About The Authors

By Trip Loon

Sef Ashby used to be the annoying buff in school that would never shut up about his rock 'n' roll knowledge. I remember he enjoyed making everybody around him feel either really stupid or really ignorant.

Over the years, Sef Ashby is, well, still that annoying rock buff that makes everybody around him feel stupid and ignorant.

Sef Ashby, 2009
Ashby and I met when he heard me play some song on my laptop out loud. I don't even remember what that song was, but the important thing is he was hip to it.

At a time when the only thing everyone else was hip to was the TimeOut magazine hyped Tiesto, Ashby was the only one hip to the most obscure, historic, and underrated works and masterpieces in pop culture; whether it's music, movies, or even literature.

Ashby and I started a band. He's a skilled guitar player and a versed musician. His ear, when observing other people's work, is precise and on point. He makes me listen to details that others won't. When everyone else in the scene was insisting on listening to the same five bands exclusively without feeling the need to open up their minds to anyone else, Ashby and I would do the opposite. We'd explore bands that we both liked and hated - for the sole reason of making people around us feel either stupid or ignorant.

Sometimes I get pissed off that he knows a little more than me. So I jam my iPod full of discographies and go through every single tune just so I could surpass him. From great lost 70s bands like Mountain, Ten Years After, and Robin Trower, to tacky hair metal bands like Pretty Boy Floyd and The Vinnie Vincent Invasion; he beat me to it.

It still pisses me off that he knows more. But I gotta admit that if it weren't for him, I wouldn't have this drive to know. He inspired me to be this knowledgable, and I hope his articles inspire you too.

Get ready to feel really stupid . . . or ignorant.

By Sef Ashby

Trip Loon is a guy that really goes against the grain. I think his main purpose in life is to somehow be weird, and not in the creepy way, but more like that misunderstood rock star that everyone’s drawn to with intense magnetism.

Trip Loon used to be someone else, and before that, well, he was someone entirely different as well. I remember when the guy wanted to be a stand-up comedian. Somewhere along the line he wanted to be a pro wrestler too. He wore funny clothes and spoke in lingo no one was keen to. Then his defining moment hit him like a bullet to the brain. Trip wanted to rock ‘n’ roll.
Trip Loon, 2008

Trip was into oldies and basically anything you could find on a movie sound track. That’s ‘cause his main passion’s always been film. So his music library was a clutter of hits, from Kenny Rogers’s “I Just Walked In,” which he heard on The Big Lebowski, to Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy,” which was probably on some other movie.

One morning while I was lounging around between classes, Trip was playing one of those songs. Of course, no one knew what the fuck he was playing, ‘cause the students at our university were too busy drooling over Tiesto and Armin Van Buren to give a shit about anything the radio and the charts didn’t expose them to, and they sucked it all up out of peer pressure and an urge to be cool and accepted. Anyway, I picked up the song Trip was listening to, and we had a cool conversation about it.

Trip and I ended up sharing music, having long sessions reminiscent of Dean Moriarty and Carlo Marx’ introspective late night conversations in Keroac’s “On The Road.” We found out a lot about the music we like over the years, and Trip went on to become nothing short of a real rock star.

I learned a lot from this guy. I learnt the importance of presence and persona, and how to think in terms of putting on a show, rather than just cutting a record. He used all his old passions to his advantage in his rock ‘n’ roll journey. His obsession with pro wrestling gave him an edge in the area of theatrics. His obsession with stand-up made him keen to the frontman’s rambles in the middle of a show. It was all coming together for him. The guy wanted the world. But most of all, Trip just wanted to rock ‘n’ roll.

Trip taught me criticism. I used to be the guy that never questioned the rock ‘n’ roll culture’s standards of greatness, but if it weren’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have the guts to rant about how much The Eagles suck. (They really, really suck by the way).

Sef Ashby and Trip Loon, mixing a song, 2008

The guy’s pushing the boundaries of what anyone could’ve expected him to do. He’s one hell of a singer, sometimes a real baritone who wants nothing more than to sound like Paul Stanley, and fuck me man, he’s getting there!

Of course, our discussions about music get frustrating at times. We both have charged opinions that we feel strongly about, but I gotta admit, Trip sees things unbiasedly. Where others might have ulterior motives when writing a song or listening to one, Trip thinks about the details in a song, and how much they serves the song’s purpose and the experience it gives its listeners. When it comes to his opinions, he’s right even when he’s wrong. He makes that very obvious.

I never used to think that as a band, me and Trip could ever be greater than the greats. Trip always thought we could. I used to think he was raving mad when he’d talk about how he wants to be a better singer than Robert Plant. Then something came over me, and I started saying I wanted to be a better guitar player than Jimi Hendrix. Yep, I caught the bug too. He’s that influential.

Here’s a guy that won’t humor you when you tell him he talks too much about rock ‘n’ roll, ‘cause he’s always going to want to talk about that change, about what’s important, and the latest episode of Dexter, or who won in the last Lakers’ game doesn’t mean shit to him. If you’re getting annoyed by him talking about rock ‘n’ roll all the time, the only way you’ll escape it is heading for the door.