Named after the diminutive and once ubiquitous Eastern European automobile and the german word for a "naturally occurring satellite", Trabants (pronounced truh-bonts) is a rotating line-up of musicians fronted by composer/guitarist Eric Penna who find their muse in the dusty bins of 60's beat records.
They play an instrumental mix of vintage-inspired surf, garage, psychedelic and cinematic soundtrack music that has found broad use in film, television and advertising
Originally formed in Boston, MA by ringleader Eric Penna, the rotating lineup was a necessity since many members played full time in busy touring acts. Trabants' first public appearances were at the Plough and Stars where the band played many epic all-night shows snowballing into their first full length, "Highwire Surfing" which garnered an Independent Music Award nomination for best instrumental album alongside placement on the show "Becoming" featuring Johnny Knoxville.
After some touring and opening for legendary acts such as Dick Dale, Penna relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television music where he wrote and recorded the band's second album, "Cinematic". With a new home-base, Trabants maintained its rotating line-up to utilize a new much deeper pool of talent and maintain the propulsive, ever-changing freshness to different performances.
In 2015, Trabants released FREAKOUT on L.A.'s Lolipop Records melding the fuzztone vibes of the Sunset strip's rich Psychedelic/Garage history with it's more traditional surf sounds. Following that release they appropriately played the epic Los Angeles “acid test” all-nighters at the now defunct, Liquid lightshow-drenched Blindspot Project in Boyle Heights and shared bills with other garage legends such as Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, Charlie Megira, The Sloths, Yonatan Gat, The Creation Factory and more…
Next, the band immersed itself in the soundtracks of 1960’s Italian Western films and slowly pieced together The epic NEL CUORE DI UNA TERRA SELVAGGIA (translated: In the Heart of a Savage Land) in 2018. Featuring the most diverse pallet of sounds yet for Trabants, 60’s surf guitar and fuzz meld with harpsichords, flutes, trumpets, string bass, a vocal contribution from Seattle’s Prom Queen and more to create a savage Italian spaghetti western film as you listen. The band played its first European shows following this release which has been a fan favorite from the band’s catalog.
The pandemic ground music to a halt just as a new chapter was beginning for Trabants in the Pacific Northwest and so solitude led to an exploration of blues music resulting in Lockdown, an album of 10 original blues instrumentals. With assistance from Pete Curry (known from his work with Nick Lowe, Los Straitjackets, the Halibuts and more) on drums and bass, the band stretch out to explore these rootsy sounds incorporating influences they haven’t explored previously.
With more music on the way, the rotating line-up continues ever-expanding the bands family tree which has seen contributions from members and sidemen of bands as diverse as Pharcyde, The Monkees, Man Man, Nick Lowe, Paul Collins, Insect Surfers, World Inferno Friendship Society, Beware the Dangers of a Ghost Scorpion!, Young Hunting, Breakestra!, Triptides, tomemitsu, Constant Smiles, The Reverberations and many more…
The band’s music has been heard in Netflix’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Hulu’s Shut Eye, ad campaigns for Mountain Dew, Yeti and others.
Chill on the beach in the sun and listen to the crashing waves, gaze upon the beautifully barren landscape of Sergio Leone's brutal westerns, dance all night to the fuzzed out guitars of the 1960's sunset strip, dine with class on the coast of capri... Trabants will take you there.