ARCHIVES – more older posts (24)
May 15th, 2012 by Larry

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Howie Abrams – In-Effect Records

Howie Abrams with John Joseph, Photo courtesy of: Howie Abrams

NYHC staple and In-Effect Records founder Howie Abrams is a recent welcome addition to the ongoing string of interviews here at DCXX. This is part one of our piece with him, great NYHC content here, dig in. -Gordo DCXX

Where did you grow up and around when did you start to get interested in music? What were you into before hardcore and what pushed you in that direction?

I grew up in Queens Village, NY. Middle class and pretty damn boring. I got into music really, really young and the first band I became truly obsessed with was KISS around 1975 (I was 7 years old). I was heavily into wrestling at the time and I remember going with my Dad to pick up the newspaper and checking out the wrestling magazines. One day, I noticed a copy of Creem magazine next to one of the wrestling mags and KISS was on the cover. Needless to say, I was intrigued.

From that point on, I wanted to know everything about them and eventually asked my parents to buy me “Alive.” I listened to it from the second I came home from school, until I went to bed for weeks. I read every credit and stared at every photo over and over again. From there, I discovered bands like Aerosmith, Cheap Trick and even Parliament. While I didn’t really love or understand Parliament’s music, their costumes and the whole Mothership thing blew my little mind.

Around the late 70’s/beginning of the 80’s, I started getting into metal bands like Motorhead and Iron Maiden. Along with what I DID like, I remember really hating classic rock. The Doors, Led Zeppelin… I thought it was for “old” people and also thought the people I knew who liked it were assholes! Even The Ramones felt like a tired old band.

Hardcore wasn’t on my radar until probably 1982 or so and I was completely unaware of what it was. I’d heard about punk from reading Creem and Rock Scene earlier, but didn’t pay much attention to it. However, similar to my experience stumbling upon KISS, it was the imagery of bands like the Misfits and the Dead Kennedys that piqued my interest originally.

Lou Koller (SOIA), Richi Cip (SOIA), Howie Abrams, Anthony Johnson (24-7 Spyz), Jimi Hazel (24-7 Spyz) and Pete Koller (SOIA) at the RIP Magazine party 1990, Photo courtesy of: Howie Abrams

What would you cite as your first real introduction to hardcore? Who were you hanging out with at the time, and where specifically? What was going on around you in your area music-wise?

As I mentioned, seeing the album artwork for the Misfits and the DK’s in a record store was what made me notice anything related to hardcore. I would take a 30 minute bus ride and then a 40 minute subway ride into Manhattan several times a week to go to Bleecker Bob’s on West 3rd Street and also to just walk around Greenwich Village. Bob’s was pretty much the best shop around for underground music of any kind. I payed close attention to who was buying what and it seemed as though the kids I thought were the coolest…or that I was most intimidated by were buying albums by hardcore bands.

Sometimes I would venture into the city alone and sometimes it was with a friend or two from school. Only one or two of my friends at the time could even relate to the music, so as we bought more records, we bonded more. We also started buying fanzines that covered these bands and became exposed to more of what was going on.

Eventually, we noticed fliers hanging in and around Bleecker Bob’s, as well as at a few of the other record stores we were frequenting. The fliers were for shows at CBGB, The Ritz, the Jane Street Rock Hotel… We suddenly realized we could actually go see these bands whose albums we were buying and we didn’t have to wait 6 months or a year for them to come around.

The first hardcore show I can remember going to was at a really weird spot in Queens called The Subway. It was actually in a subway station on Queens Blvd. and I saw Reagan Youth. I honestly can’t remember who I went with, but it very well could have been Mike Bullshit. He and I went to the same school and he was, to my knowledge, the only “real” punk in the school. I had become a fan of his ‘zine Bullshit Monthly and we became friendly. Anyway – the “club” was incredibly seedy and the crowd seemed like a bunch of drugged-out weirdos. There were punks, skinheads and a few casual onlookers there; sitting on the floor or against the wall between bands.

Howie In-Effect, Photo courtesy of: Howie Abrams

Reagan Youth eventually came on at some insane hour and the place just blew up! A circle pit broke out and I was mesmerized. The energy was crazy and out of nowhere it seemed as if everyone there was on the exact same page. I couldn’t understand how the band could incite such a seemingly violent reaction, yet no one was fighting. To me – the whole thing was incredible.

