Up-and-coming New Zealand rockers Black Smoke Trigger stepped into producer Nick Raskulinecz’s Rock Falcon studio (Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters, Halestorm) on April 20 to record their official debut EP. The group has collaborated with David Draiman of Disturbed, Marti Frederickson (Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne), Blair Daly and Zac Maloy (Shinedown, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Keith Urban) and Keith Wallen (of Breaking Benjamin).
The young lineup – vocalist Baldrick, guitarist Charlie Wallace, bassist Dan Fulton and drummer Josh Te Maro – has signed manager Andy Gould (Pantera, Linkin Park, Rob Zombie) of Los Angeles-based Spectacle Entertainment Group and is co-managed with Nico Golfar, marking the highest-profile management deal signed by a New Zealand rock band.
Gould said: “I saw the video for ‘Caught In The Undertow’ which this New Zealand band did themselves and it was everything I love about rock music. The visuals and song were great. As I dug deeper, I realized that this band had crazy talent and was something I needed to be involved in. Playing it for some friends of mine (including Jim Morewood/John Jackson from K2 Touring) they agreed it was a band that was just going up.
Connecting with Raskulinecz as a producer, guitarist Wallace noted, “You can hear his passion. He was someone the band really resonated with. The vision he has, the music he creates and the performances he draws from bands like Korn, Ghost, Deftones and of course, Alice In Chains. We couldn’t be more excited.
They record brand new songs in Nashville that capture Black Smoke Trigger’s unique rock flavor. Co-writing with Draiman is “a heavy, punchy song that you can’t ignore,” the band says. Other tracks will showcase the band’s boundless modern rock blitz.
This will technically be the second version of Black Smoke Trigger; the first EP was followed just three months after their formation in 2019. BST recorded Set It Off with producer Michael Wagener (Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne). The singles “Caught In The Undertow” and “You Can Have It All” introduced a young band to old souls. The track “The Way I’m Wired” featured Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars. The EP Set It Off topped the Billboard charts with #12 on Hard Rock Album Sales and #13 on Heatseekers Albums.
Check out the video “Caught in the Undertow”: https://youtu.be/FOnAtpOyWCs
“Our first EP was really a tribute to our influences. Since then, we’ve had plenty of time to sit together in a room to write and perform, and our new material is representative of who we are as a band in 2022. We’ve grown so much over the past few years, matured, and become ours as songwriters. The benefit of being in one of the most aggressive lockdowns in the world is that it really gave us time to get our best gear out.”
The New Zealand-based 4-piece were set to do their first-ever US tour in 2021, which included a show at Whiskey A GoGo in Los Angeles with Drowning Pool, hed PE and Il Nino. However, Covid travel restrictions have halted those plans.
“We’ve waited a long time to record and perform in the United States and it’s finally here,” Wallace said. “We are beyond excited to be recording in Nashville with Nick to make the best record possible.”