Staff profile: Jeff Renken

Jeff Renken, lead guitarist of Trashin the Bird, refuses to explain how he and his buddies came up with the name for their because it’s too inappropriate.  Renken was only 15 when the band got tRenkenProfileogether, so most people can understand his reluctance to explain what was going through the minds of teenagers.

The bands’s debut show was at a homecoming dance in Bertrand, Nebraska, here it covered popular songs for the dancing teens. Renken attributes the success of the show to his brother, who wasn’t in the band, but was attending.

“He’s far less socially awkward than me,” Renken said, and he was able to get everyone else to start dancing.

Renken must have overcome his social awkwardness because after a few years of practice the band began getting gigs all around Lincoln. They played at places like the Zoo Bar, Duffy’s Tavern and the Bourbon Theatre.

“Basically everywhere you can play,” he said.

After finding out their lead singer would be leaving the band, Trashin the Bird released a self-titled album in 2013.

“We just wanted some proof of our existence before he quit,” Renken said.

The 10-song album was mildly successful, he said, and afterward the singer left the band to pursue a career in medicine.

“I guess he thought saving lives was more important,” Renken said.

listen Renken describes and plays his favorite song by his band, Trashin the Bird.

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