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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.

It was originally released in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 5.

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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.

Fury interview by Chiller Than Most fanzine

Jeremy Stith (Fury) interview originally published in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 3 (2014). Pictures by Sophia Juliette, Farrah Skeiky, Spencer Chamberlain, Angela Owens, Dan Rawe.

Chiller Than Most – Let’s start with how Fury came together? What was the inspiration for the band, who is in it, and what are the goals? What was your motivation to start this band?

Jeremy – FURY is Madison Woodward and Alfredo Gutierrez on lead and rhythm guitar, Jerrod Stith slappin that bass, and Big Al Samayoa on drums. We started out of the blue last year when Madison had sent me some song ideas for our other band Pocketknife. He had a few days off work, so he was just writing stuff on his guitar, and for fun was just writing these Battery/late Turning Point-esque riffs. He was fuckin on one and just wrote a handful songs that day and threw out the idea of maybe we should start a band with em and that I should sing. The thought of being a frontman never crossed my mind so I laughed it off and thought nothing would come of it. Big Al had just moved in with Madison and liked the riffs he wrote and my brother Jerrod was learning bass so Madi had a band, and shortly after I was somehow hoodwinked into fronting the band, I can’t exactly remember how but here I am. Our goal is to rock. Our motivation is from these mofos playing in bands who are undeservedly eating all the pie and to show people how real rockers do things.

Chiller Than Most – You guys split your time between lots of bands. Are there ever any problems because people are doing too many other things or giving their creativity to other bands?

Jeremy – There aren’t many problems at all with all of our different bands because everyone in all the bands are friends and hang out on a regular basis. It’s pretty encouraging actually, we all try to make steps forward and push each other. We all share lockout spaces for practice and we take our bands seriously but not ourselves and that goes a long way as well. There aren’t overbearing egos and stuff like that, and we are all just hang and sometimes in the middle of everything, we play music. We are all fans of each others bands too. I met a lot of my good friends in our little scene over here from going to see their bands or vice versa, as a fan. Everyone out here works a lot so there isn’t as much time as we’d like for bands, but we all make it work somehow, some way.

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Chiller Than Most – Fury. The name of the band seems to a have definite message, also present in the song of the same name. What does this name mean to you and how is it applied to your own life?

Jeremy – “Fury” fits the music, it’s is simple and to the point. The greeks coined it as a spirit of punishment and greek goddesses would unleash tortured stings of conscience to the weak or guilty. I like looking at it that way. I don’t agree with a lot of how the “hardcore scene” is ran nowadays and Fury to me is a my pent up anger and annoyance to those people gumming up the works for the actual genuine people that are around. We have gotten a lot of gruff for the name but none of those nasayers have taken time to even comment on the songs, which I doubt they even have even listened to. Haters will hate until they need you and can gain something, and to those people I say step off and kick rocks.

Chiller Than Most – Could you explain the lyrics of the song called “Play (BAB)”?

Jeremy – Play (BAB) is just about where my head was at when we started the band. California is filled with people doing exactly what they’re told so they can keep up with the status quo and if you step out of line, you are punished or looked down upon. Everyone is shitting their pants in fear of tomorrow and think that their bank accounts and retirement plans are real and will make them happy when deep down, they just want to be free. I just want to be with my friends and play, just like we did when we were kids at recess or stuff like that, and that’s what FURY is to me, play.

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Chiller Than Most – Some folks think that “West Coast bands don’t have good mosh parts…”. What are ya doin’ at the Moshers Delight Records? I am just kidding. Your demo was released on tape format at MDR. Are you satisfied with the results and how have been the reactions so far?

Jeremy – People need to get their thick skulls out of their asses thats for sure. We love Moshers Delight and were all fans of those bands before we even started. We are more than satisfied with how it all came out. I look up to Zizzack and John and the whole DC/Newton House/East Coast crew, so I felt immense validation and joy when they dug our stuff. The reactions have been overwhelming. They’ve allowed us to be heard to a much wider audience than ever imagined, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity. We wanted to come out of left field and I think we’ve done well so far in that goal.

Chiller Than Most – I heard that you are going to release a live set tape at Fineprint Records. What are your future plans? What’s up next for Fury, as far as tours, shows, records.

Jeremy – We released a cassette tape with our friends at Fineprint Records (Placentia, CA) from a set we played in Fresno with Title Fight back in April. We got asked to play that show out of nowhere and we packed our van with 12 of our friends and just did the damn thing. The sound guy recorded our set for us on the soundboard and there are still have some copies left on their website, along with other fine records and tapes from some of California’s best kept secrets. As far as future stuff goes for us, we just got done recording a 5-song 7″ for BBB Records that should be out by November. We will be going on a 6 week tour with our friends Soul Search around that same time, and Forced Order, Skinfather, and Violent Situation will be playing scattered dates as well. It’s our own little California Takeover.

