Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Marco from The Icemen gives us the harsh truth. Coming soon…
It is so hard to describe what it was like 27 years ago, not that I have forgotten but that our culture has changed so dramatically. Today people and society celebrate difference, or at least they give lip service to it and are much more willing to not make a “____” that someone is gay, or Hispanic or a little crazy. But in the early 80s conformity was not just a word, it was a law that was enforced by everyone fromthe other kids at school, to teachers, to cops, and old folks on the subway.
Let me also say that I have no idea what it is like to be a teenager today, there is no underground anymore, as soon as anything is deemed cool it is picked up by a web-site and within two weeks a version of it is being sold at the mall. What did Tom Frank call it…the “commodification of cool.” But if anyone wants to experience what it was like to be hardcore in the early 80s, just wear a t-shirt with a photo of Osama bin Laden on it and walk down any street. It was really that bad.
Of course we did all revel in it a little bit, what was the title of that Iron Cross single, “Hated and Proud”? A few years ago I heard someone on NPR say that he got into punk because as a young gay man it made other folks at his school fear him. He called it ‘the squid affect,’ dressing like a punk made people fear him regardless of the fact that he was a sissy (his words not mine), much the same way that fish are confused and frightened by the ink that squids produce.
OK so how did I get into the Boston scene? Well I grew up about 60 miles south of Boston, and for some reason I became an outcast. Well I guess I was always different than the kids I grew up with, and wanted to be part of something that I could call my own. I was tired of hearing my friend’s older brothers say that all the best music had already been played, all the best parties had already happened, and that nothing I could do could was as meaningful as the 60s. It was infuriating and at the same time freeing in that I didn’t have to measure myself to some old hippy shit, but what to do, with whom and where.
Although I lived closer to Providence and went to plenty of shows there, Boston was where you could go and be a part of a scene. There was something so primal about walking into some shitty little club and seeing all these other freaky kids, “my tribe” I remember thinking. And although the Boston scene had the reputation as a hard city, the shows were filled with every kind of kid from all over New England: abused kids, the super smart, the mentally retarded, gay and lesbian kids, bored kids, you name it they were there. The thing about Boston is that we have this Napoleon complex with New York, you know always number two regardless of how great you are and how shitty they are. It goes deeper than just Red Sox vs. Yankees, historically thinking about the political importance of Boston vs. NY, there are so many examples, but let me just say that we all grew up with that in our DNA.
So Boston always wants to show that it is as important if not better than NY, and that was the attitude that the scene had, that bands had, whether or not we even were consciously thinking about NYC. But much like the idea of the squid affect being able to come off as tough was something that most of us had never experienced and it was attractive, even though it would turn you into the same type of creep that you got into hardcore to avoid.
Who was the original “Boston Crew?” Where were you in this mix? Were there different phases or eras? Was straight edge a pre-requisite of sorts? What bands epitomized The Crew?
Well the thing to remember with the ‘crew’ is that it was about individuals, not bands, although SSD, DYS and Negative FX were clearly Boston Crew bands, it was because Al, Choke, Jamie, and Smalley belonged to those bands rather than the other way about. I wasn’t a part of the crew, which had to do with the fact that I didn’t know those guys at that time as I lived well outside of the city and couldn’t get into Boston as often. Though now it sounds like a club that I didn’t have membership in. But the crew were the folks that Al Barile was friends with, and who wanted to do something new and were willing to wear sleeve hats. (You know, when you ripped the sleeve off of a t-shirt and wear it like a head band).
Of course this whole thing going on right now with Al and Springa is sad. Al has such integrity and is very set in his ways and Springa is just driving him nuts. Of course what Al and any artist needs to remember is that you create with other people and that no one can own it. Now I’m not saying that Springa is right in trying to sell his Springa Show as SSD, but Springa was as important to SSD as the rest of the band. He created a balance to all of the heaviness of the band with his chaotic absurdity that made it punk.
When did you become Hank Straight Edge and not just Hank? Were you straight edge the second you heard of the concept? Who gave you the name, and did it easily stick? Do you still commonly refer to yourself by that name? Do others? Are you still proudly straight edge? (ED. Note: I know, I know, to ask someone if they are straight edge is a boring, typical question – but I had to ask here).
You are right on with the description of how I became Straight Edge, as soon as I heard the concept I was sold. I already wasn’t doing drugs or drinking and was so psyched that there was a name for it and bands who were singing about it. My sister and I both hated where we grew up and wanted to get away, she took the “I’m a rebel and will do drugs and drink to express my dissatisfaction” route. But for me I just looked at how all of the idealism of the 60s shit the bed once drugs were introduced. Fuck, the kids getting high and drunk in town were the ones who I was getting into fights with every day, so why the fuck would I want to be like them in any way?
Am I still Straight Edge? Hell yeah! I don’t even allow alcohol at any church events, of course like at most churches there are lots of recovering drunks and they don’t need to be confronted with it at some bean supper. I just think that alcohol and drugs are something that we as a society can do without. Sure, most of my friends weren’t Straight Edge, but being with Slappy on the road was the best, nothing could keep us down…well usually.
It is amazing the impact that SE has made in the larger culture, and to be honest I wish no one did drugs or drank. However, just having kids in their teens not drinking or getting high is great, even if after college they start to drink. I hate to add that last part but it is true, let these folks get some experience under their belts so that they hopefully make better choices. It is also interesting to see how SE has evolved in these 25 or so years, the vegetarian thing is understandable, and I have to admit so does the Earth First stuff. Not that I’m a vegetarian or burn down McMansions, but if I lived in Utah I bet I would want to blow stuff up too.
It really is good to see the personal politics of SE interface with radical politics of justice. What did Mark Anderson say, “How radical is ‘rock-n-roll all night and party everyday’ in a world of starving children?”
[TO BE CONTINUED]
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
In addition to having been around all of the racial issues that were in the hardcore scene, that we thought weren’t gonna be there in the first place or thought we could ignore, I also saw a lot of my friends just getting heavier and heavier into drugs. A lot of people were doing heroin or doing crack. I didn’t want to be a part of that. I had gotten away from it in the Bronx! So why would I wanna be back around it when I wanted to escape it in the first place? That was just a track of destruction. I didn’t want to end up around that, with people not having jobs and sleeping on couches.
When you break up from your band, it’s like a divorce, and I didn’t want to go through that. You go from being Djinji Absolution, to just being Djinji. That was tough. Now I needed something. So for me, it was like, “Ok, I’m not gonna go to college, but I need to get a skill.” So I went to the recording studio after that, it was Jerry Williams who lead me to that. I went to the Institute of Audio Research. Prior to that I was working at health food stores and thinking I would end up being a bike messenger. That’s what I wanted to do at 17 and 18, because that’s what my friends did. My parents didn’t see that though, they didn’t want me doing that, even though they didn’t tell me what to do. Still, I rode like one, carried a bag like one, got hit by cars like one…I just wasn’t getting paid. But Jerry Williams lead me to becoming an engineer, and that was my safety net. Now I could have a career, and record hip-hop acts, rock acts, jazz acts. Now they needed me, I didn’t need them. That was a sense of empowerment for me, so I wasn’t relying on other people now.
Now I was going to studios and passing out resumes to get an internship. And I got into Green Street Recording Studios in Soho. And now I am in a studio with gold and platinum records on the wall by artists such as Run DMC, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, Chaka Khan…then Eric Sadler of Public Enemy, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Notorious BIG, Junior Mafia. Man, I don’t care what type of music you listen to…Biggie Smalls! From 1992 to 1994 I lived on Biggie’s block in Brooklyn. In that time, 1992 Brooklyn hip-hop was like 1982 Lower East Side hardcore. What! You could come out of the train and see Biggie Smalls smoking a blunt talking with Nas. I’ve seen it! I had the Junior Mafia in my car, I remember when Lil’ Kim didn’t have fake tits! I recorded her, at least twice or more in February 1995. I remember KRS-One, DJ Premier, Brand Nubian, M.O.P., the Boot Camp Clique, and that was when I worked at DnD studios from ‘97-‘99. I used to watch Big Pun shoot pool, I even recorded him once. He was such a funny dude, just a cool ass dude! It’s just beautiful. It is crazy to me. That didn’t have to happen, and I am very thankful it did. That was just all spirit, for that to have fallen into place and have been in the same room with all those people and learn.
