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Chiller Than Most!

Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 6

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The new issue of Chiller Than Most fanzine will be released on 24th May 2018! Features Freedom, Outburst, Unified Right, Big Cheese, Meline Gharibyan, Hypocrite, Motor City Madness, Spoiler – Agnostic Front.
Online store: https://chillerthanmost.bigcartel.com

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CBGB / A hardcore-fanatic’s guide – Part VII.

Originally released in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 5. (Click the picture for bigger size.) Pics by Randall S Underwood, Brendan Rafferty, Bri Hurley, Ken Salerno, KT Tobin.

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Hilly Kristal, a trained violinist, opened CBGB music club in 1973 with the intention to book country, Irish, jazz and bluegrass music bands. CBs is located on the Bowery, an infamous skid-row area that back in the 80s was lined with flophouses where derilect alcoholics and crackheads could rent a room for 5 bucks a night. The full name of the club was CBGB & OMFUG, which stands for “Country Bluegrass Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers.” But in late summer of 1974 a new wave of musical rebels made the venue their home and punk rock luminaries such as The Ramones, The Dead Boys, Patti Smith Group, Talking Heads and Blondie got their start there. By the summer of 1975, the club was the epicenter of what was then considered avant-garde rock’n’roll. Kristal’s former wife Karen Kristal worked at the club and was legal owner of the venue’s parent company due to Hilly going bankrupt on a past business. She was the constant caretaker and stern protector of CBGB, whose logo she designed. CBGB wasn’t doing hardcore shows in the beginning. From the early 1980s until its later years, it would mainly become known for hardcore punk, Youth of Today, Cro-Mags, Gorilla Biscuits, Underdog, Sick Of It All becoming synonymous with the club. They’ve all shared the glory of tearing up that stage, and played their hearts out. Up to this time most of the hardcore shows were mostly happening at clubs and bars that lasted late into the night.

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Around late 1982, CBGB started booking Saturday afternoons so younger fans of hardcore could catch all the latest bands coming through NYC. Hilly kind of gave the hardcore kids a permanent weekend home and daytime hangout spot, the CBGB hardcore matinee was born. Later it was moved to Sundays so Saturday night shows would not be affected by the matinees running late. Sunday afternoons at CBs became a weekly ritual for years to come. Upon entry, the area where you paid was on the right, a small desk where you were interrogated about your age. By that time CBGB’s was hard line about the 16 year old age limit. In late 1985, New York state changed the drinking age from nineteen to twenty-one. Before the law changed, CBGB was allowed to let in all ages, with ID for nineteen to drink. When the law changed, CBGB was forced to change to sixteen to enter, twenty-one to drink. In front of the stage there was a hole worn into the floor from people demonstrating their mosh styles, it was a small place where hardcore kids would slam dance into each other. The stage was the perfect height for a dive onto the crowd.

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One storefront beside CBGB became the “CBGB Record Canteen”, a record shop and café. In the late 1980s, “CBGB Record Canteen” was converted into an art gallery and second performance space, “CB’s 313 Gallery”. CBGB closed in September of 2006 after 33 years of live music. The old East Village mainstay is now a John Varvatos store which combines stylish, shitty rock’n’roll costumes, expensive clothes. Today the Lower East Side has a Whole Foods market. Today you have to make a lot of money to live on the Lower East Side. Today’s Lower East Side is filled with some of the best restaurants and eateries in New York. Today buses filled with tourists drive slowly past the John Varvatos store that used to be CBGB…

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– The CBGB is the place where Dennis Dunn, Big Charlie worked. Dennis was a bouncer with a mustache, sleeveless shirts, and he operated the stage lights too. Sometimes he’d stop the kids, grab the microphone from the band’s singer and tell them what they did wrong. “Listen up people, if the stagediving continues the sets gonna be cut alright? It’s up to you… there is no stagediving!” He is the guy on Agnostic Front’s “Live at CBGB” record that gets up on stage and threatens to kill the audience if they don’t quit fighting. “A lot of you people ain’t gonna live to see tomorrow if you don’t stop fucking around this way! “Big Charlie (one of the first black skinheads in the New York hardcore scene) was a bouncer too, he was a very tall and well built guy, always in army fatigues. In the summer of 1986, there was a Guillotine fanzine benefit show and the infamous riot. Straight Ahead, Warzone, Rest In Pieces, Ludichrist were on the bill. Right when Straight Ahead finished their set, Big Charlie grabs the microphone and let’s everybody know that there is a big riot going on outside. “You guys all talk about unity! It’s time to prove it because those guys out there have bats!”

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– The CBGB is the place where Tommy Victor (the lead singer and guitarist for the heavy metal band Prong) worked as a sound engineer, he did the hardcore matinees from 1986 to 1990. “Just Can’t Hate Enough” album (by Sheer Terror) was recorded at the CBGB’s and engineered by Tommy Victor, and “Free For All” compilation was recorded by him too. This classic compilation was a four-way split (Token Entry, Wrecking Crew, Rest in Pieces and No For An Answer), all songs recorded live at CBGB on April 9, 1989. The sound system at CBGB’s was probably the best one around. – CBGB is the place where Agnostic Front recorded three live albums.

– CBGB is the place where Walter Schriefels played bass for Outburst. This was their first CBGB gig.

– CBGB is the place where Agnostic Front did their “Victim In Pain” record release party in 1984.

– CBGB is the place where Youth of Today played their infamous “Shutdown” show with Side By Side, Gorilla Biscuits, Pagan Babies in 1987. Before one of the last songs, Ray Cappo made his famous comment, “You know, this club has their policies. They are going to tell you what to do but I’m not going to. Do what you want!” with that about more than 100 hardcore kids jumped up on the stage during “Youth Crew” and nobody could do anything. The band was banned for encouraging stage diving, which was against the club policy. It was also the last time Youth Of Today would set foot on the stage of CBGB, they never played there again.

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– Project X “Shutdown” was written about this specific October 18, 1987 CBGB show. The back cover of the Project X EP features the band standing in front of CBGB, appearing to have been shut out.

– CBGB is the place where Agnostic Front did a benefit to raise money for recording “Victim In Pain”, Roger Miret and bassist Rob Kabula, drummer Dave Jones, and founder/guitarist Vinnie Stigma recorded “Victim In Pain” in a matter of hours.

– A scene in Woody Allen’s “Hannah and Her Sisters” involving Allen and Dianne Wiest watching 39 Steps was filmed at CBGB. 39 Steps were a Canadian alternative rock/punk rock band.

– The Simpsons’ episode “Love, Springfieldian Style” shows a CBGB named “Comic Book Guy’s Bar”.

– The first time Youth Of Today played there, Johnny Stiff the promoter told them “watch your back, no one in this city is straight edge and they just might kill you if you push that shit.”

– CBGB is the place where Murphy’s Law’s “Bong Blast” demo tape was recorded live by Jerry Williams back in 1983, and has the earliest lineup of the band with Harley Flanagan on drums. The cover of the cassette was made by Alex “Uncle Al” Morris, founding member of Murphy’s Law as well as playing on their 1986 classic debut album.
– Mrs. Kristal made life and death decisions at the club. Lots of underage fans tried to get into CBGB’s numerous times but there was this old lady who checked their fake ID cards, grab them by the collars and throw them out. She was standing next to the desk where you paid with her giant pocketbook, checking ID cards, and calling hardcore kids’ parents when she sniffed a false one. Crippled Youth played their first show in 1986 with Youth of Today, Warzone, and Rest In pieces. Matt Warnke (the singer of the band) was able to play because Karen called his parents to verify his age. Matt’s parents lied for their son that day, he was only 15.

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– CBGB is the place where Gorilla Biscuits did their first show with JFA, Token Entry, the NY Hoods on August 31, 1986. There is an incredible photo, where Ernie Parada is wearing a prehistoric homemade Gorilla Biscuits t-shirt before the first gig was even played. Probably many people don’t know that he was the drummer of Gorilla Biscuits at their first show.

– CBGB is the place where Cro-Mags did the “Age of Quarrel” record release show in 1986. They were serving Krishna cookies, vegan foods and some iced tea. Cause For Alarm was one of the opening bands.

– There were three different awnings during the life of CBGB at 315 Bowery. The first one was up from 1973 to 1987, another from 1987 to 2000 and the last until the club closed in 2006. The second and third awnings were very similar to the original, but with cleaner lines and an arched logo—the biggest difference seen in the numbers “315,” which were no longer hand painted. The most recent awning is at the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Museum in Cleveland. The original awning was allegedly in the possession of JFA (Jodie Foster’s Army), who may have borrowed it after a show in the mid 1980s. The awning that hung above the legendary New York City punk club CBGB between 1987 and the early 2000s has sold at auction for $30,000.

Tom Pimlott (The Flex) interview by Chiller Than Most fanzine / Part II.

Tom Pimlott (The Flex) interview originally published in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 4. Pics by: Natalie Wood, Angela Owens, Meline Gharibyan.

“The Flex are BACK! These UKHC legends bring you their signature blend of early 80s UK punk and late 80s NYHC in time for their East Coast USA tour with Arms Race. Thundering ‘Inferno’ goes straight for the jugular with a wall-of-noise beating, swiftly followed up with the ever so catchy and funked up ‘Soma Holiday’.  Meanwhile ‘Flex 4’ is a moody rumbler, with quieter bass and drum led sections, powerful vocals that seem to have been recorded from the top of a mountain, and turbo charged speed change. The new songs will feature on an upcoming LP, and this recording also includes a cover of Gut Instinct’s ‘Disturbing the Peace’ from their 1990 EP, representing Baltimore HC!

