Trevor Raham came out of the same early California hardcore punk scene alongside the likes of Jon Roa and Ryan Hoffman. Those ties would stay connected as Trevor became close friends with Justice League and Chain Of Strength, being a direct part of the "Chain Crew," and running Foundation Records with Ryan Hoffman.
Though he didn't want to speak directly for the Chain guys, Trevor was willing to recall some various memories of his involvement around the band and label, and hopefully we can get some more info from him soon. "Hey, Listen Up..."
On a side note, it's no secret that I've forever been a huge Chain Of Strength fan. From buying the "True Till Death" 7" at Chaos Records in Philadelphia the week it was released, to bringing it home and blasting it on my turntable, I was sold. Musically, lyrically and aesthetically, to me, that 7" had it all. Hanging with the band in '89 and seeing them live only cemented my feelings and thoughts.
Seventeen years ago, when my girlfriend Traci (now wife) and I first got together, we would light heartedly discuss names for our children to be. Since my name started with a T, as did hers, we thought it was only a given that our kids would have T names. I had remembered looking through the Chain "What Holds Us Apart" 7" and seeing Trevor Raham's name listed. I also recall seeing Trevor credited for designing some of the Chain shirts and his name mentioned in interviews for being down with the Chain Crew. When a name for our future son was discussed, I suggested Trevor. I figured that I liked the name, it started with a T and in the back of my mind, it will always have a little Chain connection. In 2003 when we found out my wife was pregnant with a boy, guess what name we went with? You got it... Trevor. Didn't hurt to find out this Trevor was still Straight Edge. -Tim DCXX
Foundation records is a total blur...so long ago. I have all the artwork I created for the 7"s that Ryan and I did for CHAIN and END TO END. Roa and I were at a book store looking for inspiration and we found that figure drawing of a man, tilted the way it is, looking like he may be hanging from strings or falling. I tweaked it, added some lines and layers and pasted up a decent looking record cover for End To End. Simple as that.
Jordan gave me a chance to do shirts for him (Revelation) and I did a Gorilla Biscuits longsleeve that had a ton of colors. But I was far from his office and I think I annoyed him because I took too long. Right then I guess he decided to start doing everything in house.
Government Issue, Azusa CA, August 8th, 1985, Trevor (upper right) in UC shirt, Pat Dubar with foot on stage, white longsleeve shirt with dark t shirt over it.
The Chain X Of Strength design that Ryan and I created at my parents house was eventually licensed to someone back east and it started showing up at the fucking mall, we couldn't believe it. Hot Topic was relatively new on the scene and they were selling a lot of band t-shirts and creepers and stuff. None of us would admit to ever going into Hot Topic, but they sure made it a lot easier for us Inland Empire guys to get Doc Marten boots and stuff.
I had a girlfriend in west LA that I met at a hardcore show and asked her to get a Beverly Hills P.O. box for me and Ryan to use for Foundation. How cool did we think we were to have a record label with a Beverly Hills address?! So dumb. There was a lot of this conflicting taste going on at that time. Hardcore guys in So Cal wearing more expensive clothes and having nice cars, it was just a part of the late 80s atmosphere, desperately trying to impress girls, and being influenced by movies and stuff...but still being so stoked on the loud and insane energy of the music we loved and spending a lot of our time nurturing the local scene, putting on shows, putting out records.
After Judge and the Youth of Today guys came through LA the 3rd or 4th time (often staying at our houses) I kind of bailed. They started adopting "Krishna consciousness" and everyone was nervous about being seen with a burger. Coincidentally, I ran into Ray Cappo at a Krishna restaurant a few months ago and he's married with kids, teaching yoga, doing nothing musically, said he was moving back East later that week, politely asked me not to call him Ray...."it's Raghu."
Trevor Raham 1984