American Hitmen
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American Hitmen

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States | SELF

Salt Lake City, Utah, United States | SELF
Band Rock Alternative




"Pop Vulture Magazine: Video Premiere Feature" - Pop Vulture Magazine

"American Hitmen: Pioneers of Post-War Hardcore"

The American Hitmen came together in 2005, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, when Dan Cord, Tim Cord, and Dan Jarmon were serving in Fallujah, Iraq. Playing acoustic guitars after missions with their Marine Corps units, the 3 Marines began writing music together. Upon returning to the States, they began jamming all over Southern California with their own brand of rock ’n’ roll. In 2006, they deployed to Iraq for a second time, only to find themselves performing as a supporting act to The Charlie Daniels Band while on their USO tour.

In late 2007, the American Hitmen were honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps and decided to relocate to a city (Salt Lake City) less saturated with rock bands, in hopes of making a lasting impression in a fledgling music scene. When drummer Phil Snyder joined the group in 2008, he brought with him the breath of fresh air the American Hitmen were so desperately searching for.

Since 2008, the American Hitmen have played all over the world, sold over 20,000 albums internationally, became the first American rock band in 36 years to perform in Communist Vietnam, and the first rock band of Marine Corps combat veterans to play on the flight deck of the USS Midway, while kicking off the Vets for Freedom tour in 2008. Oh yeah, did I mention that all of these accomplishments were done without a label, a manager, or a promoter?

The American Hitmen are a truly talented, driven, and hard working group of musicians. Their musical influences range from Radiohead and King Diamond to Aerosmith and Pink Floyd. Their music and lyrics convey a mix of dark humor, autobiographical war experience, and a love of all things cinema. This is a band that sells not only their music and merchandise, but also the idea that the crowd is the reason the music is made in the first place.

The American Hitmen ARE the epitome, definition, and embodiment of Rock ‘n’ Roll! - Pop Vulture Magazine

"SLUG Magazine CD Review #1"

American Hitmen
Street: 09.01
American Hitmen = 3 Doors Down + Danzig + Deftones
Mostly loud, raucous and at least a little dark, I’d say American Hitmen would be considered a somewhat modernized offspring of 1980s era metal/thrasher tunes. Not so much like the metal creations who have done away with melody and music altogether—the “roll” in “rock n’ roll,” if you will. This EP seems to pay homage to some of the original interpretations of the genre, aligning more with Alice Cooper and Def Leppard stylings. Personally, I prefer the roll in my rock n’ roll, so I do appreciate the fact that the vocals carry a tune and some of the songs lean on the light side. On top of that, when the lyrics and music do lean heavy, you can know that it’s coming from a very real place. These guys are US Marines, and they formed the band on the battlefield in Iraq during some of the bloodiest fighting to date, Operation Phantom Fury. Alive and inspired, they returned home safely and wasted no time in pursuing their dreams—a much preferred way of dealing with PTSD. Rock it out! –Ischa B. - SLUG Magazine

"SLUG Magazine CD Review #2"

American Hitmen
Soundtrack of Violence
Street: 02.14
American Hitmen = Buckcherry + Candlebox
Listening to American Hitmen is like jumping into a Hot Tub Time Machine. Instead of going all the way back to the '80s, this time travel adventure sends you back to the early '90s when rock bands still had all the flash and machismo of spandex-rocking '80s metal bands, but were also starting to embrace a little bit of a dark, moody, creative side. The compositions here are tight and creative. You can tell everyone in this band has a strong mastery of his/her instrument. With bodacious vocal performances from singer Tim Cord, I really feel like these guys should petition Chad Kroeger from Nickleback and demand an opening slot on their tour, because everyone needs to experience the extreme awesomeness that these dudes exude. -Jon Robertson - SLUG Magazine

"Fantastic Release"

Years ago, when I was younger I heard Pearl Jams 10. I was impressed with the emotion they seemed to put into their music.

