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Keith Sidorowicz - Vegan Straight Edge, Drummer, Energy ...
  -- Friday, September 11, 2009

Keith is a guy you see at every show. You can't recall where or when you first met him, but you then start to see him at every show you attend. Doesn't matter what town or state, he's probably there. He gives off this quiet guy vibe, but once the music kicks in, so does he. Moshing, stage diving, finger pointing -- he knows all the words. Now you can find him behind the drum kit for the band Energy. They're huge. You know this. Keith took some time out from his busy touring schedule to answer my mostly random questions so if you could read this interview and support the bands, he and I would appreciate that. LOL.

Yo, how's your edge?

It's feeling fresh! Just gave it some sesame tofu last night, and we are going on another full U.S. tour next week with The Wonder Years and A Loss For Words.



Click here for more details ...
Keith is a guy you see at every show. You can't recall where or when you first met him, but you then start to see him at every show you attend. Doesn't matter what town or state, he's probably there. He gives off this quiet guy vibe, but once the music kicks in, so does he. Moshing, stage diving, finger pointing -- he knows all the words. Now you can find him behind the drum kit for the band Energy. They're huge. You know this. Keith took some time out from his busy touring schedule to answer my mostly random questions so if you could read this interview and support the bands, he and I would appreciate that. LOL.

Yo, how's your edge?

It's feeling fresh! Just gave it some sesame tofu last night, and we are going on another full U.S. tour next week with The Wonder Years and A Loss For Words.



Where did it all start for you? If I had to guess, I would say you were always a fan of music growing up and naturally drifted to punk and hardcore. But please, clue us in proper.

Music has certainly been around me all my life. My family would always listen to a lot of Mo-Town and R&B in the house growing up so I would always listen to the 45's my mother would put on at dinner. Then as I started meeting my extended family my cousin had a great palate for hip hop and he would listen to his tapes when he skated. He jammed the Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, and Run-Dmc whenever I attended family bbq's. I would always bring maxell cassettes and dub them for my own possession. In fact, around 4th grade the lp Paul's Boutique" inspired me to get on the drumkit with that opening drum fill. So I started taking lessons with a very respectable instructor named John Miceli and I would play along to hip hop tapes whenever I got home from school.

In late 7th grade my friend Mike brought in an Operation Ivy tape when we had a sub for math class and a few friends of mine and myself took turns listening to it all day. That lead me to go out to store called "Trax On Wax" and buy their record "Energy" as well as a few tapes by The Clash cause Jesse Michaels was wearing a Clash shirt in the lp photo. Then in 8th grade my friends Doug, Mike, Chris and I all realized we played instruments and decided to start a band. One afternoon we all met up in my basement and he brought a mixtape he borrowed from his brothers tape collection. It consisted of Youth Of Today, Snapcase, Silent Majority, and Minor Threat. We needed a song to play in order to get in the groove so he put on "In My Eyes". The lyrics really struck a chord with me, and at that point I had no idea anyone could scream like that, or play such tempo's! We played the song about 35 times that day, and did not come close to doing it justice, but I was sold. When practice concluded that tape never left my basement, and I told Mike to bring more into class the next day!

When did you fully realize what straight edge was? And what does it mean to you now?

I realized what straight edge was a week prior to that first practice my friends and I had in my basement. My friend Mike came into homeroom one morning sporting 2 of the thickest X's I had ever seen on anyones' hands. I asked him "what gives" and he responded by saying he was straight edge now. He described it as the definition of no alcohol, drugs, or promiscuous sex. I related to that because my extended family has a very bad history of drinking and poor decision making in their lives. Seeing my relatives acting inappropriate frequently left a huge impression on me to the point that I never wanted to see myself act or communicate in that manner. In 2009 straight edge has upgraded to an all time high for me. It continues to be the lifestyle for me because it keeps me focused, motivated, cements morals within myself, and is a very peaceful approach to communicating with others.

You've been in a couple of great bands. Tell us about them and how your experience differs between each. What goals do you want your current band to accomplish?

Wow. I don't know if I can reflect on the entire list of bands that I have been a part of. My bio is almost as lengthy as SSD's "How We Rock" intro. But, I will explain my approach to any project that I work with. I have to find a creative outlet in the band, I need to be working with a great bass player, I need to have artistic freedom, and I need to be able to get along with every single member in the band. I try to make sure I work with all different sounding bands. I try not repeat a certain genre of hardcore once I move on to my next venture. Some bands I have been in may have something in common, but each one of them has their own features. As far as goals in the bands, it's not too complicated. I need to be on the road constantly, not loose money, meet a lot of exciting people, be into the music, reach as many people as we possibly can, and also have fun of course!

You seem like you are a dude with a lot of things to say. How did you end up behind the drums in a classic "anonymous position" instead of behind the mic?

I'm a drummer before anything in life, so that's what I have to do first and foremost. I have been training for well over a decade now in technique, music theory, and reading. I even continue to do so as much as I can off tour with many established instructors in NY. I just always got the niche of percussion easily and if anything it is always so flattering to be asked constantly to fulfill drum duties for so many great bands. Now as for getting my turn on the mic, I have books of lyrics I never show anyone that are eager to be spat out. I'm so down to front a side project but I cannot find anyone that wants to play music inspired from Inside Out, Burn, and "Disengage" era Youth Of Today. Oh well, at least I have a goal to work on outside of Energy.



Which would you rather?

a) Get a Mets tattoo on your ass
b) Get a Yankees tattoo on your forehead


a)Mets tattoo on my ass! The only bombing things from the Bronx are Krs-One and District 9.

a) Win one million dollars
b) Tour across every continent


b)Tour across every continent. A million dollars would be nice, but my travels would not be as interesting as they are without the music and people involved with it. I truly mean that too. Things can get very hectic sometimes with this lifestyle, but I would never trade anything for it!

a) Hang with Tegan Quin
b) Hang with Jules Masse


a) Tegan Quin. I have met Tegan before and it was very inspiring! We had a really awesome talk about Face To Face and it was so humbling to see that Sara and herself had the same touring upbringing and work ethic as hardcore and punk bands before they took off in their indie following. Tegan And Sara have been my favorite song writers for a legit time, and I would always be down to get coffee with them.Now I love Side By Side and Alone In A Crowd, but I dunno if I would want to meet the current Jules Masse. No harm meant, but it probably wouldn't be the same as when he would spring up all over the Anthrax stage in a hoodie at boiling temperatures.

a) Live in San Diego
b) Live in Chicago
c) Live in Western Mass


a)San Diego! It happens to be one of my favorite spots on the West Coast. Great burritos, The Living Room Cafe, Over My Dead Body, Che Cafe, and Sarah Ellis! Chicago is a runner up. Great people out there and excellent cuisine. Western Mass is very foreign to me.

Lets talk about Ambitions. That first EP was a giant, then the LP came out sleeper style. Then you guys broke up. It all seemed strange to me. I always felt this band should be HUGE, but it didn't together like that. So what happened there? Did Ambitions never get the respect you deserved, or am I missing something?

The time spent in Ambitions will remain as a huge success for the rest of my life. The band pushed me harder as a musician, I was introduced to so many sincere individuals through them, and I was able to tour with some of my favorite bands of the time. I'm very proud of "Stranger". We wrote some really interesting songs, and I think the right people caught on to it at that time and they won't forget the shows we played or put their vinyl on ebay. I feel that we were very respected by the right people, especially by a lot of the bands we played with. Unfortunately, Ambitions just ended at the wrong time. I know that if we had kept playing out and really toured on that lp, it would have gotten into the hands of more people. I respect every members decision on what they wanted to do post Ambitions, and I love them to death. The only thing I did not care for during that time were the commutes on I-95.



You're now playing in Energy. Do you see that as a departure from your previous bands or as a natural progression? How would you compare a Ambitions gig to an Energy gig?

Energy was a very warm welcome. I had no idea I would end up as a member of the band, but I'm quite thankful everyday that it worked out that way. Energy is definitely similar to the melodic sound that Ambitions embraced, yet it has some elements that are quite different. Energy embraces more of a punk flavor in the vein of mid A.F.I, Bad Religion, and just elite punk that dominated the early 1990's. Ambitions had a palate that was more on the side of post-hardcore, alternative, and melodic youthcrew stuff. I always got so excited when people would ask if we had a major Turning Point , Farside, and Dag Nasty influence. A lot of the grooves I played in Ambitions defiantly translated well in my learning process with the Energy catalog. Then once I figured out the Energy set like the back of my hand, I just started to come up with these new ideas left and right nonstop. So there is a progression of compulsive growth as a musician upon my new home at Energy camp. As far as shows go, Ambitions had a very similar base to the Energy crowd. I dig when people just have a lot of fun and will love a band because it reaches them with a burst of life. I like when kids listen to the music in all of its aspects, and not because a band has ironic merch or because the trends are telling kids that it's cool to like a band. Independent thoughts are what's up in the new year!

What bands get you psyched these days? Psyched on the edge and psyched on the core?

My playlist definitely caters to a ton of indie, hip hop, female fronted and classic core material but don't be fooled, I get really excited on hardcore bands going on right now. The new Bane songs are unbelievable and I'm so glad Triple B is putting them out. As for others, I dig Debaser, Capital, Backtrack, Crime In Stereo, Agent, Defeater, Blacklisted, Foundation, Cancer Bats, Memorial, Tigers Jaw, Transit, Title Fight, ON, Paint It Black, Cruel Hand, Touche Amore, Offsides, Mindset, Commadre, and Polar Bear Club. I'm sure most of the kids reading this already know whats up, but if not then you should go to your local record store and stock up.



