We caught up with Triggerman’s Bap and Niall this week over a rockers breakfast - coffee and chocolate gravy rings - for a chat ahead of their latest record release.
Atomic Rock Number 79 will be officially released with a celebratory launch party in the Gweedore Bar on Friday 29th July with support on the night coming in the form of Lady J.
Surprisingly enough, six years have now passed since the release of the much loved Hail to the River Gods but Atomic Rock Number 79 is cut from the same cloth, five tracks of muscle riffs and energy exploding through the airwaves and it’s safe to say that the guys are more than happy with the finished product. “The new record is music which we have built up over the past year” says Bap. “We were kind of going through a little bit of a lull and it was really last summer when we got started on the new music.”
TRIGGERMAN - HAIL TO THE RIVERGODS [OFFICIAL]
Guitarist Niall adds “I think we made a concerted effort because we had been doing nothing for so long. We decide to just sit down and write some songs. Because of everyone’s full time jobs and the fact we all have kids, it’s kind of hard to get together so myself and Bap decided to sit down and write music and that was something we had never really done before.
“We just sat down and wrote some riffs and jammed music out and prepared it for whenever we did have the opportunity to get back into the practice room with the full band.”
Bap adds “we’ve always been slow at producing new music to be fair. Not because we wanted to be ground breaking or anything, but because we wanted to produce music that we were happy with.”
Atomic Rock Number 79 is the title of the new album, and Bap tells me exactly why they choose that title. “Atomic number 79 is the atomic number for gold, so it’s kind of like ‘Rock Gold’ he says with a laugh.
“A lot of the titles of the tracks actually tie in together, like Stone the Philosopher is the philosopher’s stone, alchemy. It’s like when you go looking for music and you can’t find something, you’re in a sense digging, and when you find it it’s kind of like you get that golden feeling. So the actual song is meant to sum up that feeling.”
“Baps a big fan of the old concept album” Niall sums up with a laugh, and Bap agrees “yeah. There’s a slight underlying concept to the whole thing and that ties into the artwork for the record too.”
While we were on the topic of concepts, I thought it would be a great opportunity to find out the true meaning for each of the tracks on the album from the guys themselves.
The first track is titled The Drift which is an instrumental, slowly building the anticipation and energy before exploding into the second track. “There were never meant to be vocals on that song. It was always meant to be a wee instrumental intro piece. Just one riff, build up, build up, build up… and then straight into the next song” says Niall.
TRIGGERMAN - THE DRIFT (Official)
The next track on the album is titled Stone the Philosopher, which I learnt has a deep meaning to it. “I was reading a synopsis of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave about Plato’s Republic” Bap tells me.
“The Allegory of the Cave is where you have these people in a cave but they are chained up and facing a wall. There’s a fire behind them where there’s some people moving but the only thing that those who are chained can see are the shadows on the wall in front of them. That’s their reality and if that’s their reality, how do they know anything different? But one person escapes and leaves the cave. He sees the sun and tries to tell the others what he had seen, but they end up killing him.
“The second half of the lyrics are like ‘I don’t want to know that’, like the re-emergence of the Flat Earthers, learning nothing, just going back into the cave, like ‘I don’t want to know, you can ram your wisdom and courage’” he says with a laugh. “So it’s like stone the philosopher because we don’t want to listen.”
Rat Race is the next track up for discussion. ”It’s really about the pursuit of wealth” says Bap, “blinkers on and not paying attention to anything that’s going on around you. Missing out and just getting stuck in the rat race.”
“It’s my favourite song off the CD” adds Niall. “I had a chance beforehand to actually prepare the music, sit down and write a guitar solo for it before we headed into the practice room. I loved the song that much that I thought ‘I have to write something special for it here’. It’s also really enjoyable to play. It’s so rhythmically tight that you have to work hard to get it spot on.”
Next up is Big John. “It was actually the first song that was written on the CD and it’s based on a boy I know, Big John” Bap says. “I think everyone knows a ‘big John’ so it sort of travels. He’s a big golden character, genuine down to earth Donegal man.”
Triggerman formed in 2002 and along the way they have amassed a core fan base, numerous records and played some incredible gigs, but what has been the highlight so far? “Getting to play with some of our heroes and some of our favourite bands” says Niall. “Sepultura was a big one” Bap adds and Niall agrees, “yeah, I remember going to see Sepultura in Belfast when I was a kid and then suddenly you’re sharing a stage with them. That was pretty cool.”
“Status Quo for me as well was special” says Bap. “12 Gold Bars was one of the first albums that I had ever bought and then being able to watch just how things are done on that level was great. 100 million albums, you don’t get much bigger than that.”
It’s been two years since Derry’s Muscle Rocking four piece have played a headline gig in their own town, and it’s definitely a night not to be missed with the guys themselves excited about unleashing their new riffs.