THERE WILL BE QUIET: THE STORY OF JUDGE (PART 4)
April 29th, 2015 by Tim
THE GODFATHERS OF HARDCORE ON KICKSTARTER
April 27th, 2015 by Larry
Film and Music Video Director Ian McFarland (Rungs in a Ladder: Jacob Bannon, The Outlaw: Dan Hardy, The Problem Solver: Joe Lauzon, Meshuggah, Killswitch Engage, Fear Factory, Agnostic Front) is crafting an intimate portrait of the two industry leaders, two of the most respected individuals in the 35-year history of hardcore punk music. In addition to inspiring and nurturing multiple generations of bands that followed their lead, Miret and Stigma have remained close friends through great adversity that sometimes threatened their very existence.
As a part of a potent subculture, Agnostic Front probably will never sit beside Aerosmith and the Beatles in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Nor have they been showered with platinum records or the rock and roll riches reserved for acts that value popularity over integrity. Miret and Stigma are perfectly happy with the niche they’ve carved for themselves, and the effect they’ve had on an entire sub-genre that had infiltrated both the counter-culture and impacted the mainstream. A recent article in the New Yorker about hardcore music was named “United Blood,” after Agnostic Front’s first album. The band continues to play major slots on high-profile international festivals and their recently-released album, “The American Dream Died,” has earned the band some of its strongest reviews in years.
Agnostic Front’s past legacy is perhaps even more praiseworthy than their present accomplishments. The movement the band pioneered has had a profound effect on millions of fans and musicians, as well as skateboarders, bikers and other individualists who refuse to accept the status quo. In a landscape of increasing apathy and complacency, the messages Agnostic Front presents are as relevant today as they were in the ‘80s when the band members were impoverished, scrappy and ambitious, often fighting for their very survival as well as the perseverance of their volatile but highly inspirational band.
Back in the ‘80s, Miret and Stigma roamed the dangerous streets of NYC’s Lower East Side, fighting those who got in their way and laying down the gauntlet for the music they believed in and were willing to defend with their lives. At the time, they had no idea that the band that meant the world to them and the culture populated by runaways, street kids, punks, skinheads and other social misfits would also resonate with a generation of other music fans and musicians including Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Anthrax’s Scott Ian and Pantera’s Phil Anselmo, not to mention Cremaster’s Mathew Barney and electronic guru Moby. Roger Miret, 50 (vocalist), a Cuban-refugee from an abusive home and Vinnie Stigma, 59 (guitarist), a second-generation true-blue New York Italian, found each other on the rough streets of NYC in the early 1980s, becoming fast friends and developing an unbreakable bond. Together, over the next three decades, they became the “Godfathers of New York City Hardcore” – creating a vehicle through which three generations of fans could grow, scream and band together as one in the face of diversity, violence and discrimination. Through the strength and bonds of brotherhood, Roger and Vinnie birthed something larger than themselves – they birthed a revolution.
Along the way, they experienced some of the most harrowing blows a band can endure, including various line-up changes, Roger’s incarceration and the subsequent collapse of the band. After Roger was released in the late 1990’s from New York’s Wallkill Correctional Facility, Roger and Vinnie reunited, picking up right where they left off. Still touring and recording today, Agnostic Front is the very embodiment of hardcore: endurance, perseverance, brotherhood, strength against oppression and the will to keep going, obstacles be damned. Agnostic Front exists on a level all their own . . . a level of their own creation.
Today Roger and Vinnie are moving into their 50’s and 60’s, have jobs and families and are gearing up to begin a new touring schedule that will take them all over the world. This film will serve as an up-close-and-personal look into the lives of these different but inseperable musical icons, and in the process will illustrate the tenacity, optimism and enthusiasm with which they both approach their band. Roger Miret and Vinnie Stigma have survived in an ever-changing music scene because they refuse to compromise. From day one, they took on the system with fists clenched, and while they’ve aged over the decades, they’ve maintained the power and youthful – if not as destructive – mindset they had in their youth. At the end of the day, they remain wholly united in blood.
