BROTHERHOOD’S SECOND BASS PLAYER, CHRIS CHARLOT | PHOTO COURTESY OF: RON GUARDIPEE
Before we left on that tour with The Accused, Nate left the band. He was really only there to help us out. He had his other band Christ on a Crutch and wanted to go full bore with them and tour. But he told us, ‘There’s a friend of mine who is a good bass player who is also from the Tri-Cities. He loves your band and he’s totally Straight Edge and he’s moving here next week’. It was so weird how easy it was, but we were like ‘Score!’ and went along with it. So, Chris Charlot joined on bass and that changed things a little bit, but we were so fired to tour with The Accused it didn’t matter.
The tour with The Accused was really what broke up the band. No one was getting along towards the end; we eventually got on each other’s’ nerves. It was everyone’s first time being on tour and if you’ve ever been on tour, you know it takes some quick thinking skills to survive. We were young and being in a confined space with three other people took its toll. People started hating each other and stupid behavior came out. Looking back, it was normal stuff, but if you’re young and don’t know how to deal with it, it becomes a disaster. I came home from that tour hating every single one of the people in the band. They drove me nuts and I know I drove them nuts too, but I came home thinking ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’.
BROTHERHOOD VOCALIST RON GUARDIPEE ROCKIN’ THE CONS | PHOTO: SOUTHERN LORD
Going around the country on that tour, I started to get turned off by the Straight Edge thing. It was getting way too clean cut and way more about conformity than rebellion. It’s kind of funny when you look back how quickly your tastes change to set the mood when you’re young, but since I wasn’t into the whole Straight Edge thing anymore, I got really into Fugazi, Soulside, The Hated; if it was from D.C. I loved it. I went into full D.C. mode and Ron was getting into the super tough guy NYHC stuff. Vic was always really into the New York Dolls and Chris got really into grindcore. So, we were all totally different at this point and I couldn’t even imagine what kind of music we would make at that point. Ron tried to keep it together. He got another guitar player and I think another bass player but it didn’t last too long and we all moved onto other bands. I started a band with Nate that was full-on D.C. mode called Galleon’s Lap and Ron went onto Resolution.
BROTHERHOOD IN BOSTON | PHOTO COURTESY OF: SOUTHERN LORD
The Brotherhood album that came out in the early 90’s on Crucial Response Records was Ron’s deal. At the point he worked out that deal with them, I did not give a shit about Brotherhood; I moved on. It wasn’t like I regretted making that music or that I hated it; I was just trying to concentrate on what music I was doing at that time. Ron was still holding onto the Straight Edge thing, so he struck the deal with Crucial Response to make that 12”. No one else in the band had any say on it and Crucial Response kept pressing it throughout the years. I looked upon that thing as a bootleg. The packaging was awful and finally I just thought we should do a proper re-issue of the Brotherhood stuff. Southern Lord has been re-issuing classic 80’s Hardcore for the past few years, so to re-issue the Brotherhood stuff made a whole lot of sense. I had the resources, knowledge and the distribution to get it out there, so we said ‘Fuck it, let’s do it ourselves’. Ron was looking to re-launch his label Overkill Records, so we made it a split release and it worked out great.
For people who don’t know the back story of Brotherhood, I’m sure they’re very confused by the discography coming out on Southern Lord. In the past few years, there’s been some internet rumor about how I don’t like to talk about Brotherhood or Straight Edge and I can be an asshole about it. That’s really not true. Brotherhood and everything I’ve done musically in my past is really important to me. Obviously, at this point in my life I’m a different person who has done all different types of music, but it’s still important and don’t regret any of it. Well, maybe some hairstyles or clothes that I look really silly in, but the music of Brotherhood is still very important to me. It was a starting point for everything I’ve done in my life.
THE FINAL DAYS OF BROTHERHOOD | PHOTO COURTESY OF: RON GUARDIPEE
One of the most important things about this record coming out is all the people involved are still close. I’m still friends with Nate and super close with Ron. Brotherhood was the catalyst for so much stuff; whether it’s Sunny Day Real Estate or Sunn O))). Most Sunn O))) fans probably wouldn’t get Brotherhood. They won’t get how it went from this rudimentary Hardcore to something like Sunn O))). But to me, it’s important to show where it all came from. Like I said before, If it wasn’t for Brotherhood, I wouldn’t have met Steve O’Malley.
And as much as I like re-issuing the Brotherhood stuff, I am not interested in reunions or anything like that. I’m a different person now. I was eighteen years old in Brotherhood. I’m forty-four years old now and I got three kids and married! I’m not in a one bedroom shitbox apartment anymore and being mad at people for doing drugs. I’m changing diapers around here, you know?!?