Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Kevin Collins with Double Negative, Photo courtesy of: DN
We’ve been meaning to catch up with the fellas from Double Negative for some time now. One of the best group of thrashers around today, this is a band worth checking out. Here’s the first part of our interview with Scott, Brian, and Justin.
Double Negative is:
Kevin Collins: Vocals , Scott Williams: Guitar, Justin Gray: Bass , Brian Walsby: Drums
Tell me about each member of the band, previous histories, where you are from, etc…
Scott (Epic Warfare): I’m 46. Well, I’m from Gastonia, North Carolina. Fred Durst and I went to the same high school but not at the same time. I got into punk rock and new wave around 1978 mainly because I was totally into skateboarding and hated every fucking redneck in my town. I formed a band in high school with some friends, people like Benji Shelton and Mike Dean…who moved to Raleigh to form COC.
Around 1982 I formed a band with Jeff Clayton called Fight 4 Life, we played with local punk and hardcore bands, and out of towners like DOA and such. I graduated in ’83 and moved to Raleigh to be a real punk. Jeff got mad at me and formed Anti-Seen because I moved to be in Raleigh. I had been coming up to Raleigh to see No Labels, COC and all of the early NOCORE bands. I also sung back ups with No Rock Stars on the NoCore tape. I started a HC band around late ’84 with some friends called Second Coming…we played a lot of shows but never released or recorded anything…we kicked out the singer and stole KC away from Subculture and started Days Of… which actually was a reaction against the HC/punk thing that by 1985 had really started to sour with goons and violence at shows.
The local label Maboro released our LP posthumously in the mid ’90s. We broke up after our last show in DC with Happy Go Licky and Slush Puppies, Mac from Merge Records’ band. In the late eighties I started a band with KC and Kampf (Justin) called Dixie Automotive, this was the grunge era…we played with B’last! and Pussy Galore…eh, go figure…we broke up…then I started another band called Garbageman with Justin and some other friends as a reaction against the whole Merge thing that was happening at the time. We were kinda like Helmet, Void, Discharge and Unsane mixed together. We imploded after a year. There is a flyer for one of our shows in the Merge book, Our Noise…at the time I was in a “scene war” with Mac from Merge…hahaha, no really…shit!
Scott Williams with Double Negative, Photo courtesy of: DN
Around ’98, me and Walsby and Sean Livingston (who plays in NYC’s POLLUTION) formed DADDY which was probably the most hateful, depressing and darkest thinging thing I’d ever played with in my life. It was vicious…we kept it to the 4 Vs: Voivod, Venom, Void and the Voidoids. We exploded and I played in a short lived anti-music band called Volcanos. And by this time around 2002 I fucking hated music.
Brian: My name is Brian Walsby. I am not originally from the south. As a matter of fact I grew up in Southern California and was raised there but then I moved out east around spring time of 1986. I have told the story of my origins so much and have talked about moving out here so much that I am going to try and tell you something different about it all. It is going to be tough, to be honest! Here it goes:
I met Scott and Kevin the first time I visited NC, which was the summer of 1985 after the Scared Straight/Ill Repute tour fell apart due to us having everything ripped off in Pittsburgh. Since I was on the east coast for the first time, I decided to quit more or less because I just wanted to stick around out here. Kind of extreme, but I just didn’t want to go home. Reed Mullin and the rest of COC came to my rescue and I spent the rest of the summer in Raleigh. That is when I met Scott and Kevin. Kevin was the singer of Subculture, and Scott was sort of one of the local bigwigs in town, who used to have out of town bands staying at his house and wrote scene reports that MRR printed. So that is…what…twenty five years almost? That is a long time ago.
All three of us met Justin a few years later, as he was a few years younger than us and used to live in North Raleigh, which is like a million miles away for back then. So I have known Justin for almost as long.
Over the years, we have been (usually!) friends and have played in bands with each other, sometimes have lived together and in general we have a huge history with each other, all sort of sprung from what COC were doing and the scene that they helped to create.
Justin: I am from Silver Spring, Maryland originally but have lived in Raleigh, NC for the last 30 years. Prior to playing in DN I played in various other unsuccessful bands & worked shitty jobs. The usual story.
Brian Walsby with Double Negative, Photo courtesy of: DN
How did you guys get together and what was the big idea?
Scott (Epic Warfare): I knew these kids were having some house shows and Justin had just moved back in town from self-exile and I got him to check it out with me and we were floored by the energy, the bands and the people…it was what I’d been needing. So, I called Brian, who had moved to a city real close to Raleigh and was going through a divorce and told him to come to the next one…and I don’t know why but I called KC and asked him to go, before that I hadn’t spoken to him in like maybe a decade…I just had this feeling that it might be something that he would dig.
The early house shows provided something for us all that we needed. And after the night we decided to form a band…LOL. I already had the name Double Negative…and the symbol thought up.
Brian: It was sort of this friendship that we all shared that caused us to get together. I don’t think at the time any of us thought that we would be in a band again together, let alone a band that sounded like this one, but the truth is stranger than fiction. We were all at loose ends at the time. Or at least most of us, maybe not Kevin. We hadn’t really talked to him in years, he was busy being a Dad and raising three children, a full time job by anyone’s standard. I have stayed in touch with Scott throughout the years. Me and Justin had gone through some personal things at the time and then he moved back into town and we ended up living together for a bit, which was something that we had done when we were much younger.
Anyways, to make a short story long, we became aware of the latest wave of young kids playing punk rock music in people’s houses and were more or less inspired to start a band all in the purpose of playing at this house in town that had house parties.
That was four and a half years ago. The big idea is more or less to have a good time and try and play what we think is decent music. That is it.