Eventually, I made it to my first CBGB matinee and saw Adrenaline OD I believe. This was the Subway experience on an entirely different level. People forget what The Bowery was like in the early 80s. It was fucked up, and having a bunch of kids come in from all 5 boroughs, NJ, Long Island and elsewhere every weekend wasn’t exactly welcomed by the mostly homeless locals; many of whom lived upstairs from the club in the Palace Hotel.

However, the fact that it was located where it was, was the reason the club was able to be the primary hub for hardcore in NY. The rest of NYC barely noticed. I probably went there every single weekend for the next several years. Seriously…I think I missed fewer matinees than I have fingers on one hand until around ’88/’89 when I became less of a “regular.”

Howie over Carl’s right shoulder, watching on as Raw Deal tear up CBGB, Photo courtesy of: Howie Abrams

What were you favorite hardcore bands and records early on? What still stands the test of time to you? What are some memorable shows and experiences? Who were your friends in the scene?

New York had such an incredible hardcore scene and I was extremely NY-centric when it came to bands. I liked some “out-of-town” bands such as D.R.I., Minor Threat, Discharge, 7 Seconds etc., but I loved the gritty, dirty NY sound. Agnostic Front were the undisputed kings of NY at that time and Victim in Pain was the album that without question defined the sound of the NY scene. United Blood served as the appetizer, but VIP was just the greatest 15 minutes of sloppy, out-of-tune brutality I’d ever heard. AF was just a tornado of a live band and the atmosphere at their shows was dangerous and volatile. I saw them so many times and they were always best at CBGB.

Murphy’s Law were the other really big band then and their sound was very different…way more punk rock and they were, dare I say, a party band, but their shows were no less chaotic. One of the best live bands around.

The Cro-Mags came to be a big factor a year or so later and were always incredible to see. They eventually became one of my favorites,

I also loved Cause For Alarm, Token Entry, the Crumbsuckers, Reagan Youth, Ludichrist, Damage…I’m sure many others too.

Of course I worshiped D.C.’s adopted sons the Bad Brains. In fact I’d go so far as to say they are my favorite band of all time! There were numerous bands I dug that came along a little later which were heavily influenced by early 80’s NYHC such as Sick Of It All, Madball, Leeway, Raw Deal, NYC Mayhem/Straight Ahead, H20… All of these bands’ shows were incredible to me and I mean that sincerely. The only time it sucked was if they cancelled.

As far as records that have stood the test of time, there are really very few to be honest. Very few HC band recordings lived up to their live ferocity. Some of the earlier stuff that still holds up for me is (of course) Victim in Pain, the Bad Brains’ ROIR cassette, the Cro-Mags’ Age of Quarrel cassette album, Reagan Youth’s Youth Anthems for the New Order, Cause for Alarm’s first 7″… As far as albums that came out later on, SOIA’s Blood, Sweat And No Tears, Leeway’s Born to Expire, Killing Time’s Brightside, Madball’s Demonstrating My Style…

During the early to mid-80’s, the camaraderie in the NY scene was pretty incredible. There was definitely an “us against the world” vibe. The scene was still relatively small and insular, so helping each other and supporting one another was crucial. The bands, the ‘zine writers, the tape-traders, the kids – all seemed to feel as if they were on the same team…working toward a common goal which was simply to keep the scene alive. This was even more evident when bigger bands came to town to play bigger venues like Irving Plaza or The Ritz. When you saw someone at those shows, even if you didn’t really know them that well, but were used to seeing them at CB’s or at the other smaller shows, you felt a connection to them that you didn’t have with the more casual fans.

Eventually, these people became your friends and almost everyone was in a band at one point or another. There are really too many friends and acquaintances to name individually, but some became really close friends of mine and I got to work with a number of them later on. The amazing thing is that I’m still friends with so many of them. I love running into these people at shows now even more than I probably did at the time.

Nuclear Assault and the Cro-Mags at L’amour, Brooklyn NYC, 1986, Photo courtesy of: Howie Abrams

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Alone In A Crowd outtake shots

Lars from Uppercut/Alone In A Crowd sent us never-before-seen Alone In A Crowd shots along with some commentary. This is why I love doing Double Cross, enjoy. -Gordo DCXX

As far as I can remember, the pictures were taken by Erik Weiss (my little brother). They were taken outside my mom’s house in Yonkers after band practice (we practiced in her basement). There’s a pretty funny story involving Paul Bearer from Sheer Terror (another Yonkers native) and my mom’s across the street neighbor whose house is in a couple of the group shots.

