Sunday, June 3, 2012

Interview with The Transistor's

The Members of The Transistors in a Car
I am so glad that I got to the Guitar Wolf show at Local 506 early.  I hadn't heard of either of the opening bands, but when I saw the second opener, the Transistors, I was blown away (perhaps even more than the Guitar Wolf headline).  These guys put so much energy into their show I couldn't believe it.  I'll admit I was excited when the lead singer/guitarist James Harding came onstage wearing a Sonic Youth "Goo" t-shirt, which is something that I want for my personal catalogue.  Simply put, these guys rock.  Hard.  They write amazing pop songs, but their live show is truly something with which to reckon.  At one point, James sprung off the stage with his electric guitar in hand, landing somewhere in the middle, and played in the punk-rock legs-apart stance that we all know and love.

James is Jumping
I bought two 7"s after.  I just had to.  Surprise, surprise, they kick ass.  I saw them, I believe, in March, and they just finished up a HUGE tour with Guitar Wolf, which must have been really nuts.  I believe that they are back in New Zealand working on a new record, as they cover in the interview, but I cannot wait for them to keep making music.  You can check them out on their facebook page HERE or their tumblr page, which can be found HERE.  The Tumblr page has a lot of awesome videos of them live and some great pictures, so you should definitely check that out to see what I'm talking about.

In terms of getting recordings, they're all free on their bandcamp, which can be found HERE

Luckily, I got to hang out with them a little bit after the show and they agreed to an interview, which follows.

Jordan:  How'd the band start?  Have you guys all been playing for a while?

Transistors:  We started jamming in high school so we've been playing together for a pretty long time. We all picked instruments at around the same time and that was when we first started mucking around in our garages, we learned together.

Jordan:  What's the new Zealand garage scene like?

Transistors:  There sort of isn't really one specifically, in Whanganui in the North Island there's the Stink Magnetic label which puts out a bunch of bands and there are bands dotted around the country but in terms of a proper scene we don't really have one.

Jordan:  Who all makes up the band?

Transistors:  Olly Crawford-Ellis - Drums/Vocals, Colin Roxburgh - Bass/Vocals and James Harding - Guitar/Vocals

Jordan:  What sound are you guys trying to make?  What influences your music?

Transistors:  I think really we just want to write good catchy songs with a lot of energy and power behind them. We've always been influenced by punk and garage bands as well as more out there crazy sounding stuff. When we first started out we were heavily influenced by a lot of sixties pop music but what came out ended up just being really rough punk songs so we just naturally headed in that direction. We've always tried to write poppy songs I guess.

Jordan:  What do you guys do outside of the band?

Transistors:  We all work, Olly is at University doing a Masters Degree in English, Olly and Col play cricket, just pretty normal stuff really.

Jordan:  How many records have you all released?

Transistors:  We released our first album Shortwave in 2009, then we released an EP called Flux Pentaphile in 2010 and we put out an online single last year which is going to be on our new record. They're all available for free on our bandcamp page.

Jordan:  What is in the future of record releases for the transistors?

Transistors:  Our second album is due for release this year.

Jordan:  Can we expect to see them stateside?

Transistors:  We don't have international distribution for our first two releases but we can ship overseas if people email us, we're almost out of both of them now though. Our new album will hopefully be released in the states.

Jordan:  How's the tour with guitar wolf going?

Transistors:  The Guitar Wolf tour was amazing! One of the best things I've ever done, we had an incredible time travelling through the states and met some awesome people. 

Jordan:  What have been your favorite shows you've played?

This is the show Set up
Transistors:  Portland was probably my favourite show of the tour, we played in an enormous old theatre and Steve Turner from Mudhoney was there. I also loved playing in New York, Minneapolis and San Francisco but everywhere we went was great.

Jordan:  Which new zealand bands should we check out?

Transistors:  Street Chant, T54, The Situations, Rackets, Shaft, Teen Fortress, Psych Tigers...I know I'll be forgetting some here.

Jordan:  What goes into a live show?

Transistors:  HEAPS!!! Don't piss around, people have come to see a show so give it everything.

Jordan:  What can we expect for the future of the transistors?

Transistors:  We'd like to go to Europe and Japan and come back to the states of course. Our main priority right now is getting the new album out.

Jordan:  What about the most exciting releases coming up? 

Transistors:  If you mean from us, we just put out a new video for a song called Abandoned which is on the upcoming album. You should check it out.

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