Joe with early Dubar fronted Unity, Photo courtesy of: Joe D. Foster
Here's part 3 of our ongoing interview with OC Hardcore's classic axeman. If you missed the first two parts:
Part 1: Joe Foster Part I
Part 2: Joe Foster Part II
Big thanks to Joe, much more to come. -Gordo DCXX
How did Unity come back into the picture with the Blood Days LP? My impression is that UC took the front seat for a while in 86-87, and then the Blood Days record came out. Was the idea to make Unity a real band with new songs again? What was your relationship like with Dubar and Longrie at that time? Any recording memories?
The idea was to keep it a real band. I remember Longrie was always kinda bummed Dubar moved on in UC without him. Kinda hard to kick Dyson out of the band though. I ended up jamming with Dyson like 5 years ago…we met somewhere after not seeing each other for ages and figured we would just go jam. Only me and him...I remember after every song, he would lay on the floor and catch his breath...so awesome. I wonder sometimes what happened to him.
Anyway, ya, I guess I was kinda confussed why we did Unity again, but something tells me it was just for Pat to get another release out on Wishingwell…Dubar to me was always hard to read. Pretty sure he always had his best interests in mind but that's all good. I remember when we were practicing for Blood Days, my ex-girlfriend would come over and I could tell Pat really liked her. Anyway, he wrote a song about her on the Staring Into The Sun album, called I think something like,"She's Locked Into My Mind"…so funny. My mom always called Longrie "little hot head." We were practicing in my parents' living room one day and my mom tells us she made us lunch and we should go wash our hands. So Longrie of course goes into the bathroom and jams his hands into the toilet and flushes it…pretty classic.
I actually don't really remember recording too much except it was in Culver City at a place called Casbah.
A young Joe D. Foster kicks out the jams, Photo courtesy of: Joe D. Foster
Speaking of UC, they obviously shifted musical gears by the time the Staring Into The Sun record came out. As a big fan and friend, how did you view this? Did you like the sound/image change or was it weird to see?
I really hated it…I thought a few songs were OK, but the girly vocals haunt me. Scream man...thats what we were into back then- controlled, thoughtful, positive aggression and intensity. So yeah, sorry but not a big fan.
I remember pre-Mind Funk he was telling us he was going to be the next Jim Morrison. Also there was some story from Dubar about eating black tree bark in Tibet and watching his soul float out of his body and sore in the sky looking down on himself while the seaguls all around him committed suicide. He also looked like an American Indian too at this time and had a pet wolf in his backyard…guess my point is I saw it coming and couldn't stop it…
No For An Answer was playing Man Against Man around the same time. How did they end up using this song, and did you write any of their other songs? Did you ever play with them?
Dan really liked that song. It was originally a WOP song called a Better Man. Dubar wrote it about Dan. They, Dan more than Pat, always had this weird "king of OC Hardcore" thing going on. Anyway, Dan wanted it for NFAA and asked me if I wanted to be in the band…I said ya and we ended up using it and Dan named it, "Man Against Man". I did play one show with them too. The photo of me used on the Blood Days LP is from the NFAA show. I think it was with 7 Seconds. Pretty cool and I'm happy I got to be in the band for a small time. I really like Dan and run into him often these days. He's really into reading and writing…
Ian, Joe and Alec MacKaye, Photo courtesy of: Joe D. Foster
During this time period, (86-89), what else were you into both personally and musically? Having been involved with hardcore at that point for the whole decade, how did it feel like it was changing to you?
About this time, shows started merging Punk and Hardcore together on these mega bills at big auditoriums. Big bands from England would come over and then bands like, ST, Decry, Ill Repute etc. would merge with 7 Seconds, MIA, etc…weird mix. I remember starting to see fights and divisions. I think it was a bad idea to do this and totally destroyed our positive scene. Gangs, violence, people who had no idea about the music and just thought it was cool to go slam dance, meat head mentality…it was the death of our first movement for sure. I was always a professional body "boogie" boarder and loved the ocean so I never stopped doing that. I also got into modeling for a while between Blood Days and the beginning of Ignite…
What did you think of the "second wave" of hardcore bands playing through the late 80s, and specifically, the Revelation straight edge bands? Did it resonate with you? How did you identify with the SE scene? Did you ever call yourself SE?
Actually I kinda missed it. I was off in Europe and Japan. When I got back, everything had changed, the sound, the style etc. That's why I started Ignite. Because I wanted to hear that old school type of hardcore again. In high school I didn't drink, smoke etc. It was influenced for sure by Minor Threat, but we never labeled ourselves. I might have X'd up once or twice my whole life…
Joe D. Foster, early Unity, Photo: Joe D. Foster
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 9:16 PM