Justin Gray with Double Negative, Photo courtesy of: DN
In an age where every band seems to have gotten back together, it’s impossible to break even by doing music, and even the underground industry is in the shitter…what’s the motivation to do a band and still make it happen?
Scott (Epic Warfare): My motivation for this band is purely for fun and mayhem with some of my oldest and dearest friends. I can assure you this is not some nostalgia trip at all, ask anyone that knows us…fuck the past. I wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for real for me.
Brian: We are creepy old weirdos. Obviously there must be some kind of weird quirk that the four of us must share to want to keep doing this. It is somewhat of a release for all of us and we all get something out of being in Double Negative for sure. For one thing, it gets us out of the house. Punk rock changed our lives when we were kids, for better or for worse. These days, I look back and laugh about how alienated I thought I felt when I was a kid. I mean, I was…but in a way nothing has changed. I still am. Except now we have the passage of time and mortality staring down at us. We all have houses, are married or have serious girlfriends, some of us have children. You know, real life adult stuff that demands a lot of attention and even though there is a lot of joy and happiness, there is also a lot of real tough stuff to deal with.
In some weird way, playing in Double Negative is way more of a release than anything I was doing when I was a kid. Punk Rock: made for kids, secretly designed for adults.
As far as “making it” or whatever, all of us have been in bands for years and I think that for all of us, we are years and years past being bitter about not “making it” or whatever you want to call it. We don’t try and do the band full time, which would be impossible and silly. We just do it when we can. Maybe for that reason alone, we are still around. It is funny to think that so late in the game, this band has seemed to get more attention than anything any of us have done before this. It took us three years to get our act together to release our second record. We rarely make any money and what little we do get goes back into other band related things. So I would say that our main motivation goes back to having fun, hanging out and trying to play good music in a very overpopulated universe.
Justin: I can only speak for myself, but for me, I derive a great deal of pleasure from playing shows, meeting cool people & writing songs with the other 3 guys in this band.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Youth Of Today at Gilman Street, Berkeley, California
Youth Of Today are hitting the road once again, this time with 12 dates in Europe. If I had enough vacation time left from work and some extra cash, I’d certainly consider making the trek. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. So guess what?… Europe gets to have all the fun. I designed two of 2010 Euro tour shirts, so if you catch YOT this time around, let me know how the shirts came out. Crucial Times 2010. -Tim DCXX
Den Bosch, Netherlands
Prague, Czech Republic
Lucerna Music Bar
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Scott Vogel with Terror, Photo courtesy of: Terror
Scott Vogel hits us with the answers to part 2 of our interview with him. Big thanks to Scott. -Gordo DCXX
Prior to Terror, you sang for Slugfest, Despair, and Buried Alive. How do you summarize each of these bands? How were they different or the same? What have you been able to do in Terror that you weren’t able to do in each of these bands?
Slugfest: I was still in high school. It was all about just having fun then. Our first show was with Judge so that’s fucking cool. We did Kiss and Black Sabbath covers…ha ha ha. I think that is why all the Clevo bands liked us. We would play like Erie, PA and Detroit on a weekend and call it a tour. Chris from Chokehold put out our EP. This was the first time I was ever on a seven inch. Very exciting. Got to play with Supertouch, Sheer Terror, Slapshot…all sorts of cool bands.
Snapcase asked our drummer to be in their band when we weren’t looking. I guess I don’t really blame Tim anymore as he was SE and a bit more together than the rest of us. I don’t think I was even not intoxicated at a Slugfest show but it was still a shitty situation that ended the band just as we were starting to actually get good.
Despair: this band started with just a bunch of HC kids that were all in Buffalo bands that bad broken up. We were all friends so it was easy to get together and make songs. Our first seven inch was put out by my roommate at the time who pushed shopping carts and found a purse with like $1200 in it. We got to actually tour a bit. Full USA with Hatebreed that me and Jamey booked – it wasn’t the best but it was fun. When we got all the way out to CA and played with Strife life was good!
After that we went to Europe for the second time and broke up. My girlfriend at the time just dumped me because I was gone too much so I went from band and girl to neither. Haha…I thought life was over. Despair was fun for the most part. I can honestly say Initial Records was great and always did more than they said they would for us. It was kinda weird but cool being on a mostly emo label.
Buried Alive: After Depair I was in the mind frame of not being in a band. The four other members had the band going and needed a singer. I used to watch them practice and they would ask me to be in the band and I’d say no. One day I was just like “This shit is really cool, let’s do it.” Made a demo. Got shows pretty easy. Victory was going to do a Despair EP but we broke up. So I told them I had a new band. They heard it and signed us or whatever. We got to tour and travel easier as we were older and stuff. Bought a van and played with Reach The Sky and All Out War all the time.
By the end of the band dudes were listening to Nothingface and the Beatles a lot and not much HC. One practice they told me to stop talking about HC on stage as I was the only one in the band that cared so I knew that was it. We had a tour booked with Death Threat and I didn’t want to fuck them over so I did the tour. The day we got back I quit.
I guess with Terror the main difference is we have stayed together. We have had our problems and line up changes and bullshit but we have stuck it out and have been around the world a few times now. I’m writing this on my phone in Argentina driving to a show with H2O dudes sitting next to me. It’s hard to complain. Life’s good and I haven’t worked a real job or answered to anyone in like 9 years.
What made you decide to move to California? How did living there (when not touring) compare to Buffalo? What did you miss about the east coast?
I moved back to Syracuse about a year ago. I had originally moved out to LA with my girlfriend as she was in Chicago and I was in Buffalo and we wanted to be together. We decided when Buried Alive ended we would move to CA, so we did. I didn’t think I would do another band but I got that itch or whatever and Terror started.