Is it a pre-requisite to get an anti-crucial haircut before joining a band like Energy? Consider when Steve from Embrace Today started playing with Panic. He certainly came out of that band with a very un-crucial haircut.

Haha, I was waiting for this and appreciate you breaking the ice. Yes, it is true that my pos top has been m.i.a for awhile now. Honestly my hairstyle just changed because I wanted to change it. There was no consultant, female, trend , or band member that brought about my current hairstyle. I feel that every individual tends to have their own style even if they are anti-fashion. The true story is that one day I was getting complimented on having a very strong hairline and it just kind of hit me that I should really take advantage of it while it's in it's prime era. My hairstyle will never reflect how I act, think, or present myself to others. That's a cliche statement, but it is what it is. Trust me, I will always love the crucial kid style, but we also need diversity. And lastly, my hair will never jeopardize my edge.

Suppose I gave you a straight edge, hardcore time machine. One use only. Which show would you attend and why?

This is a real tuff one! It would have to be the classic "shutdown" show at CBGB's with Youth Of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, and Side By Side. I hear stories about that matinee all the time and I could only imagine how a-wall the youth got that sunday. Plus I would've loved to have had a chance to stage dive to "backfire" off my favorite stage of all time.

Over the years, what was your favorite show to play, and why? Also what about your favorite to attend?

Definitely seeing Silent Majority a lot were the best times of my life. They are my all time favorite band in any genre of music. Tommy Corrigan is my absolute favorite edgeman because he just gets it and continues to write some of the best lyrics I have ever read. Tommy also has an impact on me because he never really made me feel shunned away as a younger kid, and that meant a lot to me since I felt that when I first came around a lot of older dudes sort of wanted you to "earn your stripes". Every show I played in Heads Vs Breakers were some of my favorite memories and I truly appreciate Rich Jacovina for giving me that phone call one night and definitely giving me such a wonderful opportunity to play with some of the best people ever. Anytime Kill Your Idols played was unreal. That band kept me in check with my spirits when a lot of my friends were dropping out hardcore in high school and college. Plus they put so many of my bands on shows with them, and to this day they will always come up to me and say hello. Indecision always sparked a lot of life to me. I would just spend that 30 minutes they played pouring every ounce I had on the dance floor to classics off "Unorthadox" and "MPB". Any Bane show past and present just gives me chills and they still get me to stage dive. The past few years I was finally able to tour with them . Getting to know all of them as people made the band an even bigger deal to me. And last but not least , the BURN and Insted reunions were certainly a treat to experience.

How important is a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle in terms of the hardcore scene? Personally, how important is it to you?

Veganism and Vegetarianism is important in all aspects of everyday life. It is a huge part of who I'm and how I'm aware of my surroundings. In hardcore the cruelty free lifestyle defiantly rallies a collective of people that connect with one another because they already disagree with what the majority is telling how you must live. But Globally it is more effective because there are so many individuals that are doing something against animal cruelty that do not even know what hardcore is. I assist in 2 organizations on my downtime from touring. Make Peace With Animals is a Greyhound Rescue out of Mineola NY. On the next end, I'm a personal assistant at the North Shore Vet Practice where animals are not only treated for medical issues, but they are also treated for personality, hygiene, nutrition, and fitness. I'm very lucky to work with such generous and passionate people and they defiantly have educated many clients to not only care for their animals, but also themselves through their diet. So promoting a cruelty free way of life is not just for a sweet cover of "No More", there are a ton of organizations, restaurants, and individuals that are spreading the kind word as we speak in your own town all over the globe!

I feel like I've run into you in some of the farthest corners of the US. What's the furthest you've ever traveled for a show you weren't playing?

Seattle is a very well known area for bringing me out just to attend a hardcore show. Probably my 2 favorite times were for the Trial reunion in 2005, and the unforgettable weekend when Champion played their last show. I absolutely love the North West!



Top 5s
a) Current EPs

1)Title Fight- The Last Thing You Forget
2)Bane- Triple B 7inch
3)Paint It Black- Amnesia
4)Capital- Blind Faith
5)Debaser- Rich White Boys

b) Current LPs
1)Polar Bear Club- Chasing Hamburg
2)Defeater-Travels
3)Touche Amore- To The Beat Of A Dead Horse
4)Memorial- The Creative Process/Berlin
5)Cruel Hand - Prying Eyes

c) Vegan restaurants in America
1)Angelika Kitchen (NYC)
2)Curlys' Veg Diner (NYC)
3)Pizza Pi (Seattle)
4)Govinda's (Philly)
5)Red Bamboo(NYC)

d) Tegan And Sara Releases
1)The Con
2)If It Was You
3)So Jealous
4)The Business Of Art
5)My mix of their live banter

e) T-shirts
1)BURN longsleeve
2)Silent Majority tour 96
3)Insted We'll Make The Difference tour shirt
4)Outspoken Current design
5)Quicksand Slip tour

Any closing thoughts, shout outs or positive mental attitude statements?

Thank you to Have Heart! I will miss seeing those guys play so much, but I'm so proud of what they accomplished. Thank you for interviewing me on HYE. This is a big deal since I've been a long time fan. Thank you to Chris Wrenn ,Karl Hansel (go get em at Epitaph!) and everyone at Bridge 9 for just being the best label out there. Josh Lovell for being the best. JC at C&C Drums. Diesel Cafe in Sommerville for keeping me occupied in MA on off days. And of course anyone that supports Energy and the hardcore scene worldwide. Make your move and be a part. Put out a record, promote a show, and keep an open mind. Stay Fresh!

All pics from Future-Breed.com and Little Pink Shoes. Support the photographers, support the bands, support the artists.

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Andrew Kline - Strife, Prohibition, Tradition Shop ...
  -- Thursday, December 11, 2008

Andrew Kline is a good dude. He was in one of the most legendary Straight Edge bands of the mid 90s (possibly just one small step behind Earth Crisis). He's toured the US over and over. He's toured the world. Now he owns a shop in Westlake Village, California. They sell some awesome items and host some amazing events. Andrew knows what's up. He even catches me on brain slip (shows how much I care about post Sox players ...). Check it out.

Yo Andrew, how's your edge?

My edge is just fine... Contrary to what you may read on misinformed websites on the internet or hear through the rumor mill, I am still Straight Edge.



Click here for more details ...
Andrew Kline is a good dude. He was in one of the foremost Straight Edge bands of the mid 90s (possibly just one small step behind Earth Crisis). He's toured the US over and over, he's toured the world. Now he owns a shop in Westlake Village, California. They sell some awesome items and host some amazing events. Andrew knows what's up. He even catches me on brain slip (shows how much I care about post Sox players ...). Check it out.

Yo Andrew, how's your edge?

My edge is just fine... Contrary to what you may read on misinformed websites on the internet or hear through the rumor mill, I am still Straight Edge.



How did it all begin for you? Straight into SXE hardcore, or jump started on skateboarding, punk rock, thrash, metal?

I was really into punk rock growing up. I had a few friends that were really into music and they turned me on to bands like the Descendents, Circle Jerks, C.O.C., D.R.I., and others very early on.

Skateboarding played a huge role as well. I started skating in 6th grade, and I would read Thrasher regularly. The later Skate Rock comps turned me onto to a lot of great bands including Brotherhood, Insted, and Half Off.

I had a next door neighbor that was really into punk and hardcore as well. He was probably 8 or so years older than me. He had an amazing record collection. I would borrow a few records at a time and bring them home to dub them onto cassette. He has everything from the F.U.'s , to The Freeze, to Minor Threat, to Operation Ivy, to Bad Religion, and more. A few records still stand out in my mind as favorites from his collection... One was Agnostic Front's "Victim in Pain" and the other was Negative Approach's "Tied Down."

I slowly started getting more and more into the harder bands... As time went on I got really into all of the NYHC bands. Everything from Youth of Today, to Killing Time, to Sick of it All, to GB, to Judge. Keep in mind, this was long before the internet... You couldn't just wake up, decide you were into hardcore, and download a play list for your new fad.

We had to actively seek out bands, trade tapes, order records in the mail, and hunt down any information for upcoming shows.

I was lucky enough to have a local record store that would special order records for me, since they didn't have much of a selection.

Is straight edge still as important to you today as it was, say in 1992? Why aren't you vegetarian (hahah)?

It is and it isn't... It's not really something that I think about. When Strife was active and touring it was a really big deal... I know that we were a positive influence on thousand of kids around the world, and that was really our goal as a band.

Most of my friends know that I don't drink, so it is rarely something that ever gets brought up. Every now and then when I start hanging out with someone new, they will offer me a drink or something and then I will have to explain... Otherwise it doesn't cross my mind.

I try to accept people for who they are, people are different and that's what makes the world a special place.

I have never been vegetarian, and I don't think that it really has anything to do with Straight Edge really.



Which is better?
a) Inside Out NYC
b) Inside Out from Cali


Do you really have to ask that question? Inside Out (from Cali) was one of the best hardcore bands ever. They were able to do something most bands don't, which is sound original! They also had one of the best frontmen ever, and an unrivaled live show...

They really had the whole package... Great lyrics, great musicianship, and an awesome live show.

a) Cheering for Manny as an Angel
b) Jeering at Manny as a Red Sox


I'm not a big baseball fan, and I guess you aren't either because Manny plays for the Dodgers. I go to games every now and then, but I prefer basketball. I know they looked pathetic in the Finals, but let's see if the Lakers can take the Celtics this year

a) Electric Frankenstein
b) Baby Gopal
c) Doughnuts


I'm not a big fan of any of those bands, but if I had to pick one I guess I would go with the Doughnuts. What's worse than all three of those bands is the new crop of "hardcore" bands signed to Victory. Victory really changed their format in the late nineties, and signed a bunch of bands that I don't really care for...

a) Quiet Sunday Morning
b) Jumping Friday Night


I like a combination of the two, although I prefer to go out in the middle of the week that on the weekends. Everyone likes to have a good time, but I am always off on Sundays, and it is a good day to relax and wind down. I'm a pretty busy guy, so this is really the one day when I don't do anything.

a) Uniform Choice
b) Minor Threat


If I had to pick one I would have to say Minor Threat, only because they didn't release "Staring Into The Sun." Anything Minor Threat ever recorded is awesome... Don't get me wrong, "Screaming for Change" is a great album... I just listened to it the other day at the gym, but Minor Threat is fairly untouchable.