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UNDER THE INFLUENCE: NEW YORK HARDCORE
April 24th, 2015 by Larry
In the first episode of their series Under the Influence, Noisey goes from the streets of the Lower East Side all the way to South Korea to examine one of the most distinctive genres to sprout from the concrete of New York City: hardcore. Along the way, we’ll meet with everyone from tattoo shop owners to chefs to government workers—all of whom have been inspired by the teachings at musical meccas like CBGB and A7 and found ways to apply the lessons learned from the scene to their own lives. Join us—as well as members of Agnostic Front, Title Fight, Youth of Today, Incendiary, and more—as they explore a world living under the influence of New York Hardcore.
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.
NYHC 1980 – 1990 THE RAW INTERVIEWS – RAY CAPPO PART III
February 10th, 2015 by Tony
Jordan Cooper and I admired Raybeez as an ambassador of the old school of NYHC. I don’t think those early Warzone gigs were necessarily that great; it was just that Raybeez was such a great character. He was from the old scene where they did tons of drugs, but then when he went Straight Edge and it created this nice bridge. He was always a very positive, upbeat, welcoming person. Although he was hard, you never felt unwelcomed by the guy.
So when we heard Warzone was going to break up, Jordan and I thought ‘This band is breaking up and they’ve done so many demos, why don’t we put out some of their demos on a record?’ We thought that they were never going to reform so we thought ‘This band is going to go undocumented. We have to document this’. We almost laughed to ourselves and thought ‘Yeah that would be friggin’ cool!’ Then I said ‘You know what would be really cool? If we put posters inside the singles’. Think about it, Warzone was a band filled with characters. Todd Youth was a crazy character. Tito was another colorful character. We thought we should put a different poster for each band member in the record. We might have done that for a few limited copies of the record.
At first, we just wanted to document Warzone. Then it was becoming something like ‘Wait a minute, we need to document this band and this band and this band’. There was a whole new wave of bands that no one had ever heard of. We never thought the bands we were putting out were going to be popular outside of New York. Maybe some friends of ours in L.A would get it, but that was as far as we thought it would go. Then it became this sick phenomenon that spread internationally.
We always felt almost like historians that were documenting the scene. We wanted to document something that would be over in the wink of an eye. That’s what records are to me. As an adult, to look back on those records and remember what I was thinking when I made it and where I was living and who I was hanging out with; it’s like a yearbook.
Revelation just fueled the fire for me and Porcell since we were the original psycho record collectors. We would post our want lists and offer the limited versions of the records on Revelation. We would trade an orange vinyl limited to 200 pressing of the Warzone record for an SSD The Kids Will Have Their Say. We would trade records that we just pressed for SSD records. We were making our own money here!
Nowadays, you have whole marketing and branding teams that are supposed to come up with the ideas. But when you think about it, we were figuring the concept of branding before we knew what it even was. I remember being in a club in East Germany and seeing all these kids with all the Revelation shirts on and they looked like they could have been from New York City circa 1986, but it was 1995. That’s when I realized, ‘Oh my god! We created a whole fashion and culture’. We never thought it was going to become that. We did it because it was a cool time with cool music and people. It wasn’t that sophisticated. It was very grassroots and homegrown.
Duane at Some Records was another guy who understood that all this stuff was temporary and you had to preserve the legacy. Some Records was the most unassuming, underground store with this one nerdy guy behind the counter. There was maybe two boxes of singles on the counter with a very thin selection because Duane was an epicurean of Hardcore. I would come into the store and ask him if he had the Side by Side seven inch we put out and he would say ‘Yeah, I got them from Jordan’. Then I would say ‘You know, we did a different color pressing for it as well’ and he say ‘Oh yeah, I got them all!’ and then pull out twenty of each color. I would think he was crazy but he would say ‘Ray, don’t you understand these things are going to be gone soon and no one else will have them?’
But that attitude was eventually Duane’s downfall. Duane was such a fan of the music that he couldn’t have a business brain in his head. I mean, he had a record store with no sign in front! His girlfriend Gina was more of the business person. She would say to me ‘Ray, you have to talk to him. He’s going to go out of business! Every time a band comes down here to sell a demo tape, he buys ten of them!’ He was too much of a puritan for the store to last, but I appreciated his gesture.
NYHC 1980 – 1990 THE RAW INTERVIEWS – RAY CAPPO PART II
January 29th, 2015 by Tony
When Porcell and I started Youth of Today, we wanted to take it seriously. We thought Straight Edge was an important message. We wanted to take it seriously and travel around the world. I guess it was a lofty idea. Our dream was to put out a record and travel around America and we ended up doing so much more than that.
