10 Questions with guitarist, Gavin Van Vlack.
10 QUESTIONS WITH GAVIN VAN VLACK
September 19th, 2014 by Larry
10 Questions with guitarist, Gavin Van Vlack.
CHAIN AT THE PHANTASY IN CLEVELAND
September 19th, 2014 by Ed
NYHC 1980 – 1990 – THE RAW INTERVIEWS – TIM CHUNKS
September 18th, 2014 by Tony
As you might remember, yesterday we announced that my book, ‘NYHC 1980 – 1990′ is now available for pre-order via the publishers’ website.
Up until the official release in early December, we will be running some of the raw, uncut interviews that I conducted for the book. At last count, I had completed a little over one hundred interviews. So, there is a wellspring of these interviews to satisfy your NYHC nerd needs.
First up, we have an interview with Token Entry vocalist, Tim Chunks.
I ended up interviewing Tim twice and both times he was beyond enthusiastic to talk NYHC. So enthusiastic in fact that he almost totally forgot to talk about his own band! His memory is amazing and his insights on the ’85 to ’90 era of the scene are matchless. Much like others who sprang from the NYHC scene into bigger and better things, Tim is a guy who looks back on those days with both fondness and amazement; a perfect combo.
Let’s dig in… — Tony
I have seven brothers and sisters and one of them was having a Halloween party. I was probably around eleven or twelve. Two guys came to the Halloween party dressed as punks; that was their costume. I asked one of my brothers, ‘What are these guys supposed to be?’ and he was like ‘They’re punk rockers. You’ve never heard of punk rock?’ The funny thing was the guys who showed up dressed as punk rockers were actual punk rockers and they turned me onto this show that was on WNYU at the time called Noise the Show. I would sit in my garage with my brothers’ Panasonic boombox with the tape recorder on pause waiting for the show to come on. I heard bands like Naked Raygun and all sorts of stuff. When I heard that music, I got it and I totally understood it and I immediately felt, ‘This is where I belong’. It wasn’t something like ‘Well, I kinda like it’. It was instantly my life. That’s how it was for me at least.
I grew up in Queens and that’s where I got turned onto Hardcore. So for me, Queens was a huge, huge part of it. Reagan Youth were from Queens. Murphy’s Law were from Queens. The guy who played bass in The Mob worked in the 7-11 up the street from my house. You felt where you lived was churning out all this fantastic music that was going into the scene. Later on, you had Sick of it All and Gorilla Biscuits. You couldn’t help but take pride in it.
But by the time I got into Token Entry as the second vocalist, the NYHC scene was going through a lot of changes.
First, there was the crossover thing. It seemed when Agnostic Front came out with ‘Cause for Alarm’, that’s when it really felt the Metal thing was becoming too much. They went from ‘Victim in Pain’ to this and people were like ‘What’s going on?’ It was hard to set a boundary on the Metal that was OK and the Metal that was forbidden. I remember seeing a show with Megadeth, The Bad Brains and Voivod. It was a New Music Seminar show. It was an incredible night. Bad Brains opened with ‘Pay to Cum’ and me and my friends went fuckin’ ballistic. But when Megadeth came on, I was like ‘Fuck these guys’. I didn’t want any part of it. It was unacceptable. I didn’t think that was part of the scene. But then Voivod came on and they were fucking amazing. Megadeth was something I couldn’t understand, but Voivod I could get behind. I think it all had to do with the feeling of the music. Some of these bands still had some kind of Rock ‘N’ Roll vibe to them and some had the raw vibe of Hardcore that I could relate to.
And a band like Leeway was a complete crossover band, but I wouldn’t think of them as a crossover band. The Crumbsuckers were such a Metal band, and I didn’t think of them in that way. Then you had P.M.S which stood for Pre-Metal Syndrome. They were an all-girl Metal band. We’d go and see them and support then. I never considered it Metal. It wasn’t until D.R.I. put out the album ‘Crossover’ that I was like ‘What the fuck is this? This is bullshit!’
Then there was the youth crew thing. The New York scene need that insurgence. The scene was slowing down, but when that Youth Crew thing happened, it exploded. I used to say ‘Oh this sucks, there’s all these new kids here’. I thought the scene was my secret and my safe place. Then I came to realize, if I wanted to change something, it would be easier to change it if I had a hundred and fifty people on my side rather than just ten. When I realized that, I stopped being angry at all these faces I didn’t know. I was like ‘Hopefully, they’ll stick it out and hang around. They’re not just going to hang around for the summer and leave’.
