Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Floorpunch

Photobucket
Originally formed in 1995, Floorpunch really made a splash in the hardcore scene that would continue until the end of the decade when they broke up. In 2007 they reunited and have been playing here and there since, even touring Europe recently. Whatever you might think about them, they played a major part in helping to jump start the "hardcore revival" of the mid/late nineties, and really professed a love for NYHC in a way a lot of straight edge bands of that era hadn't. Without question, they've left a big impact even on today's current hardcore scene.


Here's part 1 of our interview with guitarist Chris Zusi and drummer Mike Kingshott. Expect more! -Gordo DCXX

Photobucket
Floorpunch in Philadelphia, Photo: Zac Wolf

To start things off and work backwards, you guys just got back from Europe - how was it? What seems to have changed in specific countries and cities from when you were there ten years ago? How did touring personally change for each of you this time around with the inclusion of bigger job responsbilities, travel costs, families, etc?

Zusi: Europe was a good time. The shows were great and all of the kids we met were awesome. We met so many kids who either saw us the last time we were there or said they missed us and had been waiting 10 years to finally see us. There were kids who drove 10-15 hours to some of the shows. I had more than one person tell me that it was a dream come true to be able to see us play. I know that may sound corny, but it was genuine and it really affected me to hear people say that. It just made me think a lot about hardcore and how much it’s meant to me over the past 23 years. Add to that the fact that we got to play all of the shows with True Colors and I couldn’t have asked for a better time.

Everything about this tour was very different from the last time we were in Europe. Being there for a week instead of a month, being 39 instead of 29, having a van with heat, etc. I just think we’re all older, and had a better idea of what to expect. That was the biggest difference. The first time we were in Europe we didn’t know what we were getting into. You have all of these expectations but you really don’t have any idea of what it’s really like until you do it. People who aren’t into hardcore hear that I was in Europe for a week and they think it was like a vacation (“Hey kids, Big Ben, Parliament”). They don’t understand that, especially when you’re only there for a week, your day is spent driving to the venue, you get there, unload, set up, eat, and then maybe you have an hour or two of free time. It’s not like we spent our days being driven around to see tourist attractions. So I think we were better mentally prepared for Europe this time around, plus we all just wanted a vacation from our families (my wife’s not going to see this, is she?).

Kingshott: Europe was amazing. I had so much fun this time. I think we all did. The shows were all good, even the weekday shows, which was cool because last time some of the random weekday shows sucked. I think one of the funniest things that happened was when Cooper farted when we were in line at the airport when we first arrived and some lady turned around really pissed off, and Cooper blamed it on me hahaha.

Photobucket
Zusi with Floorpunch in Philly, Photo: Zac Wolf

Obviously FP has been back on the map for a little while now after being officially broken up for the better part of the decade. What took so long for the band to get back together? What was the catalyst for making FP a regular band again? What has changed over that period of time while the band was broken up for each member, and how has the HC scene changed in your eyes?

Zusi: For me it was a case of absence makes the heart grow fonder. I think when we broke up we were all burnt out. We had just come off of a tour of the US and then a European tour. We’d been playing every weekend for 4 years and we all just needed a break from each other and hardcore. In that time a lot of life changes happened for everyone, you get married, start a family, get older, etc. So, for me, hardcore kind of took a back seat. We were all still friends, but there wasn’t really a reason to start playing again. We had offers throughout the years but it was just never right from a timing perspective.

I guess once we did the Redcheeks benefit it kind of started the ball rolling. For me it was exciting to hear those songs at practice, and it almost seemed as though we never missed a beat. I would definitely not classify FP as a regular or full time band at this point. This thing has a beginning and an end, and we’re a lot closer to the end then we are the beginning. As far as how the HC scene has changed, I don’t know if it has. Obviously “hardcore” is more widely known now than it was when FP was a full time band, but I’m not going to be the grumpy old man who says, “Things were better back in my day” (although they were). The hardcore scene is always going to evolve and I just hope it means as much to the young kids today as it did to me when I was younger.

