Alex and Jules at The Anthrax with Side By Side, Photo courtesy of: Jules
Here it is, his first published interview since 1989. This is going to be posted in many installments over the next few weeks, and will cover everything you'll want to hear from Jules. In case you missed it, Jules is auctioning his own records here on DCXX, with all money going towards the Japanese Relief Effort. More to come but here's the first round:
We are beyond psyched to have Jules on board and hope everyone digs this and appreciates the fact that he has really given us a lot of his time and energy. I could say many great things about him - but I think this interview will speak for itself loud and clear. Thanks Jules. -Gordo DCXX
Jules with Alone In A Crowd at The Anthrax, Photo courtesy of: Jules
What was it that attracted you to the energy of the NYC hardcore scene? What was it that was happening, or better yet, not happening in your home town to cause you to seek out new surroundings and people in NYC?
In short, massive dissatisfaction with the way things were in the mid 80’s. I lived in Weehawken, NJ – which, for those of you who don’t know, is directly across the Hudson River from midtown Manhattan. Not what I would call a suburb. Growing up, my parents worked in the City, so I went to schools in NYC, first in the West Village and then in Brooklyn. So I really didn’t connect much to my “home town” to begin with – most of my friends were in the City.
The mid-eighties mainstream was a musical wasteland. A list of the top five Billboard top 100 pop songs in 1985 speaks volumes:
1. Careless Whisper, Wham!
2. Like a Virgin, Madonna
3. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Wham!
4. I Want to Know What Love Is, Foreigner
5. I Feel for You, Chaka Khan
Alex Brown and Jules with Side By Side, Photo courtesy of: Jules
And what were the alternatives? My parents lived next to a gas station and every weekend kids would sit there with a boombox, beers, and a bag of weed, and listen to Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Pink Floyd... every weekend... over and over and over again. Now, those bands were alright (in any event, better than _ _ _ _ ing Wham!) – but they were already classic rock. It was someone else’s music, if that makes any sense. You could not go see those bands (hell, Jim Morrison died a few months after I was born). The closest thing to a live show with them was the Pink Floyd laser show at the Planetarium (which was a favorite if you liked to drop acid, which I didn’t). Then there were the dead heads – do I even need to go there? College/new wave bands existed, I suppose. But I just wasn’t into the “look at me, I’m so artsy” crap. House music? No. Some Hip Hop was pretty good – and got better through the late 80’s, but let’s face it, I was not B-Boy material.
None of this really connected with me. Add teenage hormones, a general lack of supervision from parents who had to work nights, and a profound hatred of all things high school -- I felt isolated, and in one of the most densely populated areas of the United States. So I carried this anger. I was an angry kid.
Side By Side's first show at CBGB, NYC, Photo courtesy of: Jules
What were the punk and hardcore bands that you connected with most? Who had songs, lyrics, etc. that resonated with you the most? Do you still consider yourself a fan of these bands?
I was not an “old school” punk kid. You won’t hear me talking about me hanging out at A7 or being a part of anything that came before the mid 80’s. I wasn’t a “cool kid,” and didn’t have an older sibling or a babysitter who had a killer record collection and taught me the entire history of punk rock. I didn’t know anything.
Luke (GB, Warzone) was a classmate of mine in Brooklyn (before I got thrown out). He was the drummer in a band called Loud And Boisterous, which emulated the older style bands (MDC, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Murphy’s Law, AF, Minor Threat). The other guys in the band were a lot older than Luke and I. So I got a lot of exposure to the earlier generation hardcore music hanging with them. Eric (Side By Side, Uppercut) was a little older than Luke and I, and he hung with LAB as well. Eric and I messed around with a band very early on, but it was a disaster – I couldn’t play anything but the radio (I tried drumming and totally sucked); he could play, but he wanted to do this nihilistic punk stuff (at one time he had a 2’ Mohawk spiked with Knox gelatin). It didn’t fit, and nothing ever came of it. Anarchy was not me. Eric and I pretty much stopped hanging out together after awhile.
