I met Jeffrey Sisson next to the Troglodyte Merch Table. When I shook the man’s hand, he did not strike me as the front man for the Bigfoot inspired death metal band. To be honest, his candor and charm more reminded me of meeting a father of one of my 5-year-old daughter’s classmates at a PTA meeting. He thanked me for coming out to review the show, and we exchanged pleasantries. I asked him why he chose Bigfoot. His response was “Everyone else already chose the devil”, and smiled. That is when I saw the rockstar.
When Trog took the stage, the crowd immediately pushed forward. Headbanging in perfect synchrony with the kick, and snare drums. The bass duo, laid out a groove that was entrancing. It led the audience in a primal response that reminded me of our tribal drum induced ancestors, thrash dancing around a fire. The guitarists riffs were like hard-driving thunder, and Jeff’s vocals were rock hard primal rage, mixed with gravel. He prowled the stage chanting a deadly lullaby to his fans. The masks the band wore only added to the overall grimetastic atmosphere of the Troglodyte live experience. Each song lasted no longer than 2 to 2 and a half minutes, but the power resonated from one number to the next, like a constant driving wave.
The most impressive moments of the show were Jeff’s powerful interaction with the fans. It was an intimate partnership. He spent more time on the floor with his metal heads than he did on the stage with his band mates. As he growled out his lyrics, I saw every audience member in the front row growling every word right along with him. They ended their set with the song Skunk Ape Rape, and the audience roared! When the show was over, there was an atmosphere of bittersweet gratification among the fans. Satisfied with experience; their Trog needs satiated, but still ready for more.
I caught up with Jeff again, by the merch table. His interaction with fans carried from the earlier growl session on the floor to here. His gratitude for every patron that bought a cd, and asked for an autograph was refreshing to see. When the patrons would slide the merch over to Trog’s assistant, he and Jeff would laugh saying, “The assistant is not in the band. He just sells the wares.” He went on to say, “That’s the trouble with the band wearing masks, no one knows who you are!” He went on to advise them to look for the guys with the ‘raccoon eyes’.
We spent a bit more time talking about musical influence, past shows, and being fathers to 5-year-old kids. Jeff was so comfortable to talk to. At one point, I forgot I was interviewing him, and not just comparing dad notes, and musician stories. I think that is what makes Troglodyte such a success. They are unique; both in music style, and in their appreciation of, and interaction with, their fans.
If you missed this show, and you are a lover of all things dark and heavy, do yourself a favor and catch the next one. They hit the bullseye on every level, and I look forward to seeing them again.