying in the studio while writing, trying to hold it together. When I went to record, I called her for advice, so we have all this footage of me talking to her…I got to show her the song, and she cried. It was very sweet. Then, I got a high school kids choir to sing it with me for her. We brought her to the school, and it was only her there, and she still didn’t understand that we were doing it for her until a CBC interview. She was watching it and then realized that we had done everything for her, and then called me crying,” TALK shared.
His Grandmother continues to be a part of TALK’s story at his shows. Audiences can pick up a friendship bracelet handmade by her.
Even after all the success of his singles and the album, TALK still remembers how artists inspired him and, in some cases, saved his life. “I have an intense, unnecessary love for Coldplay. I credit them with saving my life, and I model the message I try and put out after Chris Martin’s message. I think he does his best to bring love to the world, and that’s all I wanted to do because that’s what he did for me.”
Upholding this reciprocity, TALK makes it a point to personally respond to direct messages from fans on social realizing that “this might be the one time that these people are heard and seen.”
“The people I interact with will love me for seeing and hearing them, and I love them for listening to my music.”
For all those fans listening, “I’ve kind of committed the next year to just making stuff I love,” TALK promised.
TALK’s story continues with a headlining tour on February 9, 2024. You can find the dates and tickets HERE.
Featured Image: Carina Allen