Chiller Than Most – Tell me something about the Munoz Gym. It seems interesting in videos. What does it feel like to play in a boxing ring?

Jeremy – Munoz Gym is in central California in a town called Bakersfield, and it is a training gym for boxing during the day, and at night it’s a punk venue. It is my favorite venue ever. A group of us went and saw Milk Music and Iceage play there awhile ago and we’ve been hooked on that spot ever since. Bakersfield also has the best record store called Going Underground Records, and they got a good thing going out there. It is surreal to play in a boxing ring. I played soccer most of my life and the only other sport I fully respected was boxing, and would have loved to have boxed growing up but my skin wasn’t thick enough I guess. One of my favorite films is this one called The Set Up and I felt like Stoker Thompson at that first show, I was in way over my head but I kept going and fighting. We used a line from that flick as the intro to the demo as well, so it all came around full circle in the end.

Chiller Than Most – The Beyond demo has always been a Top 5 NYHC demo to me and “No Longer At Ease” is one of my favourite LPs. Every time when we are on a long trip in the car with my good friend, we listen to this unique record. Good to see that you covered them. How did the idea come to play the song called “Vitality”? What is your fave Beyond release and why? I feel like Beyond is a somewhat underrated band. Why do you think that is?

Jeremy – Beyond is definitely in that group of bands that we all really admire. They are a huge influence and inspiration to us. Vitality is just a perfect song, its original and short and to the point. Is there a better drummer than Alan Cage? I listen to No Longer At Ease the most so thats probably my favorite. Had they released something on Rev or did a big tour, then they would probably be up in the upper-eschalon of nyhc bands from that era. Had they not fizzled out though, then we wouldnt have a lot of great bands like Burn or Quicksand, so it is what it is. We all get to enjoy and listen to Effort/Ancient Head whenever we please, so we are all in debt to those guys for their fine work at the end of the day.

Chiller Than Most – Let’s say I gave you a hardcore time machine. It’s the end of the 80’s and you are about to take a road trip to the Anthrax club in Connecticut. Who are joining you on the ride and who are playing the show?

Jeremy – My car only has 4 seats so it would be filled with my brother, my friends Berti and Cole, and Scud (RIP). The lineup would be more NY than CT too with Bad Brains, Insight (on tour), Supertouch, Ramones, and Talking Heads and it would have THE VIBE baby.

Chiller Than Most – A lot of people that are involved in reunited bands no longer participate in hardcore on a spectator level anymore. I think it’s funny that people celebrate their own (rightfully) legendary recordings from the 80’s for years meanwhile they have no connection to the scene at all anymore. What do you think about this? Would you say it’s important for hardcore kids to do more than just be audience members?

Jeremy – I’m pretty indifferent about reunions because like life, things aren’t so simple and black & white. Sure people bag on YOT, supertouch, breakdown or even Judge now with how they are just doing the circuits and making their rounds, but we’ll never know all the details behind all that stuff. They might taking advantage of an opportunity for a nice & easy paycheck, but they also might be taking advantage of an opportunity to play songs that mean(t) a lot to them with people who mean(t) a lot to them for an audience whose lives were all changed by those songs. They are just like us working dumb jobs day to day, but for 20 minutes they get rock with their old friends, so fuck anyone who thinks they deserve to shit on their parade. I don’t get where people’s entitlement comes from nowadays, but if you think Mike Judge owes you something than you need to think about your silly life. Maybe those keyboard jockeys should get off their leather asses and write something comparable to New York Crew or The Earth Is Flat first before they run their mouths. Ive seen some reunions that blow and Ive seen some that inspired me more than any contemporary band could have done (Medicine, Quicksand, Sugar, COS, etc come to mind). As far as kids being audience members rather than more active members of the scene, Im also pretty indifferent. You get what you put in, but it’s all time and place and I can see how you need some luck to make a good scene. Sometimes you live in the lower east side in 87 or you live in Pigsknuckle, Arkansas in 1997, its just the luck of the draw.

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Chiller Than Most – Let’s talk about California hardcore. Please choose a frontman from California who left an impression on you. Why did you choose him?

Jeremy – The person who left the biggest impression on me in the past few years is Justin from New Brigade. He is straight up and no bullshit. Ive had many friends in bands inspire me but Justin was a guy I looked up to from afar at first for awhile before I even talked to him. When he has a mic, there is no one around who can touch him, and he’s no different away from the mic. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldnt have the balls to be a frontman. I can see peoples flaws when they play, but with him, its impossible. He is style and he is hardcore. I seen him mosh hard as a mofo in a bar to Creatures and also stand up front n center just vibing to Fugue, there’s just no one around like him.

Chiller Than Most – If you could release a california hardcore compilation with six bands, which bands would be on it? What would you have named this compilation?

Jeremy – My California flavored comp would feature Discrepancy, Strike Fast, Enough Said, Disapproval, Forced Order, and a one off reunion song from What Life Is. The comp would be called The Dance Of Days. I would beg Mike Hartsfield to release it on New Age, and then when I get denied, I would then beg Fineprint Records to put it out.

Chiller Than Most – Many people in the hardcore scene consider the Ash Return demo and the Scarred For Life record to be Ignite’s best work. What do you think about that? I think a lot of hardcore kids love to hate a band as soon as they get any hype. What do you think about Ignite?

Jeremy – I havent listened to Ignite since I saw them play at one of the first hardcore shows I ever went to (Comeback Kid, Killing The Dream, First Blood, and Ignite at chain reaction) and I don’t have an opinion on them to be honest. But Ignition, now thats a fuckin band.

Chiller Than Most – Pushed Aside was a pretty straight forward, pissed-off hardcore from Southern California. MDR describes your band super pissed-off. What kind of themes do you write about? Do you feel there is a similarity between Fury and Pushed Aside?

Jeremy – I just write what I’m feeling. Some songs are about people who push you in a corner, some songs are about how you can see right through someones shit and they should get off their high horse and come back down to reality, some songs are about my fight with myself and trying to figure out who I am by questioning how or why I do what I do. The new record has a particular theme as well. It’s all fallen empires and how its time for the old guard to step aside and let the real rockers take over. As far as Pushed Aside, I can see the similarity to our two bands, we are from the same area and deal(t) with the same conservative up-tight cultures.

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Chiller Than Most – Who is the most underrated band in California’s hardcore history?

Jeremy – Most underrated band in California hardcore for me is Against The Wall. I am learning more and more all the time now about hardcore in Orange County and they stick out the most to me. I’m sure by the time this gets out that people will have heard about this next band, but DISCREPANCY from out here is some sick ass shit for those folks into ochc. Most people who are in my position would say I’m a hardcore novice but those guys in that from that band know their shit better than anyone and it is just another encouraging band to have around. The 2nd most underrated California hardcore band is What Life Is (RIP).

Chiller Than Most – Do you like the Solitude “I hear silence” demo?

Jeremy – I had never heard it until you asked so I checked it out. My first impression was Davey Havok definitely stole some crooner screams from this demo. Mike Hartsfield is in it and that is a comforting and unsurprising name to see on any Southern California band’s release. I found out they recorded this in Riverside, so shouts to Baker’s and Scott Aukerman.

Chiller Than Most – Have you heard about the upcoming movie called “Fury”? It will be an American action-drama war film about World War II directed and written by David Ayer. A battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank called “Fury” and its five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. What are your favourite World War 2 movies?

Jeremy – We heard about Fury shortly after we named the band, and I have to say it’s a better movie to share a name with compared to our friends Placentia, Enough Said. Basterds was last good WWII flick I have seen. Can’t go wrong with Saving Private Ryan. Das Boot is the best one I ever saw.

Chiller Than Most – Thanks for your time dude, I really appreciate it. Last words?

Jeremy – Keep Rockin In The Free World.

Interview with DJ Spermicide – Part II.

DJ Spermicide (Marlene Goldman) interview originally released in Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 4. (You can read the first part of the interview here: Part I.)

CTM – Please tell me a bit about the early history of Crucial Chaos. When did you join the station? How did you start your radio program? How was the first broadcast? Who was the first guest/band in the studio?

DJ Spermicide – I was a journalism major and went up to the newspaper to see about joining. It looked dreadfully boring and across the hall was the radio station, which looked a lot more fun, so I decided to pursue that instead. When I joined the radio station there was nothing in the way of a punk or hardcore show. I joined the radio station as a volunteer in 1985. To get a time slot back then you had to start on the AM station, which was only broadcast to the NYU dorms. You had to make tapes of yourself as air checks for the program director to review. I wanted to host the New Afternoon Show, but it was faster to get on FM if you had a specialty show. I proposed Crucial Chaos and since there was a void at the station, I was given the Thursday night time slot for the show. My first broadcast was hectic and nerve wracking, but it was a lot of fun. Murphy’s Law came up to the show and brought pizza and beer and their then new album release, which we had played on the New Afternoon Show, as well. Green vinyl, I remember, so it was hard to see where to cue up the songs.

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CTM – Why did you choose this name for the radio program?

DJ Spermicide – Back then the word Chaos was being used a lot by bands as was the word Crucial. I thought the two words together would perfectly describe the idea of the show—crucial to a music scene that didn’t have a radio voice in NYC at the time and chaos because I knew playing one-minute or shorter songs would be just that.

