Bouncing between pop-punk, ska, and even a bit of reggae, “Sun’s Out, Strung Out!” is full of surf rock guitars, gang vocals, and big choruses, making it a perfect summer EP to take to the lake, blast in your car with the windows down, or to sound track your grill out by the pool. “Sun’s Out, Strung Out!” is a concept album about summer and the life cycle of a relationship, going from the nerve wracking moment of asking someone out to looking back and wondering what went wrong and who’s to blame. The Von Tramps’ latest project will have you dancing, and whether you’re skanking or pogoing, you’ll definitely be singing along. Surf jam “Sun’s Out, Strung Out!” set’s the tone for the EP with big drums, surf guitars, and horns. Serving as a literal introduction, lyrically the song alternates between “Sun’s out, I know you’re getting strung out” and a call and response of “Von Tramps.” Starting off subdued, “Summer Nights” is heavy on ska in the intro but goes full pop-punk in the bridge and I am here for it. This is the beginning of the relationship, it invokes taking risks and having fun. By the third track “L.A.” the relationship is already over. After another slow intro, “L.A.” goes full pop-punk with a guitar line that would fit in on any early Blink 182 album. The song might be titled “L.A.”, but it name checks the annual Dillinger Four July 4th concert, making it truly Minnesota punk. “Mexicola” brings a bit of Latin flare on the track about drinking and rebounding. My favorite track on the EP is “Shark Bite,” a fun, uplifting bop about getting your shit together. It’s hard to stay down once the chorus kicks in “It’s not a bad life, it’s just a bad day, are you going to be a shark, or are you going to be shark bait.” “Waves” finishes off the EP like a hangover, starting off with palm-muting and a restrained vibe, it’s about reflecting on the summer and the relationship that went along with it. “Sun’s Out, Strung Out!” is a fun EP full of all the things that are great about summer. Oh yeah, and surprise! The Von Tramps are dropping it early on streaming services and you can find it on Spotify, Bandcamp, and The Von Tramps’ website today!
The Von Tramps:
Jenna Enemy - Vocals Guitar (She/her)
Chelsea Oxborough - Guitar (She/They)
Krissandra Anfinson - Bass (She/her)
Kieran O'Donoghue - Drums (He/Him)
(Melodic Noise) How's your day going?
(The Von Tramps – Jenna) FAST.
(The Von Tramps – Chelsea) Great! You?
(MN) How did The Von Tramps form?
(TVT - Chelsea) I met Jenna through a Craigslist ad I had put up looking for members to start an all girl punk band with in 2015. We met up for a practice and it all started there. We've gone through a few line up changes since then but when Krissandra and Kieran joined the band that really solidified us into the band we are now.
(TVT - Jenna) Chelsea and I met in the basement of the Rossmor building downtown Saint Paul and we played a few covers together- some Blink 182, Hole, and Misfits- Stuff that we thought was fun. We really wanted to do an all girl band. I had a gig lined up on Halloween night that fell through with another band and I needed to fill it so I asked around and we found two other girls to play Misfits covers with; but we loved writing originals and eventually became an original band. When Kieran and Krissandra joined us, things really took off. We’ve been on three national tours together so far and have the best time!
(MN) What do you condier your genre?
(TVT - Jenna) Whatever we want really. We are pop punk, ska, reggae infused, musical theatre, latinx, rockabilly, 60s pop, alternative--
(TVT - Jenna) None.
(TVT - Chelsea) Seeking!
(MN) Album name?
(TVT - Jenna) "Sun's out: Strung out!" it's a collection of songs about a bummer summer love.
(MN) Lyrically what stands out on the album?
(TVT - Jenna) I had a lot of moments with this album where the lyrics were things I actually found myself saying; I guess what makes this album cool is it's heart. This album is a little different as it chronologically follows a summer love from concept to break up to everything after. It's definitely more based on real feelings and not a concept or an political ideology like our last. In the beginning when I started writing the lyrics to the song Shark Bait I wanted to address that moment of "hey I can get through this" in a break up; but my Mom, we call her "the Kath" in the band, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cancer during the recording of this album and when that happened everything changed. The song started writing itself to be an inspirational song to help anyone get through any battle. The lyric that stands out to me most is about my mom and what she taught me about strength: "Keep keepin' on," That's what the Kath says and she ain't wrong, Cause the battle strong can't be preyed on!” I just think it's so cool that her message will fall on many ears and could help them too.
(MN) What was the inspiration behind the album?
(TVT - Jenna) Boredom. Broken Hearts. Beer. Baywatch.
(TVT - Kieran) Summer Love
(MN) What do you hope people take away from the album?
(TVT - Jenna) I'm really hoping it becomes someone's summer soundtrack as much as songs like "you are my sunshine" by Screeching Weasel, Push and Shove No Doubt, or Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys has become mine.
(TVT - Chelsea) I hope that people can relate to album about bad relationships but even more I hope people just have fun with it. The songs are fun and up beat to jam to about whatever you're going though in life.
(MN) Is there something that connects the songs together?
(TVT - Jenna) This album is a little different as it chronologically follows a summer love from concept to break up to everything after. It's definitely more based on real feelings and not a concept or an political ideology like our last.
