What do you remember about that 1st time Black Flag
played at DooBees when you guys opened?
Pounding the hell out of the New Wavers trying to pogo. We were stage diving off of tables and for the first 10 minutes, it was like a fist fight set to music. Then the New Wave folks finally got the fuck off the dance floor and we had it all to ourselves for the rest of the set. Not really as much fun but still cool, it was fucking Black Flag in your face! I got to play drums during 'Louie Louie' which was my main goal that night!
What do you remember about those first time you guys recorded the stuff that would become the'Sex Drive' single?
It was in my Mom's basement with Tim Story running a 4 track cassette machine. We were done in like an hour and you can tell by the quality of the recording! Police Brutality was of course pulled from our original demo which was done in '79 and was before Hardcore.
When would you say the Hardcore scene in the Midwest really exploded?
1981-82, several Nunzios hardcore shows, Endless Summer show, 1st Black Flag show in Detroit at Bookies. Freezer happaned later.
How did you become friends with Larrissa?
She sent a copy of her fanzine Anonymous to Smegma and we started writing her back and eventually calling each other. She invited us to come up to see L7 open for Bauhaus. She snuck us all in to Bookies and we brought slam dancing to Detroit! It was rad. She was instantly our punk rock den mother! We went to an after hours for the band DNA who had played at another venue. We were given some very harsh attitudes for being so young and into punk, which was of course old hat at this point according to the homosexual Detroit New Wave scene
What do you remember about recording the 'IQ32' 7"? How about the track for the 'Process' comp?
Both recorded in Lansing at an old hippies home 8-track studio. His wife was really fat and gross and they both stank. This is extra harsh seeing as though I was a stinky 17 year old punk rocker who never bathed or brushed his teeth. The IQ sessions were just us, Ian, Tesco and Dave. The Process sessions were everyone from all the bands except Toxic Reasons who submitted an existing track. We would all just hang out and skate in the parking lot until your band was called up. I remember it was really hot and of course that made the dirty hippies stink even more! "Plug it into #7 and give me a kiss Gil." Yuck!
What do you remember about going to see Fear play
That whole night was a whirlwind...hanging out in NYC, having to use the password "Ian MacKaye" to get into the NBC studio, lots of free CocaCola!!! Shaving Brannon a mohawk in the green Room...Contrary to what John Joseph may think in his mind, I clearly had the first stage dive of the night. The proof is in the pudding, Just watch the tape. Billy grabbing the pumpkin at the end, Donald Pleasence looking like he was totally terrified. "Negative Approach is gonna fuck you up!"
What do you remember of finding the Freezer Theatre? Who was the first person to find it?
Brannon knew about the Freezer as Static had done a show there at some point early on. We just needed a dump that was indestructible and it was perfect. We built a new 4 foot stage just to cater to the stage divers! The owner Fred was a total acid head paranoid hippie who usually took off with the money by the end of the night.
When shows started going on at the Freezer, is that when HC started picking up steam as far as kids you guys didn't know coming in and all that?
The Freezer created a central meeting point for the whole Michigan/Ohio hardcore scene. The word got out pretty quick that there was an all ages space booking hardcore. New kids would show up at every show culminating in the Minor Threat NA debacle.
Let's talk about the national tours you guys did. Talk about highlights, fave bands you played with, how the Midwest scene was interpreted around the country, etc.
First tour-Bucky Pope goes along to assimilate into our second guitarist, this does not work out. Bucky gets sent home after 3 weeks. Misfits riot in SF. Bob's place with Social D and the Misfits, Mike Ness looks like Doyle! WTF!!!!
2nd tour- Hanging out with Glen E., Alva, Adams, Hackett, and J. Smith. Skating at Paul Revere and Kentner. Stayed at Amery Suicidals house in Venice w/ hot tub!!! Played with Tales of Terror at the Mab. Contrary to the bullshit that Carducci has stated in "American Hardcore", Ginn did invite us to a rehearsal while we were in town and we hung out all day listening to the Biscuits lineup run thru "Damaged" and "My War" material. At some point we were considering going with SST but then rumors of them not paying anyone started to surface. I find it hilarious that Carducci would write us off as Flag "imitators" when he was the person responsible for signing Blast! to SST. Plagiarism has its rewards.
3rd tour-Played Walla Walla, Washington and saw some dude drive a pickup truck over a cliff on the way to Seattle. Played with the Melvins in a cold warehouse and knew it was time to slow down!!!
Megadeth tour- I can't even get into this because most of it was too hilarious on a totally wrong level. Lots of alcohol and drugs and we only had to play for a half hour.
Circle Jerks tour-Started a skinhead riot in Miami Beach. Eric Oblander saved my life! This was when Keith and the rest of the band were sober except for Ernie the road manager. The thing is they still had like 6 cases of beer on their rider and we had like 4 on ours. We had a surplus the whole tour, it was a total beer fest! Dropped acid for the first time at a Fluid concert in Boulder. Played a Hooters' type joint in Orlando and both bands got kicked out of 2 motels during the after hours shenanigans. Its hard to remember some of this stuff, we drank a lot.
When you guys came back from tour, did the HC scene in Detroit seem different?
More kids and lots of stupid people started to creep in. Drugs and more drinking and violence came along. The skinhead thing started and that just tore the scene apart.
Can you remember a specific time at a HC show when you thought 'This isn't for me anymore?'
We were already starting to feel disillusioned by the time we started writing "Conquest". Look at the lyrics to "Count Me Out", Barry is already rejecting the whole thing. "Friend to All" and "Tarnished Words" play on some of the same problems. I remember some huge Misfits show a Henry Ford Community College being really violent and just stupid, no fun at all. When we started our little "scene" we had visions of it becoming this cool huge thing but when it did explode you realized how much more fun it was when it was like just 20 of you.
When the Necros started to move along from playing HC to a more 'Rock' style, how was it taken by the HC crowd?
The super punkers hated it but I think most of our more open minded crowd went along with us. Skaters and what not... There was some point when we were right in the middle. We had new songs like "Power" and "Black Water" that still had a gnarly hardcore vibe but were slightly slower and arranged better. I remember opening for the Circle Jerks in Denver on that last tour and the punkers just sat there and did not even clap for our whole set. They did not like the Jerks much better.
What eventually made the Necros break up?
It was time, no special reason. I don't think I would have like being in Big Chief or GISS. I wanted to get more primal than either of those outfits. My first band after wards was Solid Gold Hellnamed after the Scientists' tune. This was way before the Auckie band of the same name. We were pre-grunge for the most part. After that was Foil which was kind of a Sonic Youth/ Jesus Lizard thing with a chick screaming. Then I joined the Hyenas.
Photo by LilyKily