Semi Precious Weapons
Gig Seeker Pro

Semi Precious Weapons


Band Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Tony Visconti(Bowie, T Rex, Morrissey) Loves SPW"

I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. Semi-Precious Weapons are just incredible. The songs are powerful, glamorous and, frankly, dirty. Justin is – wait for it – beautiful! -

"NYC's Best"

Semi-Precious-Weapons play so tightly that they rival the vaults of De Beers, and frontman Justin "Precious" Tranter is a veritable star. Fiercely fabulous, this self-styled near-tranny gives the impression that he can whupp-ass in those six-inch heels of his. SPW’s shows are theatrical and definitely worth witnessing. Standout tracks include 'Semi-Precious-Weapons' from their Precious EP and 'Magnetic Baby' from their Magnetic EP. - The Deli Magazine

"The Most Important Band in America!"

Semi Precious Weapons are the most important band in America. They're not interested in being cool and they don't want to sell 10m records. In fact, they don't want to sell any records.

Voted Best New York Band in the Village Voice Readers Poll, their provocative music is spreading on the web via MySpace, YouTube and bloggers like Perez Hilton. They've played incendiary gigs and have made a brilliant album: We Love You, executive produced by Tony Visconti, who's worked with T Rex, Bowie, Thin Lizzy and Morrissey. It's made up of ten contagious, killer tracks of filth and fury. Oh, and it's free. The band fund everything by selling jewellery.

Skilful but abandoned, vulgar and loud but intelligent, everyone smiles when Semi Precious Weapons play. "It's not my fault I look better in her party dress!" declares singer Justin Tranter at the top of Magnetic Baby while the band's signature song Semi Precious Weapons kicks off with him announcing "I can't pay my rent but I'm fucking gorgeous!" The music has aptly been described as "prime-time Bowie escaped from the lunatic asylum parachuted into AC/DC playing with Led Zeppelin" and fronting it all is this Justin figure, a mix of young Iggy, Ziggy and Twiggy gone mesmerisingly bonkers.

Tranter is a total star. The word charisma was invented for him. When he walks into a room, heads turn at this six-foot plus platinum-blonde-haired creature in the blood-red stiletto boots and just-so makeup. Camper than a row of tents and of variable sexuality, he's currently walking out with the American actress Anne Malinowsky, the Anna Nicole Smith lookalike who features in the Magnetic Baby vid.

After Perez Hilton linked to the video on his blog, it received 57,000 hits in 24 hours and caused a cacophony of comments declaring that this was either the worst band that ever existed or the greatest musical combo the world has ever seen.

Semi Precious Weapons have been compared to everyone from the Scissor Sisters - though they're nothing like them - to the New York Dolls, with whom they share a certain sleaziness. Dolls guitarists Sylvain Sylvain and Steve Conte are among the band's biggest fans - the pair backed Tranter when he stole the show on a bill with Patti Smith, Moby and Jake Shears at the Marc Bolan And T Rex 30th Anniversary Concert in New York's Central Park.

Managed by one of rock'n'roll's most celebrated characters, BP Fallon, the band were wooed by Sony and Interscope Records but Fallon decided that a first-class suite on the Titanic was not the way forward. Instead, Tranter came up with the idea of designing SPW jewellery to sell at gigs, then doorstepped the Urban Outfitters chain until they agreed to try the line in their stores. 80,000 pieces later via Urban Outfitters, Hot Topic and a high-end line in Barneys, the proceeds pay for the money-gobbling machinations of a new band breaking out their music. Now when you buy a piece of Semi Precious Weapons jewellery at Urban Outfitters or from the band's website you get a hard copy of the new album for free. Or simply download it from their site - free, of course. SPW are not yet established artists like Radiohead, Prince, Trent Reznor and the Charlatans (whom I manage), who are all jumping the digital divide by giving away their music for free. However, the logic is the same: get the music out there to make money on live gigs and merchandise. As an amused Tranter points out, you can't download a necklace.

