Monday, 30 June 2008
I am surprised that 'Systems Overload' won, even though it would have been my firt choice. Melnick worship. 'Those Who Fear Tomorrow' didn't even get any votes for the first couple of days the poll was up, which was another surprise, as is the fact that someone voted for the INTEGRITY/MAYDAY split 7" as their favourite... Although a good record, that's crazy; maybe they just prefer Mayday to Integrity overall.
Also, even though I don't agree, I respect the fact that some people prefer RINGWORM's 'The Promise' to any INTEGRITY record. It IS a total classic.
And if you're wondering why I didn't include your favourite album 'Closure', '2000' or 'To Die For' on the list, this probably isn't the right blog for you...
Those Who Fear Tomorrow: 5 (12%)
Integrity/Mayday split 7": 1 (2%)
Systems Overload: 15 (38%)
Seasons In The Size Of Days: 2 (5%)
Humanity Is The Devil: 9 (23%)
In Contrast Of Sin: 1 (2%)
I prefer Ringworm - The Promise: 6 (15%)
Saturday, 28 June 2008
Jay: We were from the other side of the Potomac River, and were not straight edge. At the time most of the Dischord folks still lived in DC or were just moving across the river into Arlington. We also were not intently trying to be "in" the scene, we had our own little scene in VA, and didn't really see the sense in hanging on someone else's party. We had our own. As far as fitting in, we ended up with lots of friends in the DC scene, played shows with most of the bands we liked and got to take advantage of the greatness that was happening. So while not conforming or trying to be in, we still ended up in the same scene.
7. Were Media Disease your 'brother band' so to speak? Were you also friends with No Trend (another real outsider band)?
Jay: Media Disease were all our close friends. We played parties/shows with them, hung around, and were basically the Northern Virginia hardcore scene's main bands. John, the singer, was one of Mike Brown's school friends, so yeah we were brother bands for sure. No Trend, not really. Mike Salkind, our original drummer, joined them for a couple of records/tours. Personally, I don't know any of them other than Mike. The first couple of records were good. Live, i found them mostly painful to sit through, but that may be because they played a lot of shows, and played real long sets.
8. United Mutation are often credited with being a pioneering band to mix psychedelic music styles with hardcore. Were you influenced by 60s psych bands heavily? Were drugs involved?
Jay: All members of UM listened to 60's psychedelic music. John Fox and I were and still are fans of the San Francisco sound - Dead, Airplane, Country Joe, Quicksilver + lots of other stuff like the 13th Floor Elevators, Electric Prunes, then stuff like Zappa, Beefheart, Hawkwind, Gong... All that stuff played into our heads/music. As far as drug use, we were pot head types, not hard drug users. No one in our band was ever involved with hard drugs. We did try and expand our music into a psyche direction, but more into the weirdness of it not the flowery bits. Hawkwind was more of an influence than most other bands. But stuff like Butthold Surfers were high on our list as well. Alternative Tentacles and SST bands all had the same kind of vibe aswell. Though not so many Dischord type bands touched that vibe... Void did I guess, and 9353.
9. Is it true you hung out in your basement most of the time and rarely played shows?
Jay: It is true we hung out in our basement, and we did practice a lot. There weren't that many shows so almost everyone got a lot of practice in, it shows when you listen back to the DC records of the time, bands like Faith, Marginal Man, Scream, those bands kicked ass big time. We had to work hard as the competition was fierce. In general, UM played out a couple of times a year. But that was about all you coule expect in the time frame.
10. What's the funniest story you have to tell from the UM days?
Jay: Funniest story... Mike Brown doing a backflip onstage and landing on a full can of beer, and the geyser shooting between his legs in front of the entire Wilson Centre was pretty funny... Getting to play with the Dead Kennedys because we said we would play for free was pretty funny as well as a great business decision, careerwise.
11. How did the transition between the two 7"s come about, in sound? Were you just listening to more Beefheart? I think Rainbow Person is a true masterpiece of the genre (or any genre), and an example of a band truly pushing the boundaries. What are your thoughts on this?
Jay: Thanks for the kind words. RP is still pretty solid, it has stood the test of tie where other discs have not. In general I think all UM stuff still holds its own, though we were contacted by a Major/Independent label recently, and we were interested in signing with them, but the main dude thought UM was "too lo-fi"... which in comparison to some things is true, but I never thought of us as a lo-fi band... What like Luna? hahaha... Transition was just a natural one, we wanted to make RP more like a whole disc of Lice And Flies, which I guess it is in some capacity. We were trying to push the edge, but the songs just happened as they came about. We just happened to mesh well together and the songs were just the way they came out.
12. How did Mike Brown come up with such a disgusting, and amazing, voice (years before many death metal and hardcore bands would adopt similar styles)?
Jay: Mike Brown's voice... No effort was made, that's the way it came out. He eid work on it after the fact but it was never planned as a vocal style. We have been touted as being innovators in the style as well as criticized by people who seem to think we were bandwagon jumpers, but the truth is, that was Mike's voice. What you hear is what it was.
13. Why is the track on the Bouncing Babies compilation under the name 'The Last Minute'? Is it all the same members?
Jay: Infinite Regression on Bouncing Babies was from our first session as Inner Ear with Steve Kirkland. We went in after Billy quit, and Steve joined just to keep up the momentum, and to get Steve used to the studio. We got a few tracks done, early version of Rainbow Person tracks mostly and some old UM standards. Fountain Of Youth contacted us and we wanted to use something with Steve on drums, and that was all we had mixed. It had me on vocals... It was kind of in between EP's. Band line up on it is John Fox on guitar, Steve on drums and me on bass/vocals.
14. Explain where the sample on 'Rainbow Person' came from, with the mentally unstable person talking about aliens etc?
Jay: The sample was recorded by Mike Brown and some of his friends. It was recorded in Old Town, Alexandria, VA. The guy was a homeless person who was ranting on about all sorts of things. I think some of the samples on the Malefice: Lotus Blossom LP came from the same era.
15. What are your top 5 hardcore records ever, and why?
Jay: Top 5 huh...
Damaged by Black Flag: Flag at this era were unstoppable. Two guitars, Dukowski, and Henry... No way to top.
Minor Threat, first 1 EPs: Minor Threat in the original format brand new were great. They lost something with 2 guitars in my opinion. But Out Of Step has some killer songs.
In A Car by Meat Puppets: Perfect example of what's great about punk rock. It can be anything, noise rock, psychedelic. This EP was the predecessor to the future.
What Makes A Man Start Fires by Minutemen: M-Men changed my life with this one. It showed you could be punk rock without having to be hardcore the spirit of D Boon lives on.
In God We Trust Inc by Dead Kennedys: Harder faster does rule.
16. What bands have you been in since United Mutation, and tell us a bit about your record label...
I've been in about 40 bands seriously. I have been a hired gun and a member of so many bands since UM kind of took a break. Most were one-off shows, some in Antarctica, where that tends to happen. I only consider bands that have played live, ones that did aren't bands in my opinion. UM is not over, it's just spread thin. Highlights--- most recent: Into The Ether, Birmanray, The Jane Wymans, Goiter, Anesthesia... It looks like I will be joining yet another band here in the near future, Denver punk trash band Daisy Cutter. It features Critter on drums who was the original drummer for Fang.
The follow are the most prolific or engaging post-UM bands...
1. Bullhead: Features all members of UM. Basically an offshoot of the UM theme.
2. Anesthesia: Lo fi druggy psychedelic stuff, kind of Velvet Underground/Luna/Television/Sonic Youth.
3. Birdmanray: All instrumental space rockish punk stuff, incorporated poets as vocals, lots of improv live. Performed with dangers/film/lightshows as "Fragments of Divine" but was really just Birdmanray.
4. Into The Ether: Most recent band, basically Birdmanray doing songs as well as the improv sets. Space punk like more recent Hawkwind stuff.
5. Jane Wymanns: Matt Hurley set list, kind of an offshoot of Anesthesia, Garegey punk folk.
6. Goiter: Ugly punk/hardcore, lots of weirdo songs. Kind of negative on purpose.
My label, Livingnightengale is an offshoot of DSI, which is currently just kind of floating in limbo along with everything else John Fox is doing these days. We have 3 released on the label, 1.) White Cold Days: Music from the McMurdo Station Scene, all 3 acts are from the Antarctic music scene. This is all attached to my job, which is based sometimes in Denver and other times in the Antarctic. All bands are doing original music. 2 tracks recorded in Antarctica, 2 in New Zealand, 2 in Denver. 2.) Historic Huts Of The Ross Sea, DVD slide show by Ed Anderson, photojournalist. Musical soundtrack by Savage Republic/Scenic, Bruce Lichers BNDs Score The Hut Tour. 3.) Shit From An Old Notebook Compilation CD, produced for the art gallery show of the same name. Features music from various bands I have played in, with outtakes, demos, live tracks etc... Bands include United Mutation, Pre-Mutation stuff, Mainline, Jane Wymann's etc... Hope to have Rainbow Person as LVG#4 split with DSI out this fall/winter... Other things in the queue are Sir Edmund Hillary Tribute CD/DVD...
17. Could you write a quick discography, including demos and a time frame, since there's been lots of confusion regarding this...
Dark Self Image: 1980-1981 home demos only
Quick Relief : 1981-1982 Spring demo at Inner Ear, later became UM demo after.Overdubs of Mike Brown on vocs UM: 1982 Fall demo at Inner Ear, later appeared on Mixed Nuts Don't Crack.
UM: 1982-1983 Home demo with Billy Fox. Never released.
UM: 1983 Summer demo at Inner Ear Billy Fox on drums, Fugitive Family EP.
UM: 1983 Winter demo at Inner Ear first demo with Steve Kirkland. The Bouncing Babies version of Infinite Regression from this session, as well as Rock N Roll Party Mix off Freaks Out LP.
UM: 1984 Summer demo, Inner Ear, Rainbow Person EP from this. As well as Sensations Fix, which was re-mixed in the fall for the Alive And Kicking compilation EP.
18. Tell us a bit about what the other UM guys are up to now too; Billy playing jazz etc?
Jay: Billy is playing jazz and other styles of music, John Fox is into Hawaiin music, Mike Salkind plays in various bands here in Colorado, we jam about once a year just for fun. Steve is still MIA, no one has seen him in years. To my knowledge he's not doing any music on a professional level, which is sad. Mike Brown has a studio in his house and is doing psychedelic hip hop type stuff, and whatever else he feels like playing.
I usually have about 2 bands going at any time.
19. Are you glad there is still interest in a band that's been split up for so many years? Have you seen the rising prices your records go for on Ebay now too?
Jay: I'm very pleased that people are still into the UM thing as we all spent a lot of years and time on the whole project. It's great that hardcore in general is still around and people still want to hear it. It's funny, we never thought about the band being done, it's just in limbo, we could play any day and still have fun and make music, I guess kind of like Fugazi. They aren't really broken up just doing other things.
20. Any last words?
Jay: Thanks for your interest and the great questions... It is appreciated on every level.
From the insert to the 'Rainbow Person' EP.
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
A cool thing about this band is that they were playing a style of fast hardcore at a time when it wasn't popular or particularly cool to do so. When many of their contemporaries were either broken up, playing heavy metal or college rock, SONS OF ISHMAEL kept on playing fast DRI-influenced hardcore punk, from 1985 to their break up in 1991. Listening to this record you'd think it was from 1982 rather than 1987, they seemed trapped in some timewarp oblivious to everything going on around them. Sure it's generic, but they didn't care, they were just playing simple youthful hardcore, not attempting to win any prizes for pushing the envelope or receiving a pat on the back for following whatever trends were going on at the time...The fact that they listened to the shitty mix of this record and thought "yeah this sounds good, let's get it pressed!" is a testament to their simple charm... Their record after this, 'Sings Generic Crap', is definitely a stronger listen and I'll post that too sometime in the future.
Monday, 23 June 2008
The interview from Tilt #8 is an interesting read; the interviewer questions the bands over them being macho, equates their horror-inspired lyrics with singing about porn/snuff, and criticises their "misogyny" and interest in serial killers. The last answer givcen sums up their attitude in response: "What a stupid question. Fuck off.". I guess the VOORHEES were kind of in 'the wrong place at the wrong time' during thie period: the politicized hardcore scene of the mid-90s, and 'right on' attitudes towards everything from what you should sing about to how you should act on stage, meant the band's violent imagery and sense of humour went over the scene's collective heads... They were 'the real deal', to quote ANTIDOTE. Oh well, I know I'd rather listen to VOORHEES and watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre than listen to ENDPOINT or any number of other bad 90s bands... does that make me a bad person? Click on the images to see bigger readable versions...
Sunday, 22 June 2008
I'm making this post/upload because I was just listening to the F.O.D. (Flag Of Democracy) LP 'Shatter Your Day', and some of the songs (especially from side B) made me think "hmm, this sorta sounds like Negazione". There's an insight into the mental processes that lead to new posts...
Download Negazione: Lo Spirito Continua here.
This is a great record, don't believe any one who tells you otherwise. While probably not quite as good as their masterpiece 'Condannati A Morte Nel Vostro Quieto Vivere', this is definitely my 2nd favourite Negazione record...I prefer both to 'Tutti Pazzi'. Anyway, Negazione were, in my opinion, one of the best Italian hardcore bands... just ignore their later records (basically anything after this one) because their songs gradually got longer and the metal/hard-rock influence took over. Slapshot even covered a fairly bad later Negazione song 'Back To My Friends' on their shitty album 'Unconsciousness'... weird eh.
