“I love San Diego and I love Brooklyn,” explained Golden Triangle drummer Jay Hough via email from Calgary. Trapsman from 1999 to 2003 for San Diego’s defunct GoGoGo AirHeart, Hough returned to SD last Sunday with his Brooklyn-based sextet, his first time back playing with a New York band since moving there in 2004. “I grew up in La Mesa surrounded by avocado trees instead of people. I think that’s why I picked up and moved to downtown SD as soon as I could.”
Before graduating (“barely”) from Valhalla High School in 1997, Hough volunteered in the SD music scene. “I [had] discovered a whole new side to San Diego and started playing drums. I became obsessed with Drive Like Jehu and Clikatat Ikatowi but was saddened that all of those bands were broken up, and many new bands I was discovering played only bars.... I started booking bands myself and learning sound engineering at the [all-ages] Ché. I worked there with friends who ran KSDT, where I would DJ on the radio after shows at the Ché.”
Hough resided at the “Locust House” in Golden Hill, a key locale in SD’s farther-underground music scene of the time. (Besides being the Locust’s home base and HQ of Three One G Records, it was the site of memorable house shows.) Hough’s first show with his first band, the Truth Movement, was there, on his birthday. “[It was Friday,] March 13, 1998, with the Murder City Devils and the Shock (later Le Shok) at the 2411 E Street house.... M.C.D. set their keyboards on fire in our living room! It was awesome.”
A year later, Hough joined the influential GoGoGo AirHeart (’96–’06). “In March of 1999, before GoGoGo were about to embark on their first U.S. tour with drummer Jimmy LaValle, he quit the band, as his solo project the Album Leaf [had] started to move.” Hough and GGGAH are pictured at the E Street house on their 2002 album Exitheuxa, partly recorded there.
Hough’s move to Brooklyn coincided with his pursuit of a cooking career, eventually studying for a culinary arts degree. As the blurb writer for Golden Triangle’s album Double Jointer puts it, “Jay...is a chef of the highest order. His bread pudding is great. I am getting paid to write this bio with a bucket of the stuff.”
The two-woman-fronted Golden Triangle — described as a “psychotic B-52s” with “the fuzz-bombed-out guitar attack of the Jesus and Mary Chain” — had a food fetish going before Hough joined in 2009; early band-name considerations included Mashed Potatoes, Dr. Pickle, Flesh Vegetable, and near-miss Strawberry Handjob.