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Hardcore is not only good music, it's also great lyrics and political message.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


As the 1980’s came to an end. Long time legendary punk/hardcore axe man Gavin Oglesby needed a change of “soundery”. He had just completed the highly successful bands No For An Answer, and Carry Nation, and Oglesby felt that his next project needed to “break the mold” of what he felt was a very stale music scene. He hooked up with a drummer from Michigan and started Triggerman in January of 1990. After working with a couple of base playres and singers, they turned to the unlikeliest of allies to aid him in this quest, local Orange County folk hero Joe Nelson. Like Oglesby, Nelson was bored of the “youth crew movement”. Theyconnected instantly, and together conspired to create a new kind of music, called “emo” after the sound of the mid 80’s DC bands Embrace, Dag Nasty, and Rites Of Spring. They rounded out the line up with youthful (At the time, we was only 18) San Clemente tough guy “Smilin” Brian Howell on bass. Triggerman’s first show was in December of 1990 at SDSU with Headfirst. Later that month, they played with Gorilla Biscuits at the infamous Reseda Country Club (The CPR man incident). They played for most of 1991 around Southern California with bands such as The Offspring, Sensefield, Farside, Game Face, Into Another, Green Day, Haywire, Rage Against The Machine, Wool, Government Issue, No Doubt, Final Conflict, Insted, Quicksand, Helmet, Tool, Down By Law, One Step Ahead, Mary’s Danish, LL Cool J, etc. etc. etc. In 1992 the band finally released, the now classic 10 song LP “Dead Like Me. which according to Flipside magazine was the “most anticipated record of the year” The band did several grueling West Coast mini tours a la the Black Flag “get in the van” style in support of the release. They forged second homes in places such as Salt Lake City, and Tucson AZ. putting those one horse towns on the music map so to speak. They begin 1993 with their strongest release to date the “Sinker” 7”. That record included the now standard post straight edge anthem “Flux”. Looking back in retrospect 1993 would be considered the peak of the band. In the Fall of 1994, Sean Higgins left the band to attend grad school. The band enlisted long time supporters, and musical wizards, Kevin Murphy on skins, and Michael “Popeye” Vogelsang on 2nd guitar and barged into 1994. That year they played with bands such as Strife, Snapcase, Drift Again, Shelter, Outspoken, Mean Season, Jawbox, Fugazi, Girls Against Boys, The Vandals, Samiam, Texas Is The Reason, etc. etc. One again Oglesby, and Nelson begin to feel disillusioned with the music scene as bands such as Green Day, and The Offspring signed to major labels, while Triggerman stayed true to it’s independent roots. They could sense that this whole new scene that they had helped create was about to be swept up into the corporate rock world. “The Man”, as some people refered to the group, continued to gig around Southern California in 1994, but the two turned their creative minds to different projects , Oglesby to his visual arts, Nelson to his prose. Ironically “The Man” recorded it’s best work during the Winter of 1994 in the “Dead Wait” demos. Those sessions produced which many consider the groups best song “Flatline” , inspired by the death of friend River Phoenix earlier that year. In the Spring of 1995 the group decided to call it a day. They agreed to play one final show at the request of some old New York friends, and in July of 1995 Triggerman played their last show @ The Whiskey A Go Go with CIV. After Triggermans end Popeye and Murphy continued with their other little band Farside, which lasted for several more years. Howell went on to become a 2 time Southern California UFC Heavyweight Champion. Oglesby continued to paint, creating a new style of art called “cemetism” , a series of words such as “pain”, and “death” forged into cement blocks. Higgins went on to a successful career in advertising. He currently resides in Michigan working for an American auto company. Nelson followed his life long passion of making a snowboarding version of the surf classic “The Endless Summer”, which he called “The Endless Winter”. Production on the film however came to a halt by mid- May, 1996 due to lack of snow.

triggerman - 2000 - dead like me 12'' (workshed records)


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