Up to this point, Negazione just played perfect high energy hardcore. They were inventive and unpredictable, with constant time changes and odd guitar progressions. Furthermore Zazzo's voice is just WILD. The perfect example of how intense and unhinged-sounding vocals can carry along a good hardcore record. Fuck, all those monotone sing-by-numbers hardcore bands should take a lesson from the Italian masters (see Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers, Chain Reaction and Declino as other great examples of crazy vocalled greatness). Plus, like many great Italian hardcore bands, THEY USE A COWBELL (to great effect).
Back to the guitar work; Roberto is another one of my favourite hardcore guitar players, and his riffs are instantly memorable. They take just the right amount of metal/crossover influence, echoing US bands like The Accused, Suicidal and Adrenalin OD, and more straight forward hardcore bands like Verbal Abuse... Overall it's clear that Negazione were taking their cues from what was going on in the US rather than the UK/Europe, in terms of hardcore (fellow Italians Wretched were diametrically much more influenced by UK bands). Nevertheless, Negazione still sang in Italian for the most part and, along with Spanish, I think Italian really is one of the best languages for hardcore - the way it flows, its stucture and its speed just suit the style perfectly...
Anyway, listening to Negazione brings to mind the image of a huge 80s Italian circle pit with bandanas, checkered shirts and homemade sleveless US hardcore shirts aplenty...What more do you want?
DID I MENTION THEY USE A COWBELL?
Thursday, 19 June 2008
It was no surprise that the Cro Mags demo would win this one. More interesting is the fact that Citizens Arrest came second! I'm not sure if that's a sign of a growing general appreciation of that great band, or just a reflection of the kinds of people who read my blog (i.e. similar tastes in hardcore)... I feel sorry for the Krakdown and Warzone 'Tommy Rat' demos though (as if they were living entities)...
Cro Mags AOQ demo
Krakdown 87 demo
Breakdown 87 demo
Citizens Arrest demo
Beyond Dew It demo
Raw Deal 88 demo
Warzone Tommy Rat demo
Life's Blood demo
Daryl doesn't answer that many questions, the other three guys field most of the answers...it's interesting to read what they had to say. For example, how Patrick states he wouldn't want to play with SICK OF IT ALL or KILLING TIME, Joe and Janis debating the place of religion in hardcore, discussion of attitudes towards the ABC NO RIO scene...
However probably the most interesting thing in the interview (if you're a nerd like me) is the reference to a cover-song 7" which was in the works and was going to feature BORN AGAINST, CITIZENS ARREST, INFEST (covering SIEGE), NEANDERTHAL (covering CRUDE SS) and RORSCHACH (covering SEPTIC DEATH). Fuck! I wonder what the BORN AGAINST and CITIZENS ARREST covers were going to be? I assume RORSCHACH were the only band to record their song for it (Hardware, which ended up on the split 7" with NEANDERTHAL)... Also, there's mention of a possible split LP with BORN AGAINST! Could have been so good. I think I'm going to make a post soon about all the best COULD-HAVE-HAPPENED-BUT-DIDN'T hardcore records...Just to bathe in a idealised appreciation of what could have been rather than what was...YES.
Once again, thanks to Papst Benedickt XVI for the scans.
P.S. Thoughts for the day: the URBAN WASTE EP is better than most other 7"s, so people should stop pretending that other certain records are as good as it, or even better (MECHT MENSCH?? Come on, be serious!...). Also, INTEGRITY without Melnick's guitar work - pale imitation...
Friday, 13 June 2008
Thursday, 12 June 2008
I have to say, NO COMMENT are one of my favourite bands and Brent is one of my favourite guitarists. The riffs just keep coming, all within short spaces of time other bands would struggle to fill. NO COMMENT simply manage to make each 20/30 second song matter, with numerous time changes and progressions that still sound fresh and exciting each listen. This is one band that just does not get boring to listen to, ever. An interesting thing to note from this interview is that Brent states he had a nervous breakdown following the release of 'Downsided', and says the next record would have been based upon this experience. Fuck, if only they'd have recorded this third record...it would probably have caused the universe to implode. Does anyone know what Brent is doing nowadays?
Personally, regarding the question of whether I prefer the CROSSED OUT 7" or NO COMMENT's 'Downsided' 7", I have to go for the latter...it's just such a PERFECT record, that I couldn't say I preferred CROSSED OUT with a clear conscience (that's not to say their 7" isn't perfect too ... it's just not as perfect). It's a total step up from the 'Common Senseless' EP (which is also right up there in terms of greatness, but sounds more like an updated version of early-DRI and doesn't quite reach the same level of intensity as 'Downsided'). I mean, it was originally meant to be an LP, but the 11 songs written didn't even last 10 minutes. Fucking hardcore. Also, it's probably one of the fastest hardcore records there is without getting into grind territory. The only people who could possibly dislike it are those who haven't heard it yet, and complete idiots.
Also, note the flyer in the background of the second page: BORN AGAINST, CROSSED OUT, NO COMMENT, MAN IS THE BASTARD ... what a show!
Click on the pictures to see larger readable versions.
p.s. if you like NO COMMENT, and haven't heard LOW THREAT PROFILE (Andy Beattie's band with Matt from INFEST on guitar), see the post further down the page...
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
I know very little about this band, other than that they were from Western Mass, the same area as the OUTPATIENTS and DEEP WOUND, and that this demo came out in 1983. Like the OUTPATIENTS, DA STUPIDS seem to have been lost in obscurity, atleast compared to other Massachusetts hardcore bands. This is perhaps due partly to the fact that both bands were from Western Mass and not the city, so were not affiliated with the X Claim crowd nor the Modern Method bands as far as I know...perhaps DEEP WOUND too would have been forgotten (or atleast be more obscure) if members didn't go on to form more popular bands.
Since I don't know anything else about them, I can't re-tell any stories about them getting into fights with Al Barile, or beating up DEEP WOUND onstage leading to Lou and J to abandon playing hardcore, or threatening to sue THE STUPIDS from the UK over their namesake. If any of these stories actually happened, let me know. I guess I'll just have to write about the music...This is great hardcore punk; out-of-control and wild, psychotic and distinctive vocals, guitars that are all over the place. It's a bit like early MEAT PUPPETS meets NO THANKS. I believe they also shared members with PAJAMA SLAVE DANCERS (who's early stuff is also good).
By the way I think they also had a female singer, although I'm not 100%, it could be a eunuch or teenage boy (i.e. CRIPPLED YOUTH). Still...listen to a song like 'Ex-Communique' and try telling me that's a guy. I'm probably just an idiot: if any one knows the truth, or has an actual hard-copy of this demo, please get in touch or leave a comment...
REVIEW from Maximum Rock'n'Roll #11, Jan/Feb 1984.
"Some good psycho thrash noise with distinctive vocals, reminiscent of the Meat Puppets, the Butthole Surfers, and the Crucifucks. The recording is fine, and it makes for interesting listening, but the lyrics are as goofy as their band name indicates.-Tim Yohannon"
Monday, 9 June 2008
What can I say about CROSSED OUT? One of the best 90s hardcore bands, seriously god-like and a defining band of the power violence "genre". Just listen to the split with MAN IS THE BASTARD if you want to listen to perfection. Such a raw sound, huge floor tom hits, such intense vocals from Dallas, the dirge...Constantly imitated but never matched (SCAPEGOAT sure give it a good try though. Great 7").
