Trenchtown
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Trenchtown

Hermosa Beach, California, United States | INDIE

Hermosa Beach, California, United States | INDIE
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"Skope TV Phoner Feat Ryan of Trenchtown"

August 24, 2010

On Friday August 20th Skope TV got on the phone with an exciting band that started in Detrout while in high school but now resides in Hermosa Beach, CA. The band we are talking about is Trenchtown and they mix punk, rock, reggae, and dub in a way that is addictive. If you have any doubt just grab the FREE MP3 of “Ay Oh” now. We got to talk with Ryan all about forming the band, the self-titled EP, Hermosa Beack vs Detroit, and so much more! - Skope Magazine


"Brothers in the Trench"

"BROTHERS IN THE TRENCH"

by Sascha Bush
Wednesday, July 28, 2010 5:23 PM PDT


TRENCHTOWN TAKES OVER HERMOSA BEACH

Local punk music fans are fiercely possessive about their local punk music bands. Why wouldn’t they be?

The South Bay music scene boasts a resume going back 30 years that includes Black Flag, Pennywise and The Circle Jerks. It’s our music. We own it. Even the uninitiated can at least claim that he’s friends with a friend of - or better yet, went to high school with - a guy in 98 Mute.

So maybe transplants from Detroit won’t have the hometown advantage, but the guys of Trenchtown made a good move by dropping roots in Hermosa Beach.

The band’s self-titled “Trenchtown EP,” released July 9, represents a “rebirth” of the group comprising Michigan natives Ryan Wagler (vocals), Eric Wagler (bass), Greg Bolenbaugh (lead guitar), Mike Nichols (rhythm guitar) and Mike Burlett (drums).

Brothers Eric and Ryan Wagler spoke to The Beach Reporter about the birth, and rebirth, of the band.

A NEW OLD BAND

Trenchtown is the new incarnation of the punk/rock band Maryz Eyez. With two consecutive years playing on the Vans Warped Tour, two XM radio top-three songs, and two albums under their belts (“For All the Haters,” 2004; “Memento Mori,” 2008), Maryz Eyez got its start where many bands do: playing house parties in high school.

Starting in the mid-1990s, original members Eric Wagler, Nichols and Burlett played throughout high school, then college. Younger brother Ryan explained that he and Bolenbaugh “had our own little junior high school thing. We’d sneak into their parties, watch them play.”

Maryz Eyez had been playing for several years when Ryan joined in 2002. “I hadn’t even owned a guitar then,” admitted Ryan. Rather then bringing in a new guitar player, the senior members of Maryz Eyez gave Ryan a shot to play.

“At the first show (I played), on the way we stopped at Guitar Center, and I bought my first guitar and amp.”

Maryz Eyez quickly garnered plenty of attention in its home state, playing to homegrown fans and showcasing for various record labels.

“We toured the state … We did the Warped Tour, put out a couple of records,” said Eric. “We … got as far as we could in Michigan and moved out to the West Coast. We brought in Greg and formed a whole new band Trenchtown.”
‘It’s cold in Detroit’

Unsatisfied with what the Detroit music scene had to offer, Maryz Eyez and the Wagler brothers relocated from Michigan to Hermosa Beach in 2008. Nichols, Burlett and Bolenbaugh joined them more than a year later to regroup as Trenchtown.

“We’d locked down a major management company and …were getting to the point where we thought something was going to happen with a label, and we were almost there - but nobody put pen to paper,” Eric said.

MARYZ EYEZ HAD COME TO A PLATEAU AS FAR AS MICHIGAN WAS CONCERNED

“It’s not to say that Detroit can’t help you out, can’t hook you up. We met a lot of people … and it didn’t work out. New industry people weren’t moving into the city,” explained Ryan. “You can’t stay in one place and wonder why nothing is happening.”

Eric described Maryz Eyez as being on “somewhat of a hiatus” after moving to California. Every other month or so the brothers would fly out to Detroit for a show or Nichols and Burlett (Bolenbaugh was not yet a member) would join them in Los Angeles.

