Hi McKenzie! Thanks so much for answering my questions, how are you?
I’m great! Just packing all of my things getting ready for my tour with paper lady next week!
For those who don’t know you, can you introduce yourself?
Hi ! I’m McKenzie and I’m an indie rock artist named Trophy Wife! I grew up in Connecticut, started my project and my band (Mario Perez, Christian Pace, and Michael Martelli) in Boston, and am now based in Brooklyn!
How did you get into music?
I sang a lot of jazz in high school (and did musical theatre before that) and originally thought tat jazz vocals would be my path, but when I got to college at Berklee in Boston it shifted pretty quickly. I started picking up guitar and writing songs freshman year of college pretty much. It felt like a really big learning curve but luckily I had a lot of support from friends once I finally let them hear what I was writing haha
How did you go about finding your sound?
I feel like i’m always trying to find my sound still. Whenever I come into a rehearsal with a song I’ve written we all just say adjectives at each other until something makes sense. A lot of it is really trial and error! I just always want the songs I write to feel as intense as they do when I'm writing them.
You’ve recently come out with your latest single “Linoleum”, which is such an incredible track! What was the main inspiration behind it?
Thank you! I actually wrote Linoleum a really long time ago for a class I was taking. I kind of put it together as being about ignoring embarrassment and blame and instead leaning into vanity and being sort of aloof. I think sometimes it can feel powerful to own real estate in peoples heads and feel desired, even if it means ignoring the real issues you’re having.
What was the recording process like for “Linoleum”?
The recording process was really really fun! We recorded the track in Christian’s apartment where he engineered the whole thing! We did a lot of knob turning to find the perfect tone for the guitars and finally found it! It was really hot and sweaty cause the ac had to stay off while recorded though haha
What the was the writing and creative process like for “Linoleum” was it any different from your previous work such as “Knife Fight”?
The writing process for me was really quick, I tend to write songs all in one go. I keep a big terrible notes app page in my phone where I write little phrases and song ideas, usually embarrassing. The song actually started with two lines which were “I hope you think about me all day” and “You keep your words in your stomach” and I went from there! When I was writing Knife Fight I didn’t even have the big awful notes page yet because it was actually the first song I wrote ! I wrote that song in my dorm room bed so it always feels like i’m 18 when I hear it.
You also have an EP coming out this month which is so exciting, what can we expect on the EP?
We are super excited for Voyeur ! We worked on it all summer and had so much fun figuring each of them out like musical puzzles. It’ll be 5 songs (including Linoleum) and one of them we’ve never performed live!
What is your writing process like? How do you go about creating music?
Really the writing process is me with a lot of time in my bedroom. I usually write on my electric guitar and come up with chord progressions as I sing the lyrics but it depends on the song really. Usually I write a song in like 30 minutes and then do like tweaks to it when it starts getting realized with the guys!
I love the lyrics for “Linoleum”. Out of all the songs you’ve written, do you have a favorite lyric you’ve written so far?
i’m so glad! I think my favorites are “You keep your words in your stomach I keep mine under my tongue” from Linoleum and even though it’s old I do still love the chorus to Knife Fight!
Who would you say are your musical influences?
I’m definitely most influenced by the women I grew up listening to though! That was mostly Liz Phair, Fiona Apple, The Dixie Chicks and when I got a little older Mitski and Tori Amos and Yeah Yeah Yeahs
How would you describe Trophy Wife for people who are just starting to listen to your music?
I would say my music is all about all the ugly feelings we avoid talking about and a big void I can yell into
What was your favorite thing about creating “Linoleum”?
My favorite thing was probably getting to hang out with my band mates and make the song sound like it’s sounds in our heads together (cheesy answer but it’s true)
Last question, we love discovering new music! Who should we be listening to right now?
You should be listening to Cop Car by Mitski and Stuck by Martha Skye Murphy !!!
Keep up with Trophy Wife!
Listen to "Linoleum" here