Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Right Idea - Cleveland Straight Edge

Right Idea is a cool new band playing hardcore influenced by the staple bands we all love, and continue to keep Cleveland on the map for straight edge hardcore. Check 'em.


How was Right Idea born? What was the catalyst and inspiration for the band, who is in it, and what are the goals? I get the impression you are a group of dudes with some of the same interests and you seem to be on the same page with what you want to do, no? What bands are your biggest influences and why?

I’ve pretty much wanted to be in a band since I got into hardcore, but finding edge kids in Cleveland with the same likes as me and who could also play instruments was pretty much impossible. I basically gave up and shelved the idea about eight years ago. Then last summer at some show that was definitely lacking energy, like many of the shows I seemed to find myself at around that time, I joked to John Millin about doing it and he began pushing me to see it through. We decided we wanted to start a band that would bring back the positive side of the music, the message and the pride we had for the edge. One that was more focused on capturing the energy during a certain time period than taking months to write songs.

The demo songs seemed to just all of a sudden click and everyone was on board with what we wanted to do. The final finishing touch came when my long-time friend, Mir Ali, gave us the name ‘Right Idea’ which was such a perfect fit for us. I mean, those are two of the best words I can think of to put before Straight Edge!

As far as who’s in the band…I handle the mic and after writing the lyrics I go to John who has the ability to make songs sound just like I envisioned they would for the most part. John plays guitar, he used to play in Committed and sung for a couple of bands. He’s also currently playing guitar for Erba’s newest band Cheap Tragedies. Funny trivia fact about Millin is that he was once a member of The First Step and in Running Like Thieves before Matt left. Nate Hough-Snee is on drums and lives in Seattle due to school, which is why the four of us are rarely in the same room. He played drums in John’s old band Names for Graves so he was the logical choice for us. Nate keeps us up to speed on the new good Northwest edge bands that seem to be popping up. Lastly, we got my man Chuck Falk on bass. This cat never picked up an instrument before we asked him to play, but his ability to learn songs in short periods of time is insane. When Chuck’s not playing bass he can be seen in fashion shows as a model, pretty funny.

We really went for good friends with similar likes instead of trying to force something to work. When we were writing the demo I wanted to pull a lot from the Turning Point demo, Straight Ahead and Side By Side. John’s song writing is influenced also by the old skinhead hardcore bands of NYHC and early SOIA. Of course, I have always had a love for Youth Of Today and BOLD. Those two influenced the songs heavily also, esp. on our new title track ‘Our World’ which will be on the record coming out this summer by Aram at React! Records. Off subject but, Speak Out era is better than LB era, if you ever heard the original intro to Now or Never which became the song Speak Out you would know this is fact.

Cleveland has a rich history of straight edge hardcore drama, beef, and general urban legend. How might Right Idea add to the history that is already there? What are your personal favorite Cleveland bands and pieces of folklore?

I think the biggest problem in Cleveland has always been the jealousy. It’s like everyone gets behind any band that is just starting out but as soon as the band starts getting some out of town recognition the kids start looking for dumb negative reasons why they’re getting known instead of just admitting their songs are pretty damn cool. I don’t know how we will add to the mix other than just continuing where Committed and GrudgeMatch left that I mean bringing back the smiles to the faces in the front of the crowd. My personal favorite Cleveland band is GrudgeMatch to be honest. I am sure it’s the least known by others but they were a combination of UC and Unit Pride and some of the best people to hang with.

Other bands I grew up on or can always listen to are Committed, unreleased Confront, early Value, old Integ, Thin Ice live (Raw Deal meets Outburst with a huge frontman), the Ringworm demo and first lp, Lifegame demo, the Crime Ridden lp, Set Straight live, and the one song wonders Force of Habit and Meanstreak. I think the old zine wars are some of the funniest/coolest reads. Bloodbook has some classic Cleveland one liners and the Judge/Integ beef spread throughout different zines rules. Where else can you hear about Mike Judge calling Mean Steve a ‘cream puff’ who’s ‘got a world full of shit coming to him when Judge comes to Cleveland’. Nothing physical ever happened between those two by the way. It seems the crazier the story you hear about something happening in Cleveland in the late 80s/early 90s, the more likely it is to be true. You can’t help but be intrigued by these stories that involve such scenarios as flare guns to the eye, ears under pillows, rocks with magical powers allowing you to say anything you want without fear of getting in trouble, beatings involving a crowbar to the head, etc.

What's a Right Idea show like? How do you think you have fared so far as a front man? What do you think of current hardcore frontmen? Do you purposely want to bring anything different to the table?

Fast and intense! We just played a show this past Friday and we blew thru 11 songs in what felt like 10 minutes. Any set over 20 minutes is too long, I have a short attention span for bands most of the time. All I used to do was watch videos and listen to live shows of bands like YOT, Straight Ahead, Altercation and Side By Side, getting so amped up listening to their energy. I can’t really speak much on current frontmen, but I know going into this band I wanted to pull a lot from the singers of most of the bands that would be featured in Double Cross.

Sometimes I go into a show with a pretty serious tone and others are a little more laid back but I usually do have stuff I want to say when I get up there. Problem is, once we start playing I get so caught up in the energy of the songs and the kids reactions in front of me that I kind of just lose myself in the moment and forget anything I had planned. I feel the show is a success for us if kids are singing along and diving nonstop throughout our set. With that being said, I feel very lucky with the success we have had so far for playing out so little.


Anonymous said...

I have a demo of a band from australia called Right Idea from around 1997.Very positive,very crucial very bad recording but for the 90s it sounded as 80's as possible.

Ben Edge said...

"flare guns to the eye, ears under pillows, rocks with magical powers allowing you to say anything you want without fear of getting in trouble, beatings involving a crowbar to the head, etc."

Don't leave us hanging!