ARCHIVES – more older posts (38)
May 17th, 2012 by Larry

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Chain Of Strength – Best Of Times

Chain Of Strength – What Holds Us Apart cover shot from The Anthrax, Norwalk CT, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe

You might have seen some of these classic photos from Chain Of Strength’s “What Holds Us Apart” 7″ or through Dan Rawe’s Flickr account, either way, here they are once again and all in one place. As for the back story on these photos, they come from the collection of Dan Rawe, who was apart of Foundation Records in the late 80’s early 90’s and acquired them through his work with the label. Dan gave us the go ahead to post these here, but I will say that neither us nor Dan is clear on the photo credit for all the photos. If you dig Chain like DCXX digs Chain, you’ll appreciate this. Those were special times, those were our times… -Tim DCXX

Frosty, Alex and Curtis at CBGB, NYC, Photo: Noah Uman

Ryan and Curtis at CBGB, NYC, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe

Alex Pain down on his knees at CBGB, NYC, Photo: John Hiltz

Chris Bratton destroying the kit with Chain, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe

Ryan Hoffman and Alex Pain at CBGB, NYC, Photo: John Hiltz

Ryan and Alex with Chain at Gilman Street, Berkeley CA, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe

Ryan, Curtis and Frosty at CBGB, NYC, Photo courtesy of Dan Rawe

Monday, April 13, 2009

James Damion – Unite Fanzine

Unite Fanzine issue 1

James Unite has been around for a long time – he saw a lot in NYC from the mid 1980s until the present day, and has kept Unite Fanzine alive in some form or another. A true “fan” in every sense of the word, we couldn’t help but want to get some of his memories on here, and we hope there will be much more to come from him. This is the first part of our interview with him. Be sure to check out Unite online at:

You seem to have been a NYC staple, when exactly did you get into the scene, and who were your close friends or “crew” to speak of?

I got into Hardcore rather slowly. It was around ’85 and I had a lot of older friends that were either Punk or into Hardcore. They would come back from the city with these wild stories about the lower east side and the matinees down at CBGB’s. I wasn’t old enough to get in to CB’s but I started venturing down to Some Records and hanging out. I tried to get into CBGB’s numerous times but there was this mean old lady named Connie who would check my fake ID (I had a really bad one), grab me by the collar and throw me out. Civ, who was like an older brother to me (we called one another cousins from early childhood), gave me the first Token Entry 7 inch and I bought a bunch of 7 inches from Duane at Some Records. I didn’t need any coaxing from there. I was in for life.

Early on my closest friends were the older kids at McClancy High School. There was a small group of us who were into Hardcore and hung out 24/7. There was Civ, Walter, Gus SXE and Dan Zik along with a bunch of other kids who seemed to gather around the Laundromat where Civ worked. It seemed everyone was really close at the time. They were all older by a year or two and I guess I was learning from them. When I interviewed Gus over this past summer it brought back a lot of memories. It’s funny but it looked like half of the people on the cover of “The Way It Is” were from our neighborhood and went to McClancy.

As we went out to more shows we met more people. I was friends with everyone from the bouncers at CBGB’s to the bands to the kids who came to shows religiously. I was hanging out with straight edge kids in Long Island and Skinheads in New Jersey. I wrote back and forth with people who did fanzines across the country and in Europe.

Wally with Gorilla Biscuits at CBGB, NYC, Photo: James Unite

As far as crews, I have always seen myself as the quintessential outsider. I spent a lot of time with Gorilla Biscuits and interviewed a lot of the SXE bands of that time but I never felt like I was part of that scene. I always felt like an outsider. I was very close with DMS in the early years. Those were my brothers in every sense of the word. I spent a good part of my young years hanging out with them. Partying with them and eating in their homes. But I never subscribed to the violence or the tough guy image that was portrayed. I left all of that behind when three of my friends including my absolute best friend murdered that guy in the park. That was an event that changed my life forever and haunts me to this day. It was tragic in every sense of the word.

I hung out with everyone and got along with everyone. I was never SXE in the purest sense but I think I always identified with and respected that idea most. I was first inspired by bands like Minor Threat and 7 Seconds and still am to this day.

I honestly don’t think I interact well in groups anyway. One on one I am a pretty cool person but put me in any group situation and I get lost.

When did Unite Fanzine start? What made you want to do a zine, and what were you doing at that point in time as a hardcore kid? Can you give a full run down on each issue with all the details?

I think I started working on Unite in the spring of ’88. It was my senior year and I had already been into Hardcore for a few years. I was actively going to shows and had done about eight issues of another zine called Boredom. By the eighth issue I had really focused my attention towards NYHC and did interviews with bands like Gorilla Biscuits, Our Gang, All For One and a bunch of local Queens bands. My perspective had changed along with my lifestyle and experiences. I graduated High School and was offered the opportunity to share a house with Civ, Walter Schriefels and Alan Cage. It was a new beginning for me and a new zine with a more focused approach seemed fitting.

During that time I was going to every show I could get my hands on. I was working on the zine and trying to promote some local bands I had become friends with. I was hanging out at the rehearsal studios and from time to time I would bring records up to Spermicide and Johnny Stiff at WNYU’s Crucial Chaos. In all seriousness, “Hardcore” was my life.
The blueprint for Unite was pretty basic. Five interviews per issue with both established acts and upcoming ones. I felt that everyone was interviewing the big bands and I wanted to give some of the newer ones a shot to be heard. Each issue also featured record, demo and show reviews amongst other things.

Late 80’s Lower East Side, NYC hang out session, Photo: James Unite

There were so many reasons I wanted to do Unite. I was in love with the music and I felt like I was really a part of something important. Back then you didn’t buy your Hardcore culture at Hot Topic or google it on your laptop. It was very grass roots and very communal. Doing a fanzine was a way of contributing and doing my part in a sense. Not just sitting back and waiting for the world to come to me.

Doing the first issue was awesome. It was supposed to be a team effort. I was going to work with this girl Aziza. When she gave me $20 for printing the first issue I knew our partnership was done. I asked Civ to make me a logo since I had absolutely zero talent in the art department. He was already an amazing artist and he was right in the next bedroom. It was a no brainer.

