Tag Archives: Royal Trux

Royal Trux on Their Unlikely, Reinvigorating Reunion

Royal Trux

Photo by Amanda Milius.

Since breaking up Royal Trux in 2001, Jennifer Herrema and Neil Hagerty have both been so busy that it was hard to imagine they’d ever join forces again. Herrema made five albums with her groups RTX (a moniker that, confusingly enough, Royal Trux had used in the past) and Black Bananas. Hagerty has been even more prolific, crafting upwards of 20 releases on his own and with his group The Howling Hex.

There was also the matter of their communication—or lack thereof. Herrema, who lives on the outskirts of Los Angeles, and Hagerty, now in Denver with his wife and daughter, didn’t speak in person for years. But in 2015, somewhat out of the blue, they announced Royal Trux would headline L.A.’s Berserktown Festival (with The Howling Hex’s Tim Barnes on drums and Black Bananas’ Brian McKinley on bass). Later that year, a show in New York made the comeback feel official, and now Royal Trux is a fully-functional entity once again, currently touring Europe (with drummer Kid Millions of Oneida and Man Forever) with a string of additional dates planned in America later this year.

Solidifying the rebirth, there’s a new Royal Trux album out this month—but in keeping with the band’s odd history, Platinum Tips + Ice Cream isn’t exactly new. It’s a live album compiled of 12 old Royal Trux songs that were performed at those first two reunion shows (with a few studio tweaks). The live setting gives the record the rough, gut-level energy of prime Trux. Covering songs from across their history, Herrema and Hagerty howl and growl through their trademark take on classic rock, breathing smoke-filled life into songs that could easily sound dated.

We recently spoke with Herrema and Hagerty in the midst of their current European tour to find out why they got back together, how things have gone so far, and what—if any—future they foresee. Our separate conversations with each have been edited together below.
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A Guide to Drag City’s Essential Releases

Drag City

Of the many labels that spurred the indie rock (philosophy, not brand) heyday of the early ‘90s, few have stuck to their guns as thoroughly as Drag City. Owners Dan Osborne and Dan Koretzky, who formed the imprint in 1990, have welcomed a diverse range of artists into their fold over the past 26 years, but they’ve never chased the next big thing.

Instead, they’ve stayed loyal to their musicians, allowing them to change and grow without commercial pressures. So many Drag City artists have made multiple excellent albums for the label that it’s tough to choose their respective peaks. And though most share a love of classic rock and folk forms, no two musicians on the label approach those in the same manner.  

If there’s a Drag City “sound,” it’s probably the idiosyncratic voice—a singer who finds a new way to tell musical tales. Will Oldham, Jennifer Herrema, Bill Callahan, Joanna Newsom, David Berman—it’s almost impossible to think of anyone else who sounds like any of them.

To welcome Drag City to Bandcamp, we’ve chosen nine of the label’s most iconic, enduring releases.

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