StarShine was first introduced to Semi Precious Weapons at blog queen Perez Hilton’s party in 2008. Also on the bill was now tourmate Lady Gaga. We had no idea who this band was or what they were about. At first, we were scared and repulsed. But then…we began shouting out profanities back to lead singer Justin Tranter! Something came over us that we couldn’t explain. Maybe it was their catchy music or Tranter’s gold lamé leggings and heels, no one can be sure, but all we know is we couldn’t help but want more!
And now we have it…
Backed by both Perez Hilton and Lady Gaga, Semi Precious Weapons have released their 3-song EP and their debut album You Love You will be following soon. The buzz is loud about this glam-rock band now splattering themselves on the internet and on radio with their self-titled first single “Semi Precious Weapons”. But it was those humble beginnings on the New York City club scene that really sealed their fate.
“We’ve been a band for 3 years,” Tranter says. “We’ve been driving ourselves around in a van to every show we could possibly get. Some shows there are 15 people and some shows there’s 1500. I think we actually really built a very small, but extremely mighty fan base.”
While SPW is reminiscent of Andy Warhol and the Sex Pistols, the band isn’t living in the past. “For us, it’s definitely about the future. It’s about creating something new that has roots in Warhol and classic Rock & Roll, but is about the future. I want 12-year-olds to love our music and create something new that this generation can own,” Tranter explains.
So parents, if your 12-year-old comes home telling you he or she “can’t pay the rent, but I’m f*cking gorgeous”, try not to freak out too much. After all, Semi Precious Weapons have fans of all ages, and types. Tranter told us he’d describe SPW’s music to his grandmother as “filthy, balls-to-the-wall glamorous rock & roll”. He then added, “Luckily, my grandparents love me very much.”
With the band’s potty mouth lyrics, Tranter’s diva wardrobe, and fun-for-all vibe, Semi Precious Weapons hopes to bring dance & style back to rock & roll. “It would be amazing if I could inspire housewives to wear a peach brow bone. And if I could get dudes to like guitar solos again, I think that would be pretty amazing,” the flamboyant frontman says before going on to talk about the change in “rock” music today. “Even most quote-unquote rock bands nowadays, they play to tracks and have a DJ, and they’re having background vocals piped through the PA system.” Unlike those bands, Semi Precious Weapons, which consists of Tranter, Cole Whittle (bass), Dan Crean (drums) & Stevy Pyne, are all actual musicians and don’t perform “live” to a track, or have a DJ on stage with them.
Currently, SPW is touring Europe with Lady Gaga. Concertgoers will be treated to the same energy on the big stage as if they were at a New York City hole in the wall. “It’s the same exact filthy show,” Tranter tells us. “I’m pouring champagne. I change my outfit on stage. I swear at everybody. I tell them to scream louder. I tell them to shut up. All that good stuff. We give them our filthy rock & roll show with champagne, pantyhose & guitar solos.”
While Europe gets acquainted with the band, the rest of the world can enjoy their EP available now on http://www.itunes.com, which consumers can use the “complete the album” option once the full-length You Love You is released. Along with “Semi Precious Weapons”, “Magnetic Baby” and “Put A Diamond In It”, the album will feature more of that party rock & roll that Tranter was talking about, but also reveal an evolution for the band. Ballads like the orchestrated “Leave Your Pretty To Me” and the intimate, heartbreaking “Love Me” will be sure to surprise fans more than anything else.
“The record is our dream come true,” Tranter explains. “It sounds exactly as we want it to sound. The songs are great. There’s obviously a lot of danceable rock & roll and f*cking filthy magical moments.”
StarShine can’t wait to hear–and see–what else Semi Precious Weapons will have up their sleeves. This band embodies what music and entertaining is all about–pure art and pure fun! Well, maybe a little impure, too…
What does Justin Tranter hope to achieve with Semi Precious Weapons? It’s simple, really.
“We’re hoping to take over the f*cking world!”
We wouldn’t be surprised if that feat was accomplished. With a degree in songwriting, a line of jewelry he created in his flat while working three jobs, and now taking over a new direction in rock & roll, Tranter may just be a genius!
His Grandma should be proud.