The location was by default, we needed a shot of the band for the 7″ and since we hadn’t played a show yet, there were no live shots. After band practice was the only time we knew that we’d all be together. As far as I can remember, we were getting ready for our first show and the 7″ had already been recorded.

I think the girl in some of the shots was Jules’ girlfriend at the time, but I don’t remember her name. I believe she took the picture that is on the back cover of the first pressing. Also, Bill Wilson (Blackout Records) is in a couple of the shots.

We are kinda joking around in the photos because we were always joking around. Carl, Rob, and I have known each other since we were little and we still hang out today (and are just as retarded!). Both Jules and Howie were totally funny and joked around all the time. Though the music was serious, we as people were always having fun. That’s one of the things I loved about all the bands I’ve been involved with (and my friends’ bands as well): nobody took themselves too seriously. – Lars

Monday, January 11, 2010

Youth Of Today – 1989 European Tour videos

Youth Of Today live in Hohenems, Austria 1989

Youth Of Today live in Zurich, Switzerland 1989

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thrasher Magazine revisited

For me, it all started with the November 1985 issue of Thrasher Magazine. I was just getting into skateboarding when I walked into the local skate shop and stumbled upon this glorious mag with a sick photo of Christian Hosoi pulling an air over a graffiti covered car. I had never seen anything like it and once I started thumbing through the pages, I was transported into an entirely new world. Up until that point, skateboarding to me, had a very clean, California surfer dude, Nash Executioner riding, Ocean Pacific shirt, Jams wearing feel and image. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with all of that, but that definitely was not what Thrasher was about. Thrasher put on full display, the darker, grimier, harder, in your face side of skateboarding and to me that just seemed so much more interesting.

The more issues I bought, the more I found myself getting completely drawn into this “other side” of skateboarding. Seeing photos of dudes like Fred Smith with his spiked and bleached out hair and tattoo covered arms was an eye opener to say the least. In Thrasher, skateboarding wasn’t just about skating the fine tuned halfpipes, the smooth dream like skateparks or the hills of the suburban neighborhoods. Those pages of Thrasher showed me photos of people skating anything and everything in their paths. I saw beat up old drainage ditches, cracked curbs, steps, broken parking blocks, beat up street ramps, roof tops and of course cars. Really there wasn’t much that Thrasher didn’t show people skating on.

Along with Thrasher exposing that rougher and rawer side of skateboarding, they also shined plenty of light on the music that fueled a lot of these skate sessions. Upon first discovery, I had no idea who any of these bands were that filled the pages of this magazine. I guess here and there I’d recognize a couple of metal bands, but all these skate rock and punk bands were completely foreign to me. What I did realize though, was that this was the music that skaters listened to and I might as well get myself introduced to it. By June of 1986 I decided to go for a one year subscription and along with that subscription came Septic Death’s “Now That I Have The Attention…”. Now if Septic Death isn’t an eye opening, wall of violence and ear blasting noise, I don’t know what is. It was one hell of an introduction to punk rock, I can tell you that.

From that summer of 1986 and on, I put a lot of focus into the band interviews, the Notes section, Igor’s record reviews, the record ads, anything written by Pushead or Mike Gitter and just everything that was music related. I more than ate it up, I devoured it whole and kept on consuming. Of course I bought all the Thrasher Skate Rock compilations, which introduced me to so many incredible bands. Bands like The Big Boys, The Faction, JFA, TSOL, McRad, Boneless Ones, Beyond Possession, Corrosion Of Conformity, Accused, Gang Green, SNFU, Stupids and so many more. From there it was the snowball affect and I just kept hunting down and searching high and low for all the punk, hardcore and skate rock I could get my hands on.

As my music knowledge grew and my tastes were becoming more defined, it almost seemed like Thrasher was bringing me more and more of what I was taking interest in. I remember reading about bands like Dag Nasty, BL’AST!, Youth Of Today, Verbal Assault, Slap Shot, The Cro-Mags and some of those bands I was hearing about for the first time directly from Thrasher. By later 1986 and into 1987, I was picking up fanzines and getting even more in tune with the hardcore / punk scene, but it was definitely Thrasher that had introduced it all to me.

