THE NEW YORK HARDCORE CHRONICLES WITH PORCELL
January 22nd, 2016 by Tim
YOUTH OF TODAY 2016
December 16th, 2015 by Tim
YOUTH OF TODAY – LIVE IN SWITZERLAND/GERMANY 1989
December 4th, 2015 by Tim
YOUTH OF TODAY – LIVE IN AUSTRIA, 1989
November 24th, 2015 by Tim
THE NEW YORK HARDCORE CHRONICLES 1979-2015
November 24th, 2015 by Tim
Drew Stone delivers a couple new interview snippets from his upcoming documentary, The New York Hardcore Chronicles 1979-2015.
WALK TALL, WALK STRAIGHT
July 6th, 2015 by Tim
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.
YOUTH CREW ACROSS EUROPE 89
March 31st, 2015 by Tim
NYHC 1980 – 1990 THE RAW INTERVIEWS – RAY CAPPO PART IV
March 12th, 2015 by Tony
When Break down the Walls came out, we became a national band pretty quick. We did a tour around America and instead of getting a heroes’ welcome when we came home to New York, we found out there was envy. As much as I was upset about it, you come to realize that exists everywhere. In the corporate world, there’s always some new guy who is better at what the old guy there has been doing for years and it causes a rift.
We sold maybe six thousand record and toured America in a crappy van while constantly being broke. No one ever left New York pretty much, so maybe there was an issue with that. Whatever it was, that was the first time I felt a backlash. Straight Edge got so many people excited, that there was a natural backlash where people said ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to be Straight Edge’.
I didn’t grow up in the Straight Edge scene. If anything, we created that scene. But at a point, I could see where some people were coming from. The Straight Edge scene seemed kind of dumbed down. It bummed me out. Straight Edge created a bubble that was a scene within a scene that wasn’t really interested in anything that wasn’t Straight Edge. That made me sad because I loved the Buzzcocks, P.I.L and other things. It was sort of sad that newer kids who were just getting into Youth of Today or Uniform Choice didn’t care about anything else. They would buy any record that was Straight Edge by these bands like Wide Awake and Aware, but if some other punk band would put out a record, they would be like ‘They’re not Straight Edge, who cares?’ It narrowed their whole view of the Hardcore scope.
I always had this pull towards spirituality and a truth quest. I got a calling to be a vegetarian. I always want to improve what I can do in this world. I want to be very careful about what I put in my mouth and be concerned if it harms other beings. I made the public statement that I was a vegetarian and decided Youth of Today were going to preach that as a part of being Straight Edge. I remember telling Porcell that and he was like ‘Oh man! We’ve already stirred up so much stuff with Straight Edge, now we’re really going to piss people off!’ And it did!
After that, I read books about yogis and Buddhists and Christian mystics. I would get inspiration from them and write lyrics. Look at the lyrics of Youth of Today. They are influenced by words of literature. I got inspired by this literature. All the things about the material world that all these great yogis and mystics would write about, I felt like ‘I’m over that shit. I’m not greedy. I’m not envious. I’m not competitive. I know the material world is temporary’. But I was immersed in the success of this micro-world where it was all there. Greed, envy, lust, ignorance: it was all there. I thought I was above it, but I was immersed in it. My success had made me suffer even more. I was really burnt out on it and then I had my father die unexpectedly. That’s when I understood the temporality of the material world. In the Straight Edge scene, everybody was looking up to me and truthfully, I didn’t know what I was talking about. There were tenets of the Straight Edge thing like you should strive to be a better person and be forgiving and not kill animals. But, you know, my mom could tell you that! It’s not like I was some Dali Lama for saying something as simple as that. The Straight Edge scene became too much of this thing where kids just thought they were perfect. They didn’t realize it was a stepping stone to do greater things with your life. I felt that the Straight Edge scene was limiting itself. There was an arrogance in it that you find in religion or anything where you do something for your self-betterment. But instead of doing it for yourself, you do it to lord over other people. In the name of doing something better for yourself, you end up hating other people. It defeats the whole idea of self-betterment. This was what I was watching happen and it was super bumming me out.
I thought it was crazy. It got me to thinking ‘What do I want? Do I want to get ten times bigger in Hardcore? Will that make me happier?’ I wanted to know what would make me a happier person. I thought nothing would make me happy except for some sort of God quest. So, I quit music.
When I came up with the idea of Shelter I thought ‘How can I refine what I’m doing?’ I wanted to tweak the basic message I’ve had all along, but make it more spiritual.
The first Shelter record was supposed to me my final record ever. It was a project I did with Tom Capone from Beyond and Quicksand and some older guys I knew from Connecticut. They helped me record this music that I wrote and that was supposed to be my ‘Goodbye’ to Hardcore so I could go away and become a monk. Later, the more I studied Indian philosophy, I learned a big part of that philosophy is you don’t quit what you were born to do. You take what you do and do it in a spiritual way instead of the material way and that’s how Shelter was born as full-fledged band. It took me to give it up to get me to refine it.
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.