Will You Like “Get Out Of My House” As Much as They Love Michael Bay’s Transformers?

Steve Levandoski
6 min readSep 6, 2023
Kenzie, Tomis, and Tzara

Straight outta Portland, (Maine) Get Out of My House sounds like they played their last show at Bang Bang bar in Twin Peaks, blanketing the dance floor with a fog machine of post-punk depression and fidgety pop featuring Kenzie’s swirling chorused guitars, Tomis’ jazzy drums, and New Wave stylings of Tzara on the bass guitar. Grief Group Records, who signed them before they played their third show, released their first banger GOD ON MY SIDE 4 EVER. So brew yourself some coffee, put on those bigass headphones from the 60’s and enjoy this album like how Agent Cooper savors cherry pie.

How did ya’ll meet?

Kenzie: Tomis and I met a long time ago when we saw The Doug Quaids at Marlboro College in 2016. I think I was playing in Glittergutz at that show and thought “Wow.This person is a genius.” There were people hanging from the rafters from that show. Great show. Years later we played in another band together called Windier. Tomis and friends moved to Portland, and a couple years later I decided to move here too. I met Tzara at work and I thought she was so cool. She was the first person I met in Portland who I knew I wanted to be good friends with. Tzara and I had been talking for a while about how we both wanted to start a band after bonding over music we both loved. Tomis finally brought it together, texting us one day and asking if we wanted to jam at his practice space for Lahnah. I would say it was love at first sight.

Tzara: It was the first night I saw Lahnah, Tomis’ other band, play that the plan really coalesced. Seeing that show, at the very least, really lit a fire under Kenzie and I’s asses to put the talk into action and Tomis had been meaning to get back into drumming. We found each other at exactly the right moment.

Can you name any new artists that everyone needs to hear about, especially buddies of

your’s? What art outside of music inspires you?

Red Eft, S.C.O.B.Y., Amiright?, Windier, Ween, Deerhoof, Marnie Stern, Hole, David Cronenberg, Michael Bay’s Transformers, Michael Bay’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Breaking Benjamin, Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, the WGA strike, Zelda, Dark Souls

Who writes the songs? How do you know when a song is finished?

Most of the songs start with Kenzie bringing forth a collection of guitar parts that she wants to piece together. The structure doesn’t get fully decided until much later. “Incisors” and “7 Uppers” started as bass lines with the structure mostly mapped out from the beginning. We all write our own parts for each of the songs. We play that until we’re sick to death of it and then we rewrite it into something less irksome. That’s the version of the songs that we recorded and play at our shows.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. As everyone knows, Tzara is the spawn of famed protest singer/communist agitator Phallus Cooper. Do you ever get people chanting Bosshole or Beast Infection cover requests at your shows? How do you still manage to bloom while growing up in his shadow?

Tzara: Bosshole’s local. We’re international (playing a show in New Hampshire next week). I’ll be charitable and say that James parented with a very light touch. Large as the shadow of Phallus Cooper may loom, there is a hell of a lot of space between Oregon and Maine.

My first and only prior foray into writing music started in high school, one of my buddies started an Album of the Week Facebook group where the only way to get in was to first make an album. My buddy Lucas and I made our album in about 6 hours, from having nothing written to having it mastered and published on Bandcamp, just a bass guitar and drums. I didn’t really get how chord progression works, so it was just endless vamps with meandering, kinda spooky bass melodies, sometimes with some harsh noise or a guitar solo dubbed over.

The last known photograph of Phallus Copper, Circa 2007

I love your David Lynch cover. Did youse watch the Twin Peaks reboot?

Tzara: Kenzie and I watched it together over the last month. Kenzie hadn’t seen it since 2017, I had never seen it before. Both mega-fans, incessantly quoting lil quips from the show at each other.

Tomis: Yeah. I’ve watched it. Both seasons. Twice.

What is the best show you have ever played?

Kenzie: We’ve only played two shows and the first one was the best.

Tzara: We played one show for 40 people and one show for 12 so I’m gonna say that the one we played for 40 people was probably the better show.

Tomis: There was definitely more than 40 people there. Like 60 or 70 maybe.

Kenzie: The Apohadion was packed. Maybe even 100. I don’t know what 100 people looks like.

Can I get a rig run-down on Kenzie’s guitar for the tone snobs out there?

Kenzie: I’m using a Memory Man, this cool reverb pedal[?], a Squier Stratocaster I’ve had since I was 15 that I got for $50, a distortion pedal that I was gifted from someone who built it themself, an Electro-Harmonix B9 Organ pedal, some pedals I borrowed from Tomis that I don’t even know what they are, and the amp is an EVH 5150.

Does Tomis have any formal jazz or prog background? There is some tasty interplay going on between the hi hats and ride cymbals that isn’t the standard rock and roll fare, venturing into Billy Cobham or Joe Morello territory.

Tomis: Thank you, I love Billy Cobham. That’s awesome. Yeah I graduated Julliard, I graduated Berkley and I also graduated Harvard and I also taught drums at USM. In middle school.

The recording quality on the album features dirty, lo-fi elements without sounding sloppy or unprofessional. What studio did you record at? Was it a good time? Who engineered it?

Kenzie: Tomis engineered it. We recorded it at Grime, which is where we practice and where we are right now, in our little practice room. It was a great time, it was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun.

Tzara: I would give Tomis five stars on Yelp.

Kenzie: Absolutely. Ten stars. Maybe even 100. He did it all. It’s really amazing.

Anything lined up for the future? Any shows, recordings sessions, or podcasts?

Tzara: We’ve got a show lined up for the 7th of September at Grime Studio, our home away from home, with both of Tomis’ other bands, and one of Kenzie’s other bands. A proper send off for a pillar of the Portland Rawk community because Tomis will very soon be living and performing in the land of milk and honey, Philadelphia, PA. You and your readers will have that to look forward to, Kenzie and I will be licking our wounds. We’ve lined up a new drummer who is, miraculously, also a sound engineer, but the pain is real. But we’re looking forward to seeing where things go. Grief Group Records, our very small time record label, asked us to be on a podcast called Ask A Punk but we haven’t heard any updates on that.

Fin

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