The craze for Semi Precious Weapons (SPW) has shot up like a bean sprout in a matter of months. This year was truly beneficial for the group, who simply stated can play their instruments, “pretty fucking well” and have fun shows according to lead singer Justin Tranter.
Fun doesn’t begin to describe it. Imagine a Bowie-esque six foot tall man, who looks better in stilettos than most girls do, popping a cartwheel and landing on the bassist’s shoulders while singing out to rock “Ëœn roll. It’s better in person.
SPW is made up of fashionista Tranter, guitarist Aaron Tasjan, bassist Cole Whittle and drummer Dan Crean, and like Tranter said they all rally know how to play their instruments and make good rock music.‚ After meeting randomly at music shows and through industry friends in New York, they decided to test their own sounds with Tranter’s lyrics and start their own band.
The songs this quartet offer are a mix of 80’s Guns N’ Roses meets KISS meets Morrissey. The have killer guitar solos, upbeat tempos and blunt lyrics like, “It’s not my fault it’s just how my Momma made me. I’ve been magnetic since I was a baby!” In reality the band is loud and obnoxious and what was needed for a music world filled with alternative bands that use little of the rock beats we love but are afraid to bring back completely.
“Many bands take themselves too seriously, even the middle of the road bands who are kind of famous take themselves seriously too. For us, our shows have fun rocking music and it’s a pretty simple thing but no one really does it right now,” Tranter explained.
Indeed, no other act is gracing the leather look and busting out Aerosmith-type falsettos and suggestive sounds alike quite like SMP.‚ But this is not the only thing the band is bringing to the public.‚ Like any other band they had to fund their music by filling shows, which is still not profitable enough, and selling something. Many opt for the typical band logo t-shirt sales but since Tranter had worked in the jewelry business he opted for accessories.
With the band’s gun-and-heart logo and Trater’s jewelry connections, the lead singer created necklaces and sold them at shows. The product demand increased and Trenter saw himself with a new business opportunity. He established Fetty Brooklyn and began selling his jewelry at Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic stores. The band funded their record with the jewelry money.
“My mom is a custom engagement ring designer so I always got day jobs in jewelry because I knew the lingo. When we went to shows and we wanted something to sell we didn’t have shirts or a CD so I made necklaces to sell and it slowly blew up. It became a thing separate from the band now selling gold and diamond necklaces for $1,300 bucks and we are doing a line at Barneys that is going amazingly well,” Trenter said.
The band is now signed to a label and the jewelry is not their main funding resource, but Trenter admits the jewelry making still comes after the music. Even if they get to play to crowds of 200 or 300 on a given night the band wants more, “we want it to be a couple of thousand because we’ve all been playing music for a long time and want it to be a lot bigger.”
2009 may be the answer to their prayers, if these guys pray anyway. Scheduled for a six-week tour in January with girl band Von Iva, who are featured in Jim Carey’s movie “Yes Man,” and a larger tour with a music legend (whose name cannot be disclosed yet due to legal reasons) the band’s future looks promising.
“We just have a fucking blast with each other and our favorite thing to do is play music, the fact we get to play and write together and then perform is amazing. We are also not afraid of anything, we played at a sports bar in Iowa last month and people were asking us, “Ëœwhat are you doing?'” Tranter recalled.‚ “But people love rock and roll and want to have fun anywhere, we sold more CDs there than we did in Chicago.”
Lets just wait to see who they will get to rock out next. Are the‚ Inauguration‚ acts accounted for?
Email your information to [email protected] by December 31 for a chance to win some SPW’s bling and the band’s debut album!
Promotional: Diamonds information