By this time I was pretty familiar with the older hardcore stuff – I found myself drawn mostly to the NYHC grassroots – NYC Mayhem (who Eric liked and introduced to me), Agnostic Front, I even saw Reagan Youth once (they were actually pretty good live). When I was pretty young (14 or so) there was a whole slew of bands that were "established" and you didn't necessarily have to be part of the scene to know them or know when they were playing. I remember seeing Samhain, MDC, Butthole Surfers... but these were generally out of town bands, playing bigger venues, like the (new) Ritz. It was expensive, and there was a lot of separation between the band and the audience. And none of those bands were saying anything meaningful – to me at least. MDC were hyper political and went on and on about some oppressed tribe out in the southwest I never heard of. I was 14 years old – I couldn’t vote, what was I going to do? Write my congressman? So I ended up feeling pretty disconnected from this too.
Unlike me, Luke was in tune with the newer scene, which was about to break. He was dissatisfied with LAB’s “old school” style and he wasn’t at all into the drugs (some of the old LAB crowd were heavy into drugs—a few of them ended up in really bad shape). He kept playing newer stuff for them, saying “we should be playing stuff like this!” The stuff he was playing: War Zone, Straight Ahead, etc. Straight Edge had been established by the DC and Boston Scene – but this was the first time I ever heard “positivity” being used in the same breath as hardcore. This was something new. So I would say Luke is probably the person who first exposed me to the music that truly resonated with me. Straight Ahead was a natural fit for me because of Mayhem.
Someone goes for a dive at The Anthrax during Side By Side, Photo courtesy of: Jules
War Zone. The demo with the lineup of Raybeez, Todd youth, Batmite (he looked exactly like the cartoon character), and Charlie Ultraviolence, the one with all the vocal reverb, was the best thing I ever heard. War Zone doesn’t get much respect these days, it seems – I guess this is due to their later incarnations which were pretty bad. But back then, they were the _ _ _ _. They were going to be the next big NYHC band following AF and the Cro-Mags. However, Ray couldn’t keep the lineup together and they broke up right when I really started hanging out at CB’s and on the lower east side on a regular basis.
Something that needs to be understood: around this time, the NYHC scene had been notoriously exclusive, and most “old timers” were dicks to the new kids. There were exceptions, of course. Roger and Vinny from Agnostic Front, for example – they were always cool to me anyway, but generally it was pretty intimidating if you weren’t in the “in crowd.” Not Raybeez – the song “_ _ _ _ Your Attitude” says it all. He encouraged the new jacks, like me, both personally and through the music. And make no mistake, Raybeez was instrumental in bridging the gap between the old NYHC crew and the Youth Crew, the skinheads and the straight edge.
With War Zone defunct (at least for the time being), I turned to the other bands that were part of this next generation hardcore...
A Side By Side sing-a-long at The Anthrax, Photo courtesy of: Jules
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Hello, Double Cross. I asked Tim McMahon if Double Cross could show a just-finished video from an old band I had in 1995 (sixteen years ago) entitled THE RULE OF NINES. Tim was nice enough to say “yes” and told me to write up a little background for the video.
Without too much detail, I found a tape a few years back of a band I had with former Pitchfork/Forced Down drummer, Joseph Patrick. We met at Mike Down’s wedding and clicked.
Over the period of a few months we played out a few times until the band imploded for the usual reasons a band does.
Last month, I looked into my file with the demo tape, a few photos & one dark live video from that era. My friend said he liked the music a lot and would do a quick video for one song of the band as homage. I like documentation so here it is. I hope you like the message as well as the music. - ROA
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
In case you missed yesterday's post (scroll down), we are auctioning off some rare records from Jules' collection over the next couple weeks.
Terms & Conditions:
*Please read each individual record's description for specific details and condition.
*Bidding is to be made on individual records. This is not an auction for the whole batch.
*You can bid on multiple items, but a specific bid must be placed on each item.
*Bidding must be rounded to the dollar. No cents business.
*All records have a starting reserve price.
*All offers/bids must be sent to Gordo at email@example.com, who is handling this for Jules.
*Offers/bids are not to be sent anywhere else, not in the comment section, not to Tim, not via Facebook, etc.