Ok, enough fooling around. Lets talk about Strife. How awesome is One Truth? That's a rhetorical question, of course.

One Truth is a pretty good album... I think it was a strong record... Certain songs are better than others, but overall I am pretty happy with how it came out.

I feel that "In This Defiance" is our best record by far... I think we really developed our sound at that point to create a perfect blend of hardcore and metal that still sounds modern even to this day...



How did you luck into playing for Strife, were you boys from day one, were you coerced into the band ala Cliff Burton and Metallica or were you auditioned into the band ala Jason Newsted?

I started Strife with some of my best friends. I guess it was lucky to find 4 other people that held the same ideals as me and wanted to play the same time of music that I did. When we started the band there were maybe 5 or so other kids in our hometown that even listened to hardcore.

Rick and Sid had previously played in bands, but I pretty much learned to play guitar writing our earliest songs.

Did you accomplish every goal you wanted with Strife? Were you happy with the bands life and passing? Care to start any reunion or next show rumors?

When we started the band we never thought that we would get as a big as we did. Originally we just wanted to start a band a play some shows. We never thought that we would release a record let alone a few albums. We wanted to play some shows, but we never thought that we would tour around the world. I am proud of everything that we did as a band. Could we have done more? Definitely.

I feel that we broke up at our peak, but I know that we could have done so much more. I would have loved to taken our band to that next level, but it just didn't work out.

As far as reunions or upcoming shows are concerned it is something that I wouldn't rule out. We are all great friends, and we all miss performing. We do some shows here and there just for fun. We will never be a full time band again, but I'm sure we will play at some point in time.

Strife was always a big straight edge band, a torch carrier for the edge in the early 90s. Do you think any edge breakings that occurred by band members have tarnished what Strife is? Who from Strife is still straight edge?

I am the only member of Strife that is still Straight Edge. I'm sure that has tarnished our reputation to some degree, but it is what it is. People change, and I can't hold that against anyone. I know our lyrics and our message inspired many people and I know that we truly made a positive impact on a lot of lives. I'm sure at this point people are over it... And if they aren't there isn't much we can do.



You played guitar in Strife, but one day back in 93 or 94 while in Cambridge Mass, you played drums for a band at a giant show. What was this band, and how did you get jumped into that?

Haha That was one of the versions of Prohibition. I had met Sweet Pete a few years before that, and we became friends. Keep in mind this was way before the internet or Myspace... You would actually have to write letters to people or call them out of the blue if you wanted to get in touch with them.

Anyway, we were playing a show at the Cambridge Church with Mouthpiece, Rorshach, and a few others (maybe Endpoint or 4 Walls Falling)... Anyway, we decided to play a few songs. We didn't practice, I could barely play drums, and I'm sure we sounded like complete shit! We had fun anyway.

A few years later, we did another version of Prohibition that turned out much better. We played a place called The Macondo in Los Angeles with Strife and Undertow. We played Straight Edge Revenge, a few originals, and a really bad song from the "Generation of Hope" comp called "You're a Liar." That was pure comedy... There is a video of that floating around, and we didn't sound half bad.

I always wanted to play drums for some reason, and I got a little better as the years went by.

There is a demo tape floating around from a band called "Hard Attack" that we did one night in Santa Barbara. We showed up for a show a day early and had nothing to do. One of our friends had a radio show up there, so we decided to write a few songs on the spot and then play live on the air. It was during a time when the whole Santa Barbara scene was really politically correct. The bands name was a take on Kent McClard's zine at the time Heart Attack... We had a back story the we were the first hardcore band from Santa Barbara and that we had just came out of retirement... It was pretty funny. We played a few originals and an "Alone in The Crowd" cover... I was on drums, Rick was on vocals, Jeff Kapra (Manumission/Broken Needle), was on Guitar. I forgot who played bass, but Mike Phyte did some back ups...

How did Turnedown slip under my radar? Was this band WAY ahead of the curve, or were you in place to "cash in" on the hype bands like Atreyu and Thursday helped foster?

I started Turnedown right when I graduated High School. We definitely weren't trying to cash in. We were influenced by bands like Dag Nasty, Descendents, and Lifetime. We were definitely ahead of the curve and way before Atreyu or Thursday. The last e.p. we recorded had Joe from Fury 66 on vocals, and it still is one of my favorite records that I have ever recorded.

Top 5s
Lps


1.Gorilla Biscuits –Start Today
2.Judge – Bringing It Down
3.Turning Point – It's Always Darkest...
4.The Beatles – White Album
5. Embrace – Self Titled

Mid 90s Shows

1.Strife/Mouthpiece/Outspoken/Endpoint/and more at Middlesex County College in New Jersey.
2.Wisconsin Fest with Integrity, Strife, Falling Forward, Guilt, and 3 days worth of bands that I can't remember.
3.Strife and Sepultura (last tour with the original lineup) in Prague.
4.Strife/Earth Crisis/Snapcase... any show on that tour.
5. Any show on our tour with Warzone.

Streetwear Brands

1. Crooks and Castles
2. The Hundreds
3. Akomplice
4. Undrcrwn
5. Tradition

Places to get a Burrito

1. Las Casitas
2. Los Toros
3. Chipotle



What's up with Tradition? Do you own and run this shop? How did it all come together?

I opened Tradition with my business partner, Jason, a little over 2 years ago. I have always been interested in fashion, and I worked as a retail buyer and manager for over 10 years. I felt that it was time do my own shop. We opened our doors in November of 2006 and we haven't looked back since. We have the best selection of sneakers and streetwear north of Los Angeles. You can check us out online at www.shoptradition.com

Tradition is certainly more than just a retail store. What events can we expect from Tradition going forward?

We just did a huge event with Akomplice clothing for the release of their newest season. We had an in store performance from Raekwon from the Wu Tang Clan and an upcoming rapper named Young De.

http://www.vimby.com/video/fashion/us/all/detail/8693

We also did a collab tee with Raekwon that sold like crazy. It's crazy because a lot of brands have done t-shirts influenced by the Wu... We pulled off an official collab and had a performance. No one is doing that!

We have a lot of artshows as well. In the past we have shown work from such notable artists as Axis, Alex Pardee, J. Bannon, Eyeone, Derek Albeck, Marco Zamora, and many more. We are working hard to show the real culture behind the clothing.

We have done many collaboration tees as well. We have done tees with Terror, Mr. Cartoon, Soul Assasssins, Undrcrwn, Akomplice, Raekwon, Axis, Marco Zamora, and many others.

We sponsor a few bands as well... You can see bands such as Terror, Internal Affairs, and Alpha and Omega rocking our clothing.

We have a few events line up for 2009. In April we are hosting a Radio Silence book release party and artshow. We are still working out the details, but this will definitely be an event that you will not want to miss.

Who dragged who into the Streetwear Scene? Did you drag Rick, did he drag you? 15 years ago when you were touring the world with Strife, did you ever imagine yourself landing where you did?

We grew up together so we were into a lot of the same things. Rick is a very talented graphic designer and he actually designs a lot of our graphics and t-shirts.

I never really thought about where I would be now... I am just happy that I am successful, and doing what makes me happy.

Hardcore and streetwear almost go hand in hand now. How do you feel about all the crossover?

I think hardcore and streetwear go hand in hand. A lot of the streetwear brands share the same D.I.Y. ethic as many punk and hardcore bands. It's all about starting on the ground level and building your networks.

A lot of people in the streetwear industry come from the hardcore scene or have roots in the music scene as well. They both share a similar aesthetic as well. A lot of hardcore kids were wearing camo shorts, letterman jackets, and Champion hoodies, which isn't far off from the streetwear style of today.

Also, who in the streetwear scene currently has roots in the hardcore scene? Like Bobby from The Hundreds grew up on Quicksand and Throwdown, Toby H2O, Nick from Final Word at Goodfoot or Dan at Bodega.

I guess you named a few already... Bobby from The Hundreds used to come see us play out in Riverside back in the day. I didn't know him then, but I knew a few of his friends.

I meet kids all the time that are into hardcore... I know the guys from Mishka are into some hardcore, Flying Coffin is done by a Straight Edge kid from Hawaii (now in Seattle). Arsen from Hall of Fame and Kendo used to come see us play as well... I met Christian from Nike on tour with Sick of it All... The list goes on. Frank 151 just did a DMS issue, so I can only assume they have roots in hardcore too.

Lets say I loan you my hardcore time machine for one shot. What show do you go back and see or play again?

Some of my earliest shows were also some of my favorite... Probably because it was all so new and I wasn't as jaded as I am now... I would love to see GB, Instead, and Reason to Believe at the Country Club again... I saw Judge there too, and that was awesome.... I would love to see Chain of Strength at Spankys again.

When I was 15 I lived to just go to shows and stage dive!

What current bands psych you up? What's been getting a lot of spins lately?

I've really been listening to a lot of hip hop lately. I produce a lot of hip hop stuff as well, so I try to stay on top of what is current.

As far as newer bands are concerned...

I really liked Internal Affairs. They bring me back to the Connecticut bands in the late 80's... They could have easily been on that "X Marks The Spot" comp.

