Sounding a bit like a cross between Kraftwerk and Man Or Astroman, Trans Am are however a band unlike any other.
[audio:trans am – 02 – i want it all.mp3]Being on the phenomenal Chicago label Thrill Jockey and having worked with people like John McEntire (Tortoise), the band obviously have strong ties to post-rock. But they take it in strange and new directions, fusing such diverse influences as krautrock, prog and surf-punk to make for something altogether unique.
Trans Am have been known to set fire to their drum kit on stage and with suh unpredictable behaviour you better be prepared to expect the unexpected from their live show. Following the recent release of their brand new album “Thing” the band are playing live in Berlin at the start of May as part of a european tour.
Trans Am began as a side project. The members, who met while playing in the legendary harDCore/ska collective Bomblast, discovered they had a similar taste for music. They began jamming together.
Trans Am / Conspiracy of the Gods
One very hot summer in the mid-1990’s the band found themselves in Chapel Hill playing music with Casio keyboards, loud guitars, drums and no vocals. They played oddly structured original songs and covers of David Bowie and Stravinsky. It seemed to work.
Somewhat mistakenly, Trans Am was heard by a Chicago-based vibraphone player named John McEntire. The band agreed to record some songs with McEntire which, when combined with a bunch of home recordings and other sound experiments, made up the band’s first release on Thrill Jockey Records.
Video for “North East Rising Sun” by Trans Am
Then the band went through a series of reactionary moves, they began recording themselves so as not be associated as strongly with McEntire’s sound, they used vocals to not be associated with the instrumental post rock they had pioneered, they used vocoders to not be associated with humans, they began burning things on stage, released a seven inch not on Thrill Jockey, got folky, then ugly, then poppy, then psychedelic, then political, then exploded and stopped being a band at all.
TRANS AM (USA, Thrill Jockey) + LAZER CRYSTAL (USA, Thrill Jockey)