The full audio of the interview, including portions not included in the text and songs from No Trigger, can be found at Sound Scene Revolution. Additionally, the podcast will be running a contest where listeners can enter to win a free copy of No Trigger's Nitro Records debut Canyoneer. Full details are available on their website.
So if you can start out, say your name, what you do in the band and your favorite city thus far on the tour.
Tom: Oh man, that's a good question. Alright, my name is Tom, I sing in No Trigger and my favorite city has been Seattle. Because…I don't know. It just blew me away. I fell in love with it, I really did. For real, listening audience.
Mike: I'm Mike, I play guitar. I would say, in terms of touristy stuff, Seattle was sick but for shows Salt Lake City was out of control.
Tom: Oh, yeah. That was the best show.
Really? Even with all the Mormons?
Tom: There were like a thousand kids there.
Tom: It was ridiculous.
Mike: There were three year olds. Probably like 200 three year olds with Aquabats' masks. So it was pretty intense.
Tom: 200 three year olds you think?
Mike: We'll I'm exaggerating but this is an interview.
We'll say a "large quantity".
Tom: They got to know.
Mike: And they had, like down below, the bands backstage room. It was a basement with like a pool table and 70's shag psychedelic walls.
So it was like "the place to get laid"?
Mike: In the 70's, yeah.
Tom: Four separate rooms with different animal fur on the walls.
So being from Massachusetts and not being from Boston do you get a lot of people who just assume you have to be from Boston if you live in Massachusetts?
Tom: You did.
I did not. Tom: Yeah you did. Before we were talking and you were like, " Boston, right?". (laughs) I was said, "No, Dudley".
That was Sound Guy Nariman.
Tom: Oh, shoot.
Mike: No matter, anywhere in Massachusetts if you don't say Boston no one knows what the hell you're talking about.
Tom: Anywhere, no one has heard of any other place but Boston. Pretty much around the country.
Well at least you have Boston. We talked with Teenage Bottlerocket and they're from Wyoming.
Tom: They are?
Yeah and it's got to be heard because every state has its city like Massachusetts, Boston. California, LA or San Francisco. Wyoming…
Tom: Casper. Laramie. Cheyenne. See that. You go "Wyoming". I go "Cheyenne", boom done.
Mike: (southern accent) I go Cheyenne.
Tom: There's like 40 grass cats (?) in Cheyenne.
Mike: There is, what up?
Are there any bands from Massachusetts, not of the Boston Area, you could recommend?
Tom: A Wilhelm Scream. You might know of them. They're from New Bedford and they're a great time. They're not from Boston and they don't claim to be. Which is rare.
(to Mike) Who else is good?
Mike: Uh, Shit. (laughs)
Tom: Lock and Key. Well they're from Boston.
Mike: Yeah, they're from the Boston area.
Tom: But it's close.
Mike: What about like Worcester area?
Tom: Worcester…Wasteland, good time, great time. Good buddies.
Speaking of which you guys were, or are, I suppose good friends with the guys in Marathon, is that correct?
Tom: Oh my god yeah.
So they broke up recently, right?
Tom: Their last shows are actually, this isn't live, so it's this weekend but probably a few weekends ago if you're listening to this.
Mike: 19 and 20 of May.
Tom: If I could do anything to go to those shows. I'd fly out but we're going to be in California.
Mike: We're actually going to set up Tom via satellite so he can watch the show. (laughs)
Tom: I hope they tape it.
I think, that there are more people talking about the issue oriented side of things. I want to be one of them.I'm sure someone is going to tape it. I imagine you have to be pretty bummed about that.
Tom: I'm not lying, they are my favorite band. They have been for a while too. Everything about them…They just got the short end of the stick on a bunch of different levels and they shouldn't have. It sucks. It sucks more than…I don't know, more than most things. They played our three CD release show's and those were awesome. They were really good. We were pretty pumped that they played those. Anyone listening to this, buy the self titled Marathon album. You got it, right?
I'm not gonna lie.
Tom: You're not gonna lie?! Well, anyone listening to this and the guy doing the interview. Seriously, it's the best album of last year. I'll put that against any other album.
Getting back to…
Tom: Yeah, more about us.
Yes, getting back to you and how fantastic you are, you guys had an EP that was available in Japan before you had a full length here, is that correct?
Mike: That's correct.
Was it weird or awkward that you could get your music put out in Japanbefore you could get it released in your own country?
Mike: No, it was actually awesome, because at the time we were just doing things DIY like little EP's and burned CD's in paper sleeves. When we got that opportunity it was sick.
Tom: It was actually more exciting, because it was like, "Japan likes us? What?"
How did you get your stuff over to Japan in the first place? You've never played there have you?
Tom: No. We just kept sending our stuff everywhere, all around the world. We did it like you're supposed to, just send your demos everywhere. So we did and they got back to us both times and they were like, "Let's put both of them together and put it out". So we were like, (contemplative) "Hmm…okay". It didn't take us too long to say yes to that. It's actually been doing rather well, that one and the new album.
So you have fans in Japan who have never seen you play? Tom: Oh they will. Oh they will.
Mike: They better!
Tom: Yeah, we want to go over there real bad.
Do you have plans set?
Tom: We've had like four chances to go where it just kinda like, "you want to go?" "Yeah!", "Well, you can't right now".
Mike: We got our hopes up probably like three times.
Tom: Yeah, it sucks. So we're not going to get our hopes up anytime soon but, we're gonna make it over there.
Mike: It's inevitable.
Tom: Yeah, we got to go.
