Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I remember the first time I actually saw Youth Of Today’s “We’re Not In This Alone”, I was with my parents at the Princeton Forestal Village, which was an up-scale shopping mall a couple of towns away from where I grew up. I had popped on into the mall’s record store with my dad as he looked for jazz albums and I went straight over to the Y section to see if they had gotten “We’re Not In This Alone” yet. I think it had only been released a week or two prior, but I hadn’t gotten to a record store until then. As I thumbed through the Y’s, the anticipation was killing me, was it going to be here? Was I going to have to wait another week or two until I could get to another record store? Being 14 and without a driver’s license really makes things tough and puts all transportation requirements on the parents. Not that my parents weren’t fairly flexible with driving me here and there, but there’s no way they were going to drive me all over the place to find a hardcore record, it just wasn’t going to happen.
So as I rumbled through the record bin, I finally came across it, Youth Of Today – “We’re Not In This Alone” in all its red, blue, and white Caroline greatness. My eyes popped out of my head and I dug it out of the bin as if I had just found a buried gem stone. “Who were all these dudes on the cover,” I kept saying to myself? Then I flipped it over and stared at those 4 photos until my eyes burnt holes through the cover and started melting the vinyl inside. Damn, could they have picked 4 better photos than those? My favorite pic of course being the one of Cappo airborn, back to the crowd, in a white BOLD shirt and what appeared to be an inside out pair of sweat pants and low top Nikes. I blazed through the thirteen song titles, threw the album under my arm and prepared to head right off to the cash register with every bit of allowance money that I had. This sucker would certainly be mine.
Alternate shot of the Youth Crew from the “We’re Not In This Alone” photo shoot
Once I got home, sliced open the shrink wrap and pulled the lyric sheet out, I was again in awe over the high contrast, full size shot of Cappo pulling off the gnarly knee kisser. There was no question that this thing would be hanging on my wall by night’s end. First though, I had to drop the record on the turntable and read along to every single lyric. Dun dun… “We’re back!”…”Made their threats, ruin your name, thought I was broken but the spirit remains… and this flame will keep on burning strong and I will continue to sing this song.” Holy shit, if there was ever a statement being made about YOT’s short break up and what lead up to it, this track right here was one hell of a comeback statement. That first track, “Flame Still Burns,” not only had shredding, heart felt lyrics that made you want to grab the naysayers by the throat and throw them through a brick wall, but it also had music with enough balls to back it all up. Still to this day, one of my favorite YOT songs and HC songs in general.
As the rest of the album spun, I kept soaking it all in, song by song, lyric by lyric. I did notice a pretty severe lack of drums in the mix, but at the time I just chalked it up to being hardcore and hardcore was not all about pristine recordings. This recording was raw, raw like that open wound on your knees from flying off your skateboard and slamming your knees into the pavement. It had bite and it burned, but in the end you still had a killer time and you’d still do it all over again. Would I liked to have heard a better quality recording sound? Sure I would, no question, but it just wasn’t that big of an issue in my mind.
Cappo photo from the back cover of the Caroline Records pressing of “We’re Not In This Alone”
I guess by the following year a second version of “We’re Not In This Alone” had been released, a remixed version. By this time I had grown accustomed to the sound of the original mix, but since there was a new mix available, I bought it when it was released, this time from the Princeton Record Exchange. This one I took home and ran through as well and definitely heard a major difference, but didn’t throw my original mix record in the trash. There were no noticeable differences on the packaging itself, with the exception of the “Remix” sticker that was stuck on the shrink wrap. The songs did sound cleaner though, the drums were louder in the mix and overall, this remixed version was a pretty nice improvement over the original. For the most part, from there on out when I was going to listen to “We’re Not In This Alone,” the remixed version was the version I’d listen to.
Come 1997, Revelation had gathered the Caroline recordings and put together a reissue of “We’re Not In This Alone,” this time remixing the entire album once again. Layouts were completely new and the recording itself almost sounded completely new. Some back ups were added, some were chopped, some previously unheard vocal lines were thrown in, all was remixed and delivered yet in my opinion the best sounding record of all the presses. Although I loved and appreciated the original mix and the second mix, this new 1997 remix was just cleaner, brighter and more powerful than the original mixes and I couldn’t deny it.
Revelation Records 1997 re-press of “We’re Not In This Alone”
To this day, whenever I’m going to toss on “We’re Not In This Alone” (which 22 years later is still in regular rotation), the 1997 reissue is my mix of choice. Not that I’d have any opposition to listening to one of the earlier versions, but this latest version is just the one that I tend to fall back on. If I had my choice, I’d probably like to get the exact original vocal tracks dropped into the 1997 reissue remix, but until that happens (and who knows if it ever will), I’m ok with what I’ve got and always have the option to blast the original mixes if need be. -Tim DCXX
Caroline mix 1 - 89
Revelation re-mix – 84
Caroline mix 2 – 47
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Gordo and myself, here at DCXX will be hitting the road this weekend with our band, Hands Tied. We’ve got the privilege of joining three of hardcore’s finest, Mindset, Get The Most and ON for three consecutive shows in Maryland, Massachusetts and New York. If you’re around and can swing by any of these shows, stop by and say what’s up. -Tim DCXX
Gorilla Biscuits at CBGB, NYC, 2005, Larry to the left in the red shirt and holding the video camera, Photo: Jeff Start Today
I had front row seats for one of the reunion shows everyone thought would never happen. I was one of the few people allowed on stage during Gorilla Biscuits’ reunion show at CBGB in 2005 and grabbed this after their set. Big thanks to the GB guys for always being super cool to me.
This is an Outspoken set list I nabbed after one of the few reunion shows they played in California over the last few years. Pretty sure I nabbed this after their set at the Sink With Cali Fest but it could be from the New Age Fest in ’05. I should have kept track of this stuff. Reinforced…I’m diving off any stage.
This is a very early Snapcase set list from February 23, 1991. I think this might be the second show they played with the name Snapcase. A couple of months before that they were still called Solid State. This set list shows a mix of Solid State as well as “new” Snapcase songs. This is from the last show at The Skyroom in West Seneca (Buffalo), NY. They played with Zero Tolerance and Cannibal Corpse.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
“Clean the shit out of your brain”… you gotta love the Cro-Mags. I’m a sucker for anything Cro-Mags related, so when I stumbled upon this vintage video interview with Harley and Bloodclot hanging out backstage on the 1986 GBH/Cro-Mags tour, I was more than psyched. Whether you’re interested in spirituality (which is what Harley and JJ are talking about in this interview) or not, this is classic Mags material that’s well worth documenting and well worth watching. Turn down your TV, turn up the volume on your computer and get schooled on Kali Yuga. -Tim DCXX
Monday, August 16, 2010
Drew Stone is the man who’s holding the mic for Antidote, behind the camera of the All Ages Boston Hardcore Documentary, and behind the scenes for the massive Boston show taking place August 29. We’ve been meaning to catch up with him to get his full story and his long history in the hardcore scene. Lots of awesome stuff here, big thanks to Drew! -Gordo DCXX
Where did you grow up and how did you get involved with punk and HC?
I grew up in New York City in the 1970’s as part of the “Blank Generation.” Too late for the 60’s thing, too early to be a part of the MTV generation (Thank God) and I fucking hated disco. In August of 1981 I went up to Emerson Collage in Boston to study acting. Soon after my arrival I was introduced to a guy in the Emerson cafeteria who had his head shaved. At the time the only people that had their heads shaved were marines and psychopaths. He told me that his name was “Choke” and he was into this “Hardcore” thing. “Hardcore? What do you mean Hardcore? Like The B52’s, Joan Jett or Blondie?” I didn’t have a fucking clue what he was getting at so after trying to explain it to me for a while we decided the best way for me to understand the whole thing was to just go and experience it for myself.
So a few days later we trooped to downtown Boston and into an old factory building to a place called the Media Workshop for a Sunday matinee show. As fate would have it, it was one of SS Decontrol’s first shows and it turned out to be a pivotal point in my life. There were about 30 people there and everyone in attendance was my age or younger. There were no drugs or alcohol around which was very strange to me coming from a very different environment back in New York City. I felt very connected to what was going on in the room and jumped right into the melee.
After the band finished playing, the guitar player Al “Lethal” Barile came up and introduced himself to me and in turn he introduced the other guys in the band. He was very interested in knowing who I was and where I came from. It was a VERY small scene back then so when someone new showed up they were met with much enthusiasm. Regardless to say, after that I was swept up in the blooming early Boston hardcore scene which to say the least was an extremely exciting time.
One of the most powerful bands I have ever seen SS Decontrol at the Media Workshop 1981, Photo: Drew Stone
What were your first musical attempts, and how did that lead into The Mighty C.O’s in Boston? Tell us about The Mighty C.O’s, and the time line of that band?
I always loved music but before I got involved in the hardcore scene it always seemed so inaccessible. In Boston back in the early 80’s there was no internet or cell phones so the place that we would all hang out at was the original location of Newbury Comics on Newbury Street. That was the hub of our universe back then. You would just hang out all day and wait for people to show up. I saw a flyer in Newbury Comics that said some guys that were into hardcore were looking for a bass player so I gave them a call. I went and played with them but I really wasn’t much of a bass player so at some point I ended up being the singer. We named the band “The C.O’s” (Conscientious Objectors) which later graduated to “The Mighty C.O’s” after a comment from Al Barile.
The first show we played was in an Emerson College lounge with The Freeze, Government Issue and Double O from DC. We played Gallery East a few times after that with DYS, Jerry’s Kids, the FU’s and Gang Green and we were just starting to make some headway when I was excused from the band. It was always a strange relationship because I was always a bit of an outsider coming from New York City being the frontman who knew everyone in the scene, and playing with a bunch of kids from rural New Hampshire. The Mighty C.O’s never really got their legs underneath them, were never recorded and only did about 5 shows that I can recall. They thought they could do better without me and as we all know they went on to achieve greatness and are now a household name.
After The Mighty C.O’s ended and I had lost interest in school I had to earn a living so I came back to NYC to find work in the film business. Upon my arrival I immediately set out to put a new hardcore band together with a bunch of my friends from the Bronx. I wrote all the songs myself, showed them to the guys and we started playing shows. Some of those songs we still do to this day when Antidote plays out including “Road Warrior”, “Don’t Look Back” and “If The Time Is Right, We’re Ready To Fight”. The first “The High & The Mighty” show we played was a C.B.G.B.’s “HR Benefit” with Cause For Alarm, Murphy’s Law & Major Conflict. After that we played the A7 quite a bit and went up to Boston a few times. We recorded and passed around The High & The Mighty “Crunch On” demo which was re-released a few years ago as part of the Antidote / The High & The Mighty “A7 and Beyond” CD.
In early 1984 we got a show down in D.C. at the Wilson Center with Antidote and we all drove down together in my van. On the way back home after the show Antidote’s drummer Bliss and the singer Louie really got into it. By the time we got back to NYC he was out of the band and they were looking for a singer. “Thou Shalt Not Kill” had just come out and I loved the band so I really knew the material well. I was tight with Nunzio at the time so I got a shot at being the new singer and it worked out.
Antidote obviously put out one of the all time greatest NYHC records – can you remember how you first heard about the record and the band? Did you see them live with Louie? What was it like?
I met Nunzio while hanging out at the A7 in 1983. I had seen Antidote play a few times by that point and they were fucking great live. I remember once I came down from Boston with SS Decontrol when they played the Bad Brains retirement shows in December of 1982 and Antidote was on the bill. They were one of my favorite bands at the time. Bliss was a great drummer and Nunzio’s guitar playing was a cut above the rest. They fucking crushed it live.
Drew Stone Boston Mass. age 18, Photo courtesy of: Drew Stone
Little is documented about the existence of Antidote through the late eighties. What exactly was going on, where did you play, and what was the response? Tell us about the “Return 2 Burn” release.
Antidote called it a day as a “hardcore” band in 1986 but in 1988 Nunzio and I started playing together again. He had a whole bunch of new songs that he wanted to sing and he needed a bass player so I stepped in. At first the new band was called “Third Rail” but starting from scratch was tough. Nunzio is a very talented guy. He writes great stuff, can sing, but he just wasn’t a great front man. At some point we got some record company interest and it was decided that I would move back to vocals and we would change the name back to Antidote.
At the time a lot of hardcore bands were changing direction and it seemed like a good idea because of the name recognition. The new Antidote was really a “Rock” band with our biggest influence at the time being Guns ‘N Roses. For a while we were were firmly entrenched in the NYC rock scene and were practically the house band at the Rock and Roll Church at the Limelight. We got signed and recorded the “Return 2 Burn” record and played some great shows with bands like Circus Of Power and Hell’s Kitchen.
“Return 2 Burn” had a pretty slick production sound for the day. When we went to check out the recording studio Pantera was in there recording “Cowboys From Hell” and we liked what we heard. “Something Must Be Done” and “Road Warrior” were on the record in reworked versions and we ended up doing a music video for the song “Return 2 Burn.” For a while there it was a lot of fun but in the early 90’s things started to change when grunge came in and things just kind of ran their course. In 1991 we folded Antidote for the second time and that’s when I started my film production company “Stone Films NYC” and that’s when things really took off.
