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Trenchmouth, from left to right: Armisen, Locks, DeZutter, Montana
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Years active 1988–1996
Labels Skene!/East West
Associated acts The Eternals
Past members

Trenchmouth was an American rock band from Chicago, Illinois, formed in 1988. Throughout its existence, the band mainly consisted of Damon Locks (vocals/percussion), Chris DeZutter (guitar), Wayne Montana (bass), and Fred Armisen on drums.[1]


The band was founded in 1988 after Armisen dropped out of the School of Visual Arts and moved from New York to Chicago.[2] As a five-piece with two guitarists, the band released their debut EP, "Snakebite," in 1989.[3] After releasing two studio albums, Construction of New Action and Inside The Future, they released a third LP, Trenchmouth vs. The Light of the Sun, on East West Records, a division of Elektra Records. The band broke up after releasing their final album, The Broadcasting System, in 1996.[1]

Armisen went on to be a cast member of Saturday Night Live. Locks went on to be in Super ESP and later reconvened with Montana to form The Eternals. DeZutter returned to school, emerged with a PhD in chemistry, and taught organic chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Rochester until he was fired in 2015 for possessing child pornography.[4] Other original members included Josh Kohn and Tom Sweets on guitar and Chris Kupczak on percussion.

In a 2014 Q&A also featuring musicians David Pajo and David Grubbs, Armisen revealed why he quit Trenchmouth: "It just felt like other bands kept passing us by," Armisen also said that "it was easy to convince himself some of those bands were more pop, and had a broader appeal." He concluded: "But as weirder and weirder bands started passing Trenchmouth by, he started to see the writing on the wall. Tortoise [Pajo's former band] had 20 minute songs with no vocals and they were huge."[5]

Musical style[edit]

Primarily known as a post-hardcore band,[5] Trenchmouth was also labeled as punk rock and math rock.[6] The band's musical style featured influences from various genres, including no wave, post-punk, funk, and reggae,[1] as well as Latin music.[2] The band's first single, "Snakebite" was described as a post-punk track that "fills in the void between primitive acid-jazz grooves, worldbeat brazenness, and fetid Fugazi formula."[3] While the band's following releases, including Trenchmouth Vs. the Light of the Sun, featured "mutating time signatures, elaborate guitar phrasing, and fast-walking basslines that traditionally signify 1970s prog-rock,"[7] the band's final album completes the band's evolution to a "bass-heavy dub project."[6]


Studio albums
  • Kick Your Mind And Make It Move EP (Dead Bird, 1991)
Compilation albums
  • Achtung Chicago! Zwei compilation (Underdog Records, 1993)
  • More Motion: A Collection (Thick Records, 2003)
  • "Snakebite" (1989)


  • Damon Locks – vocals, percussion
  • Chris DeZutter – guitar
  • Wayne Montana – bass
  • Fred Armisen – drums
  • Josh Kohn - guitar
  • Chris Kupczak - percussion
  • Tom Sweets - guitar


  1. ^ a b c Kellman, Andy. "Trenchmouth biography". Allmusic. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Hawkins, Bennett (February 24, 2014). "A Brief History Of Fred Armisen's Musical Career: From Trenchmouth To The 8G Band". Uproxx. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Ensminger, David (May 16, 2012). "Top Ten Lost Midwest Punk Singles". PopMatters. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b McManus, Brian (March 18, 2014). "Fred Armisen Reveals Why He Quit Trenchmouth". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Glazer, Joshua. "Trenchmouth - The Broadcasting System review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ Glazer, Joshua. "Trenchmouth - Vs. the Light of the Sun". Allmusic. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 

External links[edit]