Triggers & Slips
When talking about the formation of the band Triggers & Slips, guitarist and singer Morgan Snow is rather blunt about how he got the band off the ground. “I pretty much poached a bunch of different bands,” says Snow. “And, somehow, they were all dumb enough to come play music with me.” The ‘they’ he is referring to includes band members John Davis, Wil Grimshaw, Zach Griffen and Tommy Mortenson. Sitting around and drinking beers on the front porch of Davis’ Salt Lake home, it became clear that Triggers & Slips enjoy one another’s company, both on and off the stage. Snow and Davis, who plays lap steel guitar, first started playing together three years ago, but then the band expanded to include Grimshaw on drums and Griffen on bass. Mortenson, who fills in on bass, joined the group recently, and has been playing off and on for the past six months. “It’s the first band I’ve ever really [been in],” says Snow. “I was playing baseball before this, and I just started playing music, and decided I wanted a band someday.”
Although Snow says he grew up listening to country music, he admits that his musical taste extends to heavier rock with bands such as Alice in Chains. With a diverse musical palette, the group is trying to steer clear of being labeled a typical country band. “I grew up on country, so it kind of came naturally. We’re not trying to just sound country or Americana or bluegrass. Those are elements we play from, but we have a pretty extensive rock background as well … We do some more traditional country sounds that Hank Williams was doing a long time ago with the lap steel, harmonica, upright bass and drums. People are going to pigeonhole you into any country or Americana group when you play those instruments.” When it comes down
to brass tacks, if a band is truly good, they are good regardless of what type of music they are playing. If audiences are willing to get past the stereotype that often comes along with the word “country,” then Triggers & Slips will continue to garner more and more attention. “The crowd reaction never ceases to amaze me,” says Grimshaw. “It seems like every time we play in a different place, they’re like, ‘Wow, I didn’t expect to hear that,’ or, ‘I can’t stand country, but I like you guys.’”
After the release of their self-titled EP in May, the band was busy this past summer hitting the festival circuit, making stops at the Idaho Down Music Festival in McCall, Idaho, as well as in-state festivals such as Desert Rocks and Uncle Uncanny’s. “They’ve been really great,” says Snow. “Uncle Uncanny’s was really awesome. We got to play at sunset, and it was fun to play for a couple hundred people [who were] there to just listen to music.” Despite increasing the band’s exposure by playing out of state and in new places, the band still enjoys hitting the local scene at venues such as The Garage and Burt’s Tiki Lounge. “As much as I hate the smell of Burt’s, we’ve had some shows where we just unleash. We release demons at Burt’s,” says Davis. The band also recalls one of their favorite shows taking place at the State Room, in which they opened for The White Buffalo last April. “I think people came for a different band, and it was the first time that a lot of the audience had heard us. They seemed to like it a lot, and we had a lot of people dancing. Those times when you get to play for somebody new, that gets really into what you’re doing—those are always the best,” says Grimshaw.
Although Triggers & Slips just released an EP earlier this year, they plan on putting out a follow-up EP of six or seven songs by the end of the year. The members say the new songs were created through more of a collaborative process, with everybody becoming more involved in the songwriting. “There’s a pretty good foundation that gets brought in, and then we all kind of collaborate on how we want to perform it together,” says Snow. “The [EP] we released was very honky-tonk and folk. I think a lot of the newer songs that we’ve been doing have elements of that, but they definitely haven’t stayed the same and aren’t as country. I think [the new songs] are a little more rock, country-folk and Americana.” With no plans of slowing down, and a new EP coming out, expect Triggers & Slips to continue unleashing their country-rock all over town and at festivals around the West.