Trouser Mouth


By Kaitlyn Emslie-Farrell

The classy way to do an interview on a Sunday evening is to meet in a local punk venue, the King’s Hotel, have a few beers and laugh around a table for a couple hours. Oh yeah, we also talked about music. I met with Zip R Head of Trouser Mouth and we decided to go raw with the interview. Beer first, work second. Laughs everywhere in between. Let’s have a good time with this.

Trouser Mouth is a known name in Winnipeg’s punk community, as well as many other cities, but they didn’t exactly aim for that fame.  “It was a joke band, nothing was supposed to be serious,” says Head. “The only thing that keeps us going is the fact that kids still buy the albums. I just can’t believe I said the word kids.” All jokes aside, it can be tough to put the effort in decade after decade, but the motivation is always there. “No, it’s getting the chance to play with a lot of bands I worshipped as a kid. It’s not about money it’s about fucking doing great gigs and fucking giving a shit. Going to a new city that you’ve never played before and you’ve got 40, 50, 60 kids spewing every word to your song. That’s fucking weird. That’s as weird as it gets,” says Head. “With this band I never expected more than the stupid four track recorder shit that we used to do. Release an album, oh people really like us? Oh people are asking us to play with them? Oh we should do another album. That’s really how it was.“  Hey whatever works right? Trouser Mouth are a good example of band making music simply because they’re having a good time doing so.

The band consists of four guys. We’ve got Hot Johnny on guitar, Pantonio Tubesock on bass and vocals, TS Beats on drums, and of course Zip R Head on guitar and vocals. Now that the band is two decades into their existence and thousands of albums have been sold, where should they go next? The answer is Japan. Trouser Mouth are hitting seven cities in Japan for eight shows, plus one in Vancouver along the way.  Their pal Ken Fleming of SNFU did the booking and it’s way too expensive to wuss out now. They expect to get their asses handed to them but that’s only if they manage to get through customs with a suitcase full of panty hose. For those unfamiliar with Trouser Mouth, the panty hose is their ever popular head gear. Costuming is all part of the performance and the Trouser Mouth experience. Japan should get it just as good as Winnipeg does.

It’s all fun and games until somebody slaps down a bill. Oh yeah, this is real life. Flying a bunch of dudes and their panty hose out to Japan comes with some hefty airfare costs. The boys threw together a fundraiser show to hopefully help combat some of those costs. They’re playing the King’s Hotel at the end of the month with four other local bands who like to get loud. The Rewd, The Day Traders, MK Ultraviolence, and Chernobyl Wolves are all up on the bill to fill the house with punks looking for a good night.

I know what’s going through your head right now. You think it’s great they’re going to Japan and all and you’re supportive and such but really what do you get out of it? Well, according to Head it’s quite doable to get live footage of shows in Japan with ease. So there is hope for a tour video. Then you can enjoy Trouser Mouth’s Japanese shenanigans from the comfort of your own home.

Support Trouser Mouth’s dangerous idea to travel the world at the King’s Hotel on April 30th. Door cost is a suggested donation of $10.