In 1989 there was an issue of Thrasher that had a killer BOLD photo in it from their second show at City Gardens in Trenton New Jersey. I was in that photo with my arms up in the air, screaming along like a manic fan while Matt threw both arms over the crowd to give a massive sing along. I remember seeing that BOLD photo and being so psyched that I ended up in a photo that appeared in Thrasher. That was a definite highlight in my life at that time. Then years later in May of 1993, my band Mouthpiece got a little write up in Thrasher and at that point I felt like I had really accomplished something. Here was the magazine that introduced me to the music that changed my life and my band was now being featured in it. My mind was blown and I almost felt like things had come full circle. I still look back on that as a major highlight from my years of doing Mouthpiece.

In closing I just want to thank Thrasher Magazine for everything they’ve done to expose me to some of the greatest stuff ever. Great skateboarding, stellar band and skater interviews, sick band and skate photos, phenomenal layouts and design, you name it and Thrasher had the best of the best. If you hadn’t heard or hadn’t yet checked it out, on Thrasher’s website, they’ve got complete scans of all the early issues, 1981 through 1987. All those classic interviews, photos and ads that you remember are right up there in all their glory. FOLLOW THIS LINK and get on it. -Tim DCXX

Ian MacKaye on Minor Threat’s – “You Betrayed Me By Growing Up”

Ian gets mobbed by the California crowd, Photo: Edward Colver

Here I am sitting on my sofa, plugging away at tonight’s planned entry when this beauty from LA’s own Ben Merlis miraculously falls into my lap. It was just a day or two ago when someone posted a link on the Livewire board to a newly surfaced Minor Threat live tape with a unreleased track titled “You Betrayed Me By Growing Up” on the set list. The site, More Than A Witness, has uncovered a slew of live recorded gems in the past, so it was really no surprise that they’d bring something as stellar as this to the light. So Ben being the inquisitive, knowledge seeking, hardcore historian that he is, took it upon himself to go one step further and ask the man himself about the story behind this mysteriously unreleased track. What follows is the message Ben received from Ian and the lyrics Ian sent as well. Take note, the lyrics to “You Betrayed Me By Growing Up” has practically the same lyrics as “Betray”, but in a different order.

This goes without saying, but big thanks to Ben Merlis for getting to the bottom of this and making his first DCXX contribution a damn good one. Also big thanks to More Than A Witness for delivering the goods on a regular basis. I know I for one have downloaded plenty of great live sets from them and their work is much appreciated. Of course a thanks is also in order to Ian MacKaye for answering Ben’s questions and fronting one of the greatest hardcore bands of all time. -Tim DCXX

Here’s a link to More Than A Witness for said Minor Threat live set, plus other priceless live material:
More Than A Witness

Ian with Minor Threat at Wilson Center, Washington, DC 1981, Photo: Malco23

Hello Ben.

Many thanks for forwarding me the link to the Woodlawn show. I’m fairly certain I have a recording of this show, but it’s always good to grab another one just in case. About a year ago, someone else contacted me about this song (“You Betrayed Me By Growing Up”, or whatever it was going to be called) and I was completely surprised to hear it. I had completely forgotten about it.

It was an unfinished song that I think we decided to try playing out to see how it felt. That’s the only time I think we ever did that song/arrangement, but the lyrics ended up becoming the song “Betray”. (I’ll stick the lyrics below).

I can’t remember why we ditched that music… it was a cool track, but I imagine that it just didn’t make the grade within the band’s collective mind. There were a lot of songs/riffs/arrangements that never made it out of the basement, this is one of the only ones that escaped (albeit to only live a day!).

All the best. Ian

Lyle and Ian with Minor Threat at Wilson Center, Rollins with the sing along, Washington, DC, Spring 1981, Photo: Malco23

You Betrayed Me By Growing Up

Goddammit, we were supposed to stay young
But now it’s over, it’s finished, it’s done
Normal expectations, they were on the run
But now it’s over, it’s finished, it’s done
Maybe it was no one’s fault
I know it wasn’t mine
And now (that you’ve moved along)
And now I’m next in line
You betrayed me by growing up
You betrayed me by growing up
I thought we had the same ideas
But you, you proved me wrong
And now (I’ve been played the fool before)
But never for quite so long
You betrayed me by growing up
You betrayed me by growing up
No, I’ll see you tomorrow
Same channel, same time, same place
I’m not going anywhere
Cause I quit your fucking race
You betrayed me by growing up
You betrayed me by growing up

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chris Daily’s Suicidal Tendencies shirt story

Chris Smorgasbord Daily has no idea we are posting this – but well, we are going to anyways. Tim, Ed, and myself email with Daily all day long at work, and today he sent us this. Sorry Daily, but we thought this was post-worthy. Darren Edgewise then chimed in as well. These are the emails, as written. -Gordo DCXX

I had this shirt.

