Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Warzone at the Knights Of Columbus in Williamsville, NY. August 23, 1987. This is one of those great videos you can watch 50 times and every time you watch it, it’s just as cool as the first. 1987 was one hell of an era for Warzone. United we stand, divided we fall, ya gotta keep the faith! -Tim DCXX
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
To recap our most recent poll in which we asked you what Insted record was your favorite, bassist Rich Labbate chimed in with some thoughts on “We’ll Make The Difference,” which squeaked by with the win. Tim and I both voted for the sophomore EP effort, and I can say it’s easily my favorite Insted release while not knocking the other records by any means. Not only is Insted a great band, but they are some of the nicest, coolest dudes I have ever met, period. Take it away, Rich. O.C. Hardcore. -Gordo DCXX
Kevin bringin’ the O.C. Straight Edge with Insted, Photo: Mikey Fastbreak
I joined Insted in the spring of 1988 (a few months before the ‘Bonds Of Friendship’ record was released). The demo had gotten a lot of attention locally and everyone was kind of waiting to see what would happen next. With the release of ‘Bonds’ and the line up solidified, we were ready to hit the ground running. You now had 4 guys who were totally on the same page. ALL straight edge, ALL vegetarian, and ALL really deeply rooted in Hardcore. There wasn’t a local show that went by that you couldn’t find at least one Insted member at. We ate, slept and breathed Hardcore.
Now the early material was compared to Stalag 13 and 7 Seconds. With me coming into the mix, I brought a wider range of influences other than Southern California Hardcore. I had been a record collector and preferred more rowdy sounding bands like Anitdote, Negative Approach, and Minor Threat – so that’s what you start hearing on ‘We’ll Make The Difference.’ Plus the whole Youth Crew era was at its height and we were representing the west coast.
A young Rich Labbate and some Age Of Quarrel, Photo courtesy of: Rich
I remember recording that record a couple months after coming home from a tour and we were pumped up about getting something new out so we could get back out there. I think the energy came across on that recording. It was harder sounding and more focused. I would have to say looking back that it is my personal favorite recording. Even though some of my favorite Insted songs are on ‘Bonds Of Friendship’ and Insted was most popular during the ‘What We Believe’ era, with ‘We’ll Make The Difference’ we were just firing on all cylinders. – Rich Insted
From across the land to the zines and the bands
There’s a network of people who show what they feel
Take a look, you will find this movement is one of a kind
There’s nothing like it – it’s here today
There’s nothing like it – make it stay
I see it at all the shows
The togetherness flows
Music from the heart is what sets us apart
Move aside, give them clearance
The kids will make the difference
There’s nothing like it – it’s here today
There’s nothing like it – make it stay
Nothing like it
Insted – “We’ll Make The Difference” 7″ – 83
Insted – “Bonds Of Friendship” LP – 79
Insted – “What We Believe” LP – 59
Monday, June 27, 2011
Finally a new installment in our ongoing interview. If you missed the previous entry:
Jules Interview Part VI
The charity auction for Japanese Relief has ended and it was a great success. We personally extend a major sincere thank you to Jules as he selflessly decided to sell all of his hardcore vinyl and donate every cent to an enormous cause. All the guy wanted to do was something good, and Tim and I were happy to be involved. We again would like to thank everyone who bid. Here’s a note from Jules:
Now that the charity auction is over, I just wanted to thank Tim, Gordo and all of the people who bid on my old vinyl for helping to make a difference. Through a matching donation, the Double Cross auction raised $11,564 for disaster relief in Japan. The matching donation comes from a $3.5 million fundraising effort for the American Red Cross and Save The Children, organizations that provide emergency aid to those in need all over the world – including those victims of the recent tornadoes, fires, and floods in the United States. When you give to these organizations, even if earmarked for a specific relief effort, it frees resources that can then be used to help others elsewhere. Natural disasters don’t discriminate, and neither do these organizations. I strongly encourage you to consider giving to the Red Cross and Save The Children – in any amount for any disaster relief effort. No matter where the funds are spent, it’s to everyone’s benefit.
Now, Jules continues his interview, picking up on the formation of Alone In A Crowd.. -Gordo DCXX
Carl, Jules and Lars with Alone In A Crowd at The Anthrax, Photo courtesy of: Jules
I don’t know that I ever really intended to have another band after Side By Side. As I said before, I was getting pretty disillusioned with the scene. I was still hanging out and going to shows, but it wasn’t the same environment in which I started. With all the schism, the last thing I wanted to do was start another band.
