Here’s a reprint of a Q and A I did with Triggerman that ran in the Big List last month.Well I think it was last month anyway.I’m getting terribly forgetful now I’m in my early 30s…
Triggerman Q and A
Continuing our catch-up with some of the music scene’s latest and greatest acts, this month we meet Derry’s very own monsters of rock Triggerman.
Hi folks and welcome to the Big List. First off, your new record ‘Hail To The River Gods’ is out now. Can you tell our readers a little bit about it?
Bap (vocals/guitar): “We are really happy with how the album came out and how it’s being received; it’s very humbling to have so many people say nice things said about it. We recorded it in Einstein Studios with the lovely Frankie McClay who has been so good to us we can’t thank him enough. He managed to get the sound that was in our heads onto disc, although I frustrated him at times using technical terms such as ‘wanting it to sound earthy and woody,’ [laughs]. But we got there eventually. The songs all feel very organic and that’s portrayed in the lyrics. In fact, some are directly influenced by some old folk songs and sea shanties-as in the title track, which is about hardy men heading to sea and leaving their loved ones behind.”
For me, ‘Rise Of The Woodsmen’ is a definite album highlight and one of the best tracks you’ve ever done. What’s your own personal favourite on the new record and why?
Bap: “Well, at the minute I think it’s a toss-up between ‘Thon Strange Brew’ and ‘The Flower of Life.’ We all love the way ‘Thon Strange Brew’ grooves along that wee bit differently from the rest of our songs and we love doing it at sound check too. Also, ‘Flower of Life’ is another sound check favourite and we love the weight of the track and the fact it’s got more riffs in it than we usually put in and is a lot of fun to play.”
To these ears, ‘Hail To The River Gods’ sounds more groove-based this time around, would you agree?
Bap: “Well I think there a lot more cohesion on this album as there have been a few lineup changes over the years, but we have settled into a really good groove with each other and that seems to be coming out through the songs. And we do love getting into a big groove and rocking out.”
For the unenlightened, can you fill our readers in a little on the Triggerman origin story?
Dixie (bass): “Triggerman are a four-piece band formed in Derry by Bap and our guitar player, Niall in the early 2000’s. Over the years there have been a couple of line-up changes. Our drummer Rory joined six years ago and I joined the lads in 2010.From day one, the band has written songs based around big riffs, big grooves and big choruses. The important thing to us is the song. It’s easy to make a load of noise, but there has to be a song in there for people to remember.”
Do you feel like veterans of the NI rock and metal scene or do you feel you’re only getting started?
Bap: “Well the band has been in existence for 10 years but with lineup changes over the years it has been a stop start affair. We seem to have well settled into it now with this line up so it does feel like we are only getting started. It’s all a learning process anyway and as the saying goes-every day’s a school day.”
It was a hell of a summer for you that finished with Triggerman supporting Sepultura at the Limelight in August-that must have been a highlight for you?
Bap: “That was amazing, we were so happy to have been asked to do that gig-it was like Christmas come early. Sepultura were such a big influence way back from ‘Beneath the Remains’ on up. I learned a lot about riffs from trying to play some of their songs. They were absolutely immense in the Limelight. Derrick Greene is such a powerful frontman and a nice guy to boot. I was a bit nervous, but we really enjoyed the experience and were really happy with how we played and the reception we got was really nice. So thanks to everyone who cheered us on.”
You also played some of the more mainstream festivals such as Glasgowbury. Do you feel it’s important for metal and rock acts to appear on less genre-specific bills?
Bap: “It’s great that we get asked back to play Glasgowbury regularly as it’s a good festival to play and we love it up the mountain and we always seem to go down well. I would love to see a few more heavy bands on the bill but then I am biased towards the heavier end of the spectrum. I do think it’s good to really mix up a festival with loads of different musical genres represented as it increases the flavour. The one thing about the Glasgowbury setup is they aren’t afraid to try new things and they are constantly trying to keep things fresh and current which is great. We also played the Stendhal Festival in Liamavady which had a real eclectic mix of music and had a really great vibe. I definitely think that festival has a very bright future and hopefully they will ask us back again too.”
How do you feel about the general perception of louder bands in NI? Do you think acts like Triggerman get a fair crack of the whip?
Bap: “I think the louder bands are starting to get noticed a bit more as people are looking for something a bit different. I think we do get quite a fair crack, but we would all love to be playing a few more bigger shows as we would really like more people to hear what we have to say, but in saying that, the small, in your face intense shows are always great to do. Those are the ones where the energy is really flowing.”
For more information on Triggerman visit www.triggerman.co.uk. ‘Hail To The River Gods’ is out now.