“I’ve got one band I can run around and scream to,” said Michael Turi, vocalist for the Old In Out, “and now with Trap Gold I’m sitting down and actually singing.”
The Old In Out formed as a release for Turi’s caged gusto after he was floored by an incapacitating spinal condition for nearly a year. Having vented his steam with the raucous Old In Out for the past two years, Turi and In Out guitarist Ryan Bohan joined singer Kelly Sullivan and synth-bassist Chase Elliott (the Kabbs) to form lo-fi dark-pop band Trap Gold.
“It started with Great Fridays,” Sullivan relates over beer at Toronado. “Me, Mikey, and Ryan always had Fridays off. We would get food and coffee and go to the park. One day we just started playing around.” Turi assembled a drum set by asking friends for spare parts. “My dad calls it a ‘suicide set-up,’” he says, “which I think is awesome.”
“Mikey and Ryan are always on the same page with music,” says Sullivan. “Then Chase comes into the picture, and he knows exactly what these fools are talking about!”
“Last year I made it a point to say ‘yes’ more often, to everything,” Elliott says. As a result, he bought a microKorg, went broke, and joined Trap Gold. Having honed his improvisational skills playing in a cover band at the Sandbar and the Beachcomber, Elliott quickly integrated into the group. Turi/Sullivan’s haunting harmonies and the jangly, reverb-washed instrumentation have drawn comparisons to the Kinks, Jefferson Airplane, T. Rex, and the Velvet Underground, while the group cites influences from Thee Oh Sees to O.V. Wright and Sonny Boy Williamson.
Trap Gold’s tentative name, Tramp, didn’t sit well with Sullivan. “I didn’t like it because I’m the only girl in the band,” she laughs. A singer since the fifth grade, Sullivan grew up in Rochester, Minnesota, listening to oldies, R&B, and doo-wop. “I also grew up on musicals: The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Parent Trap. I love musicals, but I can’t play an instrument for the life of me.”
“She plays excellent tambourine,” Mike replied. By 2017, it seemed Trap Gold was defunct.
In 2018, Turi teamed up with another former member of the Old In Out, Rory Truesdale, to form COMMANDc.