Saccharine Trust

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Saccharine Trust
OriginLos Angeles, California, United States
GenresPost-hardcore, punk jazz
Years active1980–1986, 1996-present[1]
LabelsSST, Hazelwood
Associated actsUniversal Congress Of, Unknown Instructors, Slovenly
MembersJoe Baiza
Jack Brewer
Brian Christopherson
Chris Stein
Past membersTony Cicero
Richie Hass
Mark Hodson
Rob Holzman
Bob Fitzer
Earl Liberty
Steve Moss
Luis MadMax Maldonado
Larry Salzman
Ritchie Wilder

Saccharine Trust is an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California, formed in 1980 by singer Jack Brewer and guitarist Joe Baiza. The band would frequently perform with SST labelmates Minutemen and Black Flag. However, Baiza described Saccharine Trust as the "black sheep" of the SST roster.[1] Drummer Rob Holzman appeared on their 1981 debut Paganicons but left the band to play in Slovenly, replaced by drummer Tony Cicero. After a ten-year hiatus circa 1986 to 1996, the band re-formed and began performing around the West Coast.


Joe Baiza met Jack Brewer in Wilmington, California while looking for a summer job.[1] Brewer was already in a band called The Obstacles with Marshall Mellow on guitar, William Trujillo on drums and Joe Burgos singing and playing organ.[2] Baiza wanted to join the band so he suggested the need for a bass player and ended up taking the position.[2] The group was initially more mainstream but Baiza slowly pushed them in a punk rock direction.[2] One by one band members quit until finally it was just Brewer and Baiza.[2]

After spending almost a year attempting to put together a new lineup[1] which included a failed audition by Mike Watt[3], Saccharine Trust played their first gig in 1980 with Minutemen.[1] The band's name came from a line in the David Bowie song "The Bewlay Brothers" on Hunky Dory.[3]

Soon after their first gig, the band was invited by members of Black Flag to play a show at the Star Theater in San Pedro.[4] Black Flag band members and SST owners Greg Ginn and Chuck Dukowski were present at the show and asked the band to record for SST. Before their debut EP Paganicons was released, Saccharine Trust appeared on Cracks in the Sidewalk a compilation album on Mike Watt's New Alliance Records label.[4]


In his journals, Nirvana guitarist Kurt Cobain listed Saccharine Trust's Paganicons as one of his Top 50 favorite albums.[5] Buzz Osborne of The Melvins stated in the book Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge that Saccharine Trust were hugely influential in terms of atmosphere.[6] Sonic Youth covered their song "I Am Right" on the SST compilation The Melting Plot. Members of Saccharine Trust also contributed songwriting to the Minutemen's landmark 1984 album Double Nickels on the Dime.[7]


Studio albums
  • "A Christmas Cry" (1981, SST)
Live albums


  1. ^ a b c d e "Saccharine Trust". Retrieved 2016-09-10.
  2. ^ a b c d Ibarra, Craig (2015). A Wailing of a Town: An Oral History of Early San Pedro Punk and More. END FWY. pp. 113–114. ISBN 978-0-9860971-0-2.
  3. ^ a b Ibarra, Craig (2015). A Wailing of a Town: An Oral History of Early San Pedro Punk and More. END FWY. pp. 118–119. ISBN 978-0-9860971-0-2.
  4. ^ a b Ambler, Charlie (January 27, 2015). "Talking About Minutemen and SST with Joe Baiza from Saccharine Trust". Vice. Retrieved April 11, 2019.
  5. ^ Cobain, Kurt (October 4, 2008). Journals. Paw Prints.
  6. ^ Yarm, Mark (2011). Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge. Crown. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-307-46443-9.
  7. ^ Masters, Mark (November 13, 2016). "Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 13, 2019.

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