When she was a child and knocked her tooth out while racing around a pole, Kristen Allen-Zito couldn’t know the resulting gap would add to the funky look of her rock band.
Yet the missing tooth is just one more of the quirky yet loveable features that define The Trucks. These four women from Washington State have definite attitudes and a fun, never-stop-the-party sound. They’re a bit naughty (best not to blare “Titties” when mom stops over), a little silly (wearing everything from cheerleaders’ uniforms to total punk) and easy to like musically and personally.
But don’t mistake them for some light-weight latter day Go-Go's. These are serious musicians who have rocking music and serious stage presence that will undoubtedly launch them into the big-time.
That was obvious on a recent, rain-soaked evening when The Trucks played a college-bar show in Richmond, Va. Within minutes of taking the makeshift stage the patrons, many of whom were nursing beers and chatting in small groups, were spellbound. Though the audience numbered less than 40, The Trucks sang, played and entertained as if they were in front of an arena crowd.
Allen-Zito (keyboards, vocals) and Marissa Moore (xylophone, vocals) took time from their instruments to dance around the audience as they sang with more gusto than cheerleaders working a close-scoring Super Bowl game. Band mates Faith Reichel (bass, vocals) and Lindy McIntyre (drums) anchored the music with a mesmerizing beat as they, too, worked the crowd with asides and seemingly boundless energy.
Soon after the Richmond show, The Trucks discussed their music, show, and next steps.
Your self-titled album, released last year, is amazing. How has your music changed since you recorded it?
Reichel – It’s always changing….[In the past some] called our music nursery punk. We were so undeveloped when we first started. Some of our songs, when we started out, were more basic and kind of had lullaby sounds in them. Our songs now are more abrasive as we’ve developed. We’re still developing. We want to work more electric guitar into our music.
How do you write your music?
Reichel: It’s a collaborative effort. We all bring ideas and melodies to each other when we have them. One time I was laying on my bed and Kristen had left her keyboard at my house. I was laying there with a melody in my head. I don’t play keyboard but wondered if I could play the melody on the keyboard. I did, which is how that songs was formed.
Allen-Zito: It has been really interesting. At first, we were writing songs on our instruments, but the instruments were new to us. I had played guitar before but never played on keyboards. So a lot of the writing was developed around finding new songs on our instruments. Now we jam, but we’re always experimenting.
When you have these other people supporting you and playing off them, it’s more fun and creative. I want to play drums on the next album. Lindy wants to play bass and guitar. It will be different. I am really excited about it.”
That’s interesting, but is it also scary?
McIntyre: Not really. I never took drums lessons. I never wanted to play drums like everyone else….I started playing drums when I lived in a random house [while in college]. The guy who owned the drums showed me two key things about playing, kind of the most basic things, and I took it from there.
Your stage show is amazing, with Kristen and Marissa dancing into the audience, playing to the audience. It looks simple but I’m sure it’s not.
Reichel: We totally deliver the energy, and it is draining. People always want to party with us after [shows]. It takes every bit of energy we have to give what we do at the show. I don’t want to be on stage and have it boring. I want to give 100%. It is almost like a performance….I’m tired afterward but it’s not hard to give it. It’s fun. I’m not really thinking about it until after the show when I’m exhausted.
Allen-Zito: I agree. I don’t think any of us realized what it takes to go on the road, all of the energy it takes. This is our first national tour and I have a lot of respect for people who do this all of the time, year after year. But that is our favorite thing – we like everybody to participate with us and have a good time.
How did you develop the show and adopt all the funky outfits you wear?
Moore: The Superman outfit [worn at the Richmond show] was a present from a friend….It was actually a boy’s Halloween costume…We developed the stage personas when we were playing at home [in Washington state]. Our friends were in the audience, so we were sort of showing off for our friends.
Different cities have different audiences. In some places no one is dancing or smiling. Our strategy is just to kill someone with kindness. It doesn’t happen often but if someone in the crowd hates us….we’ll go dance right in front of that person until they react. Usually they can’t continue to be uninvolved. You have some audiences that are hard to win over….but if that’s what it takes we have the energy to conquer it.
Reichel: We have some shows left [to play this year] and then we’re going to take a good chunk of time off…and write and record.
So should we expect a new CD soon?
Reichel: It probably won’t be before next fall….We’ll take the time we need. We’re not a compromising band. We are very protective of our music. It’s our artwork….It’s us.
Check out The Trucks' music at www.thetrucks.net
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