Sometimes you can just sense that a band is a lot of fun, even before you know much about them. Take the New York City-based punk-pop band T-Rextasy for example. Their promotional photos show the ladies, Lyris, Vera, Ebun and Annie, with huge cat-ate-the-canary grins and you just know that they’re up to something. Then there’s that nickname; T-Rextasy sometimes refer to themselves as the “dashing dino dames.” And should your first exposure to the band be through the quirky, low budget video for “Girl, Friend,” well, the deal is sealed.
T-Rextasy is currently in the throes of a North American tour and our email interview with the band clearly demonstrates that the girls are as much fun off stage as they are on. Music can be a great healer and if you want to be carefree for a while just spend some time with Lyris, Ebun, Annie and Vera. Their commentary below is given exclusively to AXS.com.
AXS: We don’t think we’ve ever seen anyone having so much fun with an inflatable pool that doesn’t even have any water in it as T-Rextasy does in the video for “Girl, Friend.” Tell us a little about the making of that video.
Vera: We shot it at Inspiration Point in Manhattan. Picture this: Greek columns, the George Washington Bridge and the Palisades in the background, all our friends, an empty inflatable pool, and a mannequin we found on the side of the street…
Lyris: …on the way to making the music video!
Annie: A few months ago Lyris said, “Wouldn't it be great to make a music video with all our friends that are being cool together and cute together?” And I was like, yes, and then we realized we didn’t have any money so we had to make it ourselves. Emily Cohn, one of my friends, helped me direct it. The idea morphed into this ‘T-Rextasy playing Cupid’ pool setup. We found Inspiration Point because Vera knew about it.
Lyris: It ended up being really perfect because the place has these Greek columns and the point of the video is that we’re playing Cupid. So it all turned out perfectly. Serendipitous. And we had a lot of good snacks.
AXS: The band sent out a call for a tour manager on Facebook, and you’ve just begun a new tour. Did that work out for you, and what duties does your tour manager have?
Lyris: Yes, we found a tour manager. They do a lot of driving for us, mostly because out of the five touring party there are only two licenses.
Vera: I, Vera Kahn, drove 3/4 of the way from Buffalo to St. Louis.
Lyris: Vera just learned how to drive today. I’ve been really proud of her, she’s getting the hang of it.
Annie: Our tour manager does a lot more than just drive.
Vera: They help us sell our merch and with finding us a place to stay. But also when we negotiate things, the tour manager will ask the questions for us, because if we do it, it might feel pushy.
Annie: They keep track of our schedule and our expenses. I mean, not really!
AXS: The current T-Rextasy tour is about a month long; other than the day’s performance, what do you like most about being on the road and what aspects of home do you miss the most?
Ebun: I miss having access to a body-length mirror 24/7.
Annie: I miss my parents providing me with a beautiful unending bounty of food that’s not hummus that comes out of our smelly cooler. Being in a car can be boring but it also makes you do things that you wouldn’t normally do. When I’m on tour I read a lot and write all the time. I feel more present than in the everyday life.
Vera: I really like driving, which is what I, Vera Kahn, have just learned. I’m saying my name all the time so you know who I am.
Lyris: Honestly, I miss real toilet paper. Because a lot of the places that we go to don’t have it. They’ll have coffee filters that serve as toilet paper. It’s not a joke. And then I miss the more general lack of comforting things, like beds.
Vera: There are also a lot of awesome shows happening in New York that we have to miss and that’s a bummer.
AXS: All of you seem very upbeat, but is there a particular band member who’s a prankster, or who lightens things up on a down day?
Lyris: I think that we equally play the part of prankster and lighten up people’s day. We’re all very silly and like to take care of each other. Except when my bandmates buy really spicy hummus. My mouth is still burning.
Annie: Sometimes, Lyris likes to listen to this song called “Me and Mrs. Jones”. I think the good version is by Sam Cooke.
Vera: No, the good version is by Michael Buble.
Lyris: No, It’s not Sam Cooke. I don’t know his name. [She’s thinking of Billy Paul]
Vera: The joke is, we play the Michael Buble version and the beginning of the song is so inscrutable that you don’t realize until the sweet strains of Buble come in that it’s him.
Ebun: Every single person in this van makes me laugh so hard. I’m so grateful for each of them, they’re just such amazing lights.
Vera: I think Ebun lights up the mood. I was driving today and I could hear her laughing really hard from the backseat. So everyone was laughing and then I started laughing.
Lyris: Ebun was making fun of me because my phone is falling apart and she told me: “Lyris, you’re such a fool, why didn’t you get it fixed?”
Annie: Everyone is such a joy. I feel that the biggest prankster sometimes is just circumstance. At times, we’ll be laughing really hard and enjoying ourselves when we think for a second that we’re rock stars. Or we’ll realize our whole car is filled with fruit flies and smells like spoiled half and half because one of our band members has to drink her coffee with a gallon of half and half in it.
AXS: What are the band’s plans when you come off the road? Are you working on a new EP or Album?
Annie: We finished recording an album over the winter.
Ebun: After the tour, I’m going back to school because I have one more year left.
Vera: I have three goals. To get my driver’s license, to move out of my parents’ house and to stop working in food service and support myself solely on doing sound tech and concert stuff.
Annie: I have nebulous plans of working with children and various kinds of art. I’m working on a new project (movie) that I’ll write in the car. I love making art with my friends.
Lyris: My big goal is to get a credit card so I can start building credit and be a grown-up. Then eventually one day I’ll rent my own apartment. You need a good credit score to rent one. I’d also like to stop making mistakes and be confident in my choices.
Find more T-Rextasy information including tour dates here.