HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM DCXX
October 31st, 2012 by Tim

THE STORY OF THE BLACK FLAG SKATEBOARD
October 29th, 2012 by Larry

Jordan Schwartz & Jim McDowell tell the story behind the making of the Black Flag skateboard deck.

BL’AST! AT THE ANTI CLUB, HOLLYWOOD CA, 1987
October 28th, 2012 by Tim

CHAIN OF STRENGTH: REV 25 – NIGHT ONE (FULL SET)
October 26th, 2012 by Ed

STRAIGHT EDGE REVENGE
October 25th, 2012 by Tim

Project X (Partial Set) from hate5six on Vimeo.

CRAIG AHEAD PART II
October 25th, 2012 by Tim

CRAIG WITH AF AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

Are there any shows that stick out in your mind?

There are thousands of shows where wild things happened and ones that were just glorious. In the early 80s when I started playing, all the shows seemed like a big event. Maybe that is just my perspective but I remember crowds in ’86 when hardcore grew and I had been playing for a couple of years and the pile ups were just insane. The entire crowd would sing along and participate, it was just amazing. I loved it. Every single show that was happening, I was there. It was all I cared about, my entire life was going to see bands play and to play shows. I was part of the New York Hardcore family, that’s what it was then and that’s what it is now. Whether it was a show at CB’s, a VFW, a show upstate that Dave Stein was putting on, it did not matter.

Did you feel that you fit in at school?

No, not at all. I was a weird kid. And I think any kid feels this way when they are growing up going through a transitional phase in their life plus I was coming from a dysfunctional family unit. My mother was a very stable person, but I had an alcoholic father who I saw beat my mother. I didn’t feel that kids could relate to me, they didn’t know what I was going through. The other kids had a mother, father, a dog and I could not relate. My friends that knew me were cool but outside my circle the others would stay away from me. I didn’t have a pristine family unit growing up, although my mother is a great woman she was married to a man who was abusive and I saw horrible things as a kid. I went to hardcore shows and met people who had gone through the same thing as me and I felt accepted.  I came into the scene as a skinny little kid and everyone there loved me. All these scary looking people they took me in and treated me with the utmost respect, I was judged on how I carried myself and who I was, not by my image.

CRAIG AIRS IT OUT WITH AF AT CITY GARDENS, TRENTON, NJ | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

Do you think the scene was less judgmental at that time?

Absolutely, now it’s broken up into all of these different factions. You would go see every band that was playing. You would have a band like Void playing with the Vandals. Two complete opposites but it was all part of the scene.The scene was a general thing. It was more of how you carried yourself not by how you looked or how you sounded.

Did you feel that you wanted to be part of group or you were just into the music and found the scene?I think i just found the scene, i wasn’t looking to be part of a group, I didn’t even grasp the concept that I could be part of a scene. I wasn’t someone who really jumped on bandwagons in life although I touched upon that in my life as a kid growing up and developing and learning. I wasn’t really looking for anything I just wanted to play music and the music I liked. That took me away to a different place. That made me excited to be there. So when I went there the people were genuinely accepting and totally cool. They weren’t coming to me at some stupid angle they learned from watching television or the media so it felt like a real place with people being themselves so I was really drawn to it. I never thought “oh I want to fit in, I want to be part of this group.” Maybe it was because I was a kid growing up so obviously that was in there, but I wasn’t ever excessively trying to fit in. It was a comfortable place for me.

What was the first band you were in?

The first band that I was in was just some neighborhood guys and we played heavy metal and punk covers. We were called Axe Attack. The rest of the SOIA guys lived a block away and they would come over. I had seen them before but that is where I really started talking to them. This was around 1982. We played our first show at a battle of the bands in a church in January or February of 1983. It was my first show which was strange but fun, we had a two song demo.There were three bands and we came in second. I think we played a GBH, Exploited and a Motorhead song. The band that came in first had fathers who rented the PA, so it was fixed. It was myself, some other guys and Victor from Reagan Youth. We asked Armand to play but he said it would be too hypocritical for him to play his first show in a church. I was young and really into Reagan Youth, so I was psyched, and to play with Victor was a big deal to me. Lou, Pete, and Armand were at that show with us, we rode in a station wagon and Armand ran around the backstage with hangers on his head. Ultimately this show set the tone for the rest of my career.

That band didn’t really do anything else, the guy who led the band was a little emotionally off so I would just jam with people like Pokey and Armand but nothing serious. I wouldn’t play CB’s until a year later which was with NYC Mayhem. That was myself, Tommy Carrol, and Gordon Ansers who later played in AF and Leeway. They were a death metal band when I went to see them rehearse. After the rehearsal Tommy pulled me aside and said “I hate this death metal shit but I joined because I want to play drums.” He told me to join the band and we’ll change the music and make it a hardcore band with metal in it. I was into it and Gordon was cool with it also so they got rid of the bass player and I joined. This was from ’84-’85. Mayhem played a bunch of shows, and we had some notoriety to us as a crossover band. People would complain that we had turned into a hardcore band from a metal band but that was the direction I wanted it to go in. I thought metal was cheesy and I wanted to play more punk rock. I really liked AF, Mental Abuse, DRI…those bands had a fast crazy style. I would see the Cro-Mags every time they would play…Murphy’s Law, any NY bands.  That what I was into.

