Legendary hardcore band Minor Threat has been a memory since they released two EPs and the studio album Out Of Step (Dischord) before their eventual break up in the mid-’80s. They helped invent the Hardcore Punk genre, introducing concepts of straight-edge lifestyle that continue to guide the ethos of the music. In a new interview in a new interview with Spain’s GoetiaMedia.com, guitarist Brian Baker was asked if the band would ever return. He answered “We will never play shows again. It was a product of its time. It’s so much better to leave it alone than ruin it by being a bunch of old guys playing songs that we wrote when we were teenagers.” Interest renewed in the band after they recreated their iconic 1980 photo last fall as they broke the internet for a day. Just recently, Dischord Records put their entire 40+ year catalog fo records on Bandcamp for free. Singer Ian MacKaye formed Fugazi in 1987 and in recent years started a new band with his wife and bandmate in The Evens, Amy Farina, and Fugazi bassist Joe Lally. Baker joined fellow punk legends Bad Religion in 1994. Guitarist Lyle Preslar was a member of The Meatmen in the 1980s and played briefly with Samhain before eventually becoming a lawyer.
Billy Gould, the legendary bassist, and songwriter of Faith No More has been added to Wayne Kramer’s all-star MC50 band, celebrating the 50th-anniversary of the MC5 with tour dates this fall. Perofming the classic album Kick Out The Jams, Gould joins Kramer, Brendan Canty (Fugazi), Marcus Durrant (Zen Guerrilla) and Kim Thayil (Soundgarden). Former Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe as direct on all UK dates.Continue reading
Bad Brains frontman Paul “H.R.” Hudson has had an amazing career, which is far from over. From helping create and lead hardcore punk with Bad Brains being nominated for theRock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Now Lesser Gods Publishing (A Vulgar Display Of Pantera) is releasing the first fully authorized biography for H.R.: Finding Joseph I: An Oral History of H.R. from Bad Brains. Continue reading
The Truth of Revolution, Brother: An Exploration of Punk Philosophy (Situation Press) is an interesting look at many of the common philosophies within the rebellious genre and it also acts as a biography for some of its key figures. Through a series of interviews authors Lisa Sofianos, Robin Ryde and Charlie Waterhorse, have crafted an insightful and at times dense examination of the personal beliefs that fuel the music, particularly in anarcho-punk.
Culled from over 20 different interviews with subjects including the likes of former Dead Kennedy’s vocalist Jello Biafra, producer Steve Albini and firebrand Gavin McInnes, The Truth of Revolution, Brother feels like a great documentary that hasn’t been shot yet. Punk isn’t just music, for the faithful it’s an unshakable bond that informs all of their daily decisions. It was an artistic liberation because it wasn’t the usual prog and arena rock that permeated the 1970s. If you had something to say now you can now express yourself even if you can’t play your instrument very well or have a record label to back you up. All the weirdos were allowed.
“Punk changed the whole world for me,” says Albini. “Punk changed all of my friends. Everything that I do with my life. This studio. All of this that I am doing for a living. Everyone I know. Every significant friend I’ve ever had. Every significant life experience that I have had, I owe that to the Ramones.”
However, it is also quick to point out that while punk was the undiscriminating genre when it came to musical prerequisites, age or sex; it is also very much steeped in hierarchy as you are allowed to come in and participate only if you wear the right boots and black shirts. The prevailing Do-It-Yourself ethos acts as the backbone that allows punk to stand, but also means that there is less focus on quality control as anyone can come in and take a swing at it. Doing it yourself can sometimes lead to doing it badly.
But for me what was most interesting about this tome is that so many of the interviewed always pointed to anarcho-punk trailblazers Crass as one of their main inspirations and the reason for adopting the punk lifestyle. The consensus is that they were the first punk band to adopt the DIY mantra, foster pro-environmentalist habits and call for everyone to drop competiveness out of their nature in order to improve the community.
“What is so deeply emotional for me about Crass, in particular, is that when I was sent to the correctional boarding school I was completely alone” says Jon Gnarr. “And I was so afraid that I carried a knife. I felt so alone, and there was nobody to tell me right from wrong, there weren’t even teachers at that place, so at a very difficult time in my life, Crass was there for me.” Feeling dissatisfied with his government’s handling of the 2008 Icelandic financial crisis, Gnarr would use some of that punk influence and form the satirical Best Party. In a shocking upset Gnarr ran and was elected mayor of Reykjavík in 2010.
So many other of the interview subjects continuously cite the short lived anarchist bent Essex unit, that it starts to feel like that you are getting an oral history of the band. Adding to that feel are insightful chapters directly from former Crass members Steve Ignorant, Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher.
