OUTSPOKEN AT MIDDLESEX COUNTY COLLEGE, EDISON, NJ, 4/17/1993 | PHOTO: JUSTINE DEMETRICK
What were your first music projects/bands?
My first real band was Back To Back with my brother Walt, Regis, and Derrick. We played a bunch of house parties and did an awesome trip to Arizona to play with Youth Under Control. Chris Lohman used to have shows in his garage after school. They were awesome. And I must say we received a ton of support from the older bands. They snuck us on a bill with Youth Of Today at Fenders. Dan O’Mahony did our t-shirt design. Dan was the guy in Huntington Beach everyone looked up to.
When Back To Back broke up we hooked up with Jeff Boetto who recently left or was kicked out of Half-Off. Half Off were awesome. Boetto does not get the credit he deserves, that dude was solid and in my book an important member of the So-Cal scene back then. He was a little different but the guy was the best. Jeff, Walt and I started Straight Arm. Jeff literally sat me down, turned me on to a million bands and taught me how to write songs. He was in No For An Answer for a short time as well. After Straight Arm we started Stand Alone and then I started Yuckmouth. Yuckmouth was a really fun band. People aren’t into it and that’s fine but we had a great time. That was back when we were really doing everything ourselves. I remember recording the Yuckmouth 7″ and Dennis telling me I couldn’t record a second guitar track because we couldn’t afford it. While doing Stand Alone I wanted to be in another hardcore band and so I got together with Randy Johnson, Scott Snowden and Jeff Carlyle and we started Pushed Aside. The idea was I was going to sing, Randy originally played bass. I wrote a bunch of songs and then they kicked me out and Randy became the singer.
OUTSPOKEN AT THE ROXYM HOLLYWOOD, CA, 12/26/1991 | PHOTO: CHRIS TOLIVER
What were stand out shows you saw in the mid/late 80s?
Cro-Mags right after Age Of Quarrel came out at Fenders. I was in front and it was ridiculous. All of us Orange County dudes idolized them. I can remember picking up the record at Zed Records. Zed’s was the place and Big Frank held it down. At some point everyone was talking about his new band that was the heaviest and most powerful band ever. Of course they were talking about BL’AST! The rumor back then was the song I Don’t Need II was written so Dubar would think they were straight edge and put out the record on Wishingwell. BL’AST! were phenomenal and still are. Every Uniform Choice show was great. Verbal Assault was definitely a favorite. One band that always impressed me was 7 Seconds. Fenders ballroom was full of gangs. There were stabbings, a shooting, people would get dragged into the bathroom and just destroyed. It was the LADS, Skinheads, Suicidals, every horror story you hear about the place was true. When 7 Seconds hit the stage during their entire set it seemed like everyone was arm in arm singing along. Kevin was the pied piper of hardcore, he brought everyone together, really impressive. I don’t recall anything ever happening during one of their sets.
There was a show in LA right in the middle of the Blood and Crip era. It was Excel and Half Off and the show was in a city park that was the middle ground between the two gangs and they were always fighting over who owned it. We were escorted from our car to the parks rec center by gang members with guns strapped to their backs. They were really nice but told us to leave before it got dark. I think about the situations we put ourselves through to go see shows then and it is just crazy. And yes Excel killed it.
OUTSPOKEN AT CLUB 8 1/2, FULLERTON, CA, 12/10/1993 | PHOTO: DAVID “Igby” SATTANNI
And then Youth Of Today came to town. Up to that point there was maybe a few straight edge guys going to shows, but mostly punks. The first time I saw Youth Of Today at Fenders it was 90% punks but by the time they came back the second time a year or so later Fenders was 120% full of straight edge kids in cut off sweat pants and basketball shoes. YOT along with others changed everything. But I can clearly see their show as the moment the scene here changed. I may be wrong but that’s how I remember it. I was really into the Underdog seven inch. It was my favorite record for a long time. And I remember being star struck when Richie came down with Youth Of Today. They were really cool and brought a ton of clothing over to my parents house so we could screen the Back To Back logo all over them. If you watch the Fenders footage from the early show I am running around with a red flannel with the sleeves cut off and the smirking face Underdog logo drawn on the back. During YOT’s second was one of the best shows ever – it was in Vadim from Half-Off’s garage. It was Uniform Choice, Youth Of Today, Half Off and Visual Discrimination(I think). There were about 30 people there, maybe, packed into this tiny garage. I saw a video of it one time on YouTube but have never been able to find it again.
I used to have a video of the Youth Of Today show at Fenders when Civ was the roadie. I was talking with Civ and he was telling me he just started a band called Gorilla Biscuits and I told him that is the worst band name ever. Good times. I loaned out the video and never got it back. What I wouldn’t do to see that again.
Who were your favorite touring bands that came through?
7 Seconds, Verbal Assault, Youth Of Today… and Bad Brains who were one of the best ever. Cro-Mags, Dag Nasty. I remember Agnostic Front rolled through and played a VFW hall in San Bernardino. They were the coolest guys. I was goofing around with their roadie that had ‘New York Streets’ tattooed on his arms and he was explaining all of his tattoos to me. I think I was about 15. We were really lucky because we had such a strong local scene with great bands that even when the touring bands weren’t coming through we still had amazing shows.
Run us through the origins of Outspoken?
Dennis and I came up with an idea to start a band that would release demos but no one would know who they were and we could have songs about issues in the scene that really bothered us. We started a band and called it Spotlight. My dad owned a machine shop where Yuckmouth used to practice and the other dudes in Yuckmouth were not into me being in another band. So I would have a two hour Yuckmouth practice and then we would pack up and leave and I would drive around the block and go back to the shop and meet Dennis and we would play until he couldn’t hold his sticks. We would literally play for hours until 2 am, he would get these huge blisters and bleed all over his drums. Those are some of the best times in my life just writing songs and talking about music with D. At some point Hartsfield called me and said “let’s start a band…you sing, I’ll play guitar and my friend Dan will play bass.” I remember getting off the phone, calling Dennis and saying “let’s make Spotlight a real band.” He was against it at first but then came around. Dennis and I had recorded a Spotlight Demo that later became the basis for the songs on the Outspoken Demo. We re-recorded them with Mike and Dan. Then we toured in a Ford Escort and the rest is history…
OUTSPOKEN AT MIDDLESEX COUNTY COLLEGE, EDISON, NJ, 4/17/1993 | PHOTO: JUSTINE DEMETRICK
Joe Foster – Guitar, Brett Rasmussen – Bass, Casey Jones – Drums, Gavin Oglesby – Guitar, Joe Nelson & Randy Johson – Vocals, playing together for the first time in 22 years to honor the life of Jon Bunch from Reason To Believe / Sensefield.
I remember picking up the first Ignite 7″ at Zed’s on one of my mid 90’s Cali trips. Hadn’t even heard of the band, but saw a sticker on the packaging that mentioned members of No For An Answer, Unity, Pushed Aside, etc, so I picked it up. What a great 7″, I was seriously blown away. No one was playing HC like that at that time. Still love that 7″ today. Ignite are one of those rare bands where I legitimately enjoy all eras, but considering the Joe and Randy material was my introduction, it’s always been my favorite. If you haven’t heard the “Scarred For Life” recordings, do yourself a favor and track them down, it’s all the Joe and Randy material on one CD, released by Lost and Found.
Been going back and forth with Brian over at Super 7 for the past couple days and we’re happy to help get the word out on these Gorilla Biscuits varsity jackets that are available for pre-order now. Pretty classic looking jacket, here’s more info…
These jackets are custom handmade by Golden Bear Sportswear in San Francisco! Golden Bear was founded in the City By The Bay in the 1920’s and began making their iconic varsity jackets in the 1950’s. Golden Bear only makes custom jackets ONCE A YEAR and for 2016 Gorilla Biscuits gets their turn.
Cotton Varsity – $295.00
Features a large embroidered Gorilla Head on the front, embroidered “87” on the left sleeve and large embroidered “Gorilla Biscuits” lettering on the back (the chenille patches are too heavy for this cotton jacket so direct embroidery is used instead). A contemporary fit banded collar cotton barracuda jacket. Scalloped back, knit cuff, waistband and collar trim. Handmade in San Francisco, USA. Available in Sizes S-XXL and in two color combinations: Navy body with grey sleeves or red body with black sleeves.
