"some music was meant to stay underground..."


Formed: 1979
From: Chicago, IL, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Trouble News

Below is our complete Trouble news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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The Skull Recruits New Guitarist

There is now more “Trouble” for The Skull - the band featuring original Trouble members vocalist Eric Wagner and drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson alongside Trouble’s longtime bassist Ron Holzner and Sacred Dawn guitarist Lothar Keller - as the group has now recruited former Trouble bassist Chuck Robinson as a new guitar player.

Jeff Olson comments: “We are excited and honored that Chuck Robinson has accepted our invitation to join the band. He is the perfect fit for The Skull.

“I’ve always enjoyed rehearsing with Chuck as he is disciplined with his art. He’ll surely bring a bonus to the band with his experience as a former Trouble member and as a seasoned musician who utilizes both his talented song writing ability and his exceptional recording skills. We are looking forward to tour with our brother again.”

Olson added: “Chuck is more then a bass player. He grew up playing guitar with his father, also a very talented guitarist. Eric, Ron, Lothar, and myself know that Chuck is more than capable for the job. He’ll bring chops with a heavy groove to our debut album, as well as bring his charisma to the stage.”

You can also see the band live:

May 09 - Cleveland, Ohio - The Grog Shop
May 10 – Chicago, Illinois – Reggies
August 29 - Montreal, Canada - The Wings of Metal Festival

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Jeff "Oly" Olson Posts Beer Video

Allagash Brewing Company has released a short video, "The Red Howes Story," chronicling the new Imperial Stout brewed by Allagash Brewery and Jeff “Oly” Olson (Trouble, The Skull, Retro Grave, Victor Griffin's In~Graved).

The Red Howes Story consists of reel-to-reel video of Olson's grandfather and family, behind the scenes video of the brewing of Red Howes, and is narrated by Olson. Check it out below. More...

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Jeff "Oly" Olson To Release Beer

Original Trouble drummer Jeff “Oly” Olson will launch a Belgium-style stout named Red Howes with Allagash Brewing Company set for release on Saturday, January 25th. The limited bottles will be sold in 750 ml and will be distributed nationwide on draft.

Named after Olson’s Grandfather, Red Howes is an Imperial Stout brewed with over 3,000 pounds of New England cranberries. Coincidentally, the cranberry’s brewed in the beer are of the Red Howes and Early Blacks variety. The beer is black in color with a creamy beige head brewed with 2-Row barley, a blend of roasted malts and grains. Cocoa, coffee, and berries fill the aroma with flavors of dried fruit and bitter chocolate with a slight tartness and a dry lingering finish. 8.5% ABV.

Olson is no stranger to the brewing industry having worked in breweries and wineries for over twenty years whilst not on band tours. Moreover, Olson has been writing and recording in the music industry since the formation of Trouble (1979) and holds a Bachelor of Music degree in film scoring, cum laude, from Berklee College of Music.

Currently, Olson is playing drums and keyboards for The Skull (featuring original Trouble vocalist Eric Wagner and longtime Trouble bassist Ron Holzner), Victor Griffin’s In~Graved, and is a multi-instrumentalist with his heavy psychedelic/doom project Retro Grave. More...

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Trouble Recruits New Bassist

Metal legends Trouble have announced the recruitment of new bassist Rob Hultz, who is to debut on an upcoming Fall Tour.

On the eve of the European release of latest studio album The Distortion Field (reviewed here), Trouble has made a permanent addition to the band line-up with the hiring of bass player Rob Hultz. The following press release was issued:

"Hultz is no stranger to the heavy metal, hard rock, and doom metal genres as his lengthy music resume boasts. While still in high school, he joined an East Coast hardcore band called Social Decay which served as his introduction to recording and touring. After a decade, he left with the guitar player to form the doom metal band Godspeed and was signed to Atlantic Records. Their debut album was recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York and produced by Rachel Bolan of Skid Row. The band was represented by Gloria Butler Management and toured with iconic bands such as Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio, and Cathedral, to name just a few. More...

