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xChipxSem x The Collection Space
  -- Thursday, October 02, 2008

Chip is passionate about tshirts. He is also passionate about the mid 90s and all the straight edge, vegan bands that came along. His collection includes nearly every single Earth Crisis shirt as well as a plethora of dope Battery shirts. Sure, Battery isn't vegan, but then again, neither is he! Don't worry, the vegan police are already working him over. Check the interview for more information about Chip. Then check his collection.

Yo dude, how's your edge?

My edge is nice and as strong as it's always been. 14 years strong for me this January.

Click here for more details ...

Chip is passionate about tshirts. He is also passionate about the mid 90s and all the straight edge, vegan bands that came along. His collection includes nearly every single Earth Crisis shirt as well as a plethora of dope Battery shirts. Sure, Battery isn't vegan, but then again, neither is he! Don't worry, the vegan police are already working him over. Check the interview for more information about Chip. Then check his collection.

Yo dude, how's your edge?

My edge is nice and as strong as it's always been. 14 years strong for me this January.

How and when did you get into hardcore? Metal head, skate punk, a cool neighbor ...

Originally I was into metal. I started off with thrash like Metallica, Megadeath, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, SOD…pretty much the staples that any kid whos 14-15 gets into. I unfortunately didn't have an older sibling to push me in the right direction so I kinda had to discover music on my own. Well in high school I met my friend Roy who is still one of my best friends. He was into some punk and the two of us met a local band called Thought Crime who at the time were called Lifeline. They were into some hardcore but mainly metal and they took us to our first show. It was just a local show but it got us hooked. The following week, Roy and I went to Cheers which was like South Florida's CBGBs. I remember we were across the street debating on whether or not to go over, completely afraid of what was going on inside. We ended up crossing the street and its started off the best years of my life.

How involved are you in your local scene now? What local bands do you wish were getting more recognition currently?

Well as of now Im living in Tallahassee, FL and going to school so Im not really involved much in South Florida's scene. I started playing in bands in 1997 and then from 2002 til about 2005 I was in 4 bands simultaneously so I was really doing my part but now school is my top priority. I have always been kinda like the middle man in that Im friendly with everyone and in a sense the mediator whether its breaking up a fight or just trying to make sure everything is going smoothly at a show. Currently, Tallahassee's hardcore scene is small but the kids are real dedicated. They go out and support every band that comes through and are very appreciative of what they get as far as shows. As far as bands go I wish Dead Weight from South Florida would get more recognition. They are on a bit of a hiatus right now but Im crossing my fingers that they will get back on track.

It's obvious you love hardcore, and that it has given a lot to you. What have you given back? What would you say has been your biggest contribution to the scene?

I've always tried to be the nice guy especially to the younger kids. A trend I see is that a lot of the older kids who have been going to shows for a while tend to look down on the newer kids (this is in no way pointed at any one person or group of people, just a generalization). I understand that the new kids need to get out there and do their part to support but they also need to be shown the right way. If the kids who were older than me when I started going to shows belittled me and talked down to me, I probably wouldn't have kept going, so I make it a point to say hi to the younger kids and let them know they are welcome. Also in terms of straight edge, I still X up for shows and wear straight edge shirts because I want to show those kids that just because you get to a certain age doesn't meant you have to drink. If they choose to drink, then its cool, its their choice. Im not going to look down on them because they don't hold the same beliefs that they used to. The majority of the kids I came up with aren't straight edge anymore but I still love and respect them and they respect and love me. I'm gonna be 30 in January and I still call myself straight edge and still display it proudly.

My current contribution to South Florida comes in the way of the blog I run which documents the South Florida Music Scene. I started doing it in February and the response Ive received is incredible. Ive been able to track down so many records and tapes that it blows my mind. The most amazing thing has been the support from the bands Ive received. They've all been real excited and very happy to see so many people still enjoy their music so that's real rewarding to me. Check it out if you have the time

Current 5s:

This is just my favorites of this past year:

Energy "Invasions of the Mind"

Shai Hulud "Misanthropy Pure"

Seven Generations "To See The End"

Metallica "Death Magnetic"

Unrestrained (OR) – New upcoming 7 inch

Albums from 91-95 that stood the test of time:

I was and still am a huge fan of the early Victory catalog so here we go:

Earth Crisis "Firestorm" and "Destroy the Machines"

Strife "One Truth"

Unbroken "Life. Love. Regret."

