Article by: Wendy Podmenik Darugar
Photo courtesy of The Trongone Band
Currently making a splash on the Southern Rock scene with the June 2017 release of their debut album, Keys to the House, Richmond VA’s own Trongone Band is branching out on tour throughout the east coast and adding new fans to their devout local base. The band generously etched a few minutes out of their tight schedule to answer a few questions for MonkeyGoose magazine about their inspirations and upcoming events.
MG: The Trongone Band is built around the foundation of two brothers, Andrew and Johnny Trongone. At what age did each one pick up an instrument, and was there any particular song or artist that inspired that move?
TB: I picked up the guitar when I was 10, and it was Clapton and Skynyrd that really got me excited about the instrument. My brother got some drums when he was 8, Zeppelin was the band that really inspired him to start playing.
MG: Your debut album Keys to the House has a strong, coherent style throughout. In listening to it, I can hear influences of The Black Crowes, The Allman Brothers, and other Southern Rock greats. In your opinions, what bands out there today lead the resurgence of Southern Rock? What is The Trongone Band’s personal goal?
TB: Lots of great bands out there keeping southern rock alive. Some personal favorites are Sturgill Simpson, Blackberry Smoke, Jason Isbell, and American Aquarium, Band of Heathens, to list a few. Keep writing, keep traveling, and keep rock n roll alive.
MG: My “must listen” track from Keys to the House is the lead track, “Blind”, with its soulful harmonies and funky vibe. Who wrote the song, and what was the inspiration?
TB: We wrote the music collectively. The lyrics came later. I sat on the song for while before the write words came out. The inspiration came from specific things that were going on in my life at the time. The song is all about realization.
MG: I’m from the Hampton Roads area in southeastern Virginia, and we are fortunate to have a small but tight music scene, especially in the blues genre. How supportive is the scene in Richmond, and was it difficult to make the jump out of Richmond and become a regional name?
TB: Richmond’s music scene is super supportive to one another and is constantly growing. We’re also very tight, like one big family. Lots of amazing musicians, lots of music lovers that support the scene. It definitely takes time and work to grow regionally, but luckily Richmond is relatively close to multiple close by cities so that helps when starting to branch out.
MG: The Trongone Band has recently started a fall tour of the east coast. Over this past year, which music events were highlights for the band, and what major events are you looking forward to?
TB: We always have a blast at Roosterwalk Festival and this year was no different, also our tour with American Aquarium was a major highlight. Looking forward to getting down to Texas, New Orleans, and back over seas soon.
For more information on purchasing their debut album or catching them on a tour date, please click on: