Monday, March 31, 2008

Mouthpiece - "Can't Kill What's Inside"-The story of a 4 year discography project.




It's been about 4 years now since the idea was planted and talks had begun on putting together a complete Mouthpiece discography.  Originally, the plans were to release it on Livewire Records, which is run by our long time friend Ed McKirdy and myself. As we began scanning massive amounts of photographs, gathering all the recordings and making the plans, the project seemed to grow into a larger than life endeavor.  Trying to juggle our new band, Triple Threat, run Livewire and put together this Mouthpiece project became more than we could handle. Before we knew it, the project had hit a stand still and all work had stopped.


In August of 2005, Triple Threat was booked to play, what was to be, the final Posi Numbers fest.  My friend Larry Ransom, who at the time was working for Revelation Records, had planned to fly out from California for the Posi Number fest.  Larry brought boxes of Revelation merchandise and was going to set up a table for the entire weekend. I decided I would set up a Triple Threat table and hang with Larry for the weekend as well.  At some point during the 3 hour ride home, when the weekend was over, Larry asked me what my plans were with the Mouthpiece discography and if it was ever going to see the light of day.  I told him that I still wanted to see it happen, but it just seemed like such a large task that I had no idea when it would actually be completed.  Then Larry put it out there, "How about Revelation releases it?".  My natural response was, "I doubt they'd really want to do it", but Larry assured me otherwise.  As much as I wanted to release the discography ourselves on Livewire, the opportunity to release it on Revelation was an offer we absolutely could not refuse.  Not only would all the production concerns be taken off our hands, but the thought of our discography finding it's final resting place along side the likes of discographies by Judge, Bold and Gorilla Biscuits was just about as cool as it could get.

Next thing we knew, we were meeting with the engineer from Why Me? Studios, where we had recorded all of our original records at, retrieving the original reels and making our way to another studio that specialized in the preservation of analog reels.  This second studio would bake the original reels to preserve them, then they would digitize all the recorded tracks.  Once digitized, the plan was to take everything to another studio and re-mix the recordings.  Before we ever got the chance to hit the last studio and start the re-mixing process, we ran into yet another road block.  Unlike the past, when signing contracts to a label was as simple as 1,2,3, things today are a little more complicated.  Lawyers are often involved and the process can easily get slowed down because you are now waiting on the lawyers from each side to discuss everything.  First we had to find a lawyer, then we had to go back and forth over various issues and before we knew it, everything seemed to slow down again to another complete stop.

Eventually, Larry, our contact, left Revelation and got a full time job working for pro skater, Mike Vallely.  Not to worry though, another friend who had originally lived here in New Jersey, Bob Shedd, quickly jumped into Larry's place. Bob tried resurrecting the Mouthpiece project with us, but still, the lawyer involvement was holding us back from moving full steam ahead.  We spent a good portion of 2006 going back and forth trying to get things moving, but at the same time, other things were happening.  Our current band, Triple Threat, was in the studio recording for a full length album. The Triple Threat album became our main priority and focus.  Trying to release an LP of your current band and trying to put together a discography of your past band at the same time, just wasn't happening.  Again, the discography work came to a virtual halt.  

At some point during 2007 we began hearing word that Bob was now leaving Revelation.  First Larry, now Bob... this discography just seemed doomed.  It's not like we thought Revelation was going to can the project because our contact was leaving, but it seemed like it would throw another wrench into the works of a machine that had already been broken and repaired numerous times.  With one last ditch effort we reached out to long time Revelation head honcho, Jordan Cooper and voiced our concerns.  Although little progress had been made over the past 2 years, we wanted to assure Jordan that we were still 100% committed to making the project happen.  Jordan assured us that Revelation was still 100% behind the project as well.  Jordan also agreed to be our new contact and before we knew it, things started happening.  

