Music

Top image: Jennifer Herrema / HERO 12 / photography by Michael Avedon

We exclusively premiere the new video by Royal Trux, the legendary and incendiary band founded by Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema.

Titled Whopper Dave, the track is the latest release from Pink Stuff, an EP featuring five songs from Trux’ 2019 record White Stuff (the band’s first release in nearly two decades) remixed by friend and collaborator Ariel Pink. (Read an interview between Ariel and Herrema inside the new HERO 24.)

With a shared healthy disregard for banality, in Whopper Dave, Trux and Ariel butt heads on this blown-out sonic trip. The accompanying video created by Brain Drain Industries with VFX by production and screening collective, Khloaris, is a retro mash-up that pays tribute to flipping burgers while parodying industry training videos. Hit play and hear from the creators, below.

BRAIN DRAIN INDUSTRIES

“One of my favourite tracks from White StuffWhopper Dave was the perfect chance to create a Truxian visual tribute to the fast-food worker while also parodying industrial training videos. A comical celebration of teenage shenanigans and hijinks while at that first job flipping burgers.”

Re-contextualizing and mashing up disparate elements has always been the Royal Trux way. Mixing corporate fast food advertising imagery with the Trux collage aesthetic interested me and was the main objective. Trux are no strangers to having to navigate through and exploit the corporate machinery systems for their own means – as their brief but glorious stint on Virgin Records (’95-97) undeniably proves.

With Fast Food chains doing celebrity brand marketing with hip hop stars now, imagining an alternative universe where the Trux aesthetic slipped into the global mainstream in a similar way seems more appropriate than ever. I find that whole Travis Scott merch/meal partnership thing fascinating. It’s genius marketing and of course I was amused when I first heard about it as I had created some Whopper/Royal Trux logo mash-up design ideas for the video just a few weeks prior. “

Not unlike the work of Frank Zappa in some ways, sense of humor is so important to fully appreciating Trux’s music and approach, and that was never more apparent than with the promo campaign for the album White Stuff.  The video for Whopper Dave continues on that trajectory of celebrating and poking fun of a simpler time in the mythos of rock ‘n’ roll, all while creating something for the NOW! “

Follow Brain Drain Industries on Instagram.

KHLOARIS

[Khloaris’ animation and VFX was featured in both Royal Trux White Stuff and Whopper Dave music videos. Khloaris also did the cover art production for Royal Trux White Stuff album and Quantum Emtanglement compilation, both on Fat Possum Records]

“Jumping into the Truxian bathtub with Brain Drain was a wet dream for Khloaris. We loved being included in the Royal Trux universe and the intimacy and trust they put into the people they work with; improvisation and reflection from all sides. Every idea was created from scratch, employing the punk equation: minimal production makes for maximum discharge.

The White Stuff cover has a lot of layers, mostly it’s collage photos of actual physical objects.  The gummy-worm pizza used to create the scratch ‘n’ sniff sticker was served as dinner and dessert that night. As much as possible, the visual pieces were built outside of the computer. Shooting was done with a mixture of artificial and natural light for these photos – so complex colour palettes come out, like in the powder used to build the White Stuff cover letters.  All the border graffiti was carefully selected and created for its role in the Truxian backstory, suggesting they can be decoded like some haunted detention desk.” 

The Quantum Entanglement cover came from a similar aesthetical imperative – folding layers of nostalgia until they reveal the super-saturation point. The black and white photos were composed with ideas of movement and we did a Quantum Entanglement promo video with Drain Brain showing the motion.

I first entered the Truxian universe during puberty. I used to eat 99cent burgers and cruise around with my learners permit blasting college radio. I would save up quarters as a Safe Way bagger and then head over to Bonifant Street to score vinyl.

This was around the time of the White Light/White Heat reissue, I managed to pick up Helter Stupid and also Twin Infinitives. I distinctly remember the moment after finishing the first side of Negativland’s satanic media barrage… as I set the needle down on the new Royal Trux I instantly discovered a secret prism space to view the world: between an X-ray machine and a Steinway Piano.”

Follow Khloaris on Instagram.

 

Read Jennifer Herrema’s conversation with Iceage frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt for HERO 19 here and with Strokes/Voidz’ leader Julian Casablancas here.

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