I think Terror is pretty much carrying the torch for what Strife did as a band. If Strife was any band in 2008 we would be Terror.

Alpha and Omega is another newer band to look out for. The play a more crossover style of hardcore similar to Leeway.



Any closing shout outs or words of wisdom?

Thanks for the interview... Be sure to check out www.shoptradition.com for all info and updates about the shop.

You can hear some of my hip hop stuff on my myspace page as well.

Myspace.com/worldwardrew1

I'm sure I will do another hardcore band in the not so distant future as well... Playing music is something I love to do and it's in my blood...

Labels:



Trumbull Magazine with Owen Black & Sam Reiss
  -- Monday, October 13, 2008

I remember meeting Owen for the first time (I think) at Youth Attack's first show at WPI. That show sticks out a lot in my mind. First and foremost because Jeff was this young ass kid singing for Youth Attack with permanent marker drawings ALL over his person. Secondly, there was a dude absolutely losing his mind in the pit. I mean, this was an opening band playing one of their first, if not their absolute first shows, and there is this kid just busting crazy in the pit. He had style, no doubt, and he had intensity. I met the dude later in the night. Turns out, it was Owen. From that point forward, Owen seemed to bring the same intensity and drive to all his projects.

Sam is a little different. He was always the laid back dude. We started talking sneakers a mess of years back over the internet. I would always think, "does Canada even sell sneakers? Aren't they on some ice boot tip?" Obviously not (shoot outs to Goodfoot T.O.). Sam had deep knowledge. He wasn't the fad follower. He stuck to his guns, saw the trends come and go. When everyone jumped on the SB trend, he just laughed and copped 97s for cheap. He's still laughing. While you are wearing some terrible Puff and Stuffs, he's flossing in some ill vintage 95s. Ps. He's still laughing at you and your Bics.

When these two minds got together, it was a wonderful marriage of gritty determination and an attention to obscure details that has barely been seen prior to this. Each guy brings years of experience to the table and starter skills that make all us Monday Morning "journalists" jealous. Read on and learn.




Yo, how's your edge? AND, how was your edge?

OWEN: I saw my edge walking around the city the other day. I was like, "Damn, I know that guy..." but I couldn't place him. Then he came up behind me after we had passed and kicked me in the nuts. That dude is out of his fucking mind, and now I remember why I killed him.

SAM: To quote Lewis Carroll, "It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place."

Click here for more details ...
I remember meeting Owen for the first time (I think) at Youth Attack's first show at WPI. That show sticks out a lot in my mind. First and foremost because Jeff was this young ass kid singing for Youth Attack with permanent marker drawings ALL over his person. Secondly, there was a dude absolutely losing his mind in the pit. I mean, this was an opening band playing one of their first, if not their absolute first shows, and there is this kid just busting crazy in the pit. He had style, no doubt, and he had intensity. I met the dude later in the night. Turns out, it was Owen. From that point forward, Owen seemed to bring the same intensity and drive to all his projects.

Sam is a little different. He was always the laid back dude. We started talking sneakers a mess of years back over the internet. I would always think, "does Canada even sell sneakers? Aren't they on some ice boot tip?" Obviously not (shoot outs to Goodfoot T.O.). Sam had deep knowledge. He wasn't the fad follower. He stuck to his guns, saw the trends come and go. When everyone jumped on the SB trend, he just laughed and copped 97s for cheap. He's still laughing. While you are wearing some terrible Puff and Stuffs, he's flossing in some ill vintage 95s. Ps. He's still laughing at you and your Bics.

When these two minds got together, it was a wonderful marriage of gritty determination and an attention to obscure details that has barely been seen prior to this. Each guy brings years of experience to the table and starter skills that make all us Monday Morning "journalists" jealous. Read on and learn.




Yo, how's your edge? AND, how was your edge?

OWEN: I saw my edge walking around the city the other day. I was like, "Damn, I know that guy..." but I couldn't place him. Then he came up behind me after we had passed and kicked me in the nuts. That dude is out of his fucking mind, and now I remember why I killed him.

SAM: To quote Lewis Carroll, "It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place."

Before we get into the mag, let's discuss you dudes. How did it all begin for you? Were you coremin from birth or was it a gradual transition? Anyone you should be thanking for turning you onto punk and hardcore?

OWEN: How did Morgado answer this one? I want to say "ditto." I want to thank Mark Baumer for letting me borrow his Hatebreed CD in 1999. "Your family, your friendships, your community, these are the most valuable things a man can have." "I'm a family man- I run a family business. This is my friend and my partner, S.I. Reiss."

SAM: Ehh, read a lot of magazines, bought a record or two, read the liner notes, dragged my folks to record stores on vacations, standard stuff. I was a hungry little beb. I didn't get anyone into shit, unless you count getting three people into Alpha Omega three years ago something. I'd like to take this space to thank John Bloodclot for giving me a nickname way back when. It's made it all worth it.

Was it during this time that you discovered Straight Edge too? What did it mean to you then and what does it mean to you now?

SAM: I copped Minor Threat CD a little bit after I got into the other stuff, and it clicked, so I stuck with it. I'm loyal. S.E. can be great, you can either get something out of it, or become a weird loner. Plus, it's nice to have the money to spend on gear and candy, important stuff. I think the best thing about it, besides Straight Ahead, is that it can mean as much or as little as you want. To me, it's whatever Barrow and Jay Bil say it is. The missing link lies in listening to Stop and Think.

Suppose you were granted the power to erase one band or artist from the history of mankind. Who would you delete?

OWEN: I think I would delete BIGGIE because then 2Pac might still be alive. Controversial answer, I know. No disrespect.

SAM: I would never go back in a time machine and erase history, because even the tiniest change can alter the future in ways you can't even imagine. But probably The Wrong Side, they're the worst band of all time.

What music gets you psyched these days? What is getting a lot of plays from you these days?

OWEN: I think the older I get the more I narrow down my tastes. Hot new Lil Wayne tracks always get me psyched. Wayne for sure is a huge inspiration to me. Especially his work ethic and his confidence. Merauder, True Blue and Dead Wrong always get me psyched. Shout outs to Ivan, Kitzel, Rene, and Minus. RIP SOB.

SAM: I only listen to Juan Epstein and baseball podcasts. I got into Spice-1 this week, he's great. That Mister Cee five-hour Biggie mix is awesome, too. That new Cam'ron, "Still the Reason." Iceburn. I like some hoser shit, Doughboys, Inbreds, Mystery Machine, Superfriendz, Inepsy. Zac Davis and I both got into disco around the same time, but I didn't put the work in. He still fucks with it though. I'm probably going to get into Tangerine Dream by Christmas. I love Klaus Schulze, he's hard. Classic records like Show World, Heaven and Hell, The Fix, Unrest, Four Walls, are why life's worth living. I like driving around with my girl, she is as good at listening to classic rock radio as she is bad at spelling. Waiting on that new Erlend Oye. As far as what gets me psyched, I like a good baseball game, George F. Will, Cam'ron, candy, dips, squats, water parks, the Kosher falafel place next to the Pyramid club, Niketown, skinheads, pizza, Air Max 97s, Jay Bil, finding money on the street, Ten Minute Misconduct, the first few pages in Paper Lion, doing yardwork, Muscle Milk, my roommate's dog, Mr. Penut, free food, etc.

Top 5s
a) Current Releases
b) Current Bands
c) Lower East Side Eateries


OWEN:
Current Releases:
1. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
2. Weezy mixtapes - various
3. T-Pain - Pr33 Ringz
4. Cold World - Dedicated...
5. Unforgiven - Last of the Few

Current Bands:
1. World Collapse
2. Down
3. Merauder
4. Cold World
5. Unforgiven

Current Artists (besides Wayne etc)
1. Jay-Z
2. Keri Hilson
3. Eminem
4. Cam'ron
5. The Cardigans

I'm going to give you my favorite eateries that are either near my work or near my Williamsburg Apt
1. Maffei Pizza - 6th and 22nd - #12 Italian restaurant in NYC according to Village Voice....get the buff chicken. 1 slice is $4 and its a meal.
2. Rickshaw - 23rd b/w 5th and 6th - Dumplings. Get them fried!
3. Tony's Pizza - Graham and Metropolitan, Brooklyn - I used to be a Carmine's man but their hours suck and I'm a late night kind of guy. Also, Tony's has a special every day, for a special price. It makes deciding easier.
4. Daniella's - Same area, different corner of the intersection - You can get a bacon, egg, cheese, and POTATOES on a roll. Put on ketchup and hot sauce and you will be happy. $4.
5. McDonald's - I love McDonald's. If you like chicks with fat asses, go to any McDonald's in New York City. Especially in Brooklyn. Wear sunglasses and Jordans.

SAM:
top 8 current artists:
1. Cam'ron
2. Rampage
3. Buddens
4. Scarface
5. Foreign HC: Erlend Oye, Gauze
6. Electric Wizard
7. Cassidy, Cold World, Mind Eraser, Inepsy, Shorts Guy
8. Godhead (this is my solo project, it sounds like Prong meets Gary Glitter, it's terrible)

Current releases:
1. Those unreleased Cro Mags songs that just dropped
2. Cam'ron new shit
3. Mood Muzik III/Cassidy Mixtape/T-Pain tape
4. That Gauze LP from last year is a ripper
5. America's Youth, "Being Straight Edge to make music to be Straight Edge to." This is actually a terrible record, don't listen to it.