The first issue featured Youth of Today (I interviewed Walter and Sammy in the CBGB’s record canteen amidst the sound of construction and buzzsaws), and also Underdog who were one of my absolute favorite HXC bands. There was also Breakdown, Unholy Alliance (featured members of Murphy’s Law, Terminal Confusion and Something Else) and an up and coming band called Fit Of Anger.

The second issue was a major improvement in every aspect. The first three bands were no brainers since I was living with half of Gorilla Biscuits and Insted and No For An Answer were camped out in our living room at different times. I also threw in a skinhead band called Stand Proud and a really good Punk band called Dog Tired. I think the second issue is the one most people identify with.

By the time the third issue came around I had already taken a much-needed hiatus and the scenery had changed drastically. For that issue I changed a lot of things including the layout. I also added a lot more of myself in opinion and style. That issue featured interviews with Krakdown, GO, The Fiendz, Lucy Brown and one other I can’t put my finger on. It was a very short run and I don’t think a whole lot of people saw it or even cared.

A few years later I layed the groundwork for a fourth issue. I had just reconnected with my cousin. I wanted something that would really make a dent. I did in-depth interviews with Quicksand, Girls Against Boys, The Melvins, Jawbox, Small 23 and a slew of other bands that were making the indie scene at the time. I also did some different interviews with filmmakers and photographers. This time the zine would have more interesting layouts as opposed ot the cut and paste style I was used to doing. Midway through production my cousin Amy was killed in a car accident. It killed me inside and I just left those interviews to collect dust until last year. That’s when I started laying them out and created the Unite site.

A year or so later I started writing regularly for Guillotine magazine, which was really one of the springboards for me in the first place. I wrote for Wendy and Don from 1995-1999.

Timmy Chunks with Token Entry at CBGB, NYC, Photo: James Unite

What shows from that time period stick out as the most memorable? What bands in particular were your favorites, and what can you specifically recall about seeing some of your favorite shows?

The things that stand out the most are the early shows. There were so many. The most memorable wasn’t even a show. It was my birthday party. I was just turning 16 and at that time Gorilla Biscuits were just getting off the ground. It was right after their first demo and about a month before their debut at CBGB’s. I rented the wreck room in my apartment and asked them to play. It probably means nothing to them but to me it meant the world. How many kids can say Gorilla Biscuits played their birthday party? This was just before Arthur and Luke joined the band. They had GM2 on drums and Joe Scibaris on Bass. They sold these oversized homemade GB shirts that had a gorilla on a skateboard. The color was this hideous Day-Glo blue and the ink ran after one wash.

One show that really sticks in my mind was “The Birth of Unity” benefit at the Right Track Inn in Long Island. There were so many great bands on that bill. Gorilla Biscuits, Bold, Death Before Dishonor. The list goes on. I remember Luke Abbey’s band Loud and Boisterous were there. It was a great show and I remember talking about it for weeks.

The “Pete’s Sake” benefit which was a fund for Pete Koller (Sick of it All) who had gotten into some trouble at a prior show. There were so many great bands there.

Richie with Into Another at CBGB, NYC, Photo: James Unite

The Anthrax shows were always a blast. I would drive GB out in my two tone blue Ford Maverick. I was a terrible driver and anyone in GB can attest to that. There was this one Anthrax show with GB and Killing Time where the crowd was going nuts. At one point I think Alex hit Civ on stage and later Civ lost his pants and was out there in his boxers.

On my prom night me and my date Laura skipped the event early to go to the Superbowl of Hardcore at the Ritz. I remember a lot of good bands playing that night. Supertouch were amazing and the Bad Brains were just on another planet altogether.

That “live at CBGB’s” record that Agnostic Front recorded. The place was so packed with bodies and everyone thought they were going to drown in sweat.

As for the bands there were just so many that were amazing. Straight Ahead were one of the greatest bands to ever play live. Judge was so powerful, dark, and in a sense spiritual…a band I still listen to daily. I loved Token Entry and Underdog. I thought Richie had the best voice in Hardcore. That was a band I would go see anywhere anytime. Gorilla Biscuits took it to another level for me though. I’ve seen them more than any other band in my life and they never let me down. Civ had an amazing stage presence and a great rapport with the crowd. Couple that with Walter’s songwriting and musicianship you couldn’t go wrong.

In the 90s the New Jersey shows really stand out. The basement shows, the shows that Jon Hiltz would put on at his house. There were bands like Mouthpiece, Resurrection, Burn and No Escape that renewed my faith in HXC. The shows at Middlesex College stand out too. That was long before I moved to New Jersey. I had no idea where I was but I had such great times.

O.T. Crew, NYC, Photo: James Unite

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Poll results for favorite Double Cross features over the past year

Djinji with Absolution, Photo: Dave Sine

I threw this poll together more or less just to gauge what features the readers seem to appreciate the most here. That’s not to say that we’re now only going to run interviews and that we’re going to ditch all video posts from here on out, but it’s nice to know what the readers think.

Personally my vote would go to the interviews as well, but I think the combination of different features is what makes Double Cross interesting and somewhat unique. Between the various people that we’re able to pull out of the wood work and interview, the stories and other guest contributed pieces and the incredible photos that people like Ken Salerno, Dave Sine and many others keep pumping into our inbox, it all goes hand in hand.

So thanks to the readers who keep coming back, thanks to the contributors and let’s hope our second year of Double Cross is just as strong if not stronger than our first. -Tim DCXX

The interview – 134
The stories – 91
The photos – 44
The guest contributors – 30
The videos – 2

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pat Longrie part II

Pat Longrie stage diving for T.S.O.L., Photo courtesy of: Pat Longrie

We bring you more of Billy Rubin’s tell-all with Pat Longrie. Top drawer material here, I think we can further pencil him in as one of the pioneers in the “positive” Straight Edge scene… -Gordo DCXX

Where did you draw influence from? What came first in your universe, punk rock or straight edge? Did you realize at the time that you were a part of a movement (punk or straight edge) or was it something else?