Must have been a combination of good timing, because both sides seemed to have the time to dedicate to the project.  Working one on one with Jordan enabled us to bypass the lawyer interaction and get to the bottom of the contracts.  Within days, the contracts were signed and time was being booked in the studio for the re-mixing to begin. At this point we've had 2 sessions at the studio and are virtually ready to finish up the re-mixing and head into the mastering process.  This past weekend also brought forth 2 full days of lay out and design of the discography.  I took a trip into Brooklyn NY to work together with Ed McKirdy on the lay outs.  We've done the majority of the design work on the Livewire releases together and all of the Triple Threat releases, so it was a natural move to include him in this project.  I think with one more Brooklyn trip, Ed and I can wrap up the lay outs and we'll be that much closer to the completed project, other wise known as Revelation: 147.  We're expecting a summer 2008 release, but once I have the official date, I'll be sure to post the information here.  -TM

Chris Daily - The Smorgasbord Straight Edge Jacket



If you walk into a decent-sized hardcore show today, or take a peak through even the newest releases from young bands, you are bound to spot someone wearing a varsity jacket. While he could very well be a high school senior who is captain of the wrestling team and is wearing his alma matter's colors and letters as a badge of honor and accomplishment, that probably is not the case. More likely, he is wearing this jacket after seeing it being worn by other straight edge hardcore kids, or in records/photos (in reverse chronological order) of bands such as The First Step, Hands Tied, Floorpunch, Mouthpiece, Youth Of Today, Slapshot, and BOLD. Further, it might be totally plain. Or, it might say "STRAIGHT EDGE" on the back. Going a step further, it might have a band name on the back as well, or a city, or a state, and then the words "STRAIGHT EDGE." If you are Rob Fish in 1988, you may put a big X on the front. If you are Chris Zusi in 1990, you might wear this same jacket after trading a bagel for it. Regardless, this jacket is typically only worn by straight edge dudes. And it's an interesting piece of attire, and an undeniable little piece of straight edge "fashion," for lack of a better term. To me, it is actually kind of intriguing because it is such a major departure from punk fashion. It could be quite possibly the furthest thing from a leather motorcycle jacket or some torn up Lee jean jacket covered in patches...even quite the opposite from a flight jacket. Think about it: it is a jacket typically synonymous with community-driven team sports and mainstream youth athleticism. Maybe I am overthinking it, but it is just interesting that it makes absolutely no sense in the hardcore world, yet in the little niche of straight edge hardcore that is rooted in the mid to late 80s, it makes all the sense in the world.

So where the hell did this jacket originate in "our scene?" From a continuous, ongoing investigation, all signs seem to point towards Chris Smorgasbord Daily. If he wasn’t the first, he was definitely a close second. We went to the source.  -Gordo


You must have some memory of actually getting your varsity jacket. As specifically as possible, when would this have been? Where did you get it?


I remember wanting it for a few months before I actually got it. I looked in sports stores all over Pennsylvania and Connecticut (I lived in CT but had family in PA). I ended up finding it at a screen printer in York, PA on a family visit. I asked them about lettering the back but the lead time was too long so I just bought the jacket.


Of all the jackets to help you stay warm through the Connecticut winter, why this? You could have picked a wool parka, a plastic poncho, or a very nice full length pea coat. Was it something that was on sale and just looked cool? As far as I know, you didn't play high school sports. What type of consciousness went into this?


Not really sure where the desire came from to get it. I assume I saw someone with one. I was not a sports dude at all at any point in my life, I was a skater kid in high school so there was zero chance I was going get a "Letter" jacket for some sport. Before I got the varsity jacket I wore an insulated flannel like a lumberjack would wear! I still remember my print shop high school teacher commenting that I finally bought a jacket.


When you got it, did you have the letters put on right away? What was the idea behind this? Had you already done the Smorgasbord shirt design and simply adapted that to the jacket, or vice versa?

