No Trigger talks 'Dr. Album', acid, Euro dance and The Beatles
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Saturday, June 17, 2023 - 11:37
No Trigger talks 'Dr. Album', Euro dance and The Beatles

They kept us waiting for 10 long years, but No Trigger did not disappoint with Dr. Album. The new release by the Massachusetts-based sextet (only their third full-length in almost 20 years) was written during the COVID lockdown largely under the influence of LSD. The result? An acid-soaked album unlike anything they have done before. Over the course of 13 songs, they jump from punk rock to pop-punk, from hardcore to emo and even smuggle in some ska. Which really proves they were on drugs, because why else would you write a ska song? We caught up with vocalist Tom ‘Teach’ Rheault at last year’s Riot Fest (yes, we are incredibly late with posting this) to talk about all things ‘Dr. Album’, acid, Euro dance and The Beatles. You can still catch the band on tour in Europe this month! Full dates below.


PRT: Your latest album ‘Dr. Album,’ is your first new album in 10 years. What have you guys been up to in the meantime?

Tom: Wow. You fucking...Hard hitting. We did put out some music in those 10 years since ‘Tycoon’. We did some things, but only whenever we wanted to. We call it vacation-core for a reason. We toured enough way back in the day. And we toured Europe enough so that we could go there and headline and make a little bit of money. It’s like a free trip, but you're also playing, and it's the best because you're with your buddies.

We'd put out a new EP and then milk that for three years. Writing a full-length is not easy. You have to spend a lot of time, energy and creative muscle to get it right. So when the pandemic hit, it was the perfect time. And so I went to work right away. I was like, ‘let's just fucking make the most crazy album we could ever write.’ And we kind of did.


PRT: Would the full length still have happened if it hadn't been for the pandemic?

Tom: Absolutely not. I just had two baby girls when the pandemic hit. One was April 2020 and the second one was May 2021. Back to back. And for the people of Punk Rock Theory: it was two gifts from God. We weren't even trying. That is an exclusive. So no, the album wouldn't have happened cause I just became a dad, but then all of a sudden we had all the time in the world.


PRT: And the name of the album, Dr. Album, Is that a reference to Dr.Alban?

Tom: No. What’s a Dr. Alban?


PRT: A really bad Euro dance artist. I think he’s from Denmark or something. His biggest hit was a song caled ‘Sing Hallelujah’.

Tom: Never heard of him. The Dr album title is just, funny. We talk pretty much every day and it came up in a chat and everyone was loving it. I was in tears crying, laughing over it. It was there before the music even existed. We were like, YES! All of our songs have been doctored. Surgically Perfect.


PRT: Onstage you described yourself as the hippiest punk band ever.

Tom: I forgot about that. I did do that. Yeah, I mean, we're not jamming yet. We want to. So the show that we just played was mostly the new punk stuff. And then we still have our old stuff, which is punk as well. But we haven't even touched the weird shit on the record yet. So we're excited to eventually be able to blend that in. I'm going to be playing fucking guitar too. I'm playing acoustic.


PRT: Come on, you already have three guitar players.

Tom: Yeah. With bass, it'll literally be five guitars. So that's as hippie as it gets. It's Partridge family.



PRT: Is it more challenging to write the more aggressive music that you used to, or the more melodic stuff that you do now?

Tom: I think it was kind of a progression really. The newer stuff is trickier because when you're crossing genres, you're like, well, how do you make those genres sound good? We know how to make a fast punk song. So it was a little trickier to get the newer, slower stuff sounding right. But I think we did it. The hardest part is to make it sound as a whole, instead of just random bits and pieces in different kind of songs.


PRT: Are there songs on the album where you're like, How the hell are we going to play this live?

Tom: A few. But we'll play everything. It'll be fun and it’ll probably be fine too. We haven't had a keyboard in… ever. We haven't had an acoustic guitar, so just doing that alone is going to… We're decent at playing so I think it'll be fun. I can't wait. This is the truth. Excited.


PRT: You aren't exactly hiding the fact that the album was written while on drugs.Was that an experiment?

Tom: Here's the thing. Something happened over the last decade where I absolutely got into The Grateful Dead and all that kind of shit. I never did drugs when I was younger. I drank, like everyone does. But I was like, drugs are bad, blah. But eventually in my twenties I was like, Wait a minute, I don't know anything about it. I'm just going off on everyone else’s opinion.’ And everything's an experiment. So when I turned 30, I was like, fuck it, I'm doing all of them. I didn't look for them, but if they came my way, I tried them.

