Monday, November 8, 2010
Back in January of 2009, I met up with Youth Of Today “Break Down The Walls” 1987 summer tour roadie, RJ Vail and had a nice little sit down interview/conversation with him. A small portion of our conversation was transcribed and posted here on DCXX, but the majority of it never got posted due to issues that I ran into with the cassette. Hopefully sooner than later I’ll be able to salvage more of that interview because much of that conversation would make for a great read here. In the case that you missed that first entry, here’s a link to the original posting… RJ Vail 1/27/2009
After my meeting and interview with RJ, I ended up getting a nice little care package in the mail from him. One particular item RJ sent me was this Unity hand cut tank top that he told me he had gotten from Porcell on the “Break Down The Walls” 87 tour. RJ didn’t know the shirts’ origins, so I shot Porcell a message to see what memories he had about it. Unfortunately, Porcell had no memories regarding the Unity shirt either and didn’t even believe that it was ever actually his. Now I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a photo or two of Porcell wearing this exact shirt, but I can’t blame the guy for forgetting one particular hardcore shirt out of hundreds that I’m sure he’s owned over the past thirty years.
So now I turn to you, the readers of DCXX for a little help. Something tells me that someone out there has some knowledge of this shirt and can shed a little light on it. I suppose I could reach out to Orange County Hardcore veterans like, Patrick Longrie, Dan O’Mahony, Joe Nelson or one of the Insted guys, but I thought I’d just toss it out there and see what comes back in the comments section. One thing about this shirt that could help in it’s research is what appears to be a stamp on it that says, “Stretch’s 1984″. Ring any bells? Fill us in. -Tim DCXX
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Just a quick heads up, I’ll be working on a complete Vision / Dave Franklin’s B-Day show wrap up, as will DCXX contributor, Derek Rinaldi. We’ll also have a nice collection of Ken Salerno’s photographic documentation of this epic New Jersey night as well. -Tim DCXX
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Mike Hartsfield and Andrew with Strife in 1994, Photo courtesy of: Mike Hartsfield
What’s the dynamic within the band at this point? Has there been any drama, or have you guys always remained close?
Chad: We are really tight. Things feel better now than they have ever been. I think alleviating a lot of the pressures and really just doing what we want to do on our own terms has helped us a great deal. We found the fun in doing this band again. The other night I was picking up Rick to head over to practice and we were talking on the way. He says to me “I’m so excited” talking about this upcoming run. I love those moments.
Knowing that being away from home or work isn’t as much of a burden on anyone in the band anymore and something we are looking so forward to is great. Just getting back out there and playing again. Those are the moments that make me happy. I love seeing my bandmates happy, excited and looking forward to what lies ahead. I also love not knowing or caring about what lies ahead. We do this because we want to. It’s the time that we as friends get to come back together and do what we love.
Sid and Andrew with Strife, Photo: Dan Rawe
Andrew: Everyone in the band has remained friends and has stayed in touch. More than anything, this is what gets us together. We all lead pretty busy lives, and playing a show forces us to set up time to hang out, practice, and play.
Obviously we have had our ups and downs, but we are close friends. We definitely wouldn’t be playing shows together if we weren’t. We don’t have the pressure of being in a full time touring band, and relying upon our band as our sole source of income. That’s really what made us stop playing in the first place. It stopped being fun and became a job. We all had rent and bills to pay, and we were touring consistently. On top of that we were getting slack for our guarantees, which weren’t even that high. I think it’s easy to talk shit about things when you are on the outside looking in, but we sacrificed a lot to do what we did as a band. It took years of hard work and commitment, and I respect all bands that are out there doing what they love.
Chad pounds the 4 strings with Strife, Photo: Dan Rawe
Give us a run down on all the places Strife has played, which have been your favorites and why? Where would you still like to travel to?
