Staff writer Heather Allen recently had the chance to pose some questions to Semi Precious Weapons vocalist Justin Tranter. They discussed the band’s forthcoming album Aviation, bassist Cole Whittle’s hair, touring experiences with Lady Gaga, and much more.
Tell me about your upcoming third album Aviation. What inspired the songs off of it?
My mother. Love. The sky. Cole’s [Whittle, bassist] hair. My hair. Mostly my hair.
Was the creative process for this album different from your previous albums? Please describe.
We hung Stevy [Pyne, guitarist] upside down from the ceiling and just beat him until ideas came out. He’s our song piñata.
Which song was your favorite to write and record? Why?
“Healed”, because we weren’t even trying to write a song that night. We were just hanging out, drinking, and the song happened. The process was as spontaneous as the relationship the song is about.
You released an EP earlier this year with the first four tracks from the new album. Why did you choose those specific songs on the EP?
Taylor Swift chose them. She’s a real sweetheart. Love you, Tay Tay. Just kidding, we don’t know each other even though I’m a huge fan. They just felt like the right songs to introduce our new album and new vibe.
Your debut album was titled We Love You and your second album was titled You Love You. You didn’t want to go with the album title trifecta by naming the new one I Love You?
We actually did write an album called I Love You but Michael Buble stole all the songs off it. It was very under-reported. And personally very painful.
What inspired “Aviation High”?
Being so in love and in lust that I felt high.
When you guys first broke out in the music scene, you went on tour with the fabulous Lady Gaga. Describe your experience with being her opening act from 2009-2011.
I got to pretend I was a pop star every night for two years. It was beyond wonderful. She’s a great friend and artist that deserves all those great fans.
You guys have even toured with Ke$ha. How was it being an opening act on her 2013 Warrior Tour?
It was great. We got to play all our new songs which it seems/I hope went over well. Plus Kesha is everything her songs are – warm and fun.
What keeps you guys motivated in creating music?
What else are we gonna do? It’s all we love. And all we know how to do. I literally don’t even know how to drive.
Do you have any special rituals before going on stage?
For the fans we like to do the same things they do before our shows: We hang out and get drunk. For the fans.
What has been the most memorable experience you guys have had as a band so far?
See above. We don’t remember much, but playing for 85,000 people in Mexico City is pretty hard to forget.
Apart from promoting Aviation, what else do you have planned for the year?
Hanging out with my mother. Loving the sky. Playing with Cole’s hair. Playing with my hair. Mostly my hair.