It would be hard to call Token Entry a Youth Crew band; basically because Mickie was ten years older than everybody! Mickie was already an old man. We didn’t fit in with the crusty punks either, but we hung out with them. Token Entry would be considered posi-core I guess. I guess that’s the best way to put it. We never seemed to fit in with any of the bands in New York in a way. We’d play shows with all the bands of that time, but we were left out of all those compilations and stuff; who knows why. I’m not going to try and figure that out all these years later.
The Cro-Mags came out with ‘The Age of Quarrel’ LP around that time too. When that Cro-Mags record came out, it became apparent that it was going to be huge. This isn’t Cro-Mags just playing CB’s anymore. This wasn’t a DIY thing. This was a record on a real record label. I remember thinking ‘The Cro-Mags are going to play Madison Square Garden’. They were one of the few bands I believed were going to support themselves off of their music. When that record came out, I thought ‘These guys don’t have to work again’. That’s what I believed. And they were scary! If you went to the store and picked that record up and bought it, it was a line in the sand. You either put it on or said ‘This is way too scary for me’ or you said ‘I can relate to this’. I understand this frustration and this fear and I’m in it.
There was a lot of backlash to bands getting larger and working outside of the scene. I think every kid in the scene goes through a phase where they think ‘If this band is signed to a major label, I don’t want to know anything about you’. I think everybody goes through that. But as grown man, I know my speakers and my turntable don’t know how much I paid for that record. It’s an emotional thing. Whether I paid two dollars and fifty cents for this record or fifteen dollars or eight-five dollars, it’s the emotions that evoke in me is what matters.
Shit like fights would happen all the time, but that was part of the belonging. I’d see these guys every Sunday and I don’t them other than here, but I know that if somebody came up to me and started shit, half of these guys would have my back. That was such a great feeling. When you’re a disgruntled youth, that’s what you want. That feeling of belonging.
For me, NYHC was who was there. All my peers were making music. It was guys I went to school with. Guys I hung out with. It was all of my friends. We hung out and laughed and joked. We talked about serious shit and fought together. It was so important to me because it was people I respected and held dear in my heart and still do. For me, it was important about who it was, not so much of what it was.
PRE-ORDERS ARE OPEN FOR NYHC 1980 – 1990
September 17th, 2014 by Tony
Pre-orders are now open on the Bazillion Points website for the book ‘New York Hardcore 1980 – 1990′ by DCXX’s Tony Rettman. All pre-orders will ship December 3rd, 2014 and will come accompanied with an embroidered patch of Sean Taggart artwork as well as a metal badge.
Follow the link below to not only put in your early order, but to check out pictures of proof pages for the book as well as a sneak peak at the chapter, ‘A7 & 2+2 : East Village Nights’.
You can pre-order the book and check out all that stuff right here and be sure to stay tuned to DCXX’s for the raw, uncut interviews conducted for the book along with announcements of book events and whole lot more.
MY RULES – BOOK LAUNCH AND DISCUSSION IN BROOKLYN 9/23/2014
September 16th, 2014 by Tim
Legendary photographer and artist Glen E. Friedman celebrates the release of a career-spanning compendium of work at his first ever Brooklyn event. Featuring a conversation with Ian Svenonius, special edition vegan burgers made on the premises by Brooks Headley of Del Posto, and a raffle for a special signed Dogtown deck donated by Jim Muir.
The definitive monograph of Glen E. Friedman—the iconic skate, punk, and hip-hop photographer, often called the most important photographer of his generation, known for masterfully capturing and promoting rebellion in the cultures which he helped shape and define with his art.
September 11th, 2014 by Larry
20 YEAR ANNIVERSARY SHOW
September 9th, 2014 by Tim
FYF and Macondo Present:
Strife will be playing a special set to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of One Truth. There will also be an exhibit showing the history of The Macondo, one of the most important DIY venues in the 90’s in Los Angeles.
Tickets are available now www.ticketfly.com
A portion of the proceeds will benefit MusiCares, which helps musicians that struggle with addiction get sober and back on their feet.
LIFETIME, MOUTHPIECE AND MORE AT THE STONE PONY – OCTOBER 11, 2014
September 2nd, 2014 by Tim
October 11, 2014 – Lifetime, Mouthpiece and more at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park NJ. This will be our (Mouthpiece’s) first show in New Jersey in 14 years. Really looking forward to this one. Hopefully we’ll see a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. Tickets available now through Ticketmaster.
