GLEN E. FRIEDMAN & IAN MACKAYE DISCUSS MY RULES
August 21st, 2014 by Larry
Old friends Glen E. Friedman and Ian MacKaye get together down at Dischord House just outside of Washington DC to discuss some of the photographs in Glen’s forthcoming book MY RULES.
You can pre-order the book HERE.
Upcoming book signings:
Tuesday 9/23 7-9pm at Power House Arena in Brooklyn, NY.
Thursday 9/25 6-8 Arcana Books in Culver City, CA.
Monday 9/29 7-9 Book Soup in Hollywood, CA.
GREG ANDERSON OF BROTHERHOOD – PART ONE
August 5th, 2014 by Tony
BROTHERHOOD | PHOTO COURTESY OF : RON GUARDIPEE
As most DCXX readers know, Seattle’s Brotherhood made a unique impact on the Hardcore scene of the late 80’s in their brief existence. Sonically, they crossed the sound of earlier Hardcore bands like The Abused and DYS with the early catalog of Revelation Records to create something that was both crushing and potent in its simplicity. And although they had the whole classic late 80’s Straight Edge look down pat, they were championed by the likes of Maximum Rock N Roll back when the magazine would ridicule any band in high tops and camo shorts. Even almost twenty five years since the bands’ end, Brotherhoods’ music comes off with a righteous fury that cannot be denied.
This week, former Brotherhood guitarist Greg Anderson announced he will re- releasing the entire Brotherhood discography on his own infamous imprint, Southern Lord. Those who know Anderson as a member of the experimental drone duo Sunn O))) or from his time in doom metal unit Goatsnake raised an eyebrow at this action. All I did was raise a smile and immediately jump on the horn to Greg to talk about these formative years of his life playing in Brotherhood.
As expected from two dudes with an equal love for Chain of Strength, Nurse with Wound and Black Sabbath, we had a nice, long chat. The chat was so long in fact that we will be running it in parts over the next few weeks.
This first installment covers the end of Greg’s previous bands, False Liberty and Inner Strength, the origins of the first line-up of Brotherhood and the perfect storm from Eastern Washington known as Ron Guardipee and Nate Mendel.
And of course check out the link at the end of the interview to pre-order Brotherhood vinyl, shirts, sweatshirts and all the various bundle deals Southern Lord is running for the release.
GET INVOLVED!!! – Tony
HOLDING DOWN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST EDGE | PHOTO COURTESY OF: SOUTHERN LORD
False Liberty was my first band. I was the singer for that band. The drummer for False Liberty was Vic Hart and he was also in Brotherhood later on. False Liberty didn’t last too long unfortunately. It was my first band and I was really into it. I was sixteen and playing shows and loving it, but it ended prematurely. There was a weird falling out with the guitar player in his personal life and I was crushed it ended.
From there, I picked up the pieces and started a band called Inner Strength. It was with three totally unrelated dudes. It was the weirdest group of dudes ever put together! It was probably pieced together from want ads in the local paper. The guys I got were totally stoner dudes and we only lasted about eight months due to everyone being so different in that band. I really wanted to play positive Hardcore but the drummer was into REM and the guitarist was really into Yngwie Malmsteen and the bass player was really into Foghat. A strange mix of people!
When Inner Strength broke up, Vic Hart and I reconnected and I told him I wanted to play guitar in my next band. I told him I wanted the band to be in the style of a Straight Edge Hardcore band. Vic was the type of guy who was Straight Edge but he was more into the New York Dolls or the Stooges. But he really wanted to play and he was really good at playing super-fast. He just wanted to play. He didn’t care about the ideology of the group. So that was the start of Brotherhood.
Personally, there was a few things that pushed me in the Straight Edge direction. Firstly I had a girlfriend who was really into drugs at the time. Second, my mom was battling alcoholism. So I was like ‘Drugs and booze are evil!’ Also, I was inspired by the second wave of Straight Edge, especially Youth of Today. It resonated with me at that time in my life since I had a lot of anger towards drugs.
