Monday, August 15, 2011

Jules - Side By SIde / Alone In A Crowd 2011 Interview part IX, the final entry

Carl and Jules with Alone In A Crowd at The Anthrax, Photo courtesy of: Jules

With some sadness we bring you the final installment of our interview with Jules from Side By Side / Alone In A Crowd. I strongly urge you to check out the previous installments if you missed anything. You can check the links below.
Part 8
Part 7
Part 6
Part 5
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1
Tim and I have gotten to do a lot of cool stuff on DCXX, but this interview and the accompanying charity auction for the people of Japan is not only my favorite thing we've been involved with, but the most meaningful thing we've done with this site in its 3+ year lifetime. Thanks again to those who bid on Jules' records...we brought a significant amount of money to the Japanese Relief Effort. Of course this wouldn't have been possible if it wasn't for Jules selflessly donating all of his own records in the first place.

I also want to say thanks again to Jules for taking the time to do this interview. This guy is total class. He put hours of thought and reflection into this, and treated us (total strangers) like old friends. If you are even a passive fan of his bands and the NYHC scene of the late 80s, then I'm certain you enjoyed this on some level.
He may have walked away from the hardcore scene years ago, but his voice still powers on. -Gordo DCXX


Jules and Lars with Side By Side at The Anthrax, Photo: Boiling Point

By 1989 I was working on passenger vessels in New York Harbor as a deckhand. I hadn’t done very well in high school, and my only educational options at the time were schools with open admissions. I wasn’t hanging out much down on the Lower East Side anymore. Alone In A Crowd was done, and Brian Simmons up in Rhode Island had control of the record sales and distribution.

I don’t know who approached me to do a Side By Side “reunion” show – I want to say it was Sammy. Anyway, there was a big fundraiser for Roger Miret at CB’s at the beginning of '89, and I guess someone got it in their head that Side By Side should get back together for this one event. Roger was a friend, so I had no problem doing the show. I honestly cannot remember the lineup, if we played with Billy or Lars – or if we even had two guitars. We rehearsed once or twice at Sammy’s dad’s warehouse. Sammy was playing a double kick by then.

CB’s was packed for the show, I want to say something like 12 bands played. Side By Side’s set was disappointing, to me at least. First off, the scene had changed. During the show, it was almost like every band had a different crowd and each set would bring an entirely separate group of kids to the pit. In and of itself that’s not that unusual for such a big show. You’re Only Young Once had been out for a while, and I guess a lot more kids traveled to come and see Side By Side. But something was missing – it wasn’t the close-knit scene it had been. I remember talking about vegetarianism at one point, and getting an extremely cold reaction from everybody except the kids right up front. Rather than the (albeit begrudging) tolerance of ‘86-’87, there was palpable animosity between different “cliques.”

Anyway, the set itself was nothing to write home about. I remember Roger being on the side of the stage when we played “Friends.” I went up to him during the chorus, put the mic between us and... nothing, he totally didn’t sing along. It’s not like the words were that hard... I looked at him like “come on, this show is for you, the song is called ‘Friends”... help me out here!” Nothing. That was kind of awkward. Towards the end of the set, we played “Side By Side.” I couldn’t bring myself to do the intro “rant” that I usually did before playing that song. I looked out and didn’t particularly like what I saw, so I kinda quietly said the line “I see people all around me, all with visions of unity, but what I have yet to see is visions turned to reality.” It was a total downer. If I can pinpoint a moment when I “left the scene” – it was there on stage at CB’s – I was done.

Jules with Alone In A Crowd at The Anthrax, Photo courtesy of: Jules

And that, I guess, gets us to the “life after hardcore” part of the routine. As I said before, I put in my time on boats and eventually got a limited license from the Coast Guard. I would work for a few months at a stretch and then go to the City College of New York for a while. I ended up a captain on the Schooner Pioneer out of the South Street Seaport.
Sometime in the early 90’s I bumped into Raybeez down by the Pioneer (I have no idea what he was doing down there). The boat was about to take a trip, so I invited him along. Underway, he started telling me about his time in the Navy and how he wanted to eventually move to St. Thomas. All this time I knew Ray, he never said anything about any of this stuff. He wanted to learn how to sail. So he started volunteering a little on the boat. He kind of freaked the passengers out, with the tattoos and his lack of eyebrows – but Ray was into it, at least for awhile. After he stopped coming down to the boat, I never saw him again. R.I.P.

I eventually transferred to the SUNY Maritime College, a merchant marine academy in the Bronx. Rich Giannone, the drummer for Maximum Penalty, was a cadet there as well. His nickname there was Sarge, because he had been in the Army before enrolling. It was a military school, we were drilled by Marines (who were training to become drill sergeants at the adjacent reserve center), and we shipped out on a training ship for three summers to get sea experience.

