Ringing In The Dawn

TRIAL BY FIRE play uncomplicated, no frills hardcore of a caliber that is without equal. Endowed with dynamic force and a revitalizing state of mind, TRIAL BY FIRE reward the ever faithful with a debut album full of fervent musical angst and shrewd lyrical observations which harken back to the days when punk meant something more than who has the tightest t-shirt or coolest haircut, but rather a purposeful reflection on society and ones role within it.

Jason Yawn – Vocals/Guitar
Kevin Lamiell – Bass
Collin Barth – Guitar/Vocals
Mike Sneeringer – Drum Kit

Engineered, produced and mixed by Brian Mcternan at Salad Days Studios.
Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side, NJ
All music by Trial By Fire
All lyrics by Jason Yawn
Additional vocals on “Point An Inward Finger”, “Threat to the Slave Trade” and “Friendly Fire” provided by Aaron, Brad, Crash and Jill.
Design by Michael Byzewskit at Readyset…Aesthetic

1. Test Pattern
2. To Whom it may Redeem
3. Steps of St.Johns
4. Pilot Light
5. Process of Elimination
6. One Last Gasp
7. F.O.P
8. Threat to the Slave Trade
9. Vengeance
10. Point an Inward Finger
11. Friendly Fire


Trial By Fire has returned from the first European tour and jumped right into a US tour that will take them from coast to coast and every nook and cranny in-between. Bringing the fury of the phenomenal Ringing in the Dawn LP/CD (JT1070), TBF is going to astound any fan of politically oriented and aggressive punk rock.

Fall US Tour Nov 5,7-13 w/ The Curse

5: Montclair, NJ @ Bloomfield Ave Cafe (347 Bloomfield Ave)
6: Philadelphia, PA @ Pontiac Grill (304 South St) w/ Paint it Black
7: Allston, MA @ The ICC (557 Cambridge St)
8: New London, CT @ El-N-Gee Club (86 Golden St)
9: Syracuse, NY @ Wescott Community (826 Euclid Ave)
10: Toronto, ON @ Rivoli (334 Queen St West)
11: London, ON Canada @ Call The Office (216 York St)
12: Rochester, NY @ Java’s (16 Gibbs St)
13: Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr Roboto Project (722 Wood St)
14: Columbus, OH @ Bernies Distillery (1896 N High St)
15: Eat Peoria, IL @ American Legion Hall (500 Legion Ln)
16: Chicago, IL @ Metro (3730 N. Clark) w/ Dillinger 4
17: Milwaukee, WI @ Globe East (2028 E. North Ave)
18: Madison WI @ a house show (128 E. Washington St)
19: Minneapolis, MN @ Ascot Room- The Quest (110 North Fifth St)
20: Omaha, NE @ Farnum St (1417 Farnum St)
21: Denver, CO @ Climax Lounge (2217 Welton)
22: Provo, UT @ Papa Lees (117 N University Ave)
23: Billings, MT @ Eleven:11 (118 N. Broadway)
24: Tacoma, WA @ Hell’s Kitchen (3829 6th Ave)
25: Vancouver, BC @ Video In Studios (1965 Main St)
26: Seattle, WA @ Paradox Theater (5510 University Way NE)
27: Portland, OR @ Reed College (3203 SE Woodstock)
28: Reno, NV @ Ark-a-lk (555 E 5th St)
29: Berkeley, CA @ Gilman St (924 Gilman St)
30: Westlake Village, CA @ Kung Foo Corner (5700 Corsca Ave Ste 11)

1: Isla Vista, CA @ Biko (6612 Sueno)
3: La Jolla, CA @ Che Cafe (9500 Gilman Dr)
4: Tucson, AZ @ Skrappy’s (201 E Broadway St)
5: Phoenix, AZ @ Modified (407 E Roosevelt)
7: Spring, TX @ Java Jazz (419 Gentry St)
8: Dallas, TX @ Emo’s (603 Red River)
9: Dallas, TX @ Gypsy Tea Room (2548 Elm St)
10: San Antonio, TX @ Sin 13 (1902 McCullough)
11: Baton Rouge, LA @ Kurtcraig house (829 Louisiana Ave)
14: Gainesville, FL @ Common Grounds (919 W Univerisity Ave)
15: Jacksonville, FL @ Thee Imperial (325 West Forsyth St)
16: Atlanta, GA @ Cotton Club (3110 Rosewell Rd)
17: Carrboro, NC @ Room 4 (100 F Brewer Ln)



Washington, DC’s Trial By Fire will be touring the east coast and Canada with Glassjaw, followed by a European tour beginning in August. All dates are listed below.