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The title of this edition of Flexual Healing comes from the last ever scene on British comedy show Blackadder ‘Goes Forth’ series, set in World War I. This is visually alluded to with the devilish character in the artwork, by Tin Tin Savage, wearing a hat similar to those worn by the German army at the time.” Quality Control Records

Listen to ‘Perhaps the war is over? Perhaps it’s peace?’ here: Flexual Healing Vol. 7

Flexual Healing Volume IV. – Live At Flex House

1. Don’t Bother (Don’t Bother With The Outside World) 2. The Flex (Scum On The Run) 3. Virtual Reality (The Demo) 4. Life Balance (Don’t Bother With The Outside World)
5. W.D.N.Y. (Wild Stabs In The Dark) 6. Macho Jock Hardcore (Do Ya Think I’m Flexi?) 7. Back For More (Don’t Bother With The Outside World) 8. Waste My Time (Wild Stabs In The Dark) 9. Loud And Clear (The Abused cover)

CTM – Please tell me about the recording process for Volume IV.!

Tom Pimlott: I recorded this one on my Yamaha four-track cassette recorder, which incidentally I inherited from the Boo Radleys, as their bass player Tim is my uncle’s best mate. I stuck a mic on the drums then just put three more around the basement walls. It turned out OK, the machine wasn’t in great condition at the time though so it could have been better, but not to worry!

CTM – A lot of people don’t like live recordings, they are deemed as too sterile or raw. I really love listening to live sets. Are there any bands out there whose live sets you like more as opposed to studio recordings?

Tom Pimlott: YES. The Ramones are one of my favourite bands and ‘It’s Alive’ is my favourite release by far. The guitar tone on that is incredible. I’m not sure how many overdubs are on it, but fuck it, it sounds amazing. So much energy. Also, my favourite Mental recording is their WERS set. Other notables, although not quite superior to their studio recordings; Led Zeppelin ‘How The West Was Won’, Floorpunch ‘Live At Lintfabriek’ bootleg, AC/DC ‘If You Want Blood’.

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CTM – I would like to talk about your lyrics. The Flex sings about social problems and makes smart remarks about the current situation in your country. Social issues, oppression and ignorance, restricted sense of freedom, cycle of disillusion etc. Most of your lyrics are really aggressive, critical, angry and violent so the mood of the songs are violent and aggressive. Denis (singer of Freedom) said in a fanzine that Freedom helps him not to punch people. What do you think about this?

Tom Pimlott: I think that’s a good thing, Denis is too funny to be punching people. Sam’s lyrics are fucking great. I don’t think a lot of people expect that. People see this huge crew cut powerlifter with an indecipherable accent and the last thing they expect is well written insightful lyrics haha.

CTM – A Clockwork Orange is one movie that I have loved to watch innumerable times, I think I have seen it probably ten times and it has yet to lose its appeal. The first time I saw it I might have been sixteen or seventeen years old and I was completely shocked by the amount of violence in the film. If I am not mistaken British subcultures (suedeheads, skinheads, punks, football casuals, mods) are/were heavily inspired by A Clockwork Orange. What is your opinion, how did the “A Clockwork Orange” impact society and sub-culture within Britain?

Tom Pimlott: It definitely had a huge impact on youth culture at the time, no question about it. I’m not sure how much of that has carried on to present day subculture though, as things are considerably safer and less violent these days. Definitely not a bad thing in my opinion.

CTM – If Alex De Large listened to hardcore/punk besides Beethoven, which current UK hardcore bands would have had an impact on him? In a futuristic English city would there be a place for bands like The Flex, Violent Reaction?

Tom Pimlott: I think the droogs would definitely be getting down to the sounds of the MURDER demo. That’s the new band from Liam and Tim (DiE) and I already like it better than DiE. It’s basically ’83 Poison Idea meets NYHC, and they cover Krakdown. There isn’t even a place in a present day city for our bands.

CTM – The Abused. What is your favourite The Abused flyer and why? (Kevin Crowley is a legend! The pointillism art technique that he used was really labor intensive and the flyers took a long time to complete. Totally blew my mind how much Crowley communicated with his flyers.

Tom Pimlott: Like I said before I’m not a big art guy but I do love that style and the influence that it’s had. I bet that’s blown his mind how influential it’s been. I’m actually gonna go with the 7″ artwork, as I’m sat in a van in Germany and can’t check out the flyers to jog my memory haha. I will say this though, I love the Abused demo even more than I love the 7″.

