Hey everybody, meet Thin Lips! They're a new-ish band out of Philadelphia who will be releasing their debut tomorrow. It's called "Riff Hard" because that's what vocalist Chrissy Trashjian has tattoo'd on her knuckles. Pretty badass, right? Well, so is the album... it's poppy, it's punky, yet it's not quite pop-punk. Here's what Chrissy had to tell us about it!
PRT: Your band is called Thin Lips, a song on the album is called “My Mouth Is Skinned Like An Apple”… what’s with the obsession with your mouth?
Chrissy: Well I'm not entirely certain it's an obsession with my own mouth, but I do find the human mouth wildly fascinating. The mouth is a very interesting and questionable gray area between the outside and inside of your body. You can see your actual skeleton inside of it. Mouths deliver your words or melodies or screams into the world but can also be so expressive without sound (smirking, smiling, frowning) . Mouths can be really sexy. I actually have more songs about teeth and mouths and tongues.
PRT: How did you decide on the name Thin Lips? Ten years ago I would have thought it was a clever ploy to end up right next to the Thin Lizzy albums (who riff pretty hard as well) in a record store. But it’s 2016 and there are hardly any record stores left.
Chrissy: Wow I should be so lucky... Thin Lizzy rips. Our band name is about not being able to keep secrets. I've struggled with a lot of mental health issues throughout my life and have always used song writing as a means of therapy, so thin lips the band name developed out the idea that I'm telling some of my most closely guarded truths in songs.
PRT: You released your first EP last year, your debut full-length comes out in a couple of days, you already toured with Hop Along, Cayetana and The Front Bottoms and have a summer tour coming up with Modern Baseball and Joyce Manor. Would you agree that things are going rather well for you?
Chrissy: I feel so Insanely lucky to have toured with such amazing people who I truly admire. How could I not agree?
PRT: Anything about that tour with Modern Baseball and Joyce Manor you are especially looking forward to?
Chrissy: WOW so many things. So pumped to get to hear these bands so many times. I'm also really excited to go back to the West Coast! I haven't been in over three years!
PRT: The album has this spontaneous vibe to it. Was it as easy to record as it sounds?
Chrissy: lols nope.... Kyle Pulley our bass player is the Co-owner (with Joe Reinhardt-hop along/algernon cadwallader) of a studio in North Philly called The Headroom, so working with a producer that is in the band led to throwing a lot of different ideas around. We workshopped the songs for a while, then demoed them, and deliberated a lot about exactly how we wanted it to sound. I appreciate that it comes off that way, I definitely wanted it to have an organic vibe but we worked really hard and recorded and re-recorded, then mixed and re-mixed a lot of it until we where happy.
PRT: While you definitely sound both poppy and punky, I wouldn’t call you a pop-punk band. How would you describe your band to someone who has never heard Thin Lips before?
Chrissy: I always just say its kind of pop and kind of punk but not really pop punk? a little noodley sometimes, a little riffy other times.
PRT: Noisey recently premiered your video for “Never Again” and described it as ‘queer, pop punk raucous energy’. At the same time it is nowadays considered sexist to say a band is female-fronted (you’re supposed to say it’s just a band). Which made me wonder… why is it okay to say a band is playing queer punk or queercore but not okay to draw attention to the fact that a band is female-fronted? Do those two terms come with different connotations? This is a really long question!
Chrissy: Hmmmm.... I think this is a good question but also a pretty complicated one. I think assuming someone identifies as female is really tricky. I definitely identify as a butch woman, however other people who look or present like me may not. Assuming someone identifies as either male or female is something that queer culture is trying to abolish, the binary is oppressive, and assuming someones identity can become really transphobic. Queer is a larger umbrella that leaves space for different genders and identities and also the fact that those things can change for people.
PRT: Being a big fan of nice people and plants, I found it charming that you describe yourselves as ‘four buds who would gladly water your plants if you asked them to’. But who’s watering your plants when you’re on tour all summer?
Chrissy: Hopefully my perfect roommates at my house 'the philadelphia hysterical society'
PRT: What’s up next for you after that summer tour?
Chrissy: gaycation in maine <3 writing new songs and hopefully touring forever?