STAND UP AND BE COUNTED
June 11th, 2014 by Ed
MINOR THREAT | PHOTO: BILL DANIEL

MINOR THREAT | PHOTO: BILL DANIEL

KEVIN SECONDS – PART I
May 21st, 2014 by Tony
7 SECONDS IN 1981. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: KEVIN SECONDS, TOOD YOUTH AND BIX BIGLER | PHOTO: UNKNOWN

7 SECONDS IN 1981. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: KEVIN SECONDS, STEVE YOUTH AND BIX BIGLER | PHOTO: GARY ELAM

I have been sitting here staring at the screen of this laptop for the better portion of an afternoon trying to come up with an introduction to this interview with Kevin Seconds.

Why is that? I don’t know. It could be writer’s block. It could be my constant lack of concentration. Or it could be I am just a lousy writer.

Or it could be I know deep down there in my gut, an introduction to an interview with him on a site like this is almost pointless.

Their impact on Hardcore is something so massive you’d expect it to be known almost telepathically; especially among the like who read DCXX. So let’s skip the grand introduction and get down to what we really want to do: Read about the past, present and future of one of the pioneering bands of this music we all love so much.

7-Seconds… Take One
–Tony

HESHER KEVIN PUNKING OUT IN 1980 | PHOTO: UNKNOWN

HESHER KEVIN PUNKING OUT IN 1980 | PHOTO: CARI L MARVELLI

How and when did 7 Seconds come together in Nevada?
Kevin: Steve Youth is my younger brother so our mom brought us together…hahaha. But no, my family moved from Sacramento to Reno in 1977. At the time, I was 16 and Steve was ten or eleven and we were both just crazed hard rock kids into bands like Judas Priest and Van Halen who fell in love with bands like the Pistols, the Ramones and the Clash.

Once we heard those bands, we knew immediately that we wanted to do what they were doing. And Reno was pretty much a perfect place for rebellion to flourish because, as a kid, there was nothing for you to do unless you were a jock or a stoner and you had parties and did shit like cruise the main drag every Friday and Saturday night. None of that appealed to us and we were looking for something more. Punk was that something.

As far as 7 Seconds goes, the seeds were actually planted in the early part of 1979 when Steve and I got turned on to bands like the Dils and D.O.A. Those bands had a harder, faster, more intense edge to them than the British and New York wave of bands and we related to it even more so. We immediately knew that we wanted to play fast and we decided to start a band called X-Banned but we couldn’t find a drummer in Reno who could play that fast. That is, not until this guy I worked with at a Montgomery Ward, a kid named Bob Seeds, told me he was a drummer and wanted to join a band. We’d sit up all night playing records for him and he liked the bands we liked and before long, we started practicing at a friend’s basement. We never really played gigs but we got to the point that we started to sound pretty good. Everything was moving along until Bob joined the Navy and by the end of ’79, he was gone. Not long after, Steve and I were in a record store in Sparks and we noticed this long-haired guy in a big parka covered in punk rock band buttons and we were so excited that there was yet another punk fan in our town, we went up and started talking to him and we hit it off instantly. His name was Tommy Borghino and he invited us to come listen to records at this friend of his’ house and we were blown away because between Tom and his friend, they had the biggest punk rock and new wave record collection we had ever seen. Eventually, Tom decided to buy a drum kit and start drumming and by January, he was our new drummer. At the time, I didn’t want to sing, I wanted to be the guitar player so Tom’s younger brother Jimmy tried out with us and we liked his style and spirit. We played our first show at a biker/redneck/Top 40 bar on March 2, 1980 and within a year, I was singing and playing guitar for the band.

AN EARLY 7 SECONDS GIG IN NEVADA | PHOTO: UNKNOWN

AN EARLY 7 SECONDS GIG IN NEVADA | PHOTO: CARI L MARVELLI

Can you remember when you started to hear word of this ‘Hardcore’ thing starting to bubble?
There was a cover article on Black Flag and the L.A./Huntington Beach scene in a Bay Area music magazine called Damage and they made mention of ‘Hardcore’ in their description of some of the bands from that area. D.O.A. were the first band we ever heard refer to their style of punk as ‘Hardcore’ and we worshiped them so I think we just decided that, if it was good for them, it was good for us. I immediately loved the term because, at the time, I thought that perfectly defined the sound and feel of some of the bands around North America we were starting to hear about. I had started finding ‘zines in places like Rough Trade and Rather Ripped Records in the Bay Area and they were covering a lot of what was happening in Southern California and beyond. Obviously, Black Flag and Dead Kennedys were getting the bulk of the coverage and those bands sounded dangerous and appealed to us greatly. The great thing, even though it was sort of frustrating back then, was that there weren’t a lot of photos or in-depth interviews of a lot of these bands so it was hard getting information on them. That definitely added to the mystique of what was going on everywhere else but in our city.