LA was cool. I like it there. Met some great people. The HC and hip hop scenes are amazing. I can never get down with the whole Hollywood vibe or anything. There is always stuff going on and I love movies so you can see so many and differnt types all the time. Truth is though I never fully lived in LA as we tour so much. Just as now I’ve moved to Syracuse about a year ago but have only been there about 3 of those months. I moved back cause I missed the east and wanted to be closer to some people and family. But the biggest reason is when my relationship of 8 years ended the only way to really end something that big that lasted for so long was to put some space between it.
David takes to the air with Terror, Photo: Return To The Pit
How did Terror form, and what did you want to accomplish with the band? Did you know from the beginning it was going to catch on and people were going to take to it?
John LaCroix from Ten Yard Fight called me up saying he had this new band with members of Carry On and they wanted me to sing. My friend Larry had just given me a cassette with Carry On and No Warning which I was loving. So I went to meet them and they jammed for me or whatever. John didn’t show up for like the first 3 practices so he was out. But me Todd and Nick clicked and Terror was born.
I guess we wanted to just play as much as possible and didn’t have any rules. Play with any bands, to any kids, anywhere, at any time. We didn’t have any plan to get big or any shit. We all just said “Fuck our jobs let’s play music.” Death Threat asked us to tour, then Blood For Blood then Throwdown and it just kept going…
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
When Tim launched this poll, I fully expected that Embrace would be the landslide winner, and actually even wondered why Tim thought there may be any debate to this. After all, Embrace is a band of legendary status, the LP is in the all-time-top-5-records-list of at least a dozen people I know, and it’s also the most “legitimate” of all the bands/records/projects done by Ian that isn’t Minor Threat or Fugazi. So how would anything else come close?
As such, Embrace was the clear winner. I totally see it. I love that record and recognize its greatness, impact, inspiration, and legacy. In many ways it is perfect. And yet I chose the 1986 Egg Hunt record. “EGG HUNT?!?! SAY WHAT?!?!?”
Yep, Egg Hunt. Let me reiterate that nothing about Embrace is lost on me. Thing is, sometimes I can’t listen to it. Depending on my mood, it can sound very irritating and very whiny…within one minute I’m trying to get the hell out of there and am scrounging for “Filler.” Few records are so hit or miss to me…so in that sense it’s a bit strange. Most of the time, I hear it and love everything about it.
Embrace at the 9:30 Club, 1985, Washington, DC, Photo: Joe Henderson
On the other hand, I have loved that weirdo Egg Hunt record from the first time I heard it on a mixtape that was made for me when I was a young boy. It was weird, it was catchy, it wasn’t even really hardcore. I didn’t know what it was, and even now I don’t know exactly what is going on – but I don’t care. All I know is that I’ve loved that record for a very long time, have never tired of it, and always enjoy either of the songs – with “We All Fall Down” being lyrically and musically an all time fave (despite being rejected by Embrace originally). Throw in the goofy but perfect name, the great logo, the record cover and “is this serious?” artwork, recording, and pretty much everything else, and it’s a total winner.
I don’t want to speak for Tim but I know he voted the same and feels almost the same on this topic. Apparently 27 people shared our thoughts, so we can’t be totally crazy.
There really were no terrible choices sans a few…so you could say that Ian has a hell of a personal discography. I even love Pailhead and Skewbald – so there’s plenty of winners here.
“In search of the righteous life…” -Gordo DCXX
Embrace – 278
Teen Idles - 78
Egg Hunt - 29
Pailhead – 22
Skewbald - 19
The Evens – 16
The Slinkees - 2
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Craig Setari with Straight Ahead
You may have read this before but I dug it up again recently and felt it was worth a repost here. This interview took place in April 2002 in Meerhout, Belgium, and was done by Bart “The Flex” De Duytsche and originally appeared in his zine, The Ghent Decontrol, issue #3.
Thanks to Bart and be sure to check out his blogs:
CausingTroubleIn2010 and LionsAndCheetahs2010
How did you get involved in hardcore? What was your social background growing up?
I grew up poor white thrash in Queens, New York. I had no father, just a mother who worked very hard to support me and my brother. I was a bad kid, I did drugs and stuff. My brother went to junior high school with a guy named Danny Lilker. You know Danny Lilker? The guy who plays in Brutal Truth and Nuclear Assault? Well, he went to school with my brother, so when I was like 10 or 11 years old Danny would come to our house for lunch. Him and my brother had music class together. Danny was the first guy that turned me onto punk and hardcore music. One day he brought me these old punk tapes mixed with some heavy metal stuff and I loved it.
When I went to junior high school there were these kids who were roadies for the band The Mob. They were very young, I was in my seventh grade and they were in their ninth grade. So they would give me old Bad Brains singles and Mob stuff and I just loved it. And they were like “Let’s go down to the show this Sunday.” And I would go to shows with them and once I went to one I went every week.
And that was in 1983 or something?
I started listening to hardcore in ’82 and I went to my first show in ’83, maybe ’84. I listened to hardcore for a little while before going to shows. I still remember the bill of my first show, it was Adrenalin O.D., Bodies In Panic and Malignant Tumour.
When did you start playing music?
When Danny used to come to my house he was teaching my brother how to play bass and I just picked it up. I was probably 10 or 11 years old and I just started to play it and I liked it. I started to play when I was 11 and by the time I was 13 I was in a band. That’s pretty fast.
My mother’s German. She came straight from Germany. She gave me a lot of room to do what I wanted to do. She would understand. She asked what I was doing and I said that it was music by regular people. She came to see me play when I was 15 and she loved it. So I got support. Have you ever seen my old red bass? The one I’ve been playing forever? She got it for me.
You’ve been in all these legendary New York bands, like Straight Ahead, Agnostic Front, Youth Of Today and all the others. Do you sometimes feel like a living legend?
