Saturday, October 31, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Circle Storm at the Anthrax, Norwalk CT, Photo: Jeff Ladd
In case you haven't heard, Chris Daily's tell-all book on the Anthrax, "Everybody's Scene" is going to be out in no time, and is something you don't want to miss. We've been fortunate enough to not only get a glimpse of the book, but to get access to some of the outtake material from this monster project. We'll be running some of this outtake material here as the release approaches. Let me stress again - you do not want to miss this book! -Gordo DCXX
I was 22 in '82. April of '82 was when we actually started looking for a place. I just called up every realtor in the yellow pages. Just said “I’m looking for a store front, set it up as a studio/art gallery" - but studio mainly, because that's a much broader term. Somebody wound up calling me back; they had 400 square feet, Main Street in Stamford. Went and looked at the place, steel roll down gate in the front, had this small basement, to us which doubled the space. Okay, $400 a month, we were both living at home, home from college from the summer. We were both working; it was kind of like having a club house. All we had to do was paint it, put it in shape.
We didn't think we'd be able to like, do anything. We'd be down there just working on the place, sitting in the basement because it was cooler, having a beer, talking about things. "Wouldn't it be so cool if we had a band playing down here?" And eventually that happened. Two bands played, we were having a gallery opening upstairs. Crypt Tease, a couple of girls Brian had gone to college with, played like, a Cramps style. And then the Moberly’s which were from Seattle Washington, the drummer had been in The Farts. Jim BASS? Had this band the Moberly’s who wrote these great pop rock sorts of tunes more than anything else. He lived in the apartment building that Brian was living in down in Brooklyn, they were subletting. So I got to know them, so they were like, “Hey we'll come play your art opening.” It was like August 1982.
That was a great thing. A whole bunch of artists showed up. It was very well received. It went til like 6 in the morning. It was this really cool opening night/day thing that gave you the idea something could really happen there
The Stamford Anthrax, photo from Everybody's Scene courtesy of: Chris Daily
As far as bigger bands that came through...After the Dickies, probably 7 Seconds, DOA, The Asexuals, Stretch Marks...New York bands like No Control, Dr. Know, Suicidal Tendencies, Circle Jerks, Adolescents, just about anybody that was anybody at that time. I think the only bands that we didn’t get were somebody like Red Hot Chili Peppers - they were supposed to play Norwalk on a Sunday early on and something happened where they double-booked or something so we couldn't do them on a Sunday. I think they played up at Toad’s Place instead. Let's see, what were some of the other bands...Detox, Clipboards, that was a band I was telling you about. Well of course, Black Flag, they shut us down.
Black Flag was supposed to be a surprise, unannounced show. Henry had gone on tour, his Spoken Word tour, and really liked what we were doing at the Gallery, so he says ok, next time we're coming through Black Flag, we're going to play at the club. And I was like, well, ok, it’s an unannounced show, let's sell some tickets...it was supposed to be like a surprise show. Well, the word got out and all of a sudden people are...500 people are showing up to an underground club and Black Flag and Gone and Painted Willie I believe, they show up in their vans. We're setting up, they go downstairs with their equipment and their PA and just go into the breaker box, huge huge clamps with the electrical for their PA. Their PA took up the whole stage for crying out loud. So as the night wore on, I think Gone played then Painted Willie played, Black Flag was supposed to go on and we got raided. The police came and said, "Listen Brian and Shaun, you're getting too popular here" you know. They shut us down...and they kicked everybody out and said you guys gotta leave the neighborhood pretty much.
Musically, I liked everything especially in the early 80s there was never, at least among myself and my friends, there was never this idea that you had to choose one genre of music to the exclusion of anything else. Danceteria was this club in Manhattan. It was the perfect example of an eclectic club. The Bad Brains would be playing on the ground floor, Mission of Burma would be playing in the basement. There would be a Gay Disco on the second floor. New Wave video lounge on the third floor. Hip Hop on the fourth floor. And everything really benignly co-existed. The Beastie Boys are also a perfect example of that. They started out as a hardcore band then became a hip hop band, and everybody, at least my friends, were into everything. I never liked that idea of picking and choosing. Like if you're into hardcore you can't be into this. As much as I liked Black Flag Damaged, if it's Sunday Morning at 8 o'clock, I want to listen to something pretty.
So yeah, when I started making my own music, I was making electronic music but also making acoustic music that just wasn't being released. I was playing drums with some friends, we started a band called the Pork Guys. We made one seven inch in like 1991. We made 100 copies for our friends. So it wasn't like transitioning from one type of music into another, it was, my musical tastes, and maybe this just means I'm a stunted adolescent, that my musical tastes when I was fifteen are basically the same as they are now. I liked everything back then, and for better or worse I still like everything.
Stamford was sort of like the weird little ghetto area. I think one of the coolest things that happened was one day the entire city of New Haven showed up. And New Haven had like this whole scene of themselves. They like doubled our scene in one show. Like we never knew they existed, they never knew we existed. They were all younger than me even. And they just showed up one day. It was like when Youth Of Today was, you know, all those kids we saw in that picture like Becky and Tayo and man they were all really punk rock looking, like right off the cover of the Punk And Disorderly record. They all had like, leather jackets and mohawks and girls with shaven heads and it was just, holy crap! New Haven! We were like, where are you guys from? They were like, we're from New Haven, and there were like 30 of them. Like, This is great! There's a whole new scene!
It was a really interesting mix also, because like, Connecticut is a notoriously super wealthy state. And you have people who look incredibly punk, incredibly from the streets. They were always rich, really rich kids, from these really rich families that were punks, and they were all cool, we were all friends and I didn't know if any of them were rich or not. We just all met there. Just, we didn't drink so we didn't do much, just hung out and skateboarded around. I think drinking makes your stories much more exciting, ridiculous, and dangerous. We're just like, "yeah we saw the band and moshed, and that was it. Went home."