I got it in probably late ’90 or mid ’91 when Suicidal played at the York Fairgrounds in York, PA. Steve Reddy was living at the Gita Nagari (Hare Krishna Farm) at the time and had not really been off the farm that much. He came down to York to hang out and we went to the show. The Edgewise and Conviction guys came with us. Steve “moshed” at the show and was destroying metal heads left and right – brutal. I remember talking about it after the show and he said he was in “maya” hahaha.

After the show he handed out Prasadam cookies to anyone that would take them. More than one person commented: “Aren’t you the guy that was killing everyone in the pit, and now you are giving us cookies?”

Back to the shirt…I did a stage dive and somehow ended up with this brand new Suicidal shirt in my hand after I landed, and then I danced my way back to the crew along the back of the pit. No idea where it came from or from whom I snatched it. I wore it a handful of times.

(A few minutes later Darren Edgewise sent this:)

I remember security not wanting to let Steve keep the cookies he had with him (carob chip). One security guard told another security guard that they were “hash” cookies and they couldn’t come inside the show. Steve remarked that he was a Hare Krishna and didn’t believe in doing drugs, and showed them his bag or some sort of other Krishna accessory he had with him and they actually let him bring the cookies inside.

I remember the pit being absolutely gigantic and all of us getting down and having a fun time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mike Neider on his BL’AST! recording memories, plus poll wrap up

Who better to wrap up our BL’AST! Album poll results than guitarist Mike Neider himself. My personal vote went to The Power Of Expression for it’s crazy rawness and I know Tim voted the same, but each BL’AST album is an in-your-face wall of sound that never subsides. -Gordo DCXX

The Power Of Expression was our first experience with recording, spending time in the studio, listening to it from the studio, etc. So, we were learning as we went. When we wrote the songs it was not clear who was going to be in the band and we had no idea these songs would actually be a record. It just happened. When we wrote that record we were real young and green in the studio. Putting us in the studio was always awkward, we were such a live band it was kind of like putting a Sunday suit on a kid that didnt like to go to church, haha. That’s why we recorded The Power Of Expression three different times – it took that many times to even get a little satisfied or to try to capture what we wanted. We never even got close to what we wanted or the way we felt live.

The Power Of Expression had three chances. The first POE recording was eye opening. It was kinda like, “whoa this is what we sound like…trip. We can do better.” So the second time we recorded after a show on the graveyard shift in 8 hours. It turned out good but it was real slow. The third time is what we released and still would have liked to do it over but we had no dough and did not want to put any more into it. Times were a bit different back then in the studio at least for us. It was rare and expensive to record. It’s In My Blood and Manic Ride have their own story but we did not get a chance to really capture once again what we wanted.

A raging Mike Neider, photo from Take The Manic Ride

For It’s In My Blood, we were able to do a little more of what we wanted to do and after we made a ghetto box recording we let Greg Ginn hear it and we played him the songs “Sshhhh” and “It’s In My Blood” and he signed us after hearing those songs and seeing ” It’s In My Blood” live. So that was a great thing to us and one of many reasons why I dig this record. Again, there was little time and not much studio experience to capture what it sounded like live. But it sounds rad!

Take The Manic Ride was us falling even more so into our own again, and we got kinda fucked in the studio. We had a small budget and when it was all said and done and ready to mix we realized some messed up compressors and a couple of other things were on while we recorded so we had to release it how it is now. Folks may be tripped out by this, because it a bit cuz its different, but then again thats what BL’AST! liked. But it would be great to re-record that album again and put it out the way it should sound.

Classic Clifford Dinsmore and Dave Cooper with BL’AST!, Photo from POE

After that we recorded some demos post-Manic Ride that took BL’AST! even further into sounds and tunes that we really were into. Never released any yet!

As far as the poll goes that you were doing, for me it would be the opposite of the way they were released. Although I like them all, I would say my favorite is Manic, followed by Blood, followed by Power (although “Nightmare” for me was a rad thing). In terms of album sales, in order from most to least, it was Blood, Power, Manic.

