THERE WILL BE QUIET: THE STORY OF JUDGE (PART 2)
April 15th, 2015 by Ed
THERE WILL BE QUIET: THE STORY OF JUDGE (PART 1)
April 8th, 2015 by Ed
In the first of Noisey’s multi-part series There Will Be Quiet: The Story of Judge, Noisey talks with mythical NYHC vocalist Mike Ferraro, better known as Mike Judge. Ferraro recounts his early days and unforgiving upbringing, his road toward straight-edge, and how an introverted kid found his way to punk rock.
THERE WILL BE QUIET: THE STORY OF JUDGE – TRAILER
March 9th, 2015 by Larry
In 1991, at the height of its popularity, the New York hardcore band Judge broke up, leaving a long and storied career of incredible music and hyper-violent gigs for the history books. In the decades that followed, Judge’s meager output became hardcore punk 101 for much of the growing scene who built upon their metal-tinged riffs and attitude. While the legend grew, lead singer Mike Ferraro virtually disappeared, only to reemerge in 2013 at Webster Hall to headline one of the most respected hardcore punk festivals in the country, Black N’ Blue Bowl. Noisey caught up with the revered frontman during, before and after his triumphant return to the stage.
JUDGE AT CITY GARDENS, 6/10/1990
August 23rd, 2014 by Tim
Judge firing on all cylinders, crushing heaviness to a completely packed room, it doesn’t get much better. Although stage diving was still banned at City Gardens, at that point, the energy flowed though that crowd like a high tension wire. Such a great show, one of my personal favorites from the years I went to shows there. – Tim DCXX
JUDGE AT THE DOME, LONDON
August 3rd, 2014 by Tim
JUDGE AT THE COUNTRY CLUB, RESEDA CA, 3/30/1990
July 14th, 2014 by Tim
JUDGE LIVE IN COSTA MESA, CA
March 26th, 2014 by Ed
JUDGE AT MUSINK
March 25th, 2014 by Larry
Ashley Gasper just hit my inbox with a grip of photos of JUDGE from the third night of the Musink Festival in Orange County, CA this past Sunday to share with you all. Enjoy these great pics and big thanks to Ashley for sending these over.
Click though to view the rest of the photos.
MIKE JUDGE – PART X
December 3rd, 2013 by Tim
You get tired of being in the van on the road. Being broke, not having food. Seven guys in the van, with equipment, you’re never alone with some of your own space. I remember one time driving in the desert and just bugging out. I said you guys have to pull over. They pulled over and I got out and just started walking away from the van into the desert. My mind was so scrambled. I wanted it all to be over. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t even stretch out my arm without hitting somebody next to me, and I’d been in there for a month.
I remember this show we played and this kid was like, “hey you guys can come back and stay at my house and sleep, my parents aren’t home.” So I told the dudes in the band, “look we’ll stay at this kid’s house. I’m taking a bed.” We get there and the kid had a really nice house and I get to this room and it’s dark but I see the bed and I seriously just walk in and lay down, close the door and get into this bed. It was awesome because I hadn’t been in a bed at all to sleep for weeks. But as I’m in there sleeping, kids start to come to the house from the show and they start to come into the room to sleep on the floor. There’s like five kids in the room and they are all talking about the show and about Judge’s set. They are talking about what songs we played and when they were stage diving and shit. I’m thinking “how do I tell these dudes to stop talking so I can sleep, but not be a dick to them?” So finally I say, “hey guys, if you wanna talk about the show, I’ll talk about the show all day tomorrow, but for now I gotta sleep, is that cool?” The one kid was like “oh yeah, I’m sorry.” But somebody had to get up and turn a light on and when the light goes on I realize that the entire room is filled with tanks of snakes, EVERYWHERE. Everywhere, covering the room, there were snakes in all these tanks. I got the fuck out of there and slept in the van.
The craziest tour story was with Luke in Lititz, Pennsylvania when YOT and GB played out there. At the show, this kid says we can stay at his house. He was a little nerdy and telling us he had no friends and his parents were so stoked to have us over to the house to hang out with him. We were cool with it. By the time we get there it’s like 2am. The lights are on and the parents are up. They are all excited, the mom is cooking pasta for all of us, the dad is super friendly and the house is really nice. Off of the kitchen was this big living room that had this real high ceiling with rafters, and the second floor was a walk around with a balcony that looked over out onto the living room, and the bed rooms were off of it on that floor.