Now I'm older, a veteran, and have been introduced to The American Hitmen. A band born in hard times, made of individuals who understand hard. The emotion these guys pack into each track is amazing, and blows away bands like Pearl Jam at their best. Lyrics and music come together in a delivery which is strong, real strong.

Add in they support their brothers in arms still out there and returned and in my humble opinion is a absolute shame to NOT support this band. They rock, they support great causes, and they're REAL guys.

Get this album. You will not regret it. -

"HARD CORE Marines Set To Rock Belly Up"

Get ready to rock N really rock. Not bubble gum rock, but not head-banging
rock, either.
It's a rock genre that is best described by the American Hitmen the five
battle-tested Camp Pendleton Marines that play it as Post-war Hard Core.

The American Hitmen deliver a hard-driving brand of music that will separate
the serious patrons of rock, from the pretenders. And they play it without
acquiescing to those easily offended by heavy guitar licks, gritty vocals
and brash drum runs. True fans of the hard rock genre will want to circle
May 5 on their calendars. That's the day the American Hitmen play a
mid-afternoon gig at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. Just as the
sounds of combat aren't for the faint-hearted, the sounds emanating from the
amps of the American Hitmen, aren't well suited for the timid rock fan.

But they are a match for the stage at the Belly Up Tavern, long considered
second-to-none among San Diego live music venues. Even though, the group
has yet to visit the Solana Beach club, American Hitmen co-founder Dan Cord
knows of the venue's reputation among musicians. "We have friends that have
played there and they say the sound and light systems were awesome, said
Cord. They say the place is really fan-friendly that people can get right
up next to the stage. We've been told if you can play anywhere around here,
play the Belly Up. We're just grateful for the opportunity to have one of
our shows there."

Formed in March of 2005, during their first of two tours in Iraq, the
American Hitmen consists of brothers Dan and Tim Cord, Benny Porterfield,
Daniel Jarmon and Ryan Wilson. Dan Cord and Porterfield handle the bulk of
the guitar work, Jarmon plays bass and Wilson is the band's percussionist.
Tim Cord is the group's lead singer and plays keyboard and guitar. Tim
Cord's vocal range is broad, as evidenced on the group's recently recorded
CD, and on the band's Web site: From the energetic
"Shout Some Loud" to the metal-ballad "Inanimate Objects", Cord demonstrates
a powerful, yet disciplined voice, not common with Hard Rock frontmen. It
is a discipline that the younger of the two Cord brothers says, comes in
part, from being a Marine. "Most of what each of us represents, and what
the band as a whole represents, is due in part from what we have learned
about being a Marine, says Tim Cord, 22. We all know that we have to be
disciplined in getting in our practice time, and giving our fans a good
show. We don't take any of this lightly we're serious musicians and we are
serious Marines." The elder Cord agrees. "We are serious about our music
and we're serious about continuing to work in this industry, says
24-year-old Dan Cord. "This isn't just a fly-by-night operation. We're
committed to each other, to the music and to keeping this band together and
making a name for ourselves," he said.
We understand how important it is to keep our commitments to play at shows,
and to be there on-time and ready to go that's just one of the things that
we have all learned from being Marines." The Cord brothers and drummer
Wilson also understand the value of a committed fan base, and they say
bending to appease the masses isn't in their future. "We are where we are
right now, because we have fans that truly enjoy our music, just the way it
is and we make no apologies for the way we sound it's our type of music,
says Wilson. This band will not compromise. We're not going to change
because somebody thinks we should. People either love our music or they
don't. People can either join us for a good time and enjoy our music, and
support us as we grow, or they can stand back out of our way." Dan Cord says
he expects a near sellout at the May 5 gig at the Belly Up. "We've got lots
of fans and friends here on base," he says. "We're going to fill that place
with Marines, and with the people that have chosen to follow us. Everywhere
we play, we see our core group of fans, they're always there to support us,
so they'll be at the Belly Up, too," he says.

Now is the time for anyone who wants to, to get behind this band and support
them, because when they make it to the "Big-Time", they're going to remember
everyone that supported them on their way up.