(MN) Are you all locals or transplants?
(TVT - Chelsea) Local. I'm from northern Minnesota but live in Minneapolis now. Our drummer Kieran is from Chicago and drives up every time we have a show
(TVT - Jenna) I'm from Northeast Minneapolis
(TVT - Krissandra) Chicago!
(TVT - Kieran) Transplant! I’m a military brat so I’ve lived all over. Go Navy!
(MN) Who are some influences?
(TVT - Chelsea) Joan Jett, Green Day, Blink 182, The Interrupters
(TVT - Jenna) Screeching Weasel, No Doubt, Trojan Records Ska, Blondie, Blink 182, Bands of Fat Wreck Chords, The Replacements, etc
(TVT - Kieran) Alk trio, blink, TDS, Prince
(TVT - Krissandra) Mostly my friends and local bassists I look up like to Justin Johnson and Tara Grimmer. I’m a huge fan of LynZ Way, Tony Kanal and Simon Gallup.
(MN) Who are some Minnesota influences?
(TVT - Jenna) The Replacements, Husker Du are most like us.
(MN) Who are your favorite current Twin Cities artists?
(TVT - Jenna) Space Monkey Mafia, TimIsARocker, Bruise Violet, Porcupine, The Suburbs, The Mondale Riot, Dillinger Four, and everyone we've ever shared a stage with.
(TVT - Krissandra) Flowtus, Black Widows, TimIsARocker, The Stonedest, Dirty Junk, LIZZO, Last Import, The Bloodies, Getting By, The Melismatics, Monica Leplante, & Space Monkey Mafia.
(MN) Do you have a favorite venue to play & see shows in Twin Cities?
(TVT - Kieran) Mortimers
(TVT - Jenna) RIP Triple Rock! I will always mourn that loss. We love First Ave and their umbrella of venues. First Avenue is iconic in so many ways, but the great people who work every day to bring us amazing shows are the true rockstars.
(TVT - Krissandra) First Ave, 7th Street, Turf Club, Palmer’s, Memory Lanes, any and all festivals. We love being outside!
(MN) What can fans expect when they come to your show?
(TVT - Krissandra) To be entertained! We love these songs and the opportunity to perform them live for you is everything. Expect to laugh, sing along, and get sweaty!
(TVT - Jenna) To be entertained and to participate in the chaos.
(TVT - Chelsea) a high energy set. Be ready to participate and have a good time!
(MN) Do you have a favorite or crazy memory of playing a show?
(TVT - Krissandra) Our CD Release for The Future is Female. It was a massive stage production with all our fans, performers and artists throughout the cities that we love and respect. The EP Release is going to be just as awesome and I’m so excited!
(MN) Who are your dream tourmates?
(TVT - Jenna) I want to do a tour with No Doubt, The Beach Boys, The Original Misfits, Julie Andrews, Joan Jett, The Specials, and The Vandals.
(TVT - Krissandra) The Interrupters, Bill & Ted, & Awkwafina
(TVT - Chelsea) The Interrrupters, Joan Jett, The Bombpops, The Dollyrots, Bad Cop Bad Cop
(MN) Other hobbies?
(TVT - Kieran) Working Out
(TVT - Krissandra) Running,Cosplay
(TVT - Jenna) Gardening
(TVT - Chelsea) Running, Video Production
(MN) What do you like about living in the Twin Cities?
(TVT - Jenna) All the lakes. Everywhere is waterfront property.
(TVT - Chelsea) The awesome music community
(TVT - Krissandra) We’ve got everything a huge coastal city has but half the people and twice the talent. I also love the appreciation for summer here. Because it actually snows in April pretty often and you gotta get that sunshine while you can.
(MN) Is there anything that sets the Twin Cities scene apart from places you've toured?
(TVT - Krissandra) Hardly anyone dances at shows here. It’s because we’re all musicians and if we’re watching you, that means you’re good and we’re watching you like a TED Talk. So if you’re a band and you want to get people moving, you really have to bring your A game and turn up the fun.
(TVT - Jenna) It’s a very tight knit community.
(MN) What is your favorite places to grab food or drink in the Twin Cities?
(TVT - Jenna) lus sandwiches (bahn mi) & Chino Latino.
(TVT - Krissandra) This is an almost impossible question but for a touring band coming to the cities I would say Matt’s Bar is a must and then hit up The Depot for a diamond dog washed down with whatever’s on tap. For me personally, my favorite meal is wang kalbi at Hobans and a bottle of chamisul with good friends.
(TVT - Chelsea) Lu's, Psycho Suzies, Camp Bar, Memory Lanes
(TVT - Kieran) The Howe
(MN) Day jobs?
(TVT - Krissandra) Security Engineer
(TVT - Chelsea) Cook
(TVT - Kieran) Barista and Personal Trainer
(TVT - Jenna) Actress and writer. CEO.
(MN) What are The Von Tramps’ plans for the future?
(TVT - Jenna) Growing!
(TVT - Kieran) Get signed!
(TVT - Chelsea) Keep touring, writing more music and continue to have a good time!
(TVT - Krissandra) Getting this album out the door. More tours this fall, more adventures. And maybe something really big for next year!
Review and Interview by: Andrew Perrizo
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