Chris Daily interviewing Ray Cappo for Everybody's Scene, Photo: Sue Snow
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Gavin with Burn at Middlesex County College, Photo: Adam Tanner
At DCXX, we always welcome suggestions from the readers on what they'd like to see here. Yesterday I got a great suggestion from Geoff TDT to do a running piece on Agnostic Front's classic New York Hardcore album, "Victim In Pain". The idea is that since Bridge 9 Records will be releasing an official re-release of "Victim In Pain" next month, it would be interesting to hear what some NYHC veterans have to say about this album. The question was simple, "What does Victim In Pain mean to you?". First at bat is Absolution/Burn/Die 116, NYHC heavy hitter guitarist, Gavin Van Vlack. -Tim DCXX
Victim In Pain was a voice out of the darkness of old New York summoning hardcore kids everywhere that they were not alone.
In a time when we weren't of the numbers that we have attained today with hardcore's current popularity, it told hardcore and punk kids that they could make a change in the world that was scaring us to death...and we did. - Gavin Van Vlack
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Supertouch, Pyramid Club, NYC 1990, Photo by: Glenn Maryansky
It's difficult for me to really explain what happened with Mark, Mike Judge and Youth Of Today mainly because I was an outsider to it all. Most people know that Ray Cappo and Mark Ryan were living in the same apartment in NYC for a brief time. To me, what looked like a pretty respectful friendship seemed to sour quickly. And of course, once YOT asked Mike to join and play drums, the friendship just ended.
We played two gigs as Supertouch, in spring 1987, with Mike drumming and Walter Schreifels on bass. We lost Carl to his other commitments, and now we were losing Mike. Make no mistake about it; Mark and I were pissed. A lot of crazy and angry words were being thrown around in the NY Hardcore scene. It never erupted into physical confrontation, but a lot of garbage-talk piled up. It was all really silly because it worked out for the better for Supertouch in the end.
On one of those gigs in '87, we played with a band called Altercation. Mark was very impressed with their drummer. When he heard that Altercation had broken up, he went about trying to find the drummer. This is how we met Andy.
Andy had issues with the scene which were in tune with our own. His band ended because two of the members quit to join another much bigger band. He was perfect for us because he was so talented, loved all different kinds of music, and was fueled by the same anger as Mark and myself.
Supertouch, Pyramid Club, NYC 1990, Photo by: Glenn Maryansky
The first practice with Andy was amazing. We got more done in two hours than we ever got done with Mike in two years. We had also found a new bass player, Mike Bitton. We were ready to start playing shows by September of 1987.
With this new line-up, we were officially Supertouch. No more being confused with Death Before Dishonor. Our practices also changed. We would do a lot of writing and practicing what we already had, but we also did a lot of improvisation. Ok, we weren't Funkadelic or the Bad Brains, but working out crazy spaced out jams with no boundaries really opened up so many possibilities. Hundreds of ideas started coming out of us, and a lot would eventually be used. A song like 'What Did We Learn' started out being inspired by a certain drum beat (taken from an Abused song). It then worked its way into a quiet groove where Mark starts singing, and ends on a high note purely influenced by the Cro-Mags.
The creativity of the band escalated. We weren't afraid to add in quiet parts. They would make the loud and heavy parts around them so much more dynamic. Personally, I started using some chords that most guitar players wouldn't go near. Adding in some major chords in a scene which would only tolerate minor chords and crunch was risky. But who cares? Andy and Mark loved what I was coming up with.
Joe with Supertouch at Fenders, 1989, Photo: Mikey Garceau
With Mike Judge drumming, I wrote Searching, Struggling To Communicate, and our Intro. There were three others which had been dropped. With Andy, the first songs to come out of us were What Did We Learn, How Do You Feel, On 3, Grabbing Hold, and The Day After. Much different from the first efforts, and much different from the other bands we were playing with. We would get a lot of blank stares when we played, but we were also winning over new people all the time.
By mid 1988, we had to replace Mike Bitton. Things just weren't going well with him. We still got gigs and were able to get replacement bass players. We did two gigs with Eddie Cohen (Altercation, Leeway, Both Worlds), and two gigs with Tom Capone (Beyond, Quicksand). We couldn't keep these guys due to their prior commitments so we put an add in the Village Voice. The first call came from Joe Graz.
Andy met up with him and gave him a cassette of a demo we had done, and the WNYU show. There were 10 songs on the tape. When Joe came to try out, it was more like a practice. He knew all the songs, and it wasn't a try out at all. We found our man. Or he found us.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Tell us about your East Coast trip in '89, how that came about, who you hung with, what shows you saw and whatever memories come to mind.
That thing was a whirlwind. I had corresponded with Jeff Terranova for a bit before they came out to California that summer in 1989. Those guys and Supertouch stayed at my (parents') house for a night or two before the show. Up Front was either lined up to play or were able to jump on the show at Fender’s, so we went over there and just had the best time. That show just happened to be on my 16th birthday.
Anyway, Up Front was set-up to play at Gilman up in Berkeley the next day and I had my drivers’ license test the day after. So, I talked my folks into letting me make the trip to Berkeley the next day; with the precondition that I would be home for my drivers test. Somehow I was also able to get my folks to agree with letting me tag along with Up Front across the lower half of the US back to NY. So, Up Front plays the show (with Judge, BOLD, and Supertouch, I think) and then we head back down to Huntington Beach. We end up at my parents’ house with a couple hours to spare. I get myself sorted, head over to the DMV, and pass my test. My Dad hands me like $200.00 and tells everyone in the van that I am not allowed to drive under any circumstances. It was Jeff, Jon, Ari, Roger, this kid Frankie from Cleveland, and myself.