This interview sums them up really. Anti-social, with short answers to match their short songs. Unlike some of their contemporaries, CROSSED OUT would never be likely to publish a 20 page political booklet with their records (Crimethinc anyone?), or spout out incessantly about the ills of society in interviews. They were straight to the point, musically and aesthetically: a single blow with a hammer to the skull. In that spirit, I'll keep things short...here's the interview (click photos to see larger readable versions).
This interview was done with their bassist Craig and guitarist James. Craig now sings for WASTE MANAGEMENT, and plays bass in MIND ERASER. I'm not sure what the other members are up to now, so if you know leave a comment.
Q. First of all, introduce yourself and tell us who else is in the band and what does everyone play?
Craig: My name is Craig and I play bass. James plays guitar, Chris sings, and Eli plays drums. I believe we started in 2002, with our friend Ian on drums. He played on the first 7" and helped us write the LP.
James: Yeah our first show was in March of 2002.
Q. Is this your first band? Give us a rundown of band/s that you or other SG members have been involved with?
Craig: Yeah, SG was my first band. I'm also in Rampage now and James was in Police Beat. Eli is in R'n'R.
Q. Is your name a POISON IDEA reference or am I wrong? How fuckin good is that band?
Craig: People ask us that all the time, but its not. It's actually a line from the Citizen's Arrest song "Utopia". And yeah, Poison Idea is great of course.
James: Craig and I were in Blockbuster video one night looking for a movie and talking about Citizens Arrest and at one point one of us said "let's call the band Say Goodbye, like in Utopia". It's not the best name, but we were seriously starved for good ideas so we just went with it.
Q. Are you all from the same area? Whats the area like?
Craig: Yeah, we all live in southeastern Massachusetts right now. Its alright I guess. Its about a half-hour drive to either Providence or Boston. Its nice and quiet. I'm not a fan of living in the
James: I grew up near New Bedford which is about an hour south of Boston, real close to Providence. I moved about a half hour north to be closer to school and the band. I like visiting cities, but I prefer living in a laid back, suburban/slightly rural area.
Q. What bands do you all listen to, and what influences the SG sound?
Craig: Well collectively we're all pretty into Black Flag, Infest, SSD, DYS, Cro-Mags, Adolescents, Bad Brains + you know, all the good stuff. Basically we just try to avoid sounding like the watered down bands that often pass for hardcore nowadays.
Q. What are some of your favourite current bands and are you encouraged by the "old school" resurgence recently? Are there many good shows in your area?
Craig: Well I guess its in the eye of the beholder. I'm pretty picky about what I like. I really like the 86 Mentality record and I'm looking forward to the new Annihilation Time and Mind Eraser LP's. And if by old school resurgence you mean listening to more 80's bands or whatever, then yeah I'm obviously down with that. And yeah, there are a decent amount of shows. Touring bands always play Boston or Providence, so that's cool. Regeneration in Boston should start having shows soon, then things will start to get good.
James: Our area does have lots of good bands playing often, both local and non-local...alot of the time turnouts are bleak when smaller bands play and I think alot of kids around here are spoiled but there are still quite a few who come out to lots of shows.
Q. What has been your favourite show so far?
Craig: Anytime we play Toronto or Montreal. The kids up there are super nice and always make us feel welcome. Great bands from Canada too: Fucked Up, Career Suicide, Inepsy, etc.
James: Ya Canada is my favorite place to play also. The kids are appreciative, supportive, and most importantly cool. Any time we've played up there has been memorable. I also love playing the AS220 in Providence because it's a great venue and all of our friends come out.
Q. How was it to play with the reformed INSTED recently? How do you feel about reunions of bands like Youth Of Today etc?
Craig: Well I was never a big Insted fan to begin with, but they were on top of their game. They sounded really good I thought. If a band wants to reunite, who cares? If it's a band I like I'll probably go check it out. The Sheer Terror reunion was great. I had no urge to see the YOT reunion.
James: I had a great time. I've always liked Insted and like Craig said, they were fucking tight. When YOT first reunited I was all about it. I was 16 at the time and I lived for Youth of Today. The older I get the more I find myself noticing/caring about hypocrisy, dishonesty, things like that...so I'm not too interested in seeing them now. They can do what they want though. It's just a personal thing for me to decide not to see them.
Q. Are the angry lyrics of SG aimed at specific perople or are they more general? Also, what do you think of politics in hardcore?
Craig: Chris would be better to answer this, but I'm pretty sure he's written some songs directly about one person. As for politics, I think a lot of these political bands just sing about that sort of thing because it's the "punk" thing to do. If someone actually knows about what they're talking about, then go for it.
James: I think politics definitly have a place in hardcore music, as much now as they did in the early 80's.
Q. What are some of your favourite current hardcore bands? Any particularly you want to play with (but haven't yet)?
Craig: Think I Care, 86 Mentality, DFJ's bands, Breathing Fire, Fucked Up, Refuseniks, Forward. we're playing with Dead Stop soon, I'm pretty psyched to check them out. I like their LP a lot.
James: My favorite bands right now are Think I Care, Righteous Jams, Out Cold, 86 Mentality, Ringworm, Fucked Up, The Lovely Lads, and Rampage. As far as bands we haven't played with yet, I'd love to play with Out Cold, they're the best.
Q. If there's one thing you could change about hardcore what would it be?
Craig: I hate people who get up on stage and preach about how we all have to get along and be happy and "dude X is so sincere" and all this bullshit. Fuck that! Those speeches don't make their crappy band sound any better, so they should just shut up and let it rip.
James: Like Craig said, more emphasis on playing good music, and less of this happy horseshit. Talk is good if you're saying something valuable, but that's not often the case. That I would definitly change. So many bands around now either suck or are just plain boring and have boring lyrics, but as stated earlier I guess that's all in the eye of the beholder. I just don't get how alot of these bands pass as hardcore.
Q. Who did the artwork for the LP? Are you into zombie movies?
Craig: Ben from Rampage drew it. I'm not into zombie movies actually. Maybe I should check them out sometime. But we just thought it'd be a cool idea to show the world ending.
James: I'm into some zombie flicks. My favorite would be the OG zombie classic Night of the Living Dead. I know it's a pretty generic answer but you cannot beat it. Dawn of the Dead is hectic too, the apartment scene in the beginning is the Age of Quarrel of movie scenes...
Q. Token question, What got you into hardcore in the first place? First record, first show?
Craig: I just started hanging with these kids in high school, they were like "hey lets go to the skatepark after class" and that was it. Of course the first stuff I heard was like Strife, EC, etc. Luckily I've found out about good bands since then. The first show I went to was with Ten Yard Fight, Reach the Sky, Time Flies and some locals. I wanted to go to other shows, but I didn't drive at the time and it was tough to find rides. The earliest hardcore stuff I remember having was the Judge LP and the Trust 7", oh and in 10th grade some hippie chick gave me a tape of her brother's "headbanging music". Turns out the tape was the Septic Death discography. Awesome.
