Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Chain talk with Curtis Canales



While there may still be some haters out there voicing their distaste for the legend that is Chain Of Strength, you are going to find nothing but love for that band on this site.

"Are those SSD sweatpants or an SSD shirt on dude's leg?" "What are the 'three words that come to mind'?" "Who was Roy A. Addington?" "Why is 'NO' your answer?"


These are all questions we have asked over the years (and of course, found answers to). Yet in the continuous quest for more information about the band that dropped ten perfect songs in three years (with another rager fully surfacing a half decade later), and taught many of us how to jump with a guitar in our hands, we have to ask more questions. This time we went directly to Curt Canales, who we will continue to post interview excerpts from in the coming days.


(PS: Breakdown is great without question...but better than CHAIN? No support here). True Till Death. -DCXX

Give us the scoop on how Chain Of Strength came together-


Chain began sometime in '88. Ryan and I knew each other from local shows as well as the previous bands we were in. Ryan asked me to join the band he was forming, "Chain Of Strength" he called it, and I happily agreed. Paul (Frosty) and Chris joined, too. The bass spot took several months to fill. Doug Bellows (Circle Storm) filled in until Alex joined.

Did CHAIN hit the ground running? It always has seemed like things moved quickly?


Our first practice space was in the "cubby hole," a local space a lot of bands used because it was cheap. We then practiced and wrote many of the songs (True Till Death) at the "Chain House" in Pomona. Chain never really struggled in the beginning. I think that created a lot of resentment towards us, especially since our first show had YOT, Underdog and Soulside... to name a few. In retrospect, I can understand some of the criticism, but you have to know where we came from, and the years we spent in the hardcore scene which helped us to establish great relationships.

You guys hit the road east multiple times - what are your recollections?


Touring was obviously great. Unfortunately we had many rumors to contend with. There was the Sick of It All Feud that was supposed to blow up at our first CBGB show. When we finally met them, they were actually some of the nicest guys we ever met. I remember playing in Boston. We were playing with YOT and Slapshot, and the Goon Squad showed up and threw raw meat all over the sidewalk. I guess they were indignant with Ray's vegetarianism? Or, maybe because they (Slapshot) were becoming irrelevant?

You might laugh, but people back then and still today talk about how you guys looked, dressed, and carried yourselves, i.e. "did they find Curtis at a beach?" "New Kids On The Block," etc. Even Moondog's song "Pretty Boy" is apparently a direct hint at the band. Any response?


I think there were many problems with the HC scene in ''90-'91. Straight edge was changing! We were "mocked" and "ridiculed" because we adopted our California style, which annoyed the "youth crew" traditionalist. Then I started to see this Krishna movement, where kids were being indoctrinated into this religion, and all I kept hearing in my head was, "you call it religion, you're full of shit!" And then we'd visit Cleveland, and bands were coming onstage with baseball bats! And this fascism that we were all so against was suddenly appearing within the greatest youth movement, straight edge! It was over...for me.

What are your favorite shows that you remember attending and playing? Favorite record?


Attended: Agnostic Front at 12XU in Pomona. Check out the Flipside video, you'll see this young 15 year old dancing around. Played: Cro-Mags at City Gardens. (Ed. note: We are awaiting some sort of confirmation that this show ever happened?). Record: Millions of Dead Cops.

What are you up to today?


I want to first say: "I'm not a Cop." I am an Entrepreneur, married with two boys.

4 comments:

LUIS said...

BY FAR, THE BEST BLOG ON THE WEB EVER!!!!!

I cant wait for the next update!

Ben Edge said...

my friend was at the YOT/COS show where meat got thrown. Slapshot didn't play it.

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Hubert Haley said...

Attended: Agnostic Front at 12XU in Pomona. Check out the Flipside video, you'll see this young 15 year old dancing around. Generic Cialis Played: Cro-Mags at City Gardens. (Ed. note: We are awaiting some sort of confirmation that this show ever happened?). Record: Millions of Dead Cops.