No, I just do what I do. I just happened to be in a time and place where there weren’t many people that played instruments and who were really into it. I could play well, back then people couldn’t really play their instruments. I was already a good musician. I practiced every day because I really like to play bass. So that coupled with the desire I had and the love of hardcore had people wanting me to be in their band. I was sought after. And I jumped really high and all.
But all that other stuff… The whole ego side of things… I appreciate the respect I get, because I put most of my life in it, but there’s people who have done more remarkable things than I’ve done. I’m just dumb enough to stick around.
Don’t you come across people idolizing you a lot? Idolizing you because of your past and present.
I get that a little, but I don’t really bring that out to people very much. I just do the quiet talk, you know, “How are you doing?” and that kinda stuff. I don’t like idolizing. I got into hardcore to get away from that, because everybody else was ego-tripping. When I got into this music it was because you’re the same as me and I’m the same as you. Everybody was on an equal foot. That’s why in today’s music world I still don’t fit in. I could probably make a lot of money if I acted and dressed like I was a big shot, but that goes into everything why I do this for. So why would I do that?
Which one of the bands you’ve been in do you like the most nowadays?
In every aspect?
Every band taught me something different. I liked being in Agnostic Front, I like being in Sick Of It All. All the bands I was in meant something. I didn’t like being in Youth Of Today very much at the time. Because they were “Look at me! Look at me!”, they wanted to be famous. They said they didn’t, but they wanted.
And eventually they got famous.
Well, I guess. Not more famous than me, we’re all swimming in the same fish tank. But even that band taught me something. Every band I was in has its place. But Straight Ahead was fun. There was no pressure at that point, you just did what you wanted and nobody was really watching, it was a local thing.
The guitar player for Mayhem quit and Tommy went from drumming and singing just to singing and we got Armand to play drums.
Are you still in touch with the members of your old bands?
I talk to Tommy Straight Ahead a lot and that’s about it. He’s a construction worker. I see Roger and Vinnie sometimes. I see Matt Henderson a lot. I just see the Agnostic Front guys a lot and Tommy Carroll. I run into Porcelly once in a while.
How do you feel about the zillion Straight Ahead bootlegs?
Well, whatever. I never put it out, I planned on it, but I never did. But nobody knows about that band, what that band was and it’s kinda cool like that. Though if it ever gets put out I will do it…but it won’t.
Do you still have Straight Ahead recordings laying around that never got released?
Oh yeah, I have a whole demo tape that no one has actually heard, no one but me. Knock Down is on it and a couple of other songs.
Sick Of It All has gotten a lot of shit for being on a major label from the hardcore in-crowd a few years back, nowadays kids don’t bother too much anymore. Do you think kids don’t care about that anymore or is there some other reason?
I think these days so many bands are on majors that nobody cares anymore. When you do something first people complain. But not any of these people are paying my bills and food. They shouldn’t tell me how to live, I make my own way. But it was a good thing. People judge things without knowing. That’s what ruins hardcore. Everybody’s trying to blame, make comments. There’s no respect anymore. I never disrespected my elders back when I was a kid.
Tell me a good fight story from back in the days.
I wasn’t really a fighter. I’m more a lover than a fighter. But I’ve witnessed a lot. One time outside CB’s these skinhead kids came from New Jersey and they were fucking around. So after the show Russ from Underdog had a fight with this guy and they argue a little and they fought. So Russ and the guy are fighting and Russ grabs the guy around the waist and throws him on a car. And the guy is punching Russ on the head and they were going at it, when all of a sudden Todd Youth picks up a skateboard, brings it over his head and the guy’s with his back on the car and hits the guy with the trucks of the skateboard. Right on the bridge of his nose and the guy’s whole face explodes, there was blood everywhere. The guy was knocked out. And then all the bums that lived in the building on top of CBGB’s started throwing bottles at everybody and newspapers that were on fire landed on people and stuff. There was this big riot. And we all ran away. That was in ’86.
Tell me about the very first tour you did.
That was with Youth Of Today in 1986, before that I had done like five shows in a row, during summer. I had done stuff with Mayhem and Straight Ahead, but it wasn’t more than four or five days in a row. We didn’t have cars, nobody could drive. With Youth Of Today I went down south and back and that was pretty fun. Tommy was in the band playing drums, but then he quit. He said he didn’t like the other guys in the band.
Was Straight Ahead still around then?
Yeah, we had it both going on. For a little while. In the end I quit Youth Of Today to join Straight Ahead again.
Had Straight Ahead broken up?
For a little while, me and Tommy had a fight and we broke up. But we were friends no matter what.
So you weren’t replaced by someone else?
In Straight Ahead? No way, I’m Craig Ahead, you can’t replace me. That was my band, I wrote all the songs.
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Fred Hammer is Nardcore. We’ve been meaning to pick his brain on what he feels are the top ten Nardcore records of all time. Take it away Fred… -Gordo DCXX
1. Agression “Don’t Be Mistaken” LP
The singer of Agression had a sister my age and she was in my English class in High School. She used to wear rare Agression t-shirts and I’d ask her “Hey, I want to buy one these shirts!” She would say “I’ll ask my brother” but I knew it would never happen. Agression used to play ON the beach in Oxnard, CA and the singer was a heavy local surfer. The song ‘Locals Only’ talks about the ‘Corner Store’ which is a local 7-11 type store at the beach that is actually called ‘The Corner Store’ and is still there to this very day.
The song ‘Secret Sex’ was about a local older woman who would sleep with the singer when he was a young lad and I see her almost daily doing her daily walk at the beach. She also used to work at a local pizza place and when the band RIGHT IDEA drove through Oxnard, CA we ate at the pizza place and she was working and was telling the band about how she used to party hard and live with the Agression band members. I believe they were very impressed.
