Ian Truman, drummer for Montreal hardcore bands like One Strike, Run for the Border, and Disfigured, has since turned his attention to the field of writing. Since cutting his teeth writing lyrics as the frontman for Sounds of Revenge, Ian has gone on to become a novelist, completing four novels in the last 2 years. His most recent novel is A Teenage Suicide.
We spoke to Ian about the novel:
I’ve been straight edge and vegetarian for 12 years now. I have to admit that I’m not involved as much in the scene as I used to be. I went back to college, had a kid and so on. I wanted A Teenage Suicide to be sort of my gift to the punk/hardcore scene, to write a book that really speaks their point of views.
Don’t get me wrong, I wrote the damn thing for myself too, but I wanted to write it as credible as possible. I applied the same philosophy to writing the novel that I do when I write a song: it has to be in me and just has to get out.
Ian even went so far as to use what he’d learned from being in bands to help spread the word about the novel:
[My wife and I] actually designed four covers for the novel, had t-shirts printed that represented the kind of music the four main characters listened to but with “A Teenage Suicide” for a band name. So Conor had Strife, Sally had Anti-Flag, Angela had The Weakerthans and Jake had Neurosis.
[My wife and I] did all the designs and the prints were handled by a DIY/small company called Montreal Merch Girl (she does a lot of t-shirts from Montreal bands).
We also discussed how Ian made the transition from bands to books:
I started writing books, I think seven or eight years ago. My band had broken up, I had to work (like the rest of us) so I took a job in a warehouse but I still had these things that I just felt I had to say that I couldn’t put in a song anymore. So I kept writing and I guess you could say that what came out was poetry – that’s how the “literary world” considers songs without music.
And over time these “poems” turned into scenes, then turned into chapters. My spouse (Mary Lee Maynard) kicked my ass back into college and I finally learned how to write an actual novel.
Ian waited until he was on top of his writing game before kicking off his latest novel, as it covers familiar ground:
As for A Teenage Suicide, the subject matter (punk/hardcore, coming of age, drug use, etc…) was so close to home that I didn’t feel my writing was strong enough to tell that story until recently. And now that it’s done and out there, I guess I just hope that punks and hardcore kids or anyone who’s involved in arts in general will see it as a valid representation of what we’re about and what we go through as young adults.
A Teenage Suicide will be available through Apple iBooks, the Amazon book store, and through Sabotage, the Montreal-based punk label. The novel will be available November 22nd as part of the official label launch.