Chad: Well, The U.S. & Eastern–Mid Canada, Hawaii twice, Japan, Australia, all over Europe & the UK. Crazy to think of how many places we’ve been. We’re supposed to be getting back to Japan early next year and South America finally. I’d like to get to Russia, South East Asia and back to Australia.
My all time favorites have been Paris, Prague, London, and we did a tour with Sick Of It All that took us into some really cool looking parts of (French) Canada. Honestly though man, I just love to travel. If it weren’t for this band I never would have had a chance to see so much of the world. Even though I am fond of those places it’s really hard to name a best. I’m kind of an architecture fanatic and I love old things. I love L.A. but the history only goes back so far. It’s a trip to go somewhere and stand in a street that existed in the 1800s and just think about what it has seen.
Andrew: We toured a lot of the years, and this band has definitely taken us to places that a lot of people haven’t had the chance to see. Japan and Australia were two of my favorite places for sure. Japan for how different it was from the U.S. and Australia for how similar it was!
Other cool places were Prague, Budapest, and Scandanavia. I love to travel, and I am thankful that we continue to have an opportunity to do so. We flew out to Paris back in March to play the Extreme Music Festival with Agnostic Front and Skarhead. I stayed in Paris for about a week and then flew to Prague to hang out with Matt Enright from 1134 and Travis from Outspoken/Mean Season. It was nice to actually spend time in a city. Touring is great, but most of the time all you get to see is the inside of the venue and the countryside as you drive to the next show.
Rick on his Burn shirt tear, Photo: Dan Rawe
What would you cite as the main 5 collective musical influences on Strife if you had to?
Chad: Us. We’re 5 people and we all have pretty diverse musical tastes. Also, I would say early on it was Cro-Mags, Judge, some of our breakdowns fare more on the hip hop side of things. We all love old rap. I’m more east coast on that though. We would go see Chain play all the time, Outspoken, Sick Of It All (I think I saw them 3 or 4 times on the Just Look Around Tour alone). We would watch old hardcore videos at home that Mandel would have copies of or kids like Justin Moulder, Dan Rawe or Tim Mouthpiece sent over. I mean, overall, although we loved a lot of bands in this scene, the influence was hardcore.
Andrew: We are all fans of all types of music, but when we started this band we really wanted to be a band that represented everything that we loved about hardcore. Stage dives, sing alongs, audience participation. Stage presence was equally as important as the music, because that is what we liked to see when we went to shows. We started in 1990, and that was the year that many of our favorite bands broke up. We wanted to carry on that tradition, and keep that spirit alive.
Chad pretty much nailed it with the bands though:
Sick Of It All
Chain Of Strength
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
This Saturday, November 6th, New Jersey Hardcore legends, Vision will take the stage once again at The Court Tavern in New Brunswick, NJ. For anyone that’s made it out to one of these shows in the past, they can surely attest that they are always a blast. This time around though might be a little more special, the Vision boys have some surprises up their sleeves to help celebrate Vision frontman, Dave Franklin’s birthday. I can’t let the cat out of the bag, but I can assure you that some special guests will deliver. Hold Fast… Tim DCXX
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Judge at the Pipe Dragon, Buffalo NY, Spring 1988, Photo: Geoffrey Nicholson
The unpopular vote seems to be the one that I always go with, but that’s fine with me. I’ll go to my grave swearing up and down that the “New York Crew” 7″ is better than “Bringin’ It Down” for two reasons: “Fed Up” and “In My Way.” Two of the angriest, hardest, in your face and urgent straight edge songs ever written.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Cool Justice League interview done by Threatening Society Fanzine in 1987, now up on the Threatening Society website for all those to enjoy. Check it out. -Tim DCXX
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Dead cats hanging from poles
Little dead are out in groves
I remember Halloween
Brown leafed vertigo
Where skeletal life is known
I remember Halloween
This day anything goes
Burning bodies hanging from poles
I remember Halloween
Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween
Candy apples and razor blades
Little dead are soon in graves
I remember Halloween
This day anything goes
Burning bodies hanging from poles
Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween
Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I’ve known these guys for the better part of 18 years now, met them in late 1991, early 1992 while I was in Mouthpiece on our first California tour. I recall hearing about them before that though, Strife was coming up around the same time that Mouthpiece was and I remember feeling this instant connection with them before we even met. Us on the east coast, them on the west coast, both with the same hopes and goals, coming from similar backgrounds, similar ages, both putting records out on New Age, we definitely had a lot in common. Throughout the early 90’s we played a lot of shows together, did a weekend with them on their first trip to the east coast, hung out dozens of times and for the most part, have kept in touch through it all.