JOHN COYLE WITH OUTSPOKEN AT THE ROXY, HOLLYWOOD, CA, 12/26/1991 | PHOTO: CHRIS TOLIVER
We’ve been talking about getting John Coyle on board for an interview for quite awhile and with Outspoken playing this weekend’s Jon Bunch Memorial show, the timing worked out perfectly. So let’s get it started. – Tim DCXX
What was your first contact with punk/HC?
My first contact came from my neighbor. She was about 8 years older than me. She started off as the typical Southern California blonde beach girl and then she slowly started getting into punk. I always thought she was the coolest. She invited me over one day and played the Sex Pistols. That was it – I was hooked. I think I was about 13. Had she been listening to Simon and Garfunkel I probably would have been into that because she was awesome. She later took me to LA and I was in one of her friend’s commercials for some hair studio.
What hardcore records made an immediate impression early on for you?
The day I heard Black Flag’s ‘Damaged’ my life changed. Back in school I used to get into a lot of fights, the older kids used to give me trouble for being different. I used to carry all of my school books in my backpack to every class so as soon as school got out I could get home before any trouble started. One day my teacher held me back and when I started on my way home a group of kids followed me. I ducked into a Taco Bell and this one kid that went to my school that was always quiet was sitting in the back of the restaurant listening to Damaged on a ghetto blaster. The other kids showed up and were yelling shit through the windows until the Taco Bell manager called the cops. I begged to borrow the Black Flag tape and I rode my skateboard home listening to what would become my life’s bible on a yellow Sony Walkman.
Black Flag’s Damaged changed my DNA. I ended up going to school the next day and got into a fight with them and I never ran again. I remember to this day the kid walked up and pushed me and the feedback and intro to Rise Above started playing in my head and I went off. That record and that moment was a major turning point in my life. Music clearly became something that was a comfort and gave me confidence. It always told me “you’re not fucked up, you’re ok.” That was the big draw to going to Fenders. It was the one place you just felt accepted and ok no matter how crazy the place was. Years later I remember walking to high school listening to Scream’s Walking By Myself on constant repeat on the same Walkman.
OUTSPOKEN AT CLUB 8 1/2, FULLERTON, CA, 12/10/1993 | PHOTO: FORREST LOCKE
What was the first live show (punk/HC) you saw and what type of an impact did it have on you?
My brother took me to see Social Distortion and Siouxsie and the Banshees at the Palladium, if I recall correctly. I was little and all of the older punks thought I was awesome so I loved it. I had a shaved head at the time and everyone would walk by me and rub my head. Odd that I remember that. It was the first time I felt comfortable like I was where I belonged, and I loved that it seemed dangerous.
My first real Hardcore show was Seven Seconds and Youth Brigade at Fenders Ballroom in Long Beach. That place was heavy. My first three or so shows I think I stood in the back and didn’t look at anyone. After a while I moved up towards the stage and being the little guy I would get picked up and put on someone’s shoulders and run around the pit. Being little had its advantages as no one really f’d with you. Looking back those were the best hardcore days. I was really into Black Flag, Wasted Youth, Raw Power (from Italy), RKL, Aggression, RKL, SNFU etc. Fenders had a huge impact. We went every weekend regardless of who was playing. We were at a Poison Idea show once and I turned around and my brother was about to get into it with some gang guys, I ran over to help and the dudes from Poison Idea ran from behind this little “backstage” area and dragged us back there. They were telling us how gnarly Fenders was and they were freaking out. I looked at my brother and we were both shocked because to us the dudes in Poison Idea were heavy. They told us their scene was nothing like this. We enjoyed some of the show from “backstage” then returned to general population.
OUTSPOKEN AT JIM’S GARAGE, LA VERNE, CA, 02/10/1990 | PHOTO: KENT MCCLARD
Where exactly did you grow up and who were your early friends in the HC scene?
I grew up in Huntington Beach, I started going to shows with my brother, then we started a band called Back to Back with Regis from Chorus. We were hanging out with Half Off, Insted, Hard Stance, Freewill, Walk Proud, Justice League. It was a great scene then and all of the bands hung out and supported each other.
A few funny stories… the first time I saw Insted was at a backyard party, in Anaheim. I think their demo had just come out. Man I loved that demo. When Insted recorded their first record I remember being realIy bummed about not being asked to sing back-ups. Kevin sees me at a show and all he said was wait until you hear our record… Dano hooked you guys up. When I heard it and Dan yells “Back to Back” on Proud Youth I lost my shit.
