Klay Fennema doesn’t mind letting people in on his dirty little secret.
“I am not even ashamed to admit that we all have shopped in the ladies department for clothing before,” he said with a laugh.
That’s just one of the prices that Fennema and his band, Trixy Tang, have paid to resurrect the hair metal and glam rock of yesteryear, re-working it in a way that makes it relevant today.
From big hair and shades to spandex and leather pants, the Grand Rapids-based group prides itself on not just shredding their brand of rock ‘n’ roll, but providing an entire entertainment spectacle that will please even fans of the biggest 80s glam rock icons.
Channeling acts like RATT, Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses, the band — comprised of Jordan Stricklen (lead guitar), Isaac “Ike” VanDam (bass), Tyler Coeling (drums) and Fennema — invite their friends and fans to pour some sugar on them.
“I have always been very inspired by, not only the music of this genre, but the actual shows that they put on,” Fennema said. “I am a true believer in being a front man and really putting on a fun show for everyone. People pay to see a show and that’s what they can expect to get from us.”
And, when it comes to being a front man, Fennema is a student of the game.
"I have definitely studied a lot of the most influential singers, which has helped my stage presence,” he said. “When it's all said and done, you have to be yourself on stage. The more you play, the better and more comfortable you become. You can 100 percent learn to have better stage presence.”
Trixy Tang seems to be in relatively high demand as of late, with plenty of show dates on its calendar for 2014. While many venues book them so their patrons can re-live the classics from decades past, the band is also laboring away on original material, too.
While Trixy Tang is clearly a band that lives to play live, Fennema said they hope to get into the studio to record soon.
“Right now, we are all working on some very unique 80s-style original songs that we are all extremely excited about,” Fennema said. “Jordan is an absolutely amazing guitar player who has a fantastic song writing ability. He has been doing the majority of our writing.”
While Trixy Tang is no doubt unique, the theme of resurrecting rock ‘n’ roll in its rawest form and giving it a contemporary spin is something the West Michigan scene has witnessed quite a bit of as of late.
With bands like Red Legs, The Love Hate and The Legal Immigrants in the mix, it’s looking like good music does indeed last forever.
“People want true music; music that they can relate to, music that they can party to, have fun with. In this genre of music, it has all of those things that people want and then some,” Fennema said.
“This genre has stood the test of time and will never die. We have some amazing local bands that are doing a fantastic job of reinventing it, keeping it alive and doing so in their own unique way.”
Hometown: Grand Rapids, Mich.
Genre: Hair metal, glam rock
Sounds like: Poison, Skid Row, RATT
Members: Klay Fennema (vocals); Jordan Stricklen (guitar); Isaac “Ike” VanDam (bass); Tyler Coeling (drums).
For more info: Trixy Tang on ReverbNation, Facebook page