CTM – Freddy Alva told me that your sidekick on air was Johnny Stiff, an old school Punk Rock dude who’d been around since the beginning and booked some legendary shows. He was famous for being cranky to people calling in to the show. Please tell me about him!

DJ Spermicide – Stiff! He was just as you are describing, a cranky old-school punk rock guy who had booked shows and drove vans for bands and had tons of contacts in the scene. When I first started Chaos I went down to the CBs hardcore matinee every Sunday with promotional flyers about who was going to be on the air the next week and when the show was, etc… Stiff had heard about the show and asked if I needed any help answering phones, putting away records and all that. I really did need tons of help on those fronts and once he started getting involved he was key in getting a lot of the bands to come up for interviews and live sets. He was also good at helping keep order in the studio when there were a dozen kids or whatever cramming in the tiny space.

CTM – As far as I know it was an important concept that you had a kind of anti-mainstream, outsider mentality, the “if you’ve heard it somewhere else, you won’t hear it here” stance that keeps noncommercial stations around. What was your approach to putting together a setlist, a radio show? How did you choose the bands that are playing?

DJ Spermicide – I really wanted it to be a mix of old-school punk, which I still love, and the new hardcore music, not just New York, but of course helping local bands as much as possible. I used to get to the studio early and pull out which records I wanted to play, along with some local cassettes. Those were always a challenge since the quality was often pretty poor. I would go to Venus Records day of my show and Some Records on a regular basis and try to find what was brand new, plus Stiff would sometimes come up with new releases to play. But I really wanted to keep that generational component, mixing 70s and 80s punk in with the hardcore music. I tried to vary the bands played so it wasn’t the same show every week. We also took a lot of requests from listeners. Phones were always ringing off the hook.

CTM – I read somewhere that the main DJ area was pretty typical looking for a college radio station, and a large window separated that from the small room where the bands played. How should we imagine the wall of the studio? Posters, tags, stickers, graffiti on the wall?

DJ Spermicide – The studio was used for all the shows, so there were stickers and posters, but not just punk and hardcore. No graffiti on the walls since it was on university property. The radio station office had file cabinets covered in stickers. Both the studio and room for live bands were pretty small. I had to put people’s names on a sign-in list with the security guard downstairs. There were always extra guests that needed to be signed in. Fortunately the guard was really nice and sometimes asleep.

CTM – What was your unique calling card – whether that’s a catchphrase, intro, or style?

DJ Spermicide – Hmmmm. I suppose just the name I used on the show, Spermicide, with all variations of nicknames. I don’t know that I had a style except trying to keep order amidst the chaos.

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CTM – Some Records was one of the catalyst for the hardcore movement too. This record store (operated by Duane) was a great place to hang out, it was a great meeting place for hardcore bands and folks, fanzine editors and people that would help launch that second wave of New York hardcore. Duane was like a big brother to every hardcore kid who stepped into his store, kids heard every record before it came out. If I am not mistaken Some Records was one of the sponsors of Crucial Chaos for a while. Could you talk about this, and would you mind sharing some memories about Some Records?

DJ Spermicide – Some Records was one of the sponsors. There was always a small scene down at the store though I didn’t hang out there as much as some of the kids. I got a lot of 7-inch records there from smaller, local bands for the show.

CTM – It was really interesting that Outburst put the word out that they were looking for a bass player on Crucial Chaos. Turns out Mike Welles just happened to be home that night listening to Crucial Chaos make the announcement and he responded. They rehearsed a handful of songs at his place one night, then they tore up his kitchen and he was pretty much in the band after that. Would you mind sharing some funny stories about the radio sessions? Please tell me some backstage secrets, funny stories about the radio sessions!
There are some shows that are truly iconic. 01 The Warzone interview was really funny with the hyper active Raybeez and ‘zone guys. Interviewed the same day as Youth Of Today, both bands were promoting records they were about to release: “Break Down The Walls” for Youth Of Today and the “Lower East Side Crew” EP for Warzone. What about some of the personalities or characters in the scene at the time, like Raybeez? What are your memories of this interview? Do you still have that orange Lower East Side crew tee?

DJ Spermicide – That was definitely a memorable night. I didn’t think Warzone was going to make it on time, but they did. Ray Cappo was pretty easy going compared to a lot of the personalities I had on Chaos. Raybeez was always a great person to be around, so much positive energy. Not sure I have that t-shirt, but sadly did find recently the Raybeez memorial show t-shirt from CBs. I happened to be in town that weekend for that after I had moved away. The biggest challenge for interviews with some of the big talkers was keeping them on track talking about their music and getting to play tracks without running out of time.