My Father had the most profound impact on my life. He was/is a charismatic, larger than life character that taught me to be strong and humble. His anthem was pretty simplistic: turn and face the storm. So it wasn’t a far stretch for me as I entered high school to be able to brush aside peer pressure and all its pitfalls. Being a parent now myself, I am thankful to my Father for instilling this gift in me as I pass it along to my kids. It isn’t how others view you that really matters, it’s how you view yourself. Everything else should then take care of itself.

Punk Rock and all its wonderful angst captivated me first but it was the positive promise of the straight edge moniker that strangled me and made the music truly my own. It instantly made sense to me. Minor Threat’s first single spoke directly to me. I didn’t drink or do drugs and frankly was never interested in being accepted for my beliefs before the D.C. push, so hearing like-thinking lyrics just reinforced my stance. Between Unity, Uniform Choice, and Wishingwell I was able to channel my natural adolescent confusions in a clear, focused, positive direction. I wrote lyrics that meant something to me. I wrote and received hundreds of letters from all types of people who were feeling the same sorts of feelings that I was.

Pat Longrie overlooking Parliament from Chain Bridge, Budapest 2009, Photo courtesy of: Pat Longrie

I wrote to Maximum R&R stating that I wouldn’t jump on the band wagon of those ripping on their families and perpetuating the stereotypical “Punk” mentality of destruction and chaos. I loved my Mother and Father and I wanted people to know that I wasn’t afraid to print it. So that lead to the Unity songs “Love” and “You Are One”. The summer between my junior and senior year in high school my buddy Pete Ross and I drove to Reno, Nevada to hang with my friends Kevin and Steve from the legendary band 7 Seconds. Follow me because this story hits it right on the button. I had corresponded with Kevin for a bit and we had exchanged a couple letters. When we arrived basically unannounced to visit, they not only let us stay in their home (incidentally Ma Seconds also lived there because we were all still kids), but insisted we stay in their room while they slept on the couches. Great people. In fact, Pete and I roadied for them a couple of days later at their show in Salt Lake City, Utah with Pushead’s band Septic Death. Solid people with solid foundations.

Like so many other people, I embraced the responsibilities that came with being a part of a growing audience. For me it was a very humbling circumstance. Believing in something and watching it grow was overwhelming. The things I thought about and were troubled by as a kid (school, parental control issues, girls, drinking and drug use) were being talked about by thousands of others. I was a bit player, but it sure helped with my “personal” problems of teenage life to know others were experiencing the same kinds of pressures. I can’t emphasize enough how the punk forum was instrumental in my life choices…period. It was never about notoriety or money for me, ever. It was about fellowship. It may sound corny to some but I really don’t care. I carry the same conclusions I drew as a 16 year old, shaved headed straight edged punk with me today and no amount of revisionary rhetoric will ever take that from me.

Misfits at Bob’s place, Compton CA, Photo: Pat Longrie

Were there certain bands or events (shows) that really stand out to you as pivotal experiences?

I was very fortunate to be able to meet and watch bands that had an impact on my life. 1982 tough to top Social Distortion, the Misfits and the Necros at “Bob’s Place” in downtown Compton…the hood of hoods! No stage, no problem. I was 5 feet away from Jerry Only in all his gothic glory when he got so pissed off at a kid that kept bumping into his bass while he was playing (remember, no stage or security) that he grabbed his skull decorated bass guitar in mid-song and two hand smashed it over the kids head! Blood everywhere, and as I was walking out after the show, basking in the glory of having seen such great bands in such a small, bizarre setting I noticed that all along the street EVERY single car had their window smashed and their stereo stolen, including mine.

The Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, MDC and the Zero Boys played a show at “Old Town” in Westminster, California in 1983…the most powerful, electric, eclectic bill I ever saw. Old Town was where the Oktoberfest festival occurred each year so it was, to say the least, an odd partnership to begin with. The Zero Boys from Indiana were smoking. I had never heard of them before but they ripped. MDC was fantastic. Minor Threat was it. It was the first time that I saw them live and they were untouchable. Clean, smooth, raw and aware. Four pretty good words to describe something that was pretty much indescribable. Tough to follow that but Jello Biafra and the DK’s were captivating. Alexander Haig this and Ronald Reagan that…Jerry Brown, Vietnam, the Moral Majority…and that was in Jello’s opening dialogue! It was the show of shows for me. I have so many more memories like these. Like I said earlier, I consider myself very fortunate, indeed.

Minor Threat at the Cathay de Grande, Photo: Pat Longrie

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Chris Leach on Pressure Release memories

Chris Leach stepping in for guest vocals with Pressure Release, Photo: Joe Snow

It’s been awhile since we’ve had any Pressure Release content, so we got an old Pressure Release crew member named Chris Leach to drop by. Both he and his brother Jeff were practically the 5th and 6th members of the band, and witnessed almost all of the band’s short history. As Chris said to me, “These are just one old fart’s recollections of his glory days in the hardcore scene.” Even if so, I thought they were pretty cool.
-Gordo DCXX

I knew Doug and Tom before they were in the band from skateboarding. We used to skate and listen to music. I was in 11th grade and they were in 10th grade. We were all into the great skate and hardcore bands at the time. Punk and skateboarding went hand in hand in those days. We were really into Fear, Agent Orange, JFA, etc. I was into punk before I was into hardcore and I think those guys were as well.

Around 1987-1988 the”Second” wave of hardcore hit the Connecticut/NYC area. It seemed like overnight bands like Youth of Today, Crippled Youth, (BOLD), Up Front, Wide Awake, Aware, etc. just blew up. Also, a ton of killer bands formed around NYC. Breakdown, which formed around then were a huge influence on a lot of bands at the time. Anyway, it seemed like Tom always had a new demo of every great band coming out at the time. We traded music and skated. Doug was also in my high school math class. My brother Jeff was the same age as them, he hung out with them as well. He later went on to form a band with Tom. The band was called Funhouse but they were not a hardcore band. My bro played drums for them.

I really don’t remember the first show of theirs I saw. I think it may have been in Rye, New York with Breakdown. It was at a rec center and it was really small. They went on to play tons of shows I saw at the Anthrax.