Another big catalyst for the start of Brotherhood was that 1987 was kind of a shitty year for Hardcore. Bands were either going full Metal or trying to be Rock ‘N’ Roll stars or trying to be a pop star. 7 Seconds wanted to be U2. DYS wanted to be Aerosmith. The crossover thing was awesome, but it kind of watered down real Hardcore. The only bands playing real Hardcore at the time was Youth of Today, Straight Ahead and Crippled Youth; I totally glommed onto that. And it wasn’t just the music or the message behind it. They were keeping true Hardcore alive and I thought that was cool.
FIRST LINE-UP ERA BROTHERHOOD WITH JOHN WHITE (OPEN YOUR EYES EDITOR) ON VOCALS | PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN WHITE
Brotherhood had two line-ups. It was always me and Vic. We had a guy named Ken on bass. I think I saw him in a 7 Seconds shirt at a show and started talking to him. The singer was John White. He moved here from Florida and he had a fanzine called Open Your Eyes.
The first time I saw Open Your Eyes, it was a local Seattle record store that was really important called Fallout. It was a Straight Edge ‘zine with a Seattle address and it blew my mind. I made contact with him immediately and we hit it off. So, John White became the first vocalist. We did one recording with him that’s not very good. I thought it was undeveloped since I had just picked up a guitar.
At some point, John White and I had a falling out that is totally hilarious looking back on it. There was going to be a Youth of Today show at Gilman Street. John said that him and his girlfriend Kelli were going to drive to Berkeley for the show and asked if I wanted to go. I was like ‘Yes!’
A couple days before the show he called me and said ‘I’m not going to Gilman, it’s not happening’ but it turned out he went down anyway without me and I was pissed! I was like ‘That’s it! You’re not singing for Brotherhood!’
Shortly after that happened, Ken quit. He was working at a shoe store and was really moving up the ladder to manager, so he had no time for the band. So, the band fell apart for a second but all of a sudden, this perfect storm came in from Eastern Washington…
There was a friend of mine who lived in East Washington named Nate Mendel who played bass in a band called Didily Squat. False Liberty played a lot of shows with them and we were bros. He ended up moving to the big city of Seattle and I told him my band needed a bass player. He was like ‘That’s cool, but I’m not a Straight Edge guy’. But he was such a rad dude and such a good player I didn’t care. So, he joined the band.
THE PERFECT STORM FROM EASTERN WASHINGTON: GREG ANDERSON, RON GUARDIPEE AND NATE MENDEL. PHOTO COURTESY OF: RON GUARDIPIEE
Then, from Spokane there was friend of mine named Ron Guardipee. He was a raging partier, but for whatever reason, he had a change in his life and became really, really militant Straight Edge! It went from me driving that dude around passed out in the back of my car to him X’ing up and wearing sweatshirts. He seemed gung ho on Straight Edge, so I asked him to sing. Just then it was just hitting 1988, which was one of the best years for Hardcore! We all got real swept up in that vibe and the correspondence going on around the scene and it was awesome.
CHECK OUT THE PRE-ORDER PAGE FOR BROTHERHOOD GOODS HERE AND BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE PRE-ORDER PAGE OVER AT REV HQ RIGHT HERE
August 4th, 2014 by Tim
I keep saying I want to regularly do spotlight type pieces on some newer, up and coming type bands, but it’s just been hard to get the time to devote to actually make them happen. If I’ve talked to you and offered to do something like this for your band, I do still intend to do it, it’s just a matter of time, so hang in there. This one here is on Unrestrained from Portland. Unrestrained’s drummer, Jon Sinko, is an old Jersey guy that I’ve known for a long time, so I was more than happy to help get the word out on them. So read up and check em’ out. -Tim DCXX
Who’s in the band, where are you from, give us a little history on each member.
Justin: We’re from Portland, OR, and carry five members:
Jon is originally from New Jersey, and spent time playing drums in Backlash a million years ago.
Poop (yes, Poop) plays guitar and is originally form Salem, OR, which is about an hour south of Portland. He has also spent time in The Physical Challenge, Life & Limb and No Secrets Between Sailors.
Raf plays bass, and came to Oregon via Hawaii. He was in some bands back there such as x36 Chamberx, Cooperstown and Hell Yeah Bowlers.
Ryan is from Southern California and also plays guitar. However, Ryan is moving to NYC soon, so the hunt for another guitar player has begun.
I guess I’m the only Portland native, although Poop might as well count as one too. We actually both used to be in a band called The Dead Unknown in the early 2000s. Aside from the band, I also run Stuck In The Past (http://stuckinthepast.net) with a couple of friends.
What is your motivation, inspiration and goals for Unrestrained and how would you describe the band
Jon: To me Unrestrained is about five guys playing the style of music that we love to play, and doing it in a way that is real to each of us. We each have parts of us that pay tribute to what hardcore has meant to us growing up- from preferring basement shows over big venues, to limited edition vinyl vs one at a time iTunes singles, to being a voice for causes that may or not be at the forefront of conversation to some of the kids we run into these days. I think our inspiration comes from bands like Undertow, Trial, Threadbare and For The Love Of musically but I’m inspired personally by the many friends who are just continuing to be involved in the scene- big or small. Goal-wise- I’d be stoked to just keep doing what we love to do and grow organically to be a band that means something to people and who drives them to get involved in making and supporting music.
Justin: Jon hit on some things that continue to drive me with this band. I want everything that Unrestrained does to be completely organic. I don’t want to purposely push ourselves into any one direction, or work ourselves into some sort of sub-genre mold. Although social and political issues pop up in songs, a large majority of our songs have been used as a vehicle for me to vent about things occurring in my personal life. Struggles and fears are coming to the forefront lyrically, and it has been extremely cathartic for me to put it out there. I know we’ll never be the most popular band, and I’m very content with that. Playing songs born out of frustration, anger and sadness makes me want to play dark, dank basements anyways. As long as we’re all one the same page, and putting forth this same level of passion, I think the band can continue for quite some time.
You guys do a cover of No Escape’s “Framework” and recorded it with guest vocals by Tim Singer, how and why did you guys decide on doing this and how did it all come together with Tim Singer’s involvement?
Jon: So we have a band rule- each member can pick a cover song and we don’t change the song until we play it live at least once. Right after Hurricane Sandy knocked out the east coast- I really wanted to focus my energy on paying tribute to New Jersey and NJHC bands. I think I talked to you (Tim DCXX) about trying to do a NJHC- The Way It Was style comp- at one point. Anyway- I wanted to do No Escape cause 1) they were an amazing band 2) they were a band I thought kids nowadays needed to know 3) I had hopes that I could get Tim to sing on it. I’d known Tim from playing shows together with Backlash and Deadguy so I hit him up and long story short- he was into it. When we first got the vocal tracks it was pretty crazy. If you’ve ever listened to just vocals before it’s pretty different. He did three tracks which Justin worked with to get just right so he and Tim battle back and forth on verses and he lets Tim freestyle throughout. It still stokes me out that this happened. I’m pretty proud of this song. Definitely the only genre you can record a track from one of your favorite bands and likely get the singer to do guest vocals. Pretty rad.
Any plugs or info you want to get out there?
Justin: Our new LP, Forward Onto Death, is out now on Trip Machine Laboratories (http://tripmachinelabs.com). If you’d like, you can keep up with us on facebook (http://facebook.com/unrestrainedpdx) or any other number of social networking sites that we’re easy to find on. We also have a webstore at http://unrestrained.limitedrun.com and are in the process of writing an EP to follow up this new LP. And thanks to DCXX for wanting to do something with us. It’s a true pleasure to be represented on a site that I read all the time.
DETROIT PUNKS EPISODE 1: JOHN BRANNON
July 31st, 2014 by Larry
John Brannon: lead singer of Negative Approach, Laughing Hyenas, and Easy Action.
