Founding member of folk/punk icons Violent Femmes and artist extraordinaire Victor DeLorenzo presents his new ‘Tranceaphone’ EP, a five-track offering full of intriguing fusion and fun. This is the first recording under his name Victor DeLorenzo since 2013 and his sixth release overall.
Best-known as drummer for Violent Femmes throughout the 1980s, DeLorenzo came into his own in the mid-’90s with a solo career. In the course of his career, DeLorenzo has also had the pleasure of being an actor, writer, audio engineer and producer. His acting career got an incredible launch when he replaced Willem Dafoe in the Milwaukee-based theater company Theatre X, when Willem left for stage and film brilliance in NYC and beyond.
DeLorenzo is also one-half of the chamber rock duo Nineteen Thirteen with cellist Janet Schiff, and was previously the drummer in Moe Tucker’s band, which also included former Velvet Underground bandmate Sterling Morrison in the mid to late 90s.
“I wanted to write a collection of music that suggests a story, but doesn’t really lay anything out in a concrete way. A mystery of omission featuring a folk/art instrument as a good luck charm. Whatever happens to the maybe woman and man in this story is anybody’s guess, but the cadence of the lyrics against the musical thought intrigues me. It’s like listening to a film noir feature if pictures could sing,” says Victor DeLorenzo.
“The ‘Tranceaphone’ EP is lovingly based on the idea of multiple layers of drum choirs that sing out not only in time, but with joyfully implied melodies that bob and weave. After recording different drum systems, I then wrote music that could breathe within the improvised drum set structures. The bass parts are very important to the drum sounds on this Ep in the way the bass and drum parts help to create a sonic mystery of sorts for the vocals to hide in.”
DeLorenzo’s signature sound is a result of his minimalist drum set. He often uses nothing more than a snare drum, a tranceaphone and steel brushes. The tranceaphone consists of a metal bushel basket inverted over a tom. He favors this style of drum set because in their early days, The Femmes often played on the streets.
Originally from Racine, Wisconsin, DeLorenzo moved to Milwaukee after high school. An actor from the age of five and drummer from 16, he paired up with bassist Brian Ritchie in 1980 as a rhythm section they called ‘Violent Femmes’ and were eventually joined by singer, guitarist and songwriter Gordon Gano in 1981. DeLorenzo’s father loaned the band $10,000 to record their eponymous debut album in 1982, an album that was delayed until 1983 upon signing to Slash Records.
DeLorenzo continued to record and tour with the Femmes until 1993, when he left to devote more time to acting and to recording his own music. In 2000, he teamed up with Ritchie to put together a Femmes compilation, and subsequently rejoined the band until disbanding again in 2009. In March 2013, Gano, Ritchie and DeLorenzo reformed Violent Femmes once more and played a homecoming show at the Summerfest music festival in their native Milwaukee.
Produced by Victor DeLorenzo
Recorded and Mixed by Victor DeLorenzo at The Past Office
Mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering
Victor/Tranceaphone drawing by Carri Skoczek
Back Cover Photo by Michael Hoffmann
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‘Tranceaphone’: Victor – Tranceaphone, Gretsch snare drum, Cymbal, Bass, Vocal; Mike
Hoffmann – Electric Guitars, Vocal; Janet Schiff – Synth Strings
‘Lullaby’: Victor – Vocal, Keyboards, Drumsets, Percussion; Janet – Cello, Keyboards, Bass;
Mike – Electric Guitar
‘Invisible Shadows’: Victor – Vocals, Bass, Keyboards, Drumsets, Percussion; Janet – Keyboards
‘Then Don’t Say A Word’: Victor – Drumsets, Vocals, Keyboards; Janet – Bass, Synth Vocals, Keyboards
‘When She’s There’: Victor – Vocals, Drumsets, Percussion, Keyboards; Monia – Vocal; Matt Meixner – Keyboards;
Janet – Bass
“DeLorenzo proves himself to be a master of his craft, with compositions… This is an EP that will summon mental associations with Talking Heads, David J (of Bauhaus) and The Velvet Underground, but will nevertheless find you painting an entirely new canvas of delight with DeLorenzo’s delightful and clever sonic paintbrush” – Big Takeover Magazine
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