Any of the shows at the Anthrax were always good. They played a lot of shows with all the big HC/Youth Crew bands at the time: YOT, Bold, Wide Awake. I do remember a fun show at the Anthrax when they played with this rad band called Inside Out (not the California band). They had two singers and were real heavy with a kind of rap style. Anyway, I was on the shoulders of this huge skinhead dude friend of mine. I was squirting this Uzi water gun around the pit. When I got off the dudes shoulders somebody tackled me from behind. We scuffled for a bit and then the guy took off. He later came up to me and said he was sorry. I said, “no worries” to the dude. The dude turned out to be Roger, the new singer for Up Front. We were totally cool after that. I always loved the dudes from Up Front. Hope you fellas are well!

Tom and Doug with Pressure Release, Photo: Joe Snow

I always liked the X Marks the Spot seven incher the best. Good stuff from all the bands on that. I have two copies of that record. I saved all of my music from that era. Funny story about my records: I moved to California about two years ago. I was having a party and this dude who came over was looking at my records. He said he used to be into the same style of hardcore back in the day. He asked me, “Did you ever hear of a band called Grudge?” I said, “Yeah, they were a joke band that ripped off Judge from NYC.” He said, “Dude, that was me, I was the singer!” We laughed our asses off. I said to him that I was a fan of the “OC GarbEDGE” and his 7 inch was on “Piss yellow vinyl.”

What was so funny is that back then a lot of people took the whole straight edge thing very seriously. If you were in a band that joked about it a lot of dudes took it personally. There was a band at the time called Crucial Youth. They were like the Ultimate straight edge band, but it was all a big joke. They were funny as hell, but a lot of dudes could not roll with that kind of humor.

To be honest, I did not like the seven inch. They were starting to experiment with a different sound. At the time, I was really set in my ways of what I thought hardcore “should” sound like. I was very closed minded and did not like it at all. Looking back, I give them respect for trying to do something out of the norm because hardcore and punk music is about ideas as much as it is about musical notes and chords.

Pressure Release practices were FUN with a capital F. They used to practice at Doug’s parents house in the basement. He lived in this huge house. He had a rad quarterpipe in his driveway and we would skate and chill. He also had a pool that you could go swimming in. As for the practices, Tom ran the show. He had the most musical skills of the whole band. They had this dude Sam playing guitar with them for a bit. He was a cool dude from NYC but he was not playing that well and they threw him out. I actually tried to start a band with him but it never developed.

Tye was a killer drummer and was into a lot of different types of music. Alex was like the artist of the band. He was into a lot of different types of philosophies and movements at the time and that creativity crept into his music. He was the first dude I met in the HC scene that was a vegetarian. They practiced pretty much every week. Doug would lose his voice a lot and they told him not to yell at full strength all the time. One other thing that I remember was that there were girls hanging out all the time. I used to hang with my first gal at those Pressure Release gatherings, so I guess I should give them props for that!

I really don’t know why they broke up. None of the bands at the time seemed to stay together for that long. They just went in different directions I guess. Tom and my brother formed Funhouse after Pressure Release broke up. Alex played in Burn for a while. I went to college in 1989 and did not see or hang with any of those guys for a long time after that. I was really hurt when Doug passed away. He was turning into a killer snowboarder and we all could not believe it when he passed. I went to his wake and it was just unreal to be there.

Rest In Peace, Doug.

Doug with Pressure Release, Photo: Joe Snow

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Swiz – Ghost In The Mirror

Personally I don’t spend a whole lot of time on YouTube, but I could easily be in the minority here. Not that there isn’t a million great videos on there, it’s just that for me it’s a bit overwhelming which leads me to look at two videos and sign off. Either way, from time to time I come across an exceptional video that I’d like to put up here for others to enjoy. Here’s a great one from Swiz. – Tim DCXX

Monday, April 6, 2009

Jay Laughlin – Turning Point part II

Turning Point at Kennett Square, Photo: Sue Cosby

Here’s part two of our extensive interview with Turning Point guitarist, Jay Laughlin. We’re also currently talking with Turning Point’s bassist, Nick Grief, so expect to see him chiming in within the near future. Now the curtain falls… -Tim DCXX

Turning Point started with us practicing at Ken’s parents’ house in Tabernacle, NJ. He had a garage and his parents were totally cool with us making noise and jumping around the place. That became our spot in the early days. Pretty much right off the bat, the idea as far as our “style/sound” was what we were hearing coming out of NY at the time. We definitely were focused in that direction. We were following everything that was coming out, and we had been for a while.

I remember we would drive right to the Philly Record Exchange anytime we knew a new seven inch was being released. I never bought a record myself, because the other guys bought everything and I hung out with them all the time so I didn’t have to. We’d get a parking spot and then Ken, Skip and whoever else was jammed into the car at the time would take off running to the store to try and claim whatever new shit was coming out that week, as they usually only had one or two copies of the stuff we wanted by the time us Jersey kids had a chance to get there. If Ken got the last seven inch, Skip would get so fucking pissed. It was really pretty funny to watch as I just strolled down the street to the store.

We loved the Revelation stuff, the other NYC stuff, straight edge stuff, pretty much anything hardcore and/or punk. We knew what we wanted to do with Turning Point. I knew I wanted to see a TP seven inch on the wall at the Philly record exchange.

Pointless was way more loose and not as focused. We were so young when we were doing Pointless, we actually had a song about why we hated Wawa because it was “way up town”, and another song called “Go To School” about how much we hated going to school! Pretty deep shit. Turning Point was really an idea to go in the direction of stuff we were really digging at that time. It wasn’t like we wanted to imitate anything, it was just a natural result of what we were into.

Ken and Jay strike a pose, Photo courtesy of: TP

As far as the song writing went, I would write some guitar riffs on this shitty acoustic guitar I had that was missing the high E string due to the tuning peg being broken, and would bring them into practice and then we would piece the little bits I had into songs as a band. Here was the formula as I remember it at the time: Hit some open chords with some fast drumming so you could jump around, play a riff to the fast beat so Skip could sing, and then slow it down for a second so you could mosh to it. Repeat the whole thing and bang! You had a song. It was that simple.

