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Barnburner: B.C. rockers craft next potential hockey anthem

Trigger Mafia, a Langley-based band, releases new EP and title-track video, Barnburner, next week

Trigger Mafia’s lead rocker, Langley’s own Shawn Meehan, hopes the band’s newest single – coming out next week – will be the next hockey anthem.

The four-member rock band had been working on an EP with a record label out of the Netherlands. They had three songs recorded and ready to go, but were being pushed to come up with a fourth.

Busy with their other band, West Coast Slackers – Meehan said they were a little reluctant to commit to another song. “We were on the fence.”

But then the producers said “I have a good feeling about you guys,” and offered to help pay for it.

“How could we refuse?” Meehan laughed.

About seven months ago now, they were struggled to come up with just the right song, when Meehan took inspiration from his regular visits to the hockey rink with his son, who is developing as a high-performance player.

“I’m in the arena four to five times a week,” he said, if not at his son’s practices and games, then at the Vancouver Giants, Abbotsford Canucks, or Vancouver Canucks games.

Noticing the same seven or eight song playing at every game, Meehan suggested they try creating a tune appropriate for that playlist. Six writers, months of brainstorming, and multiple rewrites later, and Barnburner is now ready for release.

“We just kept rewriting it and rewriting it, and rewriting it, until it felt really good,” Meehan said.

The video, shot in early September at Sportsplex in Walnut Grove, is already out on Trigger Mafia’s website, and the EP comes out online next Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Meehan describes it as a hard driving hockey anthem.

“It’s three minutes of pure energetic game time motivation that will ramp up the team and put the audience into a frenzy.”

So while they’ve shopped it out to some of the area hockey teams to play, in the new year Trigger Mafia is going to start targeting a lot of big hockey markets in Canada, hoping it will become one of those quintessential hockey songs of the ages, played at every game across the continent – be that a midgets scrimmage or an NHL battle.

Cam Moon, radio announcer for the Edmonton Oilers – who does a voice over on the track – said: “Barnburner intertwines hockey and music with magical precision. As Dickie Dunn said in ‘Slapshot’, it captures the spirit of the thing.”

King Richard Brodeur, retired Vancouver Canucks star goalie and Stanley Cup finalist – who’s mentioned as a legend in the song – describes how he felt after the first listen: “That’s a cool song! Love it!”

They’re getting a lot of interest and play already, and Meehan – who is not a hockey player – is excited by the fervor building around the song.

“I played house league for a year, and was terrible,” he admitted, leaving hockey to his brother and his son to master, while he sits in the playing guitar, instead.

In addition to releasing this latest Trigger Mafia EP and its title track, Meehan has been busy with a few other major music projects in recent months.

“I’ve got three heavy-duty projects all doing well,” he shared.

Meehan is currently working with producer Brian Howes and will be shopping in the U.S. for a record label for his southern country-rock band, West Coast Slackers – which consists of many of the same performers that make up Trigger Mafia.

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In addition to Meehan, who plays guitar and is lead vocalist with Trigger Mafia, he’s accompanied by Jay Wittur on bass guitar and vocals, Rod Senft on drums, Karl Oystensen on keyboards and vocals, and Chandra Russell providing back up vocals.

Meehan is also working with his second cousin from Coquitlam, developing the 15-year-old jazz-pop artist and “going for that sort of Michael Buble type market.”

Started giving her guitar lessons, and she asked to sing for him one day, about a year and a half ago.

“Oh my god. So, I pulled her dad aside and said ‘I’m not into managing, because managing is a hard job. But this kid’s got some talent. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. She’s got a fantastic voice. Do you mind if I developer?’,” Meehan recounted the discussion.

She too has just released a four-song EP that’s being shopped around to music labels.

“Diversifying, you might say,” Meehan explained of his different projects. “Using all my skills to make a living in the music industry.”

READ MORE: Langley musician drives rock revival with COVID twist

Roxanne Hooper

About the Author: Roxanne Hooper

I began in the news industry at age 15, but honestly, I knew I wanted to be a community journalist even before that.
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