Kingshott: I wouldn't say we're back on the map or even back together. We just wanted to have some fun with a few shows and a small tour so we did. Not much has changed for me. I just love playing the drums still so I was glad to do this again. That's all I do - just work and play my drums LOL. Everyone else has done the marriage and kids thing in the last ten years, sellouts!

Photobucket
Porter with FP in Philadelphia, Photo: Zac Wolf

FP came along at a time in 1996 when there was a real upswing of bands playing a more traditional style of late 80s inspired HC. Some would even say FP was one of the very few to be doing this at the time. Now, there are dozens and dozens of bands doing this. What do you think about that? Would you say FP had any hand in that?

Zusi: Let’s not be modest Tim, Mouthpiece deserves all of the credit for sticking to their guns and playing what we all would consider “hardcore." As for FP, we were just taking your lead and running with it. If Mouthpiece was the Bold/Chain of 1996, FP wanted to be the Judge/Breakdown/Raw Deal. I can’t really comment on what’s going on in the scene today because outside of a few bands I honestly don’t know. However, I’ll say this – if dudes love that late 80’s NYHC style and are influenced by that then I’m all for it.

Kingshott: I would say we definitely played a part in the late 80's inspired HC thing being a big part of HC all over again. I'm proud of that because it wasn't really around in 1995. Bands just didn't want to play fast anymore for some reason. But at the same time I don't think many bands since then do/did it that well. I heard a Verse record once and thought it was like the worst HC record I ever heard, terrible, they sucked. But I really did like the band True Colors that we toured Europe with. For an edge band they were fucking heavy.

Photobucket

Coming off of that last question, FP was also a band that made their love for NYHC bands like Straight Ahead, Breakdown, and Raw Deal very known. Prior to this, you didn't see a lot of young SE kids really going bonkers for these bands. These bands have gained increased popularity amongst young SE kids ever since, and in a way, you could trace this to FP. Thoughts?

Zusi: I would definitely agree with this. I have always loved NYHC, I didn’t care if a band was straight edge or not. My edge is as strong as they come, but I was never threatened or insulted by a band that wasn’t straight edge. To me, if their music was awesome, their message sincere, and they had mosh parts, I was all for it. I’d say our biggest influences as a band were Judge, Raw Deal, Breakdown, and the Cro-Mags. So what if only one of those bands was edge, they were all great bands.

Kingshott: Yeah I think that's awesome that kids have finally woken up and like Breakdown more than Bold. It's an obvious fact that bands like Breakdown and Raw Deal blew the doors off weak ass bands like Bold, give me a fucking break!!!!

Photobucket
Kingshot with FP in Philly, Photo: Zac Wolf


FP was a notoriously vocal SE band. You guys have come under a little fire at times for not being an "all SE members" band now. What do you think about this? What role does SE play in the band compared to when you were originally around? Is being vocal about SE still important to FP?

Zusi: Tim and Gordo, asking the questions everyone wants to hear. This is going to be interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. I’ll refer back to my previous answer – my edge is strong, I’ve been straight edge for over 23 years now, so being vocal about the edge will always be important to me. With that said, if I’ve learned anything over these years it’s that I can influence more people by my actions and friendship then by turning my back on them. One thing I will say, because I know a lot of people are skeptical of “reunions” (especially edge bands) – and this is going to be hard to understand if you’re not a musician, but finding the right group of guys to do a band with is not easy. Sometimes it just clicks, and that’s very rare. With FP, we were all on the same page musically. We could write a song every practice, it just came that easily. As far as the role of straight edge in the band I’ll say this - Porter wrote all of the lyrics, is the face of the band, and he’s still edge so as long as we play shows we’ll be vocal about straight edge.

Kingshott: Everyone knows Zev and I are not edge anymore and no one cares. If people wanna talk shit about FP not being a full SE band anymore they can suck a dick because it really doesn't matter. And we're not even back together so that's another reason it doesn't matter. No one would personally or publicly ever talk shit to us about it because no one has the balls to. The 5 of us are still friends and still into rocking the fuck out of a HC show together and that's all that really matters.

