RED HARE “BE HALF” BALTIMORE, 06.21.13
October 7th, 2013 by Ed
RED HARE AT HOUSE OF VANS (08.15.13)
August 16th, 2013 by Ed
JASON FARRELL PART III
June 13th, 2013 by Tim
We spent 1984 skating every ramp we could and going to every show we could. These two interests (hardcore/skating) were completely intertwined; a mishmash of Government Issue, bus transfers, Marginal Man, stinky pads, snickers, ditches, stealing wood, Annandale, cassette tapes, super big gulps, and/or Void at the Wilson Center. At the shows we started to recognize familiar faces from ramps, school and the neighborhood, and made new friends from all over the DC area. I feel like being skaters gave us a bit of a late pass, like “oh, how cute! here come those skaters again” as we’d stage dive in train fashion. Our high school had a healthy goofy punk scene (Colin and Roger from BMO and later Dag Nasty, Mike Fellows from GI and Rites of Spring, Natalie and Kate who would go on to form Fire Party, Joel Gwadz, Rob Hardesty, Maureen Gorman, Jen Mercurio, Katey Chase). Many of these older punks took a big-brother/sister interest and helped refine our musical tastes.
One day Tom Clinton brought a kid named Lawrence McDonald and his little brother Mark to our ramp. They soon became a daily fixture and very much a part of our tight-knit group. Lawrence had played in a band years before (Capitol Punishment with Colin Sears and Mike Fellows), and was starting a new band called Bells Of with himself on guitar, Alec MacKaye (Faith) on vox, Bleu Kopperl on bass, and Peter Wilborne (the 400) on drums. Having started in summer DC 1985 they were heavily inspired and influenced by Rites of Spring. Their first show was ok, in hindsight maybe Alec wasn’t 100% sure of his involvement in the band. At the end of the summer they jumped into Inner Ear and recorded rough tracks for 7 songs before Pete left for college. With their 2nd show approaching and no drummer to practice with, Lawrence asked me (a nubile guitarist with marginal ability) to get my friend Tom Doerr to fill in on drums so the band could stay tight. In exchange, I could attend their practices and maybe get better at guitar.
Bleu quit Bells Of so I moved over to bass while Lawrence’s little brother Mark took over on drums. I learned all that I could about songwriting from Lawrence, but eventually faded on the project, quitting in 1986. Though you wouldn’t guess it from the sound, Bells Of was a skate band through and through, with many of its future members swapping in from our original tight core of skaters. Bells Of continues to this day, still centered around Lawrence and a rotating cast of players.
Around that time we were skating regularly at a huge new metal vert ramp called Cedar Crest. I picked up a sponsorship from Powell Peralta in 1987 or so… It was just the B-team (or “flow” team), meaning most of what I got was seconds and/or boneite, but fuck I couldn’t believe it. When all you had to do was pick up the phone and call some dude in Santa Barbara to have a box of decks/wheels/jackets delivered to my door, you didn’t notice the little number “2” branded in everything.
As much as I loved skating, I still wanted to play guitar in a band—something that bridged my twin loves of Metallica and the Faith. In early 1987, Shawn Brown and a guy I vaguely knew (Ramsey Metcalf; a Mod who had recently transferred into my school) walked into my job at the photomat. I had already known Shawn for a couple years; we had skated together a few times and went to all the same shows. I had watched him sing in Dag Nasty (and later watched him stand front-and-center, dead-still, enraged as Dave Smalley sang his words). They were there to ask me to join their new band; something Bad Brains-esque. Sounded perfect to me, so fuck yes. Days later I dragged a borrowed amp into Ramesy’s living room where the rest of the band was setting up for the first time: Nathan Larson (NFC) on bass and Alex Daniels (Carpe Diem) on drums. We kinda knew each other from shows our previous bands played together, but within minutes of playing, we quickly recognized that this new band was something we definitely wanted to pursue. A few weeks later we called it Swiz.
Though my interest in skating didn’t die that day (I still skate), it did get pushed over to shotgun status.
JASON FARRELL PART II
June 6th, 2013 by Tim
Finally getting around to posting part II here with Jason Farrell (Swiz, Bluetip, Sweetbelly Freakdown, Retisonic, Red Hare, etc.) and it’s a good one. Much more to come from Jason, but in the meantime, if you haven’t already done so, do yourself a favor and pick up the Red Hare – “Nites Of Midnite” album, out now on Dischord. Total cool, total power. –Tim DCXX
What was going on in your area as a kid and how did the impact you finding your way into punk music? Can you recall your first encounter with punk and what that was like at the time? Early records, first shows, etc?
When Marcus’ grades slipped, his dad got out the splitting axe and threatened to reduce our ramp to splinters. It had to go: immediately. We cut it in half and walked it across 4 lanes of traffic, deep into a wooded lot nearby. This desperate, random choice turned out to be an amazing spot where we could pretty much do whatever we wanted…burn shit, build tree forts, camp out, smoke, have bottle wars, and skate everyday. Armed with a boombox, a ziploc freezer bag full of D-cell batteries, and a Minor Threat cassette on terminal repeat, our musical taste got honed and refined down from “Hardcore” to pretty much just harDCore.
