Chiller Than Most fanzine, issue 4. Photos by James Damion, Freddy Alva, Chris Wynne, Chris Benetos.
My name is Todd Lung and I was the drummer for the band.
In order to give you the full radio show experience, I need to start from no place else but the beginning….. In 1988 Fit of Anger was comprised of a bunch of 16 and 17 year old kids. It was Nick on vocals, Al on guitar, Chris on bass, and me on drums. We were all living in College Point and would practice almost every day after school in my basement. Nick and I went to the same school (including Tom Daly the singer of Stand Proud). We had just put out our first demo. Our first show was a CB’s Sunday Matinee. If I remember correctly it was for Sheer Terror’s record release party. Every Thursday night I would listen to Crucial Chaos just to see if they would play our demo.
The station was great because they would play all the local hardcore and punk bands music, no matter the recording quality. 89.1 was hard for me to get on my radio, so even the best recordings at the time sounded gritty. One night the DJ had announced they were receiving a lot of requests for FOA. He followed it up by playing POW Bring Them Home. I’d like to add that Crucial Chaos was great because it got you ready for the weekend hardcore shows no matter where they were or who was playing. When I was told we were playing Crucial Chaos, besides how fucking cool that was, I thought how are we getting our shit there? It was one thing for our friends to borrow their parent’s cars on a Sunday afternoon, but to do it during the week at night? That night we waited on two friends to drive us. We loaded Gange’s Cordoba (Mike Gange who later became the executive producer for the Howard Stern Show) with my drums, guitars, and sent him on his way to the city. We waited for our other friend (who shall remain nameless) to pick us up and he never showed. My brother Andy had come home in his little Nissan Sentra. He agreed to take us to NYU. We all piled in his car which was so small that we had to roll the windows down in the back seat so Chris’ bass guitar would fit. I’ll never forget sitting in the back seat of my brother’s car, holding on to Chris’ bass with the windows rolled down, sticking out on both sides of the car. Andy dropped us off at the school on the sidewalk where all my drums and guitars met us on the sidewalk.
Freddy Alva: Hanging out w/Fit Of Anger in College Point, Queens 1988.
We were met by an “Engineer” who guided the band, the equipment, and all our friends who showed up, to what I remember as this little room. It was like being an animal in a cage at the zoo. There was barely enough room for the band and the equipment, let alone all our friends who showed up. The engineers in the booth kept saying we couldn’t have all those people in there with us, but they stayed the entire set. Not sure of any flyers on the wall, as the whole process was rushed from when we arrived, set up and then went live. The quarters were so cramped that Chris kept hitting my cymbals with his bass. Our friends at least brought beer with them, which also was not allowed in the studio but we drank them anyway. Highlights of the experience now listening back are that both Nick and I married our high school sweethearts. You will hear Nick dedicating songs to Pepsi (her name is Pepita but we all called her Pepsi), as well as me yelling out “Yes Helen!” The words between Al and Nick saying “Especially Dave Moscatto (who later became Big Dave on MTV’s battle for Ozzfest, Ozzy’s kids nanny and now his tour manager)” and Nick says “Whatever!” Then Nick is asking for water for like 3 songs. “Someone get me some water!”… no one got him water. Ha, that’s how we were together all the time, if you acted like an asshole you got treated like an asshole.
I knew we made our mark in hardcore when after we played our set. They invited us in the back of the studio to cut some promo I.D’s. “We are Fit of Anger and you are listening to Crucial Chaos on 89.1 WNYU”. Easier said then done. We did about 5 of them and I think they all sucked. I never did hear any of the promos we recorded played on the radio. The next morning I got up and went to school. I’ll never forget how I felt being tired and hung over in homeroom. The kid next to me (who I didn’t get along with, was part of the jocks, aka the “in crowd”), tells me he heard me on the radio last night, and says “You guys were great last night.” “Let me know when you play a show”. I so wanted him to come to CB’s that Sunday so he could get the shit kicked out of him. It was after playing the radio station that I was recognized by the “in crowd”. As I walked through the halls, guys would stop me to talk about the band. What Crucial Chaos did was bring the music into the radios of those that normally wouldn’t listen to that style of music. NYHC had shows, tapes, 7”’s and records, but no airplay. Crucial Chaos provided that format to which I will be forever grateful. When FOA recorded demos or played live, there was no difference. It’s not like we had the money back then to record individual tracks. We would all play and sing at the same time, so how you heard us playing on a recording is how you heard us live. Even when you hear us on New Breed’s Tape Compilation, you hear Nick start the song with “Just one more take?” All we did back then was play and record the songs over and over as a group and then pick the best one.