NYHC 1980 – 1990 BY DCXX’S TONY RETTMAN DUE OUT IN NOVEMBER
July 24th, 2014 by Tony
REST IN PIECES AT CBGB’S | PHOTO: KEN SALERNO
“New York City has an energy that you’re not going to find anywhere else. People who have that passionate, driven mindset; they gravitate to New York City. You couldn’t match it anywhere else. Even being in that intense environment—you had to come into your own to survive that area.”—John Porcelly, Youth of Today/Shelter
Known for its glamorous 1970s punk rock scene, New York City matched the grim urban reality of the 1980s with a rawer musical uprising: New York hardcore. As bands of misfits from across the region gravitated to the forgotten frontier of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. With a a backdrop of despair, bands like Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags, Murphy’s Law, and Youth of Today confronted their reality with relentlessly energetic gigs at CBGB, A7, and the numerous squats in the area.
Tony Rettman’s ambitious oral history captures ten years of struggling, including the scene’s regional rivalries with D.C. and Boston, the birth of moshing, the clash and coming to terms of hardcore and heavy metal, the straightedge movement, and the unlikely influence of Krishna consciousness.
NYHC slams the sidewalk with savage tales of larger-than-life characters and unlikely feats of willpower. The gripping and sometimes hilarious narrative is woven together like the fabric of New York itself from over 100 original interviews with members of Absolution, Adrenalin O.D., Agnostic Front, Antidote, Bad Brains, Bloodclot, Bold, Born Against, Breakdown, Cause for Alarm, Citizen Arrest, Cro-Mags, Crumbsuckers, Death Before Dishonor, Even Worse, False Prophets, Gorilla Biscuits, H20, Heart Attack, Inhuman, Into Another, Irate, Judge, Kraut, Leeway, Life’s Blood, Major Conflict, Murphy’s Law, Nausea, Nihilistics, Nuclear Assault, Numskulls, Outburst, Pro-Pain, Quicksand, Raw Deal, Reagan Youth, Rorschach, S.O.D., Sacrilege, Savage Circle, Sheer Terror, Shelter, Shok, Sick of it All, Side by Side, Skinhead Youth, Straight Ahead, the Abused, the Cryptcrashers, the Mad, the Misfits, the Misguided, the Mob, the Psychos, the Ritz, the Stimulators, the Undead, Token Entry, Underdog, Urban Waste, Virus, Warzone, Youth of Today, and many, many more.
MOSH IT UP!
“In other parts of our neighborhood, guys were breakdancing against each other; we were moshing against each other. It was all about who had the most style, as opposed to today where it’s just picking up change and karate kicking. It was all about trying to keep dancing, while still blasting into someone from D.C. or Boston, and all about who had the hardest pit for their town’s band. It was like supporting your city’s hockey team or something.”—Jimmy G, Murphy’s Law
“At that time, the Lower East Side was a warzone. It wasn’t the gentrified neighborhood that it’s been for the last twenty years. It was a fucking warzone, without question. It was worse than the worse neighborhoods you know in New York City today. It was a trip to be down there and go to those bars and A7 and shit like that. I wasn’t even eighteen yet, and I was getting a peek into a world that most people will never see.”—Eddie Sutton, Leeway
“I had my personal experiences from life; being on the streets, being locked up, and being in abusive foster homes. I was fighting. I was shot and stabbed, and that’s what came out. We sang about street justice and survival on the streets because that shit was for real. That shit was a way to express ourselves and get out that angst. It was real. It wasn’t some hypothetical bullshit.”—John Joseph, Cro-Mags
DOUBLE CROSS will be the exclusive source for info on ‘NYHC 1980 – 1990′ leading up to the books’ release. Expect chapter excerpts, uncut interviews, photos, flyers and much, much more!
CENTER OF THE WORLD
July 22nd, 2014 by Tim
MIKE DEAN WITH CORROSION OF CONFORMITY | PHOTO: STEVE BOREK