THIS WEEKEND IN ORANGE COUNTY
March 19th, 2014 by Larry
February 1st, 2014 by Tim
REVELATION RECORDS ADS
January 8th, 2014 by Larry
CASSETTE LOVE PART 3
January 7th, 2014 by Larry
GORILLA BISCUITS AT THE SAFARI CLUB, WASHINGTON DC 1989
September 3rd, 2013 by Tim
1989 was one hell of a year for GB, they did their first US tour, released “Start Today” on Revelation Records, really fine tuned their live shows and established themselves as a unique and important New York City Hardcore band. To me at least, it just seemed that they had really caught their stride and although I wasn’t at this Safari Club show in DC, I did see them at City Gardens in Trenton, NJ, around this era. I still look back at that City Gardens GB show in 1989 as one of my favorite hardcore shows and sets ever. Gorilla Biscuits and BOLD were one hell of a combination punch that night in Trenton, glad I got to witness it.
Again, this video here is from the Safari Club in Washington, DC, 1989. Anyone around and going to shows in 1989, undoubtedly heard about all the killer shows that were happening at the Safari Club. This video and this set certainly serve as a reminder to a special time, for a very special band. Hardcore Pride in ’89… -Tim DCXX
GORILLA BISCUITS FAN ART
August 28th, 2013 by Larry
Hawk Krall’s artistic take on the classic Gorilla Biscuits Start Today cover. As part of the Covers Covered art show in Philadelphia, PA.
LUKIE LUKE PART IV – THE FINAL ENTRY
August 19th, 2013 by Tim
Here it is, the fourth and final entry of the Lukie Luke interview. Luke was in the process of moving from Texas to Vermont, so we put this on pause for a little bit, but now that he’s settled in, he wrapped it up as promised. Thanks to Luke for keeping in touch and making this happen, this has definitely been a good one and he’s been a pleasure to communicate with. Now dig in, Bidip Bo! -Tim DCXX
How, in your mind, had GB changed or developed by the time the LP came out? Did it feel like a more developed band? What was the reaction, as you recall, to Start Today as an album?
Civ also stepped it up during that period and assumed a lot more control on stage. A lot of our earlier shows were sort of like practices with an audience. I remember playing a benefit in Albany when Wally stopped in the middle of “Big Mouth” to tune his guitar – by ear mind you – while everybody else just waited around. Then when he was ready we just picked up in the middle of the song and finished it out as if that was a perfectly reasonable thing to do. There was a unique lack of professionalism that was endearing, but was also somewhat limiting. By “Start Today” though, our sound and performances had gotten more refined, yet not at the expense of our decidedly casual attitude.
For some reason, the release of the record had gotten delayed and wasn’t out by the time we’d left for tour in the summer of ’89. Everyone around NY and California seemed to know a lot of the newer stuff, but for the most part there were a lot more kids singing along to the 7” wherever we went. Then with just about a week of shows left the record came out the day we played Chicago. The show was at some run-down club called Dreamerz, which was a second floor venue in what was likely a condemned building. I’m pretty sure that every single person who showed up that night must have bought the record that morning and spent the whole day memorizing the lyrics. It was absolutely insane. The entire building was shaking and I remember thinking that if the floor gave way I could probably make it to a concrete sill behind the stage and not get killed. The reception of “Start Today” was overwhelming from day one and has been ever since.
By 1989 you were solely focused on GB despite having juggled a few bands at once previously. Was this intended? Was there anything you were trying to do that never got off the ground?
Despite all my musical activity in 1989 my interests had begun shifting away from hardcore pretty radically. I’d gone skiing earlier that year, became instantly hooked, and maintaining even one band grew increasingly difficult for me. I also finished high school that spring and for the first time in my life considered what it’d be like to leave New York.
How did playing bass in Moondog come to be and how do you recall that experience?
I really dug playing bass, and after filling in for Wally after he broke his ankle on the YOT tour I just wanted to give it a shot. Armand agreed to play drums for our first and only show. That show was in the late summer of ’89 – I think just a little bit before GB left for Europe. I was gone from New York basically from the fall of ’89 until the spring of 1990, and by the time I’d returned, Moondog had essentially transitioned into Quicksand.
By 1990 there was a whole new world of sorts that had formed out of the early Revelation camp. Many describe this as a “weird” time. How did the hardcore scene in 1990 compare to that of, say, 1987?