Antidote 1984, Nunzio, Drew Stone, Bryan, Bliss, Photo courtesy of: Drew Stone
Friday, August 13, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Chris at the B9HQ, Photo: Future Breed
Chris Wrenn has built Bridge 9 Records into a hardcore powerhouse that has withstood a changing music landscape and proven that they have their shit together in a major way. We had wanted to catch up with Chris for a while now and pick his brain. More to come… -Gordo DCXX
How did you get into punk and hardcore? When and where was this? Who were your favorite bands from the beginning?
Like a lot of kids in the late ’80s, I got into hardcore and punk through metal. The first cassette that I owned – the first time that I had my own music that I could listen to whenever I wanted to – was Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls.” In 2010 you can listen to any band that you want at any time, if you have a computer, but back then, you didn’t have the means. Not the punk-est story in the world, but when I was in 5th grade (’87), I was given a gift certificate to “Uncle Jim’s Record Stop” in my town. I used it to get the Crue cassette, which had just come out, and it was my first step into heavy music.
After that, I’d go down to the the local pharmacy to look at heavy metal magazines like RIP and Metal Maniacs to see interviews with Motley Crue, and that just exposed me to a ton of metal bands. By 7th grade (’89) I was heavily into the Roadrunner Records catalog, buying anything that the label put out- Obituary, Sepultura, King Diamond and Deicide…I was also getting exposed to a lot of NYHC bands, because in the late ’80s, the Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front and Sick Of It All were getting full page photos and write ups in those magazines on a regular basis.
I got into some of the more traditional hardcore/punk bands through the more mainstream ones – Metallica introduced me to The Misfits through their “Garage Days Re-Revisited” cassette, members of Slayer used to wear Dead Kennedy’s t-shirts…bands like Nuclear Assault used to thank tons of hardcore bands in their albums – and back then that was how you were introduced to stuff. If you liked a band, you wanted to check out who they toured with, were friends with, or influenced by.
Skateboarding also defined me at the same time, so I was introduced to bands like Minor Threat and Black Flag through my friends who skated, and through bands covered in skateboarding magazines. I was exposed to music through a variety of influences back then – and you had to be active and involved to be exposed to music, you couldn’t just learn about every band in your bedroom overnight. In ’92 I purposely stopped listening to metal and would only listen to hardcore and punk bands, because I felt like I could relate more to the more personal, community style experience that I was having at hardcore shows, versus the big stadium style events that you had with metal bands.
Chris hits the Connecticut crowd during an Underdog set at the Tunn Inn, Photo courtesy of: Chris Wrenn
Before you did Bridge 9, were you attracted to the idea of a record label and having that type of involvement? What about playing in bands?
I started my first venture when I was nine. I made flyers advertising lawn mowing and raking leaves, and put them in all of my neighbor’s mailboxes. I was an entrepreneur before I knew what it was. I’ve always been proactive in that regard – so by the time I decided to put out my first record, I was comfortable with the process of taking that risk and working to make sure each step was followed through.
I never played in a band – and all of my friends were in bands, so putting out that first record allowed me to stay involved and contribute to the local scene. I wasn’t looking to start a record label when I put out my first 7″ – in fact I didn’t include a catalog number on it, because I didn’t think there would be more than one release. It was just an opportunity to try something new. I was going to school in Vermont at the time – a couple of states away from my hometown scene, and I wanted to stay connected. Two of my college friends, Mark & Ned, told me that I should put out a 7″. Mark had grown up friends with Scott Beibin’s younger brother so he put me in touch with Scott, who did Bloodlink Records. Scott allowed me to ask him a bunch of questions (I called him from my dorm room pay phone, likely using a dialer that he had made and given to Mark), and it helped me get started in the right direction.
I also had some help from my friend Jesse Standhard, who had just started his own label around the same time and had put out a 7″ or two just prior to my first. We’d open up fanzines, look for distributors’ ads and call them to try and get them to take copies of our records on consignment. Bridge Nine started during the fall of 1995, and the first record came out during the summer of 1996.
Roger, Chris and Vinny, Photo courtesy of: Chris Wrenn
Was Bridge 9 initially supposed to turn into a full-scale label, or did you just see yourself releasing maybe a few records done by friends? How did things progress, and what was your motivation for continuing?