Photobucket
Zev and Bill with FP in Philly, Photo: Zac Wolf

Let's go back to the beginning of FP. A lot of young fans weren't around the first time. Who was the FPC (Floorpunch Crew)? What did you guys do outside of the band in terms of hanging out? How do you remember the climate of the NJHC scene at the time when FP got together? What did it feel like back then when the demo came out and FP started to take off as a serious band?

Zusi: It’s hard to believe that was 15 years ago. What I remember most about that era was the good times we had. It seemed like every weekend we were playing/going to shows or just hanging out. It didn’t matter if it was Boston, CT, NJ, Philly, DC or Virginia Beach, chances were on any given weekend we were in one of those areas. If there wasn’t a show we’d just hit the boardwalk or AC or hang out at Body Art World all day, or eat. Of course it was a lot easier when we weren't married and didn't have kids.

As much as people complain about hardcore in the mid 90’s, I think it was a great time for hardcore. I may not have been a huge fan of a lot of the bands of that time, but there were shows pretty much every weekend and it seemed as though the torch had been passed in a way. My friends and people I knew had all started bands, started doing zines, and putting on shows and it just seemed like it was now “our” scene. I don’t mean in the sense that we were running things or controlling things, just that each of us were involved in some aspect of keeping the scene going so we felt a stronger responsibility for what was going on. With that context it was a great feeling when we put out the FP demo and the buzz started really building. We just felt as though we had a lot of momentum behind the band and that allowed us to play a lot of shows with bands that we loved in front of a lot of kids. It was really a fun time.

Kingshott: Well in '95 we didn't know what to expect. When we played a few shows we realized this band was going to be sick, and it was. The crew was fun, it was mainly the band, Little Dave, Scott Davis, Greg Tomczak, Steve Lucuski, Hornecker, Poland, Chiarini, Dave Murphy, Steve McVey, Lil Zev, Jeremy, Summers...those were my boys but the list goes on and on. From our very first show the band was a success and still is today.


Photobucket
Zusi and Porter with FP in Philly, Photo: Zac Wolf

52 comments:

Brett Hardware said...

Thanks Mike!

Anonymous said...

awesome interview, kingshott brings the real talk in this one. love the dis on verse, what a shitty band.

Onno said...

Saw them play in the Netherlands recently, most uninspired hc show ever. They might be great guys, but they were def not into it that night...

Stuxe said...

fly to sound and fury last year from australia mainly to see floorpunch. first straight edge hardcore band i heard 7 or 8 years ago, and still one of my favourites of all time. meeting porter was seriously huge for me. many thanks to them for being stand up dudes, and ripping hard that night. best 30 - 40 minutes of my life thus far... easilly. XXX

breadman said...

I saw them in both london and leeds and they were awesome.

went out for curry with them too after the show in Leeds. Great dudes. Great band.

xBurningxFightx said...

I saw FP in London in February, it was the fist time and really enjoyed it. I still find FP's lyrics too militant but prefer True Colors for their stance and aggro, still the interview is great and you guys are way more open-minded than I thought.
Thanks for the show.

Russ said...

Awesome! I they always reminded me of the Judge New York Crew 7"....I seem to remember there being drama with the singer punching out someone in the mid 90's? Shit, I can't remember that one....

Anonymous said...

The singer punched Duncan Barlow (Endpoint, Guilt etc.)in the face, because he had criticized Floorpunch publicly for saying thoughtful stuff like "Faggots and pussies get out of the pit". Obviously the obese gentleman felt the need to re-establish his hardcore-honor ...

Ed said...

I STILL LOVE FP AND I AM SO FAR GONE FROM THE HC "SCENE" BUT STILL LOVE THE MUSIC AND WILL FOREVER AND I GOT TO SAY ZUSI IS THE MAN AND ALWAYS ROCKE DIT HARD ON STAGE AND KINGSHOT IS THE MAN!
LOVE THIS SITE! EVERYWEEK YOU GUYS GOT SOME GREAT READING MATERIAL. THANK YOU!

breadman said...

yeah anonymous thats exactly what happened. your details are so accurate you must work for Al Jazera TV.