It became quite a phenomenon very quickly. We played at CBGB’s in New York with Agnostic Front and Damage. It was right before ‘Can’t Close My Eyes’ came out. I’m a big mouth, and I was really into Straight Edge. Back then, no one was Straight Edge in New York so I really went off and had a little bit of an attitude.
So, we played this show at CBGB’s and left and went to California to tour with 7 Seconds. They put out our single on their label, Positive Force. We got back and everybody was Straight Edge. It was unbelievable.
It was also after when we came back from that tour of California with 7 Seconds, we decided to move to New York City and it took over New York quick.
The timing was so right because there was this whole influx of new people. There was this generation of kids like us who loved the old New York scene. We loved Agnostic Front, Cause for Alarm, The Abused and Urban Waste, but wanted to put our own stamp on it.
I think that era of NYHC in 1985 was when it really came into something. For people to think Hardcore stopped in 1985; maybe that’s just because they weren’t into Hardcore anymore. It might have been a personal thing. Truthfully, that’s when New York took off. Look at the bands that came out of that era: Sick of It All, Youth of Today, Agnostic Front and Cro-Mags. A big part of the New York scene happened post-’85. That’s when Agnostic Front became a global band.
Again, that’s not to take anything from the earlier era. ’82 NYHC was really cool, but it never really left New York. The Abused and Urban Waste were cult bands. Once again, that doesn’t take anything away from them. If there were no Urban Waste or The Abused, there definitely would be no Youth of Today because we literally copied them.
But Youth of Today brought a suburban element to the NYHC scene. I guess there was always a suburban element to the scene, but I think Youth of Today made it easier not to be a bad ass to hang out. You don’t have to be a criminal to hang out. You don’t have to be a drug addict to hang out.
Truthfully, a lot of the people that fell in on the Lower East Side and squatted down there, most of them were not from New York City. Not many people grew up in New York City. New York City was a hub. There was an influx of kids from the suburbs that would come up. There were kids that thought ‘I can relate to Hardcore, but I can’t relate to the negative elements’. To me, that was real deterrent because I wasn’t into drugs or the ‘live fast die young’ thing. The Straight Edge thing let you become a part of that scene but still have ethics, morals and self-integrity. That being said, the music was the common thread that brought all these different personalities all together.
When Jordan and I started Revelation and put out the ‘Together’ compilation, we really thought we were representing what NYHC was at the time. We were together and coming from all different places and coming together in the collective of alternative music. Truthfully, we were the alternative to what was going on back then. It was a great time to be in New York and making music.
REALITY RECORDS ANNOUNCES LEEWAY DISCOGRAPHY RE-RELEASES
January 22nd, 2015 by Tim
In our 15 years history as a label we are exultant that we can announce the following news:
We’re going to re-release the 4 LEEWAY full lengths on Reality Records!
LEEWAY brought us some of the best crossover / thrash / hardcore ever written and is still a big influence to a lot of current and new bands in our scene! These albums were long out of print and deserve the right sound! ‘Born To Expire’ & ‘Desperate Measures’ can be considered as milestones in the hardcore history worlwide, while ‘Adult Crash’ and ‘Open Mouth Kiss’ are just way to underrated!
All of them will be remastered, will come with an extensive booklet and on top of that, every album will contain loads of bonustracks!
The formats we’re offering: CD / LP / digital!
Check out this Reality Records Facebook
Check out this Reality Records
NYHC 1980 – 1990 – THE RAW INTERVIEWS – RAY CAPPO – PART I
January 20th, 2015 by Tony
First off, I would personally like to thank everyone who snagged a copy of ‘NYHC 1980 – 1990′. I am truly humbled by the response the book received. The demand for the book was so out of control in fact that the first printing dried up rather quickly and left some out in the cold in regards of getting a copy. But don’t fear! The second printing of ‘NYHC 1980 – 1990′ will be hitting the book store shelves in the next few weeks with added photos and much more.
To celebrate both the reaction to the first printing and the upcoming second printing, I decided to go back into the vaults and pull out another interview conducted for the book and throw it up here on DCXX. This time around, we have a lengthy interview with all around NYHC icon, Ray Cappo.
This interview will be split into several installments due to its length, but in this first part, Ray speaks about his introduction into the Hardcore scene and the formation and initial shows of his first band, Violent Children.