Last summer they decided to get serious about music again.

“We decided that everybody had been dedicated (to the band) before, and everyone wants to be dedicated to it again. In order to do that, you have to make an album, get some merchandise, start networking, do shows, get on a tour,” Ryan said.

“To do that, we had to start over.”

TRENCHTOWN EP

In 2008, Bolenbaugh joined as a fifth member and lead guitar, a new name was selected and a new sound evolved as a result.

Trenchtown’s music, which has been compared to Green Day and Sublime, has picked up a “reggae/ska vibe,” said Ryan.

“We don’t shoot for any particular style. We don’t sit down and say we’re going to write with this intended sound,” Eric said.

The new sound of Trenchtown, they explained, was the natural result of having now five people writing and playing together.

Ryan pointed out the “new” sound isn’t entirely new at all. “Unpaid Holiday,” a track from the 2008 album “Memento Mori,” was re-recorded for “Trenchtown EP” because, they realized, the song had the exact sort of sound that fit with the new music.

The “Trenchtown EP” was produced by Billy Graziadei of Biohazard and Suicide City fame. A chance meeting at a local Best Buy store paired the band with Graziadei who “took (us) under his wing.”

“We were at the right place and the right time,” Eric said.

“We hadn’t really planned on going to the studio until we met Billy. He liked the stuff we’d previously recorded …We realized that with what he could offer, and the songs that we were writing, it was time.”

Trenchtown spent nine months creating its “Trenchtown EP” at Graziadei’s Underground Sound Studios in Gardena.

“Billy was very hands-on with our music,” Ryan said. “Before we recorded the album he’d make us play, take all these notes, took them home, and he must have listened to (the songs) for a long time because the next week he’d come back with all these suggestions, minor changes here and there.”

The result is the six-song self-titled EP, which the brothers say is getting a great response.

“As far as crowd reaction, ‘Ay Oh’ is getting the best response from the fans,” Eric said.

“If I had to pick a favorite, I’d pick track three, ‘Murderer,’” said Ryan. “It sounds most powerful to me. It’s a different song than we’ve ever written. It’s a hypothetical situation about an innocent man being murdered by the courts that framed him.”

“WE FREE THE PEOPLE WITH MUSIC”

Bob Marley’s song “Trenchtown” not only inspired the name of the band, but the lyrics resonate among the members.

“We free the people with music” is about escape,” Ryan said. “We all grew up in the same town, we all went to the same school, and we use music to escape.”

It was the perfect name for the reborn Maryz Eyez. Besides, everyone kept misspelling the old name.

Trenchtown is scheduled to play every Friday throughout the summer at The Lighthouse, located at 30 Pier Ave. in Hermosa Beach, from 4 to 8 p.m. and Hennessey’s Tavern, located at 8 Pier Ave., from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

For more information about the band, visit www.trenchtownmusic.com. - The Beach Reporter


"Ska's the Limit (4.5 out of 5 stars)"

Trenchtown
by Madison VanderMeer

4.5 stars
Trenchtown EP

Detroit's hometowners Trenchtown have been around the block. Founded in 1996, D-Towners Mike Nichols, Mike Burlett and Eric Wagler released their first studio length album, Mary-Go-Round, while attending Western in 1999. It wasn't until 2002 that the band gained an additional asset — Ryan Wagler on rhythm guitar and vocals. In 2008, longtime friend Greg Bo joined, making the quintet complete. Relocating to Hermosa Beach, CA, inspired their transformation to ska-punk.

The whole thing kicks off with "Ay Oh," a perfect introduction to the Trenchtown sound, featuring upbeat rhythms, a traditional ska drum pattern and an invitation to "Ay oh, ay oh, Come on now!" From there the EP melts into a kind of ska ballad, "Paralyzed," slower and more deliberate than the preceding track.

