Feeling the TRMRS

If Quentin Tarantino decides to greenlight a Pulp Fiction sequel, he’d be a damn fool not to use TRMRS on the soundtrack. The Costa Mesa quartet—singer/guitarist Anthony Perry, singer/guitarist Tommy Stewart, bassist Loui A. Tomic and drummer Wyatt Blair—play a surf-inspired garage rock aptly described as “trash pop” that answers the question: What would the Sonics sound like if Link Wray played lead and they were molested by the Germs?

The band play a few local shows before hitting the road to support Sea Things, a 12-track record slated for release on Nov. 5.

OC Weekly: How did TRMRS form?

Tommy Stewart: I met Anthony at a Muslims/Growlers show about two-and-a-half years ago. A couple of months later, I ended up living in the Growlers’ warehouse in Costa Mesa, just vibing off them and learning as much as I could. We started a band called Jungle Peeps that was pretty much a joke—a two-piece garage/surf Mummies-wannabe sorta thing. After that, we were still writing music, and then our friends helped us start TRMRS. It was really just an extension of Jungle Peeps, but everybody wanted to play something else, and it just became too flaky for me and Anthony. That’s when Anthony and I changed the direction of our music to something broader and less constricting.

I met Loui at a Christmas work party, and he wanted to jam with us. He grew up playing bass in the rockabilly/punk scene in Seattle, which was really cool for the new stuff we were writing, so we played a couple of shows with Loui on bass and Levi Prairie [of Gantez Warrior] on drums. With Loui and the new stuff we were playing, we really needed to record, but we didn’t have any money to do it, so the dudes at Thalia Surf Shop told us to talk to Wyatt from Marz & the Mess. We ended up recording with Wyatt for 50 bucks, and a week later, he called me up, asking to be in our band.

What do you have against vowels?

Anthony Perry: Vowels are for melvins.

Does anyone care about surf rock in 2010? If not, will they in 2011?

Stewart: If you only knew all the shit we get from our music friends in Fullerton and LA for surfing. It’s like, “Hey, bro! Surf’s up, bro! Tommy Tsunami. What’s up broham?” Super lame. But I think surf music is totally becoming more and more popular. Look at Black Lips, Ty Segall, Best Coast, the Growlers, Charlie and the Moonhearts, and Thee Oh Sees.

Perry: As far as we are concerned, TRMRS doesn’t really play stereotypical surf music. We are more into the ’60s counterculture of surfing, like Miki Dora.

Have you ever tried the white sangria at the Avalon? If not, why not? And will you?

Perry: Yeah, right, dude. This is TRMRS. We’re all about the dollar PBR, the brown-bag special, or whatever I can score from Tyler and Corey.

What gets more girls—surfing or being in a band?

Perry: We don’t get girls. We smell too bad, especially Loui.

What elements are required to be a trash-pop band?

Perry: We call it trash pop because nothing else seems to fit better. We’re not a punk band. We’re not a psychedelic band, we’re not a surf band, we’re not a folk band, and we’re not a garage band. It’s just a provocative and youthful mix of everything, everyone and the subculture that inspires us.

You’re playing the Garden Grove Warehouse for your record-release party. Will you get paid for that show in cash or free suits?

Stewart: I wish. I don’t think I even own a suit.


TRMRS perform at Avalon Bar, 820 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 515-4650. Thurs., Oct. 21, 10 p.m. Free. 21+.

Hey, Orange County/Long Beach musicians and bands! Mail your music, contact info, high-res photos and impending show dates for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 2975 Red Hill Ave., Ste 150, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Or e-mail your link to: localsonly@ocweekly.com.

This column appeared in print as "No Vowels Needed."


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