Tuesday, September 23, 2008

OUTBURST talk with Miles To Joe Part III

Outburst at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno

oe Songco delivers more NYHC history with the third installment in our Outburst piece. I think Joe is just getting warmed up, so expect much more...

-Gordo DCXX

How how did Mike join the band and replace Chris on bass?

In order to tell the story on how Mike joined the band, I have to tell the story on how Chris left the band. We played an out of town show in Albany with Killing Time where Anthony rented a van for both bands. After the show, we had arrangements to squeeze into a motel while Raw Deal was going to stay at someone's house not too far away. The motel wound up kicking us out within 15 minutes of us being in the room…I guess 5 in a room wasn't their policy.

Before we could collect ourselves to think of a contingency plan, we looked around and noticed that Chris ended up taking off in the Killing Time van. Anthony didn't know we were in the middle of being kicked out of the room. Chris just went to him and said he was going to crash with them instead of us, so Anthony, assuming this was cool with the rest of us, took off for the night. The rest of us wound up spending the entire night and next morning in the parking lot.

We were pretty pissed at Chris for just flatleaving us, so we agreed that night...he was out. When Killing Time pulled up to the motel the next morning, George just took the lead and chewed him out for lack of loyalty and kicked him out. Killing Time were stunned bystanders…and man, that ride back to the city was just completely uncomfortable. I remember on the way up to Albany, we were all horsing around in the back of the van, George and Chris just cracking jokes & making Carl & Drago laugh…and here it was the next day, heading back in the back of that same van and it was as quiet as a funeral home wake.

Joe beats the drums and sports a Debbie Gibson shirt at CB's

Anyway, we wound up playing the next week at the Anthrax with Killing Time again, as a four piece with Jay on bass and the punches and the thickness of the guitar just wasn't the same. We put the word out that we were looking for a bass player on WNYU's Crucial Chaos radio show. Turns out Mike Welles just happened to be home that night listening to Spermicide make the announcement and he responded. We rehearsed a handful of songs at his place one night, then we tore up his kitchen and he was pretty much in the band after that.

We considered Mike Dijan, who lived in Astoria with me & George, since he had often been a roadie for us and he played the songs in soundcheck sometimes. He was this close to being the choice…but we went w/ Mike Welles. In the end, either Mike would've been an upgrade musically on the bass. Chris was solid, but he didn't add anything to the songs' structures. One of the first things Mike did when he joined the band was add some tasty licks to the Hardway and Thin Ice, which ended up being on Freddy's New Breed Compilation. In comic book speak, New Breed was the first appearance of Mike.

What memorable out of town shows do you remember Outburst playing?

Personally, I'll never forget that Albany show I just spoke about, simply because it led to Mike joining the band. Also, the kids in Albany loved their NYHC. We played a show in Storrs, CT at the UConn campus with Bold and Breakdown which was pretty sick because of the cross section of straight edge kids and, for lack of a better term, un-straightedge kids at that show. I also picked up a great looking black Bold t-shirt at that show which lasted me a long time. One of my favorite out-of-town shows ever was the Fall Brawl at the WUST Radio Hall. That was a great line up of DC and NY bands and the crowd was just bonkers the whole show. One of my favorite things to watch whenever we played DC shows was the crowd doing the sing-a-longs to Banned in DC at the end of our sets. Those DC kids could definitely bust it up.

Outburst at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno

Who were some memorable people from the NYHC scene?

Duane from Some Records was really cool. He gave so many bands the chance to get their stuff out there and be heard, plus you could get t-shirts, zines, flyers, etc. You can't say enough about the impact of Duane & Some Records on the scene back then.

Gus Pena was a very cool cat. He was always at our shows singing along and dancing. Heck, he was at a lot of shows, period. I mostly remember him hanging with the Gorilla Biscuits. I also hung out with Dylan (Schriefels) a lot. In the summer of '88, Dylan and I worked at the same pharmacy in the Village. Man, what a cushy job that was. We'd sit around and talk to our cashier about hardcore and rap music. Sammy & Luke would always stop by and hang out for hours. We'd draw up mock designs for logos & stickers. Dylan came up w/ an idea for an Outburst sticker w/ a picture of Michael Jordan dunking with the words "Outburst: Jamming The Hardway".

Freddy Alva and Bill Wilson were also awesome. Always at the shows, always up front. They were also hugely responsible for a lot of bands getting their stuff out there…and they did it from scratch…total DIY.

BJ Papas was one of my personal faves. She lived 2 blocks away, so I hung out at her place a lot. And as a result of her being the unofficial photographer for any and all things NYHC, there were always a lot of traffic over at her place. I remember when she moved out of Astoria, I was bummed like an 8 year old kid watching his friend drive away in a packed up car.

Lastly, I want to admit that I used to have a pretty good crush on Barbara Ann, aka "Bubs", Anthony from Killing Time's kid sister. We used to drive around Jackson Heights and Astoria in my VW Rabbitt listening to heavy metal tapes. I lent her my Motley Crue "Shout At The Devil" and AC/DC "Back In Black" records so she could make metal mixes. I never saw those records again! And I'm pretty sure only she and I would know this…maybe her friend Sonya too…but I actually wrote & recorded a rap song for her. I used the instrumental to Eric B. & Rakim's "Move The Crowd". If anyone out there reading this ever runs into Bubs, just mention this and I'm sure she'll laugh hysterically…and fondly I hope. But yeah, Barbara Ann was a sweetheart. I saw her on the subway years ago, we chatted for a few stops…told her I loved her and everyone else in the "Can't Wait One Minute More" video…she was still as cool as I'd remembered.

Outburst dance floor at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno


Damaged said...

I remember seeing Outburst at the Anthrax in 1989 or 1990; I forget who they played with. A lasting memory of that show, after of course the performance itself was something a kid standing next to me on the floor yelled at the stage in between songs. He looked more like he had literally just left gym class than he did straight edge. He yelled, "Get a haircut!!" laughing all the while. For some reason that stuck with me throughout the years. Perhaps it was a sort of symbolic beginning of the end for the togetherness I had enjoyed up until then.

Tyler said...

Was this the last installment of the Outburst interview with Joe?