Wednesday, August 29, 2012

VEST-iges of Life on the Wrong Side (Inky Fanzine Nugget #2)

Wake up before dawn, it's already pounding me...

Looking back on the "2000s" era of hardcore, my genesis era, I'm sometimes entirely overtaken by douche-chilling memories of boys in girl pants, man breasts filling out youth medium tees and the ubiquitous "YOU'RE SCUM" Outbreak shirt that at least one kid sported at every show between 2004-2006. Still, like a retarded moth to a raging flame, I perused the B9 board today to find that old sleeping beast, the "trends from 2000's hardcore" thread had been brought out of e-core retirement. The comment? "The bubble vest/hoodie combo."

How could I have forgotten? An excellent vestige of hardcore fashion, that might still be kicking (or may have died out, along with studded belts and Guns Up) but was certainly seared into my immediate sphere of influence via "cooler" bands from the Northeast playing my town and covering Life of Agony. Anyway, I got to thinkin', and poring through the ol' zine collection and stumbled across this gem from the "can't quite keep 'em down" Wrong Side. Since my Drug Dogs interview with Chris Morgado is stuck somewhere in development hell (i.e. a storage locker on the West side of Salt Lake City), I'll throw this 'un up for your reading pleasure...because looka that! Dude rocks a bubble vest/hoodie combo!

Swinginnnn' YOU
Credit for the nugget goes to the excellent, and largely undercelebrated, Final Word fanzine. Active in the mid-later 2000's Final Word was a partnership between Pauly Edge and another guy named King Adross who gets ragged on a lot. I'd done some business with Pauly, designing a few Meltdown shirts (one I'm really proud of, and one I'm not) and found the guy to be super likeable and enthusiastic on the 'core...and his zine shows it. At one point, we spitballed some awesome Meltdown shirts, one of which involved two muscle-bound jarheads raiding a supermarket, copping armfulls of raw eggs and "ANYTHING FOR LEAN GAINS" on the back, and another with a Satanic creature dismembering an Atreyu shirt-clad pantywaist and "HIPSTER HOLOCAUST" emblazoned in some weird script around it. Alas, neither panned out, and it's a crying shame, but in a "business" with no contracts and only "good dude backed hard" recommendations to go on, many great ideas get tossed to the dogs. Anyway, peep this excellent exchange between Pauly and Chris Morgado on the subjects of moshing, Earth Crisis, The Bloodhound Gang and Hatebreed. The zine's gotta be long out of print, but if you're interested in some good readin' seek it out.

From Final Word Fanzine #3:

Pauly: You're known for going completely nuts at shows and doing some crazy shit. What are some of the craziest things you've ever done?
Morgado: (Laughs) Let me think. Down But Not Out shows always brought the craziest shit out of me I think. Their set at that last Proclamation show in particular...punching myself with brass knuckles, throwing chairs, one man wall-of-deathing kids, that was a good show. Q from the A-Team had a video of it. I sang "Life of my Own" and this kid Cappy we're friends with was in the pile on and you just heard THUD THUD THUD instead of the words, 'cuz I was hitting him with the mic. I know that sounds like some asshole shit, but whatever I do to people I have usually done to myself twice as hard in the same time frame. One time during Death Threat, I headbutted the stage so hard I blacked out. Moshing used to make me completely insane and unconscious of it's singing in the band that does it. I'm a much mellower mosher now, most of the time. Certain songs will still bring it out of me though, as will certain bands. "Why Must They?" and "Life of my Own" are guaranteed mind erasers for me, and Outbreak sets just make me the biggest asshole on the planet. If you were on stage during their set at Posi Numbers, I probably hit you. That goes for the guys in the band too. I fucking whaled on poor Ryan O and Chris a ton (laughs). They fucking love it though. For some reason it gets them really psyched and I think everyone knows it's not a malicious action; they just make me go nuts. I got what was coming to me anyways. I stage dove and bounced ribs first off the PA's at the end of the set, fucked myself up good for like, three months.