Pop culture has become neutered. The danger and madness has largely been tamed. Elvis, Jimi Hendrix, Marc Bolan, the Sex Pistols, Nirvana - electric outlaws out there on the frontiers - would have had a hard time making it in the homogenised world of today. We need a return to the gory glory days when the sanctimonious elders were horrified at the emerging new noise, appalled at the lyrics, the language, the look and the carry-on of these new young bucks. Like rock'n'roll's answer to Lazarus, Semi Precious Weapons are rock's resurrection. - The Guardian (uk) by Alan McGee

"Headlining NXNE"

Semi precious weapons
If Steven Tyler’s recent readmittance to rehab for a “foot injury” tells us anything, it’s that rock ’n’ roll will never tire of lusty hedonism. Take New York City buzz band Semi Precious Weapons, a band so filthy and gorgeous as to make Iggy Pop blush.

In the video for the glam garage track Magnetic Baby, lead singer Justin Tranter, a 6-footer with a mop of peroxided hair and a kohl eyeliner ­addiction, screams, “It’s not my fault I look better in a party dress – I’ve been magnetic since I was a baby,” while a collection of female clones lay their hands all over his naked torso. Even he couldn’t have expected this animal magnetism to stretch to supermodels across the Atlantic. Kate Moss rocked up to a boutique London show earlier this year and joined the spandex-clad lead singer onstage for a dance.

Supermodel approval aside, world dominance doesn’t appear to be SPW’s goal. (Nor is selling records, apparently. The band funded its cloyingly catchy debut, We Love You, with money from Tranter’s jewellery line.) Reclaiming swear words and injecting humour and killer chords into rock’s flat landscape seem to be the more likely objective. Now, everyone scream, “Kunt!” At the Silver Dollar (June 12, 1 am), and Velvet Underground (June 13, 10 pm). - Now Magazine

"BMI World"

May 22, 2008

Semi Precious Weapons
Fans of glam-era David Bowie and Roxy Music, listen up: There’s a new gang in town. Semi Precious Weapons, led by six-foot tall Justin “Precious” Tranter (“six foot, six inches with stilettos,” says his bio), is about to rock your — and everybody else’s — world.

“Semi Precious Weapons is about everyone,” Tranter says. “If you love great rock & roll, if you love glamour, if you love a crazy live show or if you just love a good party, you are welcome and we love you.”

The unexpected amorous passion can in part be explained by the fact that We Love You is the name of the band’s forthcoming debut album on Razor & Tie, produced by Tony Visconti, who not so coincidentally was behind the board for such glam classics as Bowie’s Diamond Dogs and T.Rex’s Electric Warrior.

“I’ve been waiting for this band for 20 years!” Visconti enthuses. “Semi Precious Weapons are just incredible. The songs are powerful, glamorous and, frankly, dirty.”

The New York City foursome — which also includes guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan, bassist Cole Whittle and drummer Dan Crean — has already made its share of headlines: Named “best band in New York” in a Village Voice readers poll last year, SPW has been called “the most important band in America” by London’s Guardian newspaper and “unashamedly crass and deliciously animated” by British Vogue.

Most of the focus has predictably gone to the singular figure of Tranter, who sells lyrics like “It’s not my fault I look better in her party dress” with a vigorous camp swagger. But his growing influence isn’t limited to rock clubs: Tranter also oversees the rock-inspired jewelry line Fetty, available at Barneys among others, and recently designed a limited edition SPW sneaker for DKNY.

It’s the music, though, that clearly inspires him the most.

“I either think of a great line or image that I want to use and build the song from there or something is going on emotionally in my life that I want to vent about,” he explains about his songwriting process. “Either way, I always try to write as honest as I possibly can … even if I lose a friend or six.”

Kevin Zimmerman -

"Perez Lurvs Us!"

"I can't pay my rent but I'm fucking gorgeous," is the first line of Semi Precious Weapons' self-titled anthem.

And from that very first line, you're instantly hooked!

These glam rockers from New York capture a rawness and sexuality that is really lacking in the music industry today.

Oh, and - most importantly - their songs are really good!