The third track brings their punk influences to the forefront, until the chorus, when the ska creeps back in as eerily as the words being sung — makes sense, since the song is entitled "Murderer." "Unpaid Holiday" is as bittersweet as they come, mixing a cheery melody with lyrics insisting that "We'll waste away." Frankly, that's fine with me — as long as I'm wasting away listening to this album.

Worth a listen: "Paralyzed" - Real Detroit Weekly


"Trenchtown Rocks!"

Post Published: 23 August 2010
Author: Aldo Singer

There should be an ‘Advisory Warning’ sticker on the self-titled EP from Trenchtown informing all music elitists out there to put your egos in your back pocket and enjoy this fun record.

Though it may come off ‘poppy’ at times, the guys based out of Hermosa Beach, California, bring much more to the table, blending punk, reggae, and even get a little hardcore in just six tracks. It all comes together very tight and nicely, under the tutelage of Billy Graziadei from the legendary hardcore band, Biohazard, to complement the chemistry the guys possess being in the band since their teen years.

“Murderer” brings the emo/hardcore sound from Trenchtown that helped keep them apart of the Warped Tour for two years in a row. “Let it Go” is the heaviest track on the EP. The band belts out the chorus with an intoxicating anger that taps your foot for you. “Unpaid Holiday” is my favorite song off of the album. They could warrant a Sublime-similarity reference here, not only because they stress love, happiness and loving life without worries, but Trenchtown vocalist, Ryan Wagler, comes pretty close to sounding like the late Bradley Nowell.

Plain and simple, it’s a fun record the makes you remember punk rock before it became a Broadway play. - Independent Media Magazine


"Trenchtown Release Self-Titled EP"

Published on August 10, 2010

Trenchtown is an interesting beast. I recently had the chance to sit down and savor their new album the Trenchtown EP. Bred out of Hermosa Beach, they wear their influences on their sleeve. I was greeted with a high energy mix of LA punk and ska that was bit Greenday, a bit Rancid, a bit Sublime and all fun.

A six song EP with punk-length songs isn't more than a musical nibble, but I walked away wanting more. The EP starts with "Ay Oh" with a distinct oy punk feel. A little deeper in, Murderer is a standout song that's devious fun with ominous lyrics. Later, the closer Unpaid Holiday winds the collection down, but I have confidence it'll become a summer anthem for some.

If the band is as fun live as their abum makes them out to be, I can't wait to see them. You can check out the EP for free at their official site here. - The DELI Magazine


"EP Reviews: Trenchtown"

Trenchtown are a Californian (Hermosa Beach) based band who have a reggae-rocking surfer punk rock sound, very East coast and with a healthy dose of radio friendly feel good music. With bands like Sublime, Pepper, Unwritten Law and even Authority Zero leaving their trace influences on the band, combined with producer Billy Graziadei’s (Biohazard, Sick Of It All) touches, this self titled EP is a great little intro to the band for new fans. With leading track ‘Ay Oh’ certainly initiating the party vibe, the six songs move through a range of pace and tones; ‘Murderer’ shifting between slow groovy chorus and faster paces verses, hook filled and ironically upbeat ‘Unpaid Holiday’ and poppier but catchy ‘Let It Go’ all add some diversity to the bands output. Moving forward it will be interesting to see what the guys can produce but there are some healthy indicators based on this EP already. - Distorted Magazine


"CD Review: Trenchtown - Trenchtown (4.5 out of 5 stars)"

Written by Dan Savoie
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 14:18

Hermosa Beach, California has provided the stomping grounds to many punk legends, including Black Flag, The Descendents and Pennywise, but the next generation might best lie in the hands of Trenchtown, who left their Detroit homes to catch a whiff of some of the magic that might be in the air down there.

Produced by Trenchtown and Biohazard’s Billy Graziadei, the self-titled EP is properly produced with just the right mix of raw energy and slickness, making it a fulfilling debut. Sounding much like what a ska version of Green Day might, Trenchtown pack punk energy with a reggae sensibility, in a unique pop package. The six songs bounce around a bit, with hook laden, feel good reggae/pop vibes to more straight forward rockers, but the variety stays well within the realm of who the band is.

