Zipper Club have got two shows opening for The Sounds in NYC this week (one tomorrow at Warsaw and one Wednesday at Irving Plaza), and then after a brief intermission for Thanksgiving, the band will continue on to DC on Monday for a show at 9:30 Club. I’d highly recommend grabbing tickets to any/all that apply to your geographical location, but in the meantime, you can internet-eavesdrop on a conversation I had with Lissy Trullie about what it’s been like to be on tour post-election, the pros and cons of extended chunks of time in LA, and about what the band’s thankful for (and un-thankful for) this year. Read up on all of that and more RIGHT NOW:
So have you addressed any of this political insanity at your shows since the election?
Yeah, I mean, that Wednesday I talked about it to the audience in Chicago. I have very, very strong political views.
Has anyone booed? I’ve talked to a couple of other bands or performers that have just kind of assumed everyone’s in the same boat as far as viewpoint of the outcome, but some audience members have gotten uppity about any sort of anti-Trump statements.
I haven’t had anybody boo me, but that was also in Chicago, and I imagine that was a pretty blue city. I play Utah tonight, so maybe that will be different, but I think it’s really important; even if somebody boos, I want to talk to them, and I want to know why they’re booing, why they voted the way they did, what their political views are, why in the world that would happen.
Totally. I also keep thinking I’m going to start feeling better about it, but I just keep feeling worse. It’s been an interesting week so far, to say the least, and I can’t even imagine being on tour at a time like this. (Or maybe it’s helpful? I don’t know.) But how’d you link up with The Sounds for some of these dates?
So tonight will be the first time we’re with them, and then we stay with them until December 20th.
We’ve got quite a long run with them.
And did you know them before? Or will this be a first-time meeting?
No, I mean, I knew who they were, of course, but I haven’t met them before. Today I will! [Laughs]
Well they seem super fun, so I’m sure it’ll be great. Now, tell me about the current show setup. I know visuals are pretty important to you guys, so is there anything new happening on that front? Or any developments in other areas?
As far as visuals go, there are a lot of lasers in our show, and that’s more of a Mason [James] thing; he’s the laser guy. I don’t know much about lasers, but we have changed up the designs a little bit. But yeah, there are like, five lasers going on at once during our shows.
That’s amazing. Now, do you prefer being on stage to maybe being in the studio making the music? Or do you find those experiences to be kind of separate but equal?
I think now they’re about equal, but I’m not a performer (I never was); I basically started playing guitar when I was really young, and I always played in several bands, but I was always a guitar player, and didn’t start singing until my early to mid twenties. It was always playing guitar and writing music, because I’m actually a shy person, and I was petrified to get up on stage. Then to have to lead something is terrifying, but I’ve gotten used to it.
It doesn’t seem like it at all, though!
Oh no, I’ve had like, crippling stage fright for…well, it’s actually still there. But I also love to play, and when we’re well-rehearsed and the songs are kind of second-nature, that’s when I can really relax on stage, and that’s when I feel much better about it. But I just love to play, and any opportunity to do it, I’ll do it. And I also love the studio. If we could keep it open for 24-hours, and I could just torture people, I’d have them in there the whole time. [Laughs]
And tell me about how you guys generally work together, and about the LP.
It’s a little bit weird how this record came together, because I sort of came in after the fact and got together with Mason after a majority of it was written, which is unusual for me, because I like to write. And then when we met, I listened to the stuff and sang on some of it, and we kind of just kept going and wrote the rest of the record. It was pretty seamless and fun, and I think we were both looking for something pretty new that was outside of our old projects, so it was really, really great to collaborate with somebody and not have the weight of the world on my back, and have it feel like a group effort. It just makes everything more fun and less serious. (Even though the music is super serious, and we’re really proud of what we did.)
Right, I think it also holds you more accountable, too; having other people involved is always a good push.
Now, what would you say (on this project, anyway) the most ridiculous or unexpected source of inspiration?
I’d say that touring with Tears for Fears was really great; they’re obviously a huge part of American music history, and I think our musical styles complemented each other really well, and playing huge stages on our first run was equally amazing and so, so terrifying, because we didn’t know if we were ready yet, but we did it and did it well. So that was one of the best surprises, and then working with James Iha (who I actually knew before from New York but hadn’t worked with him musically) was something that made my ears immediately perk up in terms of working on this project. Just making more music, too. I’m always down to make more music, and it’s always thrilling to me.
Totally. And are you guys all based in LA now?
No, I still live in New York. I spent the past six months in LA getting this thing ready, but I am a New Yorker.
Yeah, I actually think I watched a thing that StyleLikeU did on you and your wardrobe a couple of years ago, and I knew you at least lived in New York at that point, so I was wondering if you’d made the coastal shift for good. But how was being out there for that chunk of time? I’ve been out there on short trips, but I really enjoyed myself after (I think) being trained to think I’d hate it as an East Coaster.
[Laughs] Okay, I think I like to visit LA, but I don’t know if I could live there. I had this fantasy in my head that I was going to go work on this project in LA and it was going to be great and I’d just go live out there, and I’d get a car or something, and I have a lot of friends who’ve come out from New York to live in LA now, but you know what? It’s not entirely for me. I need my seasons, and it’s a really different pace in New York; LA’s a little bit more relaxed, and people kind of take their time and are a bit chiller, and I always feel like I’m doing something wrong, which I think has more to do with my psychology and less to do with either city, but…and also I had no idea that I was so attached to the landscape of the East Coast. I’ve lived in Europe in Berlin and Paris, and those places feel less foreign to me than LA, if that makes sense.
Oh, totally. I also really love being able to walk around for hours in New York, but you can’t do that in LA or people think you’re homeless or something.
People think you’re crazy! It’s true! I don’t have a car out there, so I kind of just Uber everywhere (which is a really nice thing about LA, is that their Uber services are dirt cheap), but I like to walk. I also didn’t realize how much that was a part of my life, like, getting up in the morning and walking somewhere, whether it was to the subway or wherever; that gets me going, and so when I walked in LA, people just think you’re crazy.
Completely. But so you’ll be back in good old New York on the 22nd and the 23rd, and then it’s Thanksgiving on Thursday; do you have any big plans?
I’m deciding between going to DC where my stepfather lives, and where I spent my early childhood, or staying in New York and having a friends Thanksgiving. It kind of depends on our schedule for the next day, which is when we play Philly. It depends on how much of a disruption I’d be if I broke away.
Yeah, TBD. [Laughs] But I’ll be on the East Coast.
Rad! Now, in closing, what is Zipper Club thankful for this year?
Oh my gosh. I think we’re really thankful that this band is working out. Hey, Damar [Davis], what are you thankful for? [Laughs] Damar is thankful for good weather. Okay, he’s thankful for brand new Promark sticks. (Damar is our drummer.) Mason is not in the car with us.
[Laughs] I thought you were just going to be like, “Mason is not thankful.” I would’ve been like, “Okay, cool, fair!”
He’s super un-thankful and ungrateful. [Laughs] No, I think we’re all just really surprised that this is going well, and so I think every little bit of every tour we play, every show we book, every new fan we have, we’re so thankful and grateful that this is happening. And I think I’m not very thankful about what has happened to our country, but I’m so thankful for the outpouring of like-minded people coming forward and being like, “We have a job to do, let’s come together and do it. Let’s fix this problem, let’s make sure we’re all safe for the next four years, and let’s watch out for each other.” I think seeing that happen and being a part of it, too, is just overwhelmingly moving, and I’m so grateful to see our country band together like that.