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Semi Precious Weapons

Semi Precious Weapons was a rock band from New York City consisting of Justin Tranter on vocals, Stevy Pyne on guitar, Cole Whittle on bass and Dan Crean on drums. Pyne replaced former guitarist, Aaron Lee Tasjan, in November 2008.

Semi Precious Weapons
Semi Precious Weapons in 2007.jpg
Semi Precious Weapons during a concert in 2007
Background information
Also known asSPW
OriginNew York City, New York, United States
GenresGlam rock, alternative rock, garage rock
Years active2006-2014
LabelsRazor & Tie, Interscope/Geffen, Cherrytree, Epic, RedZone
Past membersJustin Tranter
Cole Whittle
Dan Crean
Stevy Pyne
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Joe McCanta


Performing "Magnetic Baby" with Lady Gaga at Lollapalooza, 2010

In 2006, Semi Precious Weapons (SPW) was formed by Berklee College of Music graduates Tranter, Whittle, Crean and Tasjan. In 2007 Rovena Cardiel, a friend of erstwhile manager BP Fallon brought in Tony Visconti to executive - produce their first album, We Love You. Grammy-winner Mario J. McNulty produced, recorded and mixed the album! Funded by Tranter's jewelry sales, that were sold in retailers under the name 'Precious Weapons,' they originally released the album as a free download.[1]

In March 2008 the band signed a worldwide recording agreement with Razor & Tie. The band's album We Love You was re-released under this label on September 30, 2008.[2] Semi Precious Weapons signed to Interscope Records in November, 2009. Since November 27, they have been the special guests for Lady Gaga's The Monster Ball.[3] At the same time they began recording a new album titled You Love You, which released on June 29, 2010.

In January 2008 they caused a stir in the United Kingdom after Kate Moss attended their concert at London's Death Disco club and danced with 'six foot bisexual' singer Justin Tranter.[4] Vogue described the band as "unashamedly crass and deliciously animated".[5] On March 18, 2010, the band's eponymous song "Semi Precious Weapons" achieved their first number one - on New Zealand radio station The Edge.

Justin Tranter has a jewelry line called "Fetty," a combination of 'Fucked Up' and 'Pretty,' that sold at Barneys New York. The designs included weapons, hearts, and diamond braille. Justin Tranter was also a coach on the MTV show MADE, where he helped a shy sixteen-year-old become a bassist in her own band. Their track "Magnetic Baby" is featured as a downloadable track in Rock Band 2. The band had a cameo in the video for Lady Gaga's "Telephone" and served as her opening act on her 2009-2011 tour The Monster Ball Tour. Justin also helped write many songs such as "Centuries" by Fall Out Boy.[citation needed]

Semi Precious Weapons' song Semi Precious Weapons appears on the soundtrack for and is included in the live action feature film Bad Kids Go to Hell (2012), based on the best selling graphic novel of the same name.[6]

On December 26, 2012, Justin tweeted on the band Twitter page saying that they are going to announce the release date to their song "Aviation High" from their new album. "Not January 1st, but soon!" [7] "Aviation High" was played live by the band back in June 2012 during the Keep Austin Weird festival. Aviation High was released on the band's personal SoundCloud page on February 18. The music video for the song followed by being released on March 4, 2013 on the band's YouTube page.

The album, Aviation, was officially released in April 2014.

In late 2015, Justin Tranter commenced a songwriting partnership with Julia Michaels which resulted in 4 top 40 hits in 2015 for artists Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Gwen Stefani and Hailee Steinfeld. A New York Post article about this refers to his previous occupation as being "in a failed rock band".[8]


Studio albumsEdit

Title Details Peak positions
US Heat
We Love You
You Love You 10
  • Release date: April 22, 2014
  • Label: RedZone Records
  • Formats: CD, music download
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


Year Single Album
2010 "Semi Precious Weapons" You Love You
"Magnetic Baby"
"Look at Me"
2014 "Aviation High" (#39 Billboard Alternative Songs) Aviation
"Look To The Stars"


Opening Act

Headlining Act


  1. ^ Poet, J. "StyleHive Semi Precious Weapons - Biography". Retrieved 12 December 2008.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2008-08-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Monster Ball Gets". Perez Hilton. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
  4. ^ HARMSWORTH, ANDREI (2008-01-25). "Moss boogies with 6ft bisexual". Metro (London). Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  5. ^ Alstin, Clare (2008-01-25). "KATE LOVES". Daily News. Vogue (UK). Retrieved 2008-01-26.
  6. ^
  7. ^ SemiPreciousWeapons [@preciousweapons] (27 December 2012). "We're beyond excited about the music we've made w/ @trickystewart. We can't wait to announce when it's coming, it won't be Jan 1, but soon!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  8. ^ Atkinson, Claire (November 19, 2015). "Meet the duo behind pop music's latest and greatest hits". New York: New York Post. Retrieved November 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Semi Precious Weapons Album & Song Chart History - Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved February 5, 2011.

External linksEdit