Justin Tranter of Semi Precious Weapons: Interview

And your whole look with the hair and the eyes and all, is this a result of the band?

It was a little bit before the band. When I was in high school, I looked really crazy and loved it. Then when I moved to Boston, it's such a weird, stuffy, conservative place that I kind of toned down a little bit. But then when I went to New York, I started looking really crazy again, and bleached my hair, and the whole thing.

Well, it definitely works for the whole package…

It does, yeah.

Is there a rule? Does everyone in the band have to dress a certain way?

No, they look however they want. It's funny, a lot of people get confused, we got a review a little bit ago, and they said 'When's the last time you saw a drummer kill it in six-inch stilettos?' And we were like, 'Not in this band.' People see me and think the whole band looks like that. That we're all updating the New York Dolls and we all cross-dress. One, I don't even consider what I do cross-dressing. I consider it fashion. And two, they just look like cool guys. I can't even get them to wear boots, let alone heels. They wear sneakers to perform in.

So you have no say in that…

No, and now we'll do it for, like, fun. You sit in a van for so long, you need something to talk about. So we'll talk about what we can dress like next, and what we all want to wear…

And this is the first big tour?

We've done a lot where we'll fly to L.A. and do three shows there, then San Diego, Vegas, and fly home. Or well do the whole east coast. But this is the first time we just left for three months straight.

And I don't know the hierarchy… you're the headliner?

We've been switching a little bit with Von Iva, depending on where we are.

I'm not familiar with them, so I just figure the band I know should be the one at the top…

Well, they're a really fucking awesome band, an all-girl group from San Francisco. The lead singer, Jillian, can sing her ass off. All three girls can play really well. It's a party band, they're really fun.

And the word is out? You're selling out a lot of dates?

It depends. For us, we can do 1,000 people in New York City, and then drive two hours and play to 75 in Philly. Or only 200 in Boston. Our DC show was sold out, randomly. So it depends on where we are. We did really well in Texas, which was amazing. You can never really know. For the most part we've been really pleased.

I remember one time I was into, I don't know if you ever heard of them, Extra Fancy?


It was this queercore band with this HIV+ bald guy who's beat on this 50-gallon steel drum onstage.


Just a muscular, butch guy with a shaved head. And they were coming to Philly once, and I figured it's going to be the biggest sold out show ever. So I go there, and it's me and four other people. And they were signed to Atlantic, and I'm baffled to this day why that happened. They still had fun with it, though.

Yeah, you just never know.

Since Oasis is a gay youth site, I was intrigued because… I think your publicist described it as he's "openly open…"

Yes. That's pretty much it.

So, you don't like the boxes, basically?

I just don't fit in the box. I think the term bisexual is so boring. It's so 90's. I'm over it. I'm just interested in people. I've mainly dated men, but I haven't been a real relationship for like three years anyway. And I'm attracted to everybody, especially blondes. And I find more platinum blondes that are women, normally, than I do men.

On our site, we have a lot of kids who are struggling to find… and I always tell them wait ten years, look back, and label what happened.


Did you go through the whole 'I'm gay, now I'm bi, now…'

Yeah, I first came out when I was 14. I just said I was gay, and I was only attracted to men for a long time. And it's been the past three or four years that I've started being attracted to women. It was a friend of ours, and an SPW figure, Platinum Ann… a lot of people know her and love her, and she hosts parties.

When I first met her, she was so insane. She's the same height I am , and looks very similar. It was just like awesome. So her and I, I don't know if you'd call it a relationship, we spent a lot of time together for six months, and had lots of sex and it was fantastic. But now we're just friends and there's no weirdness.

It just seems I talk a lot about the agony of labels…

That just needs to end. I get it so many different ways, too, because it's not just who I prefer to have sex with, it's 'Are you a cross-dresser? Are you a drag queen? Are you a tranny? Are you transitioning?' And I'm like, 'No, I just think this is what looks best. It's what makes me feel the prettiest.


Sykes's picture

Her hair, her hair, her hair

Her hair, her hair, her hair is on fire :O
She don't want no water let her fucking head burn! XD

I am sooo adding him to my list of heroes. There's Ellen DeGeneres, Calvin & Hobbes, and now Justin Tranter as well!
"I don't drink booze cause my heart's explosive.
I gave up food cause the shit's expensive.
I know you want to be me, but baby it ain't easy!"
- Semi Precious Weapons

bleepbleepflashbleep's picture

i love semi precious weapons.

justin tranter is amazing. that's all.
you're something to die for.