*Paypal is the only accepted method of payment.
*Do not bid if you are unable to pay at the time of auction close or if you cannot send funds via paypal.
*Bidders will be contacted ASAP privately via email from Gordo with the status of their bid and the current top bid.
*Re-bidding is allowed and encouraged.
*The bidding for these specific Round 1 items will close at 8am Eastern Standard Time on Saturday April 2.
*At that time, the top 3 bidders will be contacted privately to place final bids over the next 24 hours.
*The final top bidder must be able to transfer funds via paypal to Gordo at firstname.lastname@example.org within 48 hours of final close.
*All shipping & handling costs must be paid for additionally by BUYER, and this amount is not a part of the bid amount.
*All shipping & handling costs will be determined fairly between Gordo and buyer.
*Shipping & handling costs can be combined if multiple items are won by the same bidder.
*All items will be shipped via USPS to the buyer's liking.
*All proceeds will be transferred by Gordo to Jules for the purpose of final matched charitable contribution, doubling the total amount.
*Bidder/winner identities will not be disclosed.
*ALL PROCEEDS GO TO CHARITY FOR JAPANESE RELIEF. NOBODY IS MAKING ANY MONEY ON THIS.
*Questions, offers/bids - Gordo: email@example.com
- Jules, Tim & Gordo
Antidote - "Thou Shalt Not Kill" EP - Some tearing/wear at top of sleeve, vinyl appears to be in great condition, no scratches, lyric sheet included. Reserve price $75.00
Alone In A Crowd - 7" - First pressing, some wear on cover, vinyl in excellent condition, lyric sheet included. Reserve price $25.00
Government Issue - "Make An Effort" EP - Cover and vinyl all in great condition, lyric sheet included. Reserve price $25.00
Dischord Records - "Flex Your Head" Compilation LP - 4th Pressing, slight crease on lower left portion of cover plus some smudging, no scratches on vinyl, lyric sheet/poster insert included. Reserve price $25.00
Youth Of Today - "Break Down The Walls" LP - Wishingwell Records first press, very little wear on cover, no scratches on vinyl, Wishingwell catalog/order sheet, plus lyrics sheet included. Reserve price $40.00
Verbal Assault - ON 12" - Cover still in shrink wrap, no scratches on vinyl, lyric sheet included. Reserve price $20.00
Monday, March 28, 2011
When Tim and I started doing Double Cross three years ago this week, one of the people we really wanted to catch up with was Jules, singer of legendary NYHC bands Side By Side and Alone In A Crowd. Kinda a no brainer for us - we're big fans, and nobody has really heard from him in a very long time.
We'd heard, however, that Jules enjoyed his privacy and that hardcore wasn't on his radar. Hesitant to be a weirdo and bother the guy, I emailed him expecting little or no response. Pretty quickly, though, I was talking on the phone with Jules and he couldn't have been cooler. We talked quite a bit over the course of a few days, but he explained that he really didn't know if he felt comfortable publicly talking about the hardcore scene he was involved with more than twenty years ago. Now living in Florida with a family and practicing law, hardcore simply isn't on his plate these days, and hasn't been for a long time. He said he would think about it.
A few weeks passed, and tragedy struck in Japan. I woke up one day to an email from Jules, saying he thought about the interview and decided he'd do it as a one shot deal. But more importantly, he wanted to do something to actually put it all in context. He didn't just want to revisit some "glory days" for the sake of revisiting. He decided that in conjunction with an interview, he wanted to sell his old hardcore records and donate all of the money to the Japanese relief effort, and wanted us to help him do it through Double Cross.
I don't want to speak on Jules' behalf on too much of anything - because I think he's a guy who has zero difficulty explaining himself and can put his thoughts into words as well as anyone. But, I can tell you we are 100% behind him on this and are very happy to be involved.
Over the next couple weeks, we'll be auctioning off items from his collection, some of which are extremely rare. We'll also be running his gigantic interview, which is pretty much must-read material.
Tim and I encourage everyone to stay tuned and bid on these items.