The first one was weed and it took a little bit of time to appreciate weed, but now I'm built out of the stuff. And acid isn't a drug. And I know this is the most hippie thing you could say, but it's a tool. And if you dose it correctly, you can do anything. I'm on acid right now. Just a touch though. But you wouldn’t know it if I hadn’t told you. I could go drive around. It doesn't affect you, but it does open up a thing.

It’s a creativity sparker, it just ignites things. Just look at all the hippie bands from the sixties and seventies. Or the Beatles. They completely changed their sound in a good way as soon as they dropped acid. So we're the Beatles now.


PRT: So which one of you is John, Paul, Ringo and George? And most importantly, which one is Yoko?

Tom: Typically I'd be John. But I'm not. I'm Paul. And we ain't got no Yoko. We're okay. No trigger. No Yoko. That's a better name. No Yoko.


PRT: I don’t mean this in a critical way. But seeing as you're so open about drugs, do you ever wonder about the message that you're putting out there for younger fans?

Tom: No, because we have no fans.  And they have D.A.R.E. Do you know what that is? D.A.R.E. was an American initiative. When you're in fifth or sixth grade, they send a cop into your classroom to tell you about drugs and why you shouldn't do them. And at the end of it you're like, Oh fuck, I’d better not do drugs I guess’. And now, the main ones they always talked about are legalized. Makes you think. So that’s another thing, the younger generation has access to this stuff now because a lot of it's becoming legal.

And when we say drugs, we don't really mean drugs. Alcohol is a drug as well. And I will go to the grave saying that weed and acid are actually healthy. Maybe not the best thing if you're young though. I didn't do them when I was younger. I wish there was a No Trigger back then telling me I should though.


PRT: And what will you tell your daughters about drugs in a couple of years?

Tom: Honestly, I'm not worried about that at all. When we grew up, it was different. Everything was illegal then. It was literally a CIA operative thing where they could arrest you because you were enjoying yourself. And it totally knee-capped the entire counterculture. And it wasn't because they were bad, it was because it goes against capitalism. But like I said, acid is more like a tool. And you could do a ton of it and then just go like, Whoa. And that's all that happens. You don't die. Too high to die. You’d have to take millions of fucking doses.


PRT: What is the worst drug if you’re trying to be creative?

Tom: Cocaine is the one that would be a nightmare. And then you hear about NOFX writing whole records on cocaine. I'm like, that's the wrong one! Just makes them sound manic and crazy. Okay, Punk Rock Theory, this is a No Trigger challenge for NOFX. Well, there won't be any new NOFX albums. But if they were to do another one, they should write it on LSD instead. And we'll see how it turns out. We'll be responsible for a NOFX reunion


PRT: The album is out on Red Scare Records. What is one thing about Toby that people should know?

Tom: Oh, he's a wonderful guy. Knows how to pick 'em too. One thing that surprised me is that he doesn't drink beer. Just hard alcohol. I wasn't expecting that.


PRT: That was all we had. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!

Tom:  Yeah, that was fun. I think it went well. Dang duo, man. Long way from home.



No Trigger Euro tour dates:

  • 17/6 CH, Zurich @ Obenuse Fest w/ The Bronx, many more
  • 18/6 IT, Piacenza @ Sosteria (Low L Fest) w/ Edward in Venice
  • 19/6 DE, Munich @ Backstage w/ Überyou, Timeshares, Captain Asshole
  • 20/6 AT, Vienna @ Chelsea w/ Überyou, MakeWar
  • 21/6 DE, Zwiesel @ Jugendcafe Zwiesel w/ Überyou, MakeWar
  • 22/6 DE, Berlin @ Badehaus Berlin w/ Überyou, CF98
  • 23/6 DE, Dortmund @ Youth Brigade Festival (im FZW) w/ Überyou, many more
  • 24/6 DE, Hamburg @ BOOZE CRUISE - Festival w/ The Menzingers, many more
  • 25/6 DE, Münster @ Drei:Klang Café w/ Chaser

Tom Dumarey
Tom Dumarey

Lacking the talent to actually play in a band, Tom decided he would write about bands instead. Turns out his writing skills are mediocre at best as well.