Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Revelation talk with Jordan Cooper

Zack with Inside Out at Gilman St., Gus with the dive, Photo: Unknown

The man, the myth, the legend, Jordan Cooper, takes us deep inside Revelation Records for more trivia as well as some of his own personal history. -DCXX

What were your dealings, if any, with Zack when Rage Against The Machine got going? Was it weird to think that one year the Inside Out seven inch was just a popular semi-recent hardcore record and the next year the front man was front page music news? Did you expect it? Had you missed any opportunity to work with Rage on the first record? How did it work out to do the vinyl for People Of The Sun years later?

It was amazing how quickly Rage took off. At the time it seemed fast, but looking back, it was, like you say, pretty much the next year. I remember seeing them play in someone's living room the year I moved here and from that day on people couldn't stop talking about them. It was really weird seeing Zack doing those songs. They were so different than what he'd done before that I didn't know what to think other than "holy shit." I don't think working with them was an option. Their cassette demo, which they just handed out to people, probably got into as many hands as any record we'd ever put out at the time, so they pretty much needed a bigger label than Rev right away. Zack's always been busy, but helped out when he had the time. John Nutcher who used to work here had the idea to do a vinyl release for them and talked to their label and talked to Zack and just made it happen. Zack carries enough weight that only a couple of calls from him to the label overcame any hesitation that they had during the process.

One of the few people to have some type of contact with Mike Judge over the years has been you. Probably a topic nobody gets tired of talking about is his mystique...what have you learned about him over the years and what usually puts you in touch with him? There have to be at least some good tidbits.

It's funny how that happens. I think a lot of that is just due to the fact that he's busy and doesn't have a lot of contact with people who are still involved in hardcore (the way Walter or Porcell do). I've never gotten to know him that well. Porcell and Mark Ryan knew him really well obviously. I just talk to him when the need arises for artwork, royalties etc. He's always been cool, happy to talk about stuff. I think I've gotten to know him more now than when Judge was active, but still, that's not all that well. I know he still writes and records music (at least the last time I talked to him). Someone ran into him last year and posted a photo to the Livewire board I think. If you want to get stories about him, might as well just interview him. He'd probably be happy to answer some questions if he has time. (ED. NOTE: If you only knew how we've tried...)

Mike Judge regulates the massive crowd at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno

You seem to have a lot of fond memories for the early CT HC scene you grew up in, including a lot of lesser known bands that were a part of it. Have you ever thought about releasing any material by some of those bands on Revelation, and if so, why haven't you?

I talked a little bit to Todd Knapp when he was thinking about different ways to reissue all of the 76 stuff. I loved all of the CT bands, but those guys were putting out their own records when I was still going to the New Haven Coliseum to see bands like Van Halen. There was always a pretty tight knit CT scene around the Anthrax and the early 80's hardcore/punk bands that were the regulars there. I've never really felt like there was a need to get involved with releasing their music since there always seems to be a label that's run by one of their close friends that's there to put their records out. Revelation started out from Ray Cappo's friends' bands, so that was sort of a different scene. If it made sense to put out anything specific, then it probably would have happened. I wanted to put out a Violent Children record, but a couple of those guys don't want their stuff in print. There was a CT band called Entombed (not the death metal one that came later) that I was talking about releasing with Jim Martin.

You traveled with YOT and GB to Europe in 1989 for their tours. What are some memorable experiences, as well as some dreaded ones from that time?

The YOT and GB tours from '89 were great. The insular feeling of being in a small group was kind of weird, but also led to a lot of laughs. Ray was really going full steam into the Hare Krishna religion so it was hard to get him to talk about anything else. The memorable experiences of the YOT tour was meeting a lot of people who had a very different view of the world than I did. The only really dreadful thing that I remember was one squat that the bands played at had a bacterial infection going around that, if you had a cut on your hand and got it, would cause your hand to swell up like a football.

Cappo circa early Shelter with Graham and Carl The Mosher, Photo: Ken Salerno

Everyone loves a Sloth Crew story. You seemed to be a part of their scene when you moved Rev out to California - what type of mayhem did you get into, or avoid, with those guys when you got to California?

Wait for the movie. Hopefully Jim Brown will do it someday. I think most of those guys were out of college by the time I moved out here so the Sloth Crew and "Nyhus Guys" were all just one group of friends (and still are). I had a great time when I came out to visit and that's one of the main reasons I moved out here. It's funny, but I can't think of any specific stories. I've heard them told so many times I just know them by the shorthand and I wasn't even there for most of them. In a nutshell, if it could be snuck into, out of, taken or destroyed, they did it. Then there were the kids that were younger than them, but did a lot of the same kinds of things, but you can ask either Brown or either Nyhus for the Sloth/Nyhus stories, and Matt Enright about the younger kids.


D. Sine said...

Hooray for Cooper.

Anonymous said...

zack was one of the best hc frontman ever. very smart guy. awesome lyrics.

Isaac Golub said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

This Isaac guy seems to have a lot of hands in a lot of different pots.... Is this guy classic legendary OCXHC guy? Yet again, great story!

Anonymous said...

^^Listen to A Chorus of Disapproval

Anonymous said...

Yeah.. Zach couldn't have done it with out you! Haha

President-Elect Barack Obama said...

Mr. Golub also convinced me to run for President. I was perfectly happy in the Senate but one day while lunching on Del Taco take-out in my office, Mr Golub said, and I quote, "Senator Obama, you have too much presence and passion to be merely a U.S. Senator. You are an explosion and you need to use the mic, your brains and your passion. In short, you should be runnin' the joint!" A few days later, I announced my intention to run for the Presidency of the United States of America.


President-Elect Barack Obama

P.S. Thanks for paying for the Del Taco as well, Ike.

Anonymous said...

I used to go see RATM in Hollywood when Tool used to open for them at these 150 person capacity hole in the wall clubs. There would be like... 30 people there.... If that. The guy running the soundboard would get on the mic right before Rage would play and say. "LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, EPIC RECORDING ARTIST.... RAAAAGE AGAINNNST THAAAAA MAAAACHHHHINE!!!" Cheesiest thing ever! One thing I DO know is that I would see Isaac and Regis from O.C. at EVERY show supporting.... And they paid, not trying to get in on the list.

Anonymous said...

RATM > any hc band.

the debut record is a timeless masterpiece!

Sarah Palin said...

Hey Jordie, what'd you think of my demo?

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing Isaac was the person who convinced Zack to become a singer. What a tool.

Isaac Golub said...

I am a tool, but you obviously didn't get the joke. Sorry kiddo, didn't mean to upset your delicate nature. You must have missed the part where I gave Zack insane credit.

"What the fuck have you done" -Ian Mackaye

SFader said...

Being one of the "younger guys" below the Sloth/Nyhus dudes as well as in Blackspot with Brown and Lytle, the memories that stick in my mind the most are all the fighting. I don't mean the "let's go look for fights", I mean the random ones that happened when a group of guys: (gangs, jocks, nazi skinheads, dirt-bag hessians, FSUs, bar meat-heads, low-rider Asians, etc. pick one) would roll in to HB specifically looking for "straight edge guys" to kick our ass. It usually ended up with them getting destroyed, (hit by car or skateboard, thrown off the pier, etc) their chicks getting tooled, and their cars being demolished. But there was always a comedy to it, dudes were always laughing like it was a game. And it was, really.