Mikey moshes it up to Inside Out at the Che Cafe, Photo: Dave Sine
We set off and somewhere along the way we met up with Release. The bands played a few shows along the way back to NY / NJ. If I’m not mistaken, that trip produced my first visit to City Gardens. It was here that I ran into the Turning Point kids outside the club. That’s where Skip and I started talking.
So, after about a week staying at Jeff’s, I flew home about a week before my sophomore year of High School.
How did Fast Break Fanzine / Photozine come to life? Take us through each issues and your memories of each?
I felt like I wanted to contribute something, so Fast Break was my way of doing it. It just kinda became something from taking photos.
I was tight with Against The Wall, so that was a pretty easy first interview. I didn’t know about halftones or anything like that, so it was just xeroxed black and white photos laid up. The text was written up on my Brother typewriter. That machine was great because it had cartridges you could change out for different fonts.
The photozine was something I wanted to do because it was different. No interviews, hardly any text, just plain and raw. Looking back at it, I wish I produced it better. The photos are all washed out and the overall print job was shitty. The design aesthetic was heavily influenced by a couple issues of Boiling Point I had. That zine was just awesome.
Being behind the lens, how did the HC scene change over time to you?
Other than the style of clothing that kids were wearing, I didn’t really notice too many changes. With the exception of Inside Out, I don’t think it really started to change very much musically until I stopped doing the zine and got in Drift Again.
I remember sitting in Madrid’s room one day and hearing the Quicksand EP for the first time. Listening to the way Walter sang, it gave me the feeling that the style of music we were used to listening to was in for a little change. For me, that record was really revolutionary. That might sound a bit hyperbolic, but between them and Inside Out, I can’t remember any other records from that time that I heard and felt that other bands were going to mimic them.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Curtis with Chain Of Strength at City Gardens, Trenton NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno
A week and a half back we brought you recording memories from Chain Of Strength guitarist, Paul "Frosty" Hertz, this time around we do the same, only with Chain's frontman, Curt Canales. Check out that answer to the third question.....WOW. -Tim DCXX
Which is your favorite Chain 7", "True Till Death" or "What Holds Us Apart" and why?
True Till Death (TTD). That record was a new beginning for all of us. We were all coming from other bands and were excited about this new project. TTD was our solution for what was missing in West Coast Hardcore. New York was putting out these great records and we were eager to contribute to this great era of music.
Any stand out memories from recording the "True Till Death" 7"?
Nothing really stands out as much as the emotions I was feeling at the time. I was extremely nervous when recording this record. It wasn’t my first time in a recording studio, but I had this nervous energy that I hadn’t felt before. Six months of practice all came down to a couple of hours in the studio, and it was pressure at its worst. Vocals are always difficult because you’re the final piece of the puzzle, so you better get it right! I was never really satisfied with my vocals on TTD but I still love that record.
Any stand out memories from recording the "What Holds Us Apart" 7"?
My favorite memory from WHUA was the trip to the recording studio. We had NO lyrics for "Through These Eyes." We had never rehearsed it (with vocals) so we had to do it all while we were driving. Tim and Dennis from Boiling Point Fanzine were with us and helped us write the lyrics. Once at the studio, I still had no idea how I would arrange it. I went into the booth, the drums started to go, and I just went for it! The version on the record was the first take, the first time I ever screamed those words, and we kept it.
Curt flips into the Trenton crowd, Photo: Ken Salerno
Friday, October 23, 2009
A little DCXX weekend bonus material here form our friend and Buffalo Straight Edge / O.C.S.E transplant, Larry Ransom. See below for what Larry had to say about the video and be sure to check out Larry's website at LarryRansom.com for other other great content. -Tim DCXX
Insted performing their classic show closer of “We’ll Make The Difference” and “Young Till I Die” (7 Seconds) live at Gilman St in Berkeley, California. August 29, 2009.
This is a three camera edit, filmed with two Canon HV30s and one HV20. Edited in Final Cut Pro. No color correction has been done.
Coming down the pipe is a mini documentary of Insted’s 3 shows from a couple of months back. Lots of live footage, interviews, rehearsals, bro-down footage etc. -Larry Ransom
Thursday, October 22, 2009
While growing up, these two records were a giant leap for me both as a listener and as a lyricist. If memory serves, both records were released in 1983 with SSD “Get it Away” seeing a spring release and "Brotherhood" a fall debut. I think that each record is a classic and should be an emotional benchmark every band should aspire to reach.
I am sure I am not the only one who thinks that while great; DYS always seemed a few months behind SSD. This is not taking anything away from DYS but it is easier to improve upon than it is to invent. DYS has the advantage of being able to have a blueprint of what to do whereas SSD were true innovators.
“Brotherhood”, while excellent, was like a more advanced, better thought out “Kids Will Have Their Say.” And same with the eponymous LP, it sounded like an advanced, better thought out “Break It Up” with superior vocals (and an electronic drum kick to get the “sound just right” so said the band while recording it).
Al and Springa of SSD, Boston Crew style at the Media Workshop, 1981, Photo courtesy of: Drew Stone
SSD always seemed more dark and angry while DYS seemed like a real youth orientated band; angry, yes, but not violent-esque like SSD.
DYS did not even have to list the song titles on the record because the layout was so awesome (um, does this have two or twenty two songs?).
SSD has a cover with a PUSHEAD drawing with the name of his now ex wife, Anne, hidden on the cover.