On the summer training cruises, every July 4, the ship would be in the middle of the Atlantic, and there would be an open mic “ship’s show.” It could get pretty elaborate – cadets were always bringing amps and drum kits on the ship. So, on my senior cruise, I got a couple of guys to play a few songs with me for the ship’s show. We called the “band” The Buddy#@$%ers (deletions in the original). We opened with Dag Nasty’s “Safe,” then played Van Halen’s “Mean Streets,” and finished with a gag version of “Rock The Casbah.” It was not a hardcore crowd, of course – so we had to tailor our set list – but it was pretty cool singing Dag Nasty over the PA in the middle of the ocean.

When I graduated I worked as an officer on tugboats in New York Harbor and up and down the East Coast – but I was looking for a ship the whole time. I picked up my first ship in Africa – it was a cruise ship being used as a floating college called “semester at sea” (a year or so after I signed off, they filmed a season of “Road Rules” onboard). On that ship I went all over the world – including places like Western Samoa, where I had to repel boarders. The ship was attacked by Samoan transvestites (I’m not kidding -- after that the ship was provided police protection).

Carl, Jules and Lars with Alone In A Crowd at The Anthrax, Photo courtesy of: Jules

After that I worked on other cruise ships, but eventually ended up on Tankers, upon which I sailed 7 or 8 (maybe more) years. I also ended up as a consultant for a major cruise line, which had me living in a shipyard near Venice, Italy for a short period of time. That’s where I met my wife – she was also staying there while the ship was being built. The next thing I know I had moved to Florida, and had a family. I eventually quit sailing because I was tired of being away from my family for months on end, and went to law school. It’s not a career choice I ever dreamed about as a kid, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Now I practice maritime law. I have three kids, girl, boy, girl. The two older kids are both drummers. They are all well adjusted, non-punk rock kids – doing well in school (the oldest is going to be a sophomore in college). Totally don’t take after dad. Their success is altogether due to their incredible mother.

During the course of this interview, there was some interest expressed by others in promoting a reunion show, contributing to a book on the scene, and putting out more merchandise. My only response to these suggestions can be: No. A world of no. This interview is it for me. I am happy to have shared what I remember from “back in the day.” But I have no desire to relive it. I was not a musician who lived to play (and keep playing). I am more than happy to turn hardcore over to the new hards. If my music still has any relevance, then kids can cover the songs and make them their own. Then it’s real. Seeing a middle-aged lawyer singing a song he wrote when he was 16 is totally not hardcore, at least not in my eyes.

I always used to say that if Side By Side or Alone In A Crowd made a difference in one person’s life, then it was worth it. The funds raised through the charity auction here at Double Cross will make a difference in many people’s lives.
I don’t think there can be a better testament to positive hardcore – then and now.

A sea bound Jules, Photo courtesy of: Jules


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Jules, if you read this, you DID make quite a difference with SBS and AIAC. The one time I saw SBS was the January 1989 reunion and my 15 year old self loved it.

Michael Scondotto

Anonymous said...

"Seeing a middle-aged lawyer singing a song he wrote when he was 16 is totally not hardcore, at least not in my eyes."

Amen brother ...and dibs on the band name "Samoan Transvestites"

Anonymous said...

Thank you Tim and Gordo. You can close up shop and stop updating the site. You'll never outdo this interview.

Thank you Jules. I have total respect for your desire not to have a reunion. Even though a Side By Side reunion will always be at the top of my wish list I realize it's probably better left as just a wish. I don't want to name names so I won't but with all the reunions I've seen over the years only one band ever lived up to the hype. The rest were typically disappointing and better left as a good memory.

That said so many of your songs as simple as they may be still resonate in me decades later. You left a lasting impression and made a difference. At least for me. Thank you.

andy said...


Yehuda said...

Brilliant, compelling interview.

Jules seems like a stand-up guy, and the time and effort he invested in this excellent interview deserves much credit.

And most reunions turn out to be disappointments. So glad that at least one band does not ruin its reputation with reunion lacking passion

DC team: thank you for making this happen.

Mark Anthony G said...

Definitely made a difference in many lives I am certain. Surely had a huge impact on mine, and SBS is never that far from my turntable and a must on every new gadget I acquire.

....even for all of my friends who have moved on, some before Jules some after Jules....SBS is the one band they still love to hear.

Respect to you Jules, for what you did and what you now do. Integrity is in short supply nowadays.

Anonymous said...

That is some real punk rock shit right there. I think older dudes need to take note and see how it should be done.

Seems like a top-notch dude too.

Mike P said...

Bravo! I absolutely loved this interview. Thank you Jules and Double Cross.

waxthirteen said...

It's been a great trip, Jules. Thanks for your time!

Anonymous said...

The last picture is almost like the SBS 7in. cover !!!

reason said...

Great words, Jules. Thank you. A very interesting read for sure.

