ARCHIVES – more older posts (51)
May 18th, 2012 by Larry

Sunday, July 13, 2008

WARZONE “Lower East Side Crew” Revelation:1

Warzone Photo: Tsetseflynyhc

Sometime during the fall of 2003 I hooked up with Cappo and spent a few days in NYC helping him film and interview for a NYHC documentary that he was planning on doing. Among the many people that we met up and interviewed, was Duane from Some Records. Duane came to Ray’s mothers house for the interview and brought along with him a large box that was stacked to the top with old NYHC demos and flyers. A large portion of the flyers were doubles that Duane had, so he left them for Ray. Ray in turn gave them to me.

Among this large collection of flyers was this great 11×17 poster / ad for Revelation’s first release, the Warzone -“Lower East Side Crew” 7″. Not only cool because it’s the Warzone 7″ and Revelation’s first release, but interesting to read the “Coming Soon” releases. New York City Straight Edge Compilation 7″ with: Youth Of Today, Warzone, Bold and Straight Ahead. Plus an Insted 7″ and a Bold 7″ on the way. Definitely could have been interesting. -Tim DCXX


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Jimmy Yu – Part III

Here is the third installment of our interview with Jimmy Yu.

One thing we forgot to point out is that the day before we did this interview, Jimmy drove out to Montville where Mike still lives and just randomly showed up at his house. He had not seen Mike since leaving Judge in early 1989. Mike was having a family BBQ but he and Jimmy got to talk for a little bit. Jimmy goes into this later on in the interview, but just figured we’d bring it up since Jimmy references it here.


SSD, Minor Threat…the straight edge bands from then, we listened to their music, but slowly it got deeper than that. You see, a lot of those early hardcore bands, their lyrics were good, and I hate to say this…but they were just similar to other normal punk bands that were writing songs. So, these straight edge bands were so much different from what we had been hearing, because they had a deeper message, at least to us. It attracted us, and it meant something more. And when we really started listening to this, we started putting Xs on our hands, because you know, that’s what you saw on the cover of their albums! And gradually, we just went in that direction.

But people in New York, Vinnie for instance, I remember him being like “what the hell is that on your hand?” Because prior to that, Mike and I definitely were not straight edge, we were pretty crazy, and we hung out with those guys. Drug and drink wise, you name it, we probably did it. Vinnie and everyone else had been there with us doing it. With the exception of shooting up, we did everything, it was fair game. But shooting up, we at least had enough common sense to not do that. Because we knew that doing that you would just get addicted, and you’re fucked, you’re done.

Still though, Agnostic Front was really a big influence on us and on us deciding to do DBD. They were always playing. At CB’s, there would be an 8 band matinee, and they would always be one of them. Because you know, each song was like two seconds long! Vinnie was not like a master guitarist, but he was a good rhythm guitarist, he was hard and he played it like that, you know? We always went to see them. So once we had the idea to do a band, we had our spot. We knew where we would be going, who we would try to tag along with. We had found our scene.


So, Mike bought a drum set. He just picked it up and started playing, Mike was very talented. And I had always played guitar, even before punk, I bought my first guitar. I would play AC/DC and pretend I was Angus Young. Eddie Van Halen? Nah, too hard to emulate, I can’t play that. But AC/DC, yeah. So it was natural, “let’s start a band!” But my brother also played guitar and he wanted to be the guitar player, and of course he is just as tight with Mike, it’s the three of us always going to shows. And he was older than Mike, he was driving before Mike. But he said he was playing guitar, case closed. So then it was like, “ok, you play guitar, and I will play bass.” My brother used to beat me up all the time, so whatever he says, I’m just like, “Ok, fine, I guess I’m playing bass.”

So the three of us started going up to Mike’s house, either his room or his garage, and started figuring out songs. And Mike is a very smart guy. Maybe people don’t give him enough credit. I don’t mean like a scheming type of smart. I mean he was a very thoughtful person, kinda quiet. His brother also beat him up all the time, I guess we had that connection as well – even though Steve was cool and Mike’s friend too. But Mike’s older brother was a lot older, much older, and definitely not into punk. He was like a redneck cowboy, he rode a horse and shit. And he hated the whole punk thing and would come down on Mike about it. So Mike had that coming at him at home, as well as at school. Later on he would pour out his own feelings in his lyrics in his own way, and it was very smart. It just came out in such a great, heavy way. But yeah, we just started playing, DBD was on it’s way. We didn’t have a name yet, but I’ll get to that.

I don’t know how we met him exactly, but we met Mark Ryan from shows long before DBD. He was in New Jersey too, and we got to know him real well. He was into hip-hop even back then, even when we were skinheads. I think he liked the energy of it. We were all just kids that were looking for something. He would joke around and act like he was a hip-hop dude, he would talk like them, like the whole, “Yo B what up yo?” He was totally white, but he would talk like he was black you know? But he was a mosher too! It was like how the Beastie Boys were. We were friends with, and they turned the same way. They had a total hardcore edge at first, then they disappeared for like a year or two, and then out of nowhere they are opening up for Madonna at Madison Square Garden! Like, that was just crazy. We were like, “what the fuck was that!? How did they go from CB’s to Madison Square Garden?” I don’t know what their connection was, but they did it.

Jimmy busting some chords, he still plays guitar and has about 8 Kramers and Charvels, mostly white with tremolos. No joke, he can really shred. Photo: Tim DCXX

And talking about Mark, this reminds me, there was a real gray area between straight edge kids, hardcore kids, punks, Hare Krishnas, and hip hop kids in NYC. It could all blur together, and it did. Especially hip-hop, it really came from the streets, and it had that element of violence. So, these boundaries were really blurred. It wasn’t like, “Ok, you are a rapper, and you are a straight edge kid, and you are a hardcore kid,” it wasn’t so strict and defined. So, Mark, he listened to that stuff, and he liked the violence and the reality of it. We can’t project back our current situation to what was happening then. Back then, it was like, “Hey, are you a little crazy? Cool, then you are one of us!”

For Mike and me it was a little difficult, because in Jersey, that boundary was pretty fuckin’ clear. You were either a jock, or an outcast, or a rapper…well actually, no, because there was only like one black kid in Montville. And I’m going to his wedding next month! But in NYC, around the street kids, that boundary was just really gray. And that was the thing with Mark – so for him to go that route, it was cool and natural. I’m not even sure if he moved to the city, but if he did, then those boundaries were gone, for sure. And back then, if you were white and listened to rap, that was fuckin’ rare.

