At Four Year Strong's 2010 Holiday Show (which due to a weather related rescheduling was actually in 2011!) I had the pleasure to interview No Trigger guitarist Jon Strader after their set. This was No Trigger's first live show since the end of their almost 3 year hiatus and possibly their first Massachusetts show since they hit the stage with Propagandhi and Paint It Black back in early 2008. To add to the excitement, the holiday show was being held in their hometown of Worcester, area who's hardcore scene often goes unmatched. Fresh off the release of their new seven inch record "Be Honest" from Mightier Than Sword records, the band played an unforgettable energy filled set proving that they were in fact back in full force. Read on to find out what the future holds for No Trigger, Jon's top favorite new releases of 2010 and why we had to wait so damn long for new songs.

Tom: Why don’t we start by having you introduce yourself, telling us what you play in the band and then if you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
Jon: I’m John and I’m the guitarist of No Trigger. If I was to have a superpower I would probably be able to fly because then I could get from point A to point B in a matter of seconds.

Tom: Good answer, good answer. Ok, so now for the question that is on everybody’s mind right now…why did we have to wait like four years for you guys to release new music?
Jon: I know, it’s been a long time. Our last big tour that we did was a 52 date through Europe with Set Your Goals and after that we were like, you know, we just did the whole world on an entire record and you know, we’re going to have to sit down and write another one. Everybody was getting to that point in their life where they were trying to figure out what was next for all of us. I mean, some of us got into real estate, some of us kept playing in other bands, two of our guys who were touring with us are still playing in Outbreak right now, the drummer Erik Perkins and guitarist Billy Bean. So I mean, I moved to California…it was just one of those life things. We got to see the world, we did a lot off of one record and we’re very thankful for that, you know, we have fans from all over the world. It’s funny how fast time goes by! We had a couple of shows here and there like we played the No Idea Fest, we had a show in Boston with Propagandhi and we were still trying to write over the years but we’re kind of slow moving. Now we’re kind of stepping it up into gear and everyone is comfortable with our job situations and stuff so we want to just put out new music now.
Tom: Awesome, well we’re glad you’re doing it.
John: Awesome!

Tom: So what led you guys to sign with No Sleep Records instead of keeping with Nitro or Mightier Than Sword for the full length?
Jon: A lot of bands were leaving Nitro, like Crime In Stereo, and we just weren’t seeing the attention that we were before. We kind of were like looking elsewhere and it was cool with that label too, like we’re still cool with those guys, like they said if we wanted to put out a record elsewhere than go for it. And these up and coming guys are killing it, they’re picking up really good bands and they have an amazing following and we’re very honored to be a part of that. Like you know, we know a couple of people and we were talking to some people and it just worked. We’ve known about these people for a while so it was actually cool that we wanted to put out new stuff and we had it. So big ups to Mightier Than Sword and No Sleep Records for sure.

Tom: What can people expect from the full length and when are we looking at a release date?
Jon: Well, I’m really excited to get this material out. We’ve been working on this material for like 3 years now. There’s been a lot of stuff that we’ve just brought back out and that we’ve been re-amping. We’re trying to make a Canyoneer step 2. We put a lot of work into that first record and we put a lot of work into this one too. And I can’t wait for people to hear it and see how they take it. We’ve been working really hard on it. For a release date, I think we’re looking at the summer right now. We’re going to be recording with Jay Maas at Getaway Studios in Wakefield, he just did our two song seven inch and we were stoked and he was stoked. We just really connect working with each other and yeah we’re probably looking at a summer release.

Tom: Who did the artwork on the seven inch?
Jon: The seven inch artwork was done by Laurie Shipley ( She’s an amazing artist and she did all that by hand too. She was really stoked to work with us and it came out awesome.
Tom: Yeah it’s really cool, I was looking at it earlier and thought it was awesome.
Jon: Yeah!

