Scraping Genius Off The Wheel



Sai Nam
Label – Reaper Records
Release date – Winter 2012

Wanting to close out 2011 right, I hit up New York’s Highline Ballroom for the almighty Cro-Mags’ annual end-of-year gig. I arrived at the venue earlier than anticipated, my curiosity piqued over the first act of the night: Sai Nam. A so-unlikely-it-just-had-to-happen collaboration between Mike Dijan (Breakdown, Crown Of Thornz, Skarhead), Lou Medina (Breakdown, All Out War), and Justice Tripp (Trapped Under Ice), the group played its debut show to a receptive if docile audience–save for a little boy who appeared to be Dijan’s son. As this past summer’s sick sick sick teaser track “Comeback” promised, Sai Nam’s set showcased a hard NYHC aesthetic deftly blended with Tripp’s rapid-fire vocals. I have little doubt that once people become familiar with the material, the crowd response will soon reflect the stage-diving pit mania of a TUI gig.

Fortunately, we wont have to wait very long to begin acquainting ourselves with these tunes, as a flyer handed to me by Dijan’s son at the show revealed that Reaper Records will drop Sai Nam’s full-length album this winter. Here’s what Tripp had to say in the midst of making the record some months back:

Mike Dijan is my favorite guitar player of all time, period. Lou [Medina] is one of my favorite drummers of all time. I’ve always joked with my friends that I wanted to start a band with Mike and Lou. That would be my dream band. [Trapped Under Ice] recorded with Dean Baltulonis on Secrets of the World. He called me on the phone and said, “Hey, I’m jamming with Lou and we want to get you into the studio and see how it goes.” It was real cool working with them in the studio. To be honest, I never actually met Lou before. When I got to the studio, he was already done. We’ve been talking online, and he seems cool. It was awesome working with Mike. He has a real cool way about him in the studio. He likes everybody to be involved and wanted to get my opinions, Lou’s opinions, and he wanted to put his opinions in on what I was doing. I liked that. I want everyone in the band to be happy. It’s cool because he had different ideas than I would have, he has a lot of influences I don’t have. It’s weird because I’m influenced by things he has made, and he’s influenced by other things. It’s cool to see how he writes and how he works.

As a unabashed fan of NYHC, I’m plenty stoked for one of the first major hardcore offerings from my city in 2012.


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