Agression are VERY respected in the Oxnard/Nardcore circles and they were very talented musicians also. R.I.P Agression band members. A band called ‘Agression Session’ still play around and the drummer of Agression and sometimes the original bass player jam on some songs.
2. Dr. Know “Plug In Jesus” 12″
The Bass player of Dr. Know (Ismael Hernandez) coined the term ‘Nardcore’. OxNARD + hardCORE = NARDCORE. The guitarist of Dr. Know (Kyle Toucher) lived about a mile from me and I used to ride my BMX bicycle over to his house and watch them practice in the garage. Kyle Toucher was VERY smart and you could always tell he was a few steps ahead in everything he did.
I know Slayer and C.O.C. and a lot of other bands give Dr. Know a lot of credit in terms of inspiration, etc. A lot of people don’t know that Brandon Cruz (who became a well known child actor) was in the original line-up of the band but left and that’s when Kyle took over vocal duties and that’s when they started recording and touring. Kyle’s Mom taught at the local Catholic High School (Santa Clara High School/Oxnard, CA) and Kyle attended school there and told me that’s where he got all the inspiration for all the songs off the 1st Dr. Know 12″.
Kyle won some type of huge award a few years ago for creating special effects for TV/movies/etc. He still lives in the Oxnard area but doesn’t like talking about the band. Dr. Know still plays shows with original members Ismael Hernandez and Brandon Cruz.
3. Ill Repute “What Happens Next” 12″
Ill Repute were always known as the local happy-go-lucky nice guys from the Nardcore scene. Always smiling and having a good time. In the 1980s they went on tour and the drummer couldn’t go so they got Scott Radinsky (Scared Straight) to drum for them. The tour was going well until they got to the Detriot, MI area and had their van stolen with all their equipment, etc. The band wanted to keep going so they borrowed some guitars, etc. and bought a drum set from Toys-R-Us. They played a few shows but the drum set was the breaking point because it was a TOY set and really wasn’t working. Ill Repute still plays shows every so often with the original line-up minus the drummer.
4. Stalag 13 “In Control” 12″
The guitarist Blake Cruz lived two doors from me and went to High School with my sister so I knew the band and would watch them practice and sometimes jump in the van and travel to shows with them. 2nd guitarist Dave Casillas went on to play in NOFX but was kicked out of the band for partying to much. I was at one practice and a couple band members started fighting each other and things got a little out of control.
I believe Stalag 13 was the first ‘straight edge’ West Coast band but the band was straight edge for about 4-6 months I believe. I see Blake Cruz almost daily at the beach and he always tells the local kids that Stalag 13 played with Minor Threat. Doesn’t get much cooler than that. In the 1990s they got back together with a new singer and played some shows and recorded a new CD and in early 2000 sometime they got the original line-up back together and played some shows. The singer lives in Australia so there are no plans of them ever playing again.
5. RKL “Keep Laughing” LP
RKL was from the Santa Barbara, CA area (about 30 minutes north of Oxnard, CA) but were considered part of the Nardcore scene. Ismael Hernandez of Dr. Know told me recently that RKL was always bugging him and his friends back in the day “Hey, please come watch my band RKL practice!” Ismael always said “Ok, ok, maybe soon.” Ismael said when he checked them out he was like “WOW, THESE KIDS CAN PLAY!!!”
The band liked to party hard and most of the band members ended up passing away. The song ‘Ded Teds’ was about a local guy in Santa Barbara, CA that had a party house that the band would always hang out at. I ran into Ted about 5 years ago and he was in a wheelchair (I did not know him back in the day, so I don’t know if he was always in a wheelchair) and he was a real nice guy who was telling me about crazy party stories back in the day.
Dave Mandel (Indecision Records) and I saw RKL one night and a big fight broke out on stage and the band kept playing and the band members would punch/kick people in the fight on stage and never missed a lick while they were playing. One dude was caught in a headlock and the singer would bash one of the dudes in the head with the microphine between singing. Most of the Nardcore bands got ripped off by Mystic Records but in the end just laughed it off and were glad to put out records/tour/etc., but RKL was very very very angry at Mystic Records and would speak about it anytime you would ask them and I know for a fact that the owners of Mystic Records stayed clear of RKL.
6. False Confession 7″
A few of the guys in False Confession dressed in the ‘Death Rock/Goth’ style before it became mainstream and Scotty Morris of the band later went on to form the swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy that ended up playing in the Superbowl half-time show a few years ago. Guitarist Fred Matatquin went on to be a hairstylist and for some reason I always called him ‘Harry’ (drummer for False Confession) and he would always say “We have the same name, why are you always calling me Harry???” Harry went on to play in the Cramps for a number of years. I saw a flyer for a False Confession show a few months ago but I never figured out if it was a joke or just one of the band members playing a random show.
7. In Control “Another Year” LP
The dudes in In Control really put Nardcore back on the map in the late 1990s/early 2000. They all went to Oxnard High School and were living/breathing the Nardcore scene day in and day out. They took their name from the Stalag 13 12″. Blake Cruz of Stalag 13 even asked to join the band at one point. I went on the first In Control USA tour and an average of about 20 people showed up at each show but they kept on plugging away when I think most bands would crack.
They got a TON of new Oxnard kids involved with the Nardcore scene and always gave respect to the all the founding members of the scene. They played a few reunion shows recently and the singer has a new band called Retaliate. The drummer also played guitar/drums in Annihilation Time. The cover of the first In Control LP is a photo of the two largest buildings in Oxnard, CA and can be seen from the 101 freeway if you drive by Oxnard.
8. Scared Straight 7″
A lot of people call this the ‘Born To Be Wild’ 7″. Vocalist Scott Radinsky was a professional baseball player who played for the Dodgers, etc. He also owns a really cool indoor skateboard park called Skatelab in Simi Valley, CA. None of the members were from Oxnard, CA, but just like RKL were considered members of Nardcore.