I had the jacket for about a month before I found a place in Stamford, CT to letter it. I also had to save up for it because after I bought the jacket I had no more money and all those god damn letters cost almost as the much as the jacket itself. I think the jacket was before the shirts because I remember talking with Tedd Nelson about wanting to make shirts and he suggested that design, modeled after the jacket. But I can not be 100% sure. Thinking back...the shirts were done right after X Marks the Spot was coming out and I know I had the jacket done by the time of the Wide Awake seven inch recording. Looking at the dates of those things, I am going to say the jacket was before the shirts. It's like the chicken and the egg because why the hell would I make a shirt like the back of a varsity jacket if the jacket did not already exist?

Practically every straight edge t-shirt design was very loud and profound - big text, big statements, bright colors. Putting a billboard on the back of a relatively "normal" looking jacket though was kinda like the straight edge equivalent of writing "ANARCHY" on a tattered trench coat. Do you remember feeling like you wear wearing something that was really making a statement? Did people ever wonder what the hell "SMORGASBORD STRAIGHT EDGE" was and what position you played? 

Oh I definitely did it to scream STRAIGHT EDGE. I was a Straight Edge kid through and through. People always asked what it meant, but I have no idea what I told them.

Around the same time, members of BOLD, Youth Of Today, and Slapshot were seen wearing similar varsity jackets. But it's not like these jackets were just a staple in "the scene" that every Jimmy Average was wearing. As far as you recall, did these dudes have varsity jackets before you? Do you remember seeing them wearing them and thinking "Hmm I guess they liked mine?"

I have zero idea of a timeframe for mine compared to other peoples. I would have to think I saw someone's high school jacket and liked it, thought I'd adapt a version to the zine and SXE. The BOLD guys were jocks in school...so maybe they had school jackets?

Regardless of who had what first, various members of the youth crew and the circle you ran in ended up wearing these. Was this discussed? Was it at least acknowledged?

I doubt it, but soon after I got the letters on the back I was at Don Fury’s, as was Porcell. I was standing out front just talking with everyone and Porcell sees a reflection of the back of my jacket on the car window behind me. His eyes lit up...and he was stoked to see the back. Up until then...Champion Hoodies and pegged jeans were the norm. Whether or not I influenced others, I don’t know.

Did Dan from Stop To Think Fanzine ever say anything about your jacket? He ended up with the YOUTH OF TODAY "FREE AT LAST" jacket not long afterwards.

I don't recall ever talking about it with him, but I remember the day he got his. I had no idea he was doing it and I had just moved to an apartment in South Norwalk not far from his house. He wore it in like a badge of honor, it was cool and all but he was not "in" YOT so I thought it was a bit odd. YOT was still around at the time.

You grew up skating and riding BMX and getting into hardcore at an early age in the early to mid 80s, but as far as I know, you never really had a "punk" flair in terms of style. But even then, did you feel as if a varsity jacket was even a departure from the look of Nikes, camoflauge shorts, and a skate or HC shirt? Or did it fit perfectly?

Yea I was never into the style aspect of punk. I wore jeans, army pants or cut-off army shorts. I am not sure I ever really thought about the fashion aspect of my dress, although I am sure it was in my mind in the later years of the youth crew era with the hoodies and stuff. This may sound silly but I was too poor and frugal to be fashionable, even to this day. I did buy a pair of combat boots at Caldor but I NEVER wore them to a show or anything. When my Mom moved 5 years ago she called me and asked me about a "brand new pair of boots" in my old bedroom closet. Aside from the previous mentioned flannel, my punk attire was minimal.

As a guy who stayed connected to the scene even into the 90s, did you notice that kids were still wearing varsity jackets? On some level you had to have thought, "Weird, people wear those still," no? And the same goes for today...kids still wear them.

I do remember seeing them over the years, I always liked them...still do. Never thought it was too odd, not everyone can pull off a leather jacket with CRASS painted on the back.

When did you stop wearing your jacket? Did it end up in a closet? Did you eventually find the look of it silly?

Not sure when I stopped wearing it, I know it lived in a closet for YEARS. I never thought it was silly, although non-hardcore people thought that it was pretty goofy.

When did you sell it, to whom, and for how much?