Of course you could hear the NYHC influence which was definitely going to happen with as much as we were listening to that stuff, but for me personally I have to say one band I was way into at the time and had actually seen live the most was Verbal Assault. I was just trying to do what their guitar player was doing. Out of all the hardcore bands I had seen in those early days he was the one player I thought was really “playing” the guitar, not just smashing some power chords out of a Marshall stack like I was at the time. I wanted to play like him for sure.

We recorded the demo in 1988 at the same studio we used for the Pointless demos. It was in this guy Bill Kribben‘s basement. He was my drum teacher that I started going to in the 5th grade. The guy was a fucking music virtuoso. He’d be upstairs playing classical piano when I’d show up for my lesson and then he’d be downstairs in the studio space playing drums with one hand while jamming the keyboard with the other, then killing the guitar the next minute. He was a pretty way out there guy for a 5th grader to hang out with. He really was some kind of weird genius.

He’d give lessons during the day and he was actually a professional gambler at night: meaning rich people would give him a couple grand that he’d take to Atlantic City and gamble with and take a cut of the winnings. I’m pretty sure he was a card counter and eventually got banned from all the casinos. He used to try and get me into Ti-Chi and meditation too. Looking back on it now, he was probably pretty stoned during my lessons, but who knows. He was an all around awesome guy. He really is responsible for me getting into recording, too.

Turning Point tearing it up, Photo courtesy of: TP

At my lessons he would teach me some weird 5/4 drum beat and all of a he’d strap on his guitar, hit record on his ¼ inch reel to reel and just start jamming with me with his eyes closed, for like ten minutes. I didn’t know what the fuck was going on, but I’d be super stoked when he’d hit play on the tape machine and I could hear my playing come back at me on the speakers. Looking back on it now, they were pretty cool lessons. It was more like a jam session then a “lesson”.

I’ll never forget when we did the first Pointless demo, our guitar player Ed kept hitting the high E sting while we were recording and it sounded shitty so Bill actually put tape on the G, B, and E strings so they would be muted as Ed never played those strings anyway. He was cracking up about it at my next drum lesson. So when Turning Point had enough tunes to make a demo we went straight to Bill’s studio and I’m pretty sure we recorded the whole thing in a couple of hours including mixing – and without tape on my guitar strings.

At the time, I thought the demo was great. We all did and we were pretty psyched on it. The response to the demo was good too. We got a decent amount of orders for it, not tons, but I definitely remember going to the post office quite a bit. It was just a fun thing. I thought Skip’s voice was great. He was made to sing hardcore. He was a little dude, but he had a very powerful voice. And for me switching from the drums to being a guitar player was way easy with Ken because he was really fucking good. He was a left handed drummer that played his kit set up for a right handed player and he some how made it work to his advantage.

Our first show after the demo was awesome. It was the Kennett Square show (all the pictures on the TP seven inch are from that show). We had no idea what to expect. We started playing, and everyone knew all the words from the demo, which hadn’t been out that long. It was insane. The people running the show were going to try to shut it down, they didn’t want people moshing. I have a hard time thinking that some shitty, part time music venue could be shut down due to some young kids jumping around the joint. After the show we were like, “holy shit this is cool! Let’s keep doing this!”

A little while after the demo, Steve Crudello came in and joined us on second guitar. He was a good friend of Lee‘s (vocalist on the 2nd Pointless demo). I really liked the idea of two guitars to fill the sound out and make us sound bigger live. Steve was from Ocean City, so he didn’t live right near us, but it seemed to work. That was right before we did the seven inch.

Early Turning Point with an X’ed up Skippy, Photo courtesy of: TP

Sunday, April 5, 2009

West Coast Weekend 2009 wrap up

Dan O’Mahoney with Carry Nation at the Chain Reation, Photo: N Napolitano

Here’s a quick overview / highlight of my west coast weekend trip that went down from March 20th through March 23rd. My original intent was to check out the No For An Answer reunion on the 22nd, but the trip really turned into much, much more than that. Out of all my trips to California, this was most definitely the best so far. Thanks to all those that helped create the memories that will last a lifetime (Larry, Mandel, Rich and Steve Insted, Big Frank, Roa, HC Dan, Joe Nelson, Igby, Jordan, etc.). -Tim DCXX

Friday March 20th, 2009

Round trip tickets from Philadelphia International Airport to LAX for $214

Stayed with friends Larry Ransom and Dave Mandel. Larry was my chauffeur for the weekend.

Soy Turkey at Jan’s, Photo: Tim DCXX

Saturday March 21st, 2009

Large soy turkey with avocados, lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes and facon bacon bits all nicely placed together on two slices of fresh whole wheat bread at Jan’s Health Bar in Huntington Beach. Walked the main drag of Huntington Beach after lunch and checked out a few surf shops and skate shops.

Hung out at Rich from Insted’s place with Rich and Steve Insted plus Big Frank Harrison and talked about Carry Nation, Goldenvoice productions, Fenders shows, gangs and violence at shows and of course Chain Of Strength.

Roa, Dan, Mandel, Larry and me at Mandel’s, Photo: Dave Mandel

Met up with Jon Roa (Justice League / End To End) and Dan Rawe (Foundation Records) at Mandel and Larry’s place. Roa pulled out a big fish eye mirror for taking photos in to. Talked hardcore for hours. Everything from Roa’s early 80’s punk days, to early Youth Of Today west coast tour stories, to roadying for Chain Of Strength to his love for Refused and Botch.

Sunday March 22nd, 2009

Took a trip with Larry and Joe Nelson (Sloth Crew, Insted roadie, Triggerman, etc.) to Hollywood. Joe gave us a grand tour of South Central LA’s gang land, checked out the intersection of Florence and Normandie where truck driver Reginald Denny was pulled from his truck and nearly beaten to death during the LA riots of 1992. Ate lunch at Astro Burger, a fast food restaurant in Hollywood with a full selecetion of vegetarian options. Stopped by the Hollywood Forever cemetery and checked out Mel Blanc, Johnny Ramone and De De Ramone’s graves. Hit Amoeba Records. Drove into Pasadena to check out some of the filming locations for the 1978 horror classic, Halloween.

