What Is This Royal Trux Drama On Twitter?

The rollout for White Stuff, Royal Trux’s first album of new material in 19 years, has been going less than smoothly. The release of advance music is moving along steadily, but the band itself seems like it might fall apart at any minute.

For instance, in January, a MOJO feature on Royal Trux indicated that Neil Hagerty walked out of the White Stuff recording sessions three days early and did not speak to bandmate and former spouse Jennifer Herrema for five months — all the way up until they sat down together to be interviewed for the feature. According to writer Andrew Perry, they proceeded to bicker throughout the interview and then seemed to break up again on the spot, with MOJO reps coaxing them back together for a photo session and eventually receiving emails from Herrema suggesting she and Hagerty had patched things up.

Royal Trux also recently had to postpone a bunch of tour dates due to unspecified legal troubles for Herrema. In an email to Stereogum, Herrema adds further context: “The tour was rescheduled because I’ve got a fkn tracking device on my ankle (just had to do a photo shoot featuring it……so stupid).” The rescheduled dates were announced Thursday. A press release describes them as “very rare and unlikely to be repeated.”

Also Thursday, Hagerty began firing off vague tweets that seemed to suggest he might not show up to all the Royal Trux tour dates and that he was participating reluctantly. Without directly mentioning Royal Trux, he wrote, “i can’t promise i will be at every 1, 1 bad vibe & i have to leave no excuses, read this space for the nuts/bolts chalktalk on the prosaic, never from authority.” He added, “its basically a debtors’ prison situation but it’s a bourgeois scene so it’s just their way to express hostility and control; i just worried that i would get lazy by may so i should take on a challenge a very dumb one.” Also: “ha i realized basically i will be the clown at the childrens b-day party who shows up for an hour about 1/2 way thru the event, hopefully before the koolaid and cake rush kicks in.”

Hagerty’s tweets also alluded to an album that was released without him hearing or signing off on the final version: “and mark this for following this dumb b.s. but they put out a record that i hadn’t heard and still haven’t heard and then lied and said I had approved it.” This may or may not refer to White Stuff, especially considering the album isn’t out for another week. Additionally, today Royal Trux’s official Twitter account posted two screenshots of email communication between Hagerty and Herrema indicating that they collaborated on the album and are working together to plan the tour.

The email screenshots from the Royal Trux account seemed like Herrema debunking Hagerty’s tweets, but in an email to Stereogum, Herrema said Hagerty and Royal Trux’s manager run Royal Trux’s Twitter. “Neil and our manager run twitter but I’m totally aware of Neil’s “idiosyncratic” contradictions lol,” she wrote, adding, “Neil is just Neil….. trouble maker / agent provocateur…..he amuses himself this way and it’s most def nothing new :p”

Herrema’s emailed comments continued:

Neil and I both wrote all the songs ….Neil is the only guitar player and male vocalist on every song (cept get used to this) on the new album. Neil’s twits/tweets are absurd contradictory comments (he clearly posted a video of himself doing Overdubs just over a month ago). Neil does not do press in general and has opted out of doing press with the exception of the 2 journalists that flew over from the U.K. to talk with both of us. The tour was rescheduled because I’ve got a fkn tracking device on my ankle (just had to do a photo shoot featuring it……so stupid). Neil and I are in weekly contact. Neil loves to fuck with people….I figured that was understood at this late date.

And here’s one more email message from Herrema:

I do not know what Neil means by any of the strange shit he puts to the general public. If I had to guess… It seems Neil is setting up the big reveal that of course he is in fact going on tour but perhaps only because he has alot of debt and needs the money…..? I have no idea wtf hes on about…..hes loving the chaos… Another red herring

We’ve also reached out to Hagerty for comment and will update if we hear back. In the meantime, here are the relevant tweets and Royal Trux’s rescheduled tour dates.

TOUR DATES:
05/10 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Woodward Theater
05/11 – Detroit, MI @ El Club
05/12 – Chicago, IL @ The Empty Bottle
05/14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
05/15 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall
05/16 – Boston, MA @ Middle East
05/17 – Montreal, QC @ Fairmount Theatre
05/19 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace
05/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ Teragram Ballroom
06/01 – Oakland, CA @ The New Parish
06/04 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
06/05 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
06/06 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theatre

White Stuff is out 3/1 on Fat Possum. Pre-order it here.