So finally after we eat and everything we all lay down on the living room floor to go to sleep. I’m next to Luke and I’m like, “man isn’t it weird how nice these people are?” Luke is like, “yeah, they are almost too nice man, it’s weird.” It was a little over the top. We’re laying there, other guys have fallen asleep, some are talking, and Luke and I are staring at the rafters. There’s a ceiling fan up in the rafters. Luke says, “I get a weird feeling from that ceiling fan.” I said, “man I’ve been looking at it and I have the same feeling. It’s weird.” Luke says, “there’s something just not right about this place.” Then I feel something like fly across my face, super fast. It brushes my face, and it’s bright red. I said to myself, “what the fuck was that!?” I figure I must have dozed off and been dreaming. But then it happens again. Luke goes, “dude what the fuck was that!?” I said, “Luke did you feel something?” He says, “yeah some red thing just touched my face!” We’re both like, “what the fuck was that?” Luke was like a little dude, and he got scared. He was freaked out.
We’re still laying there and we hear this crazy super loud shriek from a girl. Luke and I both heard it and start talking about it. Everybody else down there is like, “what are you guys talking about?” They didn’t hear anything. Luke is super freaked out now and wanted to go to the van. I said, “no man stay here, let’s stick together.” So now everyone is like totally quiet, just a little whispering. Then out of nowhere the father yells from his room upstairs, “YOU FUCKING KIDS SHUT THE FUCK UP DOWN THERE OR I WILL COME DOWN THERE AND YOU WILL ALL FUCKING PAY!!!” Luke is like, “dude we need to get the fuck out of here, seriously.” I tell him, “no just wait dude, stay here, don’t go out there.” Everyone is like, “what the fuck? Oh my God.” We didn’t know what to do. So we keep laying there and a little time goes by and Luke and I are still staring at this ceiling fan, and this thing comes down from the fan right at us. It turns at the last second and skims my face and then skims Luke’s face. Dude…we were petrified. We just laid there frozen. We didn’t say a word until morning. I don’t know if we slept or not.
That morning Cappo was gone. The mom came downstairs and starts cooking breakfast, and the dad comes down and they are both super nice and friendly. I’m like “uhh, this is weird…because that dad wanted to kill us a few hours ago and that shit was weird.” Cappo comes in. He had gone with the son somewhere in the van. Cappo comes in and is like, “ok guys, time to go, gotta get on the road.” We’re like, “nah dude we’re gonna have breakfast.” He says, “nope, gotta go, gotta get to the next stop, right now. Seriously, right now, everybody out.” It was super weird. We all grab our shit as Cappo hurries us out, we get in the van and the family comes out to say goodbye. Cappo floors it out of there, and we go ripping down the street. As soon as we get out of the community, he pulls into this parking lot and turns around. Everyone is wondering what he is doing. Cappo says, “that fucking place is haunted. You don’t know how lucky we are to have gotten the hell out of there. That dad is psychotic, he’s beating the kid. The kid told me. The kid’s older brother hung himself from those rafters. The parents are crazy. The kid is all fucked up. We are fucking lucky.” I was like sick to my stomach. I think Luke may have been crying. We got the hell out of there. Seriously man… craziest shit ever. Craziest and scariest shit I’ve ever seen. Luke knows what I am talking about. That was a fucking ghost.
MIKE JUDGE – PART IX
November 18th, 2013 by Tim
I learned how to play guitar by the time we were writing the music for Bringin’ It Down. Chung King was a disaster. We ended up at Normandy Sound. We weren’t trying to be metal, but we made a conscious effort to play a little slower and really find a groove. We didn’t like how that Chung King recording turned out. I don’t hear the metal in the Bringin’ It Down record like people talk about. I guess the intro of “Like You” has a little bit of that. I don’t think I wrote a complete song on that record, I just wrote parts. Porcell would finish everything off. It had a feel I suppose, but I just never thought it was metal.