When I got back to New York right before Christmas the city just seemed boring to me and I pretty much split for Utah immediately. I stayed with guys in Salt Lake who’d I’d met there on tour, and just skied all day and washed dishes all night. My involvement with hardcore took a back seat to other interests. I still loved the music and playing shows, but I wasn’t really hanging out anymore. Things moved pretty quickly back then and it didn’t take long before I was out of the loop.
What was the reason you stopped playing with GB?
After GB, what type of connections did you keep with the hardcore scene? Were you drumming or playing with any bands?
One day in Berkeley I randomly bumped into Zowie from Leeway who’d landed out there too and we began jamming. My confidence in my musical abilities had taken a bit of a beating after getting kicked out of GB and he really helped restore it. I began going to shows again and hanging out some, but still had every intention of returning to skiing full-time. It was the winter of ’96 and I was about to move out to Tahoe when I blew out my second knee and had to return to New York to get surgery. I ended up staying in the city for almost two years and played around a bit, mostly with a band called Alpha Jerk, but all I really wanted to do was get back out west and ski again. Eventually, Alpha Jerk broke up when Derek left to join Sepultura and I moved to Austin, Texas.
Austin was only supposed to be a temporary stop. I’d gotten into some unhealthy shit being in New York, needed to get away, and I had a good friend living in Texas who’d said I could move in. I thought it would be a great place to go and take some time to get my head straight before going back to the mountains. But I really dug Austin and got caught up in playing music there and the whole environment in general. My pit stop ended up lasting over 15 years though, and I got married along the way and had three children. In fact it was only weeks ago that we all finally split and moved back east to Vermont.
Having been the predominant GB drummer, what did you think of CIV (the band)? Was it a bummer to see something that connected to GB without your involvement, or was it cool? Did you dig the songs/see them live/etc.?
Any closing comments regarding GB’s current and or future status? Any closing comments in general that you’d like to sign off with?
Despite the fact that we’ve been playing the same tunes now for eight years they always seems fresh to me. I feel the sentiments and attitude of the band are about as relevant now as they were 25 years ago. Civ has made sure that we’ve only played venues where kids have been allowed to stage dive – with maybe one or two exceptions – and it has been a huge factor in making our shows as much fun as they have been. And despite the changes in scenery and our relatively ancient ages, I think we’re playing better than we ever have before. As far as the future goes, I imagine we’ll play again next year. I had a pretty severe surgery on my shoulder and biceps in January and the rehabilitation has been a slow process. I’ve been able to start playing drums again just this past month. I still have a ways to go but I’m feeling good about regaining full strength and mobility again.
And a word of thanks to you guys at DCXX for giving me this opportunity – and apologies for taking so long to get this last section to you. It’s been cool digging out a lot of memories and having a chance to add my perspective. In some ways it blows me away how influential hardcore has become, but it also makes sense. It just took the rest of the world a bit longer to catch on to what we were doing.
THE CHRONICLES OF KID HARD
July 4th, 2013 by Tim
FOUR RARE RECORDS FOR SALE
June 5th, 2013 by Tim
Need to raise some money to build a mini ramp in my back yard and fund an upcoming trip, so I’m going to be selling off a few doubles that I have. Was planning to hit eBay with these, but figured I’d post something up here on DCXX and give the readers a chance at them if they were interested. In all honesty, I’ve really got to get the highest going rate for each, otherwise I won’t make enough to build the ramp or make the trip. Under each photo is a description, plus an approximate price each record has been selling for lately. I’ve been communicating with a handful of people regarding a couple of these records, so some may be gone before this post goes up. Either way, if you’re interested, feel free to make a serious offer at: DoubleCrossXX@gmail.com. Thanks and take care. -Tim DCXX
LUKIE LUKE – WARZONE / GB PART III
April 8th, 2013 by Tim
It’s been awhile, but here it is, Lukie Luke part three, complete with lots of Judge and Start Today talk. Start! -Tim DCXX
As the first drummer in JUDGE, what do you recall about those early shows? Had you already been friends with Mike? How did the energy and delivery of JUDGE compare to GB or Warzone? What was the dynamic like in the band in terms of personalities? What led to Sammy taking over the drum spot?