We also have Trial By Fire merch that might have been overlooked by all you raging Trial By Fire fans. Make sure to go to the E-Store to get all of your cool punk looking Trial By Fire merch immediately.

US Tour
All Dates With Glasseater (except **)

June 28: Philadelphia, PA @ Pi Lamb (3914 Spruce St) w/ From Autumn To Ashes
June 29: Plainview, NY @ The Vanderbilt (1600 Round Swamp Rd) w/ From Autumn To Ashes
June 30: Old Bridge, NJ @ The Birch Hill (Rt 9 South) w/ From Autumn To Ashes
July 2: London, ONT @ Embassy (732 Dundas) w/ The Lawrence Arms
July 3: Ottowa, ONT @ Club Shaw (67 Nicholas St)
July 4: Montreal, QC @ Salle L’X (182 St Catherine East)
July 5: Quebec City, QC @ Quebec City Skate Park (720 Cote Dabhram)
July 6: Burlington, VT @ The Annex (250 Main St)
July 7: New London, CT @ El N Gee (86 Golden St) w/ The Lawrence Arms
July 8: Cambridge, MA @ Middle East Cafe (472 Mass Ave) w/ The Lawrence Arms
July 11: Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom (5000 Euclid Ave) W/ Open Hand
July 12: Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church (2125 Chestnut St)
July 13: Washington, DC @ The Black Cat (1811 14th St. NW) w/ The Explosion, The Curse
July 14: Columbus, OH @ Legion of Doom
July 20: Ocean City, MD @ Holy Savior Church(hall)(17th St-Bayside Coastal Hwy) w/ Ever Since Radio,December Tragic, Head up **

Aug 1: Baltimore, MD @ Wormfest 2002-Charm City State Park (4401 O’Donnell St) w/Champion, Black Widows, Sworn In, Blood Red, Stay Gold,Corn On Macabre **

Booking info: trialbyfiredc@hotmail.com

European Tour

August 16 Koln, Germany Live Music Hall (Popkomm) w/ Hot Water Music, Strike Anywhere, The Get Up Kids
August 17 Ieper, Belgium Leper Festival
August 19 Hannover, Germany Korn w/ Hot Water Music
August 20 Hamburg, Germany Schlachthof w/ Hot Water Music
August 21 Berlin, Germany Kato w/ Hot Water Music
August 22 Rosswein, Germany Jugendhaus w/ Hot Water Music
August 23 Leipzig, Germany Endless Summer Festival
August 24 Maxhotte (bei Regensburg), Hottenschenke w/ Muff Potter
August 25 Wien, Austria TBA
August 26 Graz, Austria Explosif w/ Propaghandi
August 30 Zurich, Switzerland Heuried
August 31 Munchen, Germany Backstage w/ Hot Water Music

September 1 Wiesbaden, Germany Schlachthof w/ Hot Water Music, Real McKenzies
September 6 Derby, England Victoria Inn w/ As Friends Rust
September 7 Leeds, England Josephs Wells w/ As Friends Rust
September 9 Brighton, England Pressure Point
September 10 London, England Camden Underworld w/ Strike Anywhere, Scuttle, Blocko)
September 13 Bremen, Germany Grunenstr.
September 15 Kontich, Belgium Lintfabriek w/ Strike Anywhere

Booking info: burkhard@greenhell.de

Trial By Fire Interview

Every so often a band comes along that reminds me why I cherish punk and hardcore music and makes me appreciate all that I’ve taken from the genres. Many people often reach back into time to grab their inspiration, whether it’s MINOR THREAT, BAD RELIGION, or GORILLA BISCUITS, and discredit the current face of music. TRIAL BY FIRE is here and ready to correct those visions of a “greater past.” Brandishing a sound that couldn’t be any more soulful as ferocious, TRIAL BY FIRE pack the requisite “bite” that elevates them into an elite level of musical entities. Simply put, these guys shred and they carry enough lyrical integrity to feed a social conscious for a lifetime. In all honestly, you’d be a fool to not check this band out. Interview conducted by email with vocalist, Jason Yawn in late April 2002.

pastepunk: Congrats on the release of your debut full-length, “Ringing In the Dawn.” How long did it take to put the album together and was there a certain atmosphere that you wanted to create before going into the recording stage?

