As the 2009 holidays came to a close, I had a little chat with Justin Tranter of glam-garage band Semi Precious Weapons to discuss touring with Gaga, tits, and what it means to be glamorous. (I think you and I can both agree after reading this that he secretly wants me)
Racket Rick: Alrighty, so awhile back we saw the YouTube videos of you being evicted from your apartment. Have you found anywhere else to live since then?
SPW Justin: (Laughing) Oh, well I did find somewhere else to live! But actually, my Mom and best friend moved me out of that apartment in October when we found out we got the Gaga World Tour. So now, I’m basically homeless again; I’m a nomad.
RR: Perhaps you can move in to Gaga’s closet or something.
SPWJ: Well, we do have a tour bus; so I guess I’ll just live on the bus.
RR: Well, I guess that works too. Also, since you guys have been touring with her, have you stolen anything out of her closet yet?
SPWJ: I would NEVER do such a thing!
RR: You haven’t been eyeing her heels?
SPWJ: Well, her heels wouldn’t fit me. I’m a woman’s twelve wide.
RR: So when you guys are on tour, what are you usually listening to?
SPWJ: We listen to a lot of Jay-Z, a lot of country, our favorite girl is Miranda Lambert, and her new record called, “Revolution”. We also listen to a lot of old school rock, like AC/DC and Fleetwood Mac.
RR: How bout some Roxy Music?
SPWJ: No, I actually don’t listen to Roxy Music very much.
RR: NO OLD SCHOOL GLAM?
SPWJ: No old school glam, sadly. I know it seems like I’d be a huge old school glam fan, but I really didn’t know much about it until I got compared to everybody then I checked it out. But I’m much more of an old school rock person, with stuff like AC/DC, Zeppelin, Guns & Roses, and Metallica…
RR: Huh, didn’t see that one coming. So, what’s the status on the second album?
SPWJ: Well we bought ourselves out of our indie record deal, so this next record is gonna be, we’re hoping, as far as the world is concerned, released as our debut record. We really got to record how we wanted to, in the best studio possible with Jack Joseph Puig, one of our favorite producers. The way it’s gonna work, is that we did three of the songs from the 1st record, and now they’re even better now…they’re unbelieveable! There’s a whole lot of new songs as well. The album will come out in March.
RR: Since Christmas just passed, I have to ask; if Semi Precious Weapons had a holiday, what would it entail?
SPWJ: Well, my idea of a perfect holiday would include lots of glamour and champagne, and filthy language. The other gentlemen would like to include lots of tits.
RR: Lots of tit ornaments?
SPWJ: YES! Tit ornaments! WE would decorate tits for our holiday!
RR: I’m totally down for that! I’ll have to drop by and make some tit cookies too.
SPWJ: Done! We’ll do it!
RR: I’ve been seeing the twitpics that you guys have been posting and the mobs you’ve all been amassing is just incredible!
SPWJ: It’s so exciting to see because we’ve been trying to convince people for a while that kids who like pop music will like rock music as well, if the songs are good enough, and it’s amazing to see that there’s proof, that it’s true that these kids who love Gaga and who probably like the All American Rejects and love Akon and top 40, it’s been amazing to see that they are also loving us. They love that there’s four guys on stage just playing music and they’re very, very in to it.
RR: That’s just awesome! Ok next question: who in the world needs a makeover right now?
SPWJ: Wow that’s a hard one, because even the people in the world who look like disasters, I love them because they look like disasters………Wow you’ve stumped me!
RR: My vote goes to Mario Batali right now…those damn orange crocs.
SPWJ: Wow I have no idea who that is!
RR: Crazy ass fat Italian chef, runs around in orange Crocs, has long red hair in a ponytail…
SPWJ: Actually, I want a makeover right now, just because I want free makeup and free clothing…so we’ll just say myself.
RR: Hey, that works too.
RR: Ok I have to ask you, of all the bands you’ve toured with, who would you have liked to make out with the most?
SPWJ: Well I’ve pretty much made out with most of the bands we’ve toured with. I made out with Ladyhawke; she’s amazing. Gaga and I haven’t made out for a while, but we did a lot back in 2007. So….yeah I guess I’ve made out with pretty much everyone we’ve toured with…but I didn’t make out with anyone from The Sounds. I didn’t make out with Maya.
RR: Awwww you missed a great opportunity there.
SPWJ: For some reason we’ve only toured with girls, which has been a blast.
RR: Ok now we’re gonna give you the opportunity to start a fight with any band out there right now. Who do you have beef with?
SPWJ: Well, I just think that all rock bands right now are so boring. And they aren’t rock bands and they need to stop calling themselves rock bands. So I have a beef with many bands, but I would like bands like The All American Rejects and Boys Like Girls to stop calling themselves rock bands because they are just assembled pop stars.
RR: Well I have seen a Boys Like Girls video and from what I can tell the lead singer was trying to copy you.
SPW: The lead singer of Boys Like Girls is actually very nice. He’s been a fan of mine since he was 14, since my solo career.
RR: Regardless he looks like he’s been stealing crap out of your closet.
SPWJ: (Laughs) Well he probably has, but good for him. Everyone should steal crap out of my closet.
RR: Next time you’re in L.A. I’ll take you up on that.
SPWJ: (laughs) OK, it’s on.
RR: OK so for the New Year, what are Semi Precious’s resolutions?
SPWJ: I don’t think we have any…..personally I’d like to stop eating, but I don’t think it’s possible.
RR: That’s definitely one of the more interesting ones that I’ve heard.
SPWJ: Our resolution is to take over the world in 2010.
RR: SPW for world domination in 2010! I’ll write it down.
SPWJ: Oh please do!
RR: OK so last question: what is glamour in 5 words or less?
SPWJ: Oooooh, you’re good! By the way, I really appreciate these questions! Ok let me see….glamour in 5 words or less is: insane personal self-expression.
RR: Thank you so much for your time! Have a great New Year.
SPWJ: You too, sweetheart.
Interview by Rick Hermansen