Starting a full-scale label like what Bridge Nine is today was definitely not in the original plan. I just wanted to put out a 7 inch with my friends’ band. I needed to raise money to put out that first EP, so I made stickers, canvas patches & t-shirts to sell and help promote it. Back then, it was pretty common for random kids to put out a few 7″ records and then call it quits. It took a year to recoup from B9’s first record, and by that time, the band had broken up, so I decided to take their last 3 songs and put them on another 7″ and release it posthumously.
I was traveling to shows every weekend, and a lot of times I’d end up in Boston, so at one particular show, a band from that area, Proclamation, gave me their demo. It took another year before I could afford to do a 3rd record, but I called them up and offered to do their EP. Then another Boston band followed, The Trust – and in 1998 I released their EP as well – the same year that I was graduating from college. Being that the two active bands were from Boston, I decided to move there.
By this point I knew that I wanted to continue releasing records, but didn’t have much of a plan, other than to try and make the money back from the last record, and put it into the next one. I was starting to get letters from kids from all over the world. Japan, Europe, Asia. I felt like I was becoming part of something a lot bigger than my dorm room or my first apartment on Boston’s Mission Hill filled with other hardcore kids. That motivated me to keep going…
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
So you were out of Murphy’s Law how long before forming UNDERDOG?
About a week.
And now the fist UNDERDOG lineup includes…
Richie, Myself, Greg Pierce and Danny Derella.
Well, Greg only played in UNDERDOG a few months and then after recording the seven inch, he moved to Florida…I think to attend college. We were trying out a bunch of drummers. Ernie from Token Entry played a show or two. Dean was already playing in Good Humor and it just made sense to steal him. He actually played in both bands until we started touring and from then on, it was just UNDERDOG.
After a while there was some shifting in the guitar personnel…
Well, we added Arthur as a second guitarist and the sound was really amazing. Eventually, Danny left the band and we toured with Arthur. Arthur was a bit more serious than the rest of us. On tour there was a lot of horsing around – like fun tour stuff which Arthur really wasn’t into. So once we got back from that tour, Arthur was gone.
Yeah, I met Chuck through Tom Groholski and I had known about Chuck’s musical resume and he skated so it was a good fit.
And this is 1989?
Russ with Underdog at The Stone Pony, Asbury Park, NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno
That’s same year you guys were featured on Thrasher Magazine’s Skate Rock Volume 7. The bands on that release were hand picked by Pushead right?
Yeah, I was talking to him a couple of times a week for a while leading up to that. I was bummed because this was the first in the Skate Rock series that came out exclusively on cassette and not on vinyl as well, which was a bummer.
So Vanishing Point is released and the band heads on tour with yourself, Richie, Dean and Chuck?
Yeah, that was the line up for that tour. Once we came home from that tour, that was pretty much the end of UNDERDOG. We dropped Chuck off at Penn Station, he headed for Philly and the rest of us went our separate ways.
And that was it until 1998?
There was nothing happening with the band at all until we re-released the songs for Go-Kart Records in 1998 and our friend Tim Borer booked us on the Alive And Well bill that took place at Convention Hall in Asbury Park.
Yes, then he booked our tour to support that release. This was the first time UNDERDOG toured without Dean, who was busy making babies. So we went on tour with Jay from American Standard on drums and Matt Dolan on guitar.
So now, you’ve got a head full of steam and the band is back together. Everyone is into the songs again. What happens next?
The way it was…or I was going, it wasn’t going to last. I was partying way too much and making that a priority over everything else. The fact that things have been going so well with UNDERDOG lately is directly contributed to me being sober.
We were asked to reform and play the first of a series of benefit shows for CBGB. We were on the bill with Killing Time and were back to the original lineup of myself, Richie, Matt and Dean. A year later we played with Bad Brains and The Stimulators for one of the closing shows for the club.
From this point on you guys are raising families, working, and just playing shows ala carte?
Right, I mean we took a trip to Japan for the Magma Festival in 2007, I think. Then the Burning Fight Festival in Chicago in 2008, but for the most part just local shows and one-offs.
This whole Bridge Nine thing came up when we got asked to play the Burning Fight festival in Chicago. Jim Grimes, the organizer, had contacted us about playing even though we weren’t really making music in the nineties.
Our friend Scooter, who was on tour with us, had introduced me to the owner of Bridge Nine, Chris Wrenn. At the time we were working with Revelation Records to release an UNDERDOG discography. Chris was bummed at not having a chance to do the discography but gave me his card and told me to call him if they could do something with the band in the future.
A couple months went by and things were still moving very slow with Revelation (that was both of our faults) and it had been about two years since the idea was first brought up. So one day, I just emailed Chris at Bridge Nine and asked him to give me a call…he called me hours later and the rest is history.