Mel Blanc’s grave, That’s all folks, Photo: Tim DCXX

Johnny Ramone’s grave, photo: Tim DCXX

The original Myers house from Halloween, Photo: Tim DCXX

Joe Nelson at the Halloween hedges, Photo: Tim DCXX

Went to the show, saw a ton of old faces that I hadn’t seen in years. Joe Foster (Unity, Ignite), Brett and Zoli from Ignite, Met DCXX contributor and Half Off / Haywire frontman Billy Rubin, as well as John Bruce and Vadim Rubin from Haywire. Ran into Steve from Unbroken, Andrew from Strife and some of the old Strife crew, D.C. transplant Tru Pray, Igby, Matt and Reid and most of the other 1134 / Huntington Beach crew, Steve Hertz, Marlon, Gavin Ogelsby, Issac Chorus, Casey Jones and of course Rich and Steve Insted, Big Frank, Joe Nelson and The Jake as well as a ton of others.

Casey Jones, Billy Rubin, David “Igby” Sattanni and Big Frank Harrison, Photo courtesy of: Billy Rubin

Saw most of Ice, definitely an entertaining set. Headfirst sounded great and I was stoked to hear all the “Back In Control” 7″ songs played live. Blackspot played with 3 guitarists and were heavy as all hell. Chris Lohman from Blackspot switched from guitar to vocals and sang a great Collateral Damage song. Chorus Of Disapproval were good and really got the crowd moving. No For An Answer took the stage last and tore through a bunch of the 7″ songs and a few LP songs. Dan O kept his stage banter to a minimum, but of course dropped some witty talk here and there. Towards the middle or later part of the NFAA set, Big Frank and Steve Insted walked on stage, Casey and John stepped off and next thing you knew, Carry Nation was tearing into a 3 song set. “Protect and Serve”, “Temple Walls” and “Grave Mistake” made up the Carry Nation set. Carry Nation sounded great and their set was a nice bonus.

Monday March 23rd, 2009

Hit Jan’s one more time with Larry and Dan Rawe. Cruised out to Rev HQ. Met up with Igby and Jordan at Rev and were pointed in the direction of some portfolio cases that were jam packed with original Revelation record layouts as well as a filing cabinet with each releases photos and artwork kept in folders. Spent hours meticulously going through each folder and shooting photos of their contents. Seeing stuff like the original cut and paste layouts for the Side By SIde, No For An Answer and Chain Of Strength 7″s, piles of BOLD photos that were never used on “Speak Out”, original Gorilla Biscuits label artwork and unused photos, Judge “The Storm” 7″ original photos and art, the Supertouch LP designed as a gate fold with a load of great photos that were never used… the list just goes on and on. Jordan Cooper was walking around with an original 12″ GI Joe doll and taking pictures of it for an upcoming Rev project.

Original Sick Of It All 7″ cover photo: Photo: Tim DCXX

Original No For An Answer “You Laugh” 7″ paste up lyric sheet, Photo: Tim DCXX

Burn 7″ mock ups, sketches and notes, Photo: Tim DCXX

Split Rev HQ and stopped at a burrito place called Secret Spot that has a great vegetarian turkey with BBQ sauce, cheese and potatoes burrito. Bought burritos to go for Larry, Rich Insted and myself and swung by Rich’s place one more time to eat and hang. Rich also gave me access to a box he had tucked away in a spare room that was full of Insted stuff. There were photos in there, flyers, tour itineraries, records, all kinds of great Insted history. I also sifted through Rich’s record collection and then into his garage to get a look at more of his record collection, some old and new skateboard decks and piles of cds from pretty much everything Rich has been apart of. We spent about an hour and half here and then we had to roll.

Pat Dubar (UC) and Rich Labate (Insted), Photo: Larry Ransom

Shot back to Mandel’s house, picked up my bags and headed off to LAX to fly out at 10:30 PM.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pat Longrie – Unity / Uniform Choice

Bad Religion, Vandals, Hellations show, Pat Longrie skanking it up in the Fear gear, Photo courtesy of: Pat Longrie

Double Cross has given us an excuse to hear from people that we otherwise would feel kinda stalkerish just writing and quizzing for our own amusement. Getting in touch with Billy Rubin is cool as hell as it is. But Billy has gone beyond that, providing us with great info, great stories, and great contacts. The most recent contact has been with Unity/UC drummer Pat Longrie, who he has interviewed for us. Talk about a hook up!

I didn’t know what to expect in Pat Longrie’s answers, but I was floored, and I think you might be, too. I’m gonna say that this is shaping up to be one of my favorite interviews ever, and places Longrie squarly as one of the coolest guys to ever exist in the HC scene. I know hardcore to many has been just about music. It’s pretty incredible to see that years and years later, to Pat Longrie it goes so far beyond that. PMA man…
-Gordo DCXX

I was 15 years old when I actually started to go to shows, but I began listening to the music about a year earlier. I remember my Uncle Bart laughing with my Father at the dinner table about how he was in San Francisco visiting his sister when the Sex Pistols came to town. He regretted not buying one of their pink tour shirts and commented on how bizarre the whole “Punk” scene was to him.

Shows in 1981-82 were a spectacle of power and pain. The atmosphere was explosive. I remember just walking around and watching people between sets and marveling at the diversity. Long hairs, skin heads, athletes, bikers and grown adults with their young children…it was like being at a human carnival. Fist fights were common place and anticipated. When you’re a kid, being away from the control of your parents is an exhilarating experience. With gained independence come choices. I remember being at my first actual “Hollywood” concert in Feb. 1982 at the Palladium. The bill was TSOL, Adolescents, Wasted Youth, Social Distortion and Youth Brigade. The Stern brothers and their BYO (better youth organization) put on the show and it was on a Thursday night…needless to say I got back home at about 5:00am to my Father waiting by the front door, but it was worth it.

Five minutes after we arrived to the show there was a knife fight in the outer hall. After the security broke everything up it was as if it never happened…business as usual. The bizarre thing about it was that wasn’t even the most memorable part of the evening. I watched John Macias from Circle One…with his bleached yellowish Mohawk, leather jacket, plaid pants and humungous black boots climb up the 20 foot high P.A. columns on the side of the stage during I believe TSOL’s set, and do three complete flips into the crowd and land on a guy’s head feet first! I swear the kid was dead. I watched as two security guards dragged the kid out by his arms with his tongue hanging out of this mouth. From that moment I was hooked. Like I said earlier…a human carnival.