How did the Hardcore scene in Reno start to develop? Who were some of the first bands to start around 7 Seconds?
I’d say the scene element began sometime early in 1979 at, of all places, local weekly showings of Rocky Horror Picture Show. We didn’t know it then but many of us going to those showings and meeting those who went every week like we did, were building up a pretty cool social thing that you couldn’t really find anywhere else in Reno. 7 Seconds started playing parties around town and by the summer of 1980, there was a really fun little underground scene that grew from those parties. Other bands sprouted up during that time, bands like the Thrusting Squirters and The Wrecks, an all-girl band who were sort of our sister band.

EARLY ALL FEMALE RENO PUNK BAND, THE WRECKS | PHOTO: UNKNOWN

EARLY ALL FEMALE RENO PUNK BAND, THE WRECKS | PHOTO: GAR ELAM

I love The Wrecks. Your sister was in this band, right?
The Wrecks were so much fun. We loved them, especially Bessie the bassist and Jone the guitarist. Steve and I used to see them perform at RHPS and they were at our first gig and supported us enthusiastically. They also did what was arguably, Reno’s first punk rock ‘zine, Paranoia. My sister wasn’t in the Wrecks but she did love and play punk rock and had a couple bands of her own, like Condemned and Anti. She also put out a great early Reno punk/hardcore scene ‘zine called Media Massacre.

7 SECONDS WITH BUDDY TONY TOXIC ON VOCALS | PHOTO: UNKNOWN

7 SECONDS WITH BUDDY TONY TOXIC ON VOCALS | PHOTO: UNKNOWN

When did you guys start pulling road trips to California?
Our first road trip was probably when D.O.A. invited us to come play with them at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco in 1980. After that, we started making short trips to Sacramento, Fresno, Santa Cruz and Chico. We had some incredible and memorable experiences and were fortunate enough to get to see and play with bands like The Lewd, No Alternative, the Red Rockers, Husker Du, Meat Puppets, etc. etc.

Do you remember how the correspondence with Ian MacKaye started?
Henry Rollins was the first DC hardcore kid to make contact. He wrote us saying that he got a copy of one of our early demo tapes from Biafra and wanted to trade a copy for his band S.O.A.’s new 7 inch. Soon after, we heard from Ian and it was similar. We started writing letters back and forth, trading tapes and records and filling each other in on what was going on in our respective cities. I still have and adore those letters.

7 SECONDS 1981 | PHOTO: UNKNOWN

7 SECONDS 1981 | PHOTO: GARY ELAM

PUNK THE CAPITAL
May 9th, 2014 by Larry

Salad Days: The DC Punk Revolution has yet to see the light of day and now another Washington D.C. hardcore punk documentary is in the works. Punk The Capital has just launched a Kickstarter page to help finance the rest of the production of the film. Check out the video above and be sure to click on over to their Kickstarter page to see all of the cool rewards they are offering for your donations.

When punk swept into Washington D.C. in the late 1970s, an explosive scene emerged with uncompromising attitudes and powerful new sounds. The ideas and music which grew out of that time continue to have a profound impact, resonating around the world. More than 10 years in the making, filmmakers Paul Bishow and James Schneider are completing a long-awaited documentary about that seminal moment: Punk the Capital, Straight from Washington D.C.

Punk the Capital takes us to the heart of why D.C. Punk has such staying power. For those who are already aware of this inspiring and influential story, Punk the Capital provides a fresh perspective and in-depth portrait of how D.C. Punk began, full of newly discovered footage and personal accounts, directed by two of D.C.’s veteran filmmakers. For those who do not know much about Washington D.C. culture or why D.C. Punk matters, this film will be a must-see.