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Jeff Olson Returns To The Skull

Jeff "Oly" Olson has joined forces again with The Skull, the band he formed with fellow original member of Chicago doom-metal legends Trouble vocalist Eric Wagner and the band's longtime bassist Ron Holzner.

Olson states, "I know that I've mentioned that I wouldn't perform Troubles music anymore unless it's with the other original members, but I've had a change of heart. I want to rock again. Although I have been having a great time playing keys for In~Graved (led by former Pentagram guitarist Victor Griffin), I miss the drums and playing classic Trouble songs. I'm still going to jam with Victor, but there is room for The Skull too.

"In just a few short months, 2014 will mark the 30th anniversary year for Trouble's debut record Psalm 9. Trouble guitarists Rick Wartell and Bruce Franklin are having fun with their new record, and I had fun writing some intros for it, it's just that Eric, Ron, and myself want to jam too and celebrate our 30th anniversary as well with a tour and a new record. We've worked just as hard as Bruce and Rick over the years and we feel that we’ve earned the privilege to celebrate with the fans as well. There is no animosity between the two bands and we intend to keep it that way. More...

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Trouble Streaming Three New Songs

Chicago metal legends Trouble return with their first album since "Simple Mind Condition," released in 2007. The album entitled "The Distortion Field" features 13 tracks and will be released by FRW Records in North America on July 16th, 2013 and in Europe on August 23rd, 2013.

Trouble has teamed up with Decibel Magazine to give fans a taste of "The Distortion Field" before it is released in North America tomorrow. Check out full streams of the songs "When The Sky Comes Down," "Sucker," and "Butterflies" below.

"The Distortion Field" makes history in the Trouble camp through the band's acquisition of a new lead vocalist, Kyle Thomas of Exorder and Floodgate fame. Commenting on the new vocalist, Trouble founder and guitarist Rick Wartell says:

"Kyle is one of the most impressive singers I've ever heard, and by far the most extraodinary singer I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He's got incredible range, incredible power, and an incredible knowledge of Trouble, as he's been a fan for 20-something years. We've known him forever, and he innately understands what Trouble is about. He's like the perfect guy to come in and do this job. It's awesome." More...

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Jeff "Oly" Olson To Release Cranberry Beer

Jeff "Oly" Olson (Retro Grave, In-Graved), original drummer for Trouble, tweeted today that the pilot beer he brewed for Allagash Brewing Company will launch for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays 2013.

The beer will be an Imperial Stout brewed with cranberries. The name for Olson's beer is still undecided and will be announced soon. The following press release was also issued:

"Allagash Brewing Company began as New England's original Belgian-Style brewery and have grown into one of the industries most distinguished and well-respected brands.

"Olson played keyboards on the Spring 2013 self-tiltled debut album from In-Graved, the new band led by former Pentagram guitarist Victor Griffin. Olson also recorded keyboard intros on Trouble's forthcoming album 'The Distortion Field' set for release July 16th, 2013."

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Trouble Announces New Album & Release Date

Legendary Chicago metal band Trouble announced that the long awaited return album will be entitled "The Distortion Field." The album is scheduled for release on July 16th (North America) and July 26th (Europe) via FRW Records. The album marks the first new album from the band since the 2007 LP "Simple Mind Condition."

"The Distortion Field" will also make history for the band as they welcome new lead vocalist, Kyle Thomas of Exorder and Floodgate fame.

Commenting on new vocalist is founder and guitarist Rick Wartell: "Kyle is one of the most impressive singers I've ever heard, and by far the most extraordinary singer I've ever had the pleasure of working with. He's got incredible range, incredible power, and an incredible knowledge of Trouble, as he's been a fan for 20-something years. We've known him forever, and he innately understands what Trouble is about. He's like the perfect guy to come in and do this job. It's awesome."

