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Steve Reddy - Wolfpack
-- Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Here it is folks. Possibly the only NY Wolfpack interview ever recorded. This interview literally needs no introduction, but I should get some editor notes in there just so I can look professional. If you've never heard of Steve Reddy or EVR, you should hang up your boots immediately. Even if you know the Steve Reddy story, sit back and (rot) prepare yourself for a full course on NY Wolfpack, NYHC politics and one or two fight stories. Thanks go out to Steve and all the dudes who compiled the questions. One last note: this interview was originally supposed to appear edited in Owen and Sami's zine. There was some bad timing or something equally as goofy, and it never happened. Here's the complete, unedited interview. Enjoy.
Interview by Pete Lynch
Questions by: Sami, Owen, Pete, Cooch, Mir Ali, Joey C (RJ loves the wolfpack!) & Jeff Hess.
Non core pics courtesy of Zusi with a helping hand from Brett Beach. Core pic courtesy of the book "Making a Scene" by Brian Hurley. Also, please note that every pic is a side profile. How that worked out, we'll never know.
-Those who own the record know absolutely nothing about this band from the LP; can you give a history of the band from start to finish?
I didn't start the band, my best friend Don Sullivan did. He was in a band called Fit for Abuse and I loved them, Don was awesome and we were like brothers. Well some of the dudes from Fit For Abuse were older and married and it's not like money was ever a possibility back then so they could do it so much, so don and the original guitar player from Fit For Abuse, Drew, got together with these 3 young metal kids who were coming to shows and could actually play their instruments, and formed wolfpack. Drew was the mastermind, he was into Boston hardcore and he came up with the name and he wrote all the songs. Well one day Don up and joined he marines. Blew all our minds. Out of the blue him and Steve Schneider (the other dude in the cb's picture with me), just came in and told everyone they had joined the marines. I was like what the fuck. Well they left and they asked me to sing and I said no so they got this other guy and they played a show at 288 Lark St. and the new guy sucked. I was embarrassed for myself, Don and Drew. So they gave him the boot and I came aboard. The Bomp hook up was from this girl Betsie, who was in this band the Raunchettes. They had played some shows in Albany so we got to know them and Don loved one of the chicks in the band so we had been to Rochester to hang with them. Well Betsie ended up marrying Greg (RIP) from Bomp and she turned him on to the demo tape that we had. He wanted to get his label more into hardcore and he wanted to do it with Wolfpack. So we went in the studio and did the record for like $500. We weren't ready for a full length. Before the record was out Drew had quit the band and we got this poser kid Shane to take his place. Shane's the graffiti bomber who did the great wolfpack that we are in front of on the back of the album. Shane only lasted one show but he got his picture on the album. Sucks.
We went on one tour. Dave stein set the whole thing up; it was up and down the east coast. I think it only ended up being like 5 shows but it was the end of the band for me. The difference between a hardcore kid and a metal kid was just too much for me to take. We brought along this other metal kid as a roadie, a few months later I ended up beating the shit out of that kid for making a Breakdown flyer for a show that I was doing and it was a drawing of a girl smoking a cig from her heynanunanu. The flyer had my phone number and everything on it so I freaked and I put word out that the kid shouldn't come to the show. Well he did and I pounded him.
Back to the tour. We played in a small club in West Virginia and some other band must have used the place as a practice space and the metal kid stole a bunch of their equipment. I didn't find out about it until we got back from tour and were unloading the van. I freaked and said if they didn't send the shit back to the club in WV. I was out of the band. They kept the stuff and I quit.
-(The only other piece of info I have was when cooch told me you weren't the first singer and they played some shows in the early 90s with the old singer.... is he correct on that?)
Drew wanted to do the band again and I loved Drew but I wasn't into it. They ended up replacing me and playing some shows including the Roger Miret benefit at cb's.
-Unlike virtually every other obscure NYHC record, the LP has pretty much never been booted, do any exist and have you ever thought about releasing it or having someone else release it?
It was probably never booted because it's not very good. If you check your local record store one may show up in the .99-cent bin.
-Outside of the LP does any other recorded material exist?
Dave Stein and I started Combined Effort Records and our first release was the Albany style 7" that had four Albany bands on it and wolfpack had either 1 or 2 songs on it, I can't remember.
-Because the LP never came with an insert, can you finally put an end to the long running confusion of what the lyrics are? Your vocals are some of the most ferocious sounding ever especially on side one and I have wanted to know them forever...
I made an insert for the record. Laid it out in my living room with a typewriter and ruler. I first saw the finished record while I was on tour with YOT. We were at maximum rock and roll house and they had it I was surprised to find no lyric sheet in there but I was in no position to call Greg out on it because the band was already broken up.
-The LP seems to have many themes: the wolfpack, being proud, standing hard and being strong: what led you to write about these themes?
