Thursday, 4 December 2008

YD-I interview (new)...

I recently interviewed YD-I, the great and intense hardcore band who put out the classic 'A Place In The Sun' 7" in 1983, and are currently active again. Such a primal sounding band, just watch the video at the bottom to hear just how brutal they were live compared to many of their contemporaries, a guitar led wall of noise. OUT FOR BLOOD!

As a sidenote, listen to Corrosion Of Conformity - Animosity.

Q 1. How and why did YD-I form? Were you all friends?

A. Neil (Jackal) vocals and Brian (Rev Big B) guitar formed Philly's first HardCore band,"The Legion of Decency"which quickly self destructed. Brian then moved to New Jersey where he played guitar in other bands for a while. Neil hooked up with Howard, drums, fresh out of "Pure Hell", Mike Cole on guitar and Chuck on bass. This was the original "Y-Di".Chuck soon left and Brian came back to Philly and took over on bass. This was the main line up through most of the 80's. Eventually,other projects became more important and the band split. About 5 years ago Neil, Brian (now on guitar) and Howard were convinced to do a one shot reunion with Chris Frascella on bass. The show was killer and the band was approached by management to keep going. Mike now lives in Arizona but has input in all we do. We bounce between 3 bass now, Chris Angelino, Chris F, and the sexy Joi Lacour.

Q 2. What was the scene in Pennsyvania like around the time YD-I started playing?

A. The scene in Philly was second to none. All the west coast bands came through (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, DK's etc) and we all became friends. We became tight with most DC and NY bands as well. Harley from NY, Tesco V, and Sab from Iron Cross continue to be good friends.

Q 3. How did you all get into hardcore punk in the first place? What was it that appealed? Can you remember the first band you heard described as 'hardcore'?

A. We were all into and continue to be into old school punk as well as HEAVY heavy metal like Motorhead and Venom. We loved hardcore because it was so over the fuckin' top but especially because it was OUR SCENE. WE MADE IT! RIGHT HERE IN THE GOOD OL USA. We didn't follow anybody else's rules and there weren't any rules to follow. We all just had the same ideas.The first bands were Black Flag,The Circle Jerks,and the Germs!

Q 4. What did your parents/families think of you getting into hardcore? How differently do you think it was seen, to be a punk, in the early 80s compared to today? Did you constantly get hassled?

A. Our families didn't give a shit. Were we hassled? No fucking way! Normal people would cross the street to keep away from us. Back then we all wore spurs on our boots so they could hear us coming a block away. Today nothings new. It's all been seen before. Nobody's shocked, nobody even notices.

Q 5. Was there a defining band of the time you all admired, or were impressed with? What bands were intense and ALWAYS put on a good show?

A. Black Flag, Minor Threat, Iron Cross, GBH, Discharge, Y-Di , the MeatMen, Flipper, Negative Approach etc. We were all always intense. We were all hardcore but we all had a little something special that made us a little different. Most of us were zipping at the time as well. The only bad shows were when someones van broke down and they didn't show up.

Q 6. In sound YDI had more in common with the more aggressive bands from DC and Boston or the Midwest, than other more melodic Philly bands. Did you often play with out-of-town bands, and did bands like SSD, Minor Threat, Negative Approach etc influence you? Also, were any of the band straight-edge?

A. See the other answer for most of that. I don't think we were influenced by other bands but a similar train of thought and playing style did make us sound more like many of the DC bands especially. We were all friends and always playing together so maybe something was in the food... No, nobody in Y-Di was straight edge. In fact we lost a drummer Eric (played drums on the Black Dust LP) to drugs. RIP bro.

Q 8. YD-I had/have 2 members who are black. Did you ever come across much ignorance or racism within the scene? Is the song CATEGORIZED addressing this?

A. Yeah, 2 blacks/American Indians and the Rev. Big B who is a Jew. No, we never saw any racism from anyone but we always give each other shit. But we are a tight motherfucking family. Categorized is more of a finacial/social status thing.

Q 9. You appear on the GET OFF MY BACK Philly comp LP, the regions version of 'Flex Your Head' or 'This Is Boston Not LA'... Can you say a bit about who put this out, and the other bands?