Similarly, it was just like us listening to Metallica before the Kill ‘Em All record came out. We saw their show, and they were throwing out their demo of the record before it came out. Somehow Mike got a copy of it, and he played it for us in his car in our high school parking lot. So he says, “Jimmy, listen to this shit.” We were blown away, like, “what the hell is that?!” And he says, that’s called “double bass drum.” To us it was like hardcore just gone crazy. We had never thought about something like that in hardcore. It was like hardcore kids playing this music, except they had long hair and were more talented. That was great! And we just absorbed that too. And I think some of that came out later in Judge. I mean you can’t really see that many traces of it, but it was in Mike’s head, and mine too.


I remember listening to the song “Fade To Black” over and over and over. The way James Hetfield characterized dying, that song just spoke to me so much, because I didn’t think I was gonna live past 20, and it summed up how I felt. I mean it was just so crazy, before finding straight edge, there was just no hope. After that we found some meaning to life and something to stand behind. But before that, it was very grim. As a drummer, Mike really loved that stuff. To him, it was an invention, with that speed and that energy. We really just absorbed it. Even the “chugga chugga chugga” crunching in Judge, that was Metallica. Cro-Mags, they absorbed it too. And they were more metal. Judge was more straight edge and straight forward hardcore, but the traces were there.

But like I was saying with the boundaries not being so clear, back then that’s just how it was, and I think maybe that’s how it was even for the guys in Metallica in California, I don’t know what was in their heads. Maybe they were into punk? Where did they get the idea to play so fast? Misfits? So you know they were drawing inspiration for their art from all sorts of places.

But anyways, DBD, we would drive to Nutley, pick Mark up, and go back to Mike’s and rehearse, or go straight into the city and practice at a studio. Mike always paid. His family was upper middle class, their farm was a big animal farm, and they did well. They sold horses, everything. So Mike actually had money. He took care of all of us. If we needed help or needed something, he’s the man. He worked hard for the family on the farm. But Mike always did it all when it came to paying for things with DBD, we tried to chip in some but it was mostly Mike.

Mike and I wrote the music for DBD, and Steve came up with some too. Then we would present the music to Mark. Mark would send us lyrics, Mike would look at it, and then we would come up with the music. Or sometimes we had the music, and we would see how Mark would want to sing to it. It was pretty free flowing. Mike even contributed to writing some of the lyrics in DBD, but it was mostly Mark. But that shows you, Mike was already starting.

We didn’t have a band name right away. And the other thing is that back then, Mike was just Mike, he wasn’t “Mike Judge.” But Stigma way back used to always come up with names for us. All sorts of crazy shit. Before we even had a name for DBD, we had songs and would play, but we didn’t have a name, and Stigma would try to come up with names for us. One time he was like, “Yo, you guys all have shaved heads. So how about calling your band ‘Chemotherapy’?” We were like, “Umm, NO!” Or he would say, “you guys are from Jersey, so how about the Jersey Moshers?” Again, we were like, “NO.”


Actually just yesterday, Mike and I were talking about this. I remember driving Mike’s car in Montville, getting gas at this gas station in Pine Brook. A biker pulled up and was getting gas. As he is doing that, we were sitting in the car, and we are trying to figure out names. One of us looked over at the biker, and we saw he had a tattoo that said “Death Before Dishonor.” Right then, one of us said, “that’s it, Death Before Dishonor, that’s the band name.” That’s how I remember that.

We played out a decent amount, but I don’t know why we never had a legitimate recording. We had a full set of songs, but there was never a formal demo. We taped everything, every rehearsal was a supposed “demo.” But we were really poor, so the money we did spend went towards studio time in the city. I think we may have thought that eventually the “demo” would become a record. Back then though, to make a record was not that easy, it was a big deal to even do a 45. It would cost a lot of money, and you would have to find a guy to product it and mix it. It was a little beyond us. When DBD was around, Agnostic Front, who was a big band, they only had an EP, and that was a big deal. Later on they came out with their LP, and that was a very, very big deal. By the time Judge came around, bands could put out their own records and everything, but a few years earlier in DBD, it was a different time.

We saw every hardcore band that played in New York City, or at least we tried to. And DBD played with a lot of bands. We played with Youth Of Today and we were big fans, so we knew Youth Of Today before Mike ever played drums for them. Cappo had a presence. Maybe not like HR, but he could certainly hold a crowd. We were definitely into them. So we all started hanging out. They lived far from us, but anytime they came to the city, we hung out. At some point they got Mike to play drums. DBD kinda fell apart. Mark formed Supertouch, we weren’t involved in that.

Mike and I, we did a new band. And of course, that band was Judge…


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Shaun Sheridan – The Anthrax Part II

Youth Of Today, Photo: Jordan Cooper

Here is the second chunk of a gigantic interview I did with Shaun Sheridan, who ran The Anthrax with his brother Brian. This originally appeared in Impact Fanzine, and we will continue to reprint some worthy stuff from there from time to time. Click here to read the first part:

-Gordo DCXX

Youth Of Today…well, Ray had been the drummer for Violent Children. It was a cool band, he wasn’t all that good a drummer, but he became the vocalist for Reflex From Pain, when their original vocalist had to go work on a nuclear sub or something. I saw a bunch of Ray’s earlier shows, up in Boston and down in Philly, and even then he was a good front man. After he left Reflex, there was the influence of Kevin Seconds and a degree of Minor Threat and Ian MacKaye, then suddenly he wanted to “be there for the kids.” He wanted to show them “the way” and “the light.” He always had a messiah complex. But it was also natural talent. He could sing and project. He was also a lot of fun, he was a cool and goofy kid. He’d occasionally have a few beers, smoke a little pot. It was like, “Yeah, here’s a cool kid.”

As far as how it all developed, me and my brother were old school, punk rockers. We were way more into seeing a band like Negative Approach play, or Angry Red Planet, Dr. Know, RKL, The Melvins. We were meeting people from all over the country and being exposed to a lot of different music. You began to realize the sound of the Northwest was different than the sound of the East Coast, Orange County hardcore was much different than, say, San Francisco hardcore, that Battalion of Saints from San Diego don’t really even sound like the other guys from Orange County. It was kind of an interesting development. We tried to be as broad and open as possible…we figured anything’s punk rock that wasn’t this mainstream, Bon Jovi, big-hair bullshit or some Zeppelin/Doors rehash.

It’s kind of interesting that Youth of Today isn’t credited as a CT band, even though they pretty much came out of that scene. Even as early as with Porcell and Young Republicans. He came from upper-Westchester. It took Youth of Today a couple of years to really gain a following. They weren’t really that good at first. After so many years of playing simple music, you’re going to get better if you’re really interested in doing it. The whole Krishna thing had very little to do with The Anthrax. But there were tons of other bands, on a national level. We did lots of the so-called “youth” bands because, at the time, it made money. I won’t say we were totally jaded by their music, but how many times can you hear the same shit over and over?