Snapcase "Steps"

Tension "The Sickness Of Our Age"

Albums from 91-95 that did not stand the test of time:

That's a tough one because I still listen to all the same stuff I listened to when I first got into hardcore…yes even the Doughnuts.

Vegan straight edge bands:

Oh man Earth Crisis is at the top of my list obviously. A very close second is Morning Again who is my all time favorite hardcore band to come out of Florida. Culture, Birthright, Another Victim, Contempt, Green Rage, Arkangel, Lifeforce,…I love the sound all those bands had and Im glad that there are bands doing it Seven Generations for example and Eye of Judgment.

Best venues for stage diving:

I always liked Cheers in Miami. Stage was about knee high or just below so it was a good height. The Factory in Ft Lauderdale was good too and I believe that was the last time I actually did stage dive during a Sick of it All set. I haven't done it in a while but as a guitarist Im just afraid I may injure myself and not be able to play. I got kicked in the hand during a Morning Again set and I thought my thumb was broken so I slowed down on the stage diving and moshing.

Lets discuss your collection:

Always one of my favorite topics.

When and how did your collection begin? Estimate if necessary, what is the size of your collection?

I started collecting in 2001 right after Hellfest 2001. A friend had bought an Earth Crisis shirt from Hellfest for her boyfriend. Well they broke up so I asked to buy it and it started off there. I had shirts before that but I wasn't obsessive before that. My collection now is around 540 shirts, hoodies, zipups etc and Im up to 73 items of just Earth Crisis merch.

What is your favorite piece? What is your most limited piece? Which would you guess is the most valuable (ebay standards)?

Personal favorites include 2 of the first Earth Crisis "All Out War design" that Guav sold when he released their record on Conviction. The Gomorrah's Season Ends record release design that was sold only at that show which has Wolverine on the front. The Destroy the Machines record release design. Non-ExC designs include the Strife "Stormtrooper" design that was screened for a show in Syracuse, an Excessive Force design with a full color back design of the record cover, a Culture "Judge" rip off…Its real hard to pick one favorite but currently its probably that Gomorrah's Season Ends record release design.

Tell one funny story involving tracking down that one "crucial last item" as part of your collection. What piece was the hardest to get?

Not really funny but Mat Wadsworth from New Zealand sold me the first "All Out War" design and then contacted me about 6 months later saying he found another one along with a Damnation AD German tour shirt and a Cabal 315 "Rebel Alliance" design and offered to give them to me if I covered the shipping. He told me that he wanted them to go to someone he knew would appreciate them and that meant a lot to me. So that was really cool of him to do…to go out of his way like that when he could have Ebayed them and probably gotten some good cash for them.

The hardest item was probably the Gomorrahs Season record release shirt. I saw it on Ebay when I was Las Vegas for a friends wedding in 2005 buthad no internet access. Turns out it was Patrick Kitzel from Reaper (shout out to Reaper) who was an old friend of my girlfriends. I contacted him and he had already sold it but he ended up selling me the Destroy the Machines release design. Well early this year in my continuing search I posted on the Syracuse board and someone told me they would sell it. I sent money and it never showed up. I contacted him about it and he said he was moving and would send it out right away. Usually when I get a line like that I don't believe it but I checked my PO Box 2 days later and there it was.

What (if anything) else do you collect? Do all of your collections get equal love, or is one definitely your "first love?"

The only other thing I really collect is CDs. I like to own the original copies to have the artwork and read thank you lists…all that stuff we used to do to find out about different bands. It just makes me think of a period in my life that was just incredible and I wish I could show people what it was like if they weren't there.

All my collections get equal love but I tend to learn more toward Earth Crisis and Morning Again. Those are the bands I'll drop the cash to make sure I get that piece Im looking for.

Thanks for taking time for this interview. Any closing shout outs, words of positivity or parting shots?

Huge thanks to you Brian for being a standup dude, asking me to do this interview and taking the time to keep HYE on top of its game at all time. Ive been able to acquire quite a few items in my collection through the HYE tradelists so for that I am incredibly appreciative. Also big thanks to the South Florida music scene for shaping me into who I am today. Thanks to Guav for fielding all my questions for everything ExC related. Check out my current band if you have the time, check my tradelist if you are interested in making a trade, and check out my blog for all thing South Florida related.




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