Enjoy — Tony
Truthfully, I didn’t even know anything was going on in Connecticut even though Connecticut had a very striving scene. I lived in Danbury which was an hour and fifteen minutes from New York City on the Metro North train. My parents were sort of New Yorkers and my brothers and sisters were all older and they lived in the city. I used to go to New York City on weekends and my parents were cool with it because they figured I’d stay with my brothers or sisters and everything would be cool. Little did they know! I would just say ‘I’m going to see some music this weekend’. I’d keep it pretty vague. They had no idea I was hanging out on the Lower East Side all weekend. My first real introduction was I liked alternative music. I wasn’t quite sure of what Hardcore was at that point. Then I stumbled into CBGB’s when the UK Subs were playing one night. The Young and The Useless were playing, which was guys from the Beastie Boys. Once I saw the Young and The Useless, I thought ‘These are kids that are my age. I can do this’.
Usually, growing up in a suburban American high school environment, if you’re in a band, you’re in a cover band; at least back when I was growing up. Kids were playing the best of AC/DC, the best of Rush, the best of Journey. I always thought that was so lame. So when I saw these bands that weren’t technically good, but playing from their heart in some random nightclub, I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
I was with a girlfriend at the time and she goes ‘Ray, you could do this! You should start a band!’ So when I got back to my typical American high school, I grabbed three of my friends who were the only three guys into alternative music and said ‘Let’s start a band’. That’s when we started the band Violent Children.
From then on, CBGB’s became my escape from my world. It was a great place. You could see incredible bands for three dollars. It was almost like walking into a comic book with super heroes and villains and characters that were bigger than life. That’s what the New York scene was like. The characters on the scene were bigger and more colorful than the black and white people in your high school. There was no Raybeez or Vinnie Stigma or Harley Flanagan in your high school. These guys were bigger than life. When you would go back to your high school on a Monday morning and try to explain the bands you saw or how you saw one guy hit another guy over the head with a beer bottle, people would ask ‘Where do you go where you see people hitting each other over the head with beer bottles?’ At that point in life, the only place you should be seeing something like that is in a movie.
In 1982, there were barely any records. The only bands from New York that had records out were the False Prophets, Kraut and The Misguided. The only places you could hear this stuff were on these late night college radio shows. In my hometown, was the Danbury State College radio station and there was a radio show where it would be a mix between Duran Duran or INXS or Men Without Hats or Oingo Boingo with stuff like Dead Kennedys or Flipper or Youth Brigade or Minor Threat. So we thought ‘Let’s make a demo tape and get it played on this radio station!’ We made this really shitty demo tape and then we went to this radio station at midnight and threw pebbles against the window and the guy opened the window and we were like ‘Hey! We’re in a Hardcore band!’ The guy was so psyched that Danbury, Connecticut had a Hardcore band. We asked him to play our demo and he actually played our demo. He was saying ‘We have Danbury Connecticut’s only Hardcore band Violent Children in the studio!’ It was so cool.
That night, we got two phone calls. One was the guy who owned the club The Anthrax, which wasn’t quite a club yet. He said they were doing a benefit to open the Anthrax and he wanted us to play. He explained how The Anthrax would be an art gallery and a band hangout place. We got our first gig from that radio show. Check out the lineup: Violent Children, CIA, Agnostic Front, Cause for Alarm, Hose, Reflex from Pain and Lost Generation. It was a big massive line-up. We couldn’t believe we were going to be playing with all our favorite bands. When you’re in high school and your favorite band is Aerosmith, you’re never going to play with them. But here we were, listening to these bands and we’re playing our first gig with them.The second phone call was from Johnny Stiff calling in from New York. He booked shows at A7 and CBGB’s and offered us a show. So, from being on one radio show, we went from being a local band to getting out of state gigs.
At the Anthrax benefit, we were the second band on the bill and after the set, the police busted in and raided the place because we were all underage. All the underage people were hiding under the stage for the rest of the night. For a sixteen year old kid, it was probably the most exciting thing to happen. For your band to be playing with all your favorite bands at a big show and now it gets raided by the cops and you got to get home without your parents finding out. You had to get home without your father knowing you borrowed his car. It was a whole new, exciting thing.
THE NEW YORK CREW INVADES BRAZIL
December 4th, 2014 by Tim
10 QUESTIONS WITH GAVIN VAN VLACK
September 19th, 2014 by Larry
10 Questions with guitarist, Gavin Van Vlack.