Restaurants:
1. Ray's
2. Famous Ray's
3. Original Ray's
4. Original Famous Ray's
5. TIE: Hans' Deli/Blimpie/Momofuku Ssam Bar/We Cut Keys*

*Honorable mention to DiRienzo's



Lets discuss your public writing history. Trumbull, Sleepy Puppy Action Newsletter (S.P.A.N.), Spotrusherz, The Cult Of Paris ... Each format had different focal points but similar pieces. What inspired these outlets?

OWEN: Sami and I have both been writing to a large audience for a long time. We both had jobs reviewing music for widely-read publications since we were teenagers, and once you start, you never really stop. I think we decided somewhere along the way, "Hey, we're stupid, we say stupid things, and people are also stupid. The only smart people in this world are John Adams (RIP), Bruce Willis, Lil Wayne, and our friend Jagger; lets try to write something that these beautiful minds might eventually read whilst defecating on a toilet."

SAM: I can't speak for Cult of Paris, but the stuff I've done has been more or less the same. Just writing stuff that would make me chuckle. I just like to write stupid stuff and get better at it.

I can break my "public writing history" down for you.

Trumbull: We started this zine at 91 Gordon, mostly about over evolved NYHC and sneakers nobody was into yet. This caused beef with a guy named Scones that has not been squashed. We also made mixtapes, which featured songs by Silkk the Shocker, Deathside and the Descendents.

Sleepy Puppy: We didn't have enough content for a second issue so we made a two-pager and filled it up with poetry and our thoughts on Avenged Sevenfold and the Willie Wonka movie. It was technically issue No. 2.5.

Spotrusherz: I started this 'blog with Woj. He posted a bunch of cool shit but I just ended up posting about Israeli politics and the Senators' checking line, eventually abandoning it.

Cult of Paris: I think this was a money-making scheme by Owen. I was under the impression that it did quite well.

Can you see any obvious progressions from one outlet to the next? You don't look back and cringe, do you?

SAM: I always find at least two or three gaping errors in anything I've written. That's going to happen -- it's hard to write something that doesn't make you occasionally wince, unless you're writing business copy or something about robots or something. But generally, I'm very proud of all my Uppercut-related writing. This means I'm probably going to be ashamed some of the new Trumbull, but that's how it is for me and English. As long as there's real progress, then good.

Is it just me, or has Paris completely fallen out of the public eye? How does that make you feel today (considering Cult Of Paris hasn't been updated since summer 2006)?

OWEN: Paris has a new show on MTV called "My New BFF" in which contestants vie for a chance to...win a reality show? I really wish I could have been on this show. Paris and I would have become fast friends and then I could have bounced right off the set entirely. Shout out to Wheeler, who actually did this on A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.

SAM: Yeah



Now about your current project, Trumbull Magazine. How did it go from the DIY handout into this full blown, glossy spread?

OWEN: I felt like I could run a magazine just as well as anyone else, plus maybe a little better. I could have pursued a career in the magazine industry, but I'd rather just run my own empire. What I'm saying is why aim to be Cassidy when you can be Hova? I have enough heart to drag Sami and the disgusting couch he watches baseball on with me to the finish line.

SAM: Owen has a great work ethic, and is my friend, and he wants to do this. Like he said, other magazines just aren't that good. I'm pleased as punch with our older issues, but there are like 20 circulated copies*. Fuck it, we're trying. God loves a tryer. If people could overlook the bad layouts and photocopied scans in the first few issues, they can fuck with glossy covers. Also it will be free now, it wasn't before. That should help us, what with the print industry being dead and all.

*Email us at zacgreerrecordtrading@lycos.com to secure a copy. "Interesting trades considered."

Besides getting your voice out to the public, what are your goals with this magazine? What props your magazine over the crowd of the GQs, the XXLs, the Complexes and the Vapors?

OWEN: This is a really good question, because people usually ask us "What's your magazine about?" We're better than GQ because that magazine is too big, we are baby-sized. We're better than XXL because we can write and don't mix 6 fonts on a page, I don't know how we are better than Complex, they have had 2 Lil Wayne covers, that's hard to beat. Their magazine is also tiny, so it really is one of the best on the stands these days. I can't see Vapor.

SAM: That's a really bad question. We're outsiders and we write better. I have no idea what Vapor is, is that some engineer shit? None of those magazines' logos are based on William Gaddis' National Book Award winner, like ours is. The numbers here are actually a step down for me, to quote Owen's favorite rapper, "Fuck the public." My goals with this magazine are to be a bit better than the older issues, and with slightly more distribution. Owen's goals involve boats, secretaries, etc.

What's the target market for you magazine? Will little Johnny Straight Edge enjoy this magazine as much as Thrash Or Die Johnny?

OWEN: Yo Johnny Straight Edge always clutters my bulletin board with surveys and Thrash Or Die Johnny just picked my roommate up for practice. If you see in color and can read the English language you will like our magazine. In fact, I think babies would even like our magazine. Show your baby a picture of a dog or a beach from our new issue. I bet s/he will like it.

SAM: Anyone who likes good sentences, photos of dogs, skinheads, shit like that, should at least get a snarfle out of this. As long as Messrs. Edge and Johnny know what a gerund and who Stephen Murphy is, then good. Actually, to make an analogy, I don't give a shit about coal and trumpets, but I read the New Yorker. So anyone can read Ish IV, for example those guys' girlfriends, if they have them.

Since Trumbull Magazine hasn't hit the racks yet, what 5 novels and 5 blogs would you recommended as prerequisites to digesting your magazine?

OWEN: Homework time!! Murphy this interview is fire!
Books
1. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov - The beginning of excessive yet hilarious footnotes.
2. Consider The Lobster by David Foster Wallace - Vibe jocked the fuck out of this gentle, gentleman's style.
3. Babylon By Bus by Ray Lemoine - Ray demonstrated to our young minds how to hustle and do big projects, and to therefore fulfill our Jewish prerogative to make lots of money and control the media.
4. The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature by Neal Pollack - Sounds long but is quite short. Our namesake lived and died within these pages.
5. Your favorite book - this magazine is definitely for people who enjoy reading so if you just like to read, period, then you pass.

Blogs
1. Medicine Agency Blog
2. Lil Wayne's ESPN blog
3. Can't Stop The Bleeding - For Sami, I don't read this.
4. AtheneWins on YouTube
5. Egotastic

SAM:
Influential shit:
1.New Yorker/Big Brother --Flynt-era ONLY
2. The 'zine trilogy: Bust Super Fanzine, Lockin Out No. 1 Fanzine (and Trumbull Escapades). All OOP
3. Army Man magazine -- Main Trumbull influence. Photocopied FTW
4. Old MAD Magazines -- Mort Drucker FTW
5. The author trilogy: Pynchon, Gaddis, Foster Wallace (RIP)

Blogs:
1. Cantstopthebleeding -- The best 'blogger alive since the best
'blogger retired
2. That 'blog that has the whole No Limit discography at 320.
3. Jay Bil's 'blog
4. The 'blog trinity: Jasonbarrow.com, Jasonbarrow.com/Wayne, Spotrusherz
5. Carl "I'm Pissed" video 'blog

If you had the chance to work with one artist, alive or dead, who'd it be, and what topic would you give them to work on? On a more serious note, who would you love to have on the staff as a regular columnist?

OWEN: I think doing a photo shoot with Brian Wilson in like July 1966 would be retarded. Or I would get drunk with Edgar Allan Poe and just put a tape recorder on him all night. Part two: I'm gonna clarify that I interpret this to mean that I am picking someone who would quit whatever job they have and work solely for the magazine. And that's a hard question to answer. Right now, I wouldn't be able to do this magazine without the help of all my friends. They contribute a lot of the material, so I would like to send all my love out to them right now. What this means, though, is that I have essentially assembled my dream staff already. Short answer: Zac Greer (myspace.com/usercd).

SAM: The answer to the first question would have to be Picasso. I'd give him the whole issue, or have him preview this hockey season. To be honest, our contributors can go fuck themselves, you all should have worked much harder, I had to edit the shit out of you. And I can barely edit to begin with, so that put me in a tight spot. Neal Pollack has a standing offer to do whatever he wants, but he's a real writer, and gets paid real money, so we might have to suck the peanut gallery's dick for content for awhile. Also, anyone from Baseball Prospectus, esp. Will Carroll, and Steve Ludzik, Joe Budden, Robert Smith (of the Vikings), Mister Cee, Felix Havoc, would be great. Ludzik is actually in contact to write our "Getting the most from your modem" column for the website. It was going to go to Havoc but he told us to go fuck ourselves.



When can we expect to see the first issue? Where can we learn more about the magazine?

OWEN: I am operating on a deadline matrix which happens to manifest itself as an apparition resembling a shadowy Uzi-wielding Grim Reaper type dude. The guy is just ALWAYS around the next corner...there is so much involved with launching this concept from zero to 100 that its impossible to look ahead and say it will be out _____, but I can say that the best way to stay up to date is to bookmark trumbullisland.com. We are about to drop some very sweet pixels upon your collective displays. And the magazine will be out SOON.

SAM: First issue is dropping sometime before the Biggie movie hits theatres and sometime after Jason Bay fucks the Rays up the ass. You can learn more about the magazine here, glad you asked. Expect glossy pics, skinny-ass girls, not that much writing from me, stuff Owen is into, stories about drugs, photos of dogs, fantasy basketball tips, skinhead literature reviews, recipes, Ask a Girl, five-word movie reviews, My Dinner With Scace, record reviews, photo essays, Owen's graphic skills (they're legit), attempted journalism, etc. The magazine will be like the record, and the website the emp. The website will be completely self- and Scace-indulgent. There really are only so many times we can write about Sheeds and Uppercut, but we plan to stretch that to its logical limit. Owen says we can't write about Mortains no more, we can't write about coke no more, can't write about being broke no more, so my web input will probably be sports-related, as I am no longer that good at listening to music. I'm not sure what Owen will write about, but I hope it has something to do with Bruce Willis, restaurants and air travel, a.k.a. the finer things in life. I also hope you all like MLS, because I am jumping in feet-first this winter.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions. Do you have any final thoughts or words of wisdom?

