No one would accuse No Trigger of being the most prolific band on the punk circuit today. Six year’s since the release of their celebrated album Canyoneer via Nitro, the band returned in February 2012 with Tycoon a rafter-swinging, punk opus that reestablishes the band’s relevance and reputation as a powerhouse act. Teaming with No Sleep Records for their latest album, the Massachusetts quintet prefers quality over quantity, and at the core of their ethos seems to be establishing their own playbook and timetable – even if that means that life comes before touring or recording. Being in our 30s here at You Indie hq, this is a practice that we have the utmost respect for.
We recently caught up with No Trigger guitarist Jon Strader to discuss the new record, the move to No Sleep, line-up changes, and their best and worst experiences while touring. Here’s what he had to say.
You Indie: There was a long period of inactivity for No Trigger following the release of Canyoneer, right? What was the reason for that?
Jon Strader: We basically toured everywhere we could off that record. It was getting to the point where we were wondering what was next for No Trigger. Life decisions were taking over. Honestly, it turned out for the best.
You Indie: What changes has No Trigger seen in the last six years?
Jon Strader: Many. We lost two, then three, crucial members of this band. We filled the spots with our very close friends Billy Bean and Erik Perkins. They were from the band Smartbomb and now are both full time with Outbreak, Far From Finished, and other projects. Tom’s (singer) cousin, and our full time tour manager, Brad, stepped up and took the reigns on bass.
We reverted back to the original members to start the process of Tycoon. It ended up being four of us tracking the record, as we lost our bass player once again. We pushed through. Brad is back with us full time. Other than member changes, new music is the biggest change thus far.
You Indie: During that time period did the band part ways with Nitro? What was the reason for that split?
Jon Strader: Nitro was basically becoming an inactive label. The decision for us to move on once we started making new music was very amicable on both ends. Nitro always has and still does, treat us the best. We wouldn’t be anywhere without Daddy Dexter.
You Indie: Are there themes that run through Tycoon that tie it together as an album?
Jon Strader: There is a certain theme of maturity I feel that carries Tycoon. It’s the passion through Tom’s lyrics, our structure, and overall ambition we had to make this happen. We wanted to make a No Trigger record that could carry us another six years just like Canyoneer did. I think we did alright. We are all very happy with the record.
You Indie: Where was Tycoon written and recorded? How long did that process take? What challenges did you face in getting those songs to tape?
Jon Strader: Some of the songs on Tycoon have been with us for a while now. We even have the first song this band ever wrote on this record. It just never got recorded. We recorded with Jay Maas (Defeater) at Getaway Studios in Mass. We were in Jay’s basement/garage for about a month. We even had the opportunity to sit with our record for about two weeks and re-work what we felt best for the songs. It was what bands can only dream of having. Time. We got lucky with this one.
You Indie: How has working with No Sleep reinvigorated the band?
Jon Strader: Our relationship with No Sleep can be summed up with one word. Family. We wanted to be a part of a label that meant something. It’s a perfect fit for us. Chris at No Sleep and the band have become pretty close since the signing. We’re friends. We make the music, No Sleep has the faith in us to put it out.
You Indie: With the high cost of living in Massachusetts is it difficult to try to be an active, touring act and still pay bills?
Jon Strader: We all have full time jobs. Full time lives. Running companies. Selling Real Estate. We do it all. Working for ourselves basically. Our touring schedule is what we make it. Perks of being a part of No Trigger.
You Indie: Who are No Triggers touchstones in terms of influences?
Jon Strader: Honestly, the late 90′s early 2000′s era of Fat Wreck/Epitaph are what fuels our influences throughout this band. We all grew up listening to the same bands/style of music. I think that’s one of the strong points of this band. We all come from the same musical drive.
You Indie: It seems as though the east coast is leading a resurgence of impassioned punk music as of late? Has that undercurrent always been there? Why do you believe this style is catching fire again?
Jon Strader: I always had a feeling one day this genre will catch on once again. We all grew up listening to the same bands. Same style music. That early, late 90s punk. All the bands breaking out now I feel are in the same boat. We all have a passion for that style of music and it is catching on more and more every day.
You Indie: What are the biggest differences you can see between being a band in 2001 when you started out, and being a band over a decade later?
Jon Strader: Maturity in our music and stronger friendships.
You Indie: What tour plans do you have in support of Tycoon?
Jon Strader: We have a release weekend coming up in March with our friends Polar Bear Club, Banquets, and more. Check www.facebook.com/notrigger for the dates. We also will be venturing back to the UK and Europe at the end of May into June. We are taking an amazing band. Announcements will be made soon!
You Indie: What is the worst experience you’ve had on the road? The best?
Jon Strader: I’ll have to say, we were on a U.S. tour with Set Your Goals. We didn’t even get to meet up with the tour when we were supposed to because we were held up in Corpus Christi, TX for almost a week. Van troubles. Always the worst. We all thought we were at our last leg. Only it turned out for the best. Because after that we ended up conquering all of Europe and UK with those boys. Two month tour. 52 days and 1 day off. That was one of the best experiences NT has had to date.
(Tycoons was released via No Sleep Records on February 21, 2012. For more information about the band, visit http://www.facebook.com/notrigger.)