Jason: We wrote the songs over a nine month period while playing as many shows as we could…we didn’t take a long period of time to “write” except for about a month or a month and a half before recording. We then went in to Salad Days and banged out the record, mixing and all in ten days. It was hard to get it done in that amount of time, but we are very proud of the results.

pastepunk: Having the fortunate opportunities to see you guys play locally in the DC/MD area in the past year or so, I feel like i’m ahead of the learning curve about TRIAL BY FIRE. For those who are unfamiliar with the band, how would you describe the goals of the band and its approach to music.

Jason: We’re a punk band. The goal is to be a part of the resurgence of Washington DC’s punk scene, and for the DC area to be known for what’s happening here now as opposed to what happened twenty years ago. Those bands back then inspired us to do what we do, but we want the current scene to be what people talk about. Lyrically, I write about social issues that I feel affect us all, meaning people everywhere. The ills that plague each community are interconnected and realizing that common problems are everywhere is the first step in fighting them. We want people to know us just as much for what we talk about as they know us for our sound.

pastepunk: Much of the lyrics on “Ringing In The Dawn” are critical (in a positive way) of the maladies that plague the weaknesses of our hardcore scenes – what are some ways that you think any change can happen? Can change happen?

Jason: Change is completely possible. The idea is just to put a mirror in front of people to show that a lot of the bullshit that divides the punk and hardcore community is exactly what divides mainstream society. The conclusion that is apparent in that truth is that punk has, in many ways, become a microcosm of mainstream society and not a vital alternative. The idea is to open our minds enough to reevaluate what punk means and how we can revive the “rebellious spirit” that many jaded people in the scene call cliche. I think what they call cliche is badly needed in the punk community.

pastepunk: Although this is old news, it still bothers me every day. Losing the St. Andrew’s Church in College Park for shows I think has been brutal to bands touring through the area – as you had played there and attended shows there, do you have thoughts on the matter?

Jason: I think that situation was awful for the scene. I know some of the people involved in that fiasco, and the only thing I can say is that was the worst way anyone could have dealt with the problems they had with the promoter. I think the people responsible for it realize that as well. It was a great venue and great venues are non existent here right now.

pastepunk: It seemed only natural that you guys recorded the new album with Brian McTernan, can you please go over how recording went – did Brian make you guys cry?

Jason: Brian did not make anyone cry. he did however put a gag order on Mike, our drummer. Mike has a knack for vocalizing with no filter from brain to mouth. The result is bad jokes. Brian had enough of this after a while and repeatedly instructed me to shut him up, but to no avail. On a serious note, it was a relatively painless process. All of us including Brain were on the same wavelength from the beginning as far as how we wanted the record to sound – we wanted it to be a punk record that sounded like it was recorded with good equipment. We didn’t want it to sound slick, we left in some mistakes and some cracking vocals because we felt it added character to it – we let the edges show.

pastepunk: As a still a relatively young band, what are your upcoming touring plans? I’ve noticed some dates with STRIKE ANYWHERE – those shows should be amazing.

Jason: We just got off tour with STRIKE ANYWHERE. it was awesome. They’ve been good friends, and we finally got to do some shows with them. We plan on doing a lot of touring this summer. Most of it is still pending as far as who we will be going with. We can say for sure that we are heading to Europe in August. We’re all very excited about that.

pastepunk: How did the band get hooked up with Jade Tree? What are some of the benefits of being on a label with such a generous hardcore history?