Thanks a lot. -MN

The Power Of Expression – 119
It’s In my Blood –
Take The Manic Ride –

Clifford says, “Ask me why I care, in a world where no one cares…”, Photo from POE

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sammy Siegler on CIV

Opinions on CIV the band both at the time of their existence as well as now are pretty varied. In 1994, amongst the post-HC Revelation/Major Label scene and Lollapalooza/Warped Tour crossover crowd, Walter and the CIV fellas wrote a record of fast hardcore with some catchy pop sensibility, set out on a bunch of shows, and reminded a lot of people that they knew how to PLAY hardcore. Many wrote the band off for their major label ties, big-venue gigs, and even their fashion sense…but that first CIV LP (and the related EPs of the time) contain some straight up gems if you ask me. Fittingly, I think 8 or 9 of those songs could have easily been smash hit GB tunes circa ’88/’89.

Whatever your opinion, I don’t think you can deny Walter as a dude who can craft a song (any style pretty much), nor can you say that Civ, Arthur, Charlie, and Sammy are dudes who don’t know how to really play.

We recently caught up with Sammy to recall the CIV days… -Gordo DCXX

CIV in Japan, Photo: James Perry

I remember Charlie and Walter were living together in Greenwich Village, and the three of us were hanging out a lot. Pizza, bagels, and Kids In The Hall were the norm, and we often kicked around different project ideas, some serious and some not. The most appealing and obvious, was to do a band with Civ. The idea was that GB had been broken up for a few years, Civ is such a talent, some people will probably be interested off the bat, and it was an outlet for us to play the type of hardcore we loved. As well, we wanted to stretch it a bit by adding a pop element.

It was mainly Walter’s concept, he was the ring leader for sure, he was doing Quicksand at the time so I think CIV was a nice way to switch things up for him. Civ the man wasn’t into it being named after himself, but before he knew it we had made t-shirts and had plans. At first it was to be a series of EPs on Revelation with awesome artwork. We did the one, “Can’t Wait One Minute More,” decided to make a video and before we knew it we had a deal with Lava/Atlantic and were making a record. I think the video which our friend Marcos Siega did, really helped the cause. Mike Gitter as well – he was a friend from the hardcore scene and was an A & R guy at Atlantic, he was at the video shoot and really helped things along, and everything seemed to come together pretty quickly.

We had a lot of fun at the early rehearsals, I think I was doing back to back rehearsals at that time in the same studio, so they were long days. I was playing in a band with Ian Love called Loaded, and I think playing with Shelter working on some songs for Mantra (I think). But we had fun, you can hear it on the “Wait” rehearsal off the Discography, we would just bug out, joking a lot. I think we rehearsed for a little under a month and had the whole record written. It was great playing with Charlie, I met him in ’88 on the YOT tour, he’s one of the funniest people I know, he had the metal chops, you can hear it on “Gang Opinion” and a few others. I remember we recorded a Killing Joke tune during our first recording session at Fury’s for the “Wait” EP, I don’t think we finished it though.

As far as how things were written and developed, Walter had the songs, he would bring them in and we would flush them out. I think Charlie had a few riffs, I guess I wrote all my parts, I was always open to ideas, Walter would sometimes have a vision in regards to the drums. I think we would sometimes listen to or discuss songs we loved and try and do something in that vain. Something might have been Minor Threat inspired or even Sex Pistols inspired. Because we all went back as friends, we had some similar references to pull from which made it an easier process. Actually, at some point, Walter was on tour with Quicksand, and he would mail us cassettes of recordings of songs that he would do on the tour bus. The song “Sausages” off the Social Climber EP was a GB song that never got recorded, we got the name from a Kids In The Hall episode I believe.

The LP recording process was fun as hell. We would get large pizzas from Lombardi’s on a regular basis, sit in Don Fury’s dungeon and shred. Don was going through a tricky time in his life I think, he was a lot of fun, but there were a few times when you would have to get him out of bed, and a few no-shows on his behalf, but that was all part of the “magic” I guess.

I remember recording the bulk of my drums to a click track which was a first for me with hardcore, but I liked how tight it made things, the breaks, etc. I think it was a first for Don to record drums outside of his claustrophobic glass bubble drum room that he had. We mixed it with this guy Michel Barbierro who was a bad ass, and the combination of Don’s pretty raw environment and gear and Barbiero’s mixing skills I think made for a really unique sounding record. We mixed it where Public Enemy recorded It Takes A Nation Of Millions, I remember just listening to stories from that session, very funny.

