Mixing performance and performance art, diverse heritage and singular vision, Triple Whip is a constantly developing local band. The trio has the reputation of being the local musician’s local band – a recent appearance at a house party drew members of influential local groups as The Beauty Shop, Lorenzo Goetz, the Poster Children and The Living Blue. Yet, their appeal is universal; throbbing bass, discordant guitar and their near-unparalleled artistic vision.
Guitarist/vocalist Santanu Rahman, a Kung Fu instructor by day, originally conceived of the group as “Asian underground electronic” music. Santanu asked Holly Rushakoff, a local journalist, to join, but at the time she wasn’t an instrumentalist. Encouraged to try various instruments, she felt out of place until she spent some time playing bass, saying it was “a surging feeling of power.”
Yet, the complexity expected of electronic music was more than anticipated, and they were forced to revise their vision. Rushakoff added,
“It became too much music for him to have to cut and paste and tell what people to play. He was like, ‘okay, let’s make it a rock band but different.'”
The band formed out of the distinctive Champaign sound in addition to soundtracks to blaxploitation and Kung Fu movies. They’ve been further enhanced by the presence of Jane Boxall, the new drummer for Triple Whip.
Following up on the encouraging accolades of having the
most-requested song in 2004 on “Champaign Local 901” on 90.1 WEFT-FM, as well as the energy of their new drummer, they began to prepare new material, and this Saturday, they’ll be releasing their first record as an independent band, Snake Creeps Down.
“We wanted to get our next album out,” says Rushakoff, “and what we had as far as new material only amounted to an EP, but we were just itching to record another album. Since we had Jane, we just had this whole new crop of songs.”
The concept for Snake Creeps Down comes from Santanu’s extensive knowledge of the often-parodied kung-fu film. Says Holly, “The night before we were going to go in to record it, Santanu emailed Jane and me; he hatched this concept where all of the songs that we had actually interlinked into the plotline for a Kung Fu movie.”
However, this amazing record comes with a caveat; Rahman is leaving Champaign, both because of his upcoming marriage and to expand his franchise in Austin, Kung Fu for Holistic Health. Mike Clayton (Hot Glue Gun, Mad Science Fair) will be sitting in with Triple Whip for their set at the Great Cover Up in January. Boxall and Rushakoff will push on as a duo; they’ve already begun writing songs. Rushakoff isn’t sure if the separation will put touring or songwriting on hold for the band, but is hopeful there will be more innovative music. “It’s not a period at the end of our name,” she explains, “It’s a semicolon.”
Triple Whip will appear 9:30 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 29 at Cowboy Monkey for the release of Snake Creeps Down. Also appearing is LMNOP, Nonagon, and Water between Continents, all bands with local connections. The show is $5 and guests are encouraged to wear costumes.