Veteran music Producer Bill Metoyer is once again lending his expertise, having previously worked with the band on "The Skull" and 'Trouble," both Metal Blade releases. More...

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Jeff Olson To Appear On New Trouble Album

It's official, original Trouble drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson (Retro Grave, In-Graved) will appear on the next as-of-yet untitled Trouble album, set for a 2013 release. Olson wrote on his "Heady Metal With Jeff Olson" Facebook page:

"It's official... I'm going to be playing some keys on the next Trouble record. Been working on some intros. Don't know when the record will be released.

"I'm also going on tour with Victor Griffin's In~Graved this Spring playing keys... tour dates coming soon. After that, a new Retro Grave record with special guests guitar players. Can't wait!"

Trouble was recently covered in our Sunday Old School column here, and Jeff Olson will also be hitting the road with the new band In-Graved on the following dates: More...

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Sunday Old School: Trouble

Looking at how big and branched out the doom metal scene has become in recent years, one can't help but look back to the pioneers of the first wave of Black Sabbath/Coven worship. Besides Witchfinder General, Candlemass, St. Vitus and Pentagram, there is the almighty Trouble. I respect the hell out of this band for its sheer heaviness and iconic style, making them a true American treasure. I've had the pleasure of seeing this great band live three times in my life, each time a complete and total assault of my auditory senses.

Back in the late seventies, guitarist Bruce Franklin and vocalist Eric Wagner were in a high school band in Chicago by the name of Wisecrack and eventually joined guitarist Rick Wartell to form Trouble. The line-up was rounded out with Tim Brown on bass and Jeff 'Oly' Olson on drums. By 1983 the bass was taken over by Sean McAllister, who had ironically borrowed a bass guitar from the man who would become Trouble's bassist for sixteen years - Ron Holzner, who had went to school with Trouble's number one roadie. Jeff Olson was from Maine, but his family had relocated to Chicago where he attended high school. The rest is history. More...

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Petition For Doom "Big Four" Tour Circulating

Smokin’ Johnny (apparently the same guy who’s responsible for the Danzig rumours) has created an online petition by asking its fans to help make a “Big 4 of Doom Metal” tour featuring Saint Vitus, Trouble, Pentagram and Candlemass happen. On why “The Big 4 of Doom Metal” tour should happen, the creator explains:

Since a Big 4 of thrash metal exists, how about a Big 4 of doom metal? Saint Vitus, Trouble, Pentagram and Candlemass all helped shape that genre and a Big 4 lineup featuring all of those bands would be one hell of a tour. They all excelled and made doom metal popular. Unlike the other three bands, Candlemass is from Sweden, but their music has become an important American phenomenon in over the last few decades, and yes, this is one reason why they’re in the lineup.

Over a two year period, from 1984 to 1986, all four of the Big 4 bands released defining debut albums; Saint Vitus released their eponymous album, Trouble released "Psalm 9," Pentagram released "Relentless" and Candlemass released "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus." Not only did all of those albums give the scene a united front and further the awareness of doom metal as a genre, but they would influence and inspire many well-known later musicians.

Another thing in common about Saint Vitus, Trouble, Pentagram and Candlemass is that they all cite Black Sabbath as an influence. Candlemass recorded a track called “Black Sabbath Medley” on their 1988 album “Ancient Dreams," which is composed of both parts and lyrics to many of their songs, while Saint Vitus named themselves after a song from Black Sabbath’s 1972 album Vol. 4 called “St. Vitus’ Dance”. Seeing Saint Vitus, Trouble, Pentagram and Candlemass tour together would be such an honor. We, as fans, would love to thank all of them for their hard work and all the classics they’ve been putting out since the 1980's.

If you think the tour should happen, go here to sign the petition. “The Big 4 of Doom Metal” also has a Facebook page, go here to 'like' it.

