About Royal Trux
Royal Trux is an American alternative rock band active from 1987 to 2001, and which reunited in 2015. It was founded by Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema .
While still a teenager, Hagerty joined Washington DC garage punk band Pussy Galore, led by Jon Spencer, and subsequently relocated to New York. During his time in there, Hagerty convinced his bandmates to release a cassette-only remake of the entire Rolling Stones album Exile on Main Street. While he gained underground notoriety for his work with Pussy Galore, Hagerty reportedly viewed it as a job and intended to pursue his own artistic vision with his girlfriend, Jennifer Herrema, under the name Royal Trux.
Hagerty and Herrema released their first album, Royal Trux, in 1988. After moving to San Francisco, Royal Trux released the experimental double-album Twin Infinitives.
After Twin Infinitives, Royal Trux released an untitled album . Forgoing the experimentalism of Twin Infinitives, the band instead opted for a more lo-fi approach, recording on an 8-track. The arguably atypical lyricism and sonic atonality of their first two albums was largely abandoned in favor of a more stripped, direct sound.
Following the release of their untitled album, Hagerty and Herrema were joined by guitarist Michael Kaiser and drummer Ian Willers to complete their fourth full-length, Cats and Dogs. The songwriting remained highly experimental, but was more melodic, which was revealed on tracks such as "The Flag," "The Spectre," and "Turn of the Century." Around this time, the band signed with Matador and a Royal Trux record was assigned a catalog number for an album which never appeared.
During the corporate interest in underground music that followed Nirvana's breakthrough success in 1991, Royal Trux signed a three-record contract totaling over $1 million with the major label Virgin. The label viewed it as a way to gain credibility with other, more promising indie bands that they hoped to attract. Some of the money went into buying a house in Virginia and converting it to a studio, where the band recorded themselves and others . According to interviews, the band also kicked their drug habit at this time. The band added a considerably heavier rhythm section with Dan Brown on bass guitar and Chris Pyle on drums. Pyle left after a brief period and was replaced by Ken Nasta, a prominent Jacksonville drummer, formerly with Chain of Fools, The Fenwicks and many others. They also added a percussionist named Rob Armstrong for a short period. In 1995, they released Thank You, recorded almost completely live in the studio with producer David Briggs. Next came Sweet Sixteen. While the band received mainstream media exposure during their time on Virgin , Virgin was reportedly unhappy with Sweet Sixteen. The band was unwilling to record a third record for the label, but was persuaded when Virgin offered to pay for all costs. Royal Trux returned to their old label Drag City.
On Drag City, the band released Accelerator, based on the rejected recordings that would have comprised their third album for Virgin. They followed this album with Veterans of Disorder in 1999, and Pound for Pound in 2000.
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