The Orange County Hardcore Scene was a bit different from the L.A. scene in the fact that the participants were generally younger. That did not mean it was any less violent. The skin heads were always causing problems. The music was secondary to the inevitability of fighting. Generally it was at the expense of someone with longer hair or the poor unfortunate that happened to bump into or land on a skin near the front of the stage.

As the Straight Edge Movement began to gain momentum, however, there was an abrupt switch in the overall feelings at the shows. It was a kind of uplifting ground swell of camaraderie. The crowds were larger but they were more positive in nature. The pits were vicious but I can remember helping people up who had fallen and in turn being helped up. Looking back, it was much more fun to be a part of something rather than many parts of a whole. In other words, the movement had meaning.

There were many different interpretations, but they all lead to a positive, anti-obsession anthem that I still carry with me to this day. The basic tenets for me are pretty simple…I won’t be pressured into doing anything that I know is wrong simply because someone else isn’t strong enough to say no. I always knew who I was and I surrounded myself with like thinking individuals who had something to say and weren’t afraid to listen! I had friends that drank and smoked, they just knew better than to try and push it on me. That didn’t mean I shunned them…it was understood that I didn’t want any part of that aspect of their life. Simply put, there are no answers…only choices.

To be continued…

Social Distortion / Shattered Faith show, Longrie in the crowd, Photo courtesy of: Pat Longrie

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lars Weiss – Part III

Lars with Uppercut at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno

Here it is, the third and final entry from our interview with NYHC guitarist Lars Weiss. Thanks to Lars for giving us his time and sharing his memories. Don’t forget to check out Lars’s latest endeavor, Roughstars. -Tim DCXX

After Judge I went back to Uppercut for a few months and then we wrapped it up. We played our last show at City Gardens that fall after the Judge tour. I got to play bass on a Killing Time European tour in 1992. Anthony couldn’t do it, so Dave from Vision sang. So much fun. Years before I had also played one of the Superbowls at the Ritz with Raw Deal. Arthur from GB also played bass with them. A few guys played bass with them over the years. The dude Alex Gopoian who I replaced on the 1992 tour was from Inside Out NY. Alex couldn’t do that tour because he was in a live hip hop band called Justice System that was signed to MCA and had to devote his time to that. That band was sick…nothing ever happened for them.

It psyches me up so much to know people dig Raw Dead/KT and that they are loved by so many people. I mean, I grew up with those guys, that’s where I was from. I think it’s so cool that they became such an important band. I looked up to those guys (and still do). I still remember when Breakdown played CB’s for the first time (opening for Uniform Choice!) There’s a lot of young bands that look up to Killing Time and that style – I mean how many bands have names from Killing Time songs? I still see those guys: Sammy, Carl, Steve, the Uppercut and Raw Deal guys…it’s really amazing to still be close because of this music. I feel very lucky to have such a different outlook on things because of music I got into when I was 14 or 15. I feel like I have a point of reference that most people just don’t. I feel really fortunate.

Lars with Judge at the Safari Club, Photo: Dave Brown

Right After Uppercut I did a band called Giving Tree with Kate from 108 and Sean O’Brien who played bass on the KT record, “The Method.” We did a single with Constant Change, played a couple of shows and that was it for bands for me for a while. I finished college and got a gig as a production assistant on film and TV shoots. From that I got eventually into being a sound engineer for movies/TV. In 1995 I bought a sampler. I wanted to do something new, something that combined samples and live instruments. A few years before, I remember when I was living with Chaka from Burn, when they shared Alan with Quicksand. Well, for a while Chaka and those guys were playing around with the idea of doing Burn with a drum machine. That kinda inspired me. That never happened, but I always thought that was a great idea. I also was really inspired by jungle music at that time. And that is what sort of inspired me also to get a sampler and learn to program drums, etc.

Around 2000 I started a label, Home Style Cooking, which is what I put the Alone In A Crowd re-issue out on. I did a lot of indie rap stuff, a lot of dance music. I have been doing that on the side since 2000. I’m not up to my 16th release on the label.

Lars with Breakdown and crew 1987/ 2005, Photo courtesy of Lars Weis

A bit later I started getting into audio-post work, engineering/mixing for film and TV, and started working at Sony Studios being an assistant in Audio Post. From that I started to engineer some music sessions. So I got to work on some hip hop and R&B stuff… I think I might be one of the few people who is on a “what’s up” basis with both John Joseph and Ne-Yo. Now, I’m in law school..

Since 2004, I’ve been doing a band called Roughstars, we’re like a disco band who love the Bad Brains (or sometimes I hope we are as cool as Burn with a drum machine!). We’ve opened up for a lot of great bands, TV On The Radio, Dangermouse & Jemini, the Rapture, The Virgins, MIA, a lot of cool bands. Had a video on MTV2, MTVu. I’ve been really psyched with it. I really wanna play with Foreign Islands, as they are another band that is doing stuff like us. Something that is totally modern, but still has that hardcore vibe. I produced both of our records and play guitar in the live band.

Thanks Tim and Gordo for the opportunity to chat about this stuff.

Lars back on the guitar with Roughstars, Photo: Rob Fields

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coming soon: The Revelation Files

Original GI Joe photo used for a Revelation GI Joe shirt

My recent west coast weekend trip yielded some great material for Double Cross and I’ve been working on and off trying to compile a wrap up entry for the past week, but it’s been a quite the challenge. So many things jammed into a long weekend and so much of it I’d like to document here. Because of this I thought it would be a good idea to drop a “Coming soon” type entry to fill the readers in on one of the highlights from the weekend.