What did you like most about Bridge Nine?
Once I got home from that trip in Chicago, I started looking a their website. They had a small group of bands that they pushed really hard and they seemed to have a lot of momentum. Chris called back about two hours later after I first e-mailed him and we worked it all out. They were real strict with their deadlines and they pushed me to get my submissions in on time. It was very motivating.
Twenty-five years later the UNDERDOG story continues. Some of the founding members still skate, still surf, still get together on occasion for a show or two. The number of UNDERDOG offspring has hit nine. At this rate if they continue playing, they’ll have a full staff of press and marketing people right at home.
After all, it’s the families that have proven to be each member’s priority and the reason that making, recording and touring for new music is almost impossible – and they wouldn’t have it any other way.
Dean with Underdog in 1989, Photo: Ken Salerno
So…any chance of a future UNDERDOG release with new songs? “Those songs, those early songs are what has defined UNDERDOG” says Iglay. “It’s what every person that comes to see us wants to hear. Why change that? If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It’s that simple.”
That, my dear friends, is the story of UNDERDOG, plain and simple.
Happy 25th Anniversary, punks. -Derek Rinaldi
Monday, August 2, 2010
“It was really important that this reunion show be fun and powerful,” said Anastas. “We didn’t want to do a DYS show with only one original member, or use hired guns with no connection to the band’s musical roots. Jack and Bobby have history with the core band, with punk, with rock, and with the sound we want to achieve.” Added Dave Smalley, “A great band is hopefully about more than chops, which these guys have in spades. It’s about shared experience, a shared sonic vision and it’s – above all – about chemistry. Who could you spend days with on a bus, in a studio, at practice, backstage? Jonathan, Ross and I are really glad to be playing together again for that reason. And Bobby and Jack are both guys we easily could have done it with the first time around.”
At this time, the Gallery East Reunion show and performance filming for the documentary movie “XXX All Ages XXX” are the only activities DYS currently has planned. In closing, Dave added, “Gallery East, Duane and Drew Stone are stand-up veterans of a very special time. Helping their movie and their event were very important goals for us. Right now, that’s 100% of our focus as a band.”
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Friday, July 30th (at roughly 6PM PST) marks the launch of pre-order’s for Hands Tied’s “Through The Wreckage” E.P. Originally formed in 1996 after the disbanding of MOUTHPIECE, HANDS TIED delivered classic, in-your-face straight edge hardcore that echoed the spirit and delivery of pioneers such as DYS, UNIFORM CHOICE, and YOUTH OF TODAY. With a 1996 seven inch EP released on Equal Vision Records, the band played up and down the East Coast and toured Europe before abruptly ending their run—just as the band was getting into high gear. Over a decade later, HANDS TIED has returned with a “right-where-they-left-off” two song EP of anthemic blasts that will have you stage diving and moshing in no time—proving that the flame still burns. With a discography LP in the works and a summer of shows on the east coast, it’s clear that this band is back on the map.
Please note: All pre-order customers will receive a code enabling them to instantly download the E.P. HERE
The purpose of Livewire Direct is to showcase and make available items too low in stock and/or too limited to warrant distribution through traditional channels. If you see something you like email us and make an offer. It’s that simple. In the very near future expect the addition of old shirts from The First Step, Hands Tied, Running Like Thieves, Face The Enemy and more!
Thanks for checking it all out! - Ed McKirdy/Livewire Records
This is the start of a series of set list entries from DCXX contributor/Nickle City Stomp connoisseur, Larry Ransom. Enjoy these and stay locked in for many more to come. -Tim DCXX
I was working at Revelation Records in 2004 and they sent me out to this show to work the Rev merch table and to bring the Youth Of Today guys some records to give away on stage. If you catch me on the right day, Youth Of Today is my favorite band so it was awesome to sing along. This set list is from the second night of the two shows they played in Fairless Hills, PA in the summer of 2004…right down the street from the ole Puss ‘N Boots. Every song is a winner here.
In the late nineties I was still a very invigorated cormin and would drive just about anywhere, every weekend to see a show. At some point in 1998 Underdog and Wide Awake were playing two shows together. A Friday night at the Tune Inn in New Haven, CT and on Saturday at Coney Island High in NYC, and I made the trek down to Jeff Terranova’s house in Carmel, NY and tagged along to the two shows with him and Steve Keeley. This Wide Awake set list is from the Tune Inn show.