Larry Edge said...

this article covered something that i was just thinking about the other day. floorpunch were absolutely hugely influential in getting younger kids to jock the older non edge NHYC bands, like breakdown, outburst, cro-mags. when i got into hardcore in the early '90s no one gave a shit about any of those bands. and i'd go as far to say as those bands were kind of looked down upon as dumb and unintelligent...

Anonymous said...

@ breadman

when you know more about it, why don't you go ahead and tell the rest of us? Who knows, maybe after all these dudes aren't the thick-headed macho-morons they always appeared to be.

Not Morbidly Obese said...

what does the singer of floorpunch have in common with the singer of killing time? (hint- it has to do with their body type)

daniel said...

@ Onno :Saw them playing in the netherlands too but 12 years ago or so and it was awesome. Didn`t checked them out this year though so maybe you are right.
Lyricwise I still thing they are cringeworthy at its best. I remember reading an interview in some zine that FP wrote all the lyrics to the demo or so in one night so this would make sense.
Also it didn`t took FP to make make me listen to the Cro-Mags or Breakdown but I´m 36 now so ...
Anyway they were one of the best bands in the 90s. Still can`t believe the direction that Equal Vision Records took since then .

Brett Hardware said...

I can't believe a) people still care about the Duncan episode at this point and b) people still don't know what the hell they are talking about.

I and others have explained it a million times. I'm sure the truth is still out there for those who wish to find it.

And don't try and tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.

brian said...

What a great interview! Love the Kingshott statement on his edge or whatever, fuck it, who cares. I'm not edge but I fucking love FP. Fuck the haters, thanks Double Cross for making my work day that much more interesting. And fuck people who dissed on Porter's weight, come out of your basement and say that, ball-less basement dwellers, I tell ya...

Jimmy John said...

Guilty of making jock hardcore cool. Looked like it, had football-themed record titles, acted like it. Homophobic hardcore is definitely the best kind.

What's to like? A couple of riffs? Some breakdowns? Their "hit" is about hanging out in Atlantic City. Wow.

Drummer is so arrogant. What a meathead. Nice to have my dislike for this band reinforced and updated.

Is this hardcore? Unintelligent young men with nothing (NOTHING) to say, attracted to a style of music, seemingly purely for its speed and aggression? Utterly thoughtless.

Jimmy John said...

Also, the reason you think Verse is shit is exactly why you are/were in Floorpunch - cause you don't get it.

That band fought against everything you were. And thank fucking jah that they came along when they did. That band burns with sincerity and meaning. That's true expression, that's emotional release, that's a connection. And you'll never have any of that.

Your band straight sucked, in every way. I wouldn't be saying any of this if you didn't act like such an asshole. But I really feel the need to tell you.

Anonymous said...

major b33f developing here, look out

Anonymous said...

Jimmy John needs a hug...

Anonymous said...

All the FP hatred makes me laugh.

I wouldn't call Kingshot a meat-head etc etc, but I can't f'n believe he has the balls to wear a NJ NETS jersey. WTF is wrong with that guy?

As for Zusi, I am sure he will lose sleep tonight when he reads these comments.

Dave B

Safe In A Crowd said...

what this interview needs is more feedback from the whole band. if gordo plans to do more with zusi and kingshott i can only imagine this thing will heat up, there will be massive comment shit talk, and it's only fair that the other guys get to weigh in.

personally, by 1995 i figured mouthpiece was breaking up soon, an era in NJ was over, and that would be it. and then boom, FP does their demo and it's a whole new period where HC was fun, people stopped kick boxing, and i felt like i was 16 at a hardcore show, as opposed to 60.

for that, floorpunch and co. will always have my respect. whether or not people liked them as people doesnt negate the fact that they wrote great HC songs, were a loud SE band that was cool with non-edgers, and had a very classic spirit that was dying in the hardcore scene.

mouthpiece continued it, floorpunch continued it further. believe it.

Arne said...

I live in Germany, listen to HC since '96, but never saw Floorpunch performing. It doesn't matter if I can't discuss 19th century literature from Russia with the band members. Their records introduced me to the Mosh Part. And I really appreciate it.

XQr-TonX said...

This interview just reminds me why I never liked this band, though they appear less retarded than I thought

j kelley said...