Youth Of Today at the Stamford Anthrax, Photo courtesy of: Matt Warnke

I still remember, we had Uniform Choice play and I think one of the best fucking decisions my brother, Brian, ever made was to have Crucial Youth open that show. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re like joke hardcore. Ian MacKaye’s grandma lived up there, so they’d go up a couple times a year, and they’d check out who was playing. So he was there and Joe Crucial gets on the mic and says “We’re happy to be here, we hear Ian’s in the crowd tonight. You’re so great and wonderful, but, why do you have to use the F-word so often?! That’s not very positive! This song goes out to you! Those Who Curse Are the Worst!” The thing was, I hadn’t talked to Ian yet that evening, but I looked over at him and he just thought it was hysterical, because he’s never taken it that seriously. It’s not this Rah! Rah! thing for Ian, at all. He pretty much said “This is no set of rules.” I don’t know if he’s, exactly still like that. The drummer for Uniform Choice got so upset, he went running to Bill the sound guy, who only occasionally drank, but at that time he wasn’t doing anything, and started yelling “Shut off the PA! These guys can’t play anymore! They’ve just blasphemed my God!” One of the most amusing things I’ve ever seen. Ian was like “Guys, don’t take it seriously.” If kids EVER did the slapping beers out of hands thing in my club they’d be out. It was alcohol-free, but I was old enough to drink on MY own private property with my friends. You’re upset by that? I don’t care.

The booking for the club was my brother and me, but I could say my mom did it because at that point there was no answering machines and my dad rarely picked up the phone. However, when The Klingons called from Anchorage, Alaska to get a gig, that’s when it really blew my dad’s mind, he was like “I don’t knowhow you guys are doing it, but if you have a band calling you from Anchorage, Alaska you must be doing something good.” But they were always supportive, they were always like “no problem!” Finally we got a phone at The Anthrax, not that we could afford it, so my mom dealt with all the bands for so many of the years. My dad was a milkman so when The Dead Milkmen were calling up, she found it amusing as hell! But she didn’t even bat an eye when the Dayglo Abortions called. It was just one of those things…she would just get all the names, numbers. Brian, I think, still has all the lists of all the bands that called. She always said everyone had the best phone manners. There was only one time that someone was rude to my mom, I can’t even remember who, she didn’t write down the information. It was interesting that all these “wild looking punk rockers” were so sweet on the phone.

Minor Threat mock up

I had this local punk guy named Jon LeVine that lived in my town. Jon did a fanzine called Faith sometime around 85/86. Jon also briefly did a record label and worked at a local punk record shop called Grot. When he was first starting his record label he was corresponding with Ian MacKaye over at Dischord and getting tips and suggestions on how to start up a label. Ian sent Jon this unused, uncut Minor Threat 7″ for reference on how to hand cut, fold and glue his own 7″ covers. Jon gave me the cover sometime around 87/88 when I was buying his Crippled Youth and Underdog 7″ off of him. He threw the Minor Threat cover into the deal, along with a cool Underdog New Beginning Records poster that was used to promote the release of the 7″. The Minor Threat covers been buried in a box for years and I just recently came across it and thought it would make for a cool DCXX entry. Ordinarily I convert all photos to grayscale for this page, but with this entry I’m making an exception. –Tim DCXX

Monday, July 7, 2008

Jon Roa recalls Ryan Hoffman vs. Billy Rubin

Justice League at Fenders, Photo courtesy of: Jon Roa

Jon Roa could probably write a book of old California hardcore stories, and we are trying our best to make sure that doesn’t happen, because we want them all to be posted here. More to come…


Justice League was coming to that point where they were finished spreading their hardcore message. It was time. The band came in at an unique period in HC as the old guard was dying, breaking up, going to jail, etc. and for a lot of people, Minor Threat’s last stand meant a certain closure. Indicative of the period was that the bands with which we wanted to play (and did), bands like Stalag 13, C.F.A., BGK, DRI, Scream, Necros, 7 Seconds…. well, besides the last band, never really made the splash into the next generation. Sure they were liked but they could never tour like the next entering sect.

So, Ryan approached me with the idea of singing at the last show at Fenders with 7 Seconds headlining. He explained that he wanted me singing to have it all come full circle. The set list would be our songs mixed in with covers of songs on records that were out of print and could not be heard unless a tape was available (we played Boiling Point by SSD and not one person sang along). It would bridge the gap between the old and new.

Good. Great. We show up to the show and Ryan is told that Half Off do not want to open for us. Ryan politely goes up to Billy and asks why. Billy immediately starts shouting that we have not played in LA in a year and a half. No one knows who we are. They are more popular, etc. Ryan is trying to have a polite conversation but Billy keeps interrupting him until finally Ryan talks loudly over him saying (paraphrasing here), “Billy, you used to come around and ask us what bands to listen to (true). You act like you are our friend but then you pull this bullshit. This is some rock star move. You have never even toured or put in the work we have (true). Show some respect.”

Justice League at Fenders, Photo courtesy of: Jon Roa

Billy, who is not a short person, moves closer and starts pointing at Ryan and starts talking even louder. Ryan then loses it and says, “I ought to kick your ass right now.” Billy says, “It’s over, Ryan. You’re done.” Ryan then screams, “Billy, right now!” and pushes Billy’s left shoulder. Billy turns around to walk away and Ryan shoves the back of his right shoulder. Billy keeps on walking.

We go on first and I apologize to the crowd that has been waiting because “some crybaby in the next band does not have their priorities straight.” We play. It goes well. A picture of Ryan and I eventually is used on the Justice League Discography. We come off stage and Billy confronts me, saying in an innocent manner “Roa, what was that all about?” I say, “Fuck You, Billy” and we get into what amounted to a staring contest. Billy walks away, waving his hand dismissively.

Ahhhm, the missteps of youth. I do not know what this all means today. I say it is all just wind through a tunnel. What I do know is that Ryan Hoffman is never afraid to say exactly what is on his mind, and I love him for that and many other reasons.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Eric Fennell – Supertouch Documentary


Eric Fennell is the guy who did the “Supertouch And Other People” documentary that has been in very limited circulation since it was completed in 1991. At one point it surfaced on YouTube, but it no longer can be found there. Luckily, Eric plans to give this a formal release in the near future, which is pretty cool since it features some great footage of the band both live and off stage.

I caught up with Eric to get the backstory behind this footage, and he also hooked us up with some great photos of the band as well. Check out his site:

-Gordo DCXX

What gave you the idea to do the Supertouch documentary? What was the reason for doing it?

