Eep opp ork ah-ah!
The Kimberly Trip recaptures the spirit of 1980s new wave, when music was fun and Reagan was president
The first thing one notices when interviewing Jeffry Wynn Prince and Kimberlina is that they talk like a married couple. It’s no great surprise, considering they are, in fact, a married couple. But in the context of rock interviews, it’s surprisingly loving and domestic.
Adding to the scene is the ambience of the location itself: the currently gutted shell that is the Princes’ new fixer-upper home in Fair Oaks. Most of the floors have been torn up, and the house is permeated with the smell of paint and dust, the former an important point because the Princes’ style of décor says volumes about their style of music. Instead of the subtle Easter pastels that are the last bastion of Martha Stewart’s influence on a home-improvement-crazed America, the Princes are going with big colors: deep purples and fire-engine red and, in the case of the room where the interview took place, jet-black walls and ceiling (high-gloss, of course).
It’s an ambience well-suited for the future center of operations for the Kimberly Trip, a five-piece pop band that has proven to be one of the most consistently drawing acts in the area. A large part of that draw undoubtedly has to do with the music itself: an accessible mixture of, as the band’s Web site puts it, “Blondie meets Garbage with a sense of humor.” It’s a quirky, funny style that is immediately accessible, filled with requisite hooks, guitar fills and harmony vocals.
Perhaps more importantly, the Kimberly Trip has never been a band that has taken itself too seriously—a surprising fact in a town where it sometimes feels like hairstyles are more important than music. “We wanted to solve problems through humor,” explained Jeffry, the band’s guiding force, main songwriter and lead guitarist. “We take the music seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously.” The end result is essentially feel-good party music with a heavy 1980s-era influence, like an updated version of the B-52’s or, as Jeffry put it, a “fusing of Rush with Nerf Herder,” a feat accomplished with help from fellow band members Bractune on drums, Misha on guitar and Sierra on bass (only single names given, making one wonder if Madonna, Sting, Prince and Flea all were members at one point, as well).
Coupled with an entertaining stage show including custom microphone stands, guitar-hero posing and, if the venue is large enough, trampolines, the Kimberly Trip’s members try to remember something so many local acts seem to forget about: They are entertainers. “We try to do something memorable that people want to talk about afterward,” Kimberlina explained. Jeffry was slightly more pragmatic in his response: “We had a meeting where we talked about what we needed to do to charge $10 to $15 for a show in a town where $3 was standard,” he said. Not to be taken too seriously, Kimberlina interjected, “So, we bring our fog machine wherever we go.”
Fog machine or no, the band is certainly one of the more business-savvy groups in Sacramento. “Last year, we cleared $30,000. This year, our goal is $50,000,” Jeffry said with apparent pride.
The first step in next year’s process is the release of a new CD, the live, acoustic recording Mimicking the Cool Kids, which will see its release on Friday, November 19, at Bodytribe Fitness (920 21st Street), with a no-special-effects performance. The best news of all is that the show is only $3. “I can justify that by saying that this has no show,” Jeffry explained. “There’s no lights, no fog, not even a microphone. It’s just us sitting on the floor playing our songs for our fans.”
In the meantime, fans, present and future, can collect more information from the band’s Web site at www.thekimberlytrip.net.