Sad to see people are still talking shit. It's been going on for years and puts a damper on the good times. You guys ruin hardcore. Free speech is the great thing about hardcore and non major label bs. If the dude said faggot or pussy, i'm sure he meant wussy, not the slang for homosexual. Believe me there has been worse shit said from bands. Listen to meatmen, dk, bad brains etc. If your offended by hardcore, maybe country or top 40 would suit you better.

Anonymous said...

kingshot has that breakdown groove. floorpunch were straight up good hardcore MUSIC. it is hillarious they can still stir up shit talk and controversy almost 15 years later without even trying. nice job boys. the people are still talkin while you guys are still jut doin your thing. always be backed by me.
FINALMSHINTRO

Anonymous said...

I can't believe people still care about any Floorpunch episode.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone want to talk about the reaction at the Rat when they opened with "As One" the day after Ryabeez died? "Spirit phat, Kurbjaw phatter," anyone, Bueller, anyone? Multiple Breakdown covers in 1 set, playing to a full room in Chatham on a demo alone, H20 record release at CB's? Porter betting Ray $100 a coin toss? Much better comments to make

Anonymous said...

the drummer looks like eddie munster, just sayin',,,

Jose said...

Kingshott: Everyone knows Zev and I are not edge anymore and no one cares.

Obviously some people do or this wouldn't be a topic!
Just like bands like Strife or No For An Answer or XCHORUSX who all used straight edge to get their name out there, it's valid to point out the hypocrisy.
I would even venture to say that it's hardcore.
As to sucking a penis, well that's not my personal preference but then again I'm not going to use the F bomb on someone either.

Anonymous said...

Negative Feedbackers: You really need to post on this board just to criticize people for shit that happened 10+ years ago? So, in 10 years you still don't have a life? Must really suck.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's not the ones criticizing meatheads for their ignorant / violent behaviour, but the ones who after 15 years still want to wallow in a glorified version of their youth, getting all good-ol'-timey about it, who should get a life ... Ever thought about it that way?

Anonymous said...

What the fuck is this band about anyway? - Back in the 90s they were so "passionate about their edge", and now that two of them have broken it, they simply "keep on rocking" ... so, consequently it was already all about breakdowns, muscles and honor back then and straight edge was simply a good vehicle for feeling superior to others and getting all macho about it. - Great fuckin' band!

Z said...

If you have something to say, a question, or an issue then ask me directly. I'd think that a conversation would be more informative than an assumption. I know, it's a novel idea in hardcore.

czusi@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

hc in 2010 means SXE-sellouts can play in a SXE band and still get worshipped by "the kids"... not to say everything was great "back in the days", but imagine Chain o. S. re-uniting in 1995 having a beer...
And I am writing this as someone who sold out as well. In the end it's of course the band's decision and you can either respect it or not, they are at least honest and outspoken about it, yet they still sing/ play those edge songs...

breadman said...

chain of strength were straight edge? not according to them!

seriously if you don't know the facts around the "ducan incident" do a google search.

this band got shit back in the day and still do today and yet they changed a scene full of people sitting on the floor, buying vegan cookies from stalls at shows and wanking each other off and crying about it into the "mosh pits and stage dives" you have today.

seriously if you weren't around during those dark days yo don't even understand how they hanged shit.

Brett Hardware said...

Do you not understand that the guy who wrote the lyrics and is singing the lyrics is 100% SXE?

breadman said...

Brett these guys would probably rather still be watching dudes with no shoes on rolling around on the floor crying while other dudes talked about knitting pants out of old Christmas wrapping paper while a girl talked about how all sex was rape.
think we should leave?

Larry Edge said...

you are over generalizing. but at least kids in the mid '90s cared about things and were making some sort of effort to change something. floorpunch was all about rebelling against the "pc faggot bullshit" of the mid 90s. as a result of that they are very much responsible for the complete dumbing down and dilution of hardcore as we knew it. sure they wrote some rad hardcore songs, but they should have been more aware of the damage they were doing to the scene and the influence they had over the younger kids at the time. it's great they promoted the edge. but their attitudes about other things really weren't much different than that of your average meathead jock.

still sxe said...

i think everyone gets that the singer is sxe. but didnt that guy also diss other bands for doing reunions when all members werent all sxe? i could have sworn i remember reading him say stuff like that. i mean, by all means, do your band, sing you lyrics. but if your band as a whole pulls an about face, accept the criticism.

