This article is from 2008.
RTX - You Should Shut Up
Founded by Jennifer Herrema, formerly one half of Royal Trux, California-based quintet RTX channel the purist heart of debauched 80s cock-rock with a sound which owes a debt to Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss and Motley Crue. They have songs called things like ‘Cheap Wine Time’ and ‘Hash’, so it’s little surprise their current jaunt to the UK sees them playing support to Primal Scream on their national tour. Herrema speaks…
How’s the tour going?
We’re all trying to recover here, we had a bit of a time in Brighton. It’s 15 days in, so we have about 10 or 11 days to go… (Primal Scream) asked us to do it and it seemed like a good idea, because RTX has never been to the UK. Well, we played London before, but that’s it. There’s no other way we’d manage to tour the UK for a month.
What’s the difference between RTX and Royal Trux?
I’m only representing one half of Royal Trux (the other half was Neil Hagerty, who also currently records under various guises for RTX’ label Drag City), so therefore only the sensibility that I brought to Royal Trux. But it’s not diluted, so that sensibility is growing its own new persona all the time.
How did RTX get together?
It was kinda fortuitous. I was still living in Virginia at the time, and Royal Trux had just stopped playing. I was laying low writing songs for a bit, but then I met an engineer in San Francisco who knew a guy from school that played guitar in his bedroom, mostly. The next guitar player just kept emailing me, and we snagged the bass player from a band I took on tour in Europe. It was kind of like recruiting, but not really. Just sitting back and keeping my eyes and ears open, and taking the opportunity to meet certain musicians I liked when I had the opportunity. I always wanted to put a band together after Royal Trux, though, and it had to be a guitar band with the best players I could find. People who were pure, who didn’t come from a certain scene or have any preconceived notions. People with no baggage, really – that’s not easy to come by, so you wait.
What inspires the music?
Various things, like there’s a couple of songs on the new album (‘JJ Got Live RaTX’) where I set some parameters for the way we’d record them. I said, ‘we’re doing the whole thing in two weeks’, because the last two albums took some time. No-one else in the band had recorded or toured before this, so they were used to the way we’d worked previously. When I said two weeks, they said, ‘what?’ I worked them pretty hard, like 11am to 4am, and everyone was getting really pissy and tired. It was kinda cool, everyone was fighting, and then I wrote a couplea songs right out of that, just the frustration I felt from them. So inspiration comes from just about anywhere.
RTX play Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Sun 7 Dec; SECC, Glasgow, Sat 13 Dec (supporting Primal Scream); Captain’s Rest, Glasgow, Sun 14 Dec.