Trans AM is a band that has played a huge part in creating the sonic feel of TransWorld SKATEboarding videos for the better part of the last decade. By providing integral soundscapes for memorable parts in TransWorld classics including, Subtleties, Are You Alright?, Feedback, Anthology, and The Reason, just to name a few, Trans AM may be the most used band in the history of skateboarding, at very least, it’s the most used band in the history of TransWorld SKATEboarding. Well, Trans Am has a new album coming out, and its fucking incredible. With songs ranging from full-speed future-punk to vocoder slow sex jams, Trans Am’s Volume X is an album that needs to be heard to truly grasp its awesomeness. We connected with Trans’s AM’s, Nathan Means, to get the vibe on the new album and talk about the band’s history of skate-soundtrack domination.—Chris Cote
Trans AM I’ll Never
What’s it like knowing your band has played a huge part in the history of TransWorld SKATEboarding? Trans AM has provided pieces of soundtracks for films that have now become classics.
It’s so flattering and humbling. First off, then and now, when I see what these guys do on skateboards it just baffles my mind. I mean, they do it—they put in the blood and skill, we were just lucky enough to have the creators, filmers, editors, of those films like our music and chose to use it for their projects. Simply put, it’s an honor to have been a small part of TransWorld SKATEboarding, we are the ones that should be saying thank you.
Subtleties Montage featuring Trans AM Outmoder
Why does your music go so well to skateboarding?
I don’t know. I mean, we play a pretty odd type of music I guess that has a speed or feeling or energy that seems to sounds good when paired with skateboarding. Again, we’re just so happy to be a part of those videos.
Some bands are a pain in the ass to get clearance to use in skate or surf videos, you guys seems really cool about it.
Well, we have a great label that appreciates that kind of usage, and we do to. There have been a lot of bands that myself and my band members, especially the drummer, Phil have discovered through skate videos, so to be a part of that is incredible. We visited the TransWorld office one time and that was awesome. It was really cool when people would send us physical DVDs of skate videos we had music in and we would watch them all the time, it is and was always inspiring to watch and hear what was going on in skate videos.
Volume X is Trans AM’s tenth studio album, yet you guys are all spread out across the country and have been for a while now—what’s the glue that holds this band together?
I guess it’s more of just a part of our lives. It’s like asking someone what’s it like to have a brother? At this point, we just are Trans AM—it’s part of us, for better or for worse. You wake up in the morning and Trans Am is there. Ten years ago, we all spread out around the world, but we’d always just assumed that we’d be a band and make music we love, forever.
What was the process like for writing and recording Volume X?
We would send songs to each other, talk on the phone, meet up and jam, and once we figured out we had an album worth of material, we just went for it.
The new album rips. The single, out now, I’ll Never is killing, it’s so good.
Yeah that song was me messing around at home on the computer. It was a song I came up with quickly and the band hated how I did it. But when we were recording, our drummer, Sebastian started randomly playing this really slow beat, and I started singing over it with the vocoder, and something just clicked. I guess it works, I don’t know, that song came from a bit of creative tension and came out the other side as a song we love.
What’s next for Trans AM?
We’re going on tour, like, tomorrow, so hopefully we’ll come to a town near you and you can come hang out with us.
Anthology night montage featuring Trans AM MOTR
Trans AM 2014 Tour Dates
Thu May 22 – Washington, DC – The Black Cat w/ Heavy Breathing
Fri May 23 – Brooklyn, NY – The Knitting Factory w/ Dan Friel, Chron Turbine
Sat May 24 – Pittsburgh, PA – Smiling Moose w/ Microwaves, The Lopez
Sun May 25 – Chicago, IL – The Empty Bottle w/ Cave, Kava
Tue May 27 – St. Louis, MO – The Firebird w/ Ring Cicada, The Gorge
Wed May 28 – Kansas City, MO – Record Bar w/ Kelly Stoltz, Major Games
Thu May 29 – Dallas, TX – Three Links w/ New Fumes, Jack Dover
Fri May 30 – Houston, TX – Rudyard’s Pub w/ Vacation Eyes, Wicked Poseur
Sat May 31 – Austin, TX – Red 7 w/ Survive, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth
Mon Jun 2 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom w/ Larkspurs
Tue Jun 3 – Los Angeles, CA – The Satellite w/ Kid 606, David Scott Stone
Wed Jun 4 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent w/ Golden Void, Death Cheetah
Sixth Sense Montage featuring Trans AM Stereo Situation