I wanted to do the documentary because the scene and the music was interesting. I would travel with the band to photograph them and to drive the van that they bought. I had noticed that most of clubs in the different cities where Supertouch played had kids from all types of backgrounds enjoying the music together. You did not see this in the earlier Punk Rock era. I also liked the rawness of the music. Rock ‘N Roll in general had gotten so over produced, so for me it was nice to see that hardcore had kind of a back to basics type of feel and energy to it. I thought doing a documentary on Supertouch and the scene that they were in would be good for people to see whether or not they were into hardcore.

What was your relationship with the guys in Supertouch? How did this change or not change over the years?

Anyway, I knew Andy the drummer years before Supertouch. At that time I had a very large 1965 Chrysler 300. When I was not hauling my film making and photography equipment, I was helping Andy haul his drum kits and other instruments from his bandmates to different gigs. When Supertouch came around the Chrysler was still hauling but after a while Supertouch bought a Chevy Van. You can see the front of my Chrysler on the back cover of the 7″ with the Supertouch members standing in the background. I seem to remember that the band broke up just about the same time I had finished editing the documentary. I have not had any contact with any of the members of Supertouch for many years.


What was the time period over which this was shot? Did you travel with the band?

Supertouch and Other People was shot during the first half of 1990. I remember starting to shoot some footage in January and was finished with the shooting of both interviews and performance footage by late May or early June of 1990. For the rest of 1990 and well into 1991 the long post production process kept me busy. I had hours of footage to edit plus all of the other things and projects that I was involved with. All of the still photographs were done by me and some were taken in 1988 and 1989 before I even knew I would do the documentary. As I had mentioned, I heard the band broke up at some point in 1991 just after I had finished the editing.

What were the best live performances you saw from the band and why do these stick out?

I think the some of the best Supertouch performances were at CBGB’s. I could be wrong, but I think they enjoyed that club the most. For me, CBGB’s was always the best club to shoot still pictures and video. This was not because of all of the history there, but because of the way the stage was set up. It was set up in such a way that photographers could get great shots of any band they were photographing. Other photographers have said the same thing to me. I have shot many bands at CBGB’s and I never had a bad roll of film from there. I can’t say that about other clubs. I think there are a lot of Rock ‘N Roll photographers out there that are sorry the place is gone.

What can you tell us about the unused footage?

For now, I am still planning to put together unseen footage from the documentary with a re-released DVD version. I cannot say when it might be ready but I am hoping it will be with in the next few months.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Photographer Spotlight: Ken Salerno Part II

Outburst – City Gardens – Trenton, New Jersey

SNFU – City Gardens – Trenton, New Jersey

Pagan Babies – City Gardens – Trenton, New Jersey

Jimmy Yu – Part II


All photos: The Matinee Photographs, by Drew Carolan.  Jimmy seen on far right wearing the Cause For Alarm shirt.  Mark Ryan in the back with hood up.  DBD style.

My brother Steve is three years older than me, and he was best friends with Mike. And they got into punk…but guess what punk band? You’ll never guess this…Duran Duran! Crazy, right? But at that time, 1980, they were considered punk. Now we look at them, and it is like the softest, weakest music. Duran Duran used to be punk? Funny right? Them and Blondie…Steve and Mike would listen to that and be like, “hah, yeah, we are punk!” Of course I didn’t know any better. I mean everyone else is just into Eddie Van Halen and AC/DC, but this, in America, was punk. So my brother and these other guys took Mike to see Duran Duran and to get him into it. You would have to check, but that might have been Mike’s first punk show! Think about that, Mike going to see Duran Duran. Too funny. But he and my brother got into it. And then me.

And at this time, my Mom wasn’t ever really home. She’s a single parent, traveling for business and everything. So she would leave my brother with money for us. He’s 15, I’m 12, and we are crazy kids…you know? How do you think that went? We didn’t know how to manage money. So we would spend it all right away and then not have any for the basics. So Mike would help us out, to get food, gas money, etc. But with my Mom not being there, my house just turned into like, “the pit.” We would just go crazy, we’d slam into walls, jump into the ceiling, practice our stage dives and our “moves.” It was bad.

But more and more I was really getting exposed to punk, and my brother, Mike, and these other punk guys in Montville were who I learned from. I think the first punk in Montville was this guy Paul Schraff, and Howard Horowitz, too. They were a little older and friends with my brother, but we were all outcasts. My brother got picked on too, but since we moved there when he was a little bit older, he didn’t deal with it as much, because the kids his age weren’t as cruel. Usually it was the younger kids that said things.

So I used to fight the kids that made fun of my brother. And so did Mike. We were very angry, and very violent, and we stayed that way. Sometimes we would just jump these kids. Later on once we started driving, we would see them somewhere, and we would just stop the car, get out, and jump them. We would beat the hell out of them, get back in the car, and go. It was terrible, I know. I’m really glad I found Buddhism!

My first show was Vice Squad, and that was the first time I saw slam dancing. And I remember seeing Eric(Cassanova) slam dancing so hard. And he just ruled the pit. He was crazy, he was so skinny, but it didn’t matter. Back then, there was a particular form of slam dancing. I’m not sure what people do now, I mean I saw this band the other night, like a metal hardcore band at a friend’s show, and there were these kids with long hair just pushing each other. When I was coming up, people always took care of each other and looked out for each other, and were just expressing themselves in this extreme way. Once in a while you would get some dickhead punching people. If that happened, we would take care of him, and just jump him. But when I saw Eric that night, I was just like, “WOW…WOW.”

At the same time, we were also really into skateboarding. Of course, this was a total outcast activity back then too, absolutely nothing like it is today. So we all skated together, even Mike had a board! He mostly just held it, but, he did have a skateboard! He really wasn’t bad at skateboarding. We would take our boards into the city, and get out at Port Authority, and skate through the city, and he could do that. And that’s what we did every weekend. Usually we would go in on Friday for a party or a show, because we didn’t have any friends or anything to do in Montville.

Sometimes we would drive to the city, but most other times we would take the bus. A lot of times we would just stay over there all weekend, crashing at a random kid’s house, or some skinhead’s loft, or some rundown place, or even just stay at Port Authority. Through this, we got to know Mark Ryan, he lived in Nutley, New Jersey. We would pick him up in Nutley and he would come with us.