Flexual Healing Volume V. – Do Ya Think I’m Flexi?

1. The Cull (exclusive track) 2. Macho Jock Hardcore (Live At Flex House)

CTM – This time it wasn’t a tape, you delivered a nice looking red flexi disc in a usual red and black sleeve. Flexual Healing volume 5 featuring two exclusive songs “The Cull” and “Macho Jock Hardcore”. How would you describe these songs as far as music and lyrics? Do you feel like you accomplished something with this flexi that you hadn’t before on earlier releases?

Tom Pimlott: These are both actually studio tracks, MJHC was from the same session. I wouldn’t say these songs are any more of an accomplishment than the other releases, we just thought it’d be funny to make a FLEX-i disc haha. I do really like the story behind ‘Macho Jock Hardcore’ though. We played Sheffield and this crusty melt at the show was overheard describing us as ‘Macho Jock Hardcore’. We thought this was pretty funny as we are all punk fans and music lovers in general, and the idiot in question is the ‘listens to Anti-Cimex and Deep Purple once’ type. I like Budgie too mate, I just don’t feel the need to rock the leather cowboy costume. We’ve had a few of those kind of jabs, so the song is about that. Fuck that one guy though, he bullies women in punk and only narrowly escaped a beating.

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CTM – This was a kind of “trailer” for the project that will become the new 7 inch on LOC. How did The Flex make it on Lockin’ out records? How did the 7 inch on Lockin’ out come about? Was it Greg Mental who found you folks or was it you who sent some The Flex releases over to him? Or did he catch you on the first US tour?

Tom Pimlott: I don’t think Greg was at our gig in Boston on the 2014 tour, but a mutual friend called Dooley told us at the show that Greg wanted the band on Lockin’ Out. Didn’t really think too much of it but then Greg got in touch and away we went. Really happy about it, I’m a big fan of the label and so are the other guys. I’m sure a lot of LO super fans from the UK are pissed off that out of all the bands in the UK it’s The Flex on Lockin’ Out haha but oh well. It’s known for a certain style and era, but LO is a solid and diverse label and always has been. Shout out to Greg!

Flexual Heling Volume VI. – Live From The Paincave

1. Intro 2. We Don’t Need You (Wild Stabs In The Dark) 3. Like You (Scum On The Run) 4. Life Balance (Don’t Bother With The Outside World) 5. The Flex (Scum On The Run) 6. Virtual Reality (The Demo) 7. Waste My Time (Wild Stabs In The Dark) 8. Back For More (Don’t Bother With The Outside World) 9. Just Can’t Hate Enough (Sheer Terror cover) 10. The Herd (Wild Stabs In The Dark)

CTM – On the last day of your last US summer tour you rolled into the Paincave studio. Recording at the Paincave must have been cool. It seems to me you just walked into the studio and recorded this session in one take. what was the paincave recording process like?

Tom Pimlott: Insider secret – we actually recorded the vocals separately for this, but only because CC’s computer wouldn’t handle one more input. All the music was recorded in one take (hence the drum fuck-up at the start of ‘Back For More’ and Jonesy’s out of time bass at the start of ‘Like You’ haha), and Sam did all his vocals in one take, so there’s no difference really. I like how Sam for some reason turned into Jasta for this one. This is my favourite Flexual Healing and probably my favourite Flex release in general. I was really happy to do this one, as so many modern classics have been born in the Paincave, and I love the live-in-the-studio style. Some of my favourite recordings are live in the studio ones, AC/DC ‘Live From Atlantic Studios’, Undertones 1978 Peel Session, Warzone ‘Some Records Tape’, White Stripes ‘Live From Maida Vale’ and numerous Don Fury and WNYU sessions.

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CTM – If you have any Paincave session fun facts of your own, let us know!

Tom Pimlott: It was recorded at the Paincave II, as they moved from the OG cave years ago. Present at the session, aside from CC and the band, were DFJ, Dave Sheehan and Danimal. DFJ actually had to sit on a bass cab in front of the kick drum because of my caveman lead foot, and he let me use a couple of cymbals as I cracked a few of mine. Also the last time I was at the ‘Cave was in 2013 to practice with the one-time-only Violent Reaction lineup of me/Flynn/Danimal/CC/DFJ.

CTM – Who created the cover art for the Volume VI. and what’s the influence/meaning of it?

Tom Pimlott: That’s a Liam penned classic! I couldn’t tell you about the influence or meaning haha but I do know that it looks sick.

CTM – I have noticed that, if we look at the art carefully we can find a Cancerous Growth “Late for the Grave” cover on it (beside the Impact Unit, FU’s, DYS, Jerrys Kids covers). Cancerous Growth is a quite unknown band, do you like them?

Tom Pimlott: I’ve never actually heard them before personally, but Liam is def a fan.

CTM – If you could release a Boston hardcore compilation with underrated, unknown bands from the 80s, which bands would be on it? What would you have named this compilation?

Tom Pimlott: It would be a double LP of just the Impact Unit demo 40 times in a row.

 

Zachary Wuerthner (Intent, Moshers Delight) interview by Chiller Than Most fanzine

Zizzack (Intent, Mob Mentality, Moshers Delight) interview originally published in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 1. (Click the picture for bigger size.)
Pics by Angela Owens, Nick Kucway, Dan Rawe, Curtis, Joseph Ipatzi.

CTM – What was your segway into hardcore? What are some of your earliest show memories?

Zizzack – I first got into punk through skate videos and hanging around with older kids in my neighborhood that I skated with around 2000/2001. My first show was Bane and Striking Distance at the University of Maryland in 2002, but I didn’t know any of the bands and was mainly there to skate on campus with my friends. My earliest show memories were going to see bands at a local venue called the Electric Maid.

CTM – Tell us a bit about the history and how Intent was formed?

Zizzack – INTENT is me on vocals (DC), Gil on guitar (Boston), Alex on 2nd guitar (Boston), Chad on bass (DC), and Kenny on drums (Boston). INTENT formed in the late summer of 2011 when Alex and Gil started jamming some songs together. They had the idea of doing a band that was New Breed comp styled and asked me to sing. DFJ and Gary Decker were the original drummer and bassist that helped write the songs on our “No Rules” demo we dropped in September 2012. We then got Kenny and Chad to fill their roles after they left the band and have played 9 shows on the east coast and 4 shows in California since then.

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CTM – What is your message that you want to give to people through the music? What goals do you want your current band to accomplish?

Zizzack – Intent is all about confronting problems that we experience in everyday life. I consider our music to be for the common man. There aren’t any deep or hidden metaphors in my lyrics – everything is very straight forward about how I feel. We are all about keeping an open mind and staying positive amongst the shit we live in. My only goals are to hopefully have some kids out there identify with our message and to play as many shows all over the North American continent as possible. I’m also looking forward to our second demo tape “All or Nothing” coming out very soon.

CTM – The band name used to be “Apart” but you changed it. Apart from the popular trends in hardcore today. What are the latest trends within hardcore that piss you off the most?

Zizzack – One of my biggest complaints about the larger scale hardcore scene today is that so many people treat it as a means to an end. Whether it’s to gain social status, hook-up with girls, or make money – all that shit has no place in hardcore. All of these things are no different than the shit that society forces down your throat everyday. That’s where the name “Apart” came from – we wanted to be completely separated from all the bullshit. Hardcore is all I have in this world, and I’ve been a member of the American hardcore scene for 12 years now – almost half of my life. It’s helped me find all my closest friends, meet other like-minded individuals, and be able to play music all over the country. Nothing lets me down more than when people confuse (abuse) the notion of hardcore with normal society.

CTM – What have been some memorable moments for Intent so far? Have folks been responding well to the band?

Zizzack – Every moment with Intent is memorable as there are so many different personalities in the band. My favorite times with the band are just being in a van together and all the wild shit we get into traveling from place to place. The overall feedback I get is that kids are really digging the band. I travel to shows all across the USA very often and random kids will come up to me and tell me how much they love the demo and can’t wait to hear more material. I put a lot of hard work into Intent so it really means a lot when the first thing a kid I’ve never met before tells me how much they’re into the band.

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CTM – When Intent “No Rules” demo came out, a lot of people described the band as a substitute for Free Spirit. How do you feel about that?

Zizzack – There’s an obvious connection since we have Gil and Kenny in the band, who both played in Free Spirit. Chad and I are both longtime fans of the band and traveled with them to shows pretty often. Alex was a Free Spirit roadie as well. Musically, I feel Intent is very different from what Free Spirit was doing. While both bands have a definite NYHC influence, I feel we went down another path with all the groovy parts in our songs. If anything, the comparison is an honor and any similarity is an homage to one of my favorite bands of our era.

CTM – Let’s talk about your upcoming second demo. What are some of the new tracks about?

Zizzack – Our second demo is going to be called “All or Nothing” and will feature 4 new songs. Here’s the tracklist and what the songs are about:

  1. All or Nothing – Putting maximum effort into everything you do in this world.
  2. Truth In Lies – Being surrounded by liars, but in the end you find the truth.
  3. I.G. Stomp – Being betrayed by the people you feel are closest to you.
  4. No Rules – What we’re about – keeping a positive mental attitude in a fucked up world.

CTM – Who did your Intent banner? What are your favorite hardcore banners?