Tom: So you guys are headed to Australia in January, right?
Jon: Yeah we have a headlining tour in Australia with Such Gold coming up in a few weeks. We’ll be there for three weeks. We’re basically doing the whole eastern coast. That’s the one place that we haven’t gotten to tour yet and we are so excited to get there and we’re finally going and we just can’t wait to see those kids because they’ve been waiting. Every time our friend’s bands go over there they’re always telling us like the kids were asking about you and when’s No Trigger coming over here and its like very flattering. We’re really pumped to get over there.

Tom: Yeah, how does that make you feel to have people in Australia talking about your band?
Jon: It’s crazy! It really is, it’s crazy and we are still going over there with this one record that we had. Now we have a seven inch to take with us so we are really looking forward to it.

Tom: Do you guys have any plans to tour the states after that?
Jon: We don’t have any plans for the states yet. Right when we get back we’ll be in the studio for a month and a half and after that we’re doing a week long tour in Europe because we got confirmed for Groezrock in Belgium and The Descendents are on it, Millencolin’s on it, you know NOFX, like we aren’t going to know what to do with ourselves! It’ll be cool to see Bill Stevenson from The Descendents because he recorded our record so it’ll be really nice to catch up with him. But as far as the states, we’ll be looking to hit the states towards the fall of 2011 when the record comes out.

Tom: When information of you guys resurfacing first came about were there any bands that were hitting you up to go on tour with you or any bands that you wanted to go on tour with?
Jon: Band’s have been hitting us up looking to do some international stuff, which is really cool. A lot of our friends that we toured with like The Swellers, Set Your Goals, Polar Bear Club, like those are our boys, like growing up in the scene with those guys and then watching them take off is like wow and they’re still doing it and looking to take us out! We’re going to be doing some stuff with those guys in the future. That’s going to be fun, those bands are killing it right now. I just can’t wait to get back on the road and just bring us back to where we were starting with those guys. It’s going to be fun!

Tom: On the new EP, you guys spout some Massachusetts pride on "Commonwealth Song". How do you guys feel about how the scene has evolved in Massachusetts since you guys first started?
Jon: I mean, it’s crazy! Look at this show. You know, Four Year Strong, 2,600 kids sold out! I used to play with those guys back when I was 13 years old. We’ve known those guys forever and just watching all our friends just grow up and still tour and now they’re packing the Worcester Palladium with 2,600 people. We all used to come to shows here when we were younger and now we’re playing them. The Worcester scene is evergrowing and we’re extremely proud to be a part of that. Like you have bands like Four Years Strong, you’ve got Mountain Man, our good friends in Last Lights, rest in peace Dom. Bands have a passion here and their passion for music shows when you listen to their bands so we’re definitely honored to be from this part.
Tom: Yeah, it seems like everyone is really kind of friendly within the scene here.
Jon: Yes, everyone is really respectful and everyone gets a long and all of these bands just kill it dude. I‘m very proud to be from here.

Tom: So since its 2011 now, a lot of people are coming out with their top ten lists of 2010, so what were some of your favorite new releases of the past year?
Jon: Let’s see, 2010...some big releases that I was listening too… I don’t know if the Wonder Years came out in 2010 or 2009?
Tom: Yeah, that was 2010. "The Upsides".
Jon: "The Upsides", I can’t stop listening to that record! That record is awesome.
Tom: So good.
Jon: And again, for this scene, that type of music is just awesome, it’s ever growing. What else…I mean I listen to a lot of different stuff. I started listening to the new Gorillaz a lot, the new Vampire Weekend. Transit’s new record that came out is sick. All these bands man, it’s so cool. I’m pumped!

Tom: Alright, so this is my last question. I ask all the bands this one. Who do you think would win in a fight…all of the people in the world or all of the ants in the world?
Jon: In a fight? The people or the ants? Well, let’s see…there’s probably a lot more ants than people…I’d say ants. What do you think?
Tom: I’ve always thought the ants.
Jon: You’ve always thought the ants?
Tom: Yeah.
Jon: Well there you go, then we agree on something!
Tom: It’s very 50/50 between bands.
Jon: Yeah? There’s a lot of ants in the world, dude. (laughs)

Tom: Cool, that was a great interview thank you very much!
Jon: No problem, dude!