Focusing on the period between 1976 and 1985, this documentary explores how D.C. Punk gained momentum and an affirmative, creative and constructive community emerged. At the core of the film is an artist’s co-op called Madams Organ. It was a space of possibility, like punk itself, where the foundations of a remarkable scene took form. The Organ was a place where generations and musical genres mixed and it became the launching pad for the D.C. harDCore movement.

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STAND UP AND BE COUNTED
February 23rd, 2014 by Tim
BRIAN BAKER AND IAN MACKAYE WITH MINOR THREAT | PHOTO UNKNOWN

BRIAN BAKER AND IAN MACKAYE WITH MINOR THREAT | PHOTO UNKNOWN

SALAD DAYS
January 29th, 2014 by Larry

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Minor Threat, 1983. Wilson Center, Washington D.C.

PUT ON YOUR SNEAKERS AND BE A KID
January 24th, 2014 by Larry

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Photos by Susie J. Horgan.

MIKE JUDGE – PART II
August 29th, 2013 by Tim
MIKE AND JIMMY WITH JUDGE AT CBGB | PHOTO: JEFF LADD

MIKE AND JIMMY WITH JUDGE AT CBGB | PHOTO: JEFF LADD

Here it is, part two of our all-encompassing interview with Mike Judge. We’re hoping to post at least two entries a week from this interview, so stay tuned and keep checking back often. -Tim DCXX

So in my freshman year I’m in the lunch room and there was a table of punks. Loud, crazy, obnoxious. They don’t give a fuck, they are throwing shit, people are making fun of them but they don’t even care that people are making fun of them so they start throwing shit right back at them. Here I am, and I am scared of my own shadow. I’m a total wallflower hating myself and I’m just like, “how can I be like THOSE guys?  Because they don’t give a fuck.” Any chance I could get I went out of my to run into them. Eventually I got to meet them. Paul Schraft was one of the first ones I met. I remember talking to him and he’s like, “I have my own band.” I’m like, “what?” He says, “yeah, I have a band called Sand In The Face.” I’m like, “you’re a kid, you don’t have a fuckin’ band.” He was like, “dude, come over to my house. We’re gonna practice on Friday night.” So now I’m stoked because I’m gonna tell my dad I actually have something to do on a Friday night for once in my life. Like, shit, things are looking up.
 
So after school that day I’m walking home and I see Howard and he’s like, “what are you doing?” I’m just walking home and he says to walk with him because his house was by mine. He’s like, “come on in and we’ll listen to music.” Well that’s all I did anyway so that sounded great, I can actually listen to music with somebody. So he puts on music…these bands called Suicide, Television, Blondie, Devo…I’m like, “is this punk rock?” He says, “yeah new wave, punk rock…but do you wanna hear punk?”  He puts on Never Mind The Bollocks. I’m like, “WOW.” It  doesn’t sound as good as a band like Creedence in terms of the quality and recording, but it sounded awesome and powerful. It sounded like it was saying “FUCK YOU.” And I wanted to be the guy saying “FUCK YOU.”
 
So I go home and I have to talk to my brother immediately because even though he’s a dick, he has a car. So I say, “listen I need you to take me to this record store to buy this record I heard. He’s like, “what record?” I tell him “Sex Pistols.” He’s like “what the fuck is that, punk shit?” I’m like, “yeah punk rock.” He’s like, “you’re not gonna go buy that punk shit. You’re not gonna go listen to that faggot shit.” Just total hillbilly attitude, he had this whole “not in my family” thing.  I’m like, “dude…just take me.” So we go a few towns over to Wayne to this record store called Looney Tunes. I spent all the money I had. They didn’t have Never Mind The Bollocks but they had Flogging A Dead Horse, London Calling and some others.  I took those home and listened to them in my brother’s room because he had record player. And he’s saying “what the fuck…that shit sucks”…which makes me like it even more. I wore those records out, especially London Calling.  I listened to London Calling so many times…and was just obsessed with it.  If there was ever an opportunity in school to do anything where I could bring up that record, I would. It was major.

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So Paul Schraft knows I bought these records and am listening to this stuff and he says “Oh you like that? Man, listen to this.” And he lets me borrow Jealous Again. So I take that home and that was just like…man…that was IT. When I listened to the Sex Pistols, they were a group of guys that gave off a feeling of “FUCK YOU.” But now I have a band who is flat out saying: FUCK YOU. Like, “Look, maybe you don’t quite get the drift.  Maybe we aren’t spelling it out enough for you, OK?  FUCK YOU.” It was right there.  “It’s not my imagination, I got a gun on my back!!!” Listening to that…man, I don’t even know how to describe it…I felt reborn. It was amazing.
 