I think the thing that spurred me to start Alone In A Crowd (AIAC) was the night Mike Ferraro came to my house and he had the Judge New York Crew recording on a cassette. Nobody had heard it yet. In fact, Mike, who tended to be, believe it or not, a very quiet person, hadn’t really told anybody that he and Porcell were doing the project. When I heard this for the first time in my parents’ basement I was completely blown away. Mike and I were sitting listening to my stereo and he was looking at me with that “well, what do you think?” look. I couldn’t even speak. I knew Mike had tapped into something really special with Judge.
Now Mike, like Billy from Side By Side, had been active in the scene for a long time. Death Before Dishonor (later Supertouch) was an extremely well respected band, and even though I wasn’t that into some of Supertouch’s stuff, I couldn’t stop myself from going off whenever they played the old DBD songs. Mike’s “street cred” in the scene was never questioned. He was never looked at like a new jack for being part of the straight edge scene in NY. So Mike had a very different perspective than a lot of people in ’88/’89 – I think that was very evident in his music. Judge was not going to be a “youth crew” band, it was something else altogether.
So Mike had this awesome recording… and it was just him and Porcell. He was able to create something without a band. And the content! New York Crew and I’ve Lost, for example, were songs that resonated with me. He was just as disillusioned as me, but he gave it a voice and created something with it. And it dawned on me that I still had some things to say. So I got it in my head that I would get some guys together to record a record, maybe play a few shows, and leave a thumb-print.
Starting the project, I intentionally went beyond the usual suspects. I do not have enough fingers or toes to count how many bands Porcell, Walter, Sammy, and Luke played for over the years. I recall some shows where it seemed like Walter or Luke would play for just about every band on the bill. This time, I wanted to try something different. For example, I reached out to folks outside of NYC. I started talking to guys like Mark Pingatore from the Pagan Babies – he was in Philly – to see if he’d want to lay down some tracks. Mark expressed interest, but I don’t recall why he ended up not being involved.
Lars was I guess the first “recruit.” I felt bad that he had joined Side By Side, learning all the songs, playing only one show, and then having the band fold up on him before the record was released. Lars was committed to Uppercut, but he had some material that wasn’t really “Uppercut-like” and he thought it’d be cool to do a side project. He in turn recruited Rob, Uppercut’s drummer. Lars was from Yonkers, and friends with Carl (Raw Deal – I don’t think they had changed their name yet). So we bounced the idea off him, and he picked up the bass.
And then there was Howie. I have absolutely no recollection of where I first met him. He was from Allentown, PA, tall red-head kid… really good natured, and really funny. We used to call him “Howierd” and “Howodd.” Anyway, I always liked two guitars, so I asked him to jam with us and we had AIAC.
Looking back, one of the benefits of doing AIAC as a “project” rather than a “band,” is that the other guys were not really that emotionally invested. They had their “real” bands – except for Howie, I guess – and they were doing this for fun more than anything else. Consequently, I cannot remember a single argument over the direction of AIAC. The guys were really laid back. We would practice at Lars’ house, and then go outside and have snowball fights if we got bored or frustrated. We weren’t on the clock like a rehearsal studio. The project was finite – there were only 5 songs in the repertoire. There was never pressure to come up with new material… it was very different than the Side By Side experience.
Because the guys were so laid back, generally, they basically said, “tell us what you want us to do.” I couldn’t play an instrument, but I knew how I wanted the songs to sound – -and these guys were totally helpful in finding that sound. So I’d talk to Lars and try to describe what I was going for and he’d play something and we’d get it to where it sounded good. Make no mistake, three of the songs were Lars’ – and he definitely gets the credit. That’s how Is Anybody There, Who You Know, and Commitment were written. And, unlike Side By Side, I wasn’t singing anyone else’s lyrics; lyrical content was all mine.
AIAC only played one show, opening for Judge at the Anthrax. It was winter and I remember it being really cold out. So I had all these layers, including a sweatshirt, and under my pants I had sweat shorts. Mike gave me a red Judge Schism t-shirt, so I put that on over my sweatshirt. Before the set I was pretty nervous, and was in the “band room” off to the side of the stage getting psyched up for the show. A friend, I think it was Andy White (Enuf), came in and told me the band was on stage and everybody was waiting. I was about to go out there, when it dawned on me that I was still dressed like an Eskimo and would probably sweat to death. So I’m like “help me get my pants off!” This drew a funny look from Andy; I’m sure he was relieved to see I had the sweatshorts on. Anyway, getting the pants off was a lot damn harder than you would think. I thought I could slip them over my shoes – big mistake. All the while I’m thinking AIAC is off to a great start. Finally I get the _ _ _ _ ing pants off, but I realize I’m totally late, so I left all the rest on. I ran up to the stage wearing all these layers. After the first song or two, I was dying and had to peel off the sweatshirt – so when I did, the T-shirt was still on it. All bundled together, I threw it somewhere off to the side of the stage. After the set I discovered someone stole the Judge shirt – took it right off the sweatshirt. Great.