Not just content to have good tunes, though, Semi Precious Weapons have the total package.

They are sonically exciting and visually arresting.

You must CLICK HERE to check out their super fierce new video for Semi Precious Weapons.

Then click here to download the song for free and listen to other tunes from Semi Precious Weapons.

P.S. After we wrote about SPW last year, Kate Moss showed up at one of their shows a few months later! - Perez


We Love You 9/30/08 (Razor And Tie)



Justin Tranter's not like everybody else. "Why would you want to be like everybody else?" demands the Semi Precious Weapons frontman. "Rock'n'roll is supposed to be rebellious, shocking, ridiculous." The Brooklyn quartet's debut album, WE LOVE YOU is all that and more: Ten soulful, sleazy, celebratory tunes that rock as hard and stylishly as Justin swaggers. It's not my fault that I look better in her party dress, he shrugs and taunts at the beginning of "Magnetic Baby," a song that nails the band's garage-glam to your ears with hooks the likes of which have not been heard since Axl Rose was pretty. "Musically, there's a little more cock rock than what people think of when they think of glam," says Justin. "It's raucous, hypersexual, easy-to-sing-along-to rock'n'roll, with my self-indulgent self-empowered lyrics."

The band's not-so-dirty secret, and the reason why the songs are as accomplished and concise as they are bloody and bombastic, is that all four members are whip-sharp musicians. Tranter, guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan, bassist Cole Whittle and drummer Dan Crean met when studying music at school in Boston. Introduced through a producer friend, the foursome joined up for good after a Tasjan solo gig in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. "There's a bar right down the street from my loft called Tommy's Tavern," says Justin. "We heard him play and were blown away."

A classic rock obsessive whose own solo work remains firmly rootsy, Tasjan encouraged Justin to make SPW more grandiose. "We wanted to make filthy party hits; bring the party back to rock'n'roll and back to New York City." Tasjan says. "The songs Justin had already written were great songs, but they didn't have super-catchy choruses. I kind of thought, let's write songs that should be on the radio." Aaron's new riffs allowed the band to play as hard as they wanted and the lyrics to be as over-the-top as Justin wanted. Ten minutes into their first rehearsal, the whole band bashed out its eponymous raison d'etre, a raucous mashing up of Iggy, Angus Young and Courtney Love, "Semi Precious Weapons." Tasjan recalls, "We played it at our gig a couple of days after we wrote it. When Justin sang, I can't pay my rent but I'm fucking gorgeous, every face in the crowd lit up."

Live, Semi Precious Weapons are in a class of their own. The band is known for their energy filled, circus-like live shows. LA Weekly describes "Gun-blazing bitch-rock. Weapons are a hybrid of Bowie-esque stage seduction and Sex Pistols-style insolence." Bass player Cole Whittle thrashes about stage with his ultimate fighting moves, while drummer Dan Crean fiercely pummels the drums.

Part hedonist and part satirist, Justin's lyrics are both tongue-in-cheek and a sincere expression of his core philosophy. Sometimes I bleed because red is a good color for me, he sings in "Rock'N'Roll Never Looked So Beautiful," a slow-burn epic on the order of "November Rain" or "Champagne Supernova." "If you decide you look amazing, than you are," he says. "If you say you're the most beautiful, you are." Don't let the clothes or make-up fool you -- Justin is neither goth nor emo (nor a drag queen), just a guy who gets along well with his inner glamazon. "People get so upset that we like ourselves," he says. "They want bands to talk about how tortured they are, and how much fun they're not having."

"The cool thing about this band is that everybody is themselves," says Tasjan. "Justin wears his high heels every day. It's not a stage performance choice. It's what makes him feel good when he gets up in the morning." Says Justin, "A man in heels and make-up is still quite a shock to most of the world. I think it looks fantastic, some people get angry. Which for rock'n'roll is kind of a perfect combination." And it turns out Justin is willing to admit that Semi Precious Weapons are like everybody else in one respect. "We're playing rock'n'roll as good as anybody that's ever played rock'n'roll," he says. "We just look better doing it."