OWEN: BURN the haters. If you got beef, step up. To the ladies: I love you all! If we didn't do this magazine, who would?

SAM: Fuck society and their rules, we got this.

Note: Owen sent me a different picture originally. I told him this was a family friendly website (lol) and suggested he tone it down for me. He then followed up with that pic. If you want to see the original image (which is pretty hot), get the magazine!

Labels:



Ask Yasi - LOL
  -- Friday, October 10, 2008

I've followed the Hundreds for a few years now. Bobby's down with core. I've seen pics of him and Pike hanging. Toby H2O and crew too. He probably even owns a HYE shirt if he looks through all those piles of free schwag. Their blogs have been jumping lately, and Yasi has really got back into frequent postings. The other day she quoted Fugazi so I figured I woudl hit her up.

subject: dear yasi

hey yasi, how's your edge?

peace.

b. murphy


B.,

Jagged. And sometimes very confused.

Yasi
So there you have it. Peep the original source.

Labels:



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 http://southfloridamusicscene.blogspot.com.

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 again...like 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.

XXX S.E.M. ETERNAL

http://www.howsyouredge.com/swap/display.php?page=1265

http://www.myspace.com/noexcusesstraightedge

http://southfloridamusicscene.blogspot.com/

Labels:



Stefan Sonic x The Collection Space ...
  -- Thursday, September 11, 2008



Stefan Sonic has seen it and done that. He's been collecting since before you were born. While I was collecting matchbox cars, he was collecting Misfits singles. His Cough/Cool was certainly more awesome than my 82 Trans Am miatchbox. He probably never played his Cough/Cool while singing Michael Jackson Beat It ,though. Maybe you'll get lucky. His daughter is probably going to attend college in a few years. Maybe you can score some gems. But don't expect any bargains, his collection is way ABOVE the dollar bin. Read up and learn more ... then go visit his collection on thecollectionspace.com



Yo dude, how's your edge?

My edge is excellent. I got it back in 1998. Before that I was not so straight edge...

I began donating blood that year, and never looked back. I am a frequent blood donor. A healthy person can donate blood every 8 weeks (56 days). I try to spread the word to who ever will listen. My wife always donated, but I couldn't then, but I sure do now, and I'm back on track and strong for the last 10 years. I have donated over 60 times since. It's 1 pint each time for whole blood. Do the math on how many gallons I've given...

Click here for more details ...

Stefan Sonic has seen it and done that. He's been collecting since before you were born. While I was collecting matchbox cars, he was collecting Misfits singles. His Cough/Cool was certainly more awesome than my 82 Trans Am miatchbox. He probably never played his Cough/Cool while singing Michael Jackson Beat It ,though. Maybe you'll get lucky. His daughter is probably going to attend college in a few years. Maybe you can score some gems. But don't expect any bargains, his collection is way ABOVE the dollar bin. Read up and learn more ... then go visit his collection on thecollectionspace.com



Yo dude, how's your edge?

My edge is excellent. I got it back in 1998. Before that I was not so straight edge...

I began donating blood that year, and never looked back. I am a frequent blood donor. A healthy person can donate blood every 8 weeks (56 days). I try to spread the word to who ever will listen. My wife always donated, but I couldn't then, but I sure do now, and I'm back on track and strong for the last 10 years. I have donated over 60 times since. It's 1 pint each time for whole blood. Do the math on how many gallons I've given...

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

I got into hardcore because it really was a progression from punk. I had always like rock music ever since I was just a kid. I bought my first record album in 1974, was influenced by my father, he was always playing music around the house. When disco hit in 1977 I was one of those kids who wore a disco sucks t shirt to school, and I was sent home because of it. From liking Elton John and Wings in 1976, I went to Kiss and Led Zeppelin in 1977, then at the end of the 70's discovered Bowie, Sex Pistols, Clash, and the CBGB scene: Johnny Thunders, Ramones, Plasmatics, etc. Through 1983 I broadened to the west coast bands like Flipper, X, The Go-Go's, and Dead Kennedys, and some UK goth bands that began as punk bands: Siouxsie, Joy Division/New Order, Human League, and Lords Of The New Church. In 1984 when New York punk band Kraut disbanded and reformed as Cro-Mags, the sound was a little too metal for me, and I fell out of the New York scene. However, I did go see 2 memorable shows at The Rock Hotel in NYC: G.B.H. / Murphy's Law, and Toxic Reasons/T.S.O.L. At one of those I met Ray Beez, very big very scary looking guy, didn't know until later that he would reach icon status. Rest In Peace Ray. Thanks for your contribution to NYHC.



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

Unfortunately I am not involved in my local scene at all. Having a full time job and a family really doesn't give me too much spare time. There is a small scene currently with bands like Billy Club Sandwich, Four In The Chamber, Step 2 Far, Maximum Penalty, but I prefer the current scene in Baltimore with such bands as Pulling Teeth and Ruiner. Being friends with the guys in these bands helps my involvement a lot. I could live without the 3 hour drive down there from Brooklyn every time there's a show there.

Break down your current top 5s (some stumpers here!):

I can't say that I have one favourite EP or LP, but I will try to answer each entry by bands I listened to the most during that time frame: Basically I get to listen to music when I go to the gym for a 60 minute aerobic work out on an elliptical machine. I bring one of my favourite compact discs down with me, put on a pair of headphones, and just concentrate on the music. The top 5 album cd's I usually bring with me are: Heartbreakers "LAMF", Plasmatics "New Hope For The Wretched", Sex Pistols "Never Mind The Bollocks", Pulling Teeth "Martyr Immortal", Slumlords "On The Stremph".

Releases '84-87: During this time in my life I was greatly into Siouxsie & The Banshees, Jesus & Mary Chain, New Order, The Mission, and Gene Loves Jezebel.

Releases '91-98: This was a very dark time for me in my life. I had fallen out of music once my daughter was born in 1993, and my work situation was on a downward spiral. I took a 2nd job in a record shop, and one day some Skrewdriver records showed up. I got into that type of music because at the time I had not heard anything like that, and the music just moved me like nothing else within the last 10 years. I actually had a small cd distro going which helped me get by financially for a while. I kind of went off the right track, people make mistakes sometimes, we're only human...

Releases '02-07: I got out of that whole other scene I was into, thankfully, got a real job, and picked myself back up on my feet. Currently, besides all the old bands listed above I now listen to Slumlords, Pulling Teeth, Iron Age, Mind Eraser, and Cold World.



Let's discuss your collection: When and how did your collection begin?

I bought my first rock album at age 11, in 1974 (do the math for my current age = old) It was Greatest Hits by Elton John. I was influenced by my father, he was always playing music around the house when I was young. I have since inherited his vinyl albums and my mother's singles from the 1950's. There was a Bill Haley "Rock Around The Clock" in that box! I am still buying records to this very day. I try to buy with my head and not over it since I have a daughter who is about to enter 10th grade, and looking at New York University as a college of choice. So I either have to start saving and buy less, or begin to liquidate to help fund her education. Although I think I'm safe because I have a financially practical wife. I'm one lucky guy.


Estimate if necessary, what is the size of your collection?

I don't know if it's necessary to estimate the size of my collection, but I would think I have between 3000 and 4000 different pieces of vinyl within the walls of my little 4 room apartment.

What is your favorite piece?

All of my records are my favourite pieces! Though I must say one of my favourite pieces is a UK promo 12" single by Sisters Of Mercy titled Lucretia My Reflection. I absolutely love the Sisters. This record was a gift to me from a dude named Simon Waterman from Surrey, England. I met him through correspondence in a UK magazine titled Record Collector. Before we were married, my wife and I took a trip to London in July 1987, took a box of records along to trade, made some trades, bought some stuff, and one day made a side trip to Surrey to meet him in person. I have since lost contact with him, but thank him for this item. It comes in an embossed snakeskin sleeve and is a black label promo (test press?) and has no indication on it whatsoever as to what it is.



My other most favourite pieces have to be without question a bunch of acetates recently acquired by The Plasmatics. 9 X 7" single acetates of individual songs from The New Hope For The Wretched LP and 8 X 10" single acetates of individual songs from the Coup d'Etat LP.





What is your most limited piece?

My most limited piece has to be any of the many pressing plant mix ups I am fortunate enough to own, leave it to Musicol to not clean out their vats after they do a pressing. Any of the Dead By 23 swirls is rare, then I have some test presses that are limited to 12...I also have a (Johnny Thunders & The) Heartbreakers withdrawn single on Track Records UK titled It's Not Enough b/w Let Go with a picture sleeve. I have a German Sex Pistols Anarchy In The UK, but that has since been reissued (thanks Germany), another prize possession I have is a US Test Press for Sex Pistols Never Mind The Bollocks LP. Then the acetates mentioned above.

Which would you guess is the most valuable (ebay standards)?

My most valuable record in my collection has to be either the Youth Of Today "Can't Close My Eyes" orange vinyl 7" with Batman Stamps /100, or a Warzone "Lower East Side Crew" clear vinyl 7", probably both can fetch $750 each. For the record, let it be known that I used to own every original single by The Misfits, with the exception of NOTLD. I had a Cough/Cool, and I also had a Nirvana "Love Buzz", so either one of those would have been my most valuable record. But who would have known those titles would have blown up so much? They have been traded away long before they exploded as they did...