Considering Strife just made their first trip back to the east coast in quite awhile, Gordo and I thought we’d catch up with Chad and Andrew and get some info on their past, present and future. Dig in, more to come. -Tim DCXX
How did Strife come together? Give us the complete back story to the early/beginning days of the band and share some of your favorite memories.
Chad: For the most part we all hung out in high school. You could find us skating in the parking lot of a grocery store by where we lived basically every day. We had a pretty good crew going back in those days. Sid and Andrew, out of all my friends, were the most involved in the punk and hardcore scenes coming up at the time and wanted to start a straight edge band and really grow that scene in our local area. They knew of a singer (Rick) from Moorpark who sang for a band called Monster Club. He was straight edge and they asked him if he’d be into joining the group. He was into it, and they were the first 3 members of the group XStand As OneX. They brought in this kid Scotty Colin on bass. He was a really cool straight edge kid also from Moorpark but he soon started doing drugs so that didn’t last very long. I think they played 1 show at Moorpark High School with Outspoken and that was it for him.
After that Sid had called me up and asked if I wanted to play bass. Not knowing a single thing about playing bass I of course agreed and borrowed a bass from our friend Mike. After a few practices of “your fingers go here and you do this with your hands” we played 1 show in our friend Jeff Moore’s garage and then another really (really) bad show in Santa Barbara. It was after the Santa Barbara show that we decided to change our name to Strife. It was that bad. Not the show, just how we played (although the show may have been too).
It’s hard to remember that far back. You have to keep in mind, I was about 15-16 when we started doing this thing. It was kind of awesome how everything came together. We would practice as much as we could at the Teen Center by our house and our friend Tony’s garage. Drive to shows in Riverside, San Diego, Long Beach every weekend. That was a pretty good ways away for us in those days. But they are some of the best memories I have. Experiencing something that positive, such a unified scene at such a young age…if you would have told me back then that we’d be doing this now, years later, recounting all of the shows and fun times we’ve had over the years, not only would I not have believed you, but I can easily say that this band and these friends have been the greatest and most consistent thing in my life.
Andrew: I started getting into punk and hardcore in 7th and 8th grade. The kids I grew up with and skated with were really into bands like The Descendents, The Freeze, C.O.C., D.R.I, Suicidal, 7 Seconds and other stuff. My next door neighbor was 10 or so years older than me and had an amazing record collection. I would borrow 5 to 10 records at a time and dub them to cassette so I could listen to them at home. He was into everything from Punk, Oi, Ska, Hardcore, etc. I was into a bunch of stuff too, but I was really into a lot of the heavier stuff like Agnostic Front, Negative Approach, Cro Mags, and bands like that.
I started High School and I was one of two kids that were into hardcore. We started mail ordering records and hitching rides down to Zed Records to buy stuff on the weekends. That’s when I really started getting into a lot of the NYHC bands like Sick Of It All, Judge, GB, Killing Time, etc. I met Sid, who had just move to Thousand Oaks from Riverside. He played in a punk band out there called S.D.I. and he was into punk and some hardcore stuff. I was friends with his next door neighbor, and we became friends pretty fast. We started going to shows together and that’s where we met Rick.
We couldn’t believe that there were other kids that were into hardcore that lived so close to us. Sid and Rick decided to put a band together with a few friends. The guitar player was pretty flakey, so I would jam on his equipment with Sid when he didn’t show up. I had played a few instruments growing up and I had a guitar. I pretty much taught myself how to play guitar when we started playing together. The first song we wrote was “Dedication” and then continued from there…
Our band was called Stand As One, and our first show was at Moorpark continuation with Outspoken, Downcast (who didn’t show up), and Monster Club (Rick’s former band which became Still Life). Our second show was another show that we set up, with Chain Of Strength, Outspoken, Drift Again, and Have No Part (who became Mean Season).
We played a few more shows as Stand As One, the last being at the Red Barn in San Diego with Struggle and End Of The Line.
We changed our name to Strife soon after…
Chad: Favorite Strife recording…there are a lot of fun stories that surround every recording we’ve done but the most fun, and weird at the same time, was probably recording for the Mandell Can Suck It 7”. If you look at the back of the record you can see why. Sid’s playing guitar and there is a naked baby holding drum sticks. Need I say more? I think the album that best represents Strife would be In This Defiance. One Truth is a good record but we were really still developing our sound for the second record. We’d also been out touring a lot, we got better as players and as a result you have those songs.
I think each record, including Angermeans, just represents a different Strife. We’re the same guys but over the years and the more you do this your style develops. There are some bands that put out the same record over and over but I don’t think that could be said about us.
Andrew: I feel In This Defiance is by far our best record. I think that is where we really found ourselves as a band, and everything came together perfectly on that recording. I feel like those songs are the perfect blend of heavy hardcore with just a touch of metal, and that those songs still stand up after all these years.
Chad with Strife at Middlesex County College, Edison NJ, 4/17/1993
What’s the biggest motivation to keep doing Strife in 2010?
Chad: Well, it isn’t money. The truth is we just really love this shit. We love getting excited to get out and play a show, do a tour, whatever. After all this time and all of the past bullshit aside it’s still fun as hell and we love each other like brothers. We’re all at a point now where we are pretty well settled into our lives and have the ability to balance out home, work and the band. It’s not that hard for any of us to really take a little time off and go do a week, weekend, whatever here or there. I’m 35 and I still love hardcore. I work for a concert promoter. Our company does a number of different shows and concerts every year. I’m at about 200 of them. I’ve seen a band or two. Nothing really gets your blood going like hardcore. Most of the shows I see on a nightly basis I could bring a pillow to. I mean to each their own. I like other forms of music as well but the fact is that nothing compares to hardcore.
Andrew: Strife has been such a big part of my life that when I’m not on stage playing these songs I really miss it. I miss the energy and the rush as well as the friendship. People have changed over the years, but I feel like we still have a positive message to share, and hopefully that inspires some kids to pick up an instrument and start a band or to make a positive change in their life. Luckily our band is at a point where we can get together and play every now and then and the kids still want to come out and hear some of the songs that they grew up on. We are definitely thankful for that.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Music is just like the recording… Dwid’s vocals destroy.
“This goes out to everyone out there who’s still Straight Edge, it’s called Bringing It Back.”
I don’t know this guy but I want to.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
By this time I’m sure the majority of you that were planning on trekking out to Washington, DC for this year’s “A Time We’ll Remember” fest, have heard the news about it’s cancelation. In the case that you’re still going to be in the area or just want to check out a killer show, Philadelphia’s own, Joe HC, has pieced together a mini-bail out show to take the place of “A Time We’ll Remember”. Consider it a much slimmed down version consisting of the Cro-Mags, Hands Tied, Cast Aside, Agitator and Outlast. The Broad Street Ministry is a great venue in Philadelphia that holds roughly 300, so get their early or get tickets online, because you don’t want to get turned away for this one. For more information go to: www.r5productions.com -Tim DCXX
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I just came across this video of Supertouch today, it’s from New Brunswick, NJ, 174 Commercial Ave to be exact, the former house of the Bouncing Souls. Apparently the Bouncing Souls would throw these big backyard BBQ parties with half pipe skating and bands. This one was from October 10, 1992 and it was the only Bouncing Souls party of it’s kind that I ever came out for.
