From The Desk Of The Foxymorons: Jennifer Herrema And Royal Trux

David Dewese and Jerry James, the friends that make records as the Foxymorons, met at church camp when they were in high school. They discovered they had an affinity for noisy, primitive rock bands. Since they both played rudimentary guitar, they thought about starting a band. Eventually, the duo honed its chops and began writing and recording. Although they’d never played live, their debut album, Calcutta, got stellar reviews in Pitchfork and Paste. As soon as it was out, Dewese moved to Nashville to play in an alt-country band. James stayed in Texas. They’ve maintained a long-distance collaboration ever since. New LP Fake Yoga has elements drawn from country and pop music, including Beach Boys-flavored harmonies, but the album is dominated by their distorted, almost metallic guitar work. James and Dewese will be guest editing all week. Read our new feature on them.


James: In 1997, I saw Royal Trux open for Pavement at a club called Trees in the Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas. The band were essentially the duo of Jennifer Herrema and Neil Hagerty, an enigmatic, brooding, bangs-in-their-eyes couple that made bluesy, weird, mystifying rock music. I was afraid of them. Mostly, I was afraid of Jennifer Herrema. The night of the show, I saw them walking down the sidewalk toward me and quickly averted my gaze to avoid eye contact. What if she gave me a withering look, or worse, knifed me? The show was great. Neil played guitar while Jennifer stalked the stage in cowboy boots and ripped jeans, growling into the microphone. I was transfixed. (BTW, one of the weirder moments of the 1990s was when Calvin Klein used her in a campaign for CK One. Remember that?) Afterward, I worked up the courage to say hello and ask for a photo together. Of course, I loved their music, but part of me just thought that the juxtaposition of contrasting personalities would be funny: Jennifer Herrema’s druggy, scary persona meeting with my nerdy, buttoned-up, stuttering one. Of course, she turned out not to be half as scary as I expected. She was actually nice. All that to say, you could do worse than checking out my two favorite Royal Trux records: Cats And Dogs and Accelerator. (As a side note, I refuse to listen to 1997’s Sweet Sixteen on general principle; the cover is disgusting.) Both records are weird, dirty, Stones-y and awesome. When David and I are hanging out and driving around, occasionally we put on Accelerator and wordlessly rock out, soaking up the chaotic, blissed-out riffs. Give it a try sometime and get back to me.

Video after the jump.