CTM – 02 Supertouch played live on St. Patricks Day (03.17.1988.), the same day Murphy’s Law did a radioset. This live set has inspired an entire genre of bands playing hardcore today. Some of the tracks like “Strugglin’ To Communicate” and “A Death In the Family” were never recorded outside of the WNYU Studio. Any memories from this session?

DJ Spermicide – I do remember it sounding great. I didn’t realize that was the only time those were recorded. There was a record label at one point interested in putting out some of the live sets on vinyl and calling it the Sperm Sessions. I gave them the material, but it never happened, unfortunately. Looks like a lot of the live sets are up on Youtube or other sites, which is great.

CTM – 03 What are your memories of the Straight Ahead interview? They were known as a straight edge band, but the members labeled their band as a “unity band” in your Crucial Chaos interview. How did you interpret this response?

DJ Spermicide – I knew those guys pretty well. At the time there were so many micro-labels dividing the hardcore scene—skinhead, straight edge, peace punks. I think some of the divisions were causing schism in the scene, so the term unity band was in my opinion meant to distance Straight Ahead from all that. I also think some bands were taking the labels too seriously and all the rigid restrictions implied by being straight edge would be hard to uphold.

CTM – 04 One famous radio event was the Born Against versus Sick Of It All debate in 1990. How did/do you feel about the bands releasing records on larger labels? What are your memories about this debate?

DJ Spermicide – Ahhhh. The Debate. Yes, I remember that well. I remember it was more like being a referee than an interviewer, especially with the size of the studio and everyone crammed in there. I think I was on the other side of the glass if I remember correctly. I really didn’t really have a problem with bands signing to larger labels if the music stayed the same, which was the case with Sick of It All. Back then there was a fine line of bands just trying to get more exposure and bands selling out. Look how that all turned out. Sick of It All is still touring like crazy and bringing the NYHC scene to the world. I just saw their 30th anniversary show. They somehow found a way to make the music their life’s work without having to tone down their sound or make it more generic. Seems like such an ancient problem. Now the only way bands make money is from touring and selling their merch at shows.

CTM – What was your toughest interview and why? What were your funniest interviews and why?

DJ Spermicide – The toughest ones were always with the young bands just coming out who sometimes didn’t have much to say. I would mostly try to promote their shows in that case. Funniest, probably some of the characters like Murphy’s Law, Raybeez, oh and the Nihilistics who I was just trying to make sure didn’t curse on-air the whole interview. I had GBH up live once. They were pretty hilarious to be around.

CTM – I feel that most of your interviews are classics too, there are some choice quotes in there. Did you listen to your own shows after they aired? “White power, black power, yellow power….take a shower!”, “Everybody mosh it up, break everything in your house!”, “Public Enemy is just as bad as Skrewdriver.” What are some of your favourites?

DJ Spermicide – Sometimes I listened to the shows. Been so long I would have to listen back.

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CTM – Bands were incredibly exciting to play on the radio. Why didn’t these bands like Youth Of Today (only interview), BOLD, Raw Deal, Straight Ahead (only interview) etc. play a live set in the studio?

DJ Spermicide – I’m sure we asked at least some of those bands to play but it wasn’t always easy to coordinate. Also, at the beginning, we weren’t really set up that well for the live sets. But once that became a popular part of the show our amazing sound engineer got the sets to sound great.

CTM – Why did you quit WNYU? I heard that you went and lived in Australia…

DJ Spermicide – A few reasons. Yes, I left to live in Australia for a year, but also there was a rule that to be on the radio station you had to be enrolled as a student. I had been in grad school, but my time was running out and it was expensive to keep registering for even a credit or two just to stay at the station. I hosted a few guest shows after I got back from Australia in ’91 and ’92 but moved to San Francisco in 1993. The first time I ever spoke on KUSF, which was just to announce some ticket giveaway at around midnight on someone else’s show, someone called and recognized my voice—said he had taped my interview with the Adolescents. Then I kept having New York transplants calling to ask if it was me and I ended up using the name Spermicide since there were a lot of listeners who already knew me from my WNYU days.

Interview with Gene Melkisethian (Give) – Part II.

Gene Melkisethian (Give) interview is originally published in Chiller Than Most, issue 3.5. Pics by Farrah Skeiky, Dan Rawe, Lonetriker, Elena Des

CTM – It’s such an inane bit of trivia but I really like working titles of songs. What have been some working titles of songs in the past? why did you give these working titles to these songs? Share some stories!

Gene – Working titles often relate to one element of the riff/rhythm/whatever that evokes something else, or an inside joke. We used to have a number system, but I can’t remember any of the corresponding songs anymore. We just use working titles because John is lazy and we have to force him to write lyrics when we’re in (or about to go into) the studio. Every band I have ever been in is like this, so I think that singers just can’t help it.