I became friends with Mike while he was drumming for Youth of Today in 1987 and always had an easy time getting on with him. He was pretty low-key and matter-of-fact about things, and I just kind of looked up to him for how he carried himself. I wanted to play in Judge because I thought those first songs were great, but also for the chance to work with Mike.
There was a lot of excitement surrounding the Judge’s early shows. The band had a strong following from the start and sort of skipped the whole break-in period. A lot of people already owned or had heard the 7”, Mike and Porcell were well-known musicians, and the whole connection to Schism probably helped too. Straight edge bands around that point were taking a lot of shit within the scene, and while the superficial aspects of the movement did warrant being called out, a lot of the negative attention seemed misguided and exaggerated. To an extent, Judge felt like a response to that backlash and it translated into powerful performances. While I’ve always felt that the overall attitude and approach of GB matched my own disposition well, I also enjoyed the more aggressive outlet Judge provided.
Things within the band were pretty easy going as I recall. Mike usually had songs or riffs sketched out on bass and we’d just take it from there. I loved hanging out and playing with Jimmy Yu, but other than practices or shows I rarely saw him. I don’t know what led to Sam taking over on drums, other than the fact that he and Porcell were very close. It was just before our first CB’s show when I was phoned and told I was out of the band. I remember being confused more than anything else, but I never pressed the issue or asked Mike about it though. Looking back, my guess is that it was some personality issue Porcell had with me, but I couldn’t say for certain.
The JUDGE demo credits you on drums. Many believed that to be Sammy. Was it in fact you? Can you recall anything about recording those songs? Is there double bass used on that recording?
I never played double bass with Judge. Developing my foot was something I worked on probably more than any other aspect of my drumming. To me, having a strong, fast foot without relying on a double pedal was essential to being a good hardcore drummer. There’s a different feel and cadence to producing 16th notes on a bass drum with one foot as opposed to two; it’s a more staccato attack. I think it’s one of the rudimentary elements that distinguish hardcore and give it its defining character.
I’ve heard that when YOT reformed in 1988, the drum spot came down to you and Sammy. Do you recall “trying out”? Was that something you really wanted to do or just another band at the time?
You, Sammy, and Drew represented for the most part the SE scene in NY/CT as far as drummers. In my mind I always imagined that you guys were in friendly competition, constantly progressing. As younger guys who were all drummers, what were your relationships like with each?
As far as Sam and I were concerned, I didn’t feel competitive about what we were doing, despite the fact that he replaced me in many of the bands I was in. That may have been somewhat naïve on my part, but since we were friends – and remain so today – I never wanted to consider him as an adversary.
What are your specific memories of recording Start Today? Did it have the feeling at the time that it would be a landmark record of sorts, and perhaps one of the most revered HC records of all time that appealed to a broad cross-section of fans?
Jordan Cooper from Revelation was cool about our change of plans and gave us more funds to rerecord everything with Don Fury. We didn’t go in right away though, and by taking a moment to pause and consider what hadn’t gone well at Chung King we were able to make some pivotal changes. Many of the songs on “Start Today” were relatively new and some I don’t believe had been played live yet. We dropped one song altogether; a couple of parts were changed, such as the skank part in “Two Sides” and maybe something in “Things We Say” as well. But the biggest upshot of the situation was the addition of “New Direction”, which was written during that interim period.
Occasionally I’ve heard new songs that almost feel as though I’ve heard before because they seem to tap into some deeper current. There was this kind of effortless stride to “New Direction” that reminded me of the feeling I’d get from my favorite songs. I never had any intimations of how influential “Start Today” as a whole would turn out to be, but I was pretty confident from the moment I heard it that “New Direction” would be the best thing we’d ever done.
At Don’s, the tracking went quickly and the energy was good all around. We were simply a lot more comfortable in every respect, not in the least having to do with Don’s presence. Walter had to go to Europe with Youth of Today before the vocals were done, so he laid down a scratch vocal track on top of the unmixed songs for Civ to use as a guide while he was away. It was difficult getting them done though and Civ ended up rerecording them after Wally returned. Taking the extra time to get things right showed a lot of foresight and was undoubtedly a wise choice. On the whole, I think our flexibility served us well and allowed us to put out a strong and enduring album.
Of all the touring you did, who was the most fun to be with in a van or out on the road for extended time? Anybody you didn’t click as well with?
Any good Sloth Crew stories?