One thing I remember about this show was just how great Supertouch were that night. As you can see from the video, it was a tight, intimate, garage setting with kids just looking to have a good time. Supertouch were so on point and so heavy and “Anything It Takes” is a perfect example of that. It was a little strange seeing this Supertouch line up that didn’t have Andy or Joe, but although not originals, these guys definitely held their own. I’m pretty sure this was the last time I saw them, until the recent reunions over the past handful of years. Hopefully the rumors come to fruition and we get some more Supertouch shows in 2011. -Tim DCXX
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wow! So Quicksand it is…coincidentally, I had a dream last night that we did a reunion show. In the dream we forgot to advertise the show or practice for it and when we hit the stage I realized I wasn’t wearing pants either, just tighty whities and what’s worse, directly after the set Tom and I got in a fist fight, just like in the old days!
It’s nice to know that people still like Quicksand, I really love a lot of the stuff we did together although in this case I believe the deck was a little stacked. I can’t help feeling bad for those Walter & The Motorcycle guys, I mean who cast that second vote? Chris Daly? Nelson? Bless your heart whoever it was and thanks to Double Cross for carrying the torch for HC on the interwebs. -Walter
Walter and Sergio with Quicksand at The Anthrax, Norwalk CT, Photo: Jenn Kulawas
Walter with Quicksand at The Anthrax, Norwalk CT, Photo: Jenn Kulawas
Walter fronting Quicksand while someone goes for a dive at The Anthrax, Norwalk CT, Photo: Jenn Kulawas
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
In case you hadn’t heard, Chris over at More Than A Witness, who’s brought us a ton of great live tapes, is releasing the Young Republicans demo as a 7″. Here’s a note from Chris on the release; “Three tracks on this Young Republicans 7″ EP would later be reworked and rerecorded for the debut Youth of Today “Can’t Close My Eyes” 7” on Positive Force; “Respect For Authority (None)” became “Stabbed In The Back”, “Backyard Bomb” became “Expectations”, and “High School Rednecks” became Project X’s “Straightedge Revenge” note for note on their sole EP on Schism.”
Enough of a reason to order one? Yeah, I’d say so. Check out More Than A Witness and get your order in while they’re still available. -Tim DCXX
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Walter and Tom with Quicksand at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno
As expected, Quicksand ran away with the votes as the vast majority of voters’ favorite band fronted by the beloved Walter Schreifels.
Forget for a minute that Walter essentially orchestrated GB on his own and basically wrote everything in the band, that he was a key player and writer in YOT from 1987 on, brainstormed CIV and wrote all that stuff too, and is a versatile bassist and guitarist – the guy has been fronting and singing in bands now for 20 years. Pretty crazy. Obviously some of these projects gained very little attention in the poll results, but if nothing else, it’s clear that Walter has a dense catalog of music and lyrics he’s been belting out as a frontman for a real long time.
Personally, my vote went to Moondog, but it’s no knock on Quicksand. Love Quicksand, the first EP still gives me chills when the Omission bassline rumbles through the speakers – the whole thing is weird and creepy and confusing and awesome and really is in my mind at least, the epitome of that 1990 “which direction now?” Revelation scene. Walter would prove he had a real talent, great lyrics, a unique delivery and his own style in a time where Quicksand spawned a lot of imitators and really paved their own way.
Walter with Quicksand in San Francisco, 1995, Photo: Brian Lillie
But I’ve always loved Moondog because you can just hear the raw goods in his delivery and style. He’s essentially finding his way but his voice just sounds so cool, and some of those Moondog tracks really smoke. Sure it would evolve into Quicksand, but Moondog was a hardcore band dabbling in weird rock stuff, whereas I view Quicksand as a weird rock band that was still dabbling with hardcore stuff.