In the spring of ’84 our Cali-friend Richard found out Black Flag was playing downtown. He was really relishing his H.C. curator status, and thought it would be the ideal first show for us. I imagine ours wasn’t the only mom-driven station wagon to pull up in front of Pierce hall and dump eight obviously green 13-to-15-year-olds out on the sidewalk, but I still felt over-dressed. Inside we started to blend a bit into the crowd, taking it all in while huffing the heady mix of rit dye, cloves, and B.O. Scanning the crowd, we recognized Ian Mackaye from his album mugshot and were genuinely surprised to see him right there amongst everyone. Whatever star separation thing that may have lingered from rock/Rush/Eddie Money started to die in that instant. Black Flag was my favorite band at the time… I had never heard of the other bands they were touring with (Meat Puppets and Nig-Heist). Local champs Government Issue opened, and the middle of this old church space immediately erupted into a fucking frenzy. Richard quickly coached us on pit etiquette and the finer points of skanking before sending us in like a rookie JV-squad.
That night it seems like we did everything en-masse; a blob of skaters entering the pit for the first time, a blob of skaters smoking cloves on the steps between bands, a blob of skaters going to the bathroom, a blob of skaters buying snickers and Cokes at the nearby 7-11. About the only time we weren’t a blob was when stagediving (…for that we were a synchronized line). I didn’t know this then, but me and my friends were among the deluge of suburban kids flooding the already swollen DC scene. To us it was chaotic and amazing; we felt like we found a special place where we truly belonged. To many of the older scene vets it was a disaster; they felt like the special place they had built was being overrun by unruly children, quickly becoming a place they no longer belonged.
I may not be remembering this correctly, (so forgive me if this never actually happened…) but I recall seeing some kid kinda spazzing around on stage, hopping in place as he tried to figure out the softest place to land his stage dive. Ian MacKaye noticed him too, and began waving to him welcomingly, as if to say “jump here, it’s perfect! we’ll catch you!” Relieved his mind had been made up for him, this kid curled his lip in his best skank-face expression and dived with confidence. That expression instantly changed to pain and confusion as he hit the floor uninterrupted. Ian had put his hands down and stepped aside, then stepped back in with a wagging finger, I guess to tell him stagediving was dumb. I made sure not to jump near him that night. I know shit was kinda bad in comparison to 1982 or whatever, but not nearly as bad as it would get when the whole skinhead thing reared up a couple years later… in hindsight it was still a pretty fucking amazing time to be in/near DC.
May 21st, 2013 by Tim
Jason Farrell, a guy that needs little introduction. Everything he does, he does well… really well. Whether he’s writing, recording and playing music, riding a skateboard, designing a record, directing videos, creating art, or whatever, the list just goes on. Bottom line, the guy is a true talent and we’re more than stoked to have him on board for an interview.
Simultaneously, as this interview is dropping, Jason’s latest band, Red Hare are smack dab in the middle of a tour and their album, “Nites Of Midnite” was released today. We’ve been trying to keep the readers here up to date with everything Red Hare related, so it should be no surprise that we highly recommend you snatching up a copy of “Nites Of Midnite” and check Red Hare out if they’re rolling through your town. Stay tuned for more to come. –Tim DCXX
Can you give everyone a discography/timeline of sorts of all the music you’ve done over the years.
Bells Of: 1985-present
Black Top (DC): 1991-1994
Sweetbelly Freakdown (Swiz reunited): 1997-?
Red Hare (most of Swiz reunited): now-later
Spent the summer after 8th grade in OP shorts and surf apparel learning how to skateboard. We built a truly horrible quarter pipe behind an abandoned car dealership and decorated it with hand-painted skate logos. We felt like our new found love of a dead sport was unique; an isolated incident. But word of our our little ramp spread, and soon some rather gnarly people started showing up.
RED HARE: FIRST PRACTICE MAY 2013
May 21st, 2013 by Ed
RED HARE – BE HALF
April 25th, 2013 by Ed
Dischord will be co-releasing Nites of Midnite, the debut record by Red Hare which features Shawn Brown, Jason Farrell, and Dave Eight—all formerly of Swiz and Sweetbelly Freakdown—and drummer Joe Gorelick (Garden Variety, Bluetip, Retisonic). The record will be out this spring on Dischord/Hellfire.
Red Hare 2013 Tour Dates
RED HARE’S “NITES OF MIDNITE” OUT MAY 21 ON DISCHORD/HELLFIRE
April 9th, 2013 by Tim
Red Hare is a new group that reunites Shawn Brown, Jason Farrell, and Dave Eight, all former members of the Washington, D.C.-based hardcore band Swiz (1987-1991). Joined by drummer Joe Gorelick (Bluetip, Retisonic), the band has completed its debut album, Nites of Midnite, which will be out May 21 on CD/LP+MP3 as a split release between Dischord and the band’s recently resurrected imprint, Hellfire Records. The music — eight songs that are over and done with in just over twenty-minutes — expands and updates the sound that Farrell, Brown, and Eight began exploring together more than twenty years ago. Preview their song “Horace” here.
RED HARE – “HORACE”
December 26th, 2012 by Tim
May 20th, 2012 by Tim