Brett Hardware said...

"Brett, it wasn't that bad. I got called obese twice. Who cares? I'm excited to eat, I'm hungry. Miss you Boardman."

Anonymous said...

i saw their first show in dc at the safari club.i remember seeing the banner behind the drums and thinking they were gonna be lame.
yeah right,they tore it up then and every time i saw them. floorpunch=best hardcore band of the 90s.

Still PC Faggot Eating Vegan Cookies Sitting on the Floor said...

Something like:

Smoke another joint
Drink another beer
Let's get one thing straight
You keep it fucking clear
Fuck your brain
Take another hit
I pray to God you OD on that shit
Shoot that fucking needle into your veins
Your brain-dead body is all that remains
I fucking choose to keep my mind clear
Your drugs and alcohol don't belong here
You don't know who you're fucking with!
You're messing with the wrong crew!
Blow that smoke in my face, and God knows what I'll do
Your fucking lifestyle makes me sick
Straighten out your act, and fucking quick
I can't understand why you do that shit
Cause me and my crew won't stand for it!

Tim said...

There is a lot of over-generalizing about what HC was like in 95, but I don't really think these guys brought much to the scene other than being a dumbed-down hardcore caricature. Sure, there was the whole whiny PC thing, but there were also bands like 108, Integrity, Deadguy, Ignite, Battery, Damnation, Spazz, Monster X, Devoid of Faith etc....all of whom put on really energetic shows and had something unique to say or at least a unique sound (in addition to the old timers like SOIA and Warzone who were still playing out). FP seemed to over-simplify the "glory days of hardcore" for dudes who just wanted to don sports gear and act tough. I was also at the By The Grace of God show in Yardley, PA when Porter walked through the front door in the middle of the show, punched Duncan, turned around and left. Talk about "putting the damper on good times." I have no beef with FP personally and more power to them for getting back out there and doing there thing. I just don't think their role was really that monumental and whatever scene they may have encouraged didn't seem that positive or respectable.

Stuxe said...

All I got out of this thread is that there's a whole heap of people that love to split hairs over trivial stuff... and that Floorpunch still rules.

Anonymous said...

@ Stuxe

o.k., to talk about dumbness and violence in hardcore in 2010 is pretty trivial, I mean, Ian MacKaye checked out for exactly these reasons already 25 fucking years ago.

But why do Floorpunch rule? Because they still tour playing songs they wrote 15 years ago imitating the style of bands from the late 80s? - When this is supposed to be seen as a great achievement, then this scene has really gone to the dogs ...

Stuxe said...

@ anon above

Floorpunch still rules because I still get the most out of them for my own reasons (other people's reasons don't particularly matter to me). Which is why playing in hardcore bands, going to hardcore shows, buying hardcore records, believing in hardcore's spirit still rules to me to.

Who cares if they are songs from 15 years ago, there's still just as many bands playing 80's style hardcore right now, to. If you're not going to listen to any music that's not regenerated or payed homage to in some way, you must have stopped listening to music decades ago.

Floorpunch still rules to me, because they make me remember why I got sucked into hardcore in the first place. I wanna play fast, I wanna say something, I wanna have fun.

Anonymous said...

I didn´t know political correctness still existed in HC. can we please set up a "food not bombs" festival soon?

Caleb said...

U guys r so gay. Prolly never even banged a girl on tour. U ain't shit. Attack Attack is the only real hardcore band today.

Ibn Mark said...

I’d rather listen to Bold any day.

Anonymous said...

floorpunch were the best band of the new youth crew era. period!

people should not be too serious about the lyrics anyways. or at least be consequent and "thumb down" bands like cro-mags, bad brains, judge etc too.

integrity had something unique to say? ha good one. you mean before they turned to satan?

Viagra Generico said...

Great article!!