Happy Mondays Interview Series: Trans Charger Metropolis

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Trans Charger Metropolis has only been around a year, but they’ve already made an impact. In fact, before they played their first show we had heard nothing about buzz about the band. And it makes perfect sense, their gritty, fun and freewheeling rock ‘n’ roll sound is the perfect soundtrack to late nights of drinking and revelry, and who can’t get behind that?

Tonight, the band performs with InCircles and The Brixton Riot at Happy Mondays at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park. We caught up with Justin Normandy of Trans Charger Metropolis to talk about the band’s one-year history, becoming the Nature Boy of rock ‘n’ roll and their new album.

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Trans Charger Metropolis is: Justin Normandy, Ryan Schaefer, Jaime Hom, Rick Petrucha

We Formed in: 2012

We’re Based out of: Red Bank, NJ

Other Bands We’ve Performed In: The Loud Mouths, The Shaking Four, The Ruffs, The New Gods, Ten More

Any New Music Coming Soon? Our Second LP Haunted House Birds will be out before the end of the year.

Our Sound Is Likened to: A Post-Drunk Freakbeat Cheap Trick in KISS makeup

Famous/Awesome Band performed with before: Not really anybody, though we did play with this heavy metal Bee Gees cover band. The alternative could be worse, we could be opening for Southside Johnny.

Pop-Break: You guys performed your first show a little over a year ago at The Asbury Lanes. How do you think you guys have evolved as a band from a performance standpoint since then?

Justin Normandy: When Ryan and I made Best Idea Generation we really didn’t have any kind of pre-conception on where everything was gonna go after the record was done. When we made the decision to get a band together and do the show at the Lanes, it was really exciting. To be able to hear those songs in a live setting for the first time, it really gave them a whole new dimension. Since then we’ve really become a band in every sense of the word. Jaime and Rick are an integral part of Trans Charger now and the new tunes have greatly benefited from their presence.

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Pop-Break: Also, you’re working on a new record — how much has the music changed since you guys released your LP last summer?

Justin Normandy: The biggest change is that this record is being recorded with a full band, as opposed to Best Idea Generation which was strictly Ryan and I playing everything. My songwriting process has not really changed. Though I am always trying to move forward and push things in different directions. Sonically the record will be a step up from Best Idea.., but the whole album is still being recorded in my basement.

Pop-Break: If someone is reading this and discovering you for the first time and wants to listen to a song of yours to truly get the essence of Trans Charger Metropolis which song would it be and why?

Justin Normandy: I find most people gravitate to the opening track off the first LP, “A Less Dense Dimension.” I’d probably pick “Continue Me (Continue You).” Our most exciting songs are the new shit though. We got this song called “Witchy Chicks” which is my favorite at the moment.

Pop-Break: What can the people coming out to Happy Mondays expect to see from you guys in terms of a live experience?

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Justin Normandy: A loud, fast, beer fueled rock show. We aim to be the Naitch (“Nature Boy” Ric Flair) of rock bands. Regardless of our spot on the card, we’re the main event.

Pop-Break: The Jersey Shore scene has so many bands performing in it right now, so what makes Trans Charger Metropolis stand out — from a musical standpoint?

Justin Normandy: Not that you can really do anything that hasn’t been done before in rock ‘n’ roll, but as far as the Jersey Shore “scene” I don’t really hear anybody else writing songs like ours. Our stuff is generally short and to the point, with the focus being on melody. We don’t rehearse much, we like to keep things loose and fun. I think the spontaneity of our recordings as well as our live shows is one of our greatest strengths as a band. We just make music that we wanna listen to and we have fun doing it. I think people can pick up on those vibes. We don’t take shit too seriously.

Pop-Break: What do you have planned for the rest of 2014?

Justin Normandy: We’ll be finishing up recording our 2nd LP “Haunted House Birds” and setting a release date. Then maybe we’ll open for Southside Johnny.

Bill Bodkin is the owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, however, he is the proud father of a beautiful daughter, Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites

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