Trenchmouth: Fred Armisen's unlikely journey from post-hardcore drummer to Saturday Night Live

It's not the deepest, darkest secret of all time, but did you know that before he was a long-time cast memeber of "SNL," Fred Armisen played in a "post-hardcore" band called Trenchmouth? Well, now you know!...
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Comedians can be musicians as well?! Shockingly, yes! In this case, Trenchmouth was a post-hardcore band that emerged in the Chicago music scene during the late 1980s. The band was known for its eclectic and experimental approach to music, incorporating elements of punk, jazz, noise rock, and "no wave." Trenchmouth consisted of members Damon Locks (vocals/percussion), Wayne Montana (bass, Chris DeZutter (guitar), and yes, the Fred Armisen (drums). Notably, Fred Armisen, who played drums for Trenchmouth, later gained widespread recognition for his work as a comedian, actor, and musician.

Armisen later explained: "I wanted to be on TV somehow. For some reason, I always thought it would be an indirect route; I didn't know that it would be comedy and Saturday Night Live. I just wanted to do something with performing that would lead me there." He indeed became a cast member on Saturday Night Live and starred in the television series Portlandia, as well as appearing in other TV shows and movies.

Trenchmouth released several albums during their active years, including Construction of New Action" (1991), The Broadcasting System (described by Allmusic critic Joshua Glazer as "an under-recognized example of the mid-'90s indie scene's fascination with dub/reggae studio techniques...,"
(1996), and Trenchmouth Vs. The Light of the Sun (1993).

Their music was characterized by its complex and often unpredictable compositions, blending punk energy with more unconventional and avant-garde influences. While Trenchmouth may not have achieved mainstream success, they left a mark on the alternative music scene with their innovative sound and energetic live performances, and remain as one of the bext examples of what "post-punk" means. They are not the mostly widely recognized post-hardcore band out there, but there's a chance that you might like then, if you can get into this sort of music. Go ahead and check their stuff out (if nothing else, they appear to be on YouTube).

More quick facts about Trenchmouth

Their sound could perhaps be described as a cross between hardcore and DIY post-hardcore bands, but they could surely also fit in on a playlist with bands such as Fugazi, Minutemen, Lagwagon and Rise Against,

Trenchmouth disbanded in 1996, and don't seem poised for a reunion.

Arguably, many bands produced a more conventional American hardcore sound than Trenchmouth, but most of those bands never featured someone from Saturday Night Live in them.

Armisen occasionally plays drums in public, and has appeared on numerous albums since his Trenchmouth years, For example, he played drums on three tracks for Les Savy Fav's 2007 album Let's Stay Friends.