Despite the inauspicious beginning, the show itself was awesome. One thing about Hardcore back then: somehow kids would get a hold of unreleased recorded material and share it with everybody else. It was unbelievable how fast something could spread through the scene. In this case, somebody must’ve shared an AIAC rehearsal tape or something and it got passed on. So even though we hadn’t even recorded the e.p. yet, and never played a show, everybody seemed to know all the songs already – in Connecticut! And this was before the internet, file sharing, etc. Incredible. Anyway, the crowd was really receptive – it was great to be onstage after a year or so of sitting on the sidelines. I probably had a few more shows left in me, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Sometime later we recorded the e.p. and Teenager In A Box at Don Fury’s…
(To be continued…)
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Considering we’ve been plugging away at Double Cross for three plus years now at this point, there’s bound to be some old material that people just haven’t seen. For that reason, once in awhile, as we see fit, we’ll post a link to an old entry that we feel could use another look.
This one here is an interview we did with the early Revelation Records graphic designer, Dave Bett. He’s the guy responsible for some of the coolest looking hardcore records ever made. Follow the link and read up. -Tim DCXX
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Limited Edition Colored Vinyl LP & Digital Tracks to Feature Songs from Their Triumphant Return to Boston, Headlining Once in a Lifetime Reunion Bill
Check out video teaser below…
Boston, MA June 23, 2011
Today, reformed Boston Hardcore band DYS announced August 9th as the release date for their live release More than Fashion: Live from the Gallery East Reunion on Bridge Nine Records. Featuring tracks recorded at the Wonderland Ballroom in Revere, Massachusetts, More than Fashion highlights songs from the band’s two prior studio recordings in a celebration of Boston’s hardcore history and the band’s place in it.
DYS Founding member Dave Smalley went on to sing for Dag Nasty, All and Down by Law, among others, while co-founder Jonathan Anastas helped launch second-generation Boston hardcore band Slapshot. “I never thought we’d have the opportunity to share a stage with so many friends and brothers again, playing DYS songs for a room packed full of fans, old and new,” said Smalley. “DYS, Boston and the Gallery East all started my music career and will always hold a really special place in my heart. Over the years, fans have always asked to hear DYS live again. I’m glad we could capture this once in a lifetime show and share it with people.”
DYS is considered an early prototype for the Straight Edge “Youth Crew” bands of the 90’s as well as pioneers of the early melding of Hardcore and Metal into Crossover. By including songs from both eras in their history, More than Fashion: Live from the Gallery East Reunion showcases the band’s evolution and passion for all forms of heavy music. According to Anastas, “We did more than just dust off the old songs. We really tried to re-work both parts of our sound together into one powerful assault. One heavy nod to the past and to the present, to our values and to our fans. It was such a great experience, we decided to keep it going.”
More than Fashion: Live from the Gallery East will be available in stores and online on August 9th with special pre-order packages to be announced soon at B9Store.com/DYS.
Additionally, DYS will be playing The Rumble in Chicago on June 25th, Sound and Fury in Santa Barbara, CA on July 22nd and the legendary Gilman Street Project in Berkley CA on July 23rd in support of this special release.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
New Age Records guru and California HC staple Mike Hartsfield has finally made his way to the pages of DCXX, and here’s part 1 of our interview with him. Thanks Mike. -Gordo DCXX
What was the first punk/hardcore record you remember hearing? What type of an impact did it have on you? Were you instantly into it?
The love was instant. I came from the metal scene and in the mid 80’s I was hit with an overload of DC stuff (Minor Threat/Dag Nasty) and SoCal punk/hardcore, mostly nardcore (Stalag 13/RKL/Agression). I just remember how genuine it all seemed. The impact was lifelong. I had friends that were constantly making mix tapes for each other. Plus we had KXLU radio and Zed Records. Theere was the community feeling that helped us seek and find new bands/venues/record labels/etc.