Rival Schools trailed behind in third place, but I think that had they remained a band longer the first time around, those numbers would be different. They really seemed to be gaining a lot of momentum when they hit the skids – so it’s gonna be cool to see what kind of ground they gain now that they are back together. Maybe they aren’t a hardcore band, but they’ve written some great tunes and seeing The Youth and ND in a band together…well shit, that’s half of Project X as far as I’m concerned.
Sergio with Quicksand at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno
Oh, and a thing about Wally hardcore: don’t let all the rock music fool ya. Walter still knows a thing or two about a thing or two. I’d bet the guy could lay down a classic sounding hardcore EP entirely on his own that would shred if he wanted to.
So…Walter, whatdya say? – Gordo DCXX
Quicksand – 309
Moondog – 73
Rival Schools – 35
World’s Fastest Car – 7
Walking Concert – 7
Walter and the Motorcycles – 2
Tom and Wally with Quicksand, Photo courtesy of: Quicksand
Monday, October 18, 2010
Dan, Ivan and Tim with Powerhouse, Photo courtesy of: Powerhouse
Here’s part three of our interview with Powerhouse guitarist, Tim Pryce. Big thanks to Tim for answering our questions and being one of the good guys all these years. Also, thanks to Ivan for sending me the Powerhouse DVD, which spawned the whole idea to make this interview happen. Check out Tim’s new blog, http://timpryce.blogspot.com/ Still friends… Tim DCXX
How did things come together with Powerhouse and New Age Records?
I was writing to everyone I could all the time, making great friends. I think it was Jeff Terranova from Up Front who first got me in touch with Mike from New Age. We used to talk on the phone (back when long distance calls cost TONS of $) all the time. Jeff from CT, Mike in CA and me in Miami. We all hit it off so well, Mike liked the demo a lot, and he was very cool about wanting to do the EP. We were super happy about it.
What memories do you have from the 7″ recording session?
I remember that it went pretty smoothly, we recorded on tape then (this was just before Pro Tools and stuff), so there was quite a process to go through, but we had a lot of fun – and a BIG back up vocal session!!
For me, A First Time and Still Friends stick out because they were the songs that had the most personal meaning to Ivan and me. I mean… Ivan is still my closest friend… I wrote Still Friends about him – and he sang it loud right back. A First Time was really about uniting everyone together and controlling the strife that we did have in our scene. It meant a lot to us that it seemed to bring a lot of people together.
Once the 7″ was released, what kind of changes did you see within the band and outside of the band as well? Did Powerhouse’s popularity peak after the release of the 7″?
Well, we did write & play about 6 more newer songs after the EP came out that we never got to record. Ivan and I were growing into a lot of post-HC stuff, listening to a lot of Quicksand, Rollins Band, Fugazi, Jawbox… even stuff like The Melvins & Helmet. I believe our very last show was with Quicksand in 1990 in Tampa. We wanted to progress a bit – but it was hard to find like-minds at the time – it was frustrating.
When and what brought forth the break up of Powerhouse? If there was anything you could change about how things went or turned out, what would you do differently?
Actually, there was no big blow-out or anything. We all remained close, but were going in different directions. Ivan and I were trying to put something together for a while after that, but then he moved back to Arizona for a bit, so that was put on hold. It’s kinda strange that we never really did a “farewell” show, or a reunion, for that matter, but we did stay involved in the scene and the music that was happening at the time.
Back cover of Powerhouse 7″
What kind of interest do you get from kids these days regarding Powerhouse? What are your thoughts on the band’s legacy? How do you look back on those days with the band and the band in general?
I still can’t believe that anyone really remembers the band as well as so many people do – it makes me (and Ivan too) very happy. When I was playing and doing a little touring with Where Fear And Weapons Meet, I was surprised by how many people I met who knew about us… Lately, we’ve been talking & getting back in touch with a lot of great people we used to know. There’s a really cool HC band down in Miami that plays A First Time in every set! We just saw them play in Gainesville and it was really great. They are called Hardware Youth – great people who really have a blast playing cool HC stuff. They do it really well.