Enough about us, though. Here's what this is all about in Jules' own words: -Gordo DCXX
Jules with Side By Side at CBGB, NYC, Photo: Jen Buck Knies
You are all no doubt aware the nation of Japan has suffered a disaster of biblical proportions. As I write this, the current death toll is 10,000 with 17,000 still unaccounted for. The record 9.0 scale earthquake, followed by a 23 meter high tsunami which traveled 8 kilometers inland, flattened or washed away more than 25,000 buildings. 1.2 million homes are without electricity, 1.4 million without water. As many as 100,000 children have been displaced as a result of the almost total devastation of this natural disaster. The damage is estimated at $309 billion. Hurricane Katrina, previously believed to be the costliest natural disaster ever, was $81 billion.
As if this were not enough, the looming specter of a nuclear disaster of equal, if not greater proportions, makes this trifecta uniquely positioned to become the single greatest disaster in history. At the time of this writing, several workers trying to cool the most critical reactors at Fukushima were exposed to radiation levels 10,000 times higher than normal. Measurable concentrations of radioactive iodine-131 and caesium-137 in seawater samples were taken 18 miles from land. Japanese officials initially evacuated persons within 12 miles from the nuclear plant, but as of today a "voluntary" evacuation has been urged by the Japanese government for those living between 12 and 18 miles from the plant. Despite valiant efforts, it appears the situation is worsening.
It does not take a particularly compassionate person to recognize the scale of human suffering in Japan right now. It does not take a particularly imaginative person to realize that it will get worse before it gets better. The Japanese people need help, both immediate and long term, to deal with the life threatening issues of exposure, dehydration, disease, starvation, and radiation poisoning.
If you are like me, you probably feel like there is little or anything that you can do to help. What money I can donate seems like a grain of sand, when a beach is what is needed. Tim and Gordo at Double Cross asked me about doing an interview with them. I have always been very reluctant to do so in the past. When this event occurred in Japan however, I approached them with the idea of raising money for the Red Cross and Save The Children relief efforts.
So Double Cross and I agreed to auction all of my old hardcore records through the website. Every penny will go to relief efforts in Japan. I secured a matching donation which will double the value of the money raised through the auction. Please consider bidding. If not, I encourage you to give a donation in whatever amount you can to one of the many relief organizations who will need your help. If you can make the difference in one person's life, however small, it is worth it. Please help me to let the people of Japan know they are not in this alone.
Side By Side
Alone In A Crowd
"He who saves one life, saves the world entire." - Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:8 (37a)
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Token Entry from the Hawker Records, Free For All show at CBGB, April 9, 1989. I came across this video the other day and thought it really captured why Token Entry were one of my favorite live bands of 1989. Unfortunately I didn't make it to the Free For All show, but I did see Token Entry a few times at City Gardens around this time period and they always delivered. Sit back and soak it in… this one goes out to Chippy Love. -Tim DCXX
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Daniel, Espen and Peter with For Pete's Sake, Photo: Ane PMA
Ian MacKaye of Embrace once mocked the word and concept "emocore", suggesting it was a stupid pleonasm of sorts, as hardcore is emotional music to begin with. While I wholeheartedly agree with MacKaye I feel there's room to differentiate––meaning there are experiences of hardcore that can be more emotional than others, and indeed, some of these experiences of hardcore are more than just experiences. They can, because of their sheer emotionality, probably be dubbed events in the philosophical sense of the word. They open up possible futures. One such event was undoubtedly Youth of Today's 1989 European tour as it touched and impacted so many people's lives. Including mine. The seminal high energy hardcore act from New York City played Oslo a cold winter's night of February the year 1989.