James: For me it was basically a combination of things. My older brother is into hardcore and punk so he got me started on it pretty young. Also I was familiarized with the music through skateboarding videos, as well as some older kids in my town who were into hardcore. The first piece of punk I actually owned was the Germs discography, bought for me by my brother after I told him I thought Richie Daggers Crime was an awesome song. My first show was a local gig in the fall of 97. It was the first time my mother let me out of the house to stay out late with strange older kids. Little did she know. The show was Piebald, All Chrome, and Time Flies's first trip up North. Bane was supposed to play to but they cancelled. It was a good time.
Q. Are any of the band straight edge? Explain your view on it.
Craig: Yeah, we're all straight edge. We just don't label the band as a"straight edge band" since I think it would lump us in with theEmbrace Today's and Throwdown's of the world. And that wouldn't be cool.
James: For me straight edge is completely personal. It's second nature to me and it just fits into my lifestyle, it really doesn't come into play when deciding how I feel about a new band, or how I should present my band. It's just dead weight, the music itself is far more important, and there are far more important issues at hand.
Q. The internet: what do you think of things like Myspace/Livejournal, and also Messageboards? Do you use Ebay?
Craig: I think everyone, including myself is on the computer way too much. I was on myspace but I decided to get off. I don't see why you have to tell the whole world what you ate for breakfast or some stupid shit like that. I rarely use ebay, only if a find a deal. By the time you read this I'll probably have re-joined myspace because I'm a fucking loser.
James: My Space is competely stupid but I'm on it for god knows what reason. I'd like to say I use it to meet girls, which would be sad, but I don't even do that. I guess part of me likes to be plugged into some kind of halfass social group, and if I don't have to actually interact with people
personally, well then that's all the better. As far as messageboards, alot of the kids who post on them, even ones who use real names, often come across like complete assholes, spineless dickheads, or both. When I read the Bridge 9 board I wonder what stump in the ground these kids grew out from. Not all of them, but alot of them. And I don't use eBay because I'm afraid it'll drain my bank account and I'll never trust computers anyways so fuck it.
Q. What do you all do outside of the band (jobs etc)?
Craig: I go to college and work for my dads construction company. James and Chris go to college and work there part-time, and Eli is a photographer for school pictures. James: I major in English and writing in college, and aside from that I like to work out, check out music, movies, you know normal every day stuff.
Q. Black Flag - Rollins or pre-Rollins?
Craig: I gotta go with Rollins. It's all great music but I think Rollins was the most intense frontman. I saw Rollins Band doing Black Flag songs last year and it was awesome. The guy is possessed. Keith Morris did the first four years songs. Sick.
James: I'll go with Rollins. No discredit to the early singers because that stuff rules, but Slip It In, Loose Nut, and In My Head are just too killer.
Q. Judge or YOT?
Craig: I'll say Judge. But I really like BDTW.
James: I always liked YOT more, but now I listen to Judge far more often. Mike Judge is such an enigma, it just adds to the appeal of the band for me.
Q. Top 5 hardcore records?
Craig: Infest "Mankind" 7", Black Flag "Damaged", Minor Threat 7"s, Negative Approach 7", SSD "Get It Away", Cro-Mags demo/AOQ, Bad Brains s/t, No Comment "Downsided", Descendents "Milo Goes To College", Discharge "Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say nothing", and about 20 more, I cant pick 5.
James: No way I could list 5 in order but some of my favorites ever are the Negative Approach 12", Agent Orange "Living In Darkness", Verbal Assault "On", Black Flag "Damaged", SSD "Get It Away", Slapshot "Back On The Map", Agnostic Front "Victim In Pain", Infest, Mags, Sheer Terror, fuck I could keep going.
Q. Band you hate that everyone else loves?
Craig: I don't have enough room to write them all down.
James: Same here.
Q. Favorite hardcore vocalist?
Craig: Daryl Kahan of Citizen's Arrest
James: Springa from SSD.
Q. Whats your favourite Boston-area hardcore band ever?
Craig: The early 80's stuff. The FU's, SSD, DYS, Jerry's Kids etc...totally awesome.
James: The early straight edge stuff. SSD, DYS, Negative FX, Last Rights, early Slapshot.
Q. Whats the favourite record you own and why? What do you think of record-collecting in general?
Craig: I don't know which is my favorite. Record collecting is cool, but I'm really cheap when it comes to that sort of thing. The music comes first, so I'll gladly take a bootleg or dub.
James: Record collecting is cool but I'm not very into it. Again, it would drain my bank account and cause lots of OCD related stress.
Q. What do you think about Bush winning the US election?
Craig: First of all, I hate politicians. Second of all, I'm not the most informed when it comes to politics. But here's my opinion. Bush got re-elected, which is very surprising. Bush obviously fucked up with the Iraq situation. But its not like the war would just be erased if Kerry was elected. Its nice to think that a President will follow through with all of their proposed plans, but you can't be sure until it happens. During the debates, both candidates said "I have a plan to cut the deficit in half." When asked how, neither of them could give a reply. What can you believe? Not much.
James: I agree with Craig. Neither candidate was very good, the one I disliked more won and for stupid reasons. Fuck church and state.
Q. Anything you want to add?
Craig: Thanks for the interview. Listen to Failure Face. Peace.
Saturday, 7 June 2008
1) Another comp which features some classic Boston hardcore, and
2) demo recordings from Boston's OUTPATIENTS...
1. SUBURBAN VOICE 15th ANNIVERSARY COMPILATION.
This compilation CD came with Suburban Voice #41 in 1998, and is a selection of (mostly) good hardcore songs put together by Al Quint...
This comp includes rare and live tracks by various bands from the early 80s to the late 90s, many of which you probably know and some who have been forgotten or overshadowed by their contemporaries.
The highlight for me is the song 'Police Brutality' by Boston's short-lived DXA (who's members incidently went on to play in the MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES, just like IMPACT UNIT). Anyway, this is a GREAT song; high energy sonic speed hardcore, that can clearly be compared to 'My America' or 'Brotherhood', but faster! I think if they'd had written and recorded a proper record (and probably released it on X Claim), they might now be placed alongside bands like SS DECONTROL and DYS in terms of classic-status...maybe. It's a shame they never had the chance either way. I have no idea how many songs they actually recorded or how many shows they placed...if anyone does, leave a comment. Interestingly I've also seen this song labelled as 'New Right' rather than 'Police Brutality' on a few radio shows; does any one know which is the right title?
Edit: Chris Minicucci (Mind Eraser/Painkiller Recs etc) over on the Livewire Board provided this info: "Finally tracked down someone who knew about this, and that song on the SV comp is off of a live soundboard tape from the Rat. Unfortunately the person wasn't too keen on giving the rest of the set out. No studio recordings exist. Al's source for the comp was that he taped it off a radio show back in the day."