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The Skull Recruits New Guitarists

The Skull, the new band formed by two original members of Chicago doom legends Trouble— vocalist Eric Wagner and drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson — alongside the band's longtime bassist, Ron Holzner, has now recruited guitarists Lothar Keller and Michael Carpenter of the Chicago, Illinois-based progressive power metal band Sacred Dawn.

Glen Drover (MEGADETH, TESTAMENT, KING DIAMOND) will not join the band as the guest touring guitarist due to scheduling conflicts. Commented Wagner, Olson, and Holzner in a statement:

"We welcome the twin guitar attack of Lothar Keller and Michael Carpenter from SACRED DAWN. Both guitarists have been playing together for many years and that's a big plus. We are excited to begin rehearsing for our upcoming shows!"

The following festival dates have been confirmed so far (more dates will be announced soon):

June 16 - Days of The Doomed Festival - Cudahy, WI - with EARTHEN GRAVE/BLACKFINGER
July 21 - Hells Pleasure Festival - Pößneck, Germany
September 01 - SHoD (Stoner Hands of Doom) - New London, Connecticut - with RETRO GRAVE
November 10th - Hammer of Doom Festival -Würzburg, Germany

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Trouble Enlists Former Exhorder Singer

Blabbermouth.net reports Kyle Thomas, former lead singer for Exhorder and Alabama Thunderpussy, has accepted the position as Trouble's front man. Thomas formerly donned Trouble's microphone for four live shows between 1997 and 1999. More...

Read the full article at Blabbermouth.

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Kory Clarke Quits Trouble

Warrior Soul singer Kory Clarke has announced his departure from Chicago doom legends Trouble to form a new band called The Bones of Children with guitarist Russ Strahan (Pentagram/Land of Doom). Clarke commented on his Facebook page:

"This Metal Album will be high energy, with a fresh artistic approach to the genre without the limitations of the over '50 something religious crowd.' It will be so nice to be working without the shackles that a previous singer has left behind of a band that is over 30 years old and acts and sounds like it. I like to do progressive, pushing the boundary lyrics in an individualistic style, I don’t want to sound like Ozzy, like their old singer [Eric Wagner] tried to do. I am also glad when I look to my left on stage from now on, I will not be seeing 'Derek Smalls' in my peripheral vision. LOL. I just cannot play with people who are fundamentalist Christians, or too family oriented to the point that they can't tour, do records or knock down a few margaritas with me at the bar. This is rock n roll guys not the family channel."

The Bones Of Children will release its debut in fall 2012. More...

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Re-recording Metal - For Better or for Worse?

Back in 2005, Dimmu Borgir was a band still basking in the unholy success of its latest outing “Death Cult Armageddon.” And yet instead of launching into a new opus for fans to consume the band members decided on a new approach; they would re-release an early and often praised album (“Stormblåst”) by completely re-recording it, updating the sound with modern production and slap “MMV” on the end. There had of course been prior examples of bands making this choice, but it was perhaps here that best truly crystallized the new era of metal re-recordings. No doubt you have heard of similar re-recordings in the same vein, perhaps most recently Gorgoroth’s “Under the Sign of Hell 2011” or Burzum’s “From the Depths of Darkness”? Perhaps not, but that’s what I aim to uncover for you here. More...

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Original Trouble Members Reunite On Stage

Three members of the original lineup of the legendary Chicago based doom metal band Trouble reunited on stage the weekend before last to perform the song, "Victim Of The Insane," which comes from the group's debut album, "Psalm 9." You can check out a video below. Vocalist Eric Wagner and bassist Sean McAllister joined drummer Jeff "Oly" Olsen's band Retro Grave for the song at The Days Of The Doom Festival in Kenosha, Wisconsin. More...