Jason: We got hooked up with Tim and Darren (owners of Jade Tree) after we recorded our demo with Brian in December of 2000. We went in on Brian’s day off, and did these four songs. He said it was strong and wanted to send it to labels. When he asked who we wanted to send it to, we all almost in unison said “Jade Tree.” Brian is old friends with Tim and so it immediately made it to his stereo. They loved it and came to five out of our first ten shows. We played about 6 months worth of shows and then signed in september of 2001. As far as benefits go, the main benefit is working in an environment that is like a family. They are our friends, that’s how it works. There is a great deal of trust because they view punk music in very much the same way we do. They don’t like all of the business bullshit that goes along with it, so they strip everything down. It’s very minimalist.

pastepunk: From what I can translate, “Steps of St. Johns” talks about the growing homeless problem in many urban centers (I imagine that would include DC) – is there anything that you expect from your audiences in response to this song? Do you feel there is still an activist culture in punk and hardcore?

Jason: The song is about a church that is across the street from the White House where a good amount of homeless sleep everynight. It’s literally a hundred yards away, maybe 20 yards from the grounds. That image just shows the gap of power between the two situations. I hope there is an activist spirit ready to be tapped in the punk community – i think the fact that there is even a question of that spirit shows exactly the direction punk has taken, for the worse in my opinion. I think punk can be more of a threat, in a social context, now more than it ever has been, just because the problems humanity faces are evident in every town in the country. Whether it be gentrification in urban areas, to family farmers being forced out of
business in rural areas, or factories closing and moving south in industrial towns, it’s all connected. They affect everyone. They all have to do with very wealthy and very powerful people using people as pawns for their ends. I think an acitivist spirit returning to punk seems like it would be a natural occurence in the face of these truths, but then again there are a lot of jaded people out there that will still call it cliche.

pastepunk: What are a few bands that you feel are underrated – either new or long-time veterans? What was the last band you saw that made you go, “damn, I wish there was more people here to check this group out?”

Jason: KILL YOUR IDOLS is a band that I think has worked harder than any band I’ve ever seen, and in my opinion they haven’t gotten their just recognition. They fucking tear it up everytime I see them. There are newer bands like THE CURSE, and a band from the West Coast that we got to play some shows with this past december is F-MINUS – they blew me away.

pastepunk: Are there any issues that might keep the band back from touring full-time? Anyone currently involved with education? Other bands? Careers?

Jason: Kevin, our bassist is also in MAJORITY RULE, but that won’t present much of a problem because we are all friends and can book around each other pretty easily. Everybody in the band is ready to go.

pastepunk: Any final comments?

Jason: Thanks so much for the interest in our band, and the opportunity to speak with you.

Trial By Fire [I]Ringing in the Dawn[/I] Review

Being a punk band from DC has to have a certain amount of pressure attached to it. I mean you’re inevitably going to be contrasted against other bands that hail from the capitol’s two-decades-old scene, so to make your mark you’d better be doing something special. On their debut disc, Trial by Fire rise to the occasion with a record that not only hearkens back to the salad days of the Washington scene, where bands like Minor Threat, SOA and Government Issue ruled the 9:30 Club, it takes the angst and anger of Reagan-era punk and updates it for the re-Bush generation. Sounding like a cross between their DC forefathers, Avail (especially on “One Last Gasp”) and Dillinger Four, TBF tears through 11 tracks in 25 minutes with nary a second to catch your breath, just like the good old days.


Washington D.C.’s Trial By Fire’s debut LP/CD (JT1070) Ringing in the Dawn was released today and is available for purchase and immediate shipping in the e-store! CHORUS OF ONE describes the album as having "all the best elements of punk and hardcore combined into no-frills brilliance," and we couldn’t agree more! With an April tour planned with Strike Anywhere and the release of this soon-to-be-classic debut, Trial By Fire is poised to become the most significant band to emerge from the historic punk D.C. scene in 2002.

Trial By Fire [I]Ringing in the Dawn[/I] Review

Restless, angry, and mostly scared, I am driving down Lake Underhill Road with my two newly adopted cats, Sasha and Nico (my wife thought they looked Russian!), in the front seat. They are sitting quietly in their "Pet Taxi," oblivious to where I am taking them, and to what they are about to be subjected to. My wife and I suspect Sasha is very ill.