The opening track, Ay Oh, kicks off the album with bouncy beats, upbeat and swampy guitar licks, and crisp, catchy vocals. Not “letting go”, the album continues with the promising Let It Go, which might be the most straight forward rocker on the whole CD. This sing-along sounds like it would be a killer live track at their concerts.

Murder and Waiting For The Day are powerful, while the laid back Unpaid Holiday sways more on the reggae side of things. The band is a bit better when it rocks and punks out, but it’s reggae sound would be a welcomed treat on any ska festival stage. Trenchtown deserve the full CD treatment and it would be great to see these guys on the Warped Tour. Judging from the EP, they’ll be a mainstage act in no time.

Listen to: Ay Oh, Let It Go - Rock Star Weekly


Discography

ALBUM TRENCHTOWN (SELF TITLED) 2010
1. Ay Oh (Single)
2. Paralyzed
3. Murderer
4. Waiting for the Day
5. Let it Go
6. Unpaid Holiday

ALBUM: MARYZ EYEZ MEMENTO MORI (2008)
Tracks:
1. Memento Mori
2. Unpaid Holiday
3. Alive and Well
4. Feel
5. High Sea
6. Soulmate Destiny
7. Intro
8. Killing Time
9. The Ride Into Charlotte
10. Roll The Dice
11. Guess You'll Never Know
12. Lie Awake
13. Run
9. The ride into Charlotte

Album Title: Maryz Eyez (For all the Haters) 2003
1. Lights Out XM Radio #3 song for 2 months
2. Pourin Rain XM radio #1 song for 2 months
3. Second Sight
4. Over Now
5. County
6. Lost and Proud
7. OK
8. Change for the Better
9. 1330
10. Crawl
11. Your Light
12. Final Days

Photos

Bio

For Trenchtown, brotherhood is everything. From the first time five kids with guitars met up after school in the rural town of North Adams, MI, just some 50 miles south of Detroit, they simply followed the path laid out for them.

It was one that would take them to far-off places as well as other rural towns, still guitars in hand, providing their signature four part harmonies blended with driving punk beats and rhythmic reggae accents.

But it all began at local high school parties covering songs by Green Day, Nirvana and Sublime. “We would play as long as we could, literally all night. Ever since then, it has been impossible to escape the rock and roll lifestyle,” lead guitarist Nichols says,

Trenchtown’s music, then under the name Maryz Eyez, garnered them 1 and 3 hits on XM radio and two spots on the Vans Warped Tour. After several years of calling the Detroit music scene home, the band decided to take their show to SoCal and relocated to Hermosa Beach to work on their self titled debut “Trenchtown EP”.

Since arriving in the same beach town which has given rise to bands such as Black Flag and Pennywise, Trenchtown has been hard at work writing songs and learning the LA music scene. Upon a chance encounter, Nichols ran into Billy Graziadei of the band Biohazard at a local Best Buy and offered up a demo.

Nine months later, the pair of Trenchtown and producer Billy Graziadei (Slipknot, Sick of it All, Biohazard) have completed the self titled EP. First track, the driving ska fueled opener, ( Ay Oh”). “We literally had this song complete,” vocalist Ryan Wagler reveals. “But Billy thought it needed some changes, one being a slight tempo increase of two BPM. Needless to say, we started over and worked all night. That’s how dedicated we all were on this project”

The six songs move from the melancholy and abstruse (“Paralyzed”) to the hook laden feel good reggae/pop of (“Unpaid Holiday”), featuring shout-it-from-the-rooftops choruses (“Let it Go”) and narratives about the wrongful conviction of an innocent man (“Murderer”).

Yet, the Trenchtown brotherhood is best conveyed live. “Our shows are no different from the house parties we started at,” Nichols says. “You rarely find us back stage, we only want to hang out with everyone before and after shows and share music during. Hope to see you there!!”