Thursday, July 9, 2009

Brian Walsby on Scared Straight

To this day, people will come up to me and gush about Scared Straight. It was the first real band I ever played drums in, and I was only in the band for two occasions, and if you total them both up it wasn't even a whole year.

The way I met the other guys was by drawing stuff for them, and it wasn't until later that they realized that I could play drums. One thing lead to another and at the end of 1984 I was invited to join. We had a lot of fun, played with a lot of bands, did sort of an aborted tour of the country in the summer of 1985 and again later at the end of the year I was brought back in for a winter tour where we played with NOF-X, who beleive it or not, stunk. Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed that those guys would have gone on to be where they are at. Seriously.

Our name instantly tagged us as being straight edge, which most of us default. I couldn't have imagined ever drinking a beer in the same way that I couldn't imagine getting a chance to get laid on tour, so...straight edge by default! We all liked all of those bands though...we lived near Stalag 13 and of course the rest of the Nardcore bands and we knew the guys in Justice League and Uniform Choice and of course Minor Threat was huge to us. But I know that none of us were really down on people for drinking or doing whatever they wanted to do. We rarely encountered speed freaks or junkies in our safe suburban town so there wasn't really a lot to rail against to be honest. In fact, we sort of snickered at people that took it all so seriously. And as much as I loved Uniform Choice it seemed kind of funny how directly they took Minor Threat's thing, especially when that album came out. We were more into bands like COC and Bl'ast! and wished that we could harness some of that power.

By the time I had re-located to the east coast, it was 1986 and that is when I noticed that I started to lose interest in most of what was called "hardcore" at the time. In fact, I will always remember how bands like Youth Of Today came about...they came and played in Raleigh around this time and they were nice guys. I used to write to Porcell. Now, if you know anything about my books, then you will know that I was TOTALLY NOT INTO what they were doing, but it has to be said that I can't deny the influence of what they did. When they played it was like watching a cartoon version of hardcore, but it was very entertaining. They thought that Woody of COC was forty years old (because of his facial hair) and told him so. They played a cover of SSD's "Glue" that I sang along to. And the funniest thing of all was that they knew the Scared Straight song "Life" and had me play it with them at their soundcheck. And after that they asked me to join their band. To the best of my memory this was what really happened.

I think I sheepsihly said no thank you.

Having said all of that, if a Scared Straight one off was ever going to ever happen on this planet, I would hope to be involved. I could play that stuff much better as an old man.


Icky said...

Cool story bro!

Marko said...
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Marko said...
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dangerclose said...

that's funny about NO-FX...

TC said...

Brian just did an awesome cover for the new Nardcore comp - "NARDCORE - 30 YEARS LATER"
He recreated that first one but updated for 30 years later.
Check it out at
All of Brian's art is classic.