Trapped Under Ice:
Justice Tripp: Vocals
Sam Trapkin: Guitar
Brendan Yates: Drums
Jared Carman: Bass
Brad Hyra: Guitar
How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
Sam: We’ve known each other for 10-11 years now through mutual friends.
Justice: The first time I met Sam was at a basement show and you had some candy and I really wanted some candy but he wouldn’t give me none. He told me to fuck off and get my own so I thought Sam was a bitch. I hated him for like 10 minutes.
Sam: Then we went to senior week, which was an event where recently graduated seniors go to the beach together and get crazy. That was our second bonding experience.
Justice: But If I’m not mistaken we weren’t seniors, that wasn’t our senior week?
Sam: That was my senior week
Justice: Okay that was our senior week
How was it like to work with Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory on your latest album “Big Kiss Goodnight”?
Sam: Chad is a real treat to work with; I think he’s a great guy. He doesn’t feel intimidating to talk or give ideas to. It felt like having another dude on our level and a part of our band.
Justice: I think he’s a great songwriter and he could approach our songs from multiple levels of viewpoints. A lot of the time hardcore song structures are not like radio rock or punk rock. It’s almost harder to write hardcore songs and have hard parts and a catchy chorus. Chad taught us a lot about writing music and structuring songs.
How did you discover straight edge and what does it mean to you?
Justice: It’s kind of funny how I discovered straight edge, a lot of my peers at that time would get drunk and high and shit like that. I had friends that were into skating and hardcore and I was just getting into it at the time. I was getting drunk and smoking weed with them but then I decided to chill because I was 12. I had to stop to focus on my fucking pop quiz in middle school and when I told everybody they said “Oh you’re straight edge”. Later on I learned what straight edge really was and it’s been that way for 10 years now. I’m not an overly straight edge person who wears shirts and pushes that into people’s face. I feel like those are the kind of people who feel the pressure to be straight edge and stay straight edge. I think that’s the same kind of person who gets pressured to not want to be straight edge and they want to drink to fit in. I don’t really care about much fitting in and I just keep doing what I want to do.
Sam: I think straight edge was one of the first ideas that I stumbled upon when I figured out what hardcore is about. I was about 15-16 years old and it excited me about hardcore – it was an alternative lifestyle that other people did. I was kind of socially awkward, I didn’t really like the idea of going to parties, drinking and smoking with my friends. I smoked a little bit and I didn’t really like it and I was like fuck this.
Justice: What did you smoke like a cigarette or weed?
Sam: I smoked some weed.
Justice: Oh shit I never knew that haha.
Sam: I was like 15 but it wasn’t for me. When I figured out what straight edge was I knew it was for me. I never really thought about it since then, it’s not like an active thing I think about. When I do it’s like whoa that’s cool, I’ve been straight edge for 11 years now. I literally have no desire to do anything else.
Justice: I have a desire to smell weed all the time, I love the smell of weed. So if you’re smoking weed you will see me like sniffing it out.
Sam: I’m not really attracted to the idea of doing soft drugs like that but if I had to do something it would be like bath salts or heroine something like that.
Justice: Just dive right into it!
Sam: Ha, I wouldn’t do that anyways.
It’s been almost one year since the release of “Big Kiss Goodnight”, do you have plans to release a new album soon?
Sam: We’ve been casually writing but we don’t have a set date or time when we’re trying to record again. We’re just going with the flow, it’ll happen again.
Justice: I think that’s important to be casual writing because I feel like some people force themselves to write. I’ve never sat down once in my life and felt like I had to write a song and wrote a banger. We don’t have anything rushing us; we’ll take our time. If we put out a record in two to three years, I don’t care. I want us to put out the best record, trying to one up the last thing you do always.
Sam: We wouldn’t write or record unless we had something better to offer.
Justice: On top of that everyone in the band has other projects that they focus on, which I think it’s cool because it allows us to step away from Trapped Under Ice with a fresh mind. I’m sure Sam relates with his band Diamond Youth when you write for something else, it opens your mind to new ideas. You come back with a whole new fresh perspective and that’s when the hits happen.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
Sam: Metallica was my first major influence. I was going to punk shows in middle show and I didn’t really know what it was or get it. But then I saw Metallica play on TV for Woodstock 99 and I was like that’s bad as shit. I started playing guitar and get really into metal and revisited some punk things.
Justice: It’s funny that Sam says Metallica, I feel like with our generation you’re either inspired by Metallica or Nirvana. You can like one or the other but your true colors always shine. Nirvana was the first band where I was like holy shit hard rock music is so cool. For Sam it was more Metallica and while he likes Nirvana, I like Metallica. It’s like when Sam writes a song it sounds like a kid who listened to Metallica music when he was growing up. When I write a song it sounds like a kid who probably didn’t have a lot of friends and sat in his room playing Nirvana songs on guitar.