We think, being the untrained vets that we are, she has some sort of stomach ailment. Or worse! One spot on her belly has swelled to the size of a gumball. Considering last October our beloved cat had died of kidney failure at the age of 15, we are both anxious, and overly cautious.

Attempting to scratch my way out of the funk I am in, I put on some music designed to lighten the mood: The Beach Boys. I don’t really know what I was thinking. I thought it would help, but it only helped me spiral into a deeper depression coupled with angry fits.

Remembering a mid-’80s scientific report that suggested listening to music that is analogous to your current mood and not the one you want to be in, I decide to try out the CD that Ink 19 sent to me to review. It is the debut of DC hardcore punks, Trial By Fire.

Great, this will cheer me up!

The initial pounding by drummer Mike Sneeringer startles Sasha and Nico from their stupor. But as cats are, they quickly settle back into their curled sleep. I, on the other hand, am immediately taken by the ferocious energy. The first track, "Test Pattern," is typical of most punk songs: it clocks in at just over one minute, 30 seconds.

I want more, damn it! I want out of this funk!

So, I turn up the volume and wait — and I am not disappointed. "To Whom It May Redeem" is a great hardcore song full of intelligent rage. It is followed by more of the same: short, politically charges punk songs. Bassist Keven Lamiell holds together the relentless rage of Sneeringer while Collin Barth (guitar/vocals) and Jason Yawn (vocals/guitar) bash through the melody and rage with great force.

One of the more timely songs, "Point an Inward Finger," ignites more anger in me with lyrics such as: "Take up your cross! Ignore the cause/Your innocence has long been lost/Achieve with no thought of the cost/No one is safe when there’s money to be made!"

By the time I turned into the vet’s office, I was feeling much, much better. Unfortunately, the anxiety and anger returned as I prepared myself to hear the difficult news as both played on the cold, white floor of the examination room.

Thankfully, my wife and I are just as neurotic as we believe. Sasha will be fine. The lump was caused from an allergic reaction to the sutures installed during her neutering.

On the way home, I replayed the disc to be sure I enjoyed it as much as I thought I had, and that my mood didn’t affect my appreciation. I rediscovered the power of music over mood as countless idiots cut me off, or otherwise endangered my precious cargo.

Trial By Fire [I]Ringing in the Dawn[/I] Review: B+


The biggest knock thus far on one of Jade Tree’s newest bands, Trial By Fire, is that they remind people too much of fellow label mates Strike Anywhere, the much lauded hardcore punk band from Virginia. Sure, both match high energy punk meets hardcore with strong political themes, both hail from the same area of the east coast. Trial By Fire reminds me much more of the late Kid Dynamite than they do Strike Anywhere, with more of a punk feel than the latter has. “Ringing In The Dawn” is a strong 11 song debut, straight forward and to the point that does little to set new ground but blazes an interesting trail nonetheless. Trial also has one of the most unsuitably named front men in punk rock, Jason Yawn, who’s lyrics are extremely critical of society and even those who choose to rebel. “Point An Inward Finger” is probably the best track of the album, finishing up with Jason growling that “no one is safe when there’s money to be made.” These guys are as punk as anyone and without any pretensions. It’s music that says something, pure and simple, image be damned. My only real complaint is that there just isn’t that much of it, the 11 songs fly by and leave me looking for more. Trial By Fire definitely lives up to the standards of their Jade Tree brothers past and present, and they have more than enough fire power to keep making noise well into the future. Be on the lookout, they’ll be touring all year.


Trial By Fire celebrates the release of their debut CD/LP Ringing in the Dawn this Saturday, March 16 in Washington, D.C.

Where: Kaffa House (1200 blk of U St., NW, Washington, D.C.)
When: 6:00pm
Also Performing: Striking distance, Brace, the Disaster, Supper Chinchilla, Rescue Mission

Trial By Fire’s debut CD/LP Ringing in the Dawn will be released Tuesday, March 19.