Hard Stance was playing a benefit concert in Irvine and I was an idiot and snuck in and Zack was screaming at me for being an entitled Orange County F-head that snuck into a benefit. He was totally right. Hard Stance was amazing. I used to go over to Dubar’s house to buy Wishingwell stuff all the time. I think 90 percent of my wardrobe at the time came from Wishingwell. Shirts, sweatpants, sweatshirts, you name it. My wall was wallpapered in Uniform Choice posters. One day I cruise over and they are having a party, the house is full of people and Pat’s sitting in a chair leaning against the wall in nothing but black running shorts ala Rollins. It was classic.
Dubar was the heaviest and coolest of anyone from OC back then. At one show someone threw a burrito at him and hit him in the face. Dubar yells into the mic ”who threw that?!” and then just dove into the crowd swinging at a group of guys in that general direction. He always looked after everyone.
Although the moment I met Dennis Remsing all bets were off, him and I were thick as thieves. I loved the guy and still do…
OUTSPOKEN AT THE ROXY, HOLLYWOOD, CA, 12/26/1991 | PHOTO: CHRIS TOLIVER
I try to make it a point to not post too much on DCXX about my own personal bands, but every once in awhile I’ll make an exception. Last weekend’s show at the Underground Arts in Philadelphia was a special one. Having American Nightmare and Burn invite us to join them was quite an honor. It was also an honor to play with such great, up and coming bands like Freedom, Red Death and Free. Huge thanks goes out to Joe Hardcore and everything he does, not just for the Philadelphia hardcore scene, but the entire east coast hardcore scene. This guy really knows how to do things right for both the bands and the fans and it’s all very much appreciated. Having done this band for 26 years, on and off, I do not take for granted these opportunities to do what I love. I really thank each and everyone of you that have supported, come up front, watched from the back, sang along, bought a record, bought a t shirt, did a stage dive and gave this band any ounce of respect. Like I said, March 5, 2016 was a special night, I’m glad this video exists to document it. What it means, what it meant, nothing’s changed in me. – Tim DCXX
CHARLIE, MICHELE GARRIGA, ROB GILMORE (RIP), MARK KONOPKA, MIKE JONES – POST SKATE SESSION HANG OUTS | PHOTO: UNKNOWN
Here’s part 2 of our interview with Charlie. Take it away…
What were the first punk/HC records you heard and what can you recall about those experiences?
I remember listening to Minor Threat and just being blown away by the intensity that was communicated through the music. At the time I just wasn’t into drinking and didn’t think much of it. I just thought it was a waste of time and money. I didn’t really realize I was being straight edge. I drank a couple beers in seventh and eighth grade in friends basements that had older brothers that got the beers and smoked a couple of cigarettes to act cool but was always afraid to try drugs. So I guess that was a good thing. I experimented young and got it out of my system. Once I realized that Ian was singing about straight edge, I thought that’s pretty cool. That’s like me. When I heard Uniform Choice, I was like wow they sound like Minor Threat and they are really pushing this whole no drugs and booze message. Also, they were a new band and I could actually see them play. I got my black Uniform Choice shirt and wore it out. Then it seemed like other people were gravitating towards straight edge. I heard about Youth Of Today and finally heard Break Down The Walls and I thought “Wow, this is some positive shit!” I was totally into 7 Seconds by then and Bad Brains so I was already into positivity and unity.
No one I had heard yet had lyrics like that so I was all in. We drove to Toledo, Ohio to see Youth Of Today. The line up was Ray, Porcell, Richie, Mike Judge on drums and Walter had just joined the band. It might have been his first show. They were amazing. We went to Detroit the next night and it was even better. Civ was was of the roadies on that tour. It’s a long story but basically there were a lot of white power skins in Detroit back then. I am talking big ass scary swastika tattooed white power skins. So of course they were talking their shit and Ray got right in their faces. Pretty sure there was a scuffle that night and we hung out with the Youth Of Today guys after the melee. So now they knew us as the Cleveland crew.
WALTER, PORCELL & RAY WITH YOUTH OF TODAY IN TOLEDO, OHIO – SUMMER 1987 | PHOTO: CHARLIE GARRIGA
How did Outface form? How did everyone come together?