Sam: Now that I’m older I feel like I’ve absorbed the entire Nirvana catalog to its fullest and I appreciate iy. It’s an influence for me now but just like Justice said there’s certain kind of habits that you just build when you’re younger that don’t go away.
Justice: Like for me it’s the habit of playing guitar really bad. But as far as a hardcore influence Hatebreed was huge for both us. This first hardcore show I saw where dudes were doing spin kicks and wearing bandanas over their faces was at a Hatebreed, Death Threat, and Ounce of Wind show. That was life changing for me but honestly anybody who likes hardcore like Hatebreed. They are a huge gateway band that showed people a lot of other hardcore bands. I probably wouldn’t care as much or be where I am if it wasn’t for seeing Hatebreed live.
Where did the name Trapped Under Ice come from?
Sam: Justice and I were in the gym and as we all know it’s a Metallica song. I’m a huge Metallica fan, Justice wasn’t at the time but I kind of had that name in my periphery as a song name. I brought up the name to Justice and he didn’t know it was a Metallica but he thought it was sweet. It was time for our first show and we didn’t really have a definite thing so we just took on the name Trapped Under Ice.
Justice: I remembered it looked cool on the flyer that was the selling point. But I just want to clarify I was a fan of Metallica, just not on Sam’s level! I had “In Justice For All” that was my shit.
Speaking of the gym, Justice finish this sentence: “If you want girls to notice the rump, get that apple bottom poppin, this is the way to do it”
Justice: Straight leg dead lifts haha. There are a lot of things, that whole video was a joke obviously. But if you want people to see your ass, squat and lunges are great things you can do to get your butt large.
Sam: There are lots of different fluff shortcuts that people thing they can do to get a great butt. Especially girls that do the little bullshit glute extension machines but if you’re serious about your butt you have to get on the squat rack.
Justice: I remember some girls at my school that would tell the white girls to eat a lot of bread to get a big ass. That’s not going to give you a big firm ass; it’s going to do something. I wouldn’t recommend eating a lot of bread in general; it’s not the healthiest thing.
Can you explain the meaning behind the songs of Big Kiss Goodnight?
Born to Die: That song represents a lot of ideas of the record – doing what you want with your life and not being afraid of the consequences. As long as you’re not hurting anybody, just enjoy yourself. We go on tour all the time including overseas, we run the risk of becoming broke losers. Risking the danger of never accelerating the same as our peers did who graduated high school, college and got a really nice job. Nothing wrong with that, but that’s just what we want to do. Basically fuck everybody just do what you want to do.
Please To Meet You: It’s about being yourself and not being ashamed of who you are. Fuck the people who are along for the ride and don’t really support your cause or what you do. When times are good they want to be your friend, when times are bad they want to kick you when you’re down. We’ve had ups and downs as a band, there are always those people who want to tour with us when times are good. When shit is not going anywhere they are nowhere to be found. But they are found on the Internet talking shit.
Jail: Same idea as Born to Die but just a little stronger. I’m going to do what I want and you can’t stop me. It focuses more on the idea of people who are afraid to do what they want. Certain people want to do so many things but they literally never do anything with their life because they are afraid of everything. That’s not anything I want to be.
Outcast: It’s about being an outcast and embracing it. Not trying to fit in anybody’s mold just doing you and embracing your differences.
Victimize: More about large-scale society, prejudices and social issues in America and how it affects the hardcore scene. The hardcore scene is supposed to be an accepting place of all races, genders and creeds. We don’t have that issue in Baltimore but I know that’s not always the case in other parts. The song reiterates that idea and if that’s not what you’re about you don’t have a place in the hardcore world. Especially in Trapped Under Ice’s hardcore world.
Time Waits: About seeing people die around you, some with regrets and some happy knowing that they did what they want. It’s about doing what you want because you’re not going to be here forever. Treating the people around you like your family and friends because if they die I don’t want my time with them to be in regret.
Dead Inside: I wanted it to be kind of vague, when we wrote it I didn’t want it to sound like some tough guy shit. But it’s about having a temper and dealing with that. Not really always being to handle every social situation the way I should and not something I’m trying to glorify.
True Love: Putting a lot of faith into girls and people to make you feel better about things and they are not always going to. My true love is hardcore punk rock music and it’s always there for me and it’s the one thing that’s stood by me. It will always be my life.
Disconnect: Being dependent on people and taking a stand for yourself. About disconnecting on the things you depend and becoming a stronger individual.
Any final words?
Justice: We’re excited to finally play Frederick; we’ve been a band for almost 6 years. Frederick is always booming with shows, I’ve seen Mind Set and Passengers. Tonight’s a really cool show and I’m glad we’re getting the opportunity to step up to the plate. Hopefully we’ll get to come back and things keep rolling the way they are.
Thanks to Trapped Under Ice for letting us visit them at their show at Cafe 611 in Frederick, Maryland.