Where am I getting with this? Let me paraphrase my own introduction to a song we, that is the band For Pete's Sake, played last Friday: "22 years ago I went to see a band play in this city, at a place called Blitz. That band was YOUTH OF TODAY and that event, and that band changed my life. Then; 12 years ago, a band called Better Than A Thousand featuring the singer from Youth of Today, was playing in this city and this band here, we used to be called Sportswear, were supposed to play, and tour, together with Better Than A Thousand. But a lot of bad things happened and Sportswear never played. Not until tonight. So, I have been waiting 12 years to say the words I'm saying now and this next song goes out to a very special person and a very dear friend. 12 years ago him and me wrote the lyrics to this song walking around the streets of New York City. This person is Ray Cappo from Youth of Today and this song goes out to him because he changed my life. This song goes out to Youth of Today because they changed my life. And this song goes out to the people standing on stage here with me, For Pete's Sake, because these guys changed my life. This song is called 'The Power To Change'!"
Peter and the Oslo crowd, Photo: Ane PMA
Needless to say this show was an emotional experience of enormous proportions to me. One thing was meeting what I would dare call a brother band of sorts, haven't seen Ray in at least 6 or 7 years, but it felt as if not a day had passed, not a beat skipped. And that was just how it felt watching Youth of Today play as well. The energy was relentless, sincere, uplifting, and something you could feel in your very soul. And I was so nervous as to how people would react to For Pete's Sake. 12 years after Sportswear broke up, in a bad way, all us guys were back on the stage together, and it really felt nothing like a nostalgia trip at all. But it felt as if this was more important now than ever. That very sense of urgency and hope is something we try to put across in a new song called "This Time", and the lyrics go "This Time – with so many regrets, This Time - don't know what to expect... This Time. Right Here. Right Now..."... The club exploded during our set and it almost brought me to tears. I could see old friends from all over Scandinavia and beyond stage diving, singing along, and smiling. New friends. Cappo stage diving. High fives from Porcell, Vinny Panza and Ken Olden. Were they feeling it? Was the amazing opening act from Sweden, Hårda Tider, feeling it? Was the crowd feeling it? Was there a special feeling in the air? I looked around me and saw what felt like a permanently breaking wave of kids washing over the stage, singing along to lyrics that still are so dear and important to me. We have the strength to stand against and to stand apart. It was probably the strongest hardcore experience in my entire life. Wait. It was.
Ken and Ray with Youth Of Today in Oslo, Photo: Ane PMA
Then Youth of Today got on stage and the air was electric. I have always, through all these years, stated that Youth of Today is my all time favorite band, and it has probably gotten to the point that it can be a mechanical thing to say, almost like introducing yourself. "My name is Pete and I am a Youth of Today fan". But the sheer energy, sincerity, physicality, spiritual power, and, yes, urgency, of the 2011 Youth of Today grabbed me, and I think just about everybody else in the room, by the soul. Seeing Cappo kneeling down during "Choose To Be", reiterating the word "misery" and then emphatically stating that that's not the way he "choose to be" brought an unforgettable, old quote to my mind. The 17th century philosopher Nicolas Malebranche once wrote that "attentiveness is the natural prayer of the soul" and I was convinced that the same could be said about hardcore, given the right time, the right assembly, and the right circumstance. When hardcore is the way it was on a night like this––it simultaneously creates and demands a very special kind of attentiveness, and is indeed a natural prayer of the soul. And this was the time. The place. Cappo introduces "A Time We'll Remember" and he says it's not about living in the past. Or in the future. But right here. Right now. It is the now of the future, if you ask me.
Ray and Porcell, Oslo Norway, Photo: Ane PMA
This was a hardcore event. I will feel its reverberations well into futurity.
The Youth of Today wanted me to do a song together with them and before the show we practiced New York Crew by Judge together. When I got up on stage and sung that song with Youth of Today I was 17 again and I realized that hardcore will indeed keep me young until I die.
Thank you everybody that came through, and I will see you soon. - Peter Amdam
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Rob with Wide Awake at The Anthrax, Photo: Eric Blomquest
Not much cool info for me. Things are great, living in Norwalk, CT with wife and kids. I work for Blue Ribbon Restaurants in New York, www.blueribbonrestaurants.com, I am the product manager for Naked Nuggets Grilled Chicken Nuggets www.shedthebread.com. It is a healthier chicken nugget that is made with 100% chicken. No junk on them, no junk in them. We have been growing the brand in the natural food section for the past 4 years and continue to push for more retailers to stock them. I am really lucky as I work with some really great people.
