T.S.O.L. release new single 'Sweet Transvestite'
T.S.O.L. release new single 'Sweet Transvestite'
Friday, April 5, 2024 - 19:13
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“You never know what's going to happen when you hand over creative control to someone you've never met, but I'm a big fan of surprises--both good and bad,” says Jack Grisham, vocalist for legendary SoCal punks T.S.O.L. about the new video for “Sweet Transvestite” from their ninth studio album A-Side Graffiti (released February 27, 2024 via Kitten Robot Records). “Gavin [Holmes, director] came through with a good one!” Resembling a mashup of Tim Burton’s unique stop-action animated films (The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie) and the visual flair of Jim Sharman’s cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show (from whence this cover song was culled), the video for “Sweet Transvestite” is a hyper-realistic visualization of the song’s campy source material.

Replying to an open call for creative fan-made videos for A-Side Graffiti’s twelve tracks, Holmes sent Grisham a message, hoping he could submit a video. "Gavin said he'd heard about the video contest--which was really not a contest at all but just a way to let our friends get involved in the song release process, and he wondered if he still had time to whip something up,” he recalls. “I offered him ‘Sweet Transvestite’ and he ran with it.”

The A.I.-created video transforms the iconic Rocky Horror characters “Dr. Frank N. Furter,” “Janet,” “Riff Raff,” “Magenta,” and others into the digital realm, drawing inspiration from the stop-motion figurines in Tim Burton’s animated classics.

"When we were starting out, punk bands didn't sling merch like they do today," he continues. "So if you wanted a t-shirt, you had to make your own. You'd get a plain white tee, cut a stencil, steal a can of spray paint (Krylon was my favorite) from the local hardware, and off you'd go. Nowadays, with the technology at hand, if you want to make a video for your favorite song, it's as easy as making that old punk shirt. And just like back then, some of those handmades looked like they rode to the show on the slow bus while others looked like they'd been crafted by a master - albeit one who preferred his palette stocked by the scarlet hues of anarchy," he laughs.

“Sweet Transvestite” features  guest vocals of Keith Morris of Circle Jerks/Off fame in the role of “Brad," this faithful rendition of the campy classic was initially recorded for a tribute album but was deemed “too close to the original.” Comments Grisham, “When we delivered our version we were told that they’d expected us to ‘punk it up.’ Hmmm, I’m not sure how much punker we could’ve been. T.S.O.L. playing a show tune with Keith Morris as the character ‘Brad ‘is about as punk as you can get.”