The Scared Straight 7″/LP really flew under the radar but are really good records. A riot broke out at a Bad Brains/Dr. Know show many moons ago and Scott Radinsky picked me up like a suitcase and carried me to safety. Scared Straight broke up many years ago and I doubt they will ever play again. Drummer Brian Walsby did a lot of artwork for the Nardcore scene and still does art today including the artwork for the Triple Threat LP.
9. V/A: Nardcore (A compilation of hardcore bands from Oxnard and neighboring lands) LP
I wanted to put this near the top of the list but I figured it was a compilation and not a band. I loved this record and would play it for hours. The original pressing came with a booklet with info on the bands, etc. Rat Pack was a band that was made up during the recording of this LP because a dude named Matt was hanging out at the recording and wanted to be on the LP so he recruited some people and made up a band on the spot. AFU was a Nardcore band that only played a few shows and appeared on this LP. Mystic Records recently re-released this LP that comes with a bonus CD with the 7 inches by Scared Straight, False Confession, Rat Pack, etc. but the LP has no booklet and Mystic Records took off the ‘Produced by Tony Cortez (Ill Repute)’ off the back artwork.
10. (Insert your favorite local band from the town you grew up in because it’s all about the local bands that inspired you to love music and be involved with your local scene!!!)
Monday, August 30, 2010
Scott Vogel with Terror, Photo courtesy of: Terror
Scott Vogel has been fronting bands for a long time, and unless you live under a rock, you have heard at least one of them. We caught up with him to get his backstory and find out what’s going on with Terror as of late. Big thanks to Scott for hooking this up – here’s part 1. -Gordo DCXX
Can you remember the first time you heard about hardcore? What’s your story behind it?
When I was in 7th grade my mom decided to move to Houston with my two sisters. I stayed in Buffalo and moved in with my father, his new wife and my step brother Jay. I was into Motley Crue, Ratt, and shit like that. Also Run DMC and Whodini. My brother was into a lot of stuff like the Dead Kennedys, Exploited etc. The energy and vibe of that stuff was cool but I never really clicked with the whole anarchy punk thing. I was always drawn to Social Distortion. Mommy’s Little Monster is still a great fucking record. When I saw Another State Of Mind and the part with Minor Threat came on things just clicked. Not in a straight edge type of way because I’ve never been SE, but to just see these guys that didn’t need to show off how crazy they were by the way they dressed or looked. They were freaks but on the inside and didn’t need to shove it in everyone’s face. They were actually striving for something positive while going against the grain. Trying to make a better place is this crazy world – not just make an ugly refuge outside of it. That made sense to me.
So I went out and picked up the Minor Threat LP and started looking into that whole world. I had seen the Dead Milkmen, Butthole Surfers, DRI, and a lot of great shit but this was different. Soon after that I went to Home Of The Hits in Buffalo and in one day bought the Chain Of Strength, SOIA, NFAA, and Side By Side EPs. I looked at those layouts, learned the songs, cut my hair shorter and never looked back.
Up to that point I played sports all day everyday. That ended. All I did was order records and get to shows with my brother any way possible. And I never stopped for a minute. Many years later here I am pretty much the same person as then.
Who were the bands that made a big impact on you when you were first getting into hardcore? How did they compare to non-hardcore bands you loved prior?
Let me first start with the Buffalo bands. Zero Tolerance was THE band in Buffalo. I looked up to them so much. Their live show was unreal. Typing that actually gave me some chills because thinking about their shows makes me feel alive. Before Snapcase those guys were in a band called Solid State. They played often and their frontman was this kid Chris Galas. He had crazy energy and ripped up stages. Watching him and them was when I first said to myself I wanna do this. I can do this. So I did.
Some other bands that come to mind that I loved back in the late 80s are Vision, Judge, War Zone, Verbal Assault, AF, Bold…so many bands. I loved almost everything back then. The Powerhouse seven inch on New Age was played daily. Turning Point was my favorite for a while. All I did was buy MRR and ordered anything that looked like dudes with short hair jumping on stage…ha ha ha…that sounds so retarded but it’s true. And I’d check the mailbox everyday after school waiting for new stuff.
SOIA was the first band to destroy my dreams when Slugfest played with them and they weren’t so nice to us. Ron Brotherhood came through with Orange 9mm so I gave him a Slugfest EP cause Overkill records was cool and he said “thanks, want to have a beer with me?” I was shocked. Ok I went off on a little tangent but i love HC. This shit was real. I was a part of it. The bands were right here, not on some crazy stage with a light show. The Motley Crue shit was lame to me at this point. Hip Hop was still saying stuff and striving for a better way so that has always stuck with me.
More Terror sing alongs, Photo: xjanx
Tell us about the Buffalo scene and where exactly you grew up.
I lived with my mom, dad and two sisters way outside of Buffalo in like the woods for the first few years of my life. My dad left us and my mom put herself through school and worked shitty jobs and raised us. I have a lot of respect for her and her strength but with this came moving a lot as she had to go where she could get work. We moved a few times around the outskirts of Buffalo and as a kid this sucked. Every time I had friends or felt like I was home it was time to move again. So when she met a man and said we were moving to Texas I said no way and moved in with my dad to Amherst NY, a nice suburb like 15 minutes from the city. This is when I got closer to my brother and the stuff I desribed earlier started happening.