Mike again on bass with Freewill, this time their 2nd trip to Gilman St. to open for Uniform Choice, Insted and The Dwarves in 1988
Where exactly were you growing up at the time, and what type of scene was there for punk and hardcore? Bands/venues/zines/clubs?
I grew up in a suburb of LA. About 40 minutes north. I wasn’t close to anything and any ideas to get to shows, record stores, etc. required bumming rides or getting creative with methods of travel. Venues I went to consisted of Fenders Ballroom in Long Beach, the Olympic Auditorium plus miscellaneous halls. I met some great people at the Skate Palace in Oxnard, Dan Dittmer and Fred Hammer. I saw Uniform Choice a lot. Bl’ast!, Dag Nasty, Verbal Assault, 7 Seconds… the first zines I came in contact with were Maximum Rock and Roll and Flipside.
When did you start messing around with music and what was your first real band?
I started trying to play bass at 10. My brother had one my parents got him out of the Sears catalog. I stuck with the bass because it was easiest. I took some guitar lessons but was disinterested in learning “Mary Had A Little Lamb” when the majority of my record collection consisted of Kiss, Judas Priest and AC/DC.
When I met guys like Gary & Justin Balsz, Matt Crane and Paul Cranston, that’s when I figured out how to start playing the music I wanted. Paul was the best guitarist I’d ever known. He had kicked around doing a band before I met him called A.O.R. (Absence of Reality). When we finally started putting riffs together the band had become Absent Reality (A.R.). It was Nardcore influenced skate rock. The lyrics were all improv’d and never the same. It was really, really fun.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Ok, we lied, the last round of records we posted wasn’t exactly the “Final Round”, turns out we had a few more. What we have here is the stragglers, the orphans, in other words, the records that didn’t sell the first time around. So our thought was that we’d auction this entire lot off as one piece. Although not so rare, there’s definitely some great records in this lot, so make an offer, add this chunk of records to your collection and know you’re doing a good thing by ultimately donating the money to a great cause (The Japanese Relief Fund).
We’re setting the reserve price for this lot at $100.00, not a lot considering you’ll be getting 9 LP’s and 2 7″s. The rules will be the same as the past auctions, so please refer to a past auction for any details you’re uncertain about. All offers go to Gordo at: email@example.com
We’ll wrap this auction up by this coming Friday, June 24th at 8:00 AM, unless we get a fair offer earlier and decide to end it early. So don’t be shy, if you want these records, make an offer and don’t wait on it.
As for Jules, we’ve still got more of his interview coming, so please hang in there. We’re also expecting to hear from him regarding his final word and thoughts on how this whole auction finished. We’re extremely happy and honored to have been a part of raising money for the people of Japan, who are obviously in desperate need for any and all help possible.
Thanks again to everyone that’s bid and let’s finish this off strong. -Tim DCXX
Records in this final lot will sell as a collection only, no individual records to be bid on separately. What you will get is; Youth Of Today – “Break Down The Walls” on Revelation, Agnostic Front – “Victim In Pain” on Combat Core Records, Bad Brains – “Rock For Light”, Wasted Youth – “Reagan’s In” ICI Productions, Insted – “Bonds Of Friendship” Wishingwell Records, The Faith/Void split, Dischord Records, HR – “Human Rights”, Agnostic Front – “Liberty and Justice” Relativity/Combat Core Records, Slap Shot – “Back On The Map” Taang! Records, Vision – “Undiscovered” 7″, New Scene Records, Quicksand – 7″, Revelation Records. Reserve Price: $100.00
Saturday, June 18, 2011
I’ve seen a lot of good people turn bad and I’ve seen a lot of good people get stepped on, but not anymore… we’re Judge and this time, we’re fed the fuck up. – Mike Judge
There’s no use going through life building barriers in front of yourself and that’s all drugs and alcohol turn out to be, barriers that get in your way, they get in mine. – Mike Judge
Thursday, June 16, 2011
25 years and still plugging away in the music business. What’s amazing to me is constantly realizing just how much my participation in the Hardcore scene has taught me…life lessons. I am thankful for all of it, but most of all these days, I’m thankful for my beautiful wife and daughter who keep my head on straight and moving forward. BROOKLYN!
I know we’ve posted about about Dan O’Mahony’s site, Silence Lies in the past, but I came across it again yesterday and hadn’t seen this cool piece on the artwork of Gavin Oglesby before. Definitely worth a look if you hadn’t yet seen it. Keep up the good work Dan O! -Tim DCXX
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Hard Stance (not Hardstance) was the easy winner for me in the Workshed poll.