Other highlights include: a YOUTH BRIGADE song (Stern Brothers not DC) taken from the original, and better, recording of the 'Sound And Fury' LP; two good COC songs from the great No Core compilation EP 'Why Are We Here?'; radio and demo songs from JERRY'S KIDS, THE FU'S, RAW DEAL etc; a pretty good HAYWIRE song (a band which was effectively just members of HALF OFF attempting to be NO FOR AN ANSWER); a good song from the VICIOUS CIRCLE (RI) 1984 demo, and some good raw songs by Al Quint's own band NO SYSTEM...
It has horrible shit on too (SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN, HORACE PINKER etc), but just skip any dud songs...
01. Proletariat - Abstain (demo)
02. Youth Brigade - Treachery
03. Corrosion of Conformity - Indifferent/Too Cool
04. DXA - Police Brutality
05. Jerry's Kids - Cracks in the Wall/Tear It Up (live on WERS)
06. Psycho - Contempt (live on WERS)
07. Outpatients - Pushbutton Warfare
08. MDC - John Wayne Was a Nazi (acoustic at UMass)
09. Stretch Marks - Dog's World
10. Vicious Circle - My Life, My Rules
11. Sorry - Misanthrope (live on WERS)
12. FU's - Lick My Shiny Boots (demo version)
13. Moving Targets - Changing Your Mind
14. Offenders - Impact
15. No System - Doomsday
16. No System - Life in General
17. Instigators - The Fix (live in Denmark)
18. Justice League - Chain of Strength
19. Burnt - I Wanna Pet My Cat (radio)
20. Raw Deal - Fear in the Streets (live)
21. Wrecking Crew - Judgement
22. Shattered Silence - Insecure
23. Half-Off - See It
24. Haywire - Pain
25. Kingpin - Let Go
26. The Showcase Showdown - Bob Barker Is Innocent
27. Horace Pinker - Hummingbird
28. No Fraud - I Like Hate
29. Adrenalin O.D. - Status Symbol
30. Nine Shocks Terror - Prozac Logic
31. Ensign - Say It to My Face (Underdog cover)
32. Avail - Midtown West
33. Rat Bastards - Let's Get Tough (Bad Posture cover)
Vicious Circle, taken from KFTH.
2. THE OUTPATIENTS DEMOS (taken from 'Hardcore Outcasts Revisited' CD).
I've uploaded this because the track on the Suburban Voice comp is, in my opinion, one of the weaker songs from the demos, and I didn't want to give anyone the wrong impression of the band. Good youthful and energetic Boston hardcore, some of which reminds me of early ARTICLES OF FAITH mixed with the JERRY'S KIDS songs from 'This Is Boston Not LA'...or something. Some really great manic drumming in places. These songs were recorded at various times at Radiobeat studio in 82-84, and featured DEEP WOUND'S Scott Helland on bass (who also strangely went on to be in DARKSIDE NYC)... This was known as the "Basement Tapes" for years, until it finally became more widely heard through the CD reissue. They later released a few records which I haven't heard, but I'm told are more crossover. Some of their demo recordings were also reissued on CD alongside the great DA STUPIDS demo, which I'll be uploading in the future...
Thursday, 5 June 2008
Q. How did you get into hardcore? Can you remember your first record, and the first show you attended?
Dan: It was in the early 90's, and I was pretty young. I lived in Germany at the time and these guys that I hung with at school were Americans whose parents were in the Army. Some of them listened to stuff like the Sex Pistols, Suicidal Tendencies, and Minor Threat. So, the usual suspects, I suppose. I had heard the Pistols before but I remember the first time I actually gave them a serious listen; I remember saying to myself "this sounds like 70's music." I didn't mean it in a derogatory way-- I like a lot of 70's rock. But it sounded like such a throwback compared to what was on the radio then, and really pissed off at that. It left a big enough impression on me that I wanted to find out more about any music that fell under the same category. First record I ever bought would have been Bob Dylan probably. First punk record purchase would have been the Sex Pistol's "Flogging a Dead Horse" comp. The first show I went to was in Germany.... Don't know if you would consider these hardcore shows, but I saw Wool (ex-Scream guys) and Quicksand on their respective tours over there. When I moved back to the United States (New Jersey) in 1993, I actively sought out this music. Even though I lived a stone's throw away from a lot of stuff going on in New Jersey at the time, it was hard to find out about shows and bands right away, especially 'cause I was young and didn't know anybody. But I eventually found some likeminded folks and found out about shows and such. Incidentally, one of the kids in my English class was the younger brother of the bass player in one of the Taste of Fear line-ups Daryl was talking about in a previous interview on your blog. It felt like a looong few months living back in the States before I found other kids into the music, but once I did, it just went from there.
Q. Mad At The World has a solid catalog so far. What record labels from the past are your main inspiration?
Dan: Thanks. The catalog's a bit all over the place in terms of our releases. The first few releases were just small run 7"s either by bands I was friends with or bands I was in. Then we started getting into doing the NYHC reissues and a few current releases by folks I became friends with over the years. Labels I take inspiration from? The most obvious answer would be Dischord or Touch and Go simply because of the quality of their releases. They're pretty much flawless catalogs from top to bottom, and everyone knows it. Although there's some stuff I'm not so entirely keen on, I like how early to mid 80's SST first established a name for themselves through a relentless work ethic and then tried pushing the envelope in terms of what was acceptable within their scene. I like all kinds of music, particularly old post-punk stuff, so Rough Trade and early Subterranean Records are influential. Record labels nowadays are a dime a dozen, so I respect any label that documents particular scene or sound in a manner that gives it a sense of importance.It's a tough call for us because Mad at the World has a lot going on; there are the reissues which we will keep on doing, and there's the current stuff, which we try to keep separate. I sometimes wonder if doing the 2 coextensively doesn't confuse the consistency of the label, but what the hell...
Q. You obviously love YDI (taking the name Mad At The World from a YDI song). Describe what you love about their 7"...how good is the demo too! Have you caught any of their reunion shows?
Dan: It is actually from the YDi song. Damn, that's a great record. I actually got it as a fluke; I had no idea what it was when I bought it. I was in a record shop in a basement on Carmine Street in the West Village (Subterranean Records, I think it was called. I don't know if it still exists.) and was puzzling myself as to whether this was the band "YDL" I had seen on old CB's flyers play with bands I liked. I checked out the thanks list and it seemed old, they thanked the Iron Cross (who I knew from the Flex Your Head comp), so even though it was $20, which was an awful lot for me to shell out on a record, I thought I'd take the chance on it. When I put the needle to the wax, I was blown away by how intense and over-the-top it was. The drums were played with total abandon, and the guitar playing is ferocious in a savant kind of way. Even the off-kilter tempos on some of the songs just drip with venom. It took me a while to realize what kind of a fateful, lucky mistake I had made. The YDL record would certainly NOT have affected me that much.I didn't actually see any of the reunions; I do remember the first reunion show they played at CB's I was out of town and tried to come back into the city to make it. I missed seeing the band's show, but we had communicated before and met up for a drink and some food after the set on St Mark's Place. Real nice guys, I'd sure like to see them one day.