We (Ivan and I) look back on those days with a lot of great feelings. I think we did something really cool and fun, made tons of great friends all over the place, and it feels really good to be remembered in a positive way.
What are you up to these days and what kind of connection do you have to the other members of Powerhouse?
Well, Ivan and I are of course still very, very close. We both have teenage kids and we live about an hour or so away from each other in northern FL, but we’re still friends with everyone we played with. Dan (who went on to play in Cavity) & Scott Baldwin – great people… as well as a lot of people who were just a big part of what we did at the time. Sadly, we lost Andy and miss him very much… that is a horrible thing for us to think about. He was a great man, and a great musician as well.
Well, Ivan and I have been working on something that might be really fun with a couple of other great musicians… hopefully before year’s end… stay in touch if you’re interested! You’ll probably hear about it here first!!!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Holy shit! Never seen this video before and had to post it immediately, fuckin’ incredible! If this doesn’t make you want to do a sofa dive or a flip on your bed, I don’t know what will. -Tim DCXX
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
I’ve been catching word here and there about Keith Morris’s (Black Flag / Circle Jerks) latest band, OFF!, but hadn’t actually heard a note until today, and I gotta say, I’m pretty damn impressed. Classic, early Black Flag style, Southern California hardcore, played hard, loud and dirty.
Keith’s joined by Bassist, Steve McDonald (Redd Kross), drummer, Mario Rubalcaba (411, Clikatat Ikatowi, Rocket From The Crypt, Hot Snakes) and guitarist, Dimitri Coats. It looks like OFF! will be releasing their first EP, tomorrow, October 12th, which will include a limited edition Raymond Pettibon poster. Cool stuff, so lay into the videos and check the links for more details. -Tim DCXX
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Supertouch at The Safari Club, Washington DC, Photo courtesy of: John White
Coming off of last night’s Supertouch poll wrap up, Tom Farkas dropped us a line with a cool thing he had written about Supertouch, and specifically their WNYU recording. Pretty cool stuff, and a fitting time for it as well, as this legendary recording is apparently coming out sometime soon on vinyl. Thanks Tom. “Climbin’ Aboard!!!” -Gordo DCXX
In the late 1980’s New York hardcore scene very few bands commanded more respect than Supertouch. Mark Ryan, Supertouch’s singer, was an old school legend and had been the singer for Death Before Dishonor in the last great era of NYHC. This gave them a pedigree right out of the gate. Supertouch’s rhythm section was as tight as they come – they weren’t some kids trying to keep it together, they were a rock solid machine. Jon Bivano’s guitar playing was powerful, creative and reminiscent of classic rock greats, and yet, still as aggressive as any other CBGB matinee regulars.
If there was ONE problem with Supertouch, it was that they didn’t have any recordings. Serious devotees of the scene knew all of their songs from going to countless shows but, aside from the occasional blown out crowd recording, no one had access to their music. Most NYHC bands progressed from demo tape, to a compilation track, to a seven inch, and maybe, if they were top notch, a full length. Supertouch could have gone straight to the full-length and pleased the whole scene.
Joe and Mark with Supertouch, Photo: Eric Fennell
When the first Revelation Records compilation ‘Together’ came out, Supertouch had the track ‘Searching For The Light’ on the B-side and it was an instant classic. The recording was weak, but the track shined right through. Hopes were high, if Supertouch had gone into a recording studio, maybe we would be hearing some more from them soon. But all we had was that one track, and a head full of memories of all of their other great songs.
So when the second Revelation Records compilation, ‘The Way It Is’, hit the shelves, there was a chance that we might get some more Supertouch material to devour. And we did, sort of. It was yet another version of ‘Searching For The Light’. True fans needed more than this to satisfy them.