Funny story about how I got my Youth Of Today single on orange: Remember my trip to England in July 1987? Well, John DeSalvo, bassist of legendary CBGB NYC band The Tuff Darts, who works in Bleeker Bob's Golden Oldies Record Shop, asked me to get him a few things while I was there. He asked for shaped picture discs, and anything I could get by Skrewdriver. Now mind you I had not heard of Skrewdriver to this point, so I had no idea what I was in for when I went around London record shops asking for Skrewdriver. I found one shop that had their first single and their first LP. When I brought those back to John at the record shop, he quickly handed me a Minor Threat "Filler" single with the green cover, mint as could be (ask Sean O'Donnell of Youngblood Records because he now has that record because I traded it to him, but have since replaced it), and a Youth Of Today on orange vinyl with batman stamped blank white B side label and batman stamped dust sleeve. Only problem was there was no cover. John told me to come back in one week because the dudes who made these records were going to bring the covers in at a later time. I went back every week for a month, and the covers never showed up. Some years later, the same Youth Of Today single was hanging on the wall; I told John to let me have the cover. I took it across the street and made a Xerox copy for myself. So I actually have the right record without a batman stamped cover. It's always something with Revelation...



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

The hardest pieces to get in my collection were all Sonic Youth items. One would think that their items would be easily available in New York City since they are from New York City. Finding these few rarities proved to be extremely difficult for me. I began collecting SY in 1990 (a bit late I admit), learned of their back catalogue, and began searching. Locating their 1st single, which is actually not even their 1st release, proved difficult. It's a record on the Forced Exposure label, which is also a fanzine. 1246 copies made, and I finally had to beg a fellow record store employee to sell me his copy. I have since seen the record at WFMU record shows, and on ebay for a lot less than what I paid. I even scored a test press of this record (see my entry at thecollectionspace.com). I had doubts about the test press' authenticity once I got it, but the etchings on both records are identical, so if it is a bootleg, then it's a damn good one...



Another early release by SY is the "Flower" b/w "Halloween" single. There is one 7" version and four 12" versions. The 7" version I got through the Usenet SY news group, before there was ebay. Funny thing is that the person who sold it to me was Barry Henssler, singer for the Necros. I sent him a personal check and he cashed it, obviously, somewhere I have his cancelled check with his "autograph" on the back! Two of the 12" singles were readily available: a gold vinyl UK version, and a black vinyl US version. However, there is a 12" version supposedly withdrawn by SY: the B side is titled "Satan Is Boring" which is basically just 15 minutes of noise recorded live in Europe in 1985. Unhappy with this version, it was withdrawn. Next is a single sided 12" of the first mix for the song "Halloween" and the B side has etching by Savage Pencil. There are supposed to be 100 made signed and numbered by Pencil. I have # 75/100 signed, and I have one unsigned. How many are there out there unsigned? I'll never know...I wound up finding both of these one day apart in 1999, one in a used bin at Second Coming Records in NYC, and one by mail order from London, took me 9 years to find the 2 most rarest records by them.



The other hard to find record comes courtesy of my friend John DeSalvo from Bleeker Bob's Golden Oldies record shop in New York City. Continuing from the above story about my trip to London, he asked for a picture disc of a girl in an SS uniform. He said if you find me this record you can have anything in the store! The record in question is by a German techno/disco outfit called Ryker, the song was called Funkmeister. I couldn't find it on the London trip. He still said if you can find me one, you can still have anything you want in the store. Well, 10 years went by, online came along, Usenet newsgroups found me someone who had it. Got it, brought it in, he told me he had just gotten one like
the previous week. I hadn't told him I was getting it because I wanted it to be a surprise. I was crushed. I still have the record.


Front


Back


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

I also collect books by the author Dean Koontz. I really like his stories. I have many first edition books by him, some personally signed to me, Stefan Sonic, very early science fiction paperbacks, and even almost every book he's written under pen names. It's impossible to get every book ever because books are printed so many times, at least in paperback, it doesn't pay to get the same book just for a different cover. Wait, look who is talking: the multiple collector, me. See books are cool, but records are cooler. I always say once you get a book you can't even read it because once you crack the spine the book is worthless, so it just sits on a shelf. But with a record, you can "hang out" with a record. You put it on your turntable, it plays, you mosh around to the music, you play air guitar, bass, and drums, you sing at the top of your lungs when no one else is around, you look at the insert and read along to the lyrics. You can't do that with a book, especially a book made by Charnel House, look them up, their books are hand made, and crazily priced, but to some it's worth it, I'm not rich enough.

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

You are very welcome. The first thing I want to say is thank you for wanting to interview me. I am very flattered that you asked to interview me; no one's ever done that before. I am very happy to have been able to share some stories and share my photos with you. Thanks to my wife for putting up with me, and not throwing me out of the house and not putting me in divorce court. Thanks to the labels I currently collect and to the dudes who run them: Dom Romeo at A389, Sean O'Donnell at Youngblood, Alex DiMatessa at Grave Mistake, and Mike Riley at Firestarter and Toxic Pop. Thanks to whomever I've met at shows and whomever I've traded with on How's Your Edge; you are all listed on the top of my page! Words of positivity: never think you won't get that item that you really want: I always wanted a God Save The Queen by Sex Pistols on A&M. When I saw one in 1981 for $1000, I was just a kid in high school and couldn't afford it then. Since their reunion in 1996, it has now skyrocketed to over g-d knows how much and certainly can't afford it, but did get a test press for NMTB. Had they not reunited, maybe their image would have diminished and I would be able to afford it now. I have parting shots to 3 labels I used to collect, they know who they are, but my wife says I should not mention that here...

Labels:



Klint Kanopka - Reign Supreme, Vegan Warrior, Blogging Genius, ...
  -- Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Coming up with a stellar intro for Klint's interview has literally been driving me crazy. It's hard to sum this fellow up in a mere paragraph. You already know that Klint is a NBD, as well as a genuine fucker. He knows how to rock. He once swapped an engine out of one car and put it in another. He's a funny mother fucker. Shit... There's a lot that can be said about Klint. Go ahead and read the interview. You'll ROTFL and other internet acronyms.

Yo, Klint, how's your edge? Have you ever prayed to fucking god that someone ODs on that shit?

My edge is sharp and arrogant, just the way it should be. It also doesn't partake in animal derived activities.

I'm not a religious man, but I will admit to the occasional prayer to fucking god. The militant edge is not a joke, you know.




Click here for more details ...

Coming up with a stellar intro for Klint's interview has literally been driving me crazy. It's hard to sum this fellow up in a mere paragraph. You already know that Klint is a NBD, as well as a genuine fucker. He knows how to rock. He once swapped an engine out of one car and put it in another. He's a funny mother fucker. Shit... There's a lot that can be said about Klint. Go ahead and read the interview. You'll ROTFL and other internet acronyms.

Yo, Klint, how's your edge? Have you ever prayed to fucking god that someone ODs on that shit?

My edge is sharp and arrogant, just the way it should be. It also doesn't partake in animal derived activities.

I'm not a religious man, but I will admit to the occasional prayer to fucking god. The militant edge is not a joke, you know.



What's your story? How did it all begin for you and hardcore?

Like most kids my age, I blame skating for all this. Except I was never any good at it. Awful, actually. I have the balance of a giraffe with an inner ear infection. Over a decade later, I can barely ollie. Literally terrible. But the way it works is my friends and I were all into Nirvana and Soundgarden and then started finding out about Sub-Pop grunge and punk. This older dude Gian lived up the street from my good friend Bucky and hung out with the Atari and Rancor dudes. So Gian would skate with Bucky and give him Youth of Today tapes and get him to buy Floorpunch records, and then Bucky would tape them for me. He had a paper route, so he was the one who had money, and it all basically went to records. But I'd get first and second generation tapes of everything. We'd mailorder things and trade tapes among our friends and it all spiraled out of control from there. I quit skating long ago out of respect for my body and ackowledgement of my talents, but I'm still going to shows and haven't slowed down since.

When did you fully realize what straight edge was? And what does it mean to you now?

All my friends jumped into straight edge right away. I was a little slower on the boat. It took a few shows for me to get a real grasp of how it all worked. I came from the sickeningly typical abusive- alcoholic father background, and my experiences because of that really polarized my worldview. I never drank, never smoked, never did drugs. None of it appealed to me. So I was kind of a goofy bookworm nerd. I guess that's how I figured kids who didn't party were supposed to be.

Straight edge really changed all that. A few years prior I'd made the difficult decision to cut my father totally out of my life. I took a stand. I figured out that I didn't have to just keep to myself- there was a whole group of kids who felt the same way. And they were a threat- physically strong and morally straight. It was okay to be pissed off, arrogant, and openly hateful of all the things I refused be a part of. Once everything sank in, it just clicked.

Straight edge is still a huge part of my life. It's reinforced the fact that I don't need a father or a substance to control my life. I've done just fine for myself. I finished college, I've traveled more than most people can dream to, I teach, I get by, and I think I'm happier than a lot people are- and the straight edge has been, and continues to be, a huge part of why I was able to do all that.

You play in a band called Reign Supreme. How were you lucky enough to land that gig?

I've known Jay for years. We actually met in the bathroom at CBGB at the final mosh, right before Breakdown played. Anyway, they weren't happy with their current bass player. I have a ton of gear and wanted to tour, so I learned the songs, tried out, and now they can't get rid of me. Seriously though, I love my bandmates, playing music, playing shows, meeting people, and traveling. It works out really well.

Reign Supreme seems like a non-stop touring machine. Any plans for global domination? When are you coming to my town next?

We're working on an LP now, and there's way more touring after that. My dream is to be able to do a world tour. Tons of people are touring places that no one even thought of playing in the late 90's, so I think the door for us to be able to do that is slowly opening.