Q. Is NYHC dead? Who's worth checking out from the area? Do you get depressed thinking about just how good early Madball is compared to their shitty later stuff?
Dan: I moved to Montreal almost 2 years ago, so I couldn't tell you. It seems like there's bands around and that a good amount of people go to the shows, but I really don't know what's going on. I liked what I've heard of the Dustheads and Deathcycle, but I'd be hard pressed to name many current NY hardcore bands. That's not to say there aren't any... Shellshock is a good band, but I don't know if they're active anymore. There's a number of bands playing in New York that I liked 10-12 years ago, but I don't have much interest in seeing them if they're doing the same stuff they've done years ago. NY is a hard place to have a band. Living is expensive, practicing is expensive, and with the price of gas, you're certainly not going to see a bunch of NY hardcore folks be able to afford practicing a bunch and taking the show on the road. I seriously think a lot of those factors are going to be prohibitive for any kind of NYHC scene to flourish anymore. And, Madball.... are you trying to get me beat up? JK; I'm not terribly fond of the newer Madball stuff at all, but Freddy and Hoya and company are going to do their thing and I'm hardly going to be the one to ask them to stop. At least they've got new songs! I'm more depressed about the amount of shitty bands copying later Madball.
Q. Other than running the label, have you played in any bands? Describe what your dream hardcore band would be like with you as the frontman (also, what frontmen would you ideally be a mixture of)?
Dan: I've played in a lot of bands, actually. I played in Ka-boom! who played ABC No Rio a lot in the mid to late 90's. We were supposed to release a split LP with NJ band Fan Shen as the first Deadalive/ Manic Ride Records release, but we wound up breaking up before it happened. I played in Panopticon who have a 7" on MATW. It was more of an experiment to see if we could fuck with the non-hardcore music we were listening to at the time and still be a hardcore band-- without coming off sounding like a lot of the "post-hardcore" stuff which we were not fond of. I don't know if we succeeded, but the handful of shows we played (mostly at parties) were pretty crazy, and I liked the music. We tried to make a small pressing of the most hideously packaged record imaginable so that no one would ever buy it based on its packaging alone. We succeeded at that. The motivation was that if someone bought that first record, we would know it was because they saw the band and liked us. However, if you stop playing shows and never do another record, that plan will obviously backfire. I played in the Bad Form, who had two 7"s out and played a bunch of shows. I played in Trenchcoat Army from New York with Wendy and Don of Guillotine fanzine and a revolving cast of characters. We released a 7" that none of us were terribly fond of in the end, and then a full LP that is actually pretty awesome, but was never released. I filled in for the Nihilistics, which turned into a 3+ year gig. I now play in Omegas from Montreal and am starting something else up with some friends. Omegas have a 7" coming out soon-- most probably on Parts Unknown, which we're excited about. I don't have a dream hardcore band in terms of the sound of a band I'd like to play in. I just need a couple of wackos who are good enough musicians to keep a steady beat, and get along well enough to go on long drives together and play some raw music. A dream hardcore band I'd like to see? Clearly that band would have Lemmy on bass, Pig Champion on guitar (second guitar by Pat Smear), a young Stevie Wonder on drums (fuck yes!), and Raybeez on vocals. What frontman of the past would I like to be like? Someone with some brain cells left!
Q. What's your favourite hardcore 7" cover-art? LP? Which bands do you think had the best aesthetics?
Dan: It can go either way-- real simple and iconic like the Urban Waste 7" or real meticulous and detailed like the Rudimentary Peni records. I like stuff where the whole record has certain forcefulness and consistency, and doesn't particularly look like a pastiche of sources. Certain bands like the Abused or Septic Death did a really good job of representing their band in their record covers and flyers, but having an artist in the band helps. While not my favorites musically you can't deny that the Revelation Records releases had this kind of consistency. Black Flag covers are awesome, but that's obvious. I like the look of monochromatic, hand-drawn artwork, and in certain circumstances I like the real agit-prop look of a lot of early hardcore records. But when those styles becomes an imperative in laying out a record, I think it defeats the purpose. I think the Bauhaus records have a great aesthetic, but not hardcore obviously. As a general rule, I like more minimal layouts that achieve a lot with a small amount of compositional elements.
Q. You've put out a few Battletorn records, describe what's so great about them (my band played with them on their UK tour a few years back)
Dan: Well, this to me sums up what is great about Battletorn: When I first saw Battletorn, it was one of their earliest shows at a rock show in New York. I didn't go to many hardcore shows in that time and wasn't paying much attention to what was going on in the hardcore scene. I'll always like and listen to my hardcore records, but I also like plenty of types of music, so as long as there's music going on, I'm not going to particularly miss it. Plus, I'd rather see NO hardcore than shitty hardcore. Anyway, the show was the Witnesses and Bad Wizard, who are both great live bands. But in between these bands, these 3 folks get on stage and proceed to lay waste to the crowd over the course of 4 minutes. My jaw hit the floor-- they sounded like Nausea playing Victim in Pain, and to a totally unexpecting audience who had no idea what was going on. I knew I had to do something with these folks, and was excited when it happened. When they slimmed down to a 2 piece, I was curious how they would handle the transition, but it just streamlined things even more. Glad you got to play with them!
Q. Antidote 7" vs the Urban Waste 7"? (I think I know what you'll go with). Explain why...
Dan: I'd have to go with Urban Waste. The Antidote 7" is great, but Urban Waste is just so over the top. And knowing those guys, too, just reinforces how great this record is. They captured the sound of a bunch of crazy kids in early 80's NY perfectly. It's a shame there's not more recorded material. I heard rumors there was, but we haven't been able to track anything down over a number of years (2 demo tracks, but really shitty recordings... nothing more than that).
Q. The Abused 7" vs the Cause For Alarm 7"? GO!
Dan: That's a really tough one. To me both of these bands released top notch NYHC 7"s. I'll be taking the easy way out and say "depending on my mood". Last month I might have said the Abused, but I just rocked the CFA 7" the other day and it's great. So, I can't decide!
Q. What's the most fucked up thing you've ever seen happen at a hardcore show?
Dan: That depends; there's always been a good amount of shit going on at shows. The typical answer would be some crazy fights or violence, which I can't say that I'm particularly fond of. I wouldn't say I'm categorically against it, but I don't have much patience for it in the vast majority of cases. I do remember one thing, which couldn't really be properly labeled a fight, but is amusing nonetheless. It was at CBGB's in the later 90's. Breakdown played and Richie Krakdown (if memory serves) came out of the woodwork for the show. He must have got real high before going in the pit; he was having a good old-time, but was not exactly the most graceful, if you know what I mean. He must have bumped into some people the wrong way (one of whom was Jimmy Dijan) and took a sucker punch or two. Big Charlie Henkins was still alive at the time and took care of his friend Richie, which included getting into some scuffles on his behalf. On his way out the door, some smaller kid got in his face about some nonsense. Charlie picked him up by the face and threw him down the bar. That was kind pretty comical as it was so effortless. Who knows why that guy thought it was a good idea to get in Big Charlie's face; I certainly wouldn't have.