I’ve always had a soft spot for this band, I think mostly because they are a perfect combo of a lot of things that I love about California Hardcore circa 1988. For whatever reason, I figure that in the world of Hard Stance, it was always summer time, and a typical day for these guys would be skating, driving around and throwing things at pedestrians, going to band practice, practicing stage dives into some girl’s pool, stealing food, going to a show, and then smashing mailboxes on the way home or something. Maybe it’s just the Sloth Crew ties, but that’s what I envision. It can’t go without mentioning that this obviously featured Zack De La Rocha before he was a zapatista. Oh, this was also Alex Pain’s debut, going wild on the drums nonetheless at age 14, and the Hayworth brothers on guitar and bass.
Musically, I’ve always appreciated the thrashier break-neck paddle-beat element that feels much more 1987 than it does 1989 – you know, a little less formulaic, a little more circle-pitish, etc. I don’t know if you can call it “hard,” but Eric Ernst’s vocals aren’t soft, and the music doesn’t make me want to hug anybody. The bass line to “Face Reality” is still one of my all time favorites, and when I hear the twinge of feedback that kicks off “Horizons”, I have to smash something. The lyrics are good, the recording is raw but cool…it’s just a solid record, 8 songs that rip by before you know it.
Mark and Eric with Hard Stance at The Country Club, Photo: Mikey Fastbreak
They weren’t a big touring band, but almost everyone in the group went on to bigger things. This was the first record to kick off Dan O’s Workshed discography, and even though there’s some stuff in there that doesn’t do a whole lot for me, I’d have to say that Carry Nation wasn’t too far behind on that list, and the Workshed vibe is pretty cool.
When I think of SoCal Hardcore that would be blasting out of somebody’s car in the summer of 1988, Hard Stance is one of the first bands I think of, and it’s mostly because of this record.
“WELCOME TO HARD STANCE!”
Hard Stance – Face Reality 7″ – 113
411 – This Isn’t Me LP – 92
Carry Nation – Face The Nation 7″ – 70
Headfirst – Back In Control 7″ – 37
Triggerman – Dead Like Me LP – 8
Blackspot – Check Out The Helmet 7″ – 6
Mission Impossible – 7″ – 3
Shocking Truth – Acquaintance 7″ – 1
Headfirst – The Enemy LP – 1
Voicebox – Silence Lies 7″ – 0
Monday, June 13, 2011
Here is the last round of record auctions from Jules of Side By Side / Alone In A Crowd. Every penny is going to the relief efforts in Japan. Jules has secured a matching donation which will double the value of the money raised through the auctions.
Clearly the people of Japan need our help more than ever.
Please consider bidding. If not, we encourage you to give a donation in whatever amount you can to one of the many relief organizations who will need your help. If you can make a difference in one person’s life, however small, it is worth it. Please help us to let the people of Japan know they are not in this alone. This auction ends this Friday, June 17, at 8am EST.
Terms & Conditions:
*All items from Jules’ personal collection.
*Please read each individual record’s description for specific details and condition.
*Bidding is to be made on individual records. This is not an auction for the whole batch.
*You can bid on multiple items, but a specific bid must be placed on each item.
*Bidding must be rounded to the dollar. No cents business
*All sales are final.
*All records have a starting reserve price.
*All offers/bids must be sent to Gordo at firstname.lastname@example.org, who is handling this for Jules.
*Offers/bids are not to be sent anywhere else, not in the comment section, not to Tim, not via Facebook, etc.
*Paypal is the only accepted method of payment.
*Do not bid if you are unable to pay at the time of auction close or if you cannot send funds via paypal.
*Bidders will be contacted ASAP privately via email from Gordo with the status of their bid and the current top bid.
*Re-bidding is allowed and encouraged.
*The bidding for these specific items will close at 8am Eastern Standard Time on THIS FRIDAY, June 17.
*The final top bidder must be able to transfer funds via paypal to Gordo at email@example.com within 48 hours of final close.
*All shipping & handling costs must be paid for additionally by BUYER, and this amount is not a part of the bid amount.
*All shipping & handling costs will be determined fairly between Gordo and buyer.
*Shipping & handling costs can be combined if multiple items are won by the same bidder.
*All items will be shipped via USPS to the buyer’s liking.
*All proceeds will be transferred by Gordo to Jules for the purpose of final matched charitable contribution, doubling the total amount.