Pauly: A lot of people don't really give Earth Crisis the respect they're due. I know you said in another interview that Ten Yard Fight and Earth Crisis was your first 'real' hardcore show. What do you feel ExC did and how are bands influenced by 'em now?
Morgado: I know you're full of Syracuse pride Pauly, so this will bum you out and I'm sorry, but I think Earth Crisis ended up doing more harm than good. They were so over the top, politically, that to an extend it made straight edge a joke. You have to look at it from the mainstream sense, because ExC were the band that took the edge to the mainstream. That's something you can't separate when you talk about the band because that's one of the reasons they're still an important band from a historical perspective, despite how it turned out. I mean, the result was completely unintentional obviously, but for years anytime anyone found out I was straight edge it was like 'oh yeah, I saw that Earth Crisis band on CNN. How come you think you're better than me because of my leather shoes?' It was like you were automatically a little vegan soldier because you were straight edge. Fuck, occasionally it still happens to me. 'Oh yeah, I remember seeingthat on MTV in 1998. I thought that fad was over.' I respect that they were trying to spread a message and promote something good, but I think it bit them in the ass, in part because the media is bullshit, and in part because it was so over the top and deadpan. You know those dudes weren't shooting drug dealers and vivisectionists dead, but they were on TV all solemn and straight-faced...and I LIKE Earth Crisis! I hunted down the '93 demo and I think it's probably some of my favorite material, and the title track from Gommorah's Season Ends is one of those songs that makes me lose it. But as a political movement or whatever, I think they ended up making things worse for straight edge instead of better. For a while there, they made it huge, definitely, but all the kids I personally met who swore by ExC back then? I don't see all that many of them still edge or vegan today. Was it awesome to have a shitload of kids screaming 'A Firestorm to Purify!?', absolutely. Did the message have any lasting impact to the majority of the mass populace? Straight edge is considered a gang to cops all over the place now because of the Earth Crisis disciples in Salt Lake, does that count? Should that count?

Pauly: Who do you hope for the Wrong Side to tour with, since you guys have a lot more exposure on Stillborn records? I remember Stand Accused dropping off a Hatebreed show because they didn't want to play to the type of fans that Hatebreed brings out. How would you feel about touring with Hatebreed if you were given the chance?
Morgado: I don't think was why Stand Accused didn't play those shows, or if it was it wasn't wasn't the deciding factor. Obviously I would tour with Hatebreed in a second. I respect the hell out of Jamey and I'm told he's really into our record, the Blacklisted record too. That is a dude that just loves hardcore and has done so much for it. I went to so many shows in Connecticut when I was coming up, that were shows he booked at the Hanover House and so on. I saw him reaching out to hook up bands like Down But Not Out. Down But Not Out, the band who everyone knew would never reach their potential but wanted to, he was gonna do a record on Stillborn. They dawdled on it like they did everything else, and it never happened, but I've always remembered that he wanted to do that for them. It wasn't because they were huge scenesters like a lot of the bands who started at the same time as them, but because he just thought they were a great band. That has always stuck out for me. I met my wife at a show he booked, ya know? And Hatebreed is still the same band they always were musically. You can't tell me otherwise, they're just better at it now, like a whole 'nother level. That song "Doomsayer?" That's right up there with any Slayer song to me man. They're at that level of mainstream hard music, yet it's totally a hardcore song.

Pauly: What are your favorite Lockin Out bands?
Morgado: Righteous Jams without a doubt. The lineup they have right now has really come together so that their live show is completely tight. Everyone in that band is a great dude and the music they're making is just so awesome. It's so stripped down but it's still a current sound, ya know? It's hard to say Mental because everyone in my band is also in Mental, but they've really picked up their game from the 7" on Bridge 9 and rekindled all those feelings I had when they started with the 7" they just put out. That the best material they've done by far. It amazes me with the song-writing skills they possess to do that and still come up with what they come up with for the Wrong Side. I mean, to me, just on a personal level of being there when it started, that is Lockin Out to me: Mental, Dump Truck and RJ's. That's not trying to slight Rampage or Jaguarz or whoever, it's just that those three are who it started with. Those three and Crunch Time, that was like AJ and Greg's big thing when it started I think, that Crunch Time record. They really took that band under their wing.

Pauly: What bands do you like that no one would guess you'd like?
Morgado: As far as within the core, I like a bunch of what people would call tough-guy style hardcore bands, "thugcore" I guess they call it, like Death Before Dishonor from Boston. They have lots of songs to move to. Fury of Five, and Shattered Realm have stuff I really can get into as well. Nobody thinks I'm genuinely into that stuff but I am a little bit, I think it's cuz that style was so prevalent when I started going to shows at like 121 in Brockton, so it's like I have a soft spot for stuff that's hard as nails and causes spin kicks. I'm not talking like screamo metalcore with artsy lyrics and acoustic parts, I'm talking hard chugga-chugga hardcore about revenge and drugs and whatever. Outside of that, the strangest thing I really dig is this weird band called The Bloodhound Gang. I think they're hilarious, they're like slacker rap/punk stuff. They have this record called Hooray for Boobies and the leadoff track is just a great skank riff. It's called "I Hope You Die" and it's HIGH-larious to me.

LOL, We're gonna headline TIHC 2016

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