Zizzack – My good friend Zach Crogan, also the singer of Mob Mentality, made our banner 5 minutes before our first set ever. He has a very ill vibe when it comes to NYHC-styled art so he was my first choice when trying to find someone to make our banner. Some of my favorite hardcore banners are Warzone, Judge, Killing Time, and Underdog.

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CTM – Lets discuss your t-shirt collection. How long have you been collecting t-shirts? How did your collection start?

Zizzack – I’ve been collecting shirts ever since I got into hardcore. It wasn’t until around 2008 that I really started to collect original hardcore shirts though. I have always been a very material person and really into collecting stuff that I’m into – whether it’s demos, records, shirts, zines, etc. Shirts are just my main interest because I can where them around wherever. All the other things I mentioned are totally cool, and I have big collections of them as well, but you can only ever listen to a physical record in your room. Hardcore tees have been my main style since as far back as I can remember.

CTM – What piece was the hardest to get? What is the story behind this tee?

Zizzack – One of my longest top wants was the Breakdown alien ringer – one of the most incredible designs I have ever seen. I had wanted this shirt, ever since Hoodrack first showed it to me years ago. It always went for close to $500 on eBay so I passed up many of them over the years. I was given the opportunity to get one earlier this year in a private sale and I couldn’t be more stoked to finally own it.

CTM – What are your favorite rip-off tees from the last couple of years? Stick Together – Bad Trip Positively Bad rip off is awesome!

Zizzack – One of the best ways you can pay homage your favorite bands is to take the ideas they had and use them as inspiration to create something entirely new. So, in that sense, I have never been a fan of shirts that completely rip-off another band. I will say that I do have a soft spot for the War Hungry shirt from 2006 that rips off of the Warzone ’89 Super Bowl tee on the front and the Leeway ’95 Euro tour tee on the back. That shirt was done before rip-offs became popular and added it’s own flare. It’s definitely the coolest one I’ve seen to date.

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CTM –  Some kids don’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for an original t-shirt. Some kids say bootleg tees are made for profit only. As a t-shirt collector, what do you think about bootleg tees?

Zizzack – I have no problem with the fact that bootleg shirts exist. I think it’s important to wear bootlegs of older band shirts to shows in hopes that it will inspire the younger crowd to check out classic hardcore bands. I do have a fundamental problem with people selling bootleg shirts for profit because they’re making money off a band they didn’t play in and a shirt they didn’t design. I feel that it cheapens my lifestyle and the values that hardcore promotes by turning it into a business where profits are the main goal.

CTM – What is your favorite BOLD t-shirt? Why did you choose this tee?

Zizzack – I’m a fan of just the classic BOLD design – the one that Ray is wearing on the back of WNITA. I really like how big the print is on the front and how it’s so simple yet so perfect. Sometimes less is more, and that’s pretty evident with this shirt. It’s got a bad ass live pic of the band on the back with the Rev logo under it – need I say more? Chris Bratton once described this shirt to me as “the greatest shirt in the country” – and opinion he’s held since 1988.

CTM – Do you like the final BOLD 7″? The truth is that I eventually grew to like it a lot and I am more likely to listen to it than their Speak Out LP nowadays. I really like those songs but the back cover is still pissing me off. I still don’t like those promo photos, the sunglasses, the New Kids On The Block band shot.

Zizzack – I love everything BOLD has ever done. They are one of my favorite hardcore bands of all time and have never written a bad song. Literally everything about this band is awesome to me – music, lyrics, shirts, posters, record layouts, etc. I got a first press of Speak Out on vinyl when I was 17 and would just stare at the gatefold layout for hours in complete admiration of what I was seeing. It’s pretty crazy how quickly they progressed as a band from 1986-1989 – they went through a lot of different phases at an insane pace. I personally love the back cover of the 7″. Matt looks cool as shit – Jordan 3s, a high-necked longsleeve (always wanted one of these because of this photo), and a crucial fade. Such a perfect style.

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CTM – I saw some awesome Soundgarden tees in your collection. What are your favorite non hardcore records?

Zizzack – Here are a few of my favorite non-hardcore records (in no particular order):

  1. “Ride The Lightning” by Metallica
  2. “Master of Reality” by Black Sabbath
  3. “Badmotorfinger” by Soundgarden
  4. “Vulgar Display of Power” by Pantera
  5. “Dirt” by Alice In Chains

CTM – What do you think about fashion in hardcore? I think the problem happens when kids put it before the music. I’d like to think that if you’re that into HC collecting that you’d be just as into the message.