Not sure of the exact date I sold it, but I sold it on eBay at a time when I was going thru some tough times and needed the money. Dan To Care was who bought it...I think he was from Long Island and it sold for more then I thought it would. It was a sad day to be honest and I wish I still had it.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Youth Of Today / Rhode Island

Slowly but surely I've been converting the majority of my old VHS hardcore video collection over to DVDs. I'm going to try and make it a goal to upload new videos to this site once a week, maybe every two weeks, we'll see how it goes. Some videos you may have seen before, but I'm sure there will be others that you haven't.  I've got a ton of videos and the transfer to DVD is very time consuming, but I think the ultimate result will be a great collection of classic videos that I will be able to share.


I see no better way to start this off, then to give you these two clips of Youth Of Today from Rhode Island.  They opened the set with "Potential Friends", then follow it up with "Honesty".  There's an obvious high level of energy, both coming from the band and from the crowd as well, so this video has always been a favorite of mine.  Take note to the "Honesty" clip, about 1:00 minute into it.  Right after Cappo jumps into the crowd, someone comes from the back of the stage and does a sick flip.  That little chain of events always got me psyched about this video.  So without any further ado, enjoy yourself a nice dose of YOT. -TM




Tuesday, March 25, 2008

X Rated


Released in the Fall / Winter 1987 collection, the Swatch X Rated hit the scene. Bought my first one off a kid I went to school with in the 9th grade and paid $20.00 for it.  I was psyched to say the least.  After gazing through countless straight edge records and fanzines of the day, I almost felt incomplete without one.  Once I had it, I treasured it and treated it like gold.  Twenty years later and the X Rated is still ticking, still worn on a regular basis and still the coolest watch I've ever owned.   -TM

Monday, March 24, 2008

UNIT PRIDE


Originally I had met Eric Ozenne, former frontman for Unit Pride, back in 1995 when he was starting his follow up band to Unit Pride, Redemption 87. Over the years I've kept in contact with Eric and run into him on many occasions. Just about every time we get together or talk, our conversations always go back to Unit Pride. One afternoon in Philly, before a Nerve Agents set (Eric's band after R87), Eric suggested that I should really get in touch with Tim Monroe (former guitarist of Unit Pride) and that Tim would also love to get into some heavy Unit Pride conversation. After some contact exchanges, I was soon in talks with Tim and Eric was right, Tim was way down to talk and share his memories. Tim and I ran into each other a couple times over the past five years, once at a show in Pennsylvania and once at a show in Chicago.  You could tell that like Eric, Tim was cut from the same cloth.  Both very sincere and very down to earth and for a couple of guys that started going to hardcore shows in 1984, I admire the fact that both have maintained a legitimate connection to the hardcore scene of today.  Here's the result of some questions that I threw at Tim, hope you enjoy.  -TM


What was your main focus and inspiration for starting Unit Pride in 1986?

My personal inspiration for starting a band came from all the music and bands I was listening to at the time and the "get up and do it mentality." Bands like the Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, Sex Pistols, 7 Seconds, Dead
Kennedys, and local bands like Rabid Lassie. 

Describe to us where you saw yourself and what importance Unit Pride had on the Bay Area hardcore scene at this point. 

This is a difficult question to answer mostly because I moved out of the Bay Area in '91 and have been gone ever since. I think the biggest impact on the Bay Area hardcore scene though was not one band but the venue everyone played at, Gilman Street. That place gave so many punk/hardcore/ and underground bands a chance to play. Without Gilman, Unit Pride and alot of other bands probably wouldn't have had many chances to play out. That place has been a pilar in the hardcore community since it opened.

I know from talking with Eric, what kind of impact Youth Of Today had on him and how it reflected on his part in Unit Pride. Explain to us the impact Youth Of Today had on you.