*Bidder/winner identities will not be disclosed.
*EVERY CENT GOES TO CHARITY FOR JAPANESE RELIEF. NOBODY IS MAKING A DIME ON ANY OF THIS.
*Questions, offers/bids – Gordo: firstname.lastname@example.org – auction ends Friday June 17, at 8am EST.
THANK YOU!!! – Jules, Tim & Gordo
Friday, June 10, 2011
I really had full intentions of giving a complete wrap up of this past weekend’s Youth Of Today / Mouthpiece West Coast trip, but our friend Larry Ransom seemed to nail it pretty well himself. Larry’s got a real knack for photographing and documenting everything and this weekend’s activities proved to be no exception.
Big thanks to Larry for all his help and support and another huge thank you to the Youth Of Today guys for bringing us along for four killer shows. – Tim DCXX
Now follow the link for the full run down, like only Larry could do…
Just got back from the Youth Of Today / Mouthpiece West Coast trip and although I don’t have enough time to post a complete wrap up of the trip tonight, I wanted to at least post this video. It’s Fraud from their first show at The Glasshouse in Pomona, CA on 6/6/2011.
I shot this video of their last song in their set on my iPhone and thought it came out cool enough to use here on DCXX. In case you haven’t heard, Fraud is a brand new band consisting of Alex Barreto (Chain Of Strength, Statue) on vocals, Paul “Frosty” Hertz (Chain Of Strength, Man Will Surrender) on guitar, Andy Alvarez (Pushed Aside, Against The Wall) on guitar, Shaun Ross (Excel) on bass and Derrick Hostetter (Rough Breaks) on drums.
Considering the fact that I hadn’t even heard of the band until a week before the shows, I really had no idea what to expect. Once I started asking around a little bit and hearing little bits and pieces of who was in the band and what they sounded like, I can honestly say that I gotta pretty damn excited to check them out. Of course once I finally got to see them, there was absolutely no let down and I was completely impressed to say the least. Always great to come across a brand new band that blows you away like these guys did for me.
So keep your eyes and ears open for future shows and recordings and see if you can’t party with this one. -Tim DCXX
Monday, June 6, 2011
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Graduated from UC Berkeley and then studied law with the Jesuits at Creighton. Moved to Las Vegas wanting to get into professional boxing promotion. Interviewed with Top Rank and got denied. Worked as a bookmaker’s clerk at a Horse Race Book until I passed the bar. Spun my wheels in private practice at a firm and did criminal defense under the radar for the indigent. Became a public defender in Las Vegas and have not looked back.
I defend the class of people who simply cannot defend themselves. Poor, illiterate, many times hated underdogs. Many people from the HC years don’t get it and are appalled by the work. I’ve found that most people from the HC years do get it (especially those who have listened to “Police Story” (Dez version), a thousand times). I now handle strictly murder cases, both death penalty and non-death penalty, and the occasional high profile molest or rape case.
These days I record from time to time with a punk band called the Leavenworth Men’s Glee Club and mountain bike all over Nevada and California when I can.
Thursday August 11th
@ the First Unitarian Church
2125 Chestnut Street
6pm 1st Band
Friday August 12th
@ the Starlight Ballroom
460 n. 9th Street
5:30 1st band
Youth of Today
Mother of Mercy
Saturday August 13th
@ the Starlight Ballroom
460 n. 9th Street
11:30 am doors
12pm 1st Band
Blacklisted with Jay Pepito and Zack Trotta performing We’re
Unstoppable era songs
Dead End Path
Strength For a Reason
Sunday August 14th
@ the Starlight Ballroom
460 n. 9th Street
11:30 am doors
12pm 1st Band
From Ashes Rise
Reach the Sky
Down To Nothing
Wisdom In Chains
All Else Failed
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Jules returns with part VI of our epic interview with him. Be sure to also check out the most recent items right out of Jules’ personal collection that we have up for auction here on DCXX. All money is going to benefit the Japanese Relief Effort:
Japanese Relief Auction
And in case you missed the previous installment to this interview:
Jules Part V
Part VII still to come… -Gordo DCXX
The crowd watches on as Jules brings it down, Photo courtesy of: Jules
Now, I recognize I may be the victim of nostalgia here as I recall my time in the NYHC scene. And nostalgia can be a dangerous thing — it removes the rough edges of the past, obscures the truth. So much of what I’m about to say may be somewhat romanticized, but I’m going to risk saying it anyway in an attempt to communicate what the scene was like for me and how I perceived its change over a few short years.