We went to NYC every single weekend, if not more. And we saw so many great bands. For example, Bad Brains, we saw them at least 30 or 40 times. HR was so crazy, but they were so talented, too. I mean, they had incredible leads! We were like, “solos? We can’t do that!” I mean we had some solos in Judge, but not like that. HR though, he would just run up a wall and flip back, or just do flips on his own from a stand still. Every time they played CB’s, it was like an ocean of heads. There wasn’t even a pit because there was no space. The whole floor would move as people tried to get on stage to dive. Sometimes we would just wait on stage before they started playing, so we could have a head start. We didn’t want to be up front in front of the stage, because we would get crushed and never be able to get back up! So we would wait, and the lights would go down, and then the feedback, and people would start diving. I remember the big monitor on the side of the stage that was hanging, kids would crack their heads open on it when diving. Once they stopped the show because that happened, and the ambulance had to come. Every time they played, every time they came in, we went.
Minor Threat, each time they came to New York we saw them. Black Flag…we saw them dozens of times. Henry Rollins was so much older than us, but so crazy. He looked so strong, so violent…I mean, he was built! At that time that was different, because the New York kids weren’t muscular, they were strong from fighting, but they didn’t look like that. I remember one time some kid was diving, and Henry just grabbed him out of mid air and threw him down. So Black Flag stuck out.

And so did The Misfits. Actually, one time I saw Glenn Danzig at a flea market back then in New Jersey. And he had his hair up! I’m like, “hey, you’re Glenn Danzig!” And he was cool. He was there buying those metal pointed studs for the Misfits jackets and everything. He would go there because that stuff was cheap. Otherwise you would have to buy it in the city, and it was expensive. But that was cool.

Sometimes we would stay at some rundown place in the city, and we would just have an all nighter, and maybe Agnostic Front or another band would play. And there wasn’t a flyer for it, it wasn’t a real show, but there might be fifty or sixty kids packed in, so there would be a pit! And we would go off. We would also stay at A7 sometimes. Because after the CB’s show ended, we would go to A7 for the next show just an hour later, and after that just stay there.

Pretty quickly, even though we were these kids from New Jersey, we were recognized as a part of the New York scene, because we hung out all the time. We still got in fights with these other punks – either like Mohawk punks or nazi skinheads. But we all stuck together. Even though the NY kids grew up on the streets and got into it all a little bit earlier, they took us in. The original New York skinheads, they were really just street kids. No parents, no family. Harley, Eric, Raybeez who worked the door at A7 (who I just found out died, Mike told me), Frenchie, all of them. Even like Little Chris, he was the youngest. At the time I was 13, but he was like 7! And he ran away from home. People were living at this guy Alex’s house. There were two things in their lives: Hardcore, and Hare Krishna. And Hare Krishna provided all of us free food. You know, if you were living on the street, that’s where you would go. And the New York City Hare Krishnas were all different, with like tattoos all over, because they were like former skinheads or whatever! So Hare Krishna, even if you didn’t really follow it, it was a part of that early scene.

The real core of people at CB’s, the punks, we all knew each other. Even though some people were into so many different things, we all hung out. Vinnie Stigma used to be like, “Man here come these crazy Jersey kids that love to fight!” He was a lot older than us, but we would go hang out with him. And the funny thing was that he had his own apartment, which was right next door to his Mom’s. I remember we got there and we were like, “Whoa! Great apartment!” While we were there we made food or something and he ran out of something, and he’s like “Hold on a minute, let me go to my Mom’s and get it.” We are like, “Huh?” Because this is Vinnie Stigma, New York City Skinhead from Agnostic Front, going to his Mom’s! But he goes literally right next door to borrow salt or whatever from his Mom.

So, we were exposed to so much amazing music, and we saw everyone. If someone good was playing, how could we miss it? It was incredible. Those bands were so much fun, and there was so much energy, the adrenalin was unreal. It was unlike anything else you could ever encounter. And that kept us coming back. And it made us want to create our own music. We had to. These bands…we saw their performance, how they played, what they did. It was so much to take in, and we just soaked it all up. We decided we had to do a band…


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fanzine Spotlight: Inward Monitor

Back in early May I did a spotlight on Alex Brown’s pre-Schism, Loveseat Fanzine and planned to bring more of my favorite fanzines into the light for future entries. This time around it’s Inward Monitor.

Inward Monitor, done by Jon Reed from Rhode Island and with help from Sue Gendler of New Jersey, was a fanzine that definitely rose to the top of my collection. Issue two, was a combined effort by Jon and Sue when both were going to school in NYC. Packed into issue two were interviews with: Insted, No For An Answer, Turning Point and Pressure Release. Not only were some of the best bands of the time period interviewed, but every interview came complete with some of the best photography you’d find in a fanzine at that time. Nearly all the photos were large, perfectly halftoned, crystal clear and simply captured hardcore greatness. The layouts were clean and fairly professional looking, but still maintained a fun cut a paste look to them.
One particular photo which appeared in the pages of the Turning Point interview always stuck out to me. It was a photo of the band hanging out around a pool table, with the words, “Pool Hall Justice” around it. For some reason I just always thought that was a cool photo and nice change of pace from all the usual live shots. It also gave you a different look at the band outside of the standard hardcore setting.
Next time you see this issue of Inward Monitor on eBay or come across it on someones list for sale, do yourself a favor and snatch it up, you won’t be disapointed. -Tim DCXX

Monday, June 30, 2008

Jimmy Yu – Death Before Dishonor / Judge

Jimmy at his parents house in East Stroudsbrug, PA. Photo: Tim DCXX

One of the most mysterious guys to ever come through the doors of the NYHC scene may in fact be Jimmy Yu. When Tim and I were getting content together for Double Cross, Porcell told us, “Man, you gotta interview Jimmy Yu! He was there from the beginning and he just disappeared! He went from being a lower east side punk to a full on Buddhist!”

Though he was actually from New Jersey, Jimmy lived the NYHC scene every weekend from 1982 on, right alongside a guy known today as Mike Judge. He started Death Before Dishonor with his brother Steve and of course Mike, recruiting another friend to pick up the mic – Mark Ryan (maybe you have heard of him?). DBD would later disband, and Jimmy would be the first bassist in Judge until he vanished in early 1989, never resurfacing.

I was surprised to say the least when it turned out that Jimmy is currently living in the same town as where I grew up (East Stroudsburg, PA), about 10 miles from where my parents still live. Having just received his doctorate in East Asian Buddhist History from Princeton, he’s hiding out there with his family until he moves to Florida next month. I got in touch with him, and he was totally down to be interviewed.

I can’t say enough cool things about Jimmy – just a class act, super friendly, and you could tell that his time in hardcore meant the world to him and is a major part of who he is. When we brought some old photos his eyes lit up. The guy may have walked away from this life 20 years ago, but you can tell that he took as much of it with him as he could.

This is part one.

