By Peter Marullo & John Marullo
In a very short time span, The Trouble made their mark as one of best and most ferocious bands to come out of the ’90s Boston punk scene. With members moving on to join bands such as Panic and The Explosion, more mythos and an even more layered legacy began to surround the band. In the past few years the band has reunited to play a few sets in the Northeast and have been rediscovered by audiences- largely due to the Bridge Nine re-release of their only full-length album Nobody Laughs Anymore. We recently caught up with Gibby, the singer of The Trouble, and chatted about Social Media, Elton John, and what made the Boston ’90s punk scene a special place.
September 2010 saw the first Trouble show in over a decade. September 2013 saw you return once again for a one off show in Connecticut. What made you return to the stage and can we expect to see The Trouble perform again?
The show was actually with Slapshot, Forced Reality, For the Worse, and Yellow Stitches and was a show scheduled to replace the cancelled 2,000 Tons of TNT gig in CT. Poison Idea was also part of that weekend, and I heard the show was fantastic. We got asked by the Brass City Boss Sounds crew to come play and the timing was just right, the show sounded fun, so we got the boys back together again. Whether or not we will do it again…. I’m not sure. Never say never.
In conjunction with the 2010 show, painkiller records released Nothing Left To Say a 7 inch containing a few unreleased and rare Trouble tracks. Can we expect to see any future releases if the same nature? Weren’t there talks of releasing a live/rarities album through Bridge 9?
We are working on something that will compile all of the non-LP tracks – seven inches, compilation tracks, etc. maybe out late this year or early 2014. More of a companion piece to the LP. B9 released our Live At The Rat 7” and re-released the LP, that was good enough for us! All of the rarities were released by Painkiller…. The B-side track “False Front” has never been re-released, so maybe that will show up on this upcoming comp…
Growing up, Boston was an important musical city to me- even though I was down in Florida. The bands spread across genres and from a distance it seemed like a very special time. Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like to be a part of that 1995-2001 era and what in your view made the bands and the time so special?
Something just happened – I can’t really explain it. Boston was fucking wild in the early and mid 90s. I got there in 1993 and the punk and hardcore scene was insane. The Rat, The Channel, Local186, etc… There were a LOT of great bands and there was an absolute youth explosion going on. This was pre-internet, so on weekends you would go down to Harvard Square and see forty or fifty punks and hardcore kids hanging out in the pit near the payphones, drinking, laughing, being kids… It’s sad but the Internet killed that part of the underground… Now everyone stays home and hangs out on Facebook Groups (laughs).
The Trouble is a band that is respected across the underground tribes. The hardcore and punk influences on the early 7 inches and your sole full- length are prevalent. Before American Nightmare, you and The Trouble wore other influences on your sleeve like The Smiths and Joy Division. If the Trouble were to do another full- length in that late 90s era, do you think these influences would have made their way into the musical compositions?
We were heading into a much more melodic Dag Nasty / Mission of Burma / Naked Raygun direction which you can hear from our last two tracks “Brighton Roof” and “Self- Destruct”… Sam brought those sounds to the Explosion after we broke up- where you can clearly hear his influence and what I always thought was a spiritual successor to the Trouble.
One of your other former bands, Panic, also recently reunited at This Is Hardcore Fest. Tell us what that was like?
Bananas. Crazy. Loved it. We love Philly, and Joe Hardcore knows how to do a massive show properly. We had a blast and the response was great.
Will there be any new recorded output from Panic?
Where do your lyrical inspirations come from?
I usually just write what’s on my mind over the course of a few weeks and then go back and read what I wrote, pull verses or lines or notes that I like and assemble a song from there. It’s always from my own experiences and that is typically life, friendship, love, and loss.
MakeoutClub is credited with being the first Social Network, predating Friendster, MySpace, and Facebook. What are your thoughts on Social Media and Social Networks and how they fit in with our daily lives? How do you think this has affected the punk rock scene?
Overall I love technology. I love the Internet. Of course I love social media as a medium and platform to interact… But it can be a trap and a habit!
Some people rely too heavily on the digital route and forget about what’s outside their door… I also think to an extent it made shit way too easy. It removed some really enjoyable elements from the scene that I miss…. Zines aren’t as popular, mail order is dead, road trips to buy records from some cool store you heard about… people earning their stripes. Now you can just Google what to wear, what to listen to, what to be. The new generation will make this scene their own – times change – but those that will REALLY make a difference will be the ones that don’t stop making physical objects, physical art, releasing records, tapes, travelling, being PRESENT, hanging out, communicating in a personal way – not just behind a keyboard. Interesting to see how the Internet will shape things.
What is on the mix tape you give to a young teenager getting into punk rock?
Elton John – “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” 1973… It’s the first Oi! ballad ever written.
Why do you think The Trouble still resonates with audiences? During the band’s short tenure, did you ever think you were apart of something that would continue to be listened to for decades to come?
Probably because we disappeared. Who knows? If we’d kept on releasing records and never went away everyone may have gotten bored. Our 3rd or 4th record may have been electronic fuzed jazz world music and turned everyone off! It ended when it had to and we put out a great fucking record that I’m proud of. I’m flattered people still give a shit.
In 2007, you cofounded Dais Records. Can you explain the label’s focus and what goes into the day to day of running Dais? What is your dream release for the label?
I run Dais with my buddy Ryan Martin in NYC… we basically put out wild unheard or lost music and release newer bands that we love or think fits well with our label’s sound. It’s a lot of work but it allows me to collaborate with people I really admire. Every release is my dream release!
Read about The Trouble’s final show here.