In 1986-87, and particularly the summer of ’87, it was an awesome time to be into hardcore in NY. The different “cliques” seemed to get along, shows featured diverse bands on the bills, with little or no problems. There were lots of shows. Back then Raybeez “promoted” Pyramid matinees, which were more or less run by the kids. And for me, out on St. Marks, or Tompkins Square, or at Some Records, there was always someone I knew, and though we may not have seen eye to eye, we sort of looked out for each other. If you found yourself in a bad spot, there was oftentimes someone around who had your back – even if they didn’t know you that well. I mean sure, there was some static, some dispute brewing somewhere – but on the whole, it was pretty peaceful within the scene. There was definitely an “us against them” attitude regarding the mainstream world.
And as I said earlier, there was an inclusive spirit. For instance, Raybeez put the word out at a show, on a whim, for a bunch of kids to play softball the following weekend at the diamonds at Tompkins Square – and a whole random crew showed up. Too bad that the leagues had already booked the diamonds that day (and NY softball leagues take that _ _ _ _ very, very seriously). When all these hardcore kids showed up, and started encroaching on the field, the league teams were, ahhh, rather vocal about it. For being dicks to us, we messed with their game a little bit in the outfield, but one of the teams had off duty cops on it… so that didn’t last very long. We never got to play… but that really wasn’t the point, we all hung out anyway. It was little things like this that made all the difference… that summer there was no pretention, it was genuine. I realize I’m making it sound like the freakin’ summer of love (’67), which is a horrible analogy, and I apologize. I hate to say “you had to be there,” but given the difficulty I’m having communicating this… perhaps it is true.
As far as the diversity at shows… I can think of many examples, but one that stands out is Side By Side playing a couple of shows with Altercation. Side By Side’s first show was also Altercation’s first show. They had this Cro-Mags/metalcore sound, and had kinda vengeful, street justice/survival lyrics. They were awesome (in fact, after their sound check we were totally embarrassed that we had to play our first show with them… they blew us away… after that show I listened to their demo nonstop for a week), but they were definitely a different vibe. Now, I never had any problems with Jay or any of those guys, I’m just saying they weren’t the crowd Side By Side was caught up in at the time. It didn’t matter back then. In fact, we organized and played a last minute Pyramid matinee with them… I think we may have even created joint Side By Side/Altercation stickers, or t-shirts, or something, to promote that show. It was really small (I think we were the only two bands playing), but it was fun.
Funny story… the one time I invite my old man to come see the band was that show. Now mind you, I was always telling my dad about straight edge and the positive scene and all that. I think it was the norm back then for parents to suspect their kids were on drugs. Deep down, I think my folks thought I had to be on drugs to be into hardcore. Anyway, so my old man is standing by the front door of the Pyramid watching Altercation play. Jay’s up there singing about vigilantism or something, and one of his friends lights a joint and passes it up to the stage – so Jay’s toking up and I’m like… “great, now my dad will NEVER believe me again.” My dad ended up not caring, but the point of all of this is, for at least that summer, it wasn’t like there was just a straight edge scene, or just a skinhead scene, or a just a punk scene – back then, it was one scene… maybe not always a big happy family, but there was a lot of tolerance. A lot more than in later years.
Somewhere along the line, that changed. Throughout ’88 and onward, all kinds of schism, on the macro and micro scale, became the norm. There was a lot of inter and intra band strife. Side By Side broke up. Richie left YOT not on good terms, same thing with Mike Ferraro, and Craig Ahead – if memory serves. Breakdown had a major falling out. Straight Ahead got back together and then broke up again. The Cro-Mags got rid of John Joseph… that was a crazy thing. You’d be surprised how that lineup change affected the whole scene.
I remember this one kid, suburban youth crew type from California, I think, was visiting NY and was at a CB’s matinee. He was hanging with some of the guys from BOLD out front, when John Joseph came around. And this kid got all excited and goes “Hey where’s Harley!” at like the top of his lungs, and Matt grabbed the guy and said under his breath “dude, shut the _ _ _ _ up!” Tensions were that high – you couldn’t even speak of it for fear of, well… something. I am told that the animosity between those two continues to this day.
