Legends Of Hardcore #3 Russ Iglay – Underdog,Murphys Law and Huge.

By Ed

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Did this interview with Russ From Underdog and Huge recently.

Underdog are one of my favourite bands Murphys Law and Huge are not bad either haha!

So this was literally a privilege.

Thanks Russ.

DR: How’s things Russ? What have you been up to? What kind of thing are you doing for work and where are you based?
RI-  Hi Ed, Can’t complain here been having fun lately…an old old lady ran a red light and hit me the other day…my car flipped over and spun like a top upside down…luckily my little kids were not in the car…I was the only one and didnt get hurt…that was fun.LOL…This happened on Main st. in Belmar,NJ where I live with my wife Juliana, my 6 year old Son Marlo, and my 3 year old daughter Rosie…I work here in town at our family restaurant @donspizzaking.
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DR: Who is in the current Underdog  line up?

RI -As of right now it is Me, Richie and Marc same as its been for a while but Dean just went to Hawaii for a few months so Mike Kingshot will be playing drums.

DR: Could you give us a bit of the history of Underdog, like when you first decided to start up, early practices, memories from first shows?

RI -UNDERDOG started a week after I was kicked out of Murphy’s Law, in ’85…we practiced in Tucasa on the lower east side a lot…also at Bib Fun studios…our very first show was at The Blue Pelican in Newport, RI…our good friend BooFish booked it.

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DR: What were some of Underdog’s early influences, music wise?

RI – We were listening to a lot of Scream, lots of reggea, Jimmy Cliff, Bunny Wailer, Big Youth…The Who, SLF…Suicidal…Sabbath, Zero Boys…Negative Approach…Necros…

DR: What are some of your tour memories around the The Vanishing point era?
RI – I’ll always fondly remember the VP record release show at The Pyramid…Jimmy G. DJ’d Good Humor played Swiz came down from DC and played…it was a terrential  downpour all night…but everyone still came out.

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DR – What were some of the shows like at that time and who were regulars on the bill with you?

RI – The shows were great at that time UNDERDOG had a lot of momentum at that point and every show was just packed!! GB, SOIA and opened for us a lot…American Standard was always a fun band to play with…also Token Entry…it was a great time for Hadrcore music

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DR: How did Chuck Treece end up playing guitar for Underdog?
RI-  I asked Chuck if he wanted to join the band, I knew him from skateboarding with Tom Groholski…and he had McRad… Did he still do Mc Rad too? I think he always had McRad going on and always will.
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DR: How was the recording process different from recording with Rev for the “Demos” to The Vanishing point with Caroline?

RI -The demos were actually 2 different demos we had already recorded…the second demo (my favorite) was recorded as a 3 piece…just me Richie and Dean at Don Fury’s…Recording the VP was a little more involved and we travelled upstate to do it…

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DR: Did all the original line up of members in Underdog have a keen interest in skateboarding?

RI -Yes, we all skated…it was our main interest besides music…we skated all day, then band practice at night…Skateboarding actually helped me and many others find punk rock/hardcore…

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DR: are you still very involved in skateboarding?
RI – Yes, I’m still very involved in skateboarding, on top of that now my little boy skates so I’m skating even more because I’m alway taking him skating…I just spent seven days staying in Long Beach CA skating every day and attending the “Agenda” skateboarding trade show.
   DR -And how would you say it’s changed for you personally as a scene, apart for tricks getting stupid?
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RI- Well…one BIG change in skateboarding is that now it is definately it’s own entity…in the very beginning or even when I started it was very “surf” oriented…now it is entirely its own thing…its even become urban…as city kids are into it as much as surf town kids…unfortunately the “skater” kids now listen more to Rap than Punk/HC…also, like me, the older skaters have kids now and they are making a whole new generation of skating Dads!
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DR: How did dean your brother end up in Underdog?
RI -We basically stole him from Good Humor…he was just getting so good we had to bring him in as a permanent  member…Was he in any other bands before that? Yes, our first band in ’82 was Child Abuse, C.A. released a 7″ on the now famous Mutha Records…and played at such venues as A-7 CBGB’s and The Fastlane when Dean was just 11. Then he played some shows in Murphy’s Law before UNDERDOG too.
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DR: Dean is pretty clever on a Surf board, is that something you both still do?
RI – Ya we both will probably surf until we die…but Dean is more into surfing as I’m more into skating…he is in Hawaii right now…
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DR: What made you decided to pick Underdog up again and start playing shows again? But then I guess you never really broke up right?
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RI- It all started with the closing of CBGB’s…and we’ve done a few shows every year since then…it’s just in our blood…like skating and surfing…my life has pretty much been skateboarding, hardcore and family.
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DR: How did it come about, you releasing “Matchless” on Bridge 9?
RI- I met Chris Wrenn at the  “Burning Fight” show in Chicago…he gave me his card…I called him..and the rest is history. B9 is an amazing label and has done nothing but good for UNDERDOG. THANKS CHRIS!
DR: Who was it that did the original Underdog art work? Was there just one dude?
RI – WE HAD SOME VERY TALENTED FRIENDS…Matt Solamon did the first 7″ cover and our famous “chain logo” UNDERDOG NYC shirt…Sean Taggart did the “labels” on that vinyl…Tony Bourne did the famous UNDERDOG/Circle Jerks flier that was also used as the back cover for the Go cart VP re-release…and my girlfriend during my days in UNDERDOG, Olivia, did tons of artwork for us and also printed our t shirts.
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DR: Can you give us a bit of history on your time in Murphy’s Law?
RI- I was the 2nd bass player Adam Mucci left after a few months and Jimmy asked me to play…I was stoked to say the least. I played from sometime in ’83 till ’85…
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DR: What where some of your most memorable Murphy’s Law shows?
RI- Just us and The