Zizzack – One of the coolest things about hardcore is that it promotes individuality and being yourself. Having your own sense of style and fashion is just one of the many ways that people can identify themselves and express who they are as a person. I agree with your sentiment that fashion should always come second to the music. Sometimes people lose sight of the message that hardcore conveys when they get caught up in the latest fashion trends, which is very easy to do since we live in such a materialistic society. For me, it’s a combination of the message and who I am as a person – my style is indicative of where those two ideas meet.

CTM – What’s your take on the current state of hardcore in DC?

Zizzack – Hardcore in DC is at an all-time high right now. We’ve got current bands like Coke Bust and Give touring all over the entire world and a handful of cool local bands that are playing shows in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. When I first started going to DC shows in the early 2000s, the scene felt like it was run entirely by people that were much older than me. Now, more than ever, tons of younger kids are coming out to shows and becoming a part of the community. We have a good amount of venues and houses that have opened their doors to put on shows which has really kept things alive. Overall, I’m very happy with what’s happening in DC right now.

CTM – You used to be in Mob Mentality. What happened with Mob Mentality? Is it true that Mob Mentality will return?

Zizzack – All I have to say is that Mob Mentality is back in 2013 and you can see that for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yFXCY5ilrc It feels very good to be playing around again. Hopefully we get to play some more shows up and down the east coast and eventually write some new material.

CTM – I think Lion of Judah is one of the most underrated bands from DC. What was the reason for that? I mean they were proficient players on their respective instruments and they were a little weird from the typical hardcore formulas. Do you agree with my opinion?

Zizzack – I share that same opinion to an extent. Lion of Judah emerged during a time in hardcore where Lockin’ Out Records was at it’s peak. Even though they put out their first 7″ on LOR, it’s no surprise that people didn’t immediately catch on with the kind of music they were playing at that particular time. They were playing a completely different style than what was popular, incorporating influences from Bad Brains, BURN, and late-80s DC bands all the way to 90s alternative. They were a very important band during my upbringing in hardcore as they exposed me to some of my favorite bands such as Swiz and BURN. I’ve had the privilege of touring with them a bunch, and those times are some of my favorite memories of being on the road.

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CTM – Tell me something about Flophouse where you used to live with other hardcore kids. If I am not mistaken most of them were straight edge. Normally flop house is an apartment where many drug abusers stay to sleep and do drugs.

Zizzack – I live in a house with 8 other dudes (9 including myself) that has 4 levels – 2 above ground and 2 below. Half are straight edge and the other half like to party. One of my roommates Nicktape does a label called “Flophouse Records”, but I would never apply that terminology to our house. We’re all close friends that get along really well and have a great dynamic since there are so many unique personalities in the house. So many bands and labels are run out of the house, and we’ve become a place for everyone to stay at that comes through town. I live in the basement aka the DC chapter of the National Museum of American Hardcore.

CTM – List three hardcore bands of the present that have left a great impression on you and why?

Zizzack – GIVE: They came at a time in my life when I felt hardcore was stagnant and hit me with a breath of floral-scented fresh air. No one was playing their style of music and it really felt like they were creating something completely new. Touring with them extensively literally changed my life for the better. John, the singer, is one of my closest friends and one of my biggest inspirations when doing bands.

FREE SPIRIT: Easily my favorite hardcore band of the past 10 years. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I got to experience this band from start to finish. They had such a unique vibe and style that attracted me right from the start. These were dudes just like me that were playing the music I love and exactly what I wanted to hear at the time, and their lyrics are also some of the most sincere and relatable that I’ve ever heard. And they did it all with flawless execution – a perfect example of music for the common man. Gil, the singer, is also one of my closest friends and biggest inspiration as a vocalist.

MINDSET: Hands down the best straight edge band in the world right now. This is another band that has a special place in my heart since I have been seeing them right from the start. Everything about their aesthetic, vibe, style, music, lyrics is incredible. The most important thing to me about them is their live performance, which is unparalleled by any other current hardcore band. I could care less about what you can do on a record or in the studio – all that matters to me is that you bring it live, and they never fail to blow my mind when I see them play.

CTM – What was the motivation for starting Moshers Delight ‘zine? With the whole internet age, fanzines definitely are not as common as they used to be, so what pushes you to still do it in classic format?

Zizzack – Moshers Delight was a an idea that was tossed around by me and John last summer. He wanted to do a cool zine again, and I wanted to do something more than just be in a band. The idea was very simple: do a one-page zine that pays homage to our favorites such as Boiling Point and Schism with one side being a band interview and the other side having 4 demo reviews. Since then it has turned into a collective group of like-minded people. We coordinate with our friends from all over (Toronto, DC, Boston, and Texas) to produce the reviews and toss around new ideas.

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CTM – How was Moshers Delight Records started? What was your motivation to start this label? Future plans, upcoming releases? etc.