Like I said Drew wrote most of the songs and lyrics. He was a real hardcore kid and those are things that you felt back then just being a hardcore kid. It was kind a merge of looking out for your friends, being tough, and being strong.
-What's the deal with "Chipmunk in the Road"? The song is listed on the LP but does not appear on the record. Is it just the noise at the end of the song until the needle hits the matrix?
I hated that song. I don't know if I even sent it off to Bomp. The bass player Doug wrote it and it was just a silly song. I'm glad it never made it on the record.
-Does the black book of hell have a foreword?
I wrote that one. I bought a used car and I financed it and they gave me this little black plastic cover to keep the payment book in and I ended up making most of the payments while the car sat broken down in the parking lot. It was just about getting into something that you don't really think through but because you signed a paper now you're fucked. I bought a car, I took college loans, my friends joined the marines, etc.
-What kind of reaction would the wolfpack get, on the dancefloor and on the street?
It was about the same everywhere. No reaction what so ever. Does the expression big in Albany mean anything to you?
-Outside of Ray, you are the only person to ever sing a whole show with Youth Of Today.... what was that like, and do you have any stories from being the roadie on the Break Down The Walls tour? I heard about you and Porcell taking out nazi skins in Houston Texas….care to elaborate?
We were in Walla Walla Washington. One of my favorite all time tour places. Well we were staying with these Mormon kids, love moron kids, and they had a skate ramp. Ray and Porcell are pretty awesome skaters and they were skating. They talked Walter into trying to drop in when he could barely tic-tac back and forth. Well he ended up breaking his ankle and couldn't go on. That's a funny story because just that day he and Ray had given themselves funny haircuts. Ray just shaved all these bald patches in his head and then he gave Walter a Mohawk and I think they died it purple. Walter couldn't leave Walla Walla for a few days and we had to go to Seattle and Portland and then we were coming back to pick him up. Well it was over a weekend and Walter had to go to church. Well I guess Mormon Church is like 3 hours long and the priest or whoever came down of the altar with a microphone and started asking Walter questions. Unreal.
They tried to teach me the songs on bass but I'm no musician. So it was either cancel the shows or I sing and Ray play bass. Portland sucked because someone heckled "let the bass player sing." Seattle was cool because all the Brotherhood kids made it cool. I feel sorry for any kids who only saw YOT with me singing.
-What about the Shelter riot? Can you give me a recount from your point of view? What exactly happened in front of you? Who started it all? What was the deal with the guy who brought back all the thugs back to the club?
You mean the Boston Shelter riot? Some dudes were out in front of the club drinking all night and when John Lacriox stopped working the door they all came in and started to fuck shit up. They were big and all the kids at the show were small. Ray called from he stage for me to come up and throw them out. Well I don't think he knew how many of them there were or how big they were. So I went up to this fat kid that was causing most of the trouble and asked him to chill out and he was like FU, and I didn't want to start with him because there was like this other guy with them that was like 6'6 250lb and wearing a track suit. So Ray had everyone sit down and everyone sat down except them. Well the giant kid smacked some little kid and I sucker punched him. He fell down more because kids were sitting down all around his feet and I landed on him and just kept swinging. Well his friends ratpacked me in like 2 seconds and they got me by the arms and legs and were trying to carry me outside and the big guy was saying get this mofo outside so I can shoot him. Well it was a riot and I managed to get free and get back into the club but I had gotten pounded pretty well and the next weekend Project Kate and I got married so I have a shiner in my wedding photos. Classic white trash style.
-What inspired you to become pride of the pack and when did this idea of becoming the pride of the pack happen upon you?
Drew wrote it. And we use to quote it but there's a big difference between being tough at a hardcore show and being tough on the street at least back then there was. I'm sure I've lost 3/4 of the fights that I've been in.
-I understand you are very much into weightlifting...what's your diet like and what is your normal routine like? Do you believe that ideally, straight edge and weightlifting should go hand in hand?
I was into weight lifting. I'm not in very good shape now even though I have a gym at my house. (lame). EVR and my family keep me pretty busy plus I'm 40 years old now and officially washed up.
-What was the most you ever benched? What year was that?
I remember being able to do around 285.. But I was never really one of those max out kinda guys. Porcell and Richie always wanted to max out I wasn't into it. My peak year was 1987. I remember working out twice a day.
I believe straight edge goes with everything. Intoxication is insane.
-What is the average day like for you, food wise? Be as specific as necessary. Do you stay away from soy or embrace it? If so, why?
I like tofu.
-What are 3 main factors to running a successful screen printing operation?
I'll tell you when mine becomes successful.
-What do you remember about the NYHC Puerto Rican twins? They seem to have had an impact as being some of the best moshers ever but they were only around for one summer? Did you know them or what became of them?
After the YOT tour in the summer of 88 was over I dropped out of the scene. I lived on the Krsna farm for the next four years. I kinda missed that whole bad guy smashing people with hammers in the pit thing. When I came back around all those dudes were starting bands so they didn't want to see shows getting messed up.