Around that time we were like, “We should start a band.” We basically told our friend Mark Konopka he was going to play drums so he should go get some drums. I met Frank Cavanaugh in high school because he was one of the misfits that rode the bus with me. He looked kind of goth but was into punk and eventually hardcore bands. He did have Bauhaus on his jean jacket. Haha. He had a bass guitar so it was on. At the time Dag Nasty Can I Say was my favorite record. I basically wanted to sound like that. We got our equipment set up in my basement and we were ready to rock. We were pretty bad for a while. Our girlfriends would come over after school and watch us practice so that was cool. We were called OUTFACE. We did sound like a D.C. band. Not a good one but we were feeling that sound. The more we played the better we got. We had two singers before we asked Derrick Green to be the guy. He was totally into it and brought a different style to the songs we had. It was like a whole new band. Also, our drummer who had the least amount of experience was probably the best musician of the band.
Over time we would see Youth Of Today and Gorilla Biscuits and other New York City bands and once they knew we had a band, they would put us on shows. I would say Verbal Assault was also a huge influence on the early OUTFACE sound. Trial is one of my all time favorites. Pete Chramiec was a big influence on my guitar playing at the time. My biggest influence on guitar was Brian Baker. I saw Dag Nasty on the Wig Out tour and his sound and style blew me away. I met him through a friend in Detroit and he was really cool. He also put OUTFACE on as an opener for a Dag Nasty show in Columbus, Ohio. That was a big deal for me and the band. I wish I could have seen them with Dave Smalley but I would take what I could get. It was so cool to have a band and be able to play with your favorite bands. We didn’t make any money and we blew two engines in my Dad’s vans but it was worth it. We were playing with Gorilla Biscuits, Youth Of Today, Judge, Verbal Assault, Underdog, S.N.F.U., Murphy’s Law, Warzone and headlining shows in Cleveland, Buffalo, Syracuse, Erie and did a small headline tour in Florida around 1990.
VERY EARLY OUTFACE PRACTICE IN CHARLIE’S BASEMENT | PHOTO: ANN WARMUTH
Cleveland was one of the first ‘militant’ straight edge scenes of the late 1980s. What did you make of that?
The straight edge movement became really big in Cleveland as well as Buffalo and Syracuse. I think the fact that all the Revelation bands like Youth Of Today, Judge and Chain Of Strength always played there when they toured had a huge impact. I guess it did become somewhat militant for a while in Cleveland. I guess Dwid from Integrity had a lot to do with that. He actually did carry a bag with baseball bats in it to beat down people. He actually lived in my house for a little while. That was when he started Die Hard which eventually led to Integrity. The band Confront was also a legendary straight edge band. They were great and very much influenced by Youth Of Today. There were times where I was caught in the middle of the scene. I was straight edge but never wore an X on my hand. I didn’t feel like I had to announce it or make it a big deal. It seemed too easy for kids to X up at a show to fit in and then a month later they weren’t into it and getting wasted.
There were times when Dwid wanted to beat up some punks or older guys at shows for drinking and no other reason. The problem was at that point I was friends with a lot of the older guys and skated with the drunk punks and they were cool guys. There was a group of guys from the west side called The GGs. They basically worshiped GG Allin. The funny thing was they were sick skaters so I used to go skate with them all. Here’s the funny thing… Once Dwid beat a few of them up, they still came to shows and hung out. He eventually became friends with them and started acting like them. Doing gross GG like stuff and getting fucked up so all the Dwid followers didn’t know what to do. Some followed and some didn’t. I remained my positive self. Haha.
MATT LAYS DOWN THE HEAVY RIFFAGE | PHOTO: ERRICK EASTERDAILY
Right here. Right now. Louisville, KY’s Miracle Drug prefer to live in the present, existing in the moment, channeling the experiences of the past through the energy and excitement of the future. It should come as no surprise that there is an odd familiarity in Miracle Drug’s sound. The band is made up of current and former members of notable hardcore acts Mouthpiece, Supertouch, By The Grace of God, and C.R. The band’s demo, recorded at Treehouse audio by Trip Barringer (White Reaper, Black God), is a 12 minute blast of blistering, metallic tinged hardcore that would be right at home blasting through the PA of any sweaty DIY venue in the country.
Miracle Drug’s demo is coming out on Vinyl this year on Trip Machine Labs (All Out War, Atlas Shrugged.) Check it out below: