Chris Dodge (Spazz, Slap A Ham Records, Infest), Ryan Harkins (co-founder of Grill ‘Em All), and Phil Vera (Crom, 16, Despise You) are the three friends behind Trappist, a band that brings together their mutual love for fast hardcore and craft beer. Yes, fans of Natural Light and Corona these guys are not.
Signed to Relapse Records, Trappist will be tapping the keg later this month when they release their debut album, Ancient Brewing Tactics. Musically, the power trio are on some get to the point type stuff, plowing through 21 tracks in 23 minutes. One of the standout cuts on the LP is a rapid-fire thrash blitz called "Hymn to Ninkas," which finds Trappist joined by vocalist Tony Foresta (Municipal Waste, Iron Reagan). "Before we had any lyrics, our working title was 'The Municipal Waste Song' because that’s what we thought it sounded like," Chris tells me. "We were planning on having Tony do guest vocals on the album anyway, so we just typecast him and put him on this track."
Trappist and Tony are old comrades from the hardcore scene. "I first met him in ’97 when Spazz played with his old band James River Scratch at a skate park in Virginia Beach. Ryan’s band Killed In Action toured with The Waste about 17 years ago. Phil has crossed paths with him who knows how many times; Despise You recently did an East Coast tour with Iron Reagan. So, the poor guy can’t avoid us. We’re total punishers."
"Hymn to Ninkasi" sounds like a song title Morbid Angel would come up with, so I ask Chris what the story is behind that. "Yeah, man. It sounds like an obscure Nile track. It’s actually an ancient Sumerian prayer to Ninkasi, the goddess of beer. It’s not only a prayer of worship, but it’s also a beer recipe. The lyrics are lifted almost verbatim from the text, which is why the words & phrasing are a bit awkward. I have to admit, the one line 'Baking that shit in the fucking oven' wasn’t in the original text from 4,000 years ago, but I’m pretty sure that was still implied."