Jay hits the NYC crowd during a Krakdown set at CBGB's, Photo: Boiling Point
Who were your favorite HC bands early on?
My favorite bands…wow another hard one…so I am just going to make a quick list of bands as they come to mind…so this is in no particular order: Sick Of It All, Killing Time, Cro Mags, AF, CFA, Murphys Law, Regan Youth, Void, Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Mariah Carey (just making sure you’re still paying attention), Absolution, Circle Jerks, Sham 69, GB, Outburst, NY Hoods, 7 Seconds, Slapshot, Urban Waste, The Mob, Icemen, Underdog, Rest in Pieces, Straight Ahead, Dr. Know, Iron Cross, Mental Abuse, Black Flag, The Germs, Token Entry, Warzone, Nausea, and on and on.
I know I left so much out…especially all the old punk that influenced me before I discovered hardcore but I guess that will have to do for now. I really liked most of the bands I saw. I was not this huge record collector (although I have many old records and tapes from back then).
Again, for me hardcore was about the people, especially my friends. So I can’t tell you what band cut a rare record in such and such a year but I do know who I hung out with at such and such a show. Hardcore to me was about live music and friends and the energy associated with seeing a live band. That is why I slowly moved away from the scene as it changed. Now that I am older I look back on the changes and realize all things change and evolve. The anger I felt back then was wasted energy and I am grateful for the time I had to be a part of something as amazing as the NYHC scene. I am happy to see some of my closest friends from the scene still out there playing and waving the flag of NYHC as it once was.
When and how did the idea to start Krakdown develop?
The idea to start Krakdown was really accidental. In 1985 Damon and I were messing around with music and lyrics when we both got the idea to start a band. Damon had some music and I had some lyrics so we decided to form a band. We got our friend Richie on board and started jamming. Richie was in the original Krakdown that was formed and disbanded in 1984 so he asked Damon and I if we would be interested in playing some of the old Krakdown songs. We were both fans of Krakdown so we figured it would be pretty cool. We had a hard time finding a drummer that understood the feel we were looking for. We finally found John through an ad he hung on the wall of Some Records. John had seen the old Krakdown and had the old punk drumming sound we were looking for. We could not come up with a name for the band so we decided to carry on the Krakdown torch.
Where did you see Krakdown fitting into the NYHC scene at the time and who were the bands you most liked playing with?
How did Krakdown fit in to NYHC…shit I don’t know if we fit in with each other let alone the scene. Let’s see, Damon the bass player was an angry Rasta/skinhead that spoke of peace as he beat your ass, Richie was a whacked out pot smoking, drinking skater, John the drummer was in his 40s at the time and was the first macrobiotic I had ever met…so we laughed at how he ate seaweed and rice, and there was me…an angry kid that had just quit drinking, drugging, and HS…not to be straight edge but to stay out of jail. So how does that dysfunctional mess fit in with the scene? I guess we were misfits so we were a perfect fit!
I guess I see our place in the history of the scene as just another band that loved to play more of a old style punk/hardcore than just straight hardcore. We never really fit into the mold of many of the bands that were coming out at that time. The music was changing to a much heavier, tougher sound than in the past but we stuck with the older more punk sound of hardcore. Don’t get me wrong, I loved all the bands that were coming out at the time but we tried to keep our sound alive. I know that cost us in popularity but we didn’t care (remember we were angry kids so fuck everyone else). We also didn’t record as much as a lot of other bands and we didn’t write new songs as fast as everyone else. This is because our focus was on playing live and putting on crazy shows full of energy. I don’t know if we accomplished that but fuck it we tried. We were also too dysfunctional to write new music or get our asses into the studio. Combine that with marriage, jobs, etc. so all we had was our live shows. That was when we didn’t argue…I just got on stage and had a blast. So I hope we will be remembered as just a band that loved to play, loved the scene, and put on a good show.
As for who I liked playing with the most…well just my friends: SOIA (we did a lot of shows with them and we always had a blast…I still sport my Alleyway Crew tat with pride and respect to my brothers!), Raw Deal/ Killing Time, Absolution, Token Entry, Ludachrist, Rest in Pieces, Nausea, Trip 6, Maximum Penalty, Straight Ahead, SFA, Side by Side, Supertouch, GB, Outburst, and on and on. Sorry I know I left people out but you know who you were. I always had a blast playing with these guys and it made for a good time.
Jay and Richie with Krakdown, Photo courtesy of: Jay
Monday, November 23, 2009
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 8:55 PM