Between crowd pleasers ‘Karen is a punk’ and the moody atmospherics of ‘I Don’t Sweat’, Tramhaus’s live appeal lies in the delicate art of balance and intensity in their set. Jim: “Sometimes I get the impression that people think we’re a diehard punk band but realistically that’s about three songs in a set of an hour.” The band works towards that tension, the build up, the break – in speaking on the nuance in speed and sound, the group reveal their synergy. Nadya: “If we were only playing one intense note from start to finish, that would be boring.” Jim: “You lose impact then.” Guitarist Micha Zaat: “It stays dynamic!” Julia: “It also gives you energy during the show, when it’s time to dial it up.” Their album promises to deliver the same magnetic blend, Jim: “The record has fast and hard parts, but that’s not all we deliver. It’s not all Karen-like and mindless blasts of sound, volume dialled up to one hundred.” To which Julia puts the cherry on top: “We made some pretty beautiful stuff, too.” The biggest compliment they’ve gotten, according to Lukas, is “when I get compliments on the full set. People say they really get taken along for the ride – and that’s exactly what we set out to do.”
Where previous tracks and EP Rotterdam (Subroutine) speak of the rampant gentrification and everyday life in the city, the new album ventures to much more personal grounds. Lukas: “The new record really explores more personal matters. I feel it’s a logical step in our own growth and finding our own way” – hitting closer to home, instead of their hometown. Jim: “When we started, we were writing about Rotterdam. In lockdown times, that’s where we spent all our time. Now we spend most of our time on the road, so I think our lived experience has shifted too. We played thirteen countries last year!” Lukas chimes in: “We are of course still a Rotterdam band, but when we’re home we do everyday things. Going out is now pretty much when we’re on the road, after our shows.” We joke at the fitting title for this article: Tramhaus only parties abroad. Growing out of their roots and into their heads is the opposite of what I see before me – a band as real as they get.