On the 7th of June, No Trigger stopped in the small city of Lodi, in Italy, to play one of their last headliner European shows for the 2012 Tycoon release tour. We sat with Tom and Jon to talk about their music, Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce and, obviously, skatepunk.
Francesca: Hi Guys!
Tom & Jon: Hello!
Do you want to introduce yourselves to the readers of skatepunkers?
T: Hi! My name's Tom and I play in No Trigger
J: I'm Jon and I also play in No Trigger.
So how's the tour going and how long are you staying in Europe?
T: The tour's going great! We actually started in Belgium and then we just did a week or so in the UK. We've played Slam Dunk fest and we went all the way up to Aberdeen and came all the way back down, and we just crossed back into Europe...uhm...and we have about four shows left...
J: It's my turn to talk! T: Yeah, sure! We're only in Italy for this one show, and the last time we were here was last year, when we were playing Groezrock, and we just did six shows. We played in Bologna, and it was phenomenal! So hopefully tonight will be fun too. That's what we're hoping.
So you didn't play Groezrock this year, but was it a good experience in 2011?
T: The Groezrock we played last year was probably the best show we've ever played. EVER. It was my favorite show we've ever played. But, Groezrock, you usually can't play it two years in a row, so hopefully next year we'll be playing it again.
So you played last year without a new full length out, but only two songs, right? Why did it take you so long, five years, to have a new record released?
T: You know, we've all been busy, very busy with work and trying to get our lives together, you know, after touring for probably three or four year.
J: We waited five years before even considering touring another record. We had already toured the entire world off Canyoneer. But we finally did it! And we're all very happy with it.
T: Yeah, we put out the two songs because we weren't sure if we were going to really do the album and we were like "Let's just do a 7" because we can and it's easy”. And then we just decided, "Fuck it! Let's do the full length!". We actually wanted to do a full length all the time, but it's really tough when you have five different people doing five different things and it's all real life stuff: like, some of us own houses, some of us have jobs where you can't get days off. Like, this is the only vacation that we're taking the whole year. This is our only tour, and it's two and a half weeks, so we were really lucky to be able to have these days off. This is one of the only 25 shows that we're playing this year, and we decided to come to Europe. We're not playing the States: we had like five shows in the States, and the rest is this tour.
About your new record, Tycoon, I can feel that something has changed from your previous works: it's not a huge change, but somehow you taste a more mature and thought out sound.
T: Well, you know, it is different. When we recorded our first CD, Canyoneer, we were young, and we were recording with one of our heroes meaning we were really nervous and trying to record it as perfect as possible, and I honestly think that a little bit of personality was lost in that CD. I love that record, but this one has more balance, more personality, and I think that's what came out, you know.
J: We're all older now. We started writing Canyoneer probably eight years ago, so there's a lot of musicianship that has grown, so it became a little bit more personal on this record. And there was a little bit more freedom as well, on how we wanted to record Tycoon. We didn't have a time restriction or anything like that, we recorded it in our own home state, which gave us the freedom to come in and go as we pleased.
How was it, so, to have your first full length recorded under Dexter Holland label, Nitro Records?
T: We did't really work with Dexter, he just gave us money! [Laughs] F: Really? So you never met him?
T: Oh we did! We met him, once, but he gave us money, and then we worked at Nitro, with other people. But yeah, we met him once, and he was nice. J: Offspring's awesome! T: Ok, Dexter's great. Dexter got us to a point that we probably would have never reached without Nitro label!
J: He makes great hot sauce! Gringo Bandito Hot Sauce, and it is sooo good. T: It is actually phenomenal, it's so good. J: It's the perfect amount of spicy and you can put it on anything! Pizza, cheeseburgers...
Amazing! So the last question...
T: Is Jon single? F: Is he? T: Yes he is.
No, seriously. Since skatepunkers.net is about the melodic hardcore/skatepunk scene, what do you think of it nowadays? Is it making a comeback?
T: I guess here's the thing: that is the exact scene I grew up in. I'm thirty now, but all I listened to back then was melodic punk and hardcore and I skateboarded all the time. So did he [Jon]. I think the whole band, maybe four out of five, grew up like this. So we've been entrenched in this forever. It did kind of die out, I don't know why. I mean, I do know why: maybe people just got kind of sick of it, but there are still some diehards out there who fucking love skatepunk. But I think that right now people are starting to associate it, you know, with not even just our type of music but like even popper or even harder music. Like skating and punk, I don't know, it's kind of all over the place...I don't skate anymore...none of us in the band does anymore, but we used to, a lot! So I can't tell you what all the skaters are listening to.
J: But it's definitely making a comeback, I mean, you notice it, with bands like Bad Religion still putting out CDs. To me, that's skatepunk, you know. And then you've got bands like The Swellers, who are also in the fast skatepunk scene.
T: And then you've got bands like Title Fight (awesome), bands that are still doing that. J: Yeah, it's definitely there. With all the bands that are coming out right now, it's definitely there. He [Tom] brought up Title Fight, they're awesome and they play fast... they just remind me of the music I used to listen to. Right when I heard them for the first time I was like "Fuck!" I would listen to this band in ten years, I would listen to them when I was fifteen. You know, I love it. Keeps heated up. And this is really good for bands like us!
T: We're like...we know where we stand: we're kind of in between hardcore and...we're in between the Fat Wreck kind of stuff and Bridge 9 kind of stuff. We're right in the middle, we could play either way. We could play a show with NOFX, we could play a show with Bane. By the way I appreciate it [Skatepunk] but the kids are into definitely different stuff, but having bands like Title Fight really helps....Did I mention we're terrible at interviews? [Laughs]
So, interview is over! Do you wanna add something for the people on Skatepunkers?
T: Thank you so much, skatepunkers.net!
Thanks Francesca for the interview.