The songs Redemption and Myths were new songs the band had wrote and recorded during their reformation and as I remember the new tunes didn’t go over too hot when they played them live, as I am sure you could imagine. I believe they dropped them from the set the next day at the NYC show. They closed the night out with a cover of Dag Nasty’s Justification.
Here’s an Up Front set list I grabbed after one of the many times I saw them in ’97 or ’98. Not sure exactly what show this might be from. It would have to be from the Tune Inn, CB’s, The Space in Worcester, MA or The Middle East in Cambridge, MA. Heck, it might even be from when they came out to Cali in ’05. I bet Jon or Jeff might be able to chime in and provide the proper date and show for this thing. Don’t fear the distance!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Richie and Danny bring it with Underdog at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno
We’ve been planning to cook up an Underdog interview with Russ for quite awhile now, so when DCXX contributor/NJHC vet/skater, Derek Rinaldi offered to do one for us, we eagerly accepted. This here is part one of what is sure to be an excellent multi part interview with Russ. Dig in and get surly and be sure to Check out a 3 song takeover from Russ at ShoreAlternative’s Punkyard Wednesday, July 28th @ 1pm. -Tim DCXX
The Phone Call
The year was 1985 and Richie Birkenhead, lead singer of The Numbskuls, is about to get a phone call that will change his life – at least his music life anyway. Murphy’s Law bassist Russ Iglay is on the phone and he is inquiring as to the status of Richie’s search for a bass player. Once Russ knew that position was still available and learning that the two lived only blocks apart in Manhattan, the phone call was inevitable.
After a 5 minute skate to Richie’s house, the Numbskuls had a new bassist…or did they? Richie explained to Russ that he wanted to change the dynamic of the Numbskuls from party band to a more diverse sounding mix of hard rocking tunes. Richie wants to change the dynamic of the band so much so that he doesn’t even want to keep the name. UNDERDOG is officially born.
Keep it simple, stupid.
Richie: “OK, so we agree on the type of music we want to play, now let’s plan this out. Let’s make this simple. Here’s what we’re gonna do. Instead of us bustin’ our balls year after year making new music, touring, and repeating that until we’re blue in the face and irrelevant, let’s just make one killer e.p. I mean a badass mutha fuckin e.p. that makes so much noise that a major label will want us to re-release it with some new songs…”
“…Then, we can tour for it and break up. You know, call it a career. No sophomore jinx or none of that shit. I mean, hell, our drummer will probably have to move and your kid brother will join and then will certainly want to start having kids, I’ll most likely form another band, and you got that restaurant down the shore. Let’s just do that and keep it simple.”
Russ - “Sounds good.”
Russ Iglay with Underdog at City Gardens, Womp’m style, Photo: Ken Salerno
Now, that conversation obviously never happened. Nor could anyone have foreseen that that was EXACTLY how it would happened, give or take a few details.
Fast forward to the year 2010 and it’s Fourth of July weekend in Belmar, New Jersey. All the tourists and business owners are busy making last minute preparations like a gulf town prepares for a hurricane. The roads choke with traffic and you could wait up to 30 minutes to buy milk and eggs at the local food market. It’s as rhythmic as the tides, the big surge before the weekend and the recession immediately following. Year after year.
From his recessed yard, about 50 feet from the road, UNDERDOG’s Russ Iglay can hardly see or hear the madness patrolling the streets. Back here it’s shady trees, a small patch of grass and a 2 foot high mini ramp for his son, Marlo.
The weekend won’t be all quiet for Russ. His family has owned the local pizza place in town (Don’s Pizza King) for 43 years, and while weekend’s like this aren’t make it or break it, a busy holiday takes off some pressure.
The band’s history is deep and the stories are long and I thought the best way to tackle this may be to use the discography as a timeline. It’s fair to say that even though the band has been around since 1985 that after a long break and even with pop up shows that there may be some new jacks that don’t have the whole UNDERDOG story. So let’s take the time to give it to them. Let’s go all the way back to the beginning. - Derek Rinaldi
Richie, Arthur, Russ and Dean with Underdog at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno
Let’s rewind. Who were the skaters you were looking up to in the early days?
Al Smoke, Dale Curtis, Doug Hanulak, Sponge, Mooney. Those guys were it in the 70`s when I first started…Soul skaters. Years later I was skating everyday with Steve Herring…he really pushed me alot…he was a big influence on my skating.
What was the music climate back then?
Well, since we were hanging with older guys it was a lot of Grateful Dead back then. Some of the guys started getting into punk in the late 70s and we started to follow it. Bands like Devo, X, Black Flag, Circle Jerks.
