One of the most ferocious hardcore bands to come out of California, BL'AST! is a band you should expect to see more of here on Double Cross. I happened to catch up with Mike Neider, guitar, and he answered the first batch of our endless questions. All BL'AST! photos: Tim McMahon DCXX
Time To Think...
Well it's a bit vague but I hung out the other night with Cliff and Seve and I brought that up. It was just bros playing shows together. That's how we met I believe. We were already hooked up with Green World and Pat was starting his own label, Wishingwell, and wanted Bl'ast! to be a part of it, and we were down.
The Dubar bros were great, they are always doing their thing. Just don't try to sell our shirts...ha ha. Funny story.
I wouldn't change a thing. It was a bit wild but ending up on SST records was a great deal for me. We took BLAST! very literal and always wore our hearts on our sleeves. BL'AST! is at the twenty five year mark. Wild.
How did the Santa Cruz hook up come about? What can you recall as the circumstances around the photo shoot of Roskopp flying over you guys for the poster? Were you guys actually playing or just jamming? I think that is an INCREDIBLE photo. What other Santa Cruz promotion were you involved in?
I started working for Santa Cruz skateboards in '82 or '83 and ended up working there for 18 or 19 years. When I first began there, all of us blastards lived right next store. It was convenient and the owner, Novak, was down for BL'AST! and let me have the time to play music etc...
Skateboarding and rock started to intertwine visually in magazine adds. So Santa Cruz was going to do this poster series and Rob and Tim Piumarta thought that would be very rad to jump over BL'AST! We though, "let's try it." Rob was one of my old room mates/friend. So we found this pretty steep long hill that would allow Rob to get enough speed to hit a jump ramp that was right to the right of me. Rob jumped over us at least 4 or 5 times if I remember correctly. We were set up and playing and whenever Rob decided to roll he flew over.
In the 80s we did some RIP magazine stuff with santa cruz where they took photos of me skating etc. Then with my old band, Lab, we put out a cd with Richard Kirby's model. They were always down.
What type of relationship have you had with Clifford over the years - good times, bad times? What is something people wouldn't know about the singer for BL'AST! that you would?
Clifford's great, he lives down the street from me and he stops by my shop Rrise and hangs out often. We hang at his pad and krank tunes and such or go see shows. We talk about jammin often, just when and how. When we were teens w/ BL'AST! we cared so much about our band. Like I said earlier, that almost made it hard to keep it alive. We just wanted to destroy for ourselves and take wrong turns and loved it.
Well...Ha. Cliff is a no bullshit dude, what you see is what you get. No games and a lot of fun.
What would you say is the best show BL'AST! ever played, or at least the one you remember most fondly? Why?
Very hard question for so many different reasons. I think I will leave it at that.
What three BL'AST! songs would you cite as your favorites, and why? And songs you really don't care for anymore?
The Power Of Expression - It`s In My Blood - Take The Manic Ride. Dig 'em all! One thing we always wanted to do was re-record The Manic Ride. We always had little studio time cuz we could not afford much. So we had to get er done in a timely manner. When we were finished with the recording there were compressors that were left on during the recording. We couldn't afford to go back and re-record it so we had to put it out with the funky sound. It did not get the justice that it had live when we played. Bummer. Maybe someday we will do that.
Does "hardcore" as it exists today have any resemblence to the "hardcore" you knew in the early and mid 1980s? In what ways yes, in what ways no?
The 80s for hardcore was kinda magical times and those times are over just as any other decade is over. But as in any musical group, everyone wants to capture their feelings and influences and kick ass and feel good about it. So musically it will always remain the same. It's just different times.
More from Mike soon, for now, check out his new band Gusto:
And also check out www.rrise.com for band merch.