-Gordo DCXX

One of the reasons Mike and I got into hardcore was because growing up in Montville (New Jersey), in this upper middle class area, nobody accepted us. He was a little bit chubby, and he worked on a farm, whereas all the other kids had parents that were lawyers and doctors or whatever. And for me, I was Chinese, and we were the only Chinese family in town at that time. We moved there from Taiwan in 1980 when I was in 5th grade. One of the reasons I moved was because my brother Steve got in trouble, he was a screw-up. And my father was a high-ranking government official. So a lot of times my Dad would have to bail him out, and it didn’t look good for him. So my Dad said, look, we’ll send the two of you to America, you’ll get a better education, etc. And so my Mom and Steve and me moved and my Dad stayed. And when we got there, kids had never seen a Chinese person. So the kids would come up to me and say “DO YOU KNOW KUNG FU!? DO YOU KNOW KUNG FU?!” And they would make fun of me. I was kind of an outcast as it was, so this didn’t help at all.

Also, my family wasn’t doing good, because my Dad stayed behind, and my Mom had been in business but now that wasn’t going so well. So it was tough on us. And right when we got there, I would get in fights every day. After school I had to walk past this firehouse, and behind this firehouse there would be these fights every single day. All day these kids would pick on me, and then they would arrange fights for after school, they made me fight, I had no choice. In the beginning I would lose, because I had to learn how to fight these wrestlers, these jocks. I wasn’t used to wrestling, we didn’t do that in Taiwan. And I got my ass kicked so many times.

But after a while, I wouldn’t lose anymore. But I didn’t want to fight, I was so sick of it. I would just win and get it over with, as soon as the kid would lunge at me, BOOM! I would just crack them in the nuts. That way I could just go home, so I could watch my TV shows, play guitar, and get on with my life.

They would send kids after me though. This one time they sent the new kid after me, this kid Joe, and he was my friend! We walked home together each day. He was like six feet tall, this big black kid, in 6th grade! But he was like a total teddy bear, a really nice guy. They were like, “Joe, today is your turn! Jimmy said something about your mother!” They made it like “Muhammad Ali versus Bruce Lee,” that was how the fight was billed. I was like, “Joe, we walk home together every day! How can you fight me? You know I didn’t say that!”

But Joe had to prove himself with this peer pressure crap. And I’m like, “Come on Joe, we don’t have to do this, we are friends, we can walk home.” But they talked him into it, cheered him on. So he comes after me, swings at me, and I just counter with an uppercut to his nose, and I broke his nose. Blood everywhere. The next day, he came to school with these big bandages over his nose, but we still walked home together. Just so stupid. Stuff like that every day for years, I hated it.

And Mike dealt with that too. And he dealt with it before I even met him, he dealt with it just like I did. Because I met Mike when I was in 7th grade, and he was in 9th grade, because he is a year and half older than me. He is turning 41 this year, and I am turning 40 this year. But we had that connection as outcasts that had to deal with this. And my brother Steve was his best friend, so we all became best friends. We got close, and man, that was just the beginning…

Sick Of It All / The Anthrax, Norwalk CT / 7-9-1989

Again, thanks to Cliff for shooting this over to me. Half way through this video you get a some bonus Supertouch footage from the same show. If you go to Cliff’s page on YouTube, please try and comment / rate these videos, it’s one of the only things he requests. -DCXX

Friday, June 27, 2008

Vision – Rutgers, Scott Hall – New Brunswick, NJ – October 29th 1988 – Photos: Ken Salerno

Common Cause – Oslo, Norway / Part I

Long time friend Daniel Frankowski is hard at work again with his new band of nordic thunder, Common Cause. We caught up with him and guitarist Jon A. Gaasland. Be sure to check these guys out if you want classic hardcore played well! More to come…


You haven’t taken a whole lot of time off from doing HC bands over the past 15 years. Do you get restless if you aren’t doing a band? As a well-versed guitarist and dude that is into all sorts of different music, how haven’t you ended up doing something completely non-HC related?

Daniel: Yeah, you could say so. It’s almost something I just have to do. The only time I remember that I wasn’t in a band for a period of time was when I moved from Germany to Norway. I was supposed to join Sportswear on 2nd guitar and we practiced once actually but soon after that the band broke up and that was that I guess.

It took me a bit of time to get to know the right people and to set up a new band. It’s just something I love doing, sort of my creative outlet. Even though it can be a total headache at times, since you always have to deal with so many people that are invloved in doing a band but at the same time you also learn a lot about yourself and other people. I just love writing songs, putting them together, organizing stuff, playing shows. It’s the best thing there is. I don’t think Common Cause will be my last band either, at least I hope not. There are still many different things I wanna do.

I tried several times to do something non-hardcore related but it just never felt right. Besides that, I never had the time to so domething else either since I’ve been playing in HC bands all the time and I’d rather focus on one band and give it 100%. At one point I’m gonna do a non-HC band though. I really wanna do a good old fashioned rock band, you know, like CCR meets Skynyrd or something. I guess I’m gonna do that when I’m 50 and hopefully can grow a full beard.

Common Cause puts you back on vocals after taking up guitar duties in Damage Control. Before that you fronted Eyeball. What do you like about singing versus guitar? What do you miss when you are singing?

Daniel: I think I like both equally well, the only thing I really dislike is the process of writing lyrics. I don’t think I am really that good at it. I have plenty of good ideas I think, but I have problems putting those thoughts on paper. Singing is great though, it’s so much easier to get in touch with the crowd and let your emotions go without having to think about playing an instrument. But if I ever do another band iIwill be playing guitar again just to keep it fresh and interesting for myself.

How do you describe Common Cause? Influences, inspirations,motivation, goals, etc? Having done at least 5 other bands, is this just another HC band to you inspired by the same things? How do you keep it fresh?

Daniel: A straight forward hardcore band. Powerful, fast, energetic with a positive message. That was the idea when we started the band and that’s what still keeps us going. I think our biggest inspiration and influence comes from bands like Youth of Today or Uniform Choice. Powerful music with a powerful message. Life in general motivates me, you just gotta turn on the news and see what happens around the world, Imean we are really living in an Age Of Quarrel. There is so much suffering and so much pain, you know. Rasicm, homophobia, poverty. Everything that is wrong right now in the world motivates me to do this band.

Common Cause is definitely not just another HC band for me. I take the band 100% serious and put all my energy in it. I keep it fresh by never doing the same band twice, even though it’s always hardcore I never try to go for the same formula. I also never do two bands with the same members, well almost. Common Cause kinda came out of Soulfire and P.O. played with me in DxC but other then that I like to start a new band fresh.