Trial By Fire [I]Ringing in the Dawn[/I] Review

rial By Fire’s debut, Ringing In The Dawn, comes in a fast-firing package reminiscent of Bad Religion’s equally quick and exciting classic Suffer. And like Suffer, the tunes are far from diverse but they contain enough fury to survive the 25-minute dash from start to finish. The beats speed quickly enough for you to lose your breath, yet guitarist Colin Barth maintains relative control over Mike Sneeringer’s explosive drum kit. Trial By Fire is a blender that purees elements from the last twenty years of punk onto a record that sounds superb (as do most things coming out of Brian McTernan’s studio these days). With Ringing In The Dawn, the band is already vying to join the company of current punk powerhouses like Dillinger 4 and Avail. (Although comparisons to Avail might be the only dark cloud over the band’s freshman picnic, the similarities between the two are difficult to ignore.)

Unlike most punk bands, Trial By Fire is often critical of its rebel comrades rather than the establishment. In "Point An Inward Finger," singer/guitarist Jason Yawn endures a bit of self-critique: "Too late to turn around and clean the slate, it’s lying in pieces/The truth will rear its ugly head again/And we fucking deserve it!" His willingness to admit the shortcomings of radical (in)activists will likely earn him the listener’s trust and an inkling of contempt for shoving a mirror in front of the more-anarchist-than-thou far left. But not to be mistaken for a perpetual naysayer, Yawn also plays cheerleader, with slogans likely to be heard at the next peoples’ protest: "Blow it up, start over again/Free yourself" ("Pilot Light"); "You call this treason/I call it allegiance/To an ideal, not a system/To a vision of redemption" ("Steps of St. John’s"). His lyrical ambiguity plays well over the single-minded passion of the music, giving the album dimension without sacrificing urgency. Trial By Fire, like its logo (torch constructed of a flame sitting atop the stars and bars of their hometown District of Columbia flag), is both the inferno of current destruction and a spark of hope for change ahead.


Leaving immediately from the studio to get into a van and promote their upcoming debut, Ringing in the Dawn LP/CD (JT1070, which will be released on March 19, 2002), Trial By Fire will be joining Hot Water Music, whose split CD EP (JT1067) with Alkaline Trio is due to be released on January, 22, 2002, on tour throughout December. Check out all the dates in the tours section and make sure to head out early and support these 4 swell gentlemen. Pre-orders can be made for Ringing in the Dawn LP/CD (JT1070) beginning January 22, 2002.


Washington, DC’s Trial By Fire, which includes members of Majority Rule and For The Living, play straightforward, no nonsense rocking hardcore, with their minds and hearts firmly positioned within the nation’s capital. Bringing a refreshing enthusiasm and creativity to an often-stagnant scene, Trial By Fire promises to be a welcome addition to Jade Tree. To date, Trial By Fire has released a 4-song demo CD that is available only from their shows. As the band prepares to enter the studio with Brian McTernan at Salad Days (Strike Anywhere, Hot Water Music, New End Original, Milemarker) to record their debut full-length for an anticipated spring 2002 release, they will continue playing out and winning over new fans. Make sure to check them out if you get a chance!

Trial By Fire [I]Ringing in the Dawn[/I] Review

So when Jade Tree told me I they would send me the Trial by Fire cd, I was pretty stoked. I mean, I love Jade Tree. They are my hands down favorite label. So when the cd arrived today, I was all smiles. Until I put the cd in. I stopped smiling. I jumped for fucking joy. This is such an incredible cd. None of that pop-punk dribble here, that seems to be what the mall punks think is all the rage. This is straigh-up, no frills, bare knuckles hardcore punk. The way it should be. The guitars are intricate and clever, which is really showcased on the tracks Venegeance and Steps of St. Johns. The drums aren’t jumbled and and noisy, but driving and infectious. Makes you wanna tap along, with your feet or your fingers. Both, in my case. I couldn’t stop. One thing I hate is shitty, stupid, nonsense lyrics. But Trial by Fire’s lyrics are brilliant. Vocalist Jason Yawn has an incredible use of imagery in his music. Using thoughts of freedom and rebellion and taking a stand as the basis the songs. And to cap it all off, Brian McTernan produced this masterpiece. So in the end, what we have here is the first album of the year to guarantee its top ten spot come december. If you don’t get this cd, you really have to stop and ask yourself why.