WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . THE TRONS: Tune up, plug in and turn on

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WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . THE TRONS: Tune up, plug in and turn on
Some weeks ago Elsewhere posted a clip of this extraordinary and possibly unique band out of Hamilton (aka "The Tron") in New Zealand onto Facebook.

They seemed to have disappeared so we asked: “What happened to this band? Musical differences?”

The answers were interesting, someone suggested clashing egos, another thought power struggles.

The few who responded were all enthusiastic about the group and then Greg Locke – the mainman behind the band and a member of the Emersons – responded.

“They got burn out. Rebuilding themselves for another lash at the circuits. They've learnt some more tricks and licks too, just got to entice them back out of the garage.

“But they could be into some more studio stuff first. Get their confidence back.”

This would be great news because Ham Hornhead (vocals, rhythm guitar), Fiona Farfisa (keyboards, bass), Swamp (drums) and Wiggolowski Motor-Finger aka Wiggy (lead guitar) are deserving of a rediscovery.

Three years ago when I was involved in the Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa exhibition at the Auckland War Memorial Museum one of my earliest suggestions was to have the Trons play at the entrance.

They would have been the most spoken-about band in the show.

But for reasons beyond my control or comprehension that didn't happen.

And anyway I think they went on tour to Europe around that time so . . .

So why think about them now?

Because the Trons were/are rare and so it was good news to hear from Locke that they might be doing something again soon.

That something is quite something . . . as the clip below shows.

a2787212280_10The Trons were the project of Greg Locke (video clips by Emit Snakebeings) and it is no surprise to see the Len Lye Foundation thanked in the liner notes to their CD/DVD set which came out in 2010.

One track on the album Twister included a sample from the Lye kinetic sculpture Trilogy.

When we reviewed the album package at the time we noted, “This is an impressive art-cum-rock project: an installation which actually does something and makes you laugh, dance and think. It's also quite unnerving for some . . .”

At the time we also mentioned Devo and Kraftwerk in relation to this “self-playing robot garage band”.

In our pages of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . we have introduced or encountered some of the more unusual figures in and around the music business.

But the Trons – who appeared around 2008 – perhaps qualify as among the oddest and most memorable.

And they achieved that without saying a word or doin an interview . . . except this one with Ham Hornhead at Elsewhere!

You can hear the Trons on Spotify here

To but a copy of the Trons CD/DVD for $NZ10 plus postage you can message Greg Locke on Facebook for details. You owe it to yourself and especially any children in your orbit to see and hear the Trons.

For other articles in the series of strange or different characters in music, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . go here.

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