Something worth noting is that with so many citing the same artists and similar philosophies as vital the book can begin to feel a tad repetitive towards the middle, but all things considered it shines a bright light on the inner machinations of one of rock’s most extreme wings. Now if we could only get that complete Crass biography.
Prong is streaming their cover of the Bad Brains classic “Banned in DC,” off their forthcoming covers album, out in the US on March 31, 2015 via eOne Music (SPV/Steamhammer special CD and LP edition available in Scandinavia on March 25, in Germany on March 27, and the rest of Europe on March 30), here.
The track list is far from traditional. With covers of artists like Neil Young, Black Flag, Bad Brains and Sisters of Mercy, the band casts their net wide. The goal, says Victor, was to explore the vast landscape that makes up the bands sound, stemming from their roots. “Since the record explores Prong’s roots, musically and geographically, this needed to be expressed visually and this was attained.”
1. Doomsday (Discharge)
2. Vision Thing (Sisters Of Mercy)
3. Goofy`s Concern (Butthole Surfers)
4. Kids Of The Black Hole (Adolescents)
5. Bars (Black Flag)
6. Seeing Red (Killing Joke)
7. Don`t Want To Know If You Are Lonely (Husker Du)
8. Give Me The Cure (Fugazi)
9. Banned in DC (Bad Brains)
10. Cortez The Killer (Neil Young)
The band has also announced their upcoming US tour this fall.
Apr 17: VERA – Groningen (NT)
Apr 18: Poppodium Volt – Sittard (NT)
Apr 19: De Kreun – Kortrijk (BL)
Apr 21: O2 Academy 2 – Birmingham (UK)
Apr 22: O2 Academy 2 – Liverpool (UK)
Apr 23: O2 Academy – Islington (UK)
Apr 24: O2 Academy – Bristol (UK)
Apr 25: L’Empreinte – Savigny Le Temple (FR)
Apr 26: Konzertfabrik 27 – Pratteln (SW)
Apr 27: PPC – Graz (AT)
Apr 28: Szene Wien – Vienna (AT)
Apr 29: Feierwerk – Munich (DE)
Apr 30: Huxleys Neue Welt – Berlin (DE)
May 01: Underground – Koln (DE)
May 02: Turock – Essen (DE)
May 03: Knust – Hamburg (DE)
Oct 23: Ramona Mainstage – Ramona, CA
Oct 24: Las Vegas Country Saloon (LVCS) – Las Vegas, NV
Oct 25: Club Red/Red Owl – Mesa, AZ
Oct 27: Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO
Oct 28: Aftershock – Shawnee, KS
Oct 30: Jake’s – Lubbock, TX
Oct 31: Tree’s – Dallas, TX
Nov 01: The Korova – San Antonio, TX
Nov 02: Scout bar – Houston, TX
Nov 03: Siberia – New Orleans, LA
Nov 04: Orpheum – Tampa, FL
Nov 05: The Haven Lounge – Winter Park, FL
Nov 06: Jack Rabbits – Jacksonville, FL
Nov 07: The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Nov 08: TBA – Birmingham, AL
Nov 09: Centerstage Bar & Grill – Kokomo, IN
Nov 10: Expo Five – Louisville, KY
Nov 11: Empire – Springfield, VA
Nov 12: Upstairs at the Palladium – Worcester, MA
Nov 13: Trickshots – Clifton Park, NY
Nov 14: Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY
Nov 15: Foufoune’s – Montreal, QC
Nov 16: L’Agitee – Quebec, QC
Nov 17: Ritual Nightclub – Ottawa, ON
Nov 18: The Garrison – Toronto, ON
Nov 19: Hard Rock Café – Pittsburgh, PA
Nov 20: Rt 20 Outhouse – Racine, WI
Nov 21: The Token Lounge – Westland, MI
Nov 22: Agora Theatre & Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
Nov 23: Mojoe’s – Joliet, IL
Nov 24: Spicoli’s Grill & Reverb Rock Gardnen – Waterloo, IA
Nov 25: Fubar – St Louis, MO
Nov 27: POV’s Sports Bar & Grill – Andover, MN
Nov 28: Zoo Cabaret – Winnipeg, MB
Nov 30: Pawn Shop – Edmonton, AB
Dec 01: The Nite Owl – Calgary, AB
Dec 03: Venue – Vancouver, BC
Dec 04: El Corazon – Seattle, WA
Dec 05: Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR
Dec 06: Thee Parkside – San Francisco, CA
Dec 07: Whisky – West Hollywood, CA