-John Raifsnider
The Scout Newspaper
April 3, 2007
- John Raifsnider Of The Scout Newspaper

"American Hitmen: Marines by day, Musicans by night"

Being a band member can seem like a full-time job in and of itself. But for Temecula-based band American Hitmen, their passion for music has had to take a backseat to one very important thing: fighting for our country.

Since we're all active duty marines, we have no control over where we go, or when we go there," said Dan "The Hitman" Cord, lead guitar. "We go where we are needed, and the band has to come second ---- which has put a huge damper on our progress as musicians."
Made up of Temecula's Ryan "Rhino" Wilson, Dan Jarmon, Timothy "Two Guns" Cord, Dan Cord, and Oceanside's Benny Suicide, American Hitmen came together in a blend of deployments and a mutual love of music.

"We all met through deployments in Iraq," Dan Cord said. "When you aren't out on a mission, it's easy to get bored over there. We all had music as a common interest, and it slowly drew us to one another. As for the name American Hitmen, we are all active duty combat veterans, so it seemed fitting at the time. After all, what more is the military than America's Hitmen?"

American Hitmen plays Friday at Java Jo'z in Murrieta along with Talks in Stereo and Hung Jury. Doors open at 7 p.m. and is open to all ages. Upcoming shows include The Viper Room in West Hollywood on February 3, 710 Beach Club in Pacific Beach on February 7, Dream Street in Ocean Beach on February 10, and Monte Vista School Theatre in Murrieta on March 2.

"All of our different influences make for a unique song development/structure," said Ryan Wilson, drums. "It mixes the hard with the soft. We try to put together good music that people can relate to; but, at the same time, a sound that other musicians can find something in, as well."

"We draw inspiration for our lyrics from various experiences in life ---- good or bad," said Tim Cord, vocals. "Everything we see and hear influences what we do; whether it's a story, a song, a TV show, a conversation, a flower Ö anything. You can't limit yourself to a specific source, or you'll miss all the other ideas out there that are floating around."

American Hitmen, who count artists such as Aerosmith and Avenged Sevenfold as influences, feel that their upcoming performance will give attendees a chance to embrace a true show experience.

"A good time will be had," said Benny Suicide, rhythm guitar. "It's important to us that everyone there enjoys the show. Not only watching and listening to us play, but the people they're around ñ the whole experience of going to a show." - Erika Sorocco For The Californian

"National Heroes Tour- Kickoff on USS Midway"

I posted the full videos of the events and you can see them at the Blackfive TV. Here is a ten minute best of reel of the National Heroes Tour opener. Do check out the American Hitmen, five Marines who decided to form a band while in Fallujah, who rocked the ship. I get chills every time I hear "Born Again" (lyrics after the jump). Hugh Hewitt broadcast his radio show from the ship and had the heroes on to talk. The event was incredible and Vets for Freedom should be commended for all their good work.

Also be sure to pick up Marcus Luttrell's book "Lone Survivor", the movie is currently in production, and David Bellavia's "House to House" which is my favorite book about Iraq.

American Hitmen- Born Again

I watched my friend's life slip away
Just the other day
I held on his hand as he screamed out in pain
He looked at me and said
"Some things must be this way"
So I got on my knees and I started to pray

I took another man's life
Just the other day
I was on a mission and that man got in my way
I know that I will see so many better days
But for him I cannot say the same

You ask me if I've ever killed a man
I tell you "Yes, and I'll probably kill again
Because I'm born again"

Go my brother, be in peace
Leave the spoils of war at your feet

- The Black Five

"Marine Brothers Jam with Charlie Daniels"

CAMP TAQADDUM, Iraq - Southern rock/country superstar Charlie Daniels performed for a full house of more than 1,200 service members here April 16, 2006.

Backed by his loyal band and cheered on by service members from all branches of the armed forces, the 69-year-old put on a show that left the Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen standing and yelling for more.

