Stress Jingle/Station ID #28 : Jennifer Herrema

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Jennifer Herrema is a rock music singer, song writer, record producer, artist and model best known for her work as one half of the influential noise rock band Royal Trux. She is also the founding member of RTX and Black Bananas. Herrema started Royal Trux at the age of 19 with partner Neil Hagerty. They also produced and mixed many records under the name Adam & Eve, including such artists as The Make-Up, Palace Brothers and many others. Herrema and Hagerty were instrumental in starting the independent record labels Drag City and Domino Records. Herrema has also written articles for many publications including Vice Magazine, Ray Gun and Dazed & Confused. Her artwork has appeared in gallery exhibitions in the States, Europe and Japan. She was the original "heroin chic" poster girl as interpreted by photographer Steven Meisel for Calvin Klein print ads and TV commercials.

Considered one of the most under-rated bands of the 1990s, Royal Trux was a willfully primitive noise rock project which was one of the groups born out of the demise of Pussy Galore (the other was Jon Spencer Blues Explosion). In 1998 they released  their first album, Royal Trux, a collage of primitive guitar chords, clattering production, howled vocals and sheer white noise. Occasionally the music showed signs of actual song structure, as well as shards of Stonesy blues, but it generally sounded like an abrasive, self-conscious deconstruction of classic rock.

After moving to San Francisco, Royal Trux released the abstract double-album Twin Infinitives, a noisy and abrasive assault of gutted riffs, screams, tinny synthesizers and melodic fragments. Their next album featured a more song-oriented format, bristling with the group's love of rock sleaze and junkie culture. After exhibiting a little stability, Royal Trux were gobbled up by Virgin as part of the post-Nirvana alternative rock signing frenzy. They hooked up with Neil Young-producer David Briggs and cut Thank You. Not long after they received Sweet Sixteen, complete with its notorious cover of an excrement and vomit-filled toilet, Virgin Records realized Royal Trux may not be a crossover act. They were willing to let the band go, giving them severance pay and the master tapes to their recently completed album, Accelerator, which was then released on their old home, Drag City.

Herrema and Hagerty parted ways in 2001 and the group disbanded. Herrema returned to music with RTX, a band that applied the swagger and snarl of Accelerator-era Trux to a different lineup. RTX later morphed into the Black Bananas and their first album, Rad Times Xpress IV, arrived in early 2012.

"Royal Trux is kinda the Velvet Underground of our era."


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