Sound Ceremony (Ron Warren Ganderton) - Tobacco man
Jonathan Richman’s ‘I’m Straight’ has a companion proto-straight edge anthem, this one is far more XMILITANTX.
WORDS CARVED INTO MY HEAD #1 (28 pages, Euro, 1996)
Features the definitive Mouthpiece interview. A fanzine dedicated to Mouthpiece and old school straight edge hardcore.
This is a very strange zine.
The distance is vast between a good straight edge hardcore band like Side By Side and a band like Mouthpiece, who were ostensibly an emo (when emo went late DC indie rock) straight edge band, but this was 1996 and there wasn’t much to choose from at the time.
The editors seem somewhat aware of the dire state of affairs and they seem to offer the requiem for Mouthpiece as a kind of cleansing ritual. Things seemed to get a little better from that day forward… a little better. Floorpunch happened, of course.
There’s a series of photos of bands like Wide Awake and Chain, reviews of Plagued With Rage and the like. My generation. They attempt to define what old school hardcore means in a very collegiate essay about the term. The most interesting piece in here is a poetic essay on straight edge that references Blanchot, Hoderlin, Hegel and Heidegger - no shit. Once again: a very strange one.
POSITIVE PEER PRESSURE (fanzine ad, 1988)
A t-shirt company with a p-p-positive message. That hucksters saw a market in the landscape of late 80’s youth crew mania, and with such immediacy produced this crass merchandising of cheap Christian sentiment is glorious tribute to the eternal dual power of vanity and naivety to draw in the allowance of society suckers.
That, or it’s a weak Crucial Youth inspired satire.
Either way, Positive Peer Pressure is a Painfully Precise dePiction of Punk’s Political aPProach… but YOU are too smart for that, eh?! YOU listen to B&D themed skinhead power electronic interpretations of Death In June instrumentals! Praise Jah!
DISTORT #28 (2009)
Interviews with Royal Headache, Lou Barlow (on Deep Wound / Last Rights / Dinosaur Jr), Born Bad, Scarcity Of Tanks, Criminal Damage, Video Disease, No Tolerance, Rival Mob, Home Blitz
From interview with Royal Headache:
How hard was it to write ‘Girls’? It’s a hard task to make a dent in the history of songs with that word in the title, but I strongly believe you’ve done it, to surpass Motley Crue, not quite in the class of ‘California Girls’, but they had a few years on you, right?
Lawrence: I think when we recorded it that was your first time singing it and the demo recording is your first take, and that’s the way it’s been ever since.
Shortty: We were playing that song before it had vocals, I remember loving that song but nobody else who sung on it could make it happen, but this song made me so happy. Then you came in and put this sweet vanilla icing over the top.
Shogun: I reckon I fucked it up. I think it’s heaps better without the singing. It had this amazing vitality that I felt really intimidated by, I felt too old and cynical to possibly engage with that and sing over it and do it justice. I think when these guys were initially jamming they wanted to get a young lady to sing, and it really did sound like something way more suited to Avengers style punk rock. Girls vocals. But, you know, to tell the truth, it haunts me to this day, it was so good without the singing. It’s turned into this dumb rock song with my singing. I think I might try rewrite it.
Lawrence: You know, people ask me what the lyrics are and I don’t really know.
Shortty: I reckon you gave it another dimension.
Shogun: I think I just, I dragged it down to the world of sexual frustration and manhood whereas before it just shimmered.
Shortty: To me, it’s got a bit of self loathing and it’s kind of sad at the same time, the melodies are real desperate sounding…
Shortty: it’s not just a Beach Boys beach party, it’s got a bit of an outsider vibe, it’s got more depth…
Shogun: Yeah, yeah. It’s pretty angry. But I still think I reduced it to a pop song when initially it was something more. But it’s only a minute and a half song, who gives a shit? It’s not fucking Blue Poles.
From interview with No Tolerance:
To this day I find the straight edge bands I most like are not kind and open and tolerant and friendly: they are mean and hateful and ignorant. I know you named your named after Brotherhood, but your lyrics certainly reflect that dark side of straight edge that makes for better music. Is the militant edge a joke?
Chris: Militant lyrics, again are more of an appeal to what I would have wanted when I was a teen. I’m 28 and I look at people I know getting fucked up real hard and I still feel the same way I did when I was 16 about it. Just disgusted. I guess the thing is I’m willing to let people live their own lives, I’m not knocking beers out of anyone’s hands, but there’s times when I feel like I’d like to. I think a lot of times the more militant straight edge bands are populated by these total reactionary goons, and that whole vibe is kind of synonymous with the worst of what that kind of hardcore has to offer, so sometimes it can seem like a joke, but put on the Judge 7” or Confront 7”, whatever you think about the people in those groups then or now, the tunes are no joke. Rock solid stuff.
Justin: No, it’s the only type of straight edge that’s not a joke to me in this day and age. Straight edge started off as angry and obnoxious and it’s meant to be that way. I think that attitude is just as important as what you are rejecting because without it you’re just a square. I certainly agree with you that this vibe makes for better music. All the good straight edge bands jumped the shark once they mellowed out. And by the way, the whole “open and friendly” non-threatening brand of straight edge is such bullshit anyway. Time and time again the ones under that guise have turned out to be the sketchiest, hypocritical, and most untrustworthy people I’ve ever met.
From interview with Lou Barlow:
Can you remember why you decided to cover ‘Chunks’ with Dinosaur?
It was the Last Rights single. J had the single and really liked the song. As Deep Wound we were outsiders to the Boston hardcore scene. Last Rights were the most fearsome band. I mean, any band that Choke was in. Like Negative FX, Slapshot. He was such a fearsome character. There was a few US, almost like oi! bands, like Iron Cross. J just had a, almost like a fetish for that sort of music. At that point us covering the song, wasn’t ironic, it was a tribute to a great song.
Wasn’t it released on the B side of ‘Just Like Heaven’?
Yeah. It was kind of our musical influences in a nutshell. We played with FU’s, DYS. There was a good band called Impact Unit we played with, they were pretty funny.