There were a few differences in things from the Chung King recording to the recording of Bringin’ It Down. Like, Porcell told me not to sing the “stay off the tracks” line at the end of the song “Bringin’ It Down.” He thought it was corny. But I sing that line when we do the song now. I like it.
When Jimmy left, we were in a pinch. Matt came into the band through Sammy and had little time to get up to speed. We were about to go to Normandy Sound. We needed a bass player and he was good, he could play really well. He was young, like Sammy’s age, and I didn’t know him. But nothing ever really bothered me about Matt. Once we got on tour he started smoking cigarettes, which annoyed the fuckin’ shit out of me. One time on tour we stopped somewhere so the other dudes could go in a river. We were always stopping for that sort of thing. So we stop and Matt and I stayed at the van while the other dudes went swimming and I was laying in the loft. Matt couldn’t go in the river because he had a fucked up toe. He got out of the van to smoke a cigarette with the van door’s open. He was smoking it right next to the open door…it was like he was going out of his way for me to know he was smoking. I never said anything mean to Matt, because I loved him. But that time, I had to say, “Matt you are fucking poking at a tiger right now, and I will tear you apart if you blow smoke in this van one more time.” As far as someone even smoking in Judge…see, I wrote all those lyrics. I couldn’t expect those guys to come close to even knowing what I was talking about. Those weren’t their lyrics and that was fine. Like, Sammy and Matt are so far from how I grew up it’s not even funny. Sammy had a freaking elevator in his house in the city. I had a wood burning stove on a farm. But that’s fine. I got along with those dudes, I love them. They were my vehicle in Judge and that wasn’t lost on me.
That first Judge tour (summer ’89) was tough because of how many rumors had gone around. Every town had a guy who wanted to prove that I wasn’t all that tough. We would show up and all these exaggerated, blown-out-of-proportion-stories had already beat us to that town based on stuff that happened in the last town we had played. When we got to California, these dudes wanted us to come out and fight these racists at a Klan rally. We were staying at Mike Madrid’s house and I answered the phone. This dude starts telling me, not knowing it’s me, that they need Judge to come out and fight these dudes for them. Like, he really thought we were gonna come in there and just fight people left and right for whatever cause. I’m thinking, “what are we, fucking Navy Seals?” The rumors were insane. We would show up somewhere and we’d ask the local kids what they had heard, and then I’d be listening in on these “Mike Judge stories.” There was all sorts of stupid shit. A good one was that I lived in Germany because I had killed a cop, and I rode around on a motorcycle in Germany with his head on my handlebars. Just far fetched ridiculous shit. But people said this stuff and believed it, or at least wondered about it.
We had met the Integrity guys when I was in YOT. We hit it off, especially with Chubby Fresh. Then we went out to Cleveland in Judge and those dudes love us. Dwid really loved us. After that, Dwid sent me a demo tape of his band Integrity. They had crossed baseball bats and “hard edge” written with their name, and I’m like “ohhh man, this is all my fault.” Then Bringin’ It Down comes out and not long after that Dwid is convinced that I’m a pussy and I sold out and all this shit. Every interview he did in a fanzine was the same thing with him talking all this shit. We left on tour and got out to Cleveland and when we pull into town Chubby Fresh runs up and he’s like “hey what’s up man!” He goes off with the other guys in the band. I tell Todd, “go find Dwid and bring him to the van.” Todd comes back with Dwid and Dwid is like, “hey Mike what’s up man, how’s it going?! I love the new record bro!” I’m like, “come on into the van, man.” So I handed him all the fanzines where he said shit about me. Me and Todd made him read all of the interviews to me out loud. All the parts where he said I was a sell out and a faggot and a pussy…I made him read it right to me. He was like, “awww man you know how it is! They always misquote me!” Todd and I were just laughing. I wasn’t gonna kick his ass or anything. It was more fun to watch him read those parts and try to explain it.
The dynamic on the road changed with Todd there. I could relax and enjoy it because I wasn’t watching my back anymore. On that first tour, I wouldn’t even see the guy coming. I’d get suckered by somebody. It happened a few times, but it was stressful because every show had a guy trying to intimidate me, and you never knew when something was gonna go down. People wanted to knock off the “hard” New York guy. It was never the big cities. It was the little towns. We were on the road, we’re not making any money, ten people are showing up at the gig and five of them are there to show off to their girlfriends and intimidate me. Like, come on. After that, I told those dudes in the band, “I am picking someone to come on the road with us next time.” For the other guys in the band, they had a great old time. It was no worry to them.