I have to travel a lot for work and it sometimes allows me to catch up with a lot of old friends. This past year I was able to catch up with Jon Field, Roger Lambert, and John Sheehan. I still play guitar and get together with friends like Scott Frosch (Wide Awake drummer) when I can. Oh, and I always check out Double Cross. Really, the pictures and entries are always interesting so thanks Tim and Gordo! - Rob
Rob Anderson 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Classic Kevin Seconds with the Violent Children shirt, Photo courtesy of: Kevin Seconds
Stand out memory from playing City Gardens in Trenton, NJ over the years?
Huge, rowdy crowds. Intense heat. Playing with everyone from the Circle Jerks and Youth Of Today to Quicksand and the Flaming Lips. One of my top 3 places to play.
What was/is your least favorite part of touring?
Being away from my loved ones and I miss my pets.
Was there ever a "traditional" career you were interested in pursuing?
Not really. I pondered doing radio as a teenager but my musical career allowed me to do that later in life, anyway. I wanted to play music and in a band since the age of 12.
Who is a band you like to regularly see live?
Sick Of It All. Always amazing. Maybe even better now than they were before.
Kevin and Steve Youth with 7 Seconds at the VFW in Watertown, MA, September 1985, Photo: Joe Henderson
All-time favorite book? Movie?
Book: the Autobiography Of Malcolm X
Where have you gotten fanmail from that blows your mind?
Hearing from hardcore kids in China early on freaked me out for some reason.
Current celebrity crush?
I have to go with Marisa Tomei. It's been a 20 year crush and luckily, my wife is ok with it.
Steve Youth and Kevin Seconds at the Sun Valley Sportsman's Hall in 1984, Photo: Joe Henderson
Monday, March 21, 2011
Youth Of Today in Russia, 3/15/2011, Photo: Kelteacream
Lots of great photos and videos surfacing from Youth Of Today's latest trip across the Atlantic. Just like the videos we posted last week from Russia, here are some photos from the same show. For more great photos, follow these two links… -Tim DCXX
Ray in Russia, 3/15/2011, Photo: Kelteacream
Porcell goes for some air in Russia, 3/15/2011, Photo: Kelteacream
Vinny brings the thunder in a blur, 3/15/2011, Photo: Mashka Vanina
Ken with the four strings, 3/15/2011, Photo: Kelteacream
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Joey with an invert at Terri's ramp 1986, Photo courtesy of: Joey Vela
After Breakaway broke up in the late 80s, I think it was '89, I took a couple years off before starting a new band. Then I started up Second Coming and continued doing that band from around 1991 through 2003. We played one last show, the Ernie Cortez Memorial Show back in 2005.
Throughout the 90s, I also sang in 2 different Dag Nasty type bands while also doing Second Coming, but I never did any shows or anything with those bands. The last band I was in, I think we started it back in 2006. I was really stoked on it, but we all kind of got busy with family and other things and it got put on hold.
Years later now...I don't go to shows as often as I used to, but still love the music, and still get stoked when I come across a new band or a new song that reminds me of why I got into hardcore in the first place. I miss playing shows and being in a band, more so for the love of music and the outlet it provided for so long, but I don't really miss the scene politics and bullshit that comes along with it. Having been around the punk/hardcore scene for almost 30 years, it's something that is just part of you, and I can't imagine it not being part of my life in some way or another. Music and skateboarding have been the biggest influences in my life and both have helped define who I am as a person.
As far as what I've been up to and what's going on in my life now... I married my best friend a little over 10 years ago. We have 2 kick ass kids that are our entire world. I still live in Northern California and I am lucky enough to make a living doing graphic design and artwork. Aside from family and art, I play ice hockey and spend most of my free time skateboarding as much as possible, which is never enough.