A: I don't really remember much about it other then we all hated the cover.

Q 10. What about Blood Bubble Records?

A: It's our own little unsuccessfull label. Yeah, other then music we're very much into horror movies! Especially Neil.

Q 11. While many dismissed the 'Black Dust' LP as being heavy metal, with fresh ears today it is a lot more punk than people give it credit for. What's your take on this? Were you trying to branch out?

A: At the time we were a little bummed. It was like "they just don't get it". Did we care? NO! Did it sell? YES! So we guess there were enough people out there who liked it. Do I see it on E-Bay? YES! People still ask for it and they got it on the "OUT FOR BLOOD"CD. We weren't trying to "branch out" as such. We still played and still do play the old stuff. It's just that when we got together to write songs that's what came out. There is still alot of KILLER SHIT we recorded but never released that you all might see very soon (hint hint). Psycho Bitch, Six White Horses, and Dirty Dog Day for those who might know.

Q 12. Do you have any funny stories regarding YDI, like an incident at a show? Also, of what show do you have the fondest memories?

A. There are tons of funny/scary stories that are all good but maybe best kept to ourselves. Lots of great memories as well but the one that comes to mind the quickest was only a few months back when Sab from Iron Cross jumped on stage with us to sing their killer song, Crucified. THAT was the shit brother!

Q 13. Why did you decide to start playing shows again, and how has it been so far?

A. See the above answer for why we got back together. It's been a blast so far and we'll keep doing as long as it's fun. Nothing blows our minds more then looking into a crowd and seeing the REALLY YOUNG KIDS singing along. The fact that they know the words tingles our balls.

Q 14. Were you approached about the YD-I footage being included on the American Hardcore movie? Did you see/like the film in the end?

A. Yes we were approached. I guess mainly because they were good enough to ask if they could use the footage as well as pay us. Of course we saw it and we loved it. We were honoured to be part of it. Our hats go off to those guys, GREAT JOB!

Q 15. Where do you think early 80s American hardcore punk fits in to the history of music, and are you proud of what YD-I achieved?

A. We are very proud of what we, the other bands, promoters, and everyone who contributed did. I think it's a huge part of music history. Has there been anything new that's better? Green Day and their likes can blow me. The only good stuff today is the new kids and their idea of what hardcore means to them. The rest is crap.

Q 16. How did you feel when Brutal Truth covered 'I Killed My Family'? Does it ever surprise you that there's still constant interest in YD-I?

A. Yeah, it's cool they did it. But did they give us writing credit? Did they give us a cut of the money they made? Ask them for those anwers. I don't mean to sound like it's about the money cause it's not (Rev.Big B is a Jew though). But in these times we all gotta eat and if we deserve to be paid we should be. Yes, it always surprises us that people still want to see us and listen to our music.

Q 17. Do you have a nice record collection that would pay off all your debts if you were to sell it on Ebay?

A. I don't have any debts right now so I'll hold on them for now. Yeah,I bought everything back then and I've saved it all!

Q 18. How important do you see having some kind of message, whether it be political or social or whatever, to playing in a hardcore band? Where did YDI fit in with the whole MRR peace punk scene versus the more apolitical tougher hardcore bands?

A. Except for a few songs we were not very political. We NEVER preached. We were more about survival and fighting back. Because we are usually armed and dangerous peace is not for us. We don't believe in fighting other peoples battles though. If you're a friend, we'll help you out but learn to take care of yourself! But because we're nuts we love to have fun as well. If you want to party with us, cool. If you want to fuck with us, don't. We've been at this a long time,it's what we do.

Q 19. Any last words?

A. For a bunch of old fucks we're alright aren't we?


Howard said...

now im itchin for some sweet unreleased YDI! great post

Anonymous said...

INSANE band! great.

frankie deny said...

Awesome interview. YDI is so underated in Europe. Not much people know them overhere except for some older punks.

Anonymous said...

YDI is better than all of europe!!!!

Stormy said...

A Place in the Sun is one of my favorite 7"s of the '80s. Crushing stuff. Hell, i even like the LP. ha. Great blog!

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Nicky said...

YDI is one of the most twissted hc band to ever form in the u.s. great post