-Favorite Cro-Mags mosh part?
That's a tough one. There's so much to choose from. The beginning of we gotta know, seekers of the truth, I was a bad mosher so probably my favorite song to dance for was it's the limit. I think I had a little better flow for the faster songs. I was at the krsna farm when best wishes came out but when I heard the beginning of death camps I was like this shit is awesome. I would have loved to mosh to that. I hope I don't loose any cred for admitting that.
-What's the craziest thing you've seen in a mosh at cb's?
I don't know about craziest but if you want to change the question I'll tell you some of the best pits I've ever seen at cb's. 7 seconds played with the mob. I was there to see 7 seconds but the mob was awesome and everyone was in the pit dancing for them; JJ, John Watson, Krsna Mike, Karl Mosh, Vinny Stigma, Harley, etc. and I don't mean the celebrity stage dive I'm talking in the pit thrashing from beginning to end. It was awesome. Plus when WarZone got back together and covered young til I die that was pretty cool.
-Who is your favorite frontman?
Of bands I've seen maybe JJ or Kevin seconds. Of bands I didn't see probably Dave Smalley in DYS. I use to play that record and stare at that picture of him for hours, it that gay? I'll tell a side story I was on tour with into another and Richie, Gus SXE, and I walked into a health food store and this hot chick from behind the cash register walked up to us and asked if we were in a band and Richie said yes and then she asked me if I was Dave Smalley. High point of my life right there.
-Do you know Elliot Spitzer? Did you ever run into him at the grocery store or anything?
-Any west coast bands you liked?
Sure. But there was a time when you literally had to deny that you liked anything other than nyhc. Suicidal was my first hardcore show. I loved them. Black Flag, lots of stuff.
-Are there any members of any of the bands currently on Equal Vision who can beat you in an arm wrestling match?
I don't do it too often but I think I'm a pretty good arm wrestler. There's probably a drummer that can beat me maybe Bob from bane. I don't know but I've got a few bands on the roster now that the guys are so skinny I think if I arm wrestled them I could break their arms in half.
-Did you like the Rollins band?
Shit yea at least the first couple of records. Great show YOT, dag nasty and Rollins in Chicago. Porcell and Sammy got Rollins to go in this photo booth with them.
-Can you tell me about the Sam Mac story? Describe the street fight you were in before you ran into him.
My friend Chris Daily from Smorgasbord use to visit me at the krsna farm when he lived close by and when he showed me that born against 7" I was kinda shocked. Not because Sam had the balls to do it but by the fact that he thought that we were good friends. I knew him and I hung out in crowds with him but I never hung with the dude alone or talked to him on the phone. Plus I probably saw him 3 or 4 times at cb's before I moved to the krsna farm but everyone knew I was going and he never came up and said one word to me. They just hated Cappo and wanted to try and one up him. I wrote him a letter from the farm to tell him that I was still the same Steve Wolfpack and that I'd be into writing to him if he wanted. He never wrote back and then Chris Daily showed me some zine where someone asked him about me and he was like I got a letter from that dude whatever. That pissed me off. So I stopped by my friend's house while I was on my way home from the krsna farm to visit my parents and they told me that Sam's band was playing in town. They all wanted me to pound him. I was standing in a crowd and he walked by I reached out and grabbed his arm and he was like oh no I knew this day would come please don't hit me. I couldn't hit him he's so small. But while I was talking things out with him and his guitar player Adam, some neighborhood kids came and started fucking kids up outside the show with baseball bats. I went to tackle one kid and some little kid hits me in the mouth with a little piece of pipe. I reached up and my mouth was bleeding pretty well but I felt all my teeth. The dude threw down the pipe and said come on big guy. I wanted to pound him but this other kid came up from behind him and he had a box razor and said he was gonna cut my face so I backed off. Some dude hit Steve Schneider in the head with numbchucks and sent him to the hospital. It was a bad scene but I felt really bad because I felt like I had backed down to that little punk. The next time I came to town I wanted to go hang out near there and get some revenge but my friends told me that he had pressed charges against the kids but he dropped them because the weekend after the fight those same dudes raped and stabbed some girl. Great world we live in.
-Do you like the 2nd DYS LP? Any favorite songs off that record?
I think I may have liked it if I had given it more time but the tide had turned on them and I just kind a went with the flow.
-Was there ever a girl in the Albany HC scene called Helen of Troy? Was she hot?
Steve Schneider married some hardcore girl named Helen and she's cool. I don't know if that's her. I hardly went after hardcore chicks. I work at this place that had tons of metal chicks working there. I usually went for that if you know what I mean.
It's almost 20 years after wolfpack broke up and I think this is the first wolfpack interview I've ever done, thanks it's been fun.
I like RJ.
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