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Jeff "Oly" Olson Talks Possible Reunion w/ Trouble

Original TROUBLE drummer and RETRO GRAVE mainman Jeff "Oly" Olson was interviewed on the April 2, 2011 edition of the "Maximum Threshold" show. He discussed details of the upcoming RETRO GRAVE debut show, set to take place on April 23 at The Studio at Webster Hall in New York City as well as a possible live reunion with former TROUBLE bandmates Eric Wagner and Ron Holzner this June 18 at the Days Of The Doomed festival in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Olson also revealed that former TROUBLE bass player Sean McAllister will be present at the Days Of The Doomed festival, adding, "Who knows what could happen?" The chat is now available for streaming or download here.

RETRO GRAVE's debut full-length album, "Again", was released in February 2010.

In other news, RETRO GRAVE has scheduled an after party meet-and-greet at Idle Hands Bar on April 23rd in New York City immediately following their debut show at the Studio at Webster Hall.

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Trouble Updates Tour Schedule

Rick Wartell of Chicago doom act Trouble will guest on this Monday's (January 10th) edition of original and former Trouble drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson's Internet radio show, "Heady Metal With Jeff Olson." Wartell will discuss tour dates to include the 70,000 Tons of Metal Cruise coming up this month and the latest up-to-date Trouble studio report.

Trouble has scheduled the following tour dates:

Jan. 22 - Bottom Lounge - Chicago, Illinois
Jan. 24-27 - 70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise
Jan. 28 - County Line - Melbourne, Florida
Jan. 29 - Plaza Theater - Orlando, Florida
Jan. 30 - The Coliseum - Daytona Beach, Florida

"Heady Metal With Jeff Olson" airs on Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. EST exclusively for Metal Messiah Radio with the podcasts available the following day at the show's website.

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Headline News

Original Saint Vitus Drummer Armando Acosta Dies

Former TROUBLE drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson has issued the following statement about the passing of original Saint Vitus drummer Armando Acosta:

"Sadly, it has been confirmed that the original drummer for Saint Vitus, Armando Acosta, passed on Thanksgiving Day (November 25) at the age of 58. I had scheduled an interview with Henry Vasquez (current Saint Vitus drummer) for this Monday's show before anyone had known of the passing. Therefore, this Monday's (December 6th) edition will be a memorial for the late Armando Acosta. The interview with Vasquez will be re-scheduled for a later date."

"Armando was one of my dear friends from Saint Vitus. The last time I saw Armando was when he ate dinner at my house after a Saint Vitus show in Chicago. He had a very kind heart and was funny. I'm saddened by this news. He will be very missed by so many. May he rest in peace."

"Heady Metal With Jeff Olson" airs on Monday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. EST exclusively for Metal Messiah Radio with the podcasts available the following day at the show's website. The encore runs on Saturdays from 8 to 10 a.m.

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Retro Grave Confirmed For Days Of The Doomed

RETRO GRAVE, featuring original and former TROUBLE drummer Jeff "Oly" Olson, has been confirmed for the Days Of The Doomed Fest, set to take place June 17-18, 2011 at The P.L.A.V. in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Commented Olson: "I'm very excited to play for our friends in the mid west for the Days Of The Doom Fest. It's going to be great to perform on stage again. I've missed that! In addition, because I live in southern Maine, I have not yet had the chance to see my longtime TROUBLE friends, Eric Wagner and Ron Holzner perform with their new bands, BLACKFINGER and EARTHEN GRAVE. I'm looking forward to see them again as well as the latest up and coming bands in the doom scene. Stay tuned for RETRO GRAVE's debut show to be held in New York City soon with my friends from GNAW."

The Days Of The Doomed Fest billing is shaping up as follows:

RETRO GRAVE (feat. Jeff "Oly" Olson of TROUBLE fame)
BLACKFINGER (feat. Eric Wagner of TROUBLE fame)
EARTHEN GRAVE (feat. Ron Holzner of TROUBLE fame)

Tickets are on sale now. Weekend passes are $40.00 through PayPalusing cosmic_doom_420@yahoo.com for payment.

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