That satisfaction came in the form of radio waves. Supertouch played a live set on WNYU. Every NYHC kid had this tape. This was as close as we would get to a full length Supertouch record for quite some time. That live radio set got played countless times, traded, dubbed, lost and found. It was the definitive recording of those songs, at that time.
When Supertouch finally did release a full length LP, ‘The Earth Is Flat’, it had all different, newer songs on it, leaving that WNYU tape as the time capsule for a bygone era. All of us who saw Supertouch live back when they were doing those earlier songs will always hold onto that radio recording near and dear. The audio may be rough and live and the vocals may waiver, but it’s Supertouch LIVE, which is how we remember them. Maybe that’s for the best after all.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Supertouch are one of those bands that I’ve always had a lot of great memories of seeing at their live shows. Going all the way back to the first time I saw them, which was either late ’89 or early ’90 at Rutgers University, to their first show at Middlesex County College in 1990 with Burn and Gridlock. Those pre-“The Earth Is Flat” days, when all they had out was “Searching For The Light” and the “What Did We Learn” 7″ were great. The shows were smaller, but the crowd response was always strong and you would have 50 die-hards singing along to every word. Of course the set would always finish with “Searching” and pile-ons seemed to happen on cue. Good times for sure.
After those few 1989-1990 Supertouch shows that I caught, the band went on a hiatus and nothing was heard from them for quite awhile. Eventually studio tapes started leaking out from “The Earth Is Flat.” I remember hearing it for the first time and being pretty damn confused. Not that the “What Did We Learn” 7″ was traditional hardcore, but it was in the ballpark. On the other hand, this “Earth Is Flat” material was like nothing I had heard before. It’s hard to put into words exactly what I was thinking at the time because it’s been so long, but like I said, I was confused to say the least. As confused as I was, I did not give up on it and kept that tape in rotation that entire summer. Within a couple of weeks I bought “The Earth Is Flat” hook, line and sinker and never looked back. It might have taken me two weeks to “get it”, but I did and it’s forever stuck with me.
Once “The Earth Is Flat” was actually released by Revelation, the band got back together and started playing again. The first show back that I remember was at the Marquee in NYC, it was the last Gorilla Biscuits show in 1992 if I remember correctly. I’m pretty sure “The Earth Is Flat” had been out for about a year or so and at that point it had really sunk in for everyone, it did for me at least. I was so psyched to see Supertouch on a big stage, with a huge crowd and all this great material behind them. I can assure you, they shredded the Marquee that night. I was a little burnt on GB at that point and to me, Supertouch stole the show. They were tight and on the money and delivered to a manic crowd that had waited patiently for a year or two to see them hit the stage again. I remember doing a ton of stage dives that night and trying my damnedest to avoid getting clobbered by the menacing NYC dance floor. Somehow I made it out alive and had the time of my life doing it. When all was said and done, that Supertouch set would be one of my favorite show memories ever.
Over the next couple of years I saw Supertouch quite a few more times. Two that stick out would be another Middlesex show, and the last show I remember seeing them at was a garage show in New Brunswick at the Bouncing Souls house. No matter if it was 50 people or 900, Supertouch always brought it. Luckily, over the past few years Supertouch have played a few surprise shows and I’ve managed to get myself to two of them. Sounds like Europe will now get their chance to “Get Down” and that’s a good thing.
Supertouch at Middlesex County College, Photo: Pete Reilly
As for the poll, I could have gone either way. I really love both the 7″ and LP equally and to be completely honest, I’m not even sure which I actually voted for. Both represent different eras of the band to me, but both bring about positives from each side. Obviously “The Earth Is Flat” went home with the win and I can understand that, it is a full LP’s worth of material, but in the end, there are no losers here. -Tim DCXX
Supertouch – “The Earth Is Flat” LP – 148
Supertouch – “What Did We Learn” 7” – 85
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