Make sure to check out No Trigger's music, tour dates and pick up a copy of their new seven inch "Be Honest" from Mightier Than Sword records at

Tonight on Live from the Fallout Shelter on WUML 91.5FM, Lowell's own President Soup will be coming into the studio to play a live set for all of us. Playing a mix of gypsy folk, punk and jazz, these guys have been becoming familiar faces at local Lowell music hubs such as The Dirty Douglas, 119 gallery and various downtown restaurants. President Soup is easily comparable to popular acts such as Gogol Bordello and The Bad Plus but also encompass their own unique style of the jazz-punk genre that many other bands struggle to achieve.

So tune in tonight from 8 - 11pm with the band going on at 930pm with the best in underground music before and after the set as well as an interview with the band. We will also be continuing our lists of Top 5 best new releases of 2010.

You can listen tonight at WUML 91.5FM. Unfortunately, our online web streaming is down.

You can check out President Soup and get some free recordings at

This past November, The Lawrence Arms treated Massachusetts to two very special nights at TT the Bear's Place in Cambridge. Both nights were sold out and ended up being two of the sweatiest, memorable and amazing shows of the year. I was fortunate enough to sit down with bassist Brendan Kelly before the show at the nearby Middle East restaurant and find out more about what The Lawrence Arms have planned for the future, their thoughts on where the music industry is going and why he probably wont accept a free drink at a show if you offer it to him. As he munched on a falafel sandwich, we shared the following words. Enjoy!

Tom: Why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself.
Brendan: I’m Brendan. I’m in The Lawrence Arms. I play bass and I sing.

Tom: How is the tour going so far?
Brendan: It’s good, this is the last day. It’s been pretty short…we flew to Philli, then we just went Philli, New York, New York, New Hampshire and then two nights here. The NH show was a little bit, uhh…squirrly…but all the rest of them have been sold out.

Now was that at Rocko‘s in New Hampshire?
Brendan: Yeah…

Tom: That place sucks.
Brendan: So weird. My wife called me and asked how the show was and what it was like there. My response was that I think if Fred Durst walked in the people at the show right now would be pretty fucking stoked, you know?

Tom: What have you guys been up to recently and what are you currently working on as a band?
Brendan: Man, this is going to be a bummer of an answer. Nothing! That’s the answer to both.

Tom: Just kind of playing one off tours and stuff?
Brendan: Yeah, we’re just doing little one off shit. We’re just not as active as we used to be. I mean the music industry is kind of going out of business, we’re all a little bit older, it’s hard to tour as much as I think we would need to do to be productive, like a really super active band. I mean, touring is fun and being in a band is awesome and we all love it but we’ve also always been a very organically growing and functioning band and when its like natural for us to write a lot of music and record and go on tour we’ve done it and when it’s not we don’t and its not like we have this huge insane momentum right now where like if we stop or we relax we’re going to lose out on something that’s going on. For better or for worse we’ve stayed a pretty small band and our fans are pretty dedicated. The results are we’re not really doing much.

Tom: So you said that the music industry is going out of business. Do you think that there is anything that could bring it back to a sustainable place?
Brendan: I have no idea man. If I could figure that out, I wouldn’t be in a band at all. I’d be wiping my ass with hundred dollar bills in someplace in paradise. But I mean, people love music and there’s going to be a methodology that is going to be imposed on the world of music consumers and music producers that will probably balance out the universe a little bit. Definitely the way things now or the way things were recently, it’s just totally messed up. It’s like people who were making the music weren’t really making any money, People who were listening to the music were spending way too much money and now there’s been this humongous shift where the people who are listening to music are paying no money and still the musicians who are making the music are making no money but now the suites make no money either. But I mean at the end of the day playing the guitar for a living its pretty frivolous and its pretty awesome and its fun, but its hard to get a lot of sympathy from people when you say I can’t play my guitar for a living anymore. It’s like well you know what why don’t you come stand next to me in the factory for a while, it really sucks there!