We were supposed to play Boston on August 17, but it got moved to Providence. I've never been to a show in Worcester, so I have no idea when we're coming to your town. We'll be near it sometime soon, though. Probably in September.

The local alternative rock radio station has a weekly segment about creepy guys doing internet personnels. One guy said a date would be ruined if the girl peed on him. Why am I telling you this story? How does it relate?

Ah crap. First, the links:





Now the backstory:

I was a part of the Drexel radio station (WKDU) when I was still doing my undergrad work. One day a girl came down and asked if I wanted to be on a blind date show. My immediate response was, "Fuck yes I want to be on a blind date show!" The results are what you saw above. The profile had to be made for the show, which was supposed to fake how the Dating on Demand profiles were intended to work. So the profile didn't air until way after the date did. But, apparently the production company thought it was super funny, so I got on. Two bits of trivia: That girl is now Brandon Wallace of I Hate You and Champion's sister-in-law. I was also very into the idea of 90s hardline bands, so my Dating on Demand username was "birthright."

What bands get you psyched these days? Psyched on the edge and psyched on the core?

Have Heart and Let Down are my two favorite straight edge bands. Let Down has the intensity and balls to just come out and say that drinking is bullshit, and I love that. And they're not shitty and 7th Dagger about it. Have Heart is great because they're a much more thoughtful band- no tough guy acts or songs about fist fighting. They have a way more personal intensity that I can't get enough of.

Honorable mention goes to The First Step, even though they're breaking up. They've been a huge part of my life for the past few years, and it's really sad to see them finally hang it up. I'm very upset that I'll be on tour during their last show.

As for bands that get me stoked on the core? The Carrier, Foundation and End of a Year are my big three for that. They're all doing things that aren't entirely straight forward, and don't come off with a sort of snooty forced progression that some other bands exude. And they're all undeniably hardcore bands, with an appropriate amount of sincerity and intensity.


Photo by Cameron Gardner


Which would you rather?

a) Own a PC?
b) Break edge?


Own a PC. A beer won't run Linux.

a) Break edge?
b) Punch a baby and steal its candy?


Punch a baby. I don't particularly care for babies at all. They're not good at anything.

a) Be seen riding dirty in a japanese tuner?
b) Eat a tunafish sandwich?


Gas is expensive as hell, so I'll take a free ride in anything. Supra, CRX, Tibouron, whatever. I much prefer traveling in something VAG or pedal powered, though.

How important is vegetarianism to you? How important do you think it should be to the hardcore community?

I'm vegan, so vegetarianism is hugely important to me. I'm not a particularly political person, but it's one of the causes I do feel passionate about. Everyone has heard the statistics and all the information on the subject is easily accessible. Therefore, there is no reason to still consume animals.

Anyone who considers themselves even remotely progressive should not eat meat. There is no justification for it. Society has progressed to a point where animal based food is no longer required for survival. It's a simple choice and an easy transition to make, so any excuse you come can come up with just boils down to a blend of selfishness, ignorance, and lack of control over your own life.

I honestly find it difficult to respect the opinions of anyone who still eats meat in 2008. Especially in a community full of supposedly socially aware and intellectually proactive people, not expending the absurdly low amount of effort it requires to be vegetarian is an act of stupefying hubris.

You have a widely read blog. What prompted you to start one and how did you decide on the question/answer format?

First, I'd like to apologize openly for slacking on that. I have submissions, I just haven't had the chance to answer them with the attention I like to give them. Expect more after This is Hardcore.

Anyway, I do a dating advice blog called Dear Klint (http://dearklint.blogspot.com). A friend of mine decided that it would be entertaining for me to give her friends dating advice. So, she made me start the blog and had them submit questions to me. Then the links got passed around, and it kind of took off. A lot of people were surprised that I'm actually a solid writer. Apparently you don't expect that from men with science backgrounds, let alone hardcore kids.

For the record, every post has been a legitimate question someone has emailed to me. I know some of the people, but definitely not all of them. It's really bizarre how a complete stranger will open up to you and hold out hope for that one brutal nugget of truth, even though they're fully aware I'm just going to crap all over them and their ridiculous problem. But, it's super fun. And people need to know that their awful relationships are completely their own fault.


Photo by Rachel Annie


What's the best piece of dating advice someone ever gave YOU. What's the best you ever gave someone else?

The best piece of dating advice I ever got came from my friend Patrick: if you fight twice with a girl, break up with her. One fight can be a fluke, but two establishes a pattern. Sadly, I'm not smart enough to follow through with it.

On the other side of the coin, all of the advice I give really just boils down to "open your fucking eyes." If you're in a shitty relationship, it's probably because one or both of you are idiots. Nothing more, nothing less. So why do we act like solutions are on par with rocket science? Most dating situations (and their subsequent resolutions) are about as simple as the minds of the people involved.

That said, my favorite (though by no means the best) pearl of wisdom I've ever passed along has to be, "Never love a woman."

What music have you been giving a lot of play lately? Would it shock you if I said my friend likes to listen to Madball during romantic moments with his lady?

Not shocking at all. I've always got Lungfish and Youth of Today on heavy rotation. Sometimes I listen to a shameful amount of the early Ebullition catalog. Recently I've also been listening to a lot of Uniform Choice, End of a Year, Outspoken, CIV, Merauder, Farside, A Chorus of Disapproval, Tad, Undertow, the new Have Heart, tons of science and math lectures from iTunes U, stand up comedy (Patton Oswalt and Louis C.K.), and the Gangsta Rap: A Glockumentary soundtrack.

Top 5s
a) Current Releases


Have Heart - Songs to Scream at the Sun - Record of the year. Cleaner guitars, more midtempo songs, and great lyrics. I've met a lot of people who don't care for this, or don't like it as much as the previous record. Open your fucking ears- this is great.

The First Step - Connection - Anyone who knows me knows I love this band, and it pains me to miss their last show.

The Cancer Bats - Hail Destroyer - Call it party metal or whatever else, but it sounds like Jesuseater. Riffy and driving rock.

Verse - Aggression - Another band I absolutely love.

The Carrier - No Love Can Save Me - Until we played with this band, I didn't fully appreciate them. Great live, and the record absolutely blows their demo out of the water.

b) Current Bands

End of a Year - They hate the comparison, but I love their Revolution Summer vibe.

Have Heart - Best record of the year.

The Carrier - Young kids, awesome song writing, and great live.

Foundation - They absolutely nail the weird/aggressive style that's very popular nowadays.

Bitter End - Perfectly executed New York hardcore, without the meaningless lyrical content.

c) Shirts

Chain of Strength - Navy Blue TTD - The absolute perfect hardcore shirt, and my all time favorite design.

Uniform Choice - 4 Sided "Use Your Head" WW - Very clean, and very straight edge.

Black Flag - White Minority - A very in your face design that captures the intensity of the band perfectly.

Bold - Standard design, navy with yellow letters - An absolutely iconic and striking shirt. Simple and effective.

Embrace - Alex Brown boot - A great band that deserved great shirts, and this was the best design that someone ever made for them.



d) Vegan restaurants

Horizons (Philadelphia, PA) - Upscale and delicious. Seasonal menu and always impressive. Only downside is the high cost.

Vegan Treats Bakery (Bethlehem, PA) - I don't know if this counts as a restaurant, but you can sit down and have coffee and donuts inside. Absolute best vegan bakery on Earth. You've had their cakes in NYC and Philadelphia.

Basic 4 (Philadelphia, PA) - Some black lady has run this stand in the Reading Terminal Market for years. Only open Sunday-Friday for lunchtime hours, if you can make it here, check it out. The hands down undisputed best vegan chicken salad in the universe. This place was a hidden gem, but I guess I just blew it up.

Govinda's (Philadelphia, PA) - Service sucks, and everyone who works there is retarded. But fuck, their food is great. It's the place that you automatically take out of towners, and you always get requests for. They also serve Vegan Treats desserts.

Red Bamboo (New York, NY) - Overrated and overhyped, but still great. They serve Vegan Treats, and the food is really good. I can't get enough of their mashed potatoes.

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS:
Foodswings (New York, NY) - Go here if you want to pay some bike punk $8 to cut up a Tofurkey Sausage.

Gianna's (Philadelphia, PA) - My list of grievences with this hellhole are longer than most. I orginally decided to go vegan while sitting in a booth at their old location, and subsequently ate here 3-4 days a week for years. As it turns out, they lied about their food being vegan for their entire existence. They fucked over Robby Redcheeks. They also stole all of their cake recipies from Danielle who owns the Vegan Treats Bakery, and then had the audacity to shit talk her afterwards. Fuck them. They don't care about the vegetarian or vegan community at all. I don't respect a single person on Earth who supports these people. Even though they fixed their foods, I firmly believe that if you eat there, you are NOT vegan. Attempting to argue otherwise will just get you on my shit list.


Photo by Jeff Lasich


Due to extreme temps at the Have Heart record release show, there were many dudes moshing and stage diving in just boxers. How do you feel about that? What about people moshing or even playing bass naked?

Desperate times call for desperate measures. At an exceptionally hot show, removing your shirt helps A LOT. That said, I don't have a particularly impressive physique, so I save that for dire emergencies. As for playing bass naked... the guitar covers everything you want to see. And Louisville, KY was the hottest show I've ever played in my life. I almost passed out at the end. And I may or may not have thrown a Barbie doll and hit someone in the face with it.

Any closing thoughts, shout outs or words of PMA?

Thanks for the interview. Stay edge, go vegan, and reclaim it from the dirty bike punk xvx bizarro scene. If you don't like Youth of Today, you're not straight edge. Come see Reign Supreme on tour, hang out with me, bake for me, and follow me on Twitter.

Sincerely,
Klint Kanopka

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