Clifford with BL'AST! in Santa Barbara, CA, Photo: Tim DCXX
Clifford gives us the scoop on MAD and the formation of BL'AST! -Gordo DCXX
How did things with MAD progress? What were some memorable shows you guys played, and what were highlights of the band?
There was no progression with MAD, it was destined for Hell the second it began. We were just a bunch of pissed off teenagers, out to destroy everything...especially ourselves. We did however play some kick-ass shows with the likes of DK, DOA, Crucifix, SSD, etc. The highlight of the band, for me anyways, was breaking up. And then, after our voices changed and we began sprouting pubic hair, we returned to the helm as young adults to form BL'AST!
Clifford Taking The Manic Ride with BL'AST! in Santa Barbara, CA, Photo: Tim DCXX
How and why did MAD transition into BL’AST!, and when was this? How had you guys musically progressed?
Well, like I said, MAD self-destructed...somehow the feeling seemed to be mutual, if you know what I mean. MAD was like '81/'82, and BL'AST! formed around '84/'85. I had turned into a preppy, and was wearing argyle sweaters and penny loafers - thinking I wanted to go to college in San Diego. Those guys were bugging me to be in the band, and I was saying things like "why don't you get my brother to sing?...He looks just like me." They would just shake their heads in disgust.
Needless to say, I had some serious mental problems that were mysteriously cured when I heard a tape of the Power Of Expression songs and decided that it would be idiotic not to participate.
BL'AST! at The Smell in Los Angeles, CA, Photo: Tim DCXX
By the time you guys were BL’AST!, how do you think you had developed as a frontman and singer? What were you trying to do in that capacity?
I don't know. Despite the obvious influences, I knew there was something unique about BL'AST! There was a lot of genericism in hardcore, and Black Flag stood out amongst the clones...we wanted to pick up where they left off and form our own universe, which we truly did.
How do you feel looking back on the songs that ended up on The Power Of Expression?
As a fan of hardcore, when I first heard the Power Of Expression songs, I thought it was the heaviest thing I'd ever heard in my fucking life. The basic recipe for disaster was Black Flag and SSD, but it obviously went light years beyond. SST was known for signing unique bands, and when Chuck Dukowski started showing up in the front row at our shows, we knew we were doing something right. We played with the Bad Brains, and Gone was on the bill. We got signed to SST by playing a ghetto blaster recording of "It's In My Blood" for Greg Ginn in our van.
How did you come to end up on Wishingwell Records?
We were never actually on Wishingwell, we were on Greenworld. I was friends with Pat, and Uniform Choice and BL'AST! were the upcoming unsigned bands at the time, and we just kind of formed a union. Both bands went their separate ways, but remained friends.
More Manic Clifford with BL'AST! in Santa Barbara, CA, Photo: Tim DCXX
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 9:43 PM