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CTM – Did you read the book called “New York Hardcore 1980-1990” by Tony Rettman? I really enjoyed my time with this book.

Gene – I haven’t had a chance to read it, but Tony did a reading from it at my store. The stories about the ‘80s hardcore scene are cool, but I kind of liked it better when everything was a mystery.

CTM – I heard that your dad was around for everything that happened in DC in the early 80’s. He was the go to guy in town for amp repair and all of the big name hardcore bands came to him. Please feel free to share some great stories you heard from him!

Gene – My favorite story that isn’t too long to write is that when he got the Rites of Spring LP from the guys he told them, “Finally, this is some real music,” or something to that effect. Another cool story is that Darryl Jenifer stopped him on the street in Georgetown (fancy DC neighborhood) way back when and handed him a “Pay to Cum” with picture sleeve. It’s not every day that your father gets handed a $3000 record by the greatest band ever, but lucky for me I still have it.

CTM – Your latest release is an awesome live set, Moshers Delight put out your set from Fort Reno this past summer on a cassette. Fort Reno has got a great history and Amanda MacKaye continues to put on shows there every summer. I think it’s an awesome tradition in your town.As the city’s DIY rock scenes blossomed, it became a place for new wavers and then punks—an identity Fort Reno has kept even as D.C. hardcore has given way to D.C. post-hardcore. Give played there a couple of times, please tell me something about the vibe of Fort Reno!

Gene – Fort Reno is great, I think I first when there in ’90 or so to see Fugazi. My parents would bring me along and I got a chance to check out great music in a kid friendly environment. I was there for the “Ice Cream Eating Motherfucker” incident, so how could I not love the place? Fort Reno is many of the things that make DC great: it’s free (tons of free cultural activities here due to all of the museums), it’s outside (DC has tons of parks including a huge one behind my house that we shot the cover for our LP in), lots of good bands have played and money is not the object(another DC thing and I’m proud to be part of it). Also, big thanks to Amanda, she rules.

CTM – If I am not mistaken everyone has their favorite era/line up of Youth Of Today. What was the best Youth Of Today line up?

Gene – BDTW lineup, no question. That shit is untouchable! I first got my hands on a copy of it when I was very young (maybe I was 10?) when my sister borrowed if from some trench coat wearing goth punk at her school. I looked at the cover and the lyrics and knew that this was EXACTLY what I was into. I can’t even believe that P-O-S-E-R Crucial John prefers the sellout record.

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CTM – Which NYHC hardcore band or song writer do you think writes the deepest lyrics, those that you can tell come from the heart?

Gene – I don’t look to NYHC for that kind of vibe, NYHC isn’t really the place for deep introspection. More often I’m thinking to myself “Boy, this music is great, why did they say THAT?!?” Notable exception being Absolution, those lyrics are pretty cool.

CTM – What have been some of your personal highlights or defining moments of the last European tour? What are the weirdest things you’ve ever seen on your European tours? Unusual European foods, weirdest European buildings, traditions etc.

Gene – I have a much more impressionistic way of looking at things, I used to know mundane details and facts about shows, records, etc, now I just follow life wherever it takes me. Getting to see old friends is always a highlight. Getting to see my friend Sarah, who almost died in a terrible accident, was a real blessing. Spending extra time in Berlin and Budapest was also great. We have so many great hosts that it seems unfair to single people out. Nothing in Europe is very foreign to me, I think I’m foreign to most other humans on Earth, I’m good to go wherever I am. No food is gonna really freak me out. If it’s from a plant, how bad could it be? If it’s a dead animal, it’s gross no matter what.

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CTM – I heard that Beady Eye “Different Gear, Still Speeding This” was the soundtrack to the Flowerhead tour. (Beady Eye was bad ass as well although it’s not good as Oasis. I was lucky to see them in Germany in 2013.) What do you listen to when you are on the road? what do you listen to in your tour bus?

Gene – That record is real good. I don’t care about Oasis. We listen to all kinds of stuff, depends on who is driving. If 85 is up front we’re probably listening to Z-Ro or some chopped and screwed shit. I’m more into conversation than listening to even more music (we do that all night).

CTM – Thanks for your time! Last words?

Gene – Thanks for being our friend, thanks for doing a zine, thanks to the Budapest HC scene. Start a band, start a zine, get involved.

Interview with Gene Melkisethian (Give) – Part I.

Gene Melkisethian (Give) interview originally published in Chiller Than Most, issue 3.5. Pics by Susan, Brett Sweeney, Dan Gonyea, Tyler Ross.

CTM – How did you start playing drums, and who were your biggest influences growing up?