I first heard about Youth of Today from a friend and I checked the 7 inch out and I was definitely into that record. It wasn't until the first time I saw them that what they were doing really hit home. I saw them at the Farm in
San Francisco, I think it was '86, the Break Down The Walls line up but with Mike Judge playing drums. They broke into "Expectations" and I was blown away. These guys were up on stage standing up against all the apathy and
violence that plagued the scene at the time. Being 16 or 17 at the time and impressionable, that show had a huge impact on me. I could relate to everything that they were saying and what they were all about. That show
really inspired me and Youth of Today changed the face of hardcore.

When you envision playing a live show, what makes a show picture perfect and fulfills your expectations?

This goes back to the first time I saw Youth of Today again. Their set was insane from the first note of the first song right through "Youth Crew." It was a complete and utter free for all. I had never seen anything like it. So I guess trying to live up to that standard would be the benchmark of the picture perfect show.

Tell me about the best show you ever saw, who played, where it was and what made this show stand out?

I have to break this one down into three parts....
1.) For sentimental reasons I list my first show, the Toy Dolls at the Stone in Santa Clara in '84. Everyone spitting on the band, I was hooked after that show.
2.) Any and every Rabid Lassie show ever.
3.) The Youth of Today show at the Farm.

Lets talk about BOLD. I know you have a particular fondness for this band.  What is it about BOLD that hit home for you?

My admiration for Bold actually stems from Crippled Youth. When they started they were so young, I was amazed at how great that 7 inch was.

Any interesting stories about BOLD that you would like to share?

Yeah, the first time Bold came to California they did some shows in the Bay area and the Unit Pride kids put them up. To get ready for their shows they practiced in my garage. That definitely ruled (Alex Brown played guitar because Zulu couldn't make it out). They were all cool to hang out with and good people.

What was it about the style of dress that these New York City hardcore bands had that attracted you and in turn reflected in your own style?

Rather than limiting to just the NYC style of dress but rather all punk and hardcore style appeals to me just because it's sort of a "do your own thing" attitude associated with it.

How is it that Unit Pride ended up on Stepforward records? Wasn't there some talk about releasing an EP on Revelation? Do you think anything might have been different had you released the EP on Rev?

Honestly I can't confirm if Revelation actually approached us about putting the EP out or not. If they had it would have been through Ozenne. I know we already committed to StepForward, so we were going to honor our
commitment regardless. Rev is a great label and if they put the Unit Pride 7 inch out I would have been incredibly honored by it. But I'm happy the way the record turned out nonetheless.

Talk about your east coast tour with Unit Pride. Looking back, what were the highs and lows of that tour?

Looking back, the Aaron Straw Benefit show we played at the Anthrax was incredible and definitely a highlight. We actually stayed out on the East Coast longer than we intended just to play the show and it was worth it.
Just meeting tons of cool people and traveling the east coast ruled. It would have been nice to have done that more than once. We toured with Up Front and those guys are great people and we had a blast with them.

To me Unit Pride, had you stayed together, could have been and should have been a much bigger and more important band. What brought about the break up of Unit Pride and in your eyes, what do you think lied in the future of Unit Pride had you stayed together?

Honestly, I like the fact that Unit Pride didn't overstay our welcome and weren't overexposed.

Even though Unit Pride has been broken up for some 19 years, ideally how would you like to be remembered and what are you most proud of when you think back?

Just the fact that Unit Pride is remembered at all is satisfying to me. When I first moved to Chicago, I met a couple of kids in my dorm that owned the Unit Pride 7 inch and I was amazed. Just being part of that great late 80's
scene is an honor. It seemed like every weekend there was an amazing show.

Top 5 hardcore 12"s and 7"s of all time?

This probably changes on a daily basis but today.......

Top five hardcore 12 inchs: (in no particular order)

Youth of Today -Break Down the Walls
Circle Jerks - Group Sex
Black Flag - Damaged
Misfits -Walk Among Us
Gorilla Biscuits -Start Today

Top five 7 inchs:

Antidote - Thou Shall Not Kill
Minor Threat -Filler
Negative Approach
Youth of Today -Can't Close My Eyes
Crippled Youth -Join the Fight

Final words of inspiration or suggestion to a kid just getting into hardcore in 2008?