Jon: Our influences remain the same, and are quite obvious – late 80s hardcore, with some earlier and later influences thrown in for good measure. Besides the musical inspirations, what inspires us the most is probably arriving at a show, after some ridiculously long drive, exhausted and not really expecting much from the show – and having kids go apeshit for you and just having a blast playing. Also just working on songs and recording them and putting them out. It’s cool to hold a piece of vinyl in your hands that you played on, that has your picture on it, and knowing that it will be around long after you no longer have any kind of relevance in the hardcore-scene, maybe even after you leave this planet. I guess it’s stuff like that that is what keeps me motivated.

Which can be a bit hard at times. I was talking about someone close to me about that recently, why the hell I really bother going on these hellride tours. Keep in mind this was someone coming from a hardcore background, so it wasn’t a matter of “why don’t you mellow out and try to get signed on a major?”, she just genuinely didn’t get why I bothered. And I wasn’t really sure myself. I mean, you’re out there driving for often a double-digit amount of hours, to get to a show that may or may not be good, that may or may not end up losing you more money in the end. You see a lot of places, but more often than not you don’t have time to stop and check it out anyway. I’m also sort of a private person, and don’t really enjoy living practically on top of other people, even if they’re some of my best friends. And well, it’s just altogether a stressful experience for me a lot of the time, and it can be hard to rationalize to yourself or others why it is you really do it.

When I get home, I always think “that’s it, I’m never doing that again”. But after a week or two, I get some distance, and just remember the positive things, and wish I could go back out there again the next day. Maybe it’s getting a very direct response to your music, whether it’s positive or not. Maybe it’s the lack of responsibility and the feeling of being out on somelittle adventure with your friends. Maybe I just like torturing myself. But those few weeks out of the year when I’m on tour, always stand out as a lot more exciting and positive than the rest of my year. If that makes any sense. Which of course it doesn’t.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

BURN memories

BURN – City Gardens – Trenton, NJ – Photo: Ken Salerno

My first memories of Burn go back to a tape I got from a friend. The tape was some sort of rehearsal from 1990 and I definitely remember “Godhead” being one of the tracks. The sound quality wasn’t so hot, but I could clearly hear that Burn was unlike anything I had heard before. Of course there was the Absolution connection with Gavin, but Burn was just a whole new beast that was packed with a whole new power and dynamic. This rehearsal tape I had went on to get a lot play to say the least, it was raw and real.

At some point, and I’m not quite sure about the date, Burn opened up for some bands at City Gardens here in Trenton, NJ. I was psyched that I was finally getting the opportunity to see them. Just by the all star line up alone, it was exciting to see what these guys were bringing because their past bands clearly left their marks as unique and talented. Think about it, you had Gavin with Absolution, Alex with Pressure Release, Alan with Beyond, and Chaka – although he was not in any previous band, he definitely got his feet wet in the scene by releasing the “New Breed” tape comp and being regarded as a kid with a lot of energy and style when he was simply going off to bands.

When they played that City Gardens show they simply blew me away. Chaka had so much energy and such a strong stage presence, but like their music, it was like nothing I had seen or heard before. So solid, heavy and groove oriented, you couldn’t help but be moved. This style would be immediately copied and imitated, but few really put it together the way Burn did.

After the show I recall Chaka selling Burn shirts out of a box in the parking lot. Because City Gardens would sometimes take a percentage from bands merch that was sold, Burn decided to do it the old fashion way and just sell them in the parking lot. I bought a navy blue shirt, one of the first designs with the green and white outlined Burn logo across the front and the photo of the burning car and “Out Of Time” written on the back. I was stoked and really felt like I was getting an early look at a young band that was going to go on and become a major factor in the hardcore scene.

The next time I remember seeing Burn was at an early Middlesex County College show. I’m guessing it couldn’t have been later than 1991. I remember the bill was Supertouch and Burn and a couple younger bands. Again, Burn were just incredible. I don’t think the 7″ was out yet, but I do remember people starting to know their lyrics and sing along a bit. They had definitely left an impression on others besides me.

From this point on I felt like I was seeing Burn every other weekend. Whether it was in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or New York City, anywhere Burn played – I was there. Show after show it was obvious that Burn was really picking up some serious momentum. Their shows were getting bigger, the crowds were getting bigger and they were clearly one of the major players coming out of the New York City Hardcore scene.

Along with the bigger shows and bigger crowds, I clearly remember Chaka’s stage presence growing. He went from being a really good and energetic front man to one of the best and most insane. His stage dives were legendary, and in no way am I exaggerating. I’m talking about some of the sickest, highest and furthest dives I’ve ever seen done. I’ve been around numerous people who’ve flat out hit the floor from the impact of him landing on them. For this reason, you had to keep your head up when you were at a Burn show. You never knew when Chaka would be doing a running flip off a monitor, flying six feet in the air and crushing your face in. It was obviously pretty damn dangerous, but that’s what comes along with the environment of a hardcore show.

Eventually Burn ran its course and called it quits. For a band that had nothing more than a 7″ out on Revelation and a comp track released, as well as some slightly circulated rehearsal tapes and demos, it was nothing less than impressive how well known and remembered they are today as truly one of the greats. -Tim DCXX

Cliff strikes again: Judge and BOLD videos

Judge – The Anthrax – Norwalk, CT. – 1/7/1989

BOLD – The Anthrax – Norwalk, CT. – 1/7/1989

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sammy Siegler – Youth Of Today, Judge, PX, Side By Side, Civ

Sammy Photos: Boiling Point

This is part of an ongoing piece where we asked various people from bands over the years what they recall as the most memorable show they ever played (or attended, if they were never in a band), and why. What is posted here is only a sliver of what is to come, so be sure to check back. -DCXX

CIV opened for KISS at MSG…that’s up there, since I was once a part of the KISS Army. There was a YOT show at an airport hanger in Milan Italy in 1989 that was great. Huge room, kids were going nuts, Ray jumped over my whole drum set, that was a good one. There were a lot of shows on that tour that stood out. On my birthday in Belgium we were playing a great show in the afternoon, a few metal heads were throwing beer at us and the place erupted into a huge brawl. That night we played another show, although instead of rad straight edge kids, this one was filled with all nazi skinheads, adults with canes and shit, very scary. Ray dedicated our song “Prejudice” to them, things almost got really out of hand. That day, March 21st, 1989, was pretty memorable.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Youth Of Today at The Anthrax 1/7/1989, video: Cliff Official Videographer of the Anthrax in Norwalk

Phenomenal footage of a phenomenal band. Thanks Cliff, it doesn’t get much better. -DCXX

Marco / THE ICEMEN – Part II

All Icemen photos: Ken Salerno

Marco Abularach returns to answer more of our questions about one of NY’s hardest: THE ICEMEN.