The band rivalries were also a major downer to me. There had always been some territoriality: Boston v. NY, for example. There always seemed to be some beef (no pun intended) between YOT and Slapshot. But that same kind of stuff started happening more and more just between NY bands. Bands are naturally composed of a lot of egos – my bands were no exception. For instance, Walter and I used to go round and round about who should have “top billing” between GB and Side By Side, which was stupid and just caused unnecessary static. That kind of stuff kept getting worse though… I think one possible explanation is that back in ’87 the bands that this webzine focuses on were simply not that big a deal yet. But by late ’88, a lot of bands had toured, released LPs on bigger labels. And I think on the whole the music scene (which is what it’s really all about, right?) became more about me, me, me as opposed to us, us, us.
Even Raybeez, who was a big proponent of scene unity turned more to promoting his band. I can’t say I blame him… War Zone had been around forever. He must’ve gotten very frustrated – he could never keep a lineup together long enough to make the band work. He got Luke to play drums and eventually “cannibalized” Altercation to record the Don’t Forget The Struggle LP, but before that there was no real stability with War Zone. Hell, Walter played with them for awhile, as a favor to Raybeez.
A turning point with me and Ray came at the end of the summer of ’87. Side By Side played a Pyramid matinee and apparently Nina Hagen, an East German punk rock diva (who I wasn’t familiar with at all) heard us and wanted us to tour with her. She told the bartender at the Pyramid, and the bartender told Raybeez. So Ray comes up to me all serious: “I gotta talk to you.” Now normally at this point he would punch me in my chest, he always used to punch me, hard, in my chest. It was his way of showing affection, I guess. Anyway, no punch this time – so I knew something was up. So he tells me that Nina Hagen wants us to open for her on tour, and looking at his face, he was not happy about it. This was no “attaboy.” Raybeez resented it–he had a real problem with Side By Side attracting this kind of attention. We weren’t on great terms after that. In fact, I don’t think I ever played on the same bill as War Zone again. Over something stupid like Nina Hagen talking to the bartender at Pyramid– which in the end never came to anything.
I gave the bartender my phone number. A week or so later, I got the call from Berlin in my mother’s kitchen. Hagen had this thick, thick accent and we had a lot of trouble understanding each other. Right off the bat, she asked if the band name was Ultraviolence — and I got the distinct impression she hadn’t even seen Side By Side and this was all a big mistake. “You’re sure you’re not Ultraviolence?” She kept asking. She also kept saying “groovy,” but she said it with the umlauts, so it sounded really weird in addition to being totally anachronistic. “That’s groovy, I’m going to send you a parcel” she said. Then I had to give her my address… what a disaster. You try telling German superfreak Nina Hagen words over the phone like H-a-c-k-e-n-s-a-c-k and W-e-e-h-a-w-k-e-n. Email would have been very helpful, but this was back in the analog world. Needless to say the parcel never arrived. The whole thing was such a bizarre experience I kept waiting for Raybeez to tell me that he was just _ _ _ _ ing with me… that it was all a joke and he put somebody up to calling me. But it wasn’t.
At the time I just looked at it as a chance to play. I mean, Nina Hagen and Side By Side would’ve been a ridiculous pairing… it was stupid to think that it would ever actually happen. But what the hell — we weren’t looking for it, but if offered, why not? But the very thought of Side By Side being offered that kind of opportunity was enough to piss Raybeez off, as if the opportunity was somehow at his expense. That was the scarcity mentality, I guess… the opportunities were perceived as limited, so if one band took advantage it was to all the other bands’ detriment. This was the perception, and it went beyond Ray, it seemed to be pervasive. Where bands used to support each other, now it seemed it was every band for itself. Lots of band rivalries, backstabbing, etc. Lots of bad blood. Anyway, it took years before Raybeez and I got to a better place.
And as if all of this wasn’t enough, there was an uptick in street violence, and it was not necessarily racially motivated. In addition to the white power skinhead thing I talked about earlier, skinhead types would gang up on kids, take their jackets, take their shoes. Again, I guess it always happened… but in ’88, it just seemed to become like an everyday occurrence. Oftentimes the out of town straight edge kids would be the targets. I remember a local skater kid got jumped, got his shoes vicked — he was this skinny guy, and he was outnumbered at least 4 or 5 to 1. But a year or so later, he had bulked up (steroids or something) and he caught up with one of them and beat the soul out of him. Not so tough when they are alone, I guess. The hardcore kids were preying on each other — where it was once us against them, it was increasingly us against us.
And whether or not my recollections here are entirely correct, this was definitely my perception of the scene at the time. I was very disillusioned, and really, really angry. More angry than I have probably ever been. With Side By Side gone, that anger found a voice in Alone In A Crowd…
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