A suggestion I would make to a kid just getting into hardcore is just go out and do it. Get involved. That's the beauty of punk/hardcore to me, you get out of it what you put into it. So start a band, do a 'zine, go to shows, or put on shows and give new bands a chance. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity for a shameless plug , I'm doing a new band - "Wound Up" so if you get a chance check it out. We're currently recording a record on "ManicRide Records" (formerly Dead Alive) which should be out late summer or fall.Thanks!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Having My Say - by Gordo

"Yo you hear Tim is doing a zine? It's gonna be called Double Cross."
When I was first told this, Tim was busy getting underway with Hands Tied, and yet I was just a thirteen year-old young buck trying to beg a ride to the next Floorpunch show and figuring out how to cop a Way It Is LP with the booklet. But in my mind, this sounded like it was gonna be the greatest thing to be printed on paper. A modern day recipe of Schism mixed with a dose of Boiling Point, from the brain of a dude who saw the coolest shit first hand, there was no way this could be anything short of modern day straight edge hardcore perfection. And even with roughly 600 core-related activities on my "things to do" list, being one of the first people to acquire Double Cross Fanzine #1 was definitely at the top. But just like a Project X "Edge Of Quarrel" LP, the issue proved non-existent and that was a bummer.

At some point over the next decade, Tim went from being the singer of a couple of my favorite bands to one of my best friends, and the topic of Double Cross Fanzine would continuosly come up. Many breads were broken discussing interviews, stories, photos, layouts, etc., and I definitely wanted on board. Somehow the blog medium was discussed, and even though I think both of us had some hesitancy about the whole "blog" concept (I personally still dislike the term), we ultimately realized that this was gonna work best for what we want to do. And really, this is Tim's pet creation - I am just down to be along for the ride. The idea: various topics and tidbits connected to straight edge hardcore that at least we think are worthy of some binary archiving and discussion.

It's 2008, and I'm not regularly going to shows, too apprehensive and complacent about doing a print zine, and not really doing a full fledged band. But sitting down to eat tremendous amounts of food with Tim, Ed and company and talking for five to six hours about the finer points of hardcore is probably my favorite thing to do. Maybe that's not your thing. But if it is, and you haven't made it out with us to Stuff Your Face, Scavo's, or The Robin, then grab a (diet) soda and get comfortable. I'd like to think that this site basically serves as a sample of "minutes" that could be taken from an outing at any of the fine restaurants we close down in the tri-state area on a random weekend night. -Gordo XXX

Where It Went


Filmed in April of 1990 at Trenton New Jersey's City Gardens, this is the Judge "Where It Went" video. This was definitely one of the highlight shows of my show going experiences. Like usual, I remember showing up to the show early and hanging around outside the club. Echoing through the empty venue was Judge playing "Where It Went", over and over again. Before the doors opened, the film crew were capturing some of the up close angles of the band members without the interruption of the crowd. Some friends and I would crack open the side doors to sneak a quick peek of the action. By the time the show started and most importantly, Judge hit the stage, the entire club was in a frenzy. Everyone knew the cameras were on and everyone wanted to get themselves on film, so the "No Stagediving" rule usually kept in mind at a City Gardens show, was quickly thrown out the window. I recall Judge either opening with "Where It Went", or at least playing it very early in their set. The crowd went insane, but I think a lot of people held back because they didn't want to risk getting thrown out and missing the remainder of Judge's set. By the end of the set, Mike announced to the crowd that they were going to play "Where It Went" one more time, only this time Mike urged the crowd not to hold back. This time was nothing less than pure insanity, bodies were hurling everywhere. I was determined to get a piece of the action, so I made my way on to and quickly off the stage and on top of the crowd. Before anyone knew it, the song was over, the set was complete and a very memorable night had come to an end. When all was said and done, I did manage to get myself in the video Unfortunately my appearance wasn't for a stage a dive, but for a sing along. For a Judge video, I'll take what I can get. -TM


Intro 2008

The year was 1986 and skateboarding was my life. With skateboarding came complete and total submergence into anything and everything that was associated with it. Thrasher magazine was my bible. Through reading Thrasher, I discovered skate rock, punk rock and hardcore. Not too long into this discovery I meet a local kid who ends up giving me a formal introduction to the real world of punk and hardcore.