I begged my brother to go back to the record store and I didn’t even wanna fuck around. I told the guy I needed Jealous Again. He’s like, “we don’t have any more copies of that, but their new record is out, you should try it.” He brings me a copy. It was the Damaged record. As soon as I saw the cover…the shaved head and the mirror and everything…man, it changed my life. Right there. I went home and listened and that thing just defined the way I was thinking, the way I was feeling, everything.  Especially that second side. There’s never even been a drug that could get me as high as I felt listening to that record. NOW I knew why I was breaking everything. NOW I knew why I wanted to stomp everything in sight. NOW I knew why I would drive past the high school and think to myself that I wanted to just drive the car right into the crowd of jocks. It was all defined right there in that record and in those lyrics. That was it. 

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Paul Schraft took me to my first show soon after that. It was Misfits and Necros and I thought it was also Kraut, but I’m not sure if it was Kraut because Doug Holland says it wasn’t. That was at Hittsville in New Jersey. A few nights later I went into NYC for the first time and saw the same bands at Irving Plaza. I was fucking hooked man. It was like a big room of people who were kinda just like me. And everyone was talking. I’m thinking “no wonder I couldn’t fucking meet anyone, because none of those guys in school are like these guys.” Now it was easy to meet people…you just show up, AND bands play. I was blown away. All of that was awesome. 
 
Paul Schraft had a girlfriend and she tells me she’s ordering some records. That she was just going to write to Minor Threat, to the guys in the band, and get some records.  She asks me if I want anything. I’m like, “what?” She’s like “yeah I just write them, and order their records.” So I told her sure, I guess? It was so weird but awesome. So I’d start to write them. I still have those letters…letters from Jeff Nelson or Burt from Double-O. So I was writing a band directly and getting their records, and they were writing me back! A year ago I was talking to the fucking wall in my room and pretending the wall was talking back to me. Now I’m talking to a guy a couple hundred miles away in a different state…and he knows my name! It was fucking intense. I was hooked.
 
My next breakthrough moment was a CB’s matinee. That set me on the path that I’ve been on since. Because at that point I love these bands like Black Flag…but I go to CB’s and I see AF with John Watson. It was a Saturday matinee. During AF’s set John Watson says something like how they’re ending the show early because they have to play tonight out of town, there’s cars leaving and we should all go and support them. They were playing in Camden, New Jersey at Buff Hall. So some of these guys I had known that I came with drove, and I definitely wanted to go.  So we pile in and we followed out the cars from NYC to Camden…we were going to support AF, like as their crew. It was the Philly BYO doing the show and it was AF, SSD, Minor Threat, and a Philly band. That was the show people talk about because Ian got run over and SSD’s van got into an accident. Al’s wife Nancy put on the show. That was my first out of town show and everyone was there to support THEIR band. It was like going out of town to an away game to support your football team, but without the dumb drunk jock bullshit. It was this network. I wouldn’t have known about it if I hadn’t been at CB’s. After that, I didn’t miss a matinee for a long time…

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HC STICKERS
July 7th, 2013 by Tim

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IAN MACKAYE AT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
July 2nd, 2013 by Larry

Get settled in for this one. Back in May 2013, Ian Mackaye spoke at the Library Of Congress on the subject of digital archiving and other topics. Grab some popcorn, your favorite beverage and enjoy this full 90 minute video.

JEFF HANNEMAN AND HIS RECORDS
June 22nd, 2013 by Tim
JEFF HANNEMAN OF SLAYER POSES WITH A PILE OF HIS FAVORITE PUNK/HARDCORE RECORDS. PRETTY COOL THAT YOUTH OF TODAY’S – “WE’RE NOT IN THIS ALONE” MADE THE CUT | PHOTO: AUGUST 2013 GUITAR WORLD MAGAZINE

JEFF HANNEMAN OF SLAYER POSES WITH A PILE OF HIS FAVORITE PUNK/HARDCORE RECORDS. PRETTY COOL THAT YOUTH OF TODAY’S – “WE’RE NOT IN THIS ALONE” MADE THE CUT | PHOTO: AUGUST 2013 GUITAR WORLD MAGAZINE