INTERVIEW: Trophy Wife. February 15th, 2024.


It was the day after Valentines Day and love for great music was in the air

By Angelo Comeaux

February 19, 2024

Trophy Wife left to right: Christian, Michael, McKenzie

On February 15th we caught Trophy Wife for an interview in a cramped bathroom hallway before their headlining set at Brooklyn’s Purgatory Bar. We discussed their origin story, their shared experience as Berklee College Of Music students, and exciting new music they’re cooking up. Below are edited excerpts from our conversation.

We’re here at Purgatory Bar with Trophy Wife, right next door to The Most Holy Trinity Cemetery. Let’s start with an introduction. Who are you and what do you play in the band?

McKenzie: I’m McKenzie, I sing and play guitar.

Michael: I’m Michael, I play drums.

Christian: I’m Christain and I play bass.

How’d you all start playing together?

McKenzie: We all went to the same college, Berklee, and a couple years back I had written a lot of songs. Not a lot. Five... four. Some of my roommates convinced me to record them. We were trying to find people and we knew Christian and decided “we’re going to grab him”. So we grabbed him, put him on, recorded Bruiser. Then our friend didn’t end up being able to join the band and we found Michael. Because Michael, we heard, was epic and learned drum parts really really fast. And it’s true. We’ve been together ever since.

The first time we ever saw you was at Heaven Can Wait. We bought one of your shirts but got so fucked up that we lost it. Woke up with no shirt to be found. But we got another one tonight to complete the redemption arc. The second time seeing you play was at the Panik Flower EP release at Union Pool. Cool venue, had you ever played there before?

McKenzie: Nope.

Christian: Never had been there before, cool place though.

Cool place, great sound.

Christian: Yeah. The guy who was running sound sent us all the stems and mixed them. Apparently he has his own mixing service, they’re really good.

Live album in the works?

Michael: Album in the works!

Easy, breezy

We’ll get to that in a bit. So you all went to Berklee College of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We’re from the west coast and so from our perspective Berklee seemed like a fascinating place because there was just no equivalent institution on the west coast. What can you say about your time there?

Christian: Everybody goes there with a different outcome in mind. For me I didn’t really go there to learn how to read music or be a session musician. I just needed to get out of my hometown and find like-minded people. I could have been a better student but I’m glad I went there, I wouldn’t have met any of these guys otherwise.

McKenzie: Exactly. If I had stayed in my home town I probably wouldn’t be doing this. I’d probably be… sad.

Michael: I think Berklee has a lot of different avenues you can go down. The best thing it is is a vehicle to meet so many different people who want to make music. It’s what you make of it.

McKenzie: Some people don’t like it.

Christian: One of the biggest mistakes I would see there is people spending all of their time in their room doing homework. Which is the worst thing you can do. You’re never going to meet anybody. The homework should be you go out with your friends, go to different shows, meet other people. That’s what I ended up doing and I feel like it’s coming together.

Michael: Totally. I’m still finishing there actually. It’s been interesting doing this and trying to also manage that. It’s an interesting place. But coming back to it, it really is what you make of it. The people you meet are the best part of Berklee. You can do a lot with it but you can also kind of not do a lot with it. They don’t force you to do a lot with it.

We saw online recently that you were out on the farm? Doing some recording?

McKenzie: Yeah we’re working on a good chunk of songs. It’ll be a while, but we’re working on an album. We’re going to play some new songs from it tonight.

Michael: We’re bringing more and more of them into the setlist and people will hear them eventually.

Trophy Wife is PDA music

Speaking of new music, what’s been inspiring your current music these days?

McKenzie: Uhm I listen to a lot of Arthur Russell, and a lot of Xiu Xiu, and a lot of Tori Amos. Our music does not sound like Xiu Xiu, that would be cool. But it still feels like something that’s been pulled from.

Christian: I guess instrumentally I come at my parts with a Nirvana/Sonic Youth kind of thing. But when we were on the farm recording there was one song where I tuned the guitars all the way down and made these really gross sounds like that band Swans. I love to do feedback in songs and stuff like that.

Michael: I’ve been lately listening to a lot of Xiu Xiu, Wednesday, MJ Lenderman, Waxahatchee. It’s definitely been an influence on some of the newer things. In terms of approaching the parts I like singer songwriter stuff a lot even as a drummer and in the end I want to compliment McKenzie’s vocal parts. That’s what I think of the most when I play the drums in terms of creating a song.

Seems like you travel up and down this east coast corridor of NYC, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Boston. Where do you play the majority of your shows?

McKenzie: New York, but we play a lot in Boston. We play wherever we can.

What do you think about the New York scene?

McKenzie: I really love it. I think that it’s been really fun. We’e met a lot of awesome people. I love the venues here, I love playing at places like Purgatory.

Michael: I feel like there’s a lot of really good acts. A lot of people are very supportive. You can very quickly make a lot of friends in the scene. It’s been pretty positive so far.

Any 2024 plans you want to share?

McKenzie: Yeah, we’re planning on trying to release some new music and do a little bit of touring. And we have a bunch of shows planned in general.

Seems like it will be a busy spring!

Christian: God I hope so, need to get back out there.

This bathroom is occupied


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