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This article is about the post-hardcore band from Chicago. For the disease called "trench mouth", see Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis.
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
  • Damon Locks
  • Chris DeZutter
  • Wayne Montana
  • Fred Armisen

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 currently teaches organic chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Rochester.

In a 2014 Q&A also featuring musicians David Pajo and David Grubbs, Armissen revealed why he quitted 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."[4]

Musical style[edit]

Primarily known as a post-hardcore band,[4] Trenchmouth was also labeled as punk rock and math rock.[5] 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,"[6] the band's final album completes the band's evolution to a "bass-heavy dub project."[5]


Studio albums
  • Construction of New Action (Skene! Records, 1991)
  • Inside The Future (Skene!, 1993)
  • Trenchmouth Vs. the Light of the Sun (Skene!/EastWest, 1994)
  • Volumes, Amplifiers, Equalizers (Runt, 1994)
  • The Broadcasting System (Skene!, 1996)
  • 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


  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. ^ a b McManus, Brian (March 18, 2014). "Fred Armisen Reveals Why He Quit Trenchmouth". The Village Voice. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Glazer, Joshua. "Trenchmouth - The Broadcasting System review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  6. ^ Glazer, Joshua. "Trenchmouth - Vs. the Light of the Sun". Allmusic. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 

External links[edit]