"This is the first concert I"ve lost my voice at," said Cpl. Jesse J. Buttrick, a supply warehouseman with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28.

"Charlie Daniels has a lot of energy; he puts on a good show," said Lance Cpl. Jeremy L. Fender, a 23-year-old native of Houston, Texas and heavy equipment operator with the 1st Marine Logistics Group.

The Charlie Daniels Band put on the concert to show the troops how much they appreciated their sacrifices for America.

"We"re (touring) to honor the men and women who protect our way of life. It"s the least we can do," said Daniels.

"It"s nice to have someone understand what we"re doing and that we"re here to help this country out," said Buttrick, a 22-year-old from Columbus, Ohio.

An opening act from Marine brothers who played some original music of their own, followed by the comedy routine of Dave Price, the weatherman for CBS" ‘The Early Show," got the crowd hyped for a show unique to this area of Iraq.

Daniels performed a variety of music ranging from country, rock, gospel, and bluegrass.

During the show, Daniels invited his opening act, brothers Cpl. Steven D. Cord and Cpl. Timothy M. Cord to play an oldies favorite with him, the Chuck Berry hit ‘Johnny B. Goode."

"(Playing with the Charlie Daniels Band) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially in Iraq. I never thought I"d get to do that," said Steven, a 23-year-old Saginaw, Texas native.

The opportunity to rock out with a living legend made the deployment all that much more worthwhile on a personal level.

"All of a sudden, Iraq isn"t so bad," said younger brother Timothy, 21.
- Free Republic

"Battle-tested from Provo: American Hitmen's rock 'n' awe sound"

Some local bands form in high school, others in clubs or garages. The Utah band American Hitmen formed in hell.

The Provo rock quintet, performing Friday at ABG's, was created by four Marines who started playing together in Fallujah, Iraq, in late 2004 during Operation Phantom Fury. With the addition of new drummer Phil Snyder and the debut of its first album, the band hopes to continue on its highway out of hell.

"Our experiences set us apart," said lead singer and keyboardist Tim "Two Guns" Cord, 24, who, like the rest of the Marines in the band, was honorably discharged in 2007 but is still enrolled in the inactive reserve. "Most bands have a bad-ass attitude, but they have nothing to back it up."

Burger with Relish blog
David Burger
The latest post:
Bowie's axeman coming to School Thursday, June 25, 2009
poseurs," said Dan "The Hitman" Cord, Tim's 26-year-old brother and guitar player.

With bravado in his voice, Dan Cord describes the band's classic hard-rock sound as "postwar hardcore."

Despite the menacing band name and tough-sounding comments, in person the young men are unfailingly polite and respectful. The Cord brothers, plus bassist Daniel "Jay" Jarmon, still wear their hair skin-short. The notable exception is 25-year-old guitar player Ben "MegaBear" Porterfield, who hasn't cut his hair or shaved since he left active duty.

Phil Snyder, 33, is the only civilian of the bunch, and he's been impressed with his bandmates' professionalism. "I was in a band that wasn't doing much," he said about making the decision
to join the Hitmen. "A lot of bands are just excited about getting free drinks, and then they play like crap. We're here to not look stupid. It's fun to play well and impress people." (The band's original drummer is still on active duty, planning to make the military a career.)

Dan Cord describes the Iraq War's Operation Phantom Fury as the campaign when the Marines decided to "take the gloves off and do it Patton-style" to insurgents embedded in the province of Al Anbar, about 40 miles west of Baghdad on the Euphrates River. Under Saddam Hussein, Fallujah was an important region of support for the regime and a breeding ground for terrorists. Operation Phantom Fury resulted in the death of some 1,500 insurgents, with about 100 American troops killed and more than 1,000 wounded.

The four Marines were living in a camp about a mile outside Fallujah. When they weren't on patrol, the Cord brothers began playing cheap acoustic guitars together in the camp's smoke pit during the enveloping darkness of desert night. The only illumination was cigarettes of fellow troops and intermittent flashes of artillery fire in the nearby sky. "A few times, our jam sessions got cut short by mortars," said Dan Cord, who was a combat engineer.

