Quick Q+A: Jenna Enemy + The Von Tramps

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It’s always exciting to see a band that we follow announce a new record, and when the hard-working pop punks The Von Tramps (PS. such a good name) posted their new campaign for an upcoming album, we gleefully looked through their swag we’ll be wearing.

To hear how the recording is going and what to expect from their upcoming full length The Future Is Female, we sent some Quick Questions on the studio, cover songs, and the many, many venues they play to The Von Tramps guitarist-vocalist-producer Jenna Enemy.  

Secrets of the City: A title like The Future Is Female makes it seem like there’s going to be a future. Are you that optimistic? (Not sure we are.)

Jenna Enemy: Ha ha ha! Right? I’ve always been an optimist. When we started the adventure of writing and recording a 14 track album we thought it would be self titled. We started going about it in the same way that we went about our EP Fast and Loose thinking that it would be another collection of fun and fast punk pop songs, but there were a series of unfortunate events that happened and made my entire life change course. When my world completely exploded, I looked through the chaos and thank god I found that I always had my bandmate Chelsea at my side. The strength of our friendship is what drove this album. We wanted to empower women through our visibility to pick up rock music again (We are firm believers that if you can see it, you can be it!), we wanted to revolt against the crumbling desperate music industry that’s jamming garbage down our throats, and we wanted to deliver a message of survival and resilience. The Future is Female as a title best described our journey this time around and the men that support that message are the sexiest men.

We’ve been following The Von Tramps’ schedule, it’s crazy busy, which is great. You play all over, what’s your favorite recent show/venue?

Well we love playing at home! When I first started in this industry as a 17 year old kid I was helping out as an intern for The Triple Rock. Being on that stage now is a pretty rad experience. There are so many memories there. I was dressed as a naughty nun behind Fat Mike during the filming of NOFX’s “Seeing Double at the Triple Rock,” I had many talks with one of the T-Rock’s janitor’s Bob the Murderer about The New York Dolls as he cleaned beer-soaked confetti off the floor from the night before, and so many heart-to-hearts with Erik Funk of D4 in that office. That place is my church.

As for out of town, The Keller Bar never disappoints, we loved playing Chicago, and have a soft spot in our hearts for Rushmore Records in Milwaukee. We’re going to be doing intimate in-store appearances in your local record stores to help you get excited about this album being released on vinyl, that’s new for us. We have a ton more dates coming up to support this album’s release and I’m really looking forward to taking these guys to the west coast with me. I’ve been craving In-N-Out ever since I left.

As a pop punk band, The Von Tramps play some requisite fun cover songs. Do you do any versions that are better than the originals? If we get more sponsors and can buy a cover via Pledge Music would you do a cover of AC DC’s “If You Want Blood”?

Can you get us sponsors too? Ha ha ha! I always am amazed when we play a cover and people don’t know it’s a cover. We do a cover of “So Long Farewell” from the Sound of Music. We’ve been playing it so long that people think it’s ours. I know the Vandals covered it once too; I love them but they’re no Maria Von Trapp. We love covering Blink 182 too. Growing up I always wanted to be the female version of Tom Delonge, so being able to play songs like “Mutt” and “Dammit” for people and have it be so well received makes me giddy.

And of course! We’ll cover whatever you want! BYO schoolboy uniforms though. If any readers have odd requests out there; they can request anything they want too! Check it out at pledgemusic.com/thevontramps. Any pledges you make help us finish this album!

It’s very cool to see Dustin Phillips (The Ataris, All the Right Moves) on the production. What’s he’s bringing to the sounds and songs?

Gosh everything! He’s been like my right hand on this whole thing. We started the project ourselves with an engineer from Chicago who ended up having a mental break and sabotaged our project. When we lost our first engineer/producer, Dustin stepped in during absolute chaos and has been an incredible asset to our Tramp team. He’s our producer, engineer, therapist, motivational speaker, and friend. And of course Dustin is a pro musician too (I mean, Dustin’s first drumset was a gift from Phil Collins; so we know there’s magic there!) He plays everything so talking to him about parts and ideas is this awesome brainstorming process. I remember thinking working with him “Is it really THIS easy?!” and that says a lot because recording is hell. A good producer makes it really easy on the artist and it’s been a pretty comfortable process since he jumped on.

I can’t wait for you to hear what we’ve done together. We’re going to be releasing a single within the next couple weeks so please stay posted to our pledge campaign; thevontramps.com; and our facebook page: facebook.com/thevontramps to hear it!

Photo by Erica Rae