CRAIG WITH AF AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

AM I THE ONLY ONE LEFT?
October 25th, 2012 by Tim

Chain Of Strength from Rev 25 NYC, Saturday the 13, 2012. Far from perfect sound quality, but visually, this video kills. Shot by DCXX’s own, Larry Ransom.

CRAIG AHEAD PART I
October 22nd, 2012 by Tim

CRAIG SETARI WITH AGNOSTIC FRONT AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

Long time friend and occasional DCXX contributor, Lenny Zimkus, spent a good portion of the 90′s as a roadie for Sick Of It All, CIV and Shelter, as well as a handful of other bands. Through out those years of touring, Lenny got to know Sick Of It All bassist, Craig Setari, pretty well and has kept in touch with Craig, long after the roadie work has stopped.

Craig has become a veritable New York Hardcore icon, having played in some of the biggest and best bands (Straight Ahead, Youth of Today, Agnostic Front, Rest In Pieces, Sick Of It All, etc.) to ever emerge out of New York. Lenny pitched the idea to me that he’d like to interview Craig for DCXX, so naturally I told him that the floor was all his.

This is part one of a multiple entry interview. Huge thanks to Lenny and Craig for making this happen and of course Ken for the photos. -Tim DCXX

CRAIG WITH AF AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

I grew up in Bayside Queens where I  was born and lived until I moved to Jackson Heights when I was 18 and got my first apartment with Armand and John Devil Dog who I would consider the sheriff of the Alleyway Crew. I lived in Rhode Island a bit and all over the world living out of my bag, sleeping on floors and tour buses. But when I’m not touring I split my time between upstate NY where I have a farm and Queens. Ultimately, Queens is my home, my family is there.

What was your childhood like?
 
My mother was a very loving, caring and supportive person. Very understanding, but we were very poor. My father was an alcoholic so things were rough in the sense that we didn’t have money so we had to make do with what we had. He wasn’t really around so he wasn’t much of an influence on me. What I do remember of him is that he was a rough character. There wasn’t a lot of money but there was a lot love.
 
Do you remember when you started taking an interest in music?

I was probably 6 years old and I remember hearing some radio hits that I liked, then my brother’s friend played me the first Black Sabbath record and that intro with the rain and ominous sounding music made me think of a graveyard. That scared the shit out of me that I almost cried. But I would keep going back to listen to it until I wasn’t scared any more. Early rock and heavy metal was the music that I latched onto. My brother was into Aerosmith, Black Sabbath, etc. I would listen to whatever he brought home, I loved the energy and the excitement of it. I really liked the heavy metal stuff that I was listening to but when I found punk rock it was like heavy metal in the energy but it had a message that really balanced it out and took it to another level. They weren’t singing about a bunch of nonsense. Certain metal bands like Black Sabbath do have decent lyrics but that brought in a whole new wrinkle to the music. It wasn’t just a feeling or the sound, it was a philosophy.

ROGER AND CRAIG WITH AF AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO


 
What made you pick up an instrument?

I was really into playing drums when I was younger, around 8 or 9 years old. A guy in my neighborhood had a drum set that he was selling but he would never sell it to me. I couldn’t figure out why not, I wanted to play drums. Later I found out that my mother and brother who were friendly with him told him, “we live in a small apartment, you can’t sell him those drums.” So he would say “I don’t know if I’m going to sell them.” He would just play it off. He told me “why don’t you play bass, there are no good bass players.” I didn’t want to play bass, I wanted to play the drums.
 
So eventually my brother’s friend Danny Lilker who is a hardcore and metal musician would come over my house for lunch when I was a kid. Danny and my brother were in junior high and I was probably ten. He brought over a bass and left it there so my brother could play for Anthrax when they were first starting. I picked it up and watched intently as he taught my brother. My brother didn’t really care to play but I learned from Danny. He would bring over metal, punk and hardcore seven inches for me to listen to - like Discharge, GBH, the Bad Brains, and then a little later Black Flag and early NYHC records like Agnostic Front.

From being raised on metal and rock I went to the dirty end of that with hardcore. Not like The Clash, who were more melodic.  That interest came later. I was more interested in the really aggressive sounding music and not the typical sing along. I went through a phase as a kid where I was into fast aggressive music, I wanted the music to be hard, heavy, and dirty. So around 11 or 12 years that was what sparked my interest in hardcore. This guy Dave Dicuzzi who I went to school with was a roadie for The Mob. Also John Omen turned me onto a bunch of music.
 
Really once Danny got me going and I met those other guys, who were part of the scene before me, was when it began. They would say “go check out this band at CB’s” so then I started going there. Everything just seemed like a natural progression, but in such a short time, like a year or two. From first being exposed to it to being being fully immersed in it, it was fast.  The first show that I went to was in early 1984 and that was A.O.D, Bodies In Panic, and Malignant Tumor which I believe was their first show at CB’s. That was the first time I had ventured down there. Now you have to remember I was 14 years old and the city was a different place than it is now. I was pretty much allowed to do what I wanted but I was respectful of my mother and she just said be careful.
 
So on my own I went to a Mets game and then started taking the subway to CB’s…

STIGMA AND CRAIG WITH AF AT CITY GARDENS | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO

RITES OF SPRING
October 22nd, 2012 by Tim

Rites Of Spring, March 1985 at Food for Thought | Photo: Bert Queiroz

DCHC’S BERT QUEIROZ HITS BROOKLYN
October 21st, 2012 by Tim