Porterfield, a talented songwriter and guitarist from Oregon, joined the Cords in the jam sessions, along with Jarmon, who didn't know how to play an instrument but was so moved by the music that he picked up a bass and taught himself to play. The four played covers as a morale-booster for troops at night, taking requests such as "Sweet Home Alabama, "Hotel California" and "Johnny B. Goode." (The band heard many requests for Extreme's "More Than Words" but refused to learn the sensitive love ballad.)

The band continued to play together when the four were sent to Camp Pendleton, Calif., between tours. (The Cord brothers and Jarmon served two military tours, and Porterfield served one.) Despite training all day -- "12 hours, if you were lucky," Porterfield said -- the band would travel to bars in San Diego and Los Angeles to perform, explaining to venue bookers and audience members they weren't a white supremacist band, despite the haircuts.

After four years in the military, the four friends decided to leave the service. The band of now-brothers had begun writing original material and wanted to continue. The Cords had lived in Utah County between 1989 and 1995 and still had some family living in the area, so they decided to relocate to Utah, where monthly rents were considerably lower than in San Diego.

Since then, American Hitmen has recorded its first album -- available on the band's Web site, -- and lined up a regular gig at Salt Lake City's Poplar Street Pub, playing every other Saturday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. During the Fourth of July weekend, the band will travel to Ventura, Calif., to perform at a music festival.

Band members admit to still having war-induced nightmares. "The hardest thing for me was not being able to do more," Tim Cord said. "There's more we could have done." Many of the lyrics -- but not all -- speak of the horrors the men faced in Iraq, but could also serve as metaphors for "civilian" emotions, as well: anger, sex, death, lost love.

Every day, and with every home phone that rings, Tim's wife, Rachel, worries about her husband and brother-in-law being recal - Salt Lake City Tribune

"Music News Nashville"

American Hitmen - Self-Titled

by Chuck Dauphin

Sometimes the American flag can be as much as a prop for a musical act as a cowboy hat. You have to truly wonder about the sincerity of some musical acts when it comes to songs about the flag. One group that doesn’t apply to is this band, based in Provo, Utah. They actually formed while in Iraq five years ago while serving their country.

The band does a lot of things well, but their heart is rock and roll. They have a natural blend that comes across in songs like “Sleeping Mind” and “Title Of Liberty,” which rocks…..and that’s putting it mildly.

Simply put, there’s not a lot of frills to the music of brothers Dan and Tim Cord, Dan Jarmon, Ben Porterfield, and Phil Snyder. They rock it out…and turn it up…loud! They show their Aerosmith influence on “Broken Down And Dead.” Vocally, they are better when they slow it down a notch, such as the Vertical Horizon-ish “Inanimate Objects,” as well the somber “Born Again.”

For the most part, though…this is an album that you will want to put in the CD player, and turn up the volume. Just don’t blame the band for the speeding ticket you might get!

For more about the Hitmen or to buy their CD, visit

(c) 2005-2009 MNN Enterprises, LLC. Music News Nashville is designed, owned

and published by Dan Harr. All rights reserved. - Chuck Dauphin

"Band of brothers features music by former U.S. servicemen"

Iraqi nights aren't always conducive to acoustic guitar chords floating amid the echoing sounds of combat.

And yet, in late 2004 when brothers Tim and Dan Cord were deployed to Iraq, they found solace in the familiar songs from home, strummed on Dan's guitar.

"It offered an escape from the scenario we were in at the time," Tim said. "Everybody could just relax and sing along to the songs they knew. We would just sit in the smoke pit and play."

And thus, the American Hitmen -- performing at ABG's in Provo on Friday (the eighth anniversary of 9/11) -- was born. The band members -- Tim Cord, lead singer; Dan Cord, lead guitar; lead/rhythm guitarist, Ben Porterfield; and bass player, Daniel Jarmon -- were stationed in Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Phantom Fury. Drummer Phil Snyder later joined the band when they moved to Utah in 2008.