Zizzack – Doing a record label was the next logical step for us spread the message of Moshers Delight even further. I had always wanted to start my own label to put out Intent releases and a few of my close friends’ bands so it made sense for us to expand into a record label to keep that momentum going. You can expect the next Intent demo, the Stand Clear demo, and the Big Contest 7″ all to come out on Moshers Delight Records hopefully before the end of the year.

CTM – I read that most of the bands have problems crossing the border to Canada. Do you have any funny stories?

Zizzack – One time we got stopped at the Vancouver border on the LOJ/Give summer 2009 tour and had our whole van inspected. One of the other roadies that was with us was smoking a ton of weed and rolling joints on his passport the whole time we were on the road. After they searched through all of our bags and equipment the border guard gave us back our passports and laughs as he says “Here’s a tip when crossing the border in the future – don’t roll doobies on your passport!” That is still one of my fondest memories of being on tour and it still amazes me to this day that we made it through.

CTM – Do you ever think about what you’d be doing instead of hardcore?

Zizzack – If I wasn’t into hardcore I would probably be living under a boardwalk on a beach in California doing tons of psychedelic drugs.

CTM – Zizzack, thanks for your time. Any closing thoughts, shout outs or words of encouragement?

Zizzack – Everyone should be on the lookout for the next Intent demo and the Zoom demo. Other bands from the USA that you should check out are Big Contest, Independence, Stand Clear, and New Brigade. Also check out our favorite bands from Canada – Ancient Heads and Demolition. And to all you kids out there: NEVER GIVE IN TO SOCIETY’S FUCKING BULLSHIT.

The Pyramid Club / A hardcore-fanatic’s guide – Part V.

Originally released in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 5. (Click the picture for bigger size.)

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In the late 80s New York was still dangerous and not yet gentrified. East of Avenue A was still a wasteland. The Pyramid Club was (and still is) a nightclub in the East Village, located at 101 Avenue A in Manhattan. The institution named for a pyramid motif in the building’s original tiling, opened in 1979. What made this club unique was that the inclusivity across all cultural lines, mixing disco and hardcore/punk, pop culture and high art, straight and gay. The Pyramid Club shows were organized by many members of the NYC hardcore scene. It was the first time in NYC during this era that the bands actually made up the bills. The shows ran on a semi regular basis from 1987-1989.

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Alex Brown, Sammy Siegler, Chris Burr, and Dylan Schreifels in front of the Pyramid Club

You can check out a video about what the place was like between 1983 and 1988 on youtube: “Drag Queens, Skinheads, Artists and Some Girls: the Pyramid Club of the 1980s.” In this video Raybeez and Jimmy Gestapo attempted to describe what made the Pyramid special (5:51)!

– Pyramid matinees were some of the best hardcore shows, Absolution, Warzone, Side By Side, Youth of Today, Underdog, Collapse, Sick Of It All, Token Entry, Hogan’s Heroes, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Krakdown, Life’s Blood, Killing Time, American Standard, Project X, Under Pressure, Uppercut, Our Gang had a couple of very memorable gigs there.
– Security included Jimmy Gestapo, Raybeez and Richie Birkenhead, while doorman Bernard Crawford kept out the yuppies and junkies.

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Raybeez and Jimmy Gestapo

– The Pyramid Club is the place where Ray Cappo and Raybeez were booking shows together, most of these shows were Saturday matinees. The first matinee gig was a benefit show for Some Records. “Starting April 11th at the Pyramid Club, 101 Avenue A we’re gonna have hardcore matinees between 2:00 and 5:30 every other Saturday, starting April 11 so you gotta check it out! The first show is with Sick Of It All and Token Entry and you know, we’re headlining, word up! Check out the Village Voice!” – Warzone interview on WNYU’s Crucial Chaos radio show.

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– The Pyramid Club is the place where Sean Penn and Madonna got into a heated public argument in 1986. A fight erupted into violence as an obviously inebriated Penn shoved his wife up against a wall, then carried their shouting match out into the street.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Nirvana and Red Hot Chili Peppers played their first New York City concerts.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Into Another performed their first show.

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– The Pyramid Club is the place where Warzone cameout with a fog machine, and they used so much dry ice that you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face in the pit. Warzone was playing and the smoke machine went off while Ray Cappo was on stage about to do a stage dive, it burned his leg.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Warzone played a show with a go-go dancer on stage, which was very likely an influence from the “Licensed To Ill” era Beastie Boys.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where Djinji Brown (Absolution) broke Jules Masse’s (Side By Side, Alone In A Crowd) nose during a show.
– The Pyramid Club is the place where the really underrated Altercation played a gig with Death Before Dishonor on May 23, 1987. Shortly after that Jay and Paul left Altercation to join Warzone so the band broke up.