Buffalo had an amazing scene when I got into it. So many bands would come through. There was one promoter that did everything right – well, from my stand point at least. I didn’t know any of the real inside stuff at all. There was a great club called the River Rock Cafe that did all the shows. NYC was only like 7 hours away so all those bands would come through. I was just in the right place at the right time and got to see some fucking amazing shows and bands. I really miss just going to a show and knowing a few people. I didn’t know the band members or any of the scene ins and outs. I’d go love the energy and music. No one knew me or cared about me. I’d go home and wait for the next show. Just a pure true love for HC.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Chris Wrenn keeping his distance at the B9HQ, Photo: Future Breed
Bridge 9 Head Honcho Chris Wrenn delivers with part 2 of his interview. Throw on some BHC and enjoy! -Gordo DCXX
Since those first few Bridge 9 releases, how would you summarize the growth and changes for the label as well as you personally? At one point did you decide you had to go all in? What would you say is the overriding goal or idea with the label?
I started working for an up and coming record label in Boston in 2000 called Big Wheel Recreation. BWR’s owner Rama hired me because he had seen the guerrilla marketing that I had done for my own label, and thought I might be a good person to help with marketing for his. I had no formal experience, I was an art major in college, but he gave me a shot, for which I am forever appreciative.
Working at BWR gave me the opportunity to learn a ton – Rama had far more experience than I at the time, and aside from learning some of the more formal steps to releasing a record, I was able to secure a distribution deal with Lumberjack, who was a big indie distro at the time. At the same time, I had been living with Tim and Wes as they formed American Nightmare for almost a year, and had been their roadie & merch guy, so they agreed to do their first EP on Bridge Nine (after being turned down by EVR initially). I went to their first 20 shows, and would copy their demo tapes one at a time at their merch table.
Over the next year I worked closely with Big Wheel, Doghouse & Hydra Head – and learned a lot. By summer of 2001, I had 8 releases lined up for B9 for the fall, and I couldn’t handle my own release schedule while working full time. I stepped down from my position in the newly formed “Initech” office with those labels, and started renting a desk there so I could work on Bridge Nine full time. It was an exciting time because all of the people involved in that original office were extremely creative & motivated. It was easy to get excited and inspired about your own projects with people like that in the mix on a daily basis.
Over the years, I had been a fan of a few different labels, and I had been exposed to a lot of them. I started to model Bridge Nine in a way that took some of my favorite characteristics from the labels that I respected. I was a record collector, and Revelation was a big influence in that regard. I also loved their big 24″x36″ posters from the late ’80s, so I made sure to do that for some of my bands as well. I also appreciate the kind of music that was rooted in that early to mid ’80s scene – so a lot of the bands that I’ve worked with over the years have shared those influences. If I was to sum up a “goal” for the label, it would be just to continue what those labels started before me, to put a spot light on the style and ethic that I had grown up with in the hardcore / punk scene, and continue to challenge myself and the label with each new band and release.
Bridge Nine has grown a lot in the past 15 years; we will have released over 150 recordings by the end of 2010. We’ve worked with a lot of different bands, and have gone through changes in personnel at the office, but over the entire time, we’ve still managed to maintain a strong connection to where we started.
Chris and his wife Elisabeth, Photo courtesy of: Chris Wrenn
Give us an idea of what your typical day is at work, and what types of things go on through the week? What are the biggest obstacles? What are the things you enjoy most?
Bridge Nine has a really talented group of people that work here now. Seth handles a ton of responsibilities that at one time were on my shoulders. Accounting, a lot of manufacturing, and coordinating wholesale orders amongst other things. Stephanie, our new label manager, helps handle a lot of domestic distribution issues, deals with a lot of the bands directly to assist them with their needs, works directly with studios when bands record, handles a lot of the press responsibilities with reviewing and interviews. Matt keeps our mail order running – he makes sure the orders go out quickly and keeps us from getting crushed every time we have a big pre-order. Matteo is our web guy – even though he’s now based out of Ireland, he is our full time web guy and is responsible for continually developing our online presence and making it easy for us to get information out to kids.
With everyone’s help covering those bases, I’m able to focus on a lot of creative stuff. Because of my art background, I’m the go to person for putting layouts together, designing ads, web graphics, t-shirts and other merch. I spend a lot of time looking into developing new stuff like our grommet-cornered banners, and making them a reality. Lately, I was the one to edit and design the discography companion book for Underdog, as well as deal with all of the manufacturing sides of it, all the way through to taking my van up to the printer and loading the pallet of them to bring back to the office.
Biggest obstacles? Every day is a financial grind. For the most part, Bridge Nine has continued to grow as a label every year – so we’ve always been playing catch up financially. I enjoy creating things – and seeing bands meet and exceed their potential. When that happens, when a local band is now touring all over the world and knowing that we were a part of making it happen, that’s an incredible feeling.
Have Heart Crew, 10/17/2009, find the Wrenn, Photo courtesy of: Chris Wrenn
Obviously the music industry is all screwed up. Even on a HC level, how have things changed even over the last few years? What can you see becoming the biggest liability when doing a record label of any kind?
Labels – both major and indie – are in a difficult position these days. CD sales are declining, and digital and vinyl sales aren’t picking up enough of the slack. We’re caught in the middle trying to still make enough CDs to cover our distributors, but not too much that we’re sitting on them, and not being fully sure of how many will come back from the stores when the dust settles. It’s a delicate balance and we don’t know the right formula for it yet. Vinyl sales have picked up a bit, but nothing crazy – and the margins on them are a lot smaller so it’s difficult to make the money back. It’s forcing us to be more creative about merchandise, which might be a good thing in the long run, but for now, it’s a matter of trying to not tie up too much money in CDs or vinyl. I know how it is for us, and from what I’ve heard from a lot of other labels, it’s definitely a struggle these days.