Gene – I started playing drums because there was a drum set in my attic and I was a curious little bugger. Influences are kind of hard to pinpoint, as I’m more into music in general than just trying to cop someone’s vibe. I saw Fugazi almost constantly from when I was six or seven years old until they stopped, so I heard a lot of Brendan’s drumming, and he’s a great drummer, so I’m sure that’s in the mix. A cassette I found at a very young age was the Bad Brains Roir cassette, and how can you not dig that? As a teen, Sammy Siegler was in every cool band, so when I was the same age he was a big influence. Besides that I really dig Keith Moon, Mitch Mitchell, Vinny Appice, Bill Ward and like a million others.

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CTM – Who are your favourite hardcore drummers? Who left the biggest impact on your drum style and why?

Gene – Earl Hudson is the correct answer to this question, but I think that Jeff Nelson is waaaaay overlooked. The good NY(area) guys are obvious: Mackie, Sammy, Drew Beat, Will Shepler. Real into the drumming on the best Integ releases, whoever did it??? Besides that, I’m into the razzmatazz of Chris Bratton- he knows how to put on a show. More modern? Justin DeTore is a machine, and Connor Donegan is a young dude that crushes it. Also Brandon Ferrell from a bunch of NC/VA bands was always fun to watch and super on point, Jonah from Fucked Up is also great. Some of these guys I don’t even know one song by the bands they play in, but I always grab an up front spot to watch them play. I might try to cop a good idea they execute, but I’m too hyperactive to actually learn anything from them, I just make shit up that sounds good with whatever song I’m working on. I’d probably be a lot better (and all of these guys slay me) if I cared about fine-tuning my skills.

CTM – You said in an interview that the lyrics celebrate individuality, free will and a pride in self that stems from personal choices rather than thinking in a group. Do you think it’s important for a band of individuals to all have the same beliefs? What do you think about John’s lyrics?

Gene – Having the same beliefs would be boring. We are all on the same page on a lot of things, but I think that comes from growing together as a unit. We all can learn from each other, and there are a bunch of brainiacs in the group, so we’re always arguing about current events or having political debates. I think John’s lyrics are very good. They are the right mix of simple generalities and detailed snapshots of life. They resonate with a wide variety of people, and stand for the good things: positivity, love, acceptance, tolerance, individuality and growth.

CTM – Looking back, how do you feel about the self titled 12 inch? What memories does it bring to you?

Gene – It’s a cool record, the band was in a constant state of flux and had like three false starts before that. We got in some stupid arguments over the intro track, but that honestly makes the record for me. The opening track is the last thing that the previous lineup did together, and then it busts into a song that kind of summarizes the next era of the band. We were finding our style and image, and we didn’t have it all there at the time. I conscripted Ian to move from bass to guitar because he can actually handle being in a band, and that’s something important to consider. It was also cool because Ben is such a good player (in a more typical mode) that Ian’s inexperience would help us to have a more creative vibe (and how many pics of him prancing about would be posted on the internet if he had a bass in his hand…..). So it was fun to do something new and ambitious and more in line with what I’ve always been working towards.

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CTM – Do you feel like you accomplished something with this Electric Flower Circus record that you hadn’t done before on earlier releases?

Gene – It was an insane amount of tracking. We did like twenty songs almost. So that was something that I’d never done before. It was also cool to put it out ourselves. There are definitely things that I wish we had done differently, but that means that I care about it, and the fire is there to do something that’s hopefully “better” in the future.

CTM – What’s been your proudest moment in the band?

Gene – Who knows? It’s all fun. I love playing music, and these guys are great. We can all be giant babies about things, but that’s even fun at this point.

CTM – The Voodoo Leather cassette is probaly one of my most favorites. How would you describe this tape as far as music and lyrics?

Gene – It was all of the weird loose ends that we had hanging at the time. Ian and I are always trying to sell the other guys on our stupid riff-collections that aren’t really songs. I actually think that the music is really cool, but the recording doesn’t fit us. I also think that the lyrics aren’t as thought out as the other releases(with the giant exception of Voodoo Leather). That tape is like a glimpse into our practice space and showcases a side of the band that you might never see otherwise.

CTM – Give plays a style of DC punk mixing influences like Swiz and Rites of Spring with New Order and Soundgarden.Besides this the character/the attitude of what the band represents is totally hardcore. What makes a band a hardcore band in your eyes?

Gene – Who knows? That’s a tough question. On the good side, I see the bands in DC- lots of creative kids, lots of new faces. On the bad side I see bands in other places: conservative politics, sexism, homophobia, gang-mentalities, violence, glorifying the past above all else. Hardcore is our way of approaching things, always giving everything we’ve got when we play, not acting like rock stars- the usual shit, caring about the world and trying to make a difference- not giving in.