Were you getting to shows yet?
We saw Circle Jerks at the Fastlane in Asbury Park on the Group Sex tour. We got drunk in the yard and rode our bikes there…hammered. One of the first shows I remember going to in NYC was Gang Of Four with the Bad Brains opening up. Also Black Flag at The Mudd Club…Peppermint Lounge shows…
So now, you guys are getting more into the punk scene, how long before you start your first band?
I guess it was about ’81 or ’82. Myself, Dean, Sponge, and Pete formed a band called Child Abuse. At first, we thought that ‘Battered Kids’ was a better name but Sponge was kinda the boss and wanted to go with Child Abuse.
Our first show was at the Fastlane. It was a benefit for Mark ‘The Mutha’ Chesney who owned Mutha Records.
How long before you left?
I was in the band for about a year and quit before the EP ‘Bring It’ was released.
How did you come to meet Jimmy Gestapo and ultimately join Murphy’s Law?
I became friends with Jimmy from going to shows around the city. I was introduced to him outside Irving Plaza. The bass player for Murphy’s Law was also playing in Reagan Youth and Agnostic Front so it was only a matter of time before something had to give. When Jimmy first asked me to play bass for the band, I had told him that I didn’t play bass. He insisted that if I could play guitar in Child Abuse that I could handle bass for ML. So I agreed, and then I was in the band. The next week, Uncle Al taught me the songs and before I knew it we were playing the Rock Against Racism show with Reagan Youth in 1983.
I had met Richie from going to shows and his band, The Numbskuls, played with Murphy’s Law about three or four times. I really liked their sound. At the time, I really liked the Cro-Mags because they had a hard sound, but it was a different sound. It didn’t fit in with the ‘model’ NYHC sound. It wasn’t quite metal yet either. I remember watching the Numbskuls and they had all these great riffs and, I guess you’d call them, breakdowns or mosh parts now…
They had a girl filling in on bass and were looking for a permanent replacement. Once I knew I was out of Murphy’s Law, the first call I made was to Richie to ask about playing for The Numbskuls.
The odd thing was, once he told me to come over his place and get a tape to learn the songs, we realized that we were living only about a 2 minute skate away from each other.
How did the Numbskuls morph into UNDERDOG?
Well, the Numbskuls were playing songs in a party, nonchalant vein. Once I joined the band, Richie had an idea to change the name and move the band into a more serious direction….
Monday, July 26, 2010
Walter was cool enough to follow up on the last piece we did with him on the CIV LP a few months back. If you missed it:
Walter Schreifels on CIV
Having read some of the comments, Walter wanted to shed some light, and we decided to give him the floor. …WALLY! – Gordo DCXX
I just re-ead this interview and the comments too and I’m happy to discover “Set Your Goals” and CIV still resonate on Double Cross.
To answer some of the comments, I’ll try not to sound “douchey” – but in regards to the practice version of “Can’t Wait…” I only meant that we were having fun, my version was only joking around. Civ deserves the credit for realizing the potential of the song and the whole idea of the band for that matter. Along with Lou’s great cameo vocal, Civ was able to preserve the fun but stopped short of leaving it there, which is why I love it.
I’m almost positive the first CIV show was at St. Andrew’s in Detroit with SOIA, I was bummed to have missed it, they were always a great live band in my opinion.
The voice at the end of “Trust…” is Charlie recorded through the pick up of his SG. I don’t remember who or what it’s supposed to be but it was hilarious and a little scary so we left it in. I hear it as an old man being beaten and loving it.
I think Luke wrote “Dead Serious” by Side By Side
I also recommend checking out the second CIV album “13 Day Getaway” which was criminally over looked by their record company at the time of release. It’s not as much a HC record as “Set Your Goals,” but to the open minded it’s a bold evolution with great song writing (by the band, not mine) that really works. I listened to it recently and it’s aging very gracefully. Civ and I collaborated on “Little Men,” he wrote the lyrics to my music, it still gets me misty.
Thanks Double Cross! -Walter
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I’ve been hearing rumbles here and there about the COC – “Animosity” lineup coming back and playing some shows and recently stumbled upon their website and Facebook page that gives a little more information on all of this. I don’t know about you, but seeing these guys play the “Animosity” material again sure as hell gets me stoked. Also the idea of hearing new material in the “Animosity” vein could certainly be pretty damn cool. Check out these pages and if COC is playing near you, don’t miss it. -Tim DCXX
Corrosion Of Conformity
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