(We asked Mike if he had any issue with Lars coming into the band given the fact that Lars played in Uppercut, who notoriously wrote the song “Am I Clear?” and obviously took a different stance regarding SE as a band than Judge ever did. Mike said he had never even heard Uppercut, didn’t know anything about the song, and that Lars worked out fine.)
Ryan Hoffman from Chain Of Strength had been out on the east coast, I guess before Lars, and he played a show or two with us on second guitar. I don’t remember the circumstances but in YOT we had stayed at his house for weeks out in California. His family put us up, was really good to us, and we hung a lot. I don’t know what the deal was with him playing in Judge but I think he moved back west. He’s a really good guy.
With the “Where It Went” video shoot, I remember wondering, “are you sure we should be doing a video? Will anybody show up? City Gardens is a big place and we’ll look really foolish if nobody shows.” I remember being stoked because it was totally packed. We kept having to do the song over and over for the video and I was nervous because the crowd might not be digging that. The worst part was that we had to lip synch and act like we were doing the song. It was our buddy Eric doing the video. He was in film school and we had the idea to do the video, but he could do it cheap. There was no talk about what it would be like. We just hoped the crowd would go off for us and we could have good live footage in the video. Man, the City Gardens crowd went off for us that night. That was a great time and a great club.
Once Todd was in as our roadie, it was fun. On one tour we were headed home and stopped in the Rocky Mountains because it looked so cool. There was this Indian chick selling trinkets and shit on the side of the road. We hit it off with her and she gives us this thing to “bless our van for good travels.” It was this bag of green shit that she tells us we are supposed to put on the muffler and it would smoke and bless the van. I’m like “uhhhh…thank you?” So I just put it in my bag. Then we get to Texas and are pulled over. I’m in the front passenger seat and there were two or three cops. They had chewing tobacco, bad southern hick accents, total typical Dukes of Hazzard shit. They are saying, “why loookee here, they’re from New York! They’re from New York!” They ask us all to get out of the van. They say “we’re gonna look in the van.” They started going through my bag and I’m not even thinking about it, but they find this baggie of green shit. He thought he hit the jackpot. The one cop is like “oh my god! Look at this! Whataya we got here yankee boys?!” Porcell whispers to me, “what’s that?!” I’m like, “Oh shit…that Indian chick.” So the hick cop wants to know what it is and where I got it, and I say, “Look…you’re not going to believe this. Soooo, we met this Indian chick…by the side of the road…near the Rocky Mountains…and she said if I put this on our tailpipe, it would smoke and bless our van.” The dude was not fucking laughing at all. He steps towards me and says, “boy…did you say, Indian, on the ride of the road, near the rocky mountains? Boy, listen here. Just tell me where the goddamn drugs are.”
So they start walking around. They see an anti-klan sticker on the van and they start saying, “ohhh why look at this! These yankee boys are a bunch of nigger lovers!” Now they’re looking at me. They say, “so what’s it like in New York? Ever have a nigger chick?” I’m like, uhhhh…I don’t know what to say. I’m just disgusted. He spits out chewing tobacco on my Vans. It was like a bad movie. They start this thing with each other then. “Hey Roy, ever have a nigger?” “Naw I never had no nigger. What about you Bob, you ever have a nigger?” “Naw, I never had no nigger.”
(Todd: They find this thing of patchouli oil in one of Porcell’s bags. They say, “oh boy!!! Jackpot!” I jump in and I say, “officer, it’s nothing. It’s patchouli. It’s like cologne.” Porcell is giggling. I’m like, “Porcell, dude…stop giggling. We’re about to get ass fucked RIGHT NOW.” The cop looks at us and says, “if I smell that, and I get fucked up, ya’ll are gonna die.” So he smells it and he says, “GODDAMNIT BOY! You smell like a mothball!!!” Then the other cop says “does this shit get you laid in New York?”)
There are a thousand of these stories…