For part one of this interview:

-Gordo DCXX

What are your feelings on how the 4 songs on the R.I.P EP turned out? What can you recall about recording process for these songs, any specific memories? Which would you cite as your favorite song from this record?

Out of the four songs on the EP three had first been recorded back in the Nola sessions ’84-’86 and we were considering using those early recordings as they had a really big sound from the great live room there. Those songs were The Harsh Truth, R.I.P, No Guts No Glory, and since they were recorded during the interim before Carl you could call our “singerless” period, they have rough vocal tracks by me that we would have dubbed over with Carl. But we decided we would do new recordings and thus hopefully have sound continuity with whatever other tracks we decided to use.

We began recording for the EP in 1990 at our downtown studio SD50. Initially there was debate on song choice and also as to how many we would release. In a way we allowed the recording performances help dictate, and we also finalized the agreement with Bill Wilson and his Blackout Records for a four song EP. Noah and I still agree that the sound is actually better on the good old Nola sessions but in our minds at the time the 1990 tracks were “new.”

Left on tape from 1990 unfinished were “Take You Down” and “Little Witch,” thus “Shadow Out Of Time” was chosen as the final track to be added to complete the four. The speed/thrash “Take You Down” was our most challenging song to perform and would have taken much work to fix it to our liking. “Little Witch” was a precursor to our later songs “You Will Be Mine” and “Back Again.” It was also an indication of where we were going, at the very least vocally. The lyrics now demanded melody, and suffice to say, that never came close to occurring in these 1990 sessions no matter how we tried. Hard for me to say which song is my favorite, I suppose The Harsh Truth, although my favorite lyrics would have to be on Shadow Out Of Time.

Which songs performed live do you wish got a formal proper recording?

Actually we have recorded pretty much every song I’ve written. The question would be to what degree are they completed, as many are missing overdubs and/or vocals and would also need to be mixed. Another question would be how good is the performance on these recordings, as it varies greatly. To answer directly I would say Little Witch, You Will Be Mine, and later songs like Back Again and Let There Be Night. Most of these were moving in a more melodic direction, in addition I had evolved quite a bit lyrically.

What was your chemistry like playing with Mackie? I have always wondered how bassists/guitarists gel with such an incredible drummer like him. Was it just a perfect match or no?

Fantastic. Understand, he was basically the only drummer I ever really played with, until I formed Shadow years later. I learned electric guitar playing with Mackie and Noah. Perfect match for sure, even as teenagers we knew how good he was and our styles grew together through the years.

On a side note, since we’ve come out of deep freeze and taken a look around I’ve seen comments on how some of the Icemen shows witnessed were sub-par. We were definitely plagued with some inconsistencies due to lack of rehearsal (largely due to Mackie’s time constraints), but when looking closer most of the posts are regarding shows kids attended post ’92, most notably at the Grand and a few others. Of course these were disappointing, it was not The Icemen! These were imposters and a poor attempt without the original members… accept no substitute. Amazing that those even remotely interested in the music are still unaware and/or unable to distinguish, the difference was vast.

Similarly, was Mackie always a very tight part of the trio that was you, Noah and Mackie? Sometimes I get the impression that it was definitely the three of you being very close, yet other times I getthe impression maybe it was moreso you and Noah, and Mackie was just the drummer?

Noah and I met as children, Mackie I met in high school so in a sense we all grew up together. Noah is like a brother to me, we were tight with Mack but he’s a bit aloof at times so it was a little different. The three of us definitely had a bond though, where we had come from, and all we had shared musically both performing and philosophically. I could see how you might have the impression as him being “just the drummer”, there were times where his unavailability and lack of commitment was trying. We certainly rehearsed the bare minimum, if at all. Usually this was just when I had new material and wanted him to learn it, so the three of us would meet in our studio.

There was something magic when the three of us played together, there were times when we might glance over at each other, just a knowing look, we were just flying. He may have always been in a sense a drum mercenary but also that he’s been with us since the beginning and was a large part of who we were.
What was your take on the popular bands of the hardcore scene from ’88-’91? Whether it was the Revelation bands, the In-Effect bands, or anyone else, who were bands in the hardcore scene you felt a connection with as friends, or even just enjoyed? Any bands youreally butted heads with or didn’t feel deserved the credit they got?

Forgive my naïveté by I really don’t know much about that, bands or other labels at the time. I was kind of like the boy in the bubble, only time I listened to hardcore was bands on the bill with us when performing. We did make friends along the way though. The Cro-Mags and us go way back, especially Harley. Leeway were friends of ours, there was a while back in the day when AJ and I would socialize occasionally which is something I rarely did with any of the bands, I had a different world. Other guys like Jimmy G (Murphy’s Law), Jimmy Williams (Maximum Penalty), Sob (Merauder) Gavin (Absolution/Burn) were friends and supporters.

Your question regarding negative opinions, there were plenty of bands that were overrated, with bad attitudes and who couldn’t play. In fact if you ask me a majority of bands back then couldn’t play worth a lick.

How did things develop for Carl to be dismissed? Was it a band decision? Who did the dismissing? How long after this did he recruit other guys to do his version of The Icemen, and did you ever confront him about this?

This was something that evolved over time. Noah’s father Gil Evans is a jazz legend and he grew up with music, I too came from a musical and artistic family, I met Mackie attending Laguardia High School of the Arts where he was a music major so we all have a foundation, roots in certain fundamental artistic beliefs. As kids, The Icemen’s first couple of years was a start, but as we grew we hoped, expected… no, demanded of ourselves to aspire to higher levels. It was no longer enough for us to have a one dimensional band member, good as frontman, deficient as a singer.

My songwriting was constrained by his limitations and in hand our potential for success was as well, most importantly in our eyes but it is well worth mentioning that these sentiments were clearly echoed by the labels we in contact with as well. For a moment Carl looked into working with a vocal coach but decided against it.

We had already decided to release Carl from our band and Noah surprised me one evening with the news he had informed Carl. By surprise I mean that as difficult a task as it was, I felt responsible enough to deliver the news myself. That I didn’t couldn’t have helped and I’m sure increased the resentment on his part. It wasn’t too long I think when he began performing my songs using my name The Icemen. His henchmen were friends of his who were occasionally our roadies and were part of his band M13.

The first time I saw our name in the paper I thought it was a mistake and went down to CBGB, it was quiet before soundcheck and he wasn’t there. Confronted his mates and they dropped some nonsense about how it was their name now. Was of course furious at the time but never did get into it with Carl. Outrage aside, I was always disappointed with the lies and tarnishing of The Icemen’s legacy.

It was Noah who presented the idea in 2007, to start thawing The Icemen out with the thought that not only would we set the record straight but more to the point was that The Icemen have some unfinished business to take care of.


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