The early CIV shows were awesome, I think our first show was part of a three show run with Orange 9mm and Sick Of It All, in Detroit, Cleveland, and New York, (I think). There was a great show at the Limelight in NY around then as well. We just had a great vibe, we were tight and had all been spending a lot of time together bugging out. It was great playing with Arthur again, he’s an awesome player, and Civ made every moment pretty much hysterical, he can tell a great story.

I remember a show at Coney Island High early on in NY, that was packed and had a great energy. We opened for KISS at MSG and people hated us and we sounded like mud but it was fun. We did some big/bizarre shows with No Doubt, and three adventurous Warped Tours. I think one surprise for me was how successful we were in Japan, we did four tours there I think, Australia, Hawaii.

The bottom line was, it was all a lot of fun.

Sick Of It All, CIV, H20 tour 1995, Photo: Lenny Zimkus

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Frosty’s Shirt Picks

After running the piece on the Chain Of Strength “Has The Edge Gone Dull Shirt,” Tim got a pretty cool email from Frosty. We thought it was definitely post-worthy – and we hope that more people write in with personal favorites (shirts or otherwise) from their own collection. -Gordo DCXX

You seem like you may be a fan/collector of HC shirts so I thought I would share a few of my personal treasures I just dug out of my collection.

After reading your post about your “HTEGD” athletic gray shirt, I remembered about an item I stored away and have held on to for all these years. I decided to look for it in one of my boxes of my t-shirt collection and after a little digging, low and behold, I found it: CHAIN “Has The Edge Gone Dull?” Champion sweatshirt. 1 of 2 made (if my memory serves). It was custom hand screened in ’89 by Tim Singer and Dennis Cheng at Tim’s pad on a gray Champion sweatshirt that I had with me while on tour. They were screening the gray athletic shirts for the upcoming shows of the CHAIN tour (the Cleveland show that S.Wade refers to in the comments section of your post), and did a special one for me on the sweatshirt and also a similar screen on a sweatshirt for Dennis I believe (2 of 2). The screen came out a little light in the center for some reason but I wore the hell out of it back in the day anyways. It has faded out even further over the years and has started to stain and yellow out around a lot of the edges from the age and storage. Back then, it was huge on me, so I cut the bottom to shorten it up a little, hence, why it is all frayed at the bottom.

CHAIN “Has The Edge Gone Dull?” Champion sweatshirt
(1 of 2 ever made)

The other pics are of shirts I found next to the sweatshirt. The white CHAIN logo shirt is one that I kept from the original batch of shirts for CHAIN’s very first show in Pomona, CA with YOT, Underdog, SoulSide, etc. It’s almost mint. It is single sided with the logo on the front. I don’t ever remember wearing it, but it seems small for an unwashed Hanes Beefy Tee XL that never hit the dryer.

Original CHAIN shirt sold at their first show

The Beyond shirt is a hand made ‘tye dye’ shirt that I received in the mail after sending money from Cali to NYC (’88/’89?) for the original demo tape and shirt offer I found in a zine (I can’t remember which one, maybe MRR?) At the time, I didn’t even know what the band was even about but I remeber just hearing that they were killer live and everyone describing them as “the NYC Hardcore version of Embrace.” Much later on, after meeting Vic DiCara and Tom Capone, I remember showing the shirt to Vic after he moved to Cali, and he had remembered him and Tom personally screening that shirt. The shirt still has a lot of sentimental value for me. It has faded out considerably over the years.

Beyond “No Longer At Ease” handmade tie dye shirt

Finally, the Negative Approach shirt was personally given to me as a gift from Porcell while at the Schism aprtment in Brooklyn just hours before CHAIN flew back to Cali from NYC on our first East Coast tour. He also gave me a home screened SSD shirt, and I’ve yet to see any other of its kind. I was unable to find it with these shirts to photograph but I do still have it somewhere in my collection. The NA shirt is classic and, as you can see, was custom cut to his personal liking, as many a SE shirt was done to by everyone at the time. I received it in almost the same condition that you see and it already had heavy road wear. It is starting to stain and discolor even more now from storage. It is very thin. I remember holding and staring at the shirt in the airport until boarding the plane in utter awe as NA (and SSD) were, and are, in my top five HC bands of all time. Again, this shirt holds a huge amount of sentimental value to me.

Porcell’s Negative Approach shirt gifted to Frosty

Hope you enjoy the pics. Some of them came out a little blurry though.


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