Tom: So what are your opinions on illegally downloading music and stuff like that that a lot of people have criticized as the reason for the downfall of the industry?
Brendan: Well, the thing is man, what relevance does my opinion have on that? I mean, I don’t want to sound like an old man and sit there and be like oh man back in the old days people used to pay for music and now you kids have gone and ruined everything…I mean, it’s the most useful line of thought that there could ever be. You know like a hundred years ago there was a dude that shoed horses for a living and then people started driving cars, he was probably like ‘you know what, these cars…fuck these cars! I can’t stand these people driving these fucking cars!’ Its like well, guess what old man, people are driving cars now. So you can either stop shoeing horses and get with doing something that works with the way the world is now or you can like sit there and let shit pass you by. That’s how I feel about illegal downloading. It’s happening. It’s going on and that’s the way the world is. I may as well bitch about the sun coming up in the morning instead of in the afternoon. There’s no practical application to wasting your energy and hating that kind of thing.

Tom: So the industry kind of just needs to figure out a way to evolve to work with it?
Brendan: I mean, I don’t know man. I don’t have the answers to that. The person who does figure that out is going to be very rich because people want to make money making music and people generally do want to support the artist that they really appreciate. But I think the thing that is becoming really apparent with this whole decline of the music industry is that people were charging way too much money for something that really a lot of people feel is sort of intangible and sort of should be kind of free if not cheap and the people making the money weren’t the people that the consumers really wanted to be giving the money to. That’s created this like backlash. And right now, people feel like they don’t need to pay for things because they’ve been kind of fucked for a long time. The music industry is pretty weird.

Tom: I have heard that you guys have pretty strong feelings against the Warped Tour and in past interviews I have read that you guys have had some say in what you think is wrong with the Warped Tour. But recently there have been a lot of DIY fests popping up all over the country like obviously The Fest in Gainesville and The Fun Fun Fun Fest and Get Better Fest and just a bunch of stuff like that. Do you think festivals like those are beneficial for combating against the Warped Tour or do you think they are kind of feeding into the same machine that is effecting touring bands and effecting smaller venues?
Brendan: Festivals are a cool and fun thing and they’re awesome and even the Warped Tour does its job. I mean like kids who live in Montana would never get to see any bands. They would never get to see NOFX or The Bouncing Souls or The Suicide Machines or The Lawrence Arms or anything but then all of a sudden the Warped Tour comes through and those kids get to see them all. I mean, the Warped Tour is not like a completely horrible thing and like festivals aren’t horrible, they’re cool. I’ve got very specific ideology issues with the Warped Tour. It has a lot to do with the fact that that shit takes place in stadiums and there’s like army booths and I thought that the reason I got into punk rock in the first place was so that I didn’t have to pay $25 to drive out to the suburbs and sit in this stadium and watch my favorite band from like a zillion miles away while someone tried to recruit me for the army at the same time. Like it has nothing to do with why I got into this. But like a festival like The Fest or The Fun Fun Fun Fest, that’s just kids putting on a show on a big scale. That’s totally cool. None of it’s evil, none of it’s like pipelines through Afghanistan. I don’t know man, I wish we lived in a world where like the insurgent music consuming public was indignant enough to not want to go to the Warped Tour, but we don’t and as a result the Warped Tour does serve an important function for better or for worse. The shit’s not evil though. It’s just a very, very opportunistic disingenuous thing and it’s repackaging something that’s punk rock which is the very fundamental antithesis of what I consider to be punk rock. But who the fuck am I?

Tom: Well, for this tour for example…you guys were supposed to play at Harper’s Ferry last night and tonight you were supposed to be down in Rhode Island. Both those places, Harper’s Ferry and Jerky’s, both closed down and they’re both not very small but they’re not very big venues either. What do you think these places can do to help themselves from closing there doors?
Brendan: Well, you know, again man, the whole country’s kind of in the shitter, man. The housing industry, the music industry, publishing, periodicals, like so many things and so many jobs are just gone and they’re just never coming back. Like we hardly even produce anything in this country anymore. The problem’s not the Warped Tour or whatever. The world’s fucked up man…if I could figure it out…
Tom: You’d be rich?
Brendan: I’d be rich haha. But what can they do? I don’t know, go be a venue in Switzerland. Times are tough right now man, times are tough. And where is that going to be reflected in like the way people spend their leisure hours and their leisure dollars? Maybe there’s a time when you feel like oh yeah Goober Patrol, I remember when they were a band on Fat Wreck Chords maybe I’ll go check them out tonight because I have nothing better to do. But like that night out is squarely competing with the twelve pack of beer that you may have bought that could last you the next couple of days or another show that you would actually want to go to in terms of the dollars in your pocket. Those kind of casual interests are just going to fucking hold up and that’s what the problem is. That’s why clubs are shutting down, man.