May I make a wild suggestion?
Since many here enjoyed the read/journey/interview and might have wanted more: could it be an idea to let people send one question to DXC each, and then let you pick, say, 5, and answer these as a "finale" or addendum to the interview chapters?

Anonymous said...

pretty jules is done. let's let it end there, it was perfect in every way. thanks guys, thanks jules.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! A terrific end to the story. Certainly brought me back to those good old days! A great read.

Anonymous said...

not that i wanted this to end...but what else could you ask jules? he really covered it all in incredible detail. i can't imagine there is too much else of substance he could talk about that 5 questions would trigger.

Lost & Found ~ Marblehead, MA said...

Kind of fruity, but am I alone in being kind of psyched to see what they look like now in all these interviews? It's going to be tough to top this one.

Jules mentioned Brian Simmons. Brian did a crazy amount of work for the hardcore scene, for years and years in RI. From putting out records, fanzines & booking countless shows. He now owns and operates the only certified organic farm in RI..

x805x said...

Best interview. Thank you DCxx

Anonymous said...

bummer to see this end. loved every installment. makes me love sbs/aiac more than ever.

Anonymous said...

what a great read, a big thanks to everyone involved...

Anonymous said...

noooooooooooooooo it can't be over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Out of respect to Jules and this entire interview, we're going to leave this as the top entry for a little while and hold off on posting anything further, at least for a few days. We want to give people the opportunity to catch up and or go back and read this interview in it's entirety. There is a link for every interview segment in this final entries intro.

Much appreciation and a huge thanks to Jules and of course thanks to everyone that's been following this interview. See ya back here in a few days. -Tim DCXX

Jose said...

LOVE this! He's got his priorities straight - for all the talk about "family" in hardcore lyrics, he's actually living it. Good on you Jules. I raise a cup of rice dream to you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jules and DCXX. Really interesting and great job. Please continue with this page, I remember great interviews here: Jules, Mastropaolo, Dindji....

Anonymous said...

This is by far the best interview DXC has ever done. I don't know how this interview can be beat.

Jules looks like Aj McGuire(Stop & Think) in his adult age.

Cargawar said...

This series of interviews triggered me to re-listen the SBS/AIAC disco.
1 Question that always keeps popping up, listening to the recordings of a lot of these bands is: why do the guitars sound off key so often? I'm sure at least some engineer of the studio had said anything about that... (just listen to My Life To Love for instance... It's not just SBS ofcourse...)

Amazing how -at the time- we didn't realize the people in all those bands weren't very much older than we were ourselves (and in some cases even younger: I must've been 20 when I picked up the SBS 7" so Jules must've been 16 or 17. Sammy was 15 when he toured Europe with YOT if I recall correctly)
What I'm trying to say is: we picked up on the whole Revelation thing when Sick Of It All toured Europe. We knew YOT and War Zone but all these amazing bands that created a blueprint for our post-teenhood, we didn't know them. We were like kids in a candy store. There was no scene here (The Netherlands) and information about bands and releases was hard to get. There were some Maximum RNR selling points and occasionally some band would tour Europe and we would scavenge their record collection.
It was an awesome time and somehow I'm glad we experienced that era a whole lot different than the original scenesters in the US. It's great reading the background stories of that time now that I'm 40 yo...

Jules said he wouldn't mention names when he was talking about the reunions going on. Well, let me get this off my chest once and for all: What Porcell has been doing lately, cashing in on the success of Judge with that band Bringing It Down is a total fucking disgrace.

Thanx Jules and DCXX!

Tom said...

I have to say that this was a pretty great interview. Jules comes off as caring, sympathetic and above all, humble. I certainly don't get that feel from some other hardcore luminaries.

I was never much a fan of SBS or AIAC before this, but my new found respect for Jules and his bandmates have made me open my eyes to something new.

Anonymous said...

Jules is awesome, he should be proud of his past....LOOK BACK!

Anonymous said...

best interview EVAR! sad it's all over now.

Ă€ngel said...

" (I am happy to have shared what I remember from “back in the day.” But I have no desire to relive it. I was not a musician who lived to play (and keep playing). I am more than happy to turn hardcore over to the new hards. If my music still has any relevance, then kids can cover the songs and make them their own. Then it’s real. Seeing a middle-aged lawyer singing a song he wrote when he was 16 is totally not hardcore, at least not in my eyes.) "

I just wish more people would think like jules about reunion shows and some other stuff, he seems a nice dude and pretty honest also.... With no doubt, the best interview DCXX has ever done until now... keep up the good work gordo and tim!

next interview suggestion: TOMMY CARROLL

best pharmacy said...

not that i wanted this to end...but what else could you ask jules? he really covered it all in incredible detail. i can't imagine there is too much else of substance he could talk about that 5 questions would trigger.