I ask anyone who enjoys music – continue to be as supportive as possible of the labels that you like. Order from them directly if possible – that way they get the money immediately. A lot of times, the money that a label gets from their mail order is what keeps them going through the thin times. The people making the money right now are the merch companies who aren’t investing in the bands, but making bank on them. A label becomes an investor in the band – we cover their recordings, we help them with plane tickets for tours, we bail them out when they have trouble on the road. We then try to make that money back over the course of a release, and it doesn’t always happen. Everyone else around the band though gets paid, with a fraction of the risk. Maybe I’m in the wrong business!
Seriously though, I’m happy being part of the creative half of the equation.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
the band broke up in 1992 I started up my film production company Stone Films NYC started up with me producing. Paris Mayhew who played guitar in the Cro-Mags directed a bunch of music videos and we went on a pretty nice run there for a while. Onyx “Slam”, Type O Negative “Black #1″, Run DMC “Ohh Watcha Gonna Do”, King’s X “Dogman”, Biohazard “Punishment”, “Shades Of Grey” & “Tales From the Hardside” are a few of the videos that we did in that era.
After Paris moved on I started directing myself and did Agnostic Front “Gotta Gotta Go”, Merauder “Master Killer”, Shelter “In The Van Again”, Madball “Pride” and “Down By Law”. For a while there I was the king of hardcore videos! At the time I also started Stone Management “We Manage The Unmanageable” and worked with Merauder, Subzero & Fury of Five. They all got the Drew Stone “Package Deal” which was that I’d get you signed to a record label, direct a music video and get you a tour of Europe.
Eventually I got burnt out on dealing with bands and that’s when the extreme sports thing took off for me. I directed the film “12:00″ which turn keyed the sport of street-bike freestyle and then I did the six “Urban Street-Bike Warriors” films which took me around the world a few times. I put together the “Urban Street-Bike Warriors Black Sheep Squadron Tour” which was groundbreaking at the time and did some great shows. For three consecutive years we went down to Guantanamo Bay Cuba where we did a show for the troops stationed down there which will always be one of my proudest moments.
I also directed the “I Live To Ride” episode of MTV’s “True Life” which exposed the sport to millions. In the past year I’ve been working on “xxx All Ages xxx” The Boston Hardcore Film which has been a great experience.
My passion is being a documentary filmmaker with my biggest influence being the director Werner Herzog. I always wanted to make a film about the early Boston Hardcore scene which was so influential and I’m very grateful that’s it’s finally happening. To this day that scene has very much influenced me and many other people and I’ve always felt that I had the ability to do the story justice. I was interviewed for the book “American Hardcore” and enjoyed the film that Paul Rachman and Steve Blush did but really felt that it was an overview and that the early Boston scene really had a strong story to tell.
I reconnected with old friends Duane Lucia (Executive Producer) who had the Gallery East venue back in the day that was instrumental in developing the early Boston Hardcore scene, and Katie “The Kleening Lady” Goldman (producer) who was a mainstay of that early scene and we decided to make a film.
For more information on “xxx All Ages xxx” The Boston Hardcore Film please join the Facebook page at:
Drew Stone with Antidote at the Trash Bar, Photo courtesy of: Drew Stone
HC is being documented more and more with books and movies…how do you view most pieces of work, and where will your film fit in?
First and foremost I’m a music lover so I can pretty much appreciate any effort that anybody has made as far as making a film or writing a book. “xxx All Ages xxx” The Boston Hardcore Film is not about the guys in the bands. It’s a 90 minute documentary focusing on the lasting impact of the cultural and social scene from 1981 to 1984. The sheer amount of hours and attention to detail on the project will hopefully show in the end result. It’s been like an archeological dig tracking down photos and footage that have never been seen.
Reconnecting with people after all these years has been very interesting and some times bizarre as well. Many of the people that we interviewed I was involved with when we were teenagers and now I’m reconnecting with them in their mid to late 40s, so I missed the whole middle part of their lives. It’s a pretty cool thing and it has its moments. Sometimes in life you CAN go back!!!
In December of 2008 we were asked to play the “A7 Reunion show” at the Knitting Factory here in NYC. It was 16 years since we played and we weren’t really sure if anyone was even going to give a shit. Regardless to say when we got out on stage to play it was packed to the rafters with a whole new generation of kids that love the music and know all the lyrics and went fucking crazy. What started as a few “reunion” shows has become more of a long term thing since the shows have been so much fun.
We signed to the great label Bridge Nine Records who are re-releasing the old stuff as well some great merchandise. We are working on some new music under the working title “Every Dog Has His Day” and our set at the upcoming “Gallery East Reunion Show” is being recorded for a future release “Antidote Thou Shalt Kill!! Live In 2010″. Hopefully we will make it over to Europe and some other far off lands in the spring as well.
After Antidote had such a great experience with the “A7″ reunion show I figured that doing something like that in Boston with bands from that early scene would be a great opportunity to create an event in order to shoot some footage for the “xxx All Ages xxx” film. I spoke to some old friends like Jonathan Anastas (DYS) & John Six (FU’s) and they rallied for the occasion. The bill is DYS, Jerry’s Kids, FU’s, Gang Green, & Antidote. We are also bridging the past and the present by having The Revilers, Soul Control and Refuse Resist on the bill as well.
The bill is actually exactly the same as a show we all played in 1982 at the Gallery East, the only difference being I’m now singing for Antidote instead of the C.O’s. At $15.00 the tickets are affordable and we are going to be screening clips and excerpts from the film in between bands. A bus was chartered by Dave Stein out of New York City and he’s coming up with a whole contingent. People are traveling from all around the world for this event and it’s really going to be something special.
For more information on “The Dave Stein Boston Or Bust Roadtrip” please check out:
Any last words?
Thank you very much for the support. I’ve been blessed and I’m very grateful to have had such a great run and it ain’t over yet!! “Fun” is a great reason to be playing music again! “Are you ready to bust it Antidote style?????” We sure as hell are!
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