Joey with Second Coming, Photo: Trent Nelson
If anyone is interested in checking out Second Coming, they can download the music here:
Second Coming - Demo
Second Coming - Wake 7"
Second Coming - In Denial CD
Second Coming - 4 Song Final Demo
Joey with an invert in 2011, Photo courtesy of: Joey Vela
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Just like the original SSD "Kids Will Have Their Say" cover photo we posted on Tuesday, this is another photo that's worth a thousand words. BL'AST! meets Rob Roskopp, you've seen the classic Santa Cruz Skateboards ad and poster, but have you ever seen this alternate shot? Two perfect worlds colliding into one, it doesn't get much cooler than this. -Tim DCXX
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Joe Foster brings us more classic OC history. Throw on your Unity EP and dig into this one... -Gordo DCXX
How did you get into Unity? What was the band like in the beginning and what were some of the early songs you remember writing? What were some memorable early shows and what was the OC scene like at that time?
The original bass player, Joe Naverette, was in my Spanish class. Unity had a different name at the time and the only lasting member was Pat Longrie who later named the band Unity. I think it was my sophomore year in high school and I was still figuring out how to play guitar. Some of the early songs were kind of silly. The only pre-Unity song I remember being kept was called "Scared Straight" and it was about Pat's uncle Pete who died of a heart attack.
One thing a lot of people don't know is there was a band that existed between Unity and Uniform Choice called Winds of Promise. I think I am the only one who has a boom box recording of one of the practices. It was the best band I was ever in for sure…super DC'ed out. We had big Frank Harrison on bass, Pat Longrie, Pat Dubar and me. A lot of future UC and Unity LP songs were written in this band. One for example was "Wish to Dream." The premise for Screaming For Change and other songs can be heard on this tape. I think Man Against Man was also written with WOP. At the time, Gavin Ogelsby thought it was the most unique hardcore he had ever heard and that's a great compliment I'll keep forever. I'm a big fan of Gavin, his art, guitar style etc.
The scene in OC was amazing at this time. Things were still new, sounds were being defined and the whole scene was a group thing, not so much "you're punk and we're hardcore and you're edge and we're Krishna and you're vegan and we're political etc. etc. etc. Regardless of the lyrical content, whether I agreed or not, I was always attracted to the energy and sincerity that the voices had delivering the message. I don't think statements like, "if you see someone hurting a cow you should kill them," are all that positive.
We played a lot at a club in Hollywood call the Cathay de Grande…it was so fun. We got to play with Marginal Man, Stretch Marks, Die Kreuzen etc. I saw Minor Threat play there to thirty people. I met Alec, and Faith is still one of my favorite bands. We ended up playing the last show ever there with Doggy Style and the Mentors.
What can you remember about recording the Unity EP? Are you happy years later listening back to that record? What were the bigger stand out shows you remember Unity playing around that time (1986)?
I remember feeling like a second thought to the person who recorded us. I think it was at a place called Casbah Studios and the engineer was working on the Social D album and I felt he didn't really care about us. Still, being a little kid and recording for the first time was awesome.
As for the LP, Blood Days, I had a rough mix of Pat actually screaming the vocals which I preferred to the final mix where he went back and redid them all smooth.
We did shows with 7 Seconds, a lot of punk bands, Agression, ST, etc. Big shows really didn't start until Fenders, the Olympic Auditorium, and some big roller skating places type of shows. That kinda in my opinion was where the scene got divided and fell about. Gangs, territories, violence, etc. The PMA, posi youth sing along movement kinda died…
What was your relationship like with Uniform Choice? I always view you as the 5th member of sorts. Why weren't you ever in UC? What did you think of Screaming For Change?
Ha. I remember going to Dubar's one day with John the bass player and Pat Longrie to practice. When we got there, Dave Mellow, Vic and Pat Dyson were there jamming…it was kinda weird. They brought the name Uniform Choice over since it was a previous band they were in and Dubar put it on the map. Some WOP songs were used and then the rest were used on Blood Days.
The back album cover of Blood Days is pretty funny because the photo was taken at Pepperdine University where Dubar was on a baseball scholarship. Me and Johnny went surfing that morning and were about 2 hours late for the photo. Pat Longrie was so mad. You can see in the picture him standing on my foot with his cowboy boot. Always makes me laugh. I guess I feel like I was the 5th member of UC too since a lot of the stuff I wrote ended up on Screaming For Change and Wish To Dream, etc.
