Tuxedo Tramps about their psychobilly, neobilly style

Posted by Dee-Ann On May - 16 - 20137,480 views

423342_307089522689283_708831988_nTuxedo Tramps is a band from Salt Lake City, Utah USA. They play psychobilly, neobilly, rockabilly and good old rock and roll

Carl Harman; lead guitar, lead vox, and upright bass

Krystal Harman; guitar lead vocals and backing vocals

Jacob Moore; bass guitar

Rhett Malikowski; drums

The band started off with Carl and Rhett, and after a line-up change has become the four-piece it is today.  We have been going strong for about three years.

How did your love for this music start?

Carl; My influences include the Sharks, Frenzy, Guana Batz, Reverend Horton heat, Joe Clay, New York Dolls, and ect I could go on and on.. It was the late 80’s that I discovered rockabilly. I was about 12 or 13. I was listening to Sid Vicious sing “C’mon everybody” and “Somethin else”. I was digging these songs and wanted to know who wrote them so I looked in the album sleeve and saw E. Cochran. I looked into it further and found that it was Eddie Cochran. I went to my local Utah music store and all they had was crappy grunge stuff and heavy metal. So I went to my local library where I found tons of cool Eddie Cochran. Not just the stuff on the best of albums either. So I checked it out and my life changed, it was like I had found the music that speaks to me, speaks to me soul. From that day on I have been searching and found so many great bands.

Krystal:  I went to a lot of local punk shows in Hawaii growing up and ran into my first and only local band that had the rockabilly sound at the time.  I had, had a steady diet of rock n’ roll and punk and had never met many people that knew about rockabilly and psychobilly.  I was ecstatic and quickly ran over to the band, happy to see I wasn’t the only person that liked the sound.  I talked to the few people and found a local store in Pearl City that had a wide variety of music and bands that I had never heard of.  On the plastic dividers, they try to recommend other bands that you “May like if you like this band” and that got me on a path to discovering so many different bands that barely anyone had heard of on the islands.  It started off with the Nekromantix and the Horrorpops as they were the easiest to find, long before that show, and bands that people did seem to know about.  It quickly rocketed off, especially after my move to Utah, to bands like the Quakes, Koffin Kats, Reverend Horton Heat, and the Guana Batz.  My move to Utah was the biggest change that made it 100% easier to find more music since the rockabilly and psychobilly influence was a lot more prevalent.  I was no longer holed up in my room squinting at CD inserts for mention of another band, but talking to people that actually knew what I was talking about.

Do you write your own songs?

Carl; Yes I love writing original music

Krystal:  I agree.  Original music is way more fun, though covers can be fun to do too.

tuxedo trampsWhere do you get your inspiration?

Carl; Sometimes the songs spawn from real life for instance, the song “Piece of Junk” come from my love of old cars, I have a few older cars and bikes and understands how sometimes you really are fixing a piece of junk. This can be frustrating but it’s also a labor of love when you find the right car/bike.

I also write songs that are fantasy,  for instance “Robots” is a song about a robot invasion which probably stems from my love of sci fi especially old B movie type stuff with plenty of plot holes.

Do you write together?  

Carl; I have written most of the songs as of yet.  Krystal wrote the song “stay” on our new self titled album.  Every member of the band helps with putting the songs together and gets equal input. Rhett and Jake contribute greatly and I am proud to have such a cool great rhythm section that I can count on.

Tell us about your cd

Carl; We are real excited about our new cd self titled The Tuxedo Tramps.  It has 13 original songs on it.  Songs about Robot’s, Hot Rods, Motorcycles, being mad, being happy.  There is a wide range of styles in our album.  We got Good old Rock & Roll (are you mine), 70’s punk type feel (can’t make me fall), psychobilly (robots), neobilly (ghost),good old rockabilly (I’m mad) and ect. .

Carl; After years of trying studio after studio and never being satisfied with the sound I  decided it would be easier to just record it and master it myself.   We spent hours recording and rerecording, trying to get the same sound, feel and energy of our live shows without it seeming forced. Krystal and Carl mixed and mastered this album and we love the way it turned out.  Wild, rock & roll from outer space!!

What are your do’s and don’ts on stage?  

Carl; We really don’t have any don’t on stage.  But when we get on stage a smile lights up our faces. Cause it is time to get wild. I guess one don’t would be, no statues. Meaning Don’t be a statue on stage. I’ve played with people that were good musicians but their energy was not in the music and this drains the energy from the room. We like to let the music take over for each individual and nobody should feel forced. I mean it’s a performance people want to see you perform.

Carl; We mostly let everyone dress how they feel comfortable. We all seem to fit the part.  Whatever that means lol. But we do dress up a little more for the shows. It’s fun.  But Me personally, I am a greaser on and off the stage. I listen to music always I fix old cars and drive a 57 Ford Ranchero I own a body shop, I paint cars. It’s just what I do. I can’t help it.

Krystal:  I will never wear fake eyelashes anywhere but on stage (and maybe a photoshoot), and performing is one of the few opportunities I get to dress up, ever.  For example:  Heels are just impossible and impractical in the work I do.

What’s important, musical quality or stage fun?

Carl; Both!! We love to perform. I like  to see  the look on my bands face when they are wondering what I’m doing. It’s a look like “let’s just keep rocking while Carl climbs up that rafter, or plays his guitar behind his head”.  It’s easy to surprise and audience that hasn’t seen you perform but it’s great when you can catch your own band off guard. Ha ha

Do you like other styles than rockandroll?

Carl; Yes, I like all kinds of music. I like rap, classical, gospel, metal, honky tonk, pretty much everything.  I think you are weakened to pretend no other music exists.

Krystal:  Yes.  I grew up playing classical piano and I still love it.  I also like jazz.  There’s some rap, hip hop, and R&B that I really like.  There’s a lot of different things I like.  Nearly every kind of music has something you can learn from.

Is there an artist you would like to work with in future?

Carl; Boy, there are so many that would be fun to work with. I am always jamming with new people and am always ready to “just record something for the vaults”.  I would love to go to europe and record at Western Star recording studio with Alan Wilson from the Sharks. I love the stuff coming out of there right now and it would be a dream come true.

Do you regret anything?

Carl; When I was in my 20’s I was asked to try out for one of my favorite bands at the time. Amazing Royal Crowns. I didn’t do it cause I was married and had to take care of all the bills. Seeing as how that marriage ended anyway, I wish I would have gone for it.  You never know. lol. It’s better to look forward not backward. There is always lots of regrets and the longer you are alive the more likely you are to have them.

Krystal:  Back when I was performing for the music company, I was told I had an opportunity to “wow” a few people that were considering offering me a contract but I didn’t take it seriously.  I performed O.K. but I know I could have done better.  Looking back, I do regret that opportunity I shrugged off, but I am still happy with where I have ended up.

What are your future plans?

Carl; We are already writing and working on new songs for the next album.  We want to do some tours next year in the US.  We would like to go further but we are all working stiffs livin the rock & roll dream….

Finish this sentence: we will never ever….

Stop playing music!!




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