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CTM – Lion of Judah were a really unique band, you were a little weird compared to the typical hardcore formulas and Give was creating something completely new too in the hardcore scene. What do you think of the state of hardcore music nowadays and the way a lot of bands have a very similar sound?

Gene – It’s the same as it will always be, lots of people that like the violent imagery and need a place to bully others and they’re too weak to be real criminals. On the flip there are people everywhere that want to be different and don’t fit in where they’re from. They need a place to go where they are respected for whoever they are, and they need people that will stick up for them. There are more people that are good than bad, and more people that want to create than destroy, so there are good things to look forward to. We just try to make music that we like and we hope to inspire others to do the same.

CTM – Do you find it difficult to create your own sound and your own identity?

Gene – Not at all.

CTM – It seems to me you are still enjoying the creative process, you are still full of new ideas. What goals do you still have for the band and what are you hoping the future holds?

Gene – More music, more songs, encouraging more diversity in the scene.

Chiller Than Most fanzine

Chiller Than Most zineography

CTM – A4 size, 100 % cut and paste.

Issue #1 – interviews with Geert Hollanders (Control Records), Zachary Wuerthner (Intent,Mob Mentality, Moshers Delight), Unified Right, True, Garbageman, Stand Clear, Eric Fennell (Supertouch documentary)

Issue #2 – featuring interviews and articles with with AJ McGuire (Stop And Think), Gil Sayfan & Zachary Wuerthner (in this interview we are discussing about Token Entry), Jacob Hellas (Straight Truth), John Scharbach (Give, Breakthrough), Mikhail Blagodir & Roman Kravets (Sike), Owen Black (Jaguarz), the Hardcore Mailman by Dini

Issue #3 – featuring interviews and articles with Jeremy Stith (Fury), Adam Rifkin (Stick Together, War Hungry), Ned Russin (in this interview we are discussing about Youth of Today), Freddy Alva (New Breed compilation), Connor Donegan (Protester), Connor Hehir (Shrapnel)

Issue #3.5 – Give special issue, flowerhead fanzine featuring interviews and articles with Aaron Chrietzberg, Ahron Reinhard, Angela Owens, Christopher Wilson, Chad Troncale, Dylan Chadwick, Evan Wivell, Gene Melkisethian, Ian Marshall, John Scharbach, Nick Hinsch, Terri Waters, Zachary Wuerthner

Issue #4 – featuring interviews and articles with Marlene Goldman (DJ Spermicide, WNYU’s Crucial Chaos), Nathan Simpson & Matt LaForge (in this interview we are discussing about BOLD), Mir Ali (Might, Look Beyond ‘zine), Combatant, The Flex, Touch and background articles on WNYU’s Crucial Chaos Radio Show (Stand Proud, Up Front, Under Pressure, Warzone, Fit Of Anger, Chris Wynne, Tony Rettman, Justin Aledia, Our Gang, Uppercut, Close Call, Krakdown, Supertouch, Beyond)

Issue #5 – featuring interviews and articles with Ambrose Nzams & Dylan Chadwick (an in-depth analysis of the history of Mental), Nancy Barile , Tony Rettman, Firm Standing Law, The Accursed, Supertouch, the unedited BOLD chapter (“Straight Edge: A Clear-Headed Hardcore Punk History”), the story of the infamous Buff Hall show (Minor Threat, SS Decontrol, Agnostic Front), things to check out in NYC, a hardcore-lover’s guide (171A, A7, The Pyramid Club, CBGB, Tompkins Square Park, Ray’s Candy Store)

Illustrator by Chun Guo (Click the picture for bigger size.)

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Intro

Yo! My name is Attila. Some of you may know, some of you may not, but I am also doing Chiller Than Most, a hardcore fanzine that I started exactly 5 years ago this spring.

Are any of you still into reading hardcore fanzines? I hope so. I truly believe that fanzines are as important as bands, the difference is that far less people care about zines than about music. I want to change that with the help of this website. (If you don’t like to read or you are too lazy to read, you’re at the wrong place. Sorry.) Fanzines are still important for die hard hardcore fans, important for promoting music communities and gatekeeping music tastes. They are still a genuine part of the scene to people who are genuinely interested in it. Whatever happens in the future, they will always exist. As long as someone has something to say, the zines will live on. (And the kids will have their say…)

I try to keep Do You Know Hardcore? updated regularly, so please check back often. From time to time, I will upload zine excerpts, pics, interviews. If you love fanzines, as much as I do, then you will dig this site!

I want to thank everyone involved with the fanzine culture, and I also want to thank the bands, old and new. Without these hardcore bands and zines there would have been no Chiller Than Most fanzine or Do You Know Hardcore? blog. Thanks.