DYS has a cover with a drawing by Impact Unit singer, Dickie Barrett.
The inside picture of Jon Anastas has him wearing a shirt with the hemline cut from his shirt. The New York “Youth Crew” did this with their shirts in homage. Upon being told this, Jon Anastas admitted to me that he did not do that on purpose.
But ultimately, Society System Decontrol has a dual guitar, raw produced, at-the-time over top aggressive lyrics with a large range of styles and tempo on one record. They win this arbitrary debate. - Jon Roa
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Wow, Eerie Von. I mean, Double Cross is not really any big deal, and this is a short little diddy, but I didn't think when Tim and I started doing this site we'd really have the opportunity to rap with a guy like Eerie Von. He has a book coming out called MISERY OBSCURA, and it looks INCREDIBLE. It's a great time for punk and hardcore books - and this is no tiny addition to the list. Can't wait for this to drop! -Gordo DCXX
Your photography has been of legendary status for decades. What was the main catalyst for the book?
I've wanted to put out a book for 20 years. The time was just right, it all fell into place.
Eerie Von with Danzig at City Gardens, 1988, Photo: Ken Salerno
Tell us about the book - as its release is still news in most circles. What was your vision and how much creative control did you have? What did you want to convey?
I wanted to tell some stories, show the fans the pictures, and basically have something I could look at all in one package, so I didn't have to dig out the old scrap books, and stuff. I had some creative control. Not as much as I would have liked, but then again, you never do when you deal in the Real World.
What was off limits for putting in the book? Are there some photos you didn't want to share? Was it tough to decide what to put in and what to leave out?
I had no copromising shots, no porn, no scandalous stuff. I just put in the pictures I liked best, and ones I knew the guys would also enjoy seeing. I wanted the Fiends to really dig it too.
Eerie and Glenn at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno
Of the various bands and eras you were a part of, what was the most fun to capture in the book? Was there anything you didn't feel like getting into or sharing?
It's all a big blur really. I wish I had shot Type O Negative, but I didn't bring the camera for some reason, on that tour. The two months with White Zombie, the month with Soundgarden, a month with Marilyn Manson, opening for Slayer, touring with Metallica...where do I begin?
What are some of your personal favorite photos that you have taken over the years? For instance - do you have a "favorite" Misfits shot(s)?
I have too many to mention here, but a bunch from the Misfits "Cave" shoot, a couple of great live shots of Glenn and Jerry, some good stuff of Glenn and Chuck on tour. I love the shot of Manson, and all his scars, with my ex-wife. They're all good.
Vintage Danzig era Eerie Von, Photo: JSClarke
Will there be any type of events to accompany the book release? What's next for you?
I think I'll do some sort of Promotional Tour, signings maybe, performances, Q&A maybe, some TV. I'll do whatever I can to promote it. After that I plan to go out and tour in support of my new CD "Kinda Country."
Eerie Von with Danzig at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
July 11, 1990 The River Rock Cafe Buffalo, NY
I believe it's been said on this site before that you can never have enough Judge, so here is your next dose. I guess in a way the above clip could be considered the video companion to
Records We Love: JUDGE The Storm EP
Which was Gordo's "There Will Be Quiet..." 7" write up (worth a revisit for sure) back in March. I thought it would be cool to break out my 5th generation VHS tape and put "Forget This Time" and "The Storm II" online together as a tribute to their final release. I also can't think of another video of these songs online anywhere or on any of the dozen or so Judge videos I have. But I'm probably wrong about that.
For a couple of years it seemed like Judge played in Buffalo every other month. This particular Judge show ended up being the last time they trekked upstate to Buffalo to play that tiny hole-in-the-wall bar, The River Rock Cafe, on the corner of Niagara and Hertel, before their demise. At some point during their set Mike announces, "Alright, we've got a three song single coming out on Revelation and this is off of it... it's called Forget This Time."
Me: "Holy shit! A new Judge song? A new seven inch?"
And then they dropped "Forget This Time" on Buffalo for the first and last time until that posthumously released 7" showed up in our mail boxes or until we forked over $3.00 at Home Of The Hits. Also, a fun thing to listen for in this vid and I swear it's there... If you turn up the volume real loud and put head phones on you can hear someone yell, "They changed it!!" right at the beginning of the newly added mellow part on "The Storm II", where he discovers for the first time, they have indeed changed it.
A truly "WTF is going on here!?" noteworthy tidbit from the video... Mike drinking with a straw out of, what looks to be, some kind of squeezable sports thermos. I wonder what this man's stage beverage of choice is? I bet he's sipping Coke-a-Cola and purchased that refillable beverage across the street at Wilson Farms right before their set.
Also on display here, in all their crowd riding glory, are future members of Snapcase and Earth Crisis.
I could continue nerding out and dissecting all things in this video such as Pincus' Gita Nagari Adopt-A-Cow t-shirt (that garment deserves an entire posting of it's own) but I think I'll just end it here for now.
Hope you enjoy these rare clips.
STAY OFF THE TRACKS. -Larry Ransom
Larry pushes copies of Bringin' It Down via the ice cream truck
Monday, October 19, 2009
Moby being interviewed in his NYC house for "Everybody's Scene", Photo: Sue Snow
Chris "Smorgasbord" Daily is the man behind "Everybody's Scene" - the upcoming book that serves as the tell-all about The Anthrax, CT's legendary HC/punk club. We went direct to the mastermind to find out what sparked this idea for him and what we can expect with the book. I've seen most of it, and let me tell you, you DO NOT want to miss out on it. -Gordo DCXX
First, for those not informed, please tell us about yourself and your involvement in HC over the years.
I first got introduce to punk and hardcore by a friend in Red Lion, Pennsylvania named Stewart Ebersole. He was a few years older than me and used to make me cassette tapes in 1984. I ended up moving to Connecticut in early 1985 and I found a flyer for a show at a punk club in the basement of an art gallery named "The Anthrax." I started going to every show from that day on. Sometime later that year I started a skateboard zine called Skate Confusion and eventually I switched over to an all music format and renamed it Smorgasbord. In 1988 the zine morphed into a record label of the same name.
Ray Cappo being interviewed by Chris Daily and filmed by Scott Frosch, Photo: Sue Snow
When did you first become inspired to undertake a project like this? Why is it that a club in CT still impacts you almost 20 years after the doors to it closed?
I have to be honest and say that I was really inspired by the other HxC books that came out recently: Adult Crash, Power Of Expression and Radio Silence. I met with AP and Nate of Radio Silence and saw the stuff they collected and I left there psyched. I heard over the years that someone was doing a book about The Anthrax but the details were slim. I looked into it and found out the project stalled for a variety of reasons, so I asked if they cared if I tried to give it a shot. I made a few calls and tracked down the owners' phone numbers and called them. For some reason they were cool and excited about the possibility of it, so I drove to CT and we met for breakfast. After that things started to fall into shape really fast and the next thing I knew I was scanning thousands of photos and conducting a ton of interviews.
Why The Anthrax? It’s interesting because before I started doing the interviews I kind of just figured it was only me that held the fact that I had The Anthrax in my youth as an amazing thing. But it was echoed again and again by people. That club gave us all a place to go, it encouraged us to participate any way we saw fit, and it brought in bands from all over the world to play music for us. It's a bizarre thing but people on the outside world of punk and hardcore from those years can't seem to grasp that something like that really shaped my life. It forced me to look at the world in a different manner than just going along with the normal aspects of typical youth. Because I saw it all the time at the club, I knew that if I thought something was not right, I could speak up and do something about it. If I did not like a band, I could freely start my own AND get to play on a stage. Or if I did not like someone's form of propaganda, next week I can bring my own flyer and give it to anyone that would take it.
What did you do to get the book project off the ground, and what did you hope to accomplish?
As my wife will attest to, once I get something in my head, it’s usually full steam ahead. I just started contacting people and seeing if they had photos and wanted to talk. Some people said no, but a bunch of people said yes. Jon Field of Up Front made a quick website and the reaction was amazing so that kept fanning the fire. Things really just fell into place. I was amazed what people kept over the years.
I ended up finding all my personal pictures that I must have traded away over the years in England and also in the collection of my friend Joe Whiskeyman. I just wanted to tell the story, start to finish with an amazing visual to go along with it. I had no idea how it was going to get out there for the world to see, but through the connections within the HxC scene I was able to get a lot of advice and opinions. It’s an amazing network, especially as we all grow older. I have to say, the social networking sites, Facebook and Myspace, were amazing…amazing to find people.
Gavin Van Vlack making himself comfortable at Moby's pad, Photo: Sue Snow
As you got into doing this work involved with this book, what were your biggest obstacles? Was there anything you had to scale back as the work progressed?
The biggest obstacle was just finding the time to do all of it. I had to travel to CT from PA to conduct interviews, so every time I went I wanted to schedule as many interviews as I could. Same for when I was going to NYC to meet with people, the scheduling was always a pain but it worked out. I did not really have to scale anything back but I had to put dead lines on things like getting interviews in and photos scanned because I had a specific time line that I wanted to get the book out within. I really relied on word of mouth to generate the need for things. I spent a lot of time tracking down people.
Who were people you came in contact with that you thought you might never hear from? Who were people you reconnected with that you hadn't spoken to in years? And who were some people you couldn't get in touch with but had hoped to?
There were so many people that I came in contact with that I had not seen since the late ‘80s, people that I really never thought I’d talk to again. Not for reasons of falling outs or anything, just because I had no real reason to talk with them. I would have loved to sit and talk with Mike Judge, just because it would have been cool to get his perspective and I wish I had the Porcell interview on video and not the phone. But there was not really anyone that shunned the project. There were people that I would have liked to get yet they did not see the need, but was fine with me. Everyone was great.
What was one single experience that was really a highlight in working on all of this?
A cool thing was walking into a room to interview someone or a group of people and instantly having a feeling of a bond. People still looked the same, people still sounded the same, that was great. We would reminisce about shows and things while the recorder was running. It was great to spend hours talking about that club. Seems crazy but it’s true.
Chris Daily and Malcom from the Connecticut record store, Trash, Photo: Sue Snow
Did you find it difficult to not take a Steven Blush-type approach and not constantly interject your own memories into the book? I found it interesting that you really let others tell the story about a place you knew as well as anyone.
I never read American Hardcore so I did not have any inclination of what that book's focus/approach was. The early drafts had a few direct memories of my own but the story flowed much better from a historical perspective of just telling the facts and sharing people’s experiences. I have to tell you, for some reason I really loved that place, I was there ALL the time. But hearing the stories and the experiences of others about things there was really great. A lot of them were totally different than mine, yet we all shared the same idea that The Anthrax was a friggin' great place to have.
What are your own personal best memories from The Anthrax? Best shows, best friends, best stories?
I literally went to hundreds of shows there, so stand out shows are tough to conjure up. I was really into the NYHC and exploding SXE scenes so anytime a gig was on the schedule for those it was a guaranteed great night. I made a lot of friends at that club, friends I still have today, and I looked forward to going week after week. Looking back, I probably took it for granted and never thought about those days ending. Awesome memories that I hope the book will capture and can be used to share with my daughter. I hope she finds her own Anthrax.
