Monday, July 9, 2012


Triskaidekaphilia formed in the late summer of 1994.  Sean Sutphin played drums, John Swart played bass, Martin Deal played guitar, Ben White sang.  Sean, John, and Martin all lived together on the 1500 block of Floyd Avenue; and being young men with a lot of time on their hands (and not a lot of responsibilities) they spent a lot of time practicing. 
A few months after they formed, the band went up to Neptune Studios in Occuquan and recorded their first couple of songs.
Neptune Sessions
For some reason, they never released those recordings.  Instead, they re-recorded the same songs and added a few new ones.

Side A
Side B

I'm not really sure what ended up happening to Triskaidekaphilia.  Ben was also in the pop-punk band Whirlybird, which was more his thing at the time, so Triska (the shortened form that the cool kids used for their name) was relegated to side-band status.  Eventually, Ben quit.  I forgot what happened to them after that.

Martin Deal was a friend of mine, but I wouldn't say we were close.  He seemed to kind of keep to himself, and he had this kind of childlike quality to him.  He had short dreadlocks, but didn't seem as gruff, tattooed or... crusty as a lot of the people he hung out with.  I don't remember when, but I started hearing that he had a heroin habit.  I recall seeing him at a bar called the Hole in The Wall in the late 90's, looking - please excuse the language - pretty fucked up.  I didn't see much of him after that.
The last time I saw Martin, he looked like he had totally turned it around.  He was in a serious relationship with a girl, and was actually buying musical equipment.  He also had a kind of clarity in  his eyes that I hadn't seen in years.  In fact, he was one of the last people I saw before moving from Richmond to Austin.  I was loading everything I owned into a 1983 Honda Civic, preparing to make the 26-hour drive.  Martin lightened my load a little by giving me $50 for my wah wah pedal.  A few months later, I found out that he had died from a heroin overdose.


  1. Yeah... I found out Martin had died by making some comment to John Swart about "Oh I'll bet Martin died of a heroin overdose or something." And John said, "Yeah, actually he did," and I felt like a huge asshole. That was in 2005 or so.

    Here's some more info about the history of Trisk: in summer 1995, there was a brief period where Sean quit playing drums and they had the drummer from Nudibranch in the band. But that guy was too busy so they kept having to cancel shows, and eventually Sean rejoined. They released another demo circa March 1996--I picked it up when I saw them open for Hatebreed and Voorhees at 1526(?) Floyd Ave. Weird now to imagine Hatebreed playing in that setting, but it happened. The second demo was 5 new songs plus the 6 songs from the first demo tacked onto the end.

    In May 1996, Ben skipped out on a Trisk show in Roanoke (I think? You could check with Ben but we've talked about it and I don't know if he remembers where it was either) to go see the reformed Misfits on their first tour back. Martin kicked him out of the band, and Trisk played a few shows with Martin on vocals and guitar. That turned into a band called Cob, which was Martin, Sean, and a different bass player (not sure who). I never saw or heard Cob--I was sketched out by them because it was pretty common knowledge that those dudes were all way into heroin at that point. From there, you know as much or more than I know.

  2. Martin died in 2001 and was the only one in Triska or COB that used heroin.

  3. My bad, I'm not surprised I got some of that wrong.

  4. The fabulous David LaDuke played bass and sang some in COB.

  5. great post. i also have a demo tape with different artwork (a4 fold-out sleeve, white front cover with band logo across top). unsure if it's the same recording as this. will dig it out. i got it off the band in person spring '96 after seeing them live in richmond va at tiny gig in the basement of house where one or two of the band lived. i thought they were great! drummer was proper hardhitter and in the small confines of a basement had maximum effect. at the end of the night they got me so stoned i could barely talk! i was there drumming for uk hardcore band voorhees. we toured with hatebreed. it was their first tour - jamey drove all 5 members in a car with u-haul on the back!