And I knew it was special. I knew it when Pete Rock and CL Smooth created their first album, Mecca and the Soul Brother, I was there as an assistant engineer on 15 out of those 18 songs, and I saw it created. And they had a song on that album about a good friend of theirs they lost, called “They Reminisce Over You” about Trouble T Roy, one of Heavy D’s dancers, who passed away after he fell down some stairs backstage at a concert and that lead to his untimely death. It was just some tragic shit that didn’t have to happen and it fucked everyone’s heads up. So while recording this song, there was Heavy D in the studio, and Charlie Brown from Leaders of the New School, all these heavy weights, because they all knew this album was poppin’ off and it was special. It was probably like when the Bad Brains were recording at 171A…if you knew about it, you knew it was special, like “just be there.” With this, I knew it, and I felt it. I knew where I was at, 1992, that was special. I knew it was the shit.
When I was able to meet and hang out with Harley and John, and meet Dr. Know and Darryl Jennifer, that kinda fulfilled my dreams. I could leave. At the time I couldn’t really see it, but looking back now, yeah, it was time for me and I could leave. Cro-Mags had broken up. Bad Brains weren’t really doing anything at the time. So I needed to go somewhere where there was a community. Now don’t get me wrong, there was obviously still a hardcore community, but my immediate community and direct influences were broken up or in limbo. And then my own band broke up, so I didn’t want to be out there in limbo. I didn’t want to do another band. So I needed to find that sense of community, where things were happening. And I’m very thankful and fortunate for that.
Gavin was the architect in Absolution. Alan and Greg’s contributions can’t be dismissed because they were like the glue and nails that made it all fit. I was just trying to put a nice picture on these buildings. I guess kinda like graf pieces. And I loved all of the songs. Because to me, in those songs, I heard and I hear family making the sounds, people that hung with each other, went through shit with each other, and made music to get down with each other. Because it was family. Gavin, you know, I took him up to the Bronx. I took all my people up to the Bronx, my punks, anyone I could, but with him it was funny…this big blonde haired boy, you know? But I took my blonde girls up there, my asian girlfriends up there. I told you, no black girls were fuckin’ with me and to be quite honest I wasn’t really looking at them in that way either, not at that time. So, I was gonna get my groove on with the girls who didn’t think I was crazy or acting “white.” Those girls up in the Bronx were like, “you are nasty!” They still thought I was cute, they just didn’t understand why I was doing what I was doing. I did a lot of fun things inside and outside of my element.
Those first Absolution shows, I remember the first couple times I had to pace myself, it was tough. But hardcore let me know how strong I really was. I was always teased for being skinny with no muscles, and underweight, having a baby face, and not being a thug. But getting up on stage or on the dance floor, it let me know I was strong and it let me show it. I could get up there and let it all hang out. The energy was crazy, Gavin and I were balls of fire, as were a lot of bands. You couldn’t step on stage if you didn’t have a couple firecrackers in your band. Some of the last shows, with Sergio in the band, were just great. Having him there for a few shows, he was just my brother. With him and Gavin, I felt like it was just two brothers I could just be wild with and wild the fuck out. No disrespect to Alan at all, I mean Alan was great, but with Sergio there was such a long time connection. With Sergio, there were vibes too, so I could really rock out. It was friends, family, community.
Those last three shows were off the fuckin’ hook. The Anthrax, Rock Against Racism, and the Rap Arts Center. That Rap Arts gig, I felt like I was almost there…like, “man, that is how John must feel, that is how HR must feel.” I felt like I was in control of my delivery. My vocals held up, my energy was sustained, I didn’t let the band get away from me. It was like I was really driving the car and hitting all the curves at the perfect time, the car wasn’t driving me. I remember Jerry Williams being there and mixing the show, and he was like a proud father for all of us. And that was the last fucking gig we did. That was the heartbreak I’ve been talking about. I have really blocked that out, I haven’t opened up about that. What happened… I don’t know, it doesn’t matter. But it would be one thing if the band was going downhill and we broke up. But we were getting better. So for it to end there, that was heartbreaking.
But we did leave on a high note I guess. Still, that makes it tougher to leave and harder to remember because of the nostalgia. It’s easy to leave a relationship when things aren’t good with your girl and you aren’t having fun and you aren’t feeling her or vice versa. But who wants to leave on a high note when the sex is still good and you are having a lot of fun? You leave with all these good memories, and only a few bad ones that don’t outweigh the good ones. With Absolution, there aren’t many bad memories at all, and they are so miniscule. So it is tough. And at that last show, we played last. And it was late. A lot of bands played, Nausea and some other punk bands. But people stuck around to see Absolution, they wanted to see us rock, the buzz was out. And man, I don’t even know what to say. That energy was real.
I don’t really walk around with those vibes anymore. I’ve mellowed. So to come back to it, it’s gonna be like going back and doing my warrior dance. An Indian war dance with my brothers. It won’t be a sit-in with me giving flowers to people. I’m 38, so age shouldn’t slow you down, I want to show that. So I will let it all hang out. Hopefully I don’t give myself a goddamn heart attack!
Details for playing New York…Gavin, Sergio, and I want to do it. But it’s not bittersweet that it can’t be at CB’s or Lismar or The Pyramid. Because that was then, and this is now. I’m really dealing with the power of the “is.” The “is” lives in the present. What “is” to be done. And those places aren’t there anymore, those places are “was.” New York, on some real shit, everybody knows it’s not the city it was creatively. It is a shell of a place that reminds us of what it used to be. There isn’t any real shit there, nothing juicy or eye popping or earth shattering coming out of there now. Everybody knows that. Let’s just remember what it was and be happy we even had that influence in the first place. We don’t have to be the culture mongers of the world, it’s not just about New York. So no, I’m not bittersweet. To perform at Churchill’s in Miami, it’s a little club, it’s in the hood, it’s a cliché…you can get your ass robbed they way you used to at CB’s back in the day, not like today. The Lower East Side today is a nice little playground. Those dangers don’t exist there anymore, and those dangers spawned a lot of creativity. But that shit ain’t there anymore. I love New York, but I don’t love what it has become. It was so colorful.
I want to pay homage to the songs we wrote, Gavin wrote. I don’t need to change them. Maybe minus a few syllables, but I don’t need to re-work them. As an MC in a rap context, I’ve been able to say a lot in one line or two lines, that’s the idea, have one line give a plethora of emotions and images. So if I wrote a new song today I might use that approach more, and I didn’t use it in the old songs then. But I wouldn’t change them, they are what they are. And in the Absolution songs, the lyrical delivery is more like an uzi than a revolver. I mean, when I’m spitting, I’m spitting. The delivery is not efficient at all, I was just trying to get it all out. There are a couple spots for me to catch my own breath in the bridges and breaks, but it is fast. So far, I haven’t tried the physical exercise of delivering those songs again.
Just because he is harder than all of us combined, and can still regret it.
Monday, May 19, 2008
So I shoot Jimmy an email, and he says he is down and that I should give him a call. Here’s the interesting part: he has a 570 area code (like me), which is common in northeast Pennsylvania and the Poconos. Now, I grew up in East Stroudsburg, a small town where my parents still live and I still visit almost every other weekend. Hardcore population: minimal. I figure he is still living in Princeton and maybe just has a random area code number. Wrong. We start talking and Jimmy says he lives in the Poconos. I ask him where specifically and he says, “East Stroudsburg.” Whoa, weird. Turns out he is living about a stone’s throw up the street from the bedroom I grew up in moshing to Judge (yeah, I definitely did not see Judge, so that is as good as it got for me). Small, small world.
Anyways, we are gonna meet up with Jimmy in a couple weeks, sit down, and get it all on tape – CB’s, Death Before Dishonor, Judge, The Anthrax, you name it. I think we have reason to be psyched, since he was telling me he digs the site, loved seeing the Judge video posted, is moving to Florida soon and wants to hang with Porcell, and asked me what Sammy and Mike were up to and wants to get in touch. New York Crew? Fuck…it sure sounds like it. Stay tuned.
We had a lot of fun out in southern California, staying in the Huntington Beach area while on tour. There was a really good scene, everyone would stay at each other’s houses, these big houses with tons of people hanging out, and we’d also drive around and just have an awesome time. We would go out in vans with fire extinguishers, we would ransack places, all sorts of crazy mischief…just not nice stuff! It was like the show Jackass.
There was a lot of good bands from California, I really liked that whole scene, going out there, playing places, hanging out and having a good time. Even the bands, before we went out there, before us there had already been Uniform Choice, Unity, BL’AST!, and the whole Wishingwell scene. These were bands I really liked, and those records still hold up in a lot of ways, just really cool records. Just going out there and going off and playing shows was such an awesome time.
When we got out there, those kids already seemed to have gotten the whole “youth crew” thing down. It was like, when we got there, they were waiting for us. They had already understood what we were about, and they welcomed us. When we got out there it felt like being home, even though it was different weather, different dancing, different styles. They had gotten the Crippled Youth EP, and had seen Youth Of Today from when they were out there, and they just really were waiting for us all the way across the country. We just slid in there at a great time, even though our records were a little bit behind as far as reflecting what we were doing when the records came out. I mean, by the time Speak Out came out we had developed much more than the record showed, or at least I think.
The social side of playing music always meant more to me. It was cool because when Speak Out came out, Revelation had pretty good distribution at the time, so places like Tower had the record and it was visible. Before that, the kids we went to school with didn’t really “get” what we were doing. The whole idea of doing a band was really strange to them. They didn’t understand it if it wasn’t like a “battle of the bands” thing, they just figured it wasn’t for real, like, “what are these guys doing with their little band?” There was no insight on their part into what the hardcore scene was, obviously. But over the course of a couple years, more underground culture started to come to the surface, and people heard more about the band and hardcore. And then we would start seeing people we knew from school, our peers, at our shows. We would be like, “oh my God, that person is here to see us? Weird.” After years of people kinda pushing us around from school and even making fun of us, it was interesting to see them come to us now. And then we could flip it around and be better, we could say to who was working the door, “hey we know these guys from school, let them in.” It was cool to see them come onto our turf now and be interested. That always meant more to me than school, to be able to go into school the next day and feel like you actually did something and were a part of something outside of school that others weren’t – something beyond just sports, hanging out, or going to parties. That was really empowering.
CB’s, The Anthrax, Lupo’s, Safari Club, and Gilman Street were probably my favorite five places to play. I liked playing California because I loved a lot of California stuff that got me into punk and hardcore. Black Flag “Damaged,” Germs “GI,” Circle Jerks “Group Sex,” those to me are some of my all-time favorite records. To get out there and play a few years after those records, that vibe wasn’t all that far removed, even though things were obviously different. Now it seems like those records are from forever ago, but at the time it didn’t seem like it had been that long ago. Even playing Boston, despite some of the schism there, that was special because I loved SSD and DYS, we were partial to them. I think DYS were a little more musical and didn’t have as big a following. Maybe it is a bit lofty to think about, but I think at the time Youth Of Today tried to align themselves with what SSD had done. With that said, I think in BOLD, we saw ourselves a bit more like DYS if there had to be analogies drawn. But even Jerry’s Kids and Gang Green, we loved them.
The K-Town Mosh Crew was a well planted myth in a way, but we did have a good group of people early on. There was a half pipe in town at this kid’s house, and we would go there and skate. This reminds me of a good story, because at the time, skaters and BMX kids didn’t mix. But in our town there would be BMX kids around, and we had this ramp jam once. And this BMX kid was there, and we had suspected him of having stolen Matt’s copy of Victim In Pain. So we all knew it was him but he wouldn’t admit to it. That wasn’t gonna sit. So Cappo was there, and he goes up to this kid, and he says, “Look, all of these guys know where you live, and they know who your parents are. If you don’t give this record back, I am gonna have Agnostic Front and all of the Lower East Side skins come up here, and they are gonna kick your ass, AND they are gonna kick your parents’ asses too. Do you want that to happen?” I think the record was returned the next day with a box of candy and a bow.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I happened to have camera ready copies of these original classic Rev ads, along with full original photos that appeared on both album covers and ads. To me it’s always been interesting to see a little more of those well known photos that you know so well, but ordinarily would never see, as insignificant as they may or may not be. Since I have a large collection of photos, many of which have been used on actual records, I thought this could be a cool recurring feature on the page. -Tim DCXX
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I didn’t know those dudes at all. They were from up North, and older then me and my friends. Clifford was a scary motherfucker though. That whole band was intense. I had a run in with them at a Corrosion of Conformity/SNFU show which is a pretty funny story; Wishingwell Records, asked me to go down to Fenders and sell BL’AST shirts for the band one night. I think Courtney’s line to me was “Dude the band will probably ask for some shirts, so give them a dozen or something.” Anyway, I get there and set up, and am chilling at the merch table. I’m thinking to myself, “wow I’m the BL’AST merch guy. I’m with the BL’AST crew now.” Of course I was too dumb, or young, or a combo of both to actually go find the band first before setting up THEIR merch. Pretty soon Clifford walks up and goes “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Me: “Selling shirts.” Him, very irate: “Yeah I can see that mother fucker…who gave you permission to sell OUR SHIRTS?” Me: “The Dubars, they also said to give you a dozen shirts if you wanted.” Clifford then reaches across the table and pulls me over it with one hand. He basically threatens my life, which would not have been hard to take at the time since I was 16 and weighed about 120 lbs soaking wet. He shook me around for a little bit, and then let me go. I think Big Daryl and Big Frank actually came to my rescue, thank GOD. Of course, he took not only the dozen shirts I was supposed to give the band, but all of the shirts, effectively ending my 20 minute reign as the BL’AST merch guy.
Best show…I saw them just KILL it with The Exploited and Excel. It was just brutal, pissed aggression, but it always was with them. They were like taking a jack hammer straight to the face for 30 minutes. Their pits were pretty violent too. Skinheads, and other thugs loved slamming to that band. Black Flag was the end all be all for goon driven Southern California hardcore. I love Black Flag, but by 1984 when I first saw them, their audience was straight up thugs. I’m pretty sure Rollins and Ginn were so over their local fan base that they did stuff like “Process of Weeding Out” to basically do just that. Anyway, when Black Flag broke up in 1986, there had been a thirst for that style of skate thrash hardcore for sometime. It was a perfect void for BL’AST to fill. They were more Black Flag than Black Flag had been in years.
Did the fan base change when It’s In My Blood came out? It’s hard for me to say. It was definitely mellowing out more in So Cal anyway, so the response of “It’s In My Blood” probably was more to do with the scene changing then the actual material itself. When BL’AST came around the scene was still at its apex. The shows were huge, violent, and always filled with a mixed bag of bands. When It’s In My Blood dropped there was a segregation occurring. You had the straight edge scene, a thrash metal scene happening, and then the weird thing with “Dag Nasty, 7Seconds, and (Youth) Brigade was trying to pull off. I don’t think BL’AST fit in with any of that stuff. They never really fit in on any of those bills. How could you listen to BL’AST and then throw on something like Dag Nasty’s “Trouble Is”? Today… minus a handful of dudes my age nobody in O.C. probably knows who BL’AST even is. I remember going to their reunion shows not too long ago in L.A.,and the place was empty. Their time was 1986 – 1989 I guess, but what a time it was for them.