Give us some final wrap up details on the book and what else is in store.
Book release parties in New Haven CT on November 27th. One that is all ages at Channel 1 (http://www.channel1online.com) and one with bands at a club/bar that is 21+ (http://www.cafenine.com). Book is 208 pages, over 225 unseen photos, tells the entire history of the club, and features a complete gig list. The online promo trailer response has been unbelievable. It was not my idea to film the interviews, but man…it was a great idea. Sadly there were so many more hours taped of interviews not shown in that trailer. Right now there is no plan of a documentary but who knows down the road. If anyone is interested, let’s talk!
Anthrax owner, Shaun Sheridan with Daily and Frosch, Photo: Sue Snow
Sunday, October 18, 2009
This is the latest promo clip for the film that I am currently directing, which carries the working title is "XXX All Ages XXX" (Where Boston Hardcore Began). Unlike some of the other films that have been released regarding this particular era that center on the guys in the bands, this one focuses on the social aspect of the scene from 1981-1984. Some of the subjects that the film concentrates on are: Community, Communication, The DIY ethic of the time and of course Straight Edge.
I was in Boston and a part of that very exciting scene at the time so this is a project that I feel very close to. It's a great responsibility to put things across the way that they really happened having been there at the time and having lived it.
My first hardcore show was was an early SS Decontrol show at the Media Workshop in 1981. Soon after I sang for Boston's "The Mighty CO's" and upon returning to New York City I formed "The High & The Mighty" and then later joined "Antidote". I went on to a career doing music videos and later directed the "Urban Street-Bike Warriors" series of films.
Many interviews have been done for the film so far including Jonathan Anastas (DYS), Jake Phelps (Editor Thrasher Magazine), Christine Else McCarthy (Actress) and Michael McDonald (Author). The film is also powered by archive photos and eventually we will be shooting dramatizations for some of the scenes. If anyone out there has any appropriate photos from the era then please get in touch with us. I hope that you enjoy the clip.
Thanx for the support.
Drew Stone In front of "The wall of flyers" Emerson College dorm room Boston 1981, photo courtesy of: Drew Stone
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Al up front for a Minor Threat sing along, 6/12/83, at the Channel in Boston, Photo courtesy of: Al Quint
My choice would be the first real DIY hardcore show I saw and that was Minor Threat, FU's, SS Decontrol and The Proletariat at the Gallery East. I even remember the date--June 12, 1982. I guess you could say Gallery East is a pretty legendary venue in Boston hardcore history since it hosted some incredible shows during that time. It was Minor Threat's first local appearance (the first of three over the following year) and they played second just in case the show got shut down, so they wouldn't have driven up from DC for nothing. I just remember being amazed at how much energy that band had and how it fed off the audience and vice versa. Ian darting around like a maniac and, especially, watching Jeff Nelson's lightning fast drumming. Since I didn't really know anyone yet, it was definitely an outsider's point of view but something that, to use a terrible cliche, changed my life.
Al in his element, Boston Hardcore style, Photo: JJ Gonson
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Frosty Crunch with Chain Of Strength, Photo: Unknown
As last weeks favorite Chain Of Strength 7" poll wound down, I thought it would make for some interesting entries to see what the members themselves preferred. I also thought I'd rattle their brains to see what memories they had from each recording session.
We're kicking this off with Chain guitarist, Paul "Frosty" Hertz, but expect to see the other members chiming in with their thoughts and memories as well. -Tim DCXX
Frosty, Curtis and Alex with Chain at The Anthrax, Norwalk CT, Photo: Unknown
That's a tuff question as I feel they both have their own unique qualities and characteristics, and it sounds cliche to say "it's like choosing which one of your kids is your favorite," but that's what it boils down to.
However, if I had to pick one of them, it would be True Till Death. Those were the first batch of songs that we wrote together and they set the tone of the band and made the statement of what we were going to be about not only musically, but also lyrically. I also had more to do with writing of the music on this one, particularly on a certain anthem (that became the title of the 7"!). I remember we were pretty heavily criticized for the simplicity, but you can't deny the pure power and adrenaline.
I'm also proud of the layout and packaging. It really looks like a classic REV release. We worked hard, and put a lot of energy and thought into it, from everything to the font of the band logo to the specific dark green color of the cover (I have always considered this Chain's color!), to the pics and also the specific colors of the vinyl - both green and clear. Jordan was really cool about giving us control of this.
Curtis and Frosty with Chain at CBGB, NYC, Photo: Boiling Point
Every time we recorded it was the same: it was on a strict budget with little money and a strict time schedule with everyone's tracks done in one, two, or three takes at the most. It was get in and get out and maybe a little time for mixing. It was also with studio engineers who really didn't get hardcore, so we did our own producing. The vocals were purposely mixed low as we felt they were an equal to the other instruments. So, as far as memories of the actual TTD recording goes, I can't recall of anything that stood out drastically.
We didn't have the greatest equipment yet and some of it, if not most, might have been borrowed. However, Chris has always had his badass Yamaha kit from day one, and Ryan already had the classic 'Chain' Les Paul Custom. It worked for us in the end as the TTD recording sounds raw and urgent. Some may not know that we hadn't even played a single show before this recording and it was really to be a demo to get out to people because we knew kids wouldn't go off at shows unless they knew the material. Ray and Jordan felt it was releasable as is.
It was a really exciting time for us, we were energized, and I felt I was part of a tight unit with the gates to the newly resurged hardcore scene about to bust open. The songs were fresh, we put in a lot of work on the music and lyrics, rehearsed religiously, and we were a new hardcore band (with OG blood lines) from the West Coast out to prove ourselves. I feel we nailed it.
Chain Of Strength at The Anthrax, Norwalk CT, Photo: Unknown
By the time we recorded What Holds Us Apart, we already had a few road trips and tours under our belts (i.e. cover shot of the 7"), had a lot of friends new and old in the scene, yet also had a lot of controversy surrounding the band for various reasons. This recording was also done quick and to the point, but I think we had better gear and ended up with better sounds. The song writing was progressing and our DC influence was starting to show a little more.
The main thing I remember about this recording going into it was that we were really well rehearsed and solid on all of the basic tracks for the music and I was used to hearing and playing the songs stripped down with out different guitar parts going on. When we were finished with those basic tracks, I remember Chris, Ryan and I going down to the studio one night for some overdubs on a couple of parts for Ryan to bust out. They were pretty improvised right there in the studio but I'm sure Ryan had them worked out before hand. They were also a lot more melodic than I was used to (being a fan of the hard stuff and especially at that time) and when he started playing them I remember getting VERY nervous. To the point that I felt the songs would be ruined! We went back and forth for a while about these overdubs, but he held his ground. I remember I had to go wait in the van out in the parking lot because I was getting bummed.
When the session was finally done hours later, I remember walking back into Pendragon studios and sitting down. Ryan and Chris played me what they recorded, but played all the tracks with the whole band mixed in. The parts he had recorded sounded awesome!!! Sometimes it's the small experimentations that can really bring out a song. I think we were all high fiving each other!
Also, during this session, we had friends hanging out at the studio at various times. When Curt was laying down his tracks for Through These Eyes, Randy Pushed Aside was hanging out with us and busted out his cameo in the break of the song. That was a completely spontanious idea on the spot and it made the song in my opinion. He definitely rocked it and was front and center for that song at every set we ever played at Spanky's after that!
A Chain Of Strength sing along in Cleveland, OH, Photo: ROA
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The book is at the printer! The new website is live, and pre-orders are now being taken. Here is your chance to pre-order the book at a discounted price. Plus there is also an option to get the book and a limited edition, pre-order only t-shirt package deal.
The new website includes a few page spread visuals, pre-order package deals, and a promo video trailer that, I am sure will get you psyched for the book. Jim Martin, famed Anthrax era flyer artist, designed a limited edition t-shirt for those interested in a package deal, this will only be available through this pre-order offer.
BOOK RELEASE PARTY: November 27th in New Haven CT at Café 9a (CafeNine.com). Lost Generation and Powersurge will re-unite to blast thru sets like it was 1989 (there could be one more band as well). Free food, door prizes/give-aways (Revelation Records, Equal Vision Records, Livewire Records, Brass City Tattoo, Shopshogun Screen Printing, Smorgasbord Records, and more), books for sale, a family re-union of sorts, etc. Details are still being worked out and will be announced shortly. There will also be a smaller all ages event earlier that day in CT as well, again details need worked out. - Chris Daily
- A complete history of the club
- Foreword by Moby
- Preface by Porcell
- Complete gig list from 1982 - 1990
- Over 225 never before seen photographs
- 208 pages, 7.0" x 10.0", perfect bound book
Monday, October 12, 2009
Mikey doing it Grid Iron style, Photo courtesy of: Mikey Garceau
Last week we introduced the photography of Mikey "Fast Break" Garceau and this week we kick off the interview with the man behind the lens. Of course Mikey wasn't only a photographer, but a fanzine editor and eventual band front man as well. Hop in, this should be a fun ride. -Tim DCXX
Where did you grow up and how did you get involved with punk/HC?
I grew up in Huntington Beach, California. My introduction into hardcore wasn’t like most kids. Yeah, I got into hardcore from the dudes I was skateboarding with, but at the time, I was pretty much just a metal kid. So, Randy Johnson (of Pushed Aside / Drift Again) and Mike Madrid (Against The Wall) were like “dude, you should check this stuff out”. So, they gave me a copy of BL'AST! “Power of Expression” to listen to and after a few days of checking it out, I was really into the rawness of it. This was 1987, I think.
Those dudes were just getting into the straight edge stuff, so that was the next stuff I was exposed to. Youth of Today, Crippled Youth, Side By Side, Warzone, Uniform Choice, No For An Answer, Against the Wall, etc. Most of the stuff was just tapes; like those NYU radio shows. So, that was it. I totally bypassed the whole early punk thing and went right into the straight edge scene and became pretty closed-minded. It wasn’t until years later, when I became sort of disenfranchised with the straight edge scene, that I branched out and started checking out other stuff.
Randy Johnson with Against The Wall at Spanky's, Photo: Mikey Garceau
Who were your favorite bands early on, and which memorable shows stick out to you from early on?
Early on, I was really into the early Revelation bands, of course. Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, BOLD, Side by Side, Sick Of It All, etc. Locally, I really loved seeing Hard Stance, No For An Answer, Pushed Aside, Against the Wall, Chain Of Strength, and Insted during that time. Later on, I liked going to see Inside Out, Outspoken, Unbroken, whoever would be coming through.
As for memorable shows, fuck, there were so many. That West Coast Super Bowl of Hardcore show at Fender’s in 1989 sticks out as one of my favorties: Youth of Today, GB, Bold, Judge, Chain Of Strength, Supertouch, Insted, and Up Front. I got some good shots at that show.
A year before that was Youth of Today, Underdog, Soul Side, BOLD, Insted, Chain Of Strength, and I remember Hard Stance playing too.
The Fender's crowd during Youth Of Today, Photo: Mikey Garceau
Seeing Inside Out at Spanky’s or at Che Café in San Diego. Actually, anytime they played was epic. Neither Spanky’s or Che Café had stages, so you’d just have to stand there and deal with the crowd. It was awesome.