GREG ANDERSON OF BROTHERHOOD – PART III
September 1st, 2014 by Tony
Before we left on that tour with The Accused, Nate left the band. He was really only there to help us out. He had his other band Christ on a Crutch and wanted to go full bore with them and tour. But he told us, ‘There’s a friend of mine who is a good bass player who is also from the Tri-Cities. He loves your band and he’s totally Straight Edge and he’s moving here next week’. It was so weird how easy it was, but we were like ‘Score!’ and went along with it. So, Chris Charlot joined on bass and that changed things a little bit, but we were so fired to tour with The Accused it didn’t matter.
The tour with The Accused was really what broke up the band. No one was getting along towards the end; we eventually got on each other’s’ nerves. It was everyone’s first time being on tour and if you’ve ever been on tour, you know it takes some quick thinking skills to survive. We were young and being in a confined space with three other people took its toll. People started hating each other and stupid behavior came out. Looking back, it was normal stuff, but if you’re young and don’t know how to deal with it, it becomes a disaster. I came home from that tour hating every single one of the people in the band. They drove me nuts and I know I drove them nuts too, but I came home thinking ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’.
Going around the country on that tour, I started to get turned off by the Straight Edge thing. It was getting way too clean cut and way more about conformity than rebellion. It’s kind of funny when you look back how quickly your tastes change to set the mood when you’re young, but since I wasn’t into the whole Straight Edge thing anymore, I got really into Fugazi, Soulside, The Hated; if it was from D.C. I loved it. I went into full D.C. mode and Ron was getting into the super tough guy NYHC stuff. Vic was always really into the New York Dolls and Chris got really into grindcore. So, we were all totally different at this point and I couldn’t even imagine what kind of music we would make at that point. Ron tried to keep it together. He got another guitar player and I think another bass player but it didn’t last too long and we all moved onto other bands. I started a band with Nate that was full-on D.C. mode called Galleon’s Lap and Ron went onto Resolution.
The Brotherhood album that came out in the early 90’s on Crucial Response Records was Ron’s deal. At the point he worked out that deal with them, I did not give a shit about Brotherhood; I moved on. It wasn’t like I regretted making that music or that I hated it; I was just trying to concentrate on what music I was doing at that time. Ron was still holding onto the Straight Edge thing, so he struck the deal with Crucial Response to make that 12”. No one else in the band had any say on it and Crucial Response kept pressing it throughout the years. I looked upon that thing as a bootleg. The packaging was awful and finally I just thought we should do a proper re-issue of the Brotherhood stuff. Southern Lord has been re-issuing classic 80’s Hardcore for the past few years, so to re-issue the Brotherhood stuff made a whole lot of sense. I had the resources, knowledge and the distribution to get it out there, so we said ‘Fuck it, let’s do it ourselves’. Ron was looking to re-launch his label Overkill Records, so we made it a split release and it worked out great.
For people who don’t know the back story of Brotherhood, I’m sure they’re very confused by the discography coming out on Southern Lord. In the past few years, there’s been some internet rumor about how I don’t like to talk about Brotherhood or Straight Edge and I can be an asshole about it. That’s really not true. Brotherhood and everything I’ve done musically in my past is really important to me. Obviously, at this point in my life I’m a different person who has done all different types of music, but it’s still important and don’t regret any of it. Well, maybe some hairstyles or clothes that I look really silly in, but the music of Brotherhood is still very important to me. It was a starting point for everything I’ve done in my life.
One of the most important things about this record coming out is all the people involved are still close. I’m still friends with Nate and super close with Ron. Brotherhood was the catalyst for so much stuff; whether it’s Sunny Day Real Estate or Sunn O))). Most Sunn O))) fans probably wouldn’t get Brotherhood. They won’t get how it went from this rudimentary Hardcore to something like Sunn O))). But to me, it’s important to show where it all came from. Like I said before, If it wasn’t for Brotherhood, I wouldn’t have met Steve O’Malley.
And as much as I like re-issuing the Brotherhood stuff, I am not interested in reunions or anything like that. I’m a different person now. I was eighteen years old in Brotherhood. I’m forty-four years old now and I got three kids and married! I’m not in a one bedroom shitbox apartment anymore and being mad at people for doing drugs. I’m changing diapers around here, you know?!?
SANTA CRUZ VISITS TOM KNOX
August 28th, 2014 by Larry
Santa Cruz Skateboards catches up with street veteran and 80’s legend, Tom Knox, in his home town of Visalia Ca. Tom talks about turning pro for Santa Cruz and skates the spots he shredded in his classic video part from Speed Freaks.