Royal Trux have done as much to define the look, attitude and sound of rock & roll as any other group in the rock & roll era. In the 90s they were the male/female rock duo that defined the decade. Everything that followed in their wake was affected. Armed with albums of extrasensory scope, and accepting nothing less than the title of “The World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band”, they came, they saw, they imploded. After a 14 year hiatus, the much-missed Trux reunited for shows in 2015. Their return to the studio is nothing short of a rock & roll rapture. The magic chemistry between Jennifer Herrema (vocal, moog, guitar, melodica) and Neil Hagerty (vocal, guitar) that brought us (to name a few) Twin Infinitives, Cats and Dogs and their last LP, Pound for Pound in 2000, is present in the unadulterated, exhilarating energy on these two new tracks, released on Fat Possum today. This is the band’s first new material since 2000. The band have also announced details for a coast-to-coast tour – tickets on sale Friday October 26th. (All dates below).
Recorded on the industrial fringes of Los Angeles in the summer of 2018, these new songs deliver all of the intoxicating alchemy one would expect – nay, demand – from Royal Trux. Their lengthy recording break has done nothing to diminish their visionary, visceral intensity and enduring influence.
For the “band”, it was a natural, fluid return. Says Herrema, “Nothing has changed within the Truxian universe we created for ourselves as teenagers; because Trux is and will always be our way of life whether living it together or separate…This is no hobby rock kick. We are long game lifers with no fear, no regrets and plenty of gratitude for the way the universe has rewarded our singular dynamic.”
After signing with a major label for major money in 1995 (neither of the two had bank accounts, credit cards, or drivers licenses) Royal Trux were promoted as bad ass wild cards, dangerous, – and a few other themes deemed “cool” as marketing gimmicks – that stuck as an indelible image that still follows them. Mostly because it was (mostly) all true. Brazenly redefining the rules for alternative rock bands with genre-defying music, and the genius of Hagerty’s playing, they were fronted by a willfully non-archetypal female singer whose stance became its own archetype over the years, as the world caught on to the need for a new breed. Subsequently, a generation of females looked to Herrema for inspiration, emulation and commodification. Their abrupt and lengthy absence came to a close in 2015 when they reformed for a string of shows. They signed to veritable Mississippi-based indie Fat Possum earlier this year.
“It’s funny how the outside world perceives or feels compelled to parse complicated relationships and dynamics…Usually it’s an all or nothing game”, muses Herrema. “This next chapter is just another perfectly aligned bit of kismet. No concerted effort to force anything forward or to create something with an eye on the past. Only an awareness that the present had come calling with a gift to assist the future future of Royal Trux. The true believers that were once strangers found their way into our universe because everybody was ready for it and it simply, as if on cosmic cue, came to be.”
Royal Trux find innovation in their ‘Bitches Brew’ aesthetic which now defines the standard mash-up approach so commonly ascertained and claimed by the majority of musicians that whether cognizant or not have followed in Trux’s very large footsteps: “everything in the pot whether you like it or not,” deriving from world music, punk rock, jazz, metal, electronic, southern, teeny-bop and all the rest. In the tradition of the blues, through appropriation and re-evaluation, Royal Trux changed the way we think of music. Their return is nothing short of glorious.