Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Joe Nelson on Joe D. Foster and early Ignite

[Ignite Photo: Traci McMahon]

Nelson strikes again, Ignite style. - DCXX

Joe D. Foster...what was your understanding of his doings/whereabouts from '89 until he started up Ignite?

Foster dropped out of the scene around 1987 I would say, maybe even 1986. He was a professional body boarder at the time, as well as a pretty famous model. His endeavors outside of hardcore have always been far more interesting I think. He became sort of a mystery to us during that era. You would hear weird stories of his travels. Crazy, bizarre tales, which I just can't repeat. He would be out of sight for a year, and then pop up at a some random show. No For An Answer actually brought him on stage to play with them during a set in 1989. At the time it was a such a huge deal too. That night everyone was like "Wow, N.F.A.A. just pulled off a major coup de tat," which seems ludicrous to think now.

I know he spent a lot of time in Korea, and Taiwan during the early 90s. His modeling career was pretty much in full effect during those years. He had at least 3 major posters in circulation, too. Posters meaning, "Hey! Here's a mass market poster of Foster without his shirt on for some girl to hang on her dorm room wall." I say that from experience, too. I was actually getting together with some girl in her room down in San Diego one night. I look up, and there over her bed is fucking Joe Foster staring right at me. Talk about a mood killer.

He surfaced again around 1993. I remember we ran into each other in the water off 32nd street in Newport Beach. I hadn't seen him in 3 years probably, so I was so stoked he was home. Anyway we started surfing a lot that summer together, and from that we dreamed up the idea of making a 1984 style hardcore band. Ignite was born. He had been playing on and off in the band Mad Parade with Brett Rasmussen, so Brett was a lock for Bass. We went through some hack drummers then were lucky enough to get Casey Jones. I added Gavin Oglesby to the mix on rhythm guitar. I guess the rest is history, at least for somebody anyway.

What do you make of Ignite today and how popular across the world they have become?

Brett is one of my dear friends so I am super stoked he has kept it going for so long. I was in Ignite for maybe 6 months, so I've never felt really any connection to it. I would say probably half of the "Call On My Brothers" LP are my songs, but Zoli definitely executed them better then I ever could. I actually just listened to their last record recently and thought it sounded a lot like Whitesnake or Night Ranger playing hardcore, which isn't necessarily a bad thing depending on your musical taste. I also find it interesting reading the lyrics that Ignite is one of the last bands, if not the last fighting against the tyranny of...ummm...Communism? However I digress, because those two dudes, Zoli and Brett, have persevered through many peaks and valleys. Any success they have is due to a lot of hard work, and a lot of …umm...deaf Germans…Ok, ok, NOW I digress.

You wrote the song Ash Return, which has some great lyrics. What was your inspiration for that song at that time?

That was just how I felt about what we were trying to do with Ignite. Foster and Casey had been gone from the scene for so long they didn't even know who Gorilla Biscuits were. Gavin and I had remained in it the whole time, but Triggerman was not a hardcore band really. Also the straight edge scene in California was dominated by Outspoken, but they weren't playing the style of music that what we wanted to. The closest thing I can think of was maybe the great Mouthpiece out of New Jersey, but even that band was not in the vein of say 7-Seconds, or Uniform Choice. "Ash Return" was just my idea of what we were all about as a unit. Old dudes, playing Old School Hardcore. To me it made a lot of sense at the time.


Dylan said...

Great Post!
We need more Joe D. Foster and Joe Nelson stories.
And if anyone out there has a Joe D. Foster poster... hook me up! haha

Ben Edge said...

I've heard SO many Joe D. Foster stories, that cannot bare repeating! Sick ass shit that allegedly happened during the Zoli/Foster Ignite era. Haha! Two words: film canister.

dale said...

I am still a virgin. I don't know what everyone is talking about. And why did Joe Nelson have a poster of me in his bedroom...Kinda creepy.
Joe D. Foster