Tom: So you guys are pretty much road dogs…you’ve been touring your whole career all over the place. Do you have any advice to new bands who want to start touring?
Brendan: You kind of just have to get out there and do it. I mean, you’re never going to do anything by wishing you could go on the road. It’s not that expensive to buy a van and this day and age its very, very easy to book shows. When we started booking shows I had to leave messages on people’s home phone answering machines because there were no cell phones, I mean, there were but they weren’t common. And now you can go on Myspace or Facebook and you can book a tour in 45 minutes. You just have to get out there and do it because no one is going to see you in your basement or your garage and the only way to have people be interested in your band is to be in front of them. You can’t just expect to put a record and expect that to do all the work for you. You have to be out there…now that being said our band is pretty unsuccessful so I would take that advice with a grain of salt.

Tom: Ok so, less serious questions now. What song do you like to listen to that you wish you had written yourself?
Brendan: That’s a good question. You know I used to have an answer to this too…(thinks for a while)…I mean there’s a lot of songs I wish I had written but there used to be a song I remember that I would listen to and be like ‘oh man, I’m so jealous that I didn’t write this song.’ I mean, there’s a zillion! The song that comes to my mind instantly is this song called “I Was Stabbed By Satan” by this guy named Kanon, he’s like a Somalian rapper and that’s a really, really incredible song. If I had written it, it would have been vastly more incredible. But like, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, I mean there’s just so many awesome songs. The reason I’m kind of flailing right now is because there is one song that I know I was just so jealous that I didn’t write and I think it was written by a friend of mine. I wish I had written “Trusty Chords” by Hot Water Music man, that song is incredible. But in a way, no I take that back because I would so much rather be somebody who could listen to that song and appreciate it than be the person who wrote it…but no, I don’t wish I had written that song. I don’t know man, there’s a lot of them out there. How about the first song off of the Marshall Mathers LP? It’s pretty good.

Tom: Can you tell us what your worst show experience has been?
Brendan: Hmm, no not really. We’ve played a lot of shows and a lot of them have been pretty bad. I don’t know man, it’s just so hard…we played a show where there was one person there and halfway through our second song they left. We played a show where somebody put something in a drink that they bought for me and I couldn’t stand up and play when we were there and Chris and Neil had to play and I was basically passed out on the stage. We’ve played shows where the microphone was shocking me so badly that it literally knocked me off of my feet. We’ve played a lot of bad shows, there’s no way I could even come close to figuring out what the worst one was.

Tom: Who do you think would win in a fight…all of the people in the world or all of the ants in the world?
Brendan: This is people versus ants? So the notion is that ants are becoming aggressive and looking to exterminate the humans and our option is to exterminate the ants or die?
Tom: Yes.
Brendan: Oh, people would kill the ants.
Tom: You think people would win? Why is that?
Brendan: Ants are fucking retarded. People are smart. Ants can’t even get organized enough to take something from here to there. They just work in this robotic method. Human beings…you know what we can do? We can stand on tables! There’s no question, people would win. There are those ants that can cover you and those ants will cover some people and some people would die but they’re not covering everybody. I mean they would cover one guy and the guy standing next to him would burn that guy and all those ants. All those ants would be dead. Ants don’t stand a chance against humanity.
Tom: What about flying ants?
Brendan: Fuck them too.

Tom: Haha, well thank you for the interview. It was a pleasure meeting you and I hope you have a great show tonight.

Brendan: Thanks man!

You can check out The Lawrence Arms songs, tour dates and other information at