Twelve year old kids skating in that part of California today would not have a clue about BL’AST!
“Roger Lambert was a madman as a singer. Calm and fairly softspoken offstage, but able to do five foot high splits onstage. He sang for Up Front from January thru September of 1989, then left to form Courage with Ari Katz. In January of 1990 we began practicing with our new drummer Tim Schmoyer while we tried out singers. After Courage broke up, Roger agreed to come back and sing for some shows up and down the east coast in the Summer of ’90. We had a few singing parts in the new songs, and Roger handled those flawlessly. The clip below is from an old VHS tape I hadn’t watched in years of a set from The Anthrax. I’m usually pretty critical of bands I’ve been in, but this put a big smile on my face. I sent it to Roger and we emailed back and forth a bit talking about that video, Up Front, and life in general. Watch and enjoy…” – Jon Field
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
While scouring YouTube as we often do here at DCXX, we came across this incredible Judge video from the Anthrax club in Norwalk, Connecticut, January 7th, 1989. Now I’ve seen this set before, but never at this exact angle and of this quality. Usually I would just ad this video to my favorites and call it a day, but decided posting it up here on DCXX might not be a bad idea.
Take note to Gus SXE’s dives, the dude knew how to get the job done. In case you can’t tell, he’s wearing a white GB “Better Than You” shirt. Early in the video Gus finds himself on top of the crowd, on his back, than powers himself off the crowd, back on to his feet, on the stage and then back into the crowd again with a spinning dive. Looked like a really fun show for sure and Judge sound incredible.
We’ll continue scouring YouTube for more exceptional hardcore videos to post up here. We’re also in the process of converting a lot of our own personal collection to digital format, so expect to see some of that in the future as well.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Over The Line reformed with a slightly different line-up this past year to record an EP for Livewire Records. We caught up with Steve Lucuski (vocals) who answered some questions about the band. Drummer Dan Servon also chimed in. Be sure to check out www.livewire-records.com for more info on the record.
Over The Line is known by most as a band from 1997 who did a demo and then peaced. How do you compare that band to the Over The Line that recorded an EP for release on Livewire in the near future? What is different, what is the same?
Steve: The Over the Line of ’96/’97 was an absolute blast and definitely short-lived. Horner (aka Fitz), Servon, and myself decided to write some material around 2000 in a mature and more evolved vein. Needless to say it never materialized after a few practices, and all that was left were 3 unfinished songs that would never see the light of day. Then 7 years later the Livewire guys expressed their interest in putting out an EP. We always wanted to put out this material but never had any intention of becoming a band again playing shows. If we were going to do a band together again playing shows, it wasn’t going to be Over The Line. The fact was that not only had our sound changed, but so did the lineup.
So after the conversation with Tim I reached out to the band to make this happen. It was a process to get us together for a long weekend to write and finalize songs and then record. I was satisfied with the result of the demo at the time, but felt we could offer a lot more. But the overall drive to do this I think came from our dissatisfaction with the Crucial Response demo 7”. The result was a layout that to me looked so generic and just not a good/real representation of us. Everything from the cover art to the layout is something I’m ashamed to be associated with. So after it was released it left a feeling with me that we had to leave on a better note and just raise the bar. Because the final result was something I sure wasn’t satisfied with. Even the shirt design for the 7” was so lame and printed on natural colored shirts. They were so bad, I didn’t even take one when Fitz received them in the mail. So this gave us an opportunity to get together again and to put out something we could be proud of and release an EP that truly represents us in every aspect.
Monday, May 12, 2008
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