Metal & Beer: Trappist’s Chris Dodge Goes Full Barbarian

Craft beer podcasts are a dime a dozen. And listening to people drink beer and talk about beer isn’t as fun as actually drinking beer. But the members of L.A.’s beer-obsessed, crossover thrashers, Trappist, have a little something more to offer in their “Hour of the Barbarian” podcast. This trio—featuring extreme music legend bassist/vocalist Chris Dodge, guitarist Phil Vera (also in Crom) and drummer Ryan Harkins—draws from decades of experience in the music biz, a unique perspective on the food industry (Harkins is chef/co-owner of Grill Em All food truck) and a love of good beer for their bi-weekly chats. They call it the “lifestyle show for savages, by savages,” but for listeners it’s like hanging out and having tasty brews with some dudes with fantastic stories to tell, a great sense of humor and hilarious chemistry. Dodge gave us the lowdown on their podcast series, which started in July.

How did you come up with the podcast name?
It seemed appropriate to whatever we talk about. The humor in our stories inevitably gets raw and barbaric. And Phil used to have a radio show in the ’90s with Chris Elder (from Despise You) called “Hour Of The Goat,” so the tie-in of that, plus Crom, plus our own experiences made it appropriate.

What was the inspiration for the three of you to share your discussions with the world?
I’ve been planning on starting a podcast for the past year or two, and just needed a jumping-off point. I wanted to have some sort of angle to the podcast, not just me playing random songs and rambling on. My wife was the one who came up with the idea of doing the podcast with Phil and Ryan. We’re always cracking each other up, either at practice, or over group texts where we punish each other with inane shit. My wife suggested we just record our conversations when we get together, and she was right, it was that easy to get it rolling. 

Who’s your demographic here?
Anyone with a sense of humor, hardcore kids, metal heads, beer nerds, recluses, partiers, freaks, savages and the not-easily-offended. I think of it as “The Man Show”—with Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmell, back in the ’90s—except without the jock mentality undertones.

Six episodes in, are you mapping stuff out in advance to talk about or do you just let it rip?
We usually have one or two main topics that we know we want to talk about, but we don’t pre-plan or map out anything. It ends up way funnier when it’s spontaneous.  

How much beer gets consumed in each episode?
Ryan has been sober since early last year, so Phil and I always split all the beers we’re tasting. We try to have some sort of theme, either all beers from a specific brewery, or from a certain region. Last time I went to Vegas, I brought back 12 different beers. Ryan goes to Cleveland a lot, and brings back Midwestern/East Coast beers for us. I brought in a ton of beers from new microbreweries I recently discovered in Tijuana, Mexico. I’ll be in the Netherlands in a few weeks with Infest, so I plan on packing a ton of beers from there. We usually split 5-10 high powered indie beers per episode. 

Describe each person’s role in the podcast? What do each of you add to the mix?
I’m the ringleader and maybe more of the Dad. Phil is the absurdist and also the engineer; we record at his studio. Ryan is the enthusiastic troublemaker. We all have these crazy life experiences and perspectives that keep it interesting and ridiculous with each episode.

Plans for future podcasts?
We will start having some guests soon.  It’s easy for the three of us to carry each episode on our own, we always have plenty to make fun of, but having some outside visitors will mix it up a bit. Matt Chernus, Ryan’s partner at Grill Em All, will be joining us soon to talk about his days as an amateur wrestler. Plus he’s a big pumpkin beer fan, and to me pumpkin beers are the scourge of the beer scene, so we’re going to have a pumpkin beer showdown. We’ll probably have some other friends on the show, like Eddy from Rock N Roll Beer Guy podcast who also works at Iron Triangle BrewingAnd Ryan’s wife Kevine will be on the show to talk about NFL sometime soon.  She’s a hardcore football fan. I look forward to plenty of moments where she emasculates me with her football knowledge.

Hour of the Barbarian is available through iTunes, Tunein and PlayerFM.