On the last day of my trip I ended up spending a handful of hours over at Rev HQ. With the help of Igby, Larry and Jordan, I was directed towards a bunch of folders and portfolio cases that were packed with elements from the early Revelation release layouts. I literally took hundreds of photos and all will find their way on to DCXX, but I wanted to at least give you a taste of whats to come. – Tim DCXX

Original photo of Lukey Luke that was used on the B side label of the Gorilla Biscuits 7″

Original cut and paste layout for the Side By Side lyric sheet

Before deciding on the name Revelation, a Schism label for the Warzone 7″

Monday, March 30, 2009

Chris McGill – Vision Part III

Dave Franklin with Vision at CBGB, NYC, Photo: Ken Salerno

The third and final entry with former Vision bassist, Chris McGill. Thanks to Chris for answering our questions and of course thanks to Ken for all the great pics. Remember this coming Saturday April 4th, Vision take the stage at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick NJ with Chris to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut LP, “In The Blink Of An Eye”. Be there… NJHC. -TIM DCXX

What are your thoughts on the “Just Short Of Living” record and how did you feel about the direction the band was going in at that time?

Just Short of Living was a great recording. It was not given the respect I thought it deserved. I am not sure why. Yes, the label stopped pressing it, but enough went out and the negative reviews came in. The record is chock full of good riffs and catchy lyrics. At the time there were all the crossover bands coming around and they had that whole metal-hardcore sound. Well our sound was heavier on this recording, so people started throwing us in with those bands.

I don’t think it was fair or accurate.

I personally have two issues with Just Short Of Living:

1. It was overproduced. We lost our ability to play it live with the extra guitar tracks and effects.

2. I was not happy with the bass levels on this. I played my ass off, but not much comes through.
Also, I believe the album would have been better received if there was something else released between ITBOAI and JSOL. There was too much progression between the two recordings. Again, I love the album and wish it had done better.

McGill and Fanklin at CB’s, Photo: Ken Salerno

What were the circumstances revolving around you leaving Vision? I remember some sort of controversy between you and Randy Now at City Gardens and you being banned for life. Did any of that feed into your exit from the band?

I didn’t leave Vision. I had been banned 3 times for life from City Gardens (I am not sure how that is possible), but it never seemed to matter to Randy Now. If he could book us he would. I knew we had a show at City Gardens coming up, but didn’t realize it was to be played without me. So I found out the hard way. I don’t know if Randy told the band we can’t play if I am there or not. I have no knowledge of that.

Once you were out of Vision, did you stay friends with those guys and what did you end up spending the majority of your time doing?

I didn’t stay friends with them, nor did I speak to Dave, Pete or Matt for at least 10 years with the exception of a “hello, how are you” when we ran into each other. I had nothing to say. It was not an easy split, and both sides have different opinions on what went down. So let’s just say it was a mutual decision. I will say that, every story has 3 sides, so we all move on and get over it.

Since the split, I’ve had 3 great kids and was able to move forward with music via my bagpipes. I have been playing forever and competing in the States and Canada. I even opened up for Rod Stewart. That really consumes most of my time, from April to October. My kids, Liam, Hannah, and Riley play in the band with me, so it takes the stress out of it a little. They are pretty talented and manage to take medals at almost every competition. We are going to the World Championships this year in Scotland. We are looking for sponsors…anyone?

When I put my bass guitar away in 1993, it did not come out again until 2005. I was bitter and depressed about not playing. I should have found a band or started a new band back in 1994 and continued, but I didn’t. It was my own fault. It was a lesson learned about life, and the little time we have before the lord calls us home. I won’t make that mistake again.

Pete Tabbot with Vision at CB’s, Photo: Ken Salerno

What brought about your return to Vision for the April 4th, 2009 “In The Blink Of An Eye” show?

I started speaking with the boys a few years back and even recorded with Matt for my band Johnny Seven. I started talking to Matt first. I ran into him at a Father Daughter dance that the Girl Scouts run in March every year. It is actually one of my favorite events of the year. My oldest daughter Hannah went for 4 years and now my youngest Riley goes. Then I started talking with Pete. I don’t remember where or why, but he probably had a martini in his hand and a good band was probably playing. Sometimes we meet up for dinner. I run into Dave every once in a while in a random place. I was asked, and I played a few songs with them a couple of years ago at a show at the Court Tavern and that went well.

Pete contacted me a couple months ago and ran the In the Blink Of An Eye show by me. I thought it was a good idea and let’s face it, it should have been years ago. We had a practice last week and we will have a couple more before April 4. We also are talking about doing a couple of all ages shows. I hope this happens because my kids would like to go and I know Matt’s daughter would like to go. Not to mention the kids’ cousins. We’ll see.

Matt Riga with the most famous mullet in hardcore and the drum skills to pay the bills, Photo: Ken Salerno

Tell the readers about your latest band endeavors.

I am still playing bagpipes. We have a concert March 15 and we are recording it for a CD. In 2006 I was asked to write bagpipe parts to songs with a band called Convict Orange. I recorded 4 songs with them and played out live with them many times. It was fun while it lasted but they parted ways soon after. As far as guitar and bass, I got together with Brian McCarthy in 2006 and started writing and playing. We recruited Matt Riga and Mark V from Shades Apart and started Johnny Seven. Mark, Matt, and me have been friends since 1987. We recorded a 6-song CD and played 1 show together, and then it all fell apart. Mark didn’t have the time to commit every week so it became difficult. We could not find a guitar player to replace him. If anyone is interested in playing guitar or drums, please go to the myspace page and let us know. Brian and I want to release the 6 songs in some form or another. We just need to get it mastered, but we will release it somehow.

I currently play guitar with Slowburn. This band formed in the spring of 2008. The 5 members bring different styles from not so different backgrounds. We recorded 4 songs and we are getting ready to play out soon. The members are:
Chris M. – Guitar

Bill H. from Floorpunch – Guitar

Gerry D. from Steel Toe Solution – Bass

Jim Smith from CC4J and Spirit – Vocals

Rich Sunyak from Steel Toe Solution – Drums

Well it’s been a long hard run. 44 years of jazz, R&B, rock, ska, punk, and hardcore with many memories and many friends. I could go on forever and offer up a thousand stories to make you laugh or cry. I could write a book, but even then I would not know when to shut up.

Thank you for the interest in what appears to be my very small contribution to the scene. I was absent from it for too long and it feels good to be playing again.

Congratulations and continued success with Double Cross. You are making an important contribution to the scene.
All the best, – Chris McGill

Chris takes a rest on the City Gardens stage, Photo: Ken Salerno

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