[Playlist of December by…] John Bollen from Triumphs

For the last month of the year 2015, the duo Triumphs from Dunedin has accepted to bring us a selection of five songs for our monthly playlist.


John Bollen, wizard on the guitars for Triumphs, gives us a selection of what he is into for the last few months, but not his top 5 of all time. Listen to it now and you will discover many good tunes!

  • The Fucking Champs – Extra Man

Man I love this band. Everything they’ve got is great, but I’d especially recommend this record (IV) as an awesome place to start. This is the only song they have with vocals, and it’s an utter banger. They’re just 3 guitar players, and one of them switches between guitar and drums too. Plus they shred! Bloody good stuff, and a huge influence on my playing over the years.

  • High on Fire – CarcosaAnother of my favourite bands of all time. This is from their newest album: Luminiferous, and I couldn’t praise the entire record more. Full of gritty Matt Pike-isms and Illuminati conspiracies – basically all I want in a High on Fire record eh.

  • The Bronx – Too Many Devils

This is one of those songs that I listen to on repeat. Good for all that ails ya. When I first saw History’s Stranglers on C4 many moons ago, I was hooked. Love the lyrics and vocals, and the seemingly simple guitars and arrangements are actually super clever shit, they’re fantastic musicians and songwriters.

  • Death From Above 1979 – Physical World

I totally missed the boat on these guys, but whatever. I’m not a huge fan of the QoTSA knock-off stuff they do but this particular track has that urgency that I fucken love. Plus they’re a two-piece so I can pretend I understand what they’re up to. I especially love this for the riff at the end, which is a Fucking Champs hat-tip if I ever heard one.

  • Wovenhand – Good Shepherd

I’d totally sing in TRIUMPHS if I could mimic David Eugene Edwards. I love all his weird religious and masonic references in this most recent album (and in general), he’s a real madman (no offence Davey). I’ve loved his previous band 16 Horsepower but have often struggled to get into Wovenhand for whatever reason. This album Refractory Obdurate is my personal favourite of theirs, in part due to Sanford Parker’s (Minsk, Corrections House) involvement as Engineer on this record. Definitely their darkest and most heavy!

  • Our song – Bastardknocker

This is maybe my favourite song of ours to play live. It’s an indulgent pleasure, like yelling swear words out of car windows. In fact, that’s essentially the real-life embodiment of this song in many ways. Full of caveman riffs and few little harmonised lead bits to make my inner Thin Lizzy happy. Mat and I wrote this song live over a few shows and it really serves its purpose when we play it last. Mums, Dads and Granddads alike seem to be drawn to the repetitive nature of the riffs at the end, with plenty a pat on the back to be had after we play it. Or maybe they’re just being nice because they hate it. Either way, we get some physical contact with other humans so that’s a tick in the box for us. 


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