Before I know it, I'm finding myself at my first show. It was June 27th of 1987 with the Descendents, Rollins, M.I.A and a band called Cancerous Growth. The club was a local one in Trenton, NJ called City Gardens and I was all of 13 years old. Along with this early introduction period, fanzines were a big part of what was going on. Within the year I found myself putting together my first fanzine, comprised of a mix of skating and hardcore, properly named "Slew." Over the next year and a half I did three issues of Slew, interviewing bands like B'LAST!, McRad, Pagan Babies, Aware!, Unit Pride, Bold and Turning Point. By late 1988, I decided to combine my efforts with a friend and put together a bigger and better fanzine that would truly capture what was going on around us.


We decided upon the name Common Sense and drew a lot of inspiration from other great fanzines of the time. Fanzines like Boiling Point, Schism, Smorgasbord and Open Your Eyes were the blueprint to what we wanted to do with Common Sense. Over two issues we interviewed bands like Youth Of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, Chain Of Strength, Alone In A Crowd, No For An Answer, Sick Of It All, Insted, Vision, Turning Point, Release, Enuf and Up Front. Doing Common Sense was an incredible experience and it vastly took my involvement in hardcore to a whole new level. By 1989 I was so involved and so inspired by so many great bands, that I knew I had to take my involvement to the next level...I had to start my own band.


1990 gave birth to Mouthpiece and I found myself as the man behind the mic. Six years later brought forth the end of Mouthpiece, but also the beginning of a new band. This band would be known as Hands Tied. Along with Hands Tied, I started getting the urge to jump back into the fanzine scene once again. Over the years I had managed to collect a massive pile of band photos and found myself in touch with bands all over the world. I decided upon the name Double Cross, which came from talking to an old pen pal from San Francisco, CA area in the late 80s. This guy had told me about a band called Double Cross, which was to be the new Unit Pride, since Unit Pride was breaking up. I don't remember all the details, but it was supposed to be a total straight edge band. Unfortunately I don't believe anything ever came of the band, but the name always stuck in my head. This guy that I use to write was an artist and had drawn and designed the last Unit Pride shirt for their east coast tour, he also designed a logo for this never-to-be band, Double Cross. I recall the logo looking incredible and that was another reason that the name never left my head.


From 1996 through 1997 I began piecing things together for the first issue of Double Cross fanzine. I did one massive interview with Porcell after a Shelter show in Asbury Park, NJ. Unfortunately, doing the band Hands Tied and trying to put together the fanzine proved to be too large of a task for me to juggle successfully. The result was Double Cross would lie dormant over the next three years.


By late 1999 into early 2000 I started picking the pieces back up and trying to assemble Double Cross once again. I did two more interviews: Tim Monroe from Unit Pride and a absurdly long five hour interview with Matt Warnke of Bold. Because that interview with Matt was so long, transcribing it became too overwhelming of a task. Sure I could have cut it down and edited it into something more manageable, but there was truly no content I wanted to leave out. Again, the result was a fanzine that would lie dormant for another four years.


In 2004 Double Cross was again resurrected, but this time as a means to create, design and release three different t-shirt designs. The plan was to do the shirts and kick off Double Cross as an online web zine. The shirts were done and sold, but once again, the unfortunate reality was that the web zine never came to fruition despite tons of concept ideas.


So here we are over ten years since the inception of Double Cross and it is finally seeing the light of day as a web zine / blog. Ideally, with the help of Gordo, I'd like to keep this updated regularly with new photos, interviews and writings. We'll do our best to get the word out as things are updated, but please check back often. Thanks and take care. -TM