Q. How did you end up putting out reissues of classic NY records by bands like Urban waste, Major Conflict, Misguided and Nihilistics? Did you meet up with the members of each band? Nice guys?
Dan: Well, being friends with Wendy from Guillotine got me friends with a number of those people. The Nihilistics I met through her and became friends with them, which is how I wound up playing with them. Same with Johnny and John Dancy of Urban Waste. Also Johnny Stiff was always good at tracking people down and hooked us up with the Major Conflict and Misguided folks. Sure, they're all nice guys. Some are easier to deal with than others, but like and respect all of 'em. All older NY folks have a screw loose in one way or another, though!
Q. You put out the Out Cold LP 'Goodbye Cruel World' (which will no doubt be considered a classic in years to come, but fuck, all of their records will be)...how did that come about? How GOOD is that band?
Dan: I've been friends with those guys for a while and we had talked about doing releases before. I've been hooked since I mailordered their Permanent Twilight World LP. It was one of those records that you checked out on a hunch that it was going to be good and it delivered to a much higher degree than expected. It used to be cool to be able to pick stuff up without having heard a note off of it and concentrating intently on the first listen to find out whether it was a worthwhile purchase. People's buying habits have changed to where people often already have the songs of the records they buy. I suppose it's a responsible move on the consumer's part, but it diminishes some of the importance of that first time the needle hits the vinyl and finding out a record that you just dropped some cash on is a definite keeper. Anyway, since then, I picked up all their records and championed them in any way I could. I must have interviewed those guys a handful of times for a number of different zines, and booked them to play in New Jersey a few times. The last time was at my house in New Brunswick with 9 Shocks Terror, and some months later we decided to do a split LP with them and 9 Shocks Terror. Out Cold took a while to finish off their tracks. However, in the interim 9 Shocks needed a release to go on tour with in Europe, so we used those songs as an EP and the tracks from the Out Cold side were then put towards that album. The cool thing about Out Cold is that they have a clear idea of what they want to do with that band, and they are totally indifferent to contingencies of the current hardcore scene. If hardcore ceased to exist tomorrow, it wouldn't affect Out Cold's output.
Q. What else do you do to pay the rent?
Dan: You mean you didn't think Out Cold records paid the rent??? Moving to Canada was strenuous since I didn't come here with a permanent resident visa, so working was tough, and I lived on a shoestring budget for a while. I work in a call center; I used to be a relay operator (for deaf people) and now I am working doing customer service for a cell phone company. It pays the bills. In NY I was a special ed teacher, and that's what I'm most qualified to do professionally. I have some visa limitations here where I can't work in a school or on a farm, so obviously that limits my possibilities. I'm looking to get that sorted out soon because I'd like to teach again in the fall.
Q. What are the future plans for Mad At The World? I see you're putting out the Cheap Tragedies LP...More NYHC reissues too?
Dan: First of all a new website, which I'm hoping will be live soon. I was always a little bit disappointed that our site couldn't function as more of a resource for information on the bands we've put out, because I think people would especially be interested in some more information about the old NYHC bands. It used to be so hard to find any information on them. There are a number of internet resources now alleviating this a little bit, but I'd still like to be able to provide some sort of archive of the bands we work with. That will keep me busy for a while.We are doing the Cheap Tragedies LP, which will be incredible. It's been recorded and they're working on layout and artwork now. This should be out sometime this summer depending on when I get everything from those guys, but they'll have some killer 7"s come out on Livewire Records and High Anxiety 416 in the meantime as well. It fell into my lap in a sense; Erba sent me a link to Cheap Tragedies' myspace page when the tracks from the demo were posted. It took me a while to listen because I always have problems loading those myspace players. When I didn't respond right away, Erba sent me a nasty email sarcastically thanking me for listening to his new band! It impressed upon me that he's really got some fire under his ass about that band, and aside from that, I'd be hard pressed to cite a band the guy was in that wasn't quality. (Obviously we smoothed things over rather quickly.) I was able to download the tracks and the demo was good, but more than anything the songs were interesting and showed some real promise. The output since then has been stellar, and I got to see those guys live recently which reaffirmed my enthusiasm for the band. The album is a rager from start to finish, and I'm very proud to be able to put it out on MATW. I'll stop gushing about it now, in case those guys read this. They know how much I like it, but I want to still be able to bust their balls about stuff, so I can go off like a total fanboy.
Q. What's your favourite hardcore compilation of all time, and explain why...
Dan: Compilations are tough. I'll have to go with the old standbys: Flex Your Head, Yes LA, Where the Wild Things Are, The Way it Is, etc. They just capture a very timely sound and spirit that still managers to capture people's attention. I don't know if I'll ever do a compilation myself; too much hassle organizing them! I can definitely appreciate them when they're done well though! I have to voice my appreciation for that compilation From the Ground Up that had some of my NY favorites on the time on it (Awkward Thought, the Down Low, the Truents, etc). I don't know how appreciated it is nowadays, but I thought that pulled off the compilation concept quite well as it documented what was going on in NY at the time.
Q. Does it annoy you that there is growing number of kids who prefer Alpha Omega to Age Of Quarrel? (and if it doesn't...it probably should..)
Dan: I don't listen to Alpha Omega much myself. Age of Quarrel is a canonical rock record. It's one of the records that proves that hardcore can be done properly on a full length, and manage to be a crushing hardcore album while respecting the album format. It's kind of cool that people look to Alpha Omega as an example of growth and possibility and appreciate the sounds they were toying with. But come on! Age of Quarrel's already got everything AO brings to the table, and better!I'm just not into metal that much-- I like metal just fine, but I don't like the way it is incorporated into hardcore. I like a solid backbeat to my rock music, and it seems like with few notable exceptions (which can run from Absolution to Amebix), hardcore just takes the most insipid elements from metal. This is particularly true of the "mosh" variety. The Cro-Mags is an example of a band that got it right from the get-go, but I can't say I listen to a lot of bands that take obvious cues from the Cro-Mags. My point about this is that I don't see them getting into any next-level shit with AO, when they clearly could have. With John and Harley in the band, that could have been the Raw Power to their Funhouse, but....
Q. The F.U.'s - My America ... a near perfect hardcore record or what?
Dan: What do you mean "near"?
Q. Any thing else to say?
Dan: Thanks for the interview. I hope I made for a worthwhile read. Check out the Cheap Tragedies record when it comes out (and everything else they release), and the Omegas 7" when it comes out. And buy some records from our webstore since we need to raise some scratch!