Soul Side and Hard Stance in some garage in Chula Vista.
Bad Brains, Cro-Mags, Leeway, and Sick of it All at the Country Club.
The Slap Shot, NFAA, Hard Stance, Pushed Aside show at the Roxy in Hollywood was sick too. I remember interviewing Eric and Zack for the second issue of Fast Break (which is what the photozine eventually became) outside the club and what started out as an interview with the band became this crazy hodgepodge of weird shit I recorded while standing on Sunset Boulevard. I got to ask Choke a few questions, a couple of the girls from L7 walked by and joined in; it was pretty random. I honestly thought of putting the whole interview in the issue and calling it a “show interview”. I wonder if I still have that tape somewhere.
Civ with Gorilla Biscuits at Fender's, Photo: Mikey Garceau
When did you get into taking photos of HC bands? Was it something you felt really compelled to do, or just something that happened?
Shortly after I started skateboarding, I knew I wasn’t progressing as fast as my friends and felt that I probably wasn’t going to. So, I started taking photos of them as a way to stay involved. I mean I still skated spots, but I always loved shooting my friends. So, as with skateboarding, I realized I was probably never going to be in a band because I’m pretty talentless. When Against The Wall used to practice, I would go over there and shoot photos of them. I had a pretty decent SLR and from shooting skateboarding photos, had a pretty good shutter finger. From there, I just started taking my camera to shows and that kinda became the beginning of it.
Who were your favorite bands to photograph? What were the best venues to photograph?
I didn’t really have any favorite bands to shoot. I just liked shooting photos in an overall sense. I guess my favorite venue was Spanky’s, just because there were so many shows there.
Any bad mishaps ever occur with your camera (i.e. smashed by stage diver, stolen, etc?)
Not really. People were pretty much cool with me getting up on stage. First because I had a camera in my hands, and secondly because I’m a little guy. So, when I started going to shows at 14, I was pretty much the smallest kid there. I do remember one time being kinda crushed up front at the Country Club, and I happened to be standing next to Regis Guerin and Scott Sundahl. I tried to get up on stage a few times and when the guy who wasn’t letting me get up finally pushed me down and got kinda pissed, I remember Scott looking at the dude and going ”dude, you don’t touch Mikey. Don’t push him like that again.” Being like 4’10” and 80 lbs at the most, it was pretty awesome to have big dudes like that get your back.
Inside Out's first show at Spanky's, Riverside CA, Photo: Mikey Garceau
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Mike, Mark and Jimmy with Death Before Dishonor at CBGB, NYC, Photo courtesy of: Mark Ryan
Jon Biv continues, this time getting into the very initial formation of Supertouch! -Gordo DCXX
I started jamming with neighborhood friends when I was 13. We would mainly just do covers of Metallica, Venom, Exodus, Iron Maiden, or at least try to. Some time around Summer 1984, a bass player I would hang and jam with told me about this band 'Death Before Dishonor'. He had met with some of the members and I think he tried out, and mentioned that they were looking for another guitar player.
Anyway, what happened was they ended up taking some other guitarist. Oh well. Eventually, I met Mark Ryan when school started up that September. He was trying to get DBD back working again, and trying to keep a stable line-up. At the time, it was just him, Mike (Judge) on drums, and the original guitarist Steve Yu. They weren't having much luck in keeping a bass player and second guitarist.
This went on until Spring 1985, when Mark asked me to try out on bass. I'm no bass player, but I was eager to try and learn. Mark gave me a DBD rehearsal tape and I set out to work on it and learn the whole thing. It must have been about 10 to 12 songs. Original versions of Am I Wrong, Conditioned, Deadlock, and Climbing Aboard. Death In The Family was on there too. Must dig this tape up someday. It's real good.
Biv with Supertouch in Mass, Photo: Dave Sine
So I tried out with Mark, Mike, Steve, and another guitarist named Rick. I did the best I could but was sacked 2 weeks later. Mark said they found someone better. Oh well. Like I said, I'm no bass player. Never was.
Some time in the Summer of '85, Mark calls me up. Tells me that him and Mike have booted everyone else out of the band and want to start fresh. They don't want to do a five-piece anymore - too metal. It's gonna be 4 piece only, and "we want you to play guitar." (!!!) I'm dead blown away. Death Before Dishonor wants me on guitar. I was 15 years old, and this was a big deal. To me, anyway.
So the new line-up for DBD was now Mark, Mike, Carl (bass), and myself. The first rehearsals were slow, but productive. I knew all the songs, but had to show them to Carl. And it's not because he was unskilled. Carl Serio, who played on 'The Way It Is' comp is an incredible musician. He was just so busy with other projects that he didn't have time to sit down with a tape and learn 10 songs. It was also difficult to get him to commit to a set practice time. He was a busy man.
Mark Ryan with Death Before Dishonor at CBGB, Photo courtesy of: Mark Ryan
This line-up did stick together and we played our first show, As DBD, in Albany in the Summer of '86. This was a Dave Stein show in a VFW hall, with No Outlet, DBD, Youth of Today, and 7 Seconds. A few months later we played CBGB with Youth Of Today.
This is the beginning of Supertouch. Even though we were called DBD, we just weren't the original Death Before Dishonor. I make no claim that I was in the original DBD. What I was involved in was called DBD because Mike and Mark wanted it that way, and they definitely had plans to change the name and move on. And they did.
To understand the beginning of Supertouch, you have to know what happened with Mark, Mike and Youth Of Today...
Supertouch at Fenders, August 1989, Photo: Dave Sine