Mostly I'm stoked on the Screaming album cover where Gavin had removed all our hair and repainted the photograph. You can see me, (the newly painted big headed skin head) with a black sharpie in my hand. I was tagging Unity everywhere but I'm not a tagger...LOL. Just that night only.
On a side note, I met a girl 14 years ago on tour with Ignite in Austria and she got in touch with me late last year. We are now close to getting married. So crazy, my wife through Ignite. We have a funny joke too. She says she went from groupie, to stalker to girlfriend to wife. Hence, I guess our wishes came true…
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
SSD's Al Barile did us all a service by posting this original, unedited classic on his Facebook page the other day. Al said he was simply cleaning out a desk and found it. This is one of those photos that's worth a thousand words, or maybe even a few more, but I'll just keep it simple. The Kids Will Have Their Say. -Tim DCXX
Monday, March 14, 2011
WHERE ARE THEY NOW - Mike Hartsfield/Freewill, Against The Wall, Outspoken, A18, New Age Records, etc.
Mike with Freewill at Gilman Street, Photo courtesy of: John White
During the early days of A18 I got involved in the production side of the pro wrestling business with a company called XPW. The similarities with hardcore and wrestling are too numerous to name, plus there's a good amount for straight edge people involved in wrestling so I have made some incredible connections.
It's been a wild ride and I love every minute of it. The company closed as a full time promotion in the mid 2000s. We put together a few reunion/anniversary shows between 2008-2009. Youtube is filled with clips of what these guys have done over the years, it's amazing what they do. Check it out.
Now we are compiling a XPW book written for the guys involved that is compiled by those intimately involved in the company. It's less about the ups and downs of the company and more about "war stories" written from first hand accounts. We are always kicking around ideas about bringing the company back full time but it's more difficult than it seems. Nothing is set in stone but we keep kicking around ideas.
You can find out more about XPW here: www.theXPW.com
We are also doing some Outspoken shows this year and hoping to have some fun with it.
Thanks DCXX! -Mike
Supreme and Mike in LA, 2009, Photo courtesy of: Mike Hartsfield
Sunday, March 13, 2011
Kevin Seconds and Steve Youth at the Sun Valley Sportsman's Hall in 1984, Photo: Joe Henderson
Who is a hardcore band you have seen/played with over the last few years that you really dug, and why?
How about in the last 10 years? OFF!, Champion, Kill Your Idols, Praise, and a young band we played with last summer called the Cro-Mags. Ever hear of them? I think they're going places.
Is there a year in the past that jumps out to you in 7Seconds history as being "THE Year?" If so, why that year?
1984 was pretty huge for us. Our first album was release internationally and we went on our first full-blown North American tour. Since then, there are have been many more "THE" years but '84 was pretty epic.
Of all your non-7Seconds music projects, which one has been your favorite and why?
Solo for sure. I enjoy it immensely. It allows me to play anywhere at anytime and I don't have a ton of gear to tote around. I also loved playing with my wife Allyson in our old band Go National a few years back.
Glenn Danzig, Henry, and Ian. How would you characterize your relationship (if any) with each in 2011?
None. Pleasant and mutually respectful. Loving and solid.
Steve Youth and Kevin with 7 Seconds at the VFW in Watertown, MA, September 1985, Photo: Joe Henderson
Can you remember the first time you put black under your eyes and why?
Not the exact time but it had to be sometime in late 1980. In the early days, I thought it would be cool if Reno punks had a certain identifiable trait and I started putting the black under my eyes to sort of represent Skeeno. It caught on for a couple of years and then died out.
Do you ever see yourself not playing music in a public capacity?
Not really. I love playing for people. It might be an ego-driven thing but honestly, I just love it so much and feel wrong when I'm not out doing it. I'll do it for as long as I can.
If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring one record with you to listen to, what would it be?
The Clash 'Give 'Em Enough Rope.'
Kevin with 7 Seconds at Abe's Steakhouse, Philadelphia, PA, October 1984, Photo: Mark Pingitore