"We'd just sit out there and jam for everyone whenever we had the chance," Dan said. "That's how we met the other bandmates -- just sitting out there playing classic rock and blues songs whenever we had time."

The band got its name from Dan's high school paintball team.

"Being Marines, [the name] just seemed fitting," Dan said. "It brought an actual visual and harnessed the sound we were looking for."

When the bandmates were deployed again for a second time in early 2006, they took the time to work independently.

"It was a nice songwriting break," Tim said. "We all came back with a lot of ideas and we were able to just hit the ground running."

The band reunited in October of 2006, and picked up where it left off.

"There were bits and pieces of songs that we had worked on separately that we were able to piece together," Dan said. "We tried to record on anything we could and e-mail it to the rest of the band."

Though the band members did lots of songwriting while in the military, their lyrics don't necessarily reflect those combat-filled days.

"It's a close part of all our lives, and it's definitely influential," Dan said. "But we're mainly about writing music that people can relate to and not a lot of people can relate to combat."

And while Sept. 11 has significant meaning to many Americans, for the American Hitmen, it is an especially important day.

"Sept. 11 is the reason we all joined the military," Tim said. "So the fact that we're playing a show on the day that convinced us all to join the military, it has a lot of significance."

If you go

American Hitmen

When: Friday at 10 p.m.

Where: ABGs, 190 W. Center St., Provo

Tickets: Free

Info: ABGs (801) 373-1200,,
- The Daily Herald


American Hitmen LP (2009)
The Proposition EP (2011)
Soundtrack of Violence LP (2011)
Water's Edge EP (2013)

All these tracks can be found on the band's websites:



The American Hitmen formed quite literally in the midst of battle in Fallujah, Iraq, during Operation Phantom Fury in 2004. Brothers Dan and Tim Cord began jamming for their fellow Marines in the smoke pit, after long days of missions, incoming mortars, and firefights, with acoustic guitars in hopes of uplifting everyones spirits. Upon returning home to Camp Pendleton, CA, the Cord brothers brought bassist and fellow Marine, Dan Jarmon, into the band to play bass guitar. The American Hitmen performed all over Southern California and even opened for the Charlie Daniels Band while deployed to Iraq for a second time, although with a different drummer, who decided to continue his career in the Marine Corps instead of pursuing music.
In late 2007, each band member was honorably discharged from active duty in the United States Marine Corps, and the band relocated to Salt Lake City, UT. They met drummer, Phil Snyder, and began working their way up from the unknown garage band from Southern California that they were into one of Utahs premiere rock bands. In 2009, the band was flown out to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (Saigon) to perform not only at the countrys first Hard Rock Caf, but also as the first American rock band to perform in Vietnam in 36 years. The American Hitmen were a huge hit, and on the night of Hard Rocks grand opening, they performed Aerosmiths Walk This Way with Run DMC founding member, Darryl McDaniels.
In 2011, the American Hitmen were flown out to the island of Macau, just off the coast of Hong Kong, to perform at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. While performing in Macau, the band was flown down to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to perform at the Hard Rock Cafs 40 Days of Rock celebration. This week of performing opened up a lot of doors for the band, expanding their fan base well into Asia, Europe, and Australia. The American Hitmen returned home to Salt Lake City with a massive new fan base and new popularity they had never experienced before.
2012 was the start of American Hitmens rise to rock royalty in Utah, with the band opening for Black Stone Cherry, Royal Bliss, Quiet Riot, and many more. The band also won a national battle of the bands which allowed them to perform at the Rockstar Energy Uproar Festival, alongside Staind, Shinedown, Godsmack, and Adelitas Way.
For the American Hitmen, with their unique and roots-based rock n roll sound, this was only the beginning of a long, successful career on the rock n roll music scenewhich just happened to land the America Hitmen on Season 8 of America's Got Talent!!