So, you recently hooked up with Nitro Records which is a pretty big label.
Tom: I guess. (laughs) Naw, they're awesome. The owner did something, somewhere with something.
So how'd that come about?
Tom: We actually got some new word on how it came about recently when we were in Seattle. Seems like a friend of "the boss" was whispering things in his ear about us and it helped. We also know A Wilhelm Scream and they kind of did the same and it just worked out. It's awesome.
So, you got some big makeup cases to fill there. Tom: Woah, I know what he's talking about.
Mike: That's [strike] two. One more and you're out. (laughs)
Tom: One more and this interview is over. (laughs)
It's got to be pretty cool to step into a label with a history of making successful bands.
Tom: Make up cases. (chuckles)
Mike: The cool thing is that all the bands on the roster now we totally dig. In fact, two of them we've known for a while, A Wilhelm Scream and Much The Same. So, it's cool because like… Tom: Now, we're also real good friends with Crime in Stereo. They're great.
It just seems recently they've picked up a crapload of good bands and I'd throw you guys in that category.
Tom: In the crap load? We're in there, eh?
But it's a good crapload.
Tom: Oh, so it's a decent crapload.
Well as opposed to joining a label that feels like it's inevitably sinking.
Tom: Well, this is a resurgence. They're clearly getting their act together, as far as I can tell and signing some new, young bands who'll take the place of the old ones. Who are now on majors.
Making a lot more money.
Tom: Ya know, it happens. (shrugs)
They're not listening, so I don't really care.
Tom: (whispering) Sshhh…You never know.
Mike: (whispering) They're everywhere.
Anyhow, there have been a lot of bands recently who wouldn't typically be considered political but have put out socially aware albums. Does that make it harder for you guys, do you feel the need to step it up on a release?
Tom: Yeah, it's just kind of what is natural to me. I just write about that kind of stuff. I don't know, I don't think it's really a step up match, per say. There are those bands who write about that and there's those bands who write about other stuff. I don't know, girls or cars or whatever you want. It's just personal preference. It's great, I think, that there are more people talking about the issue oriented side of things. I don't know, I guess…I think, I want to be one of them I guess. Idunno (very grunt like).
Mike: Tom's good at writtin' stuff.
Tom: I'm good a writtin'!
After that last statement I don't know if anyone's going to believe you write these records.
Tom: (like a mentally challenge Sylvester Stallone) Idfuckenup. Whater we writtin' bout gien?
Mike: (following suit) Irite.
Tom: (Grunts). No, seriously, we're a serious band and our message is fuckin' way serious. (laughs)
If they're waiting for some respected hardcore band and they're standing with arms folded, we're still up there smiling and kicking each other.I was going to say, though the record isn't all doom and gloom it's pretty heavy but on stage you seemed really easy going and fun.
Tom: You got to realize where we are first of all. We're on the Aquabats tour, with thirty million ska kids every night. You can't not have fun. We're not going to go up there and act like serious dicks. And even if we weren't playing this tour we're still pretty fun, I guess.
Tom: I think we're alright.
Mike: We've been on hardcore tours and stuff like that. No matters who's in the crowd, like if they're waiting for some respected hardcore band and they're standing with arms folded, we're still up there smiling and kicking each other.
Tom: Well, I don't know bout that.
Mike: We don't take it over the top. You know what I mean.
Tom: We do a good job. (sarcastic)We keep it real.
Has it been weird at all? I mean you have one band that was a ska band, one band that is (arguably) a ska band and you guys who don't have any horns. Has it been awkward?
Tom: We don't have horns, nope. Awkward? At first we were afraid it was gonna be but every show, like every night…kinda besides tonight, which is weird. I mean tonight was fine, it was great. But usually we go up and it's packed and first song, first note there's a circle pit. It's like, whoa don't get that every day.
Mike: Like we didn't know how to react the first show.
Tom: We were just blown away. We were just, "Okay, let's keep going". You can feed off the crowd than you can at a VFW with like 50 kids and you're playing on the floor. Like we usually do (laughs). So, I don't know. I don't know if it's awkward but it's fucking fun.
So how did you hook up with this tour? It's an oddball group of bands.
Tom: You know, you just got to know the right people. And we do. Oh, we know 'em all. I don't know how it happened. Kinda they're on Nitro, we're on Nitro kinda thing.
Tom: I don't know it was just a good pairing. I think it worked out.
Something along those lines?
Mike: We're on the same team.
Tom: Yeah, we're hitting for the same team. Something along those lines. (laughs)
Mike: And booking agency agents.
Tom: Well our agents used to book them, so that may have had something to do with that.
Tom: Yeah. I'm thinking maybe…probably.
Mike: There might have been a phone call or two, that's about it. (laughs)
Tom: That's what we'll go with.
Mike: In a nutshell.
Unlike the Aquabats there are a lot of bands that people draw comparisons to with you guys, like Strike Anywhere and Bigwig. Is that frustrating or encouraging?
Tom: Uhm…I don't know if it's frustrating. I like those bands a lot, and I like tons of different bands. I guess we draw off the same influences but I don't think we draw off of them. Nowatimsayin'?
Mike: I mean we're into those bands and we've played with those bands.
Tom: I don't think we sound like either of those bands, but there's always elements, of course. There's always ELEMENTS
Mike: There wouldn't be genres otherwise.
Tom: There's elements dude! We just do what we do and it's what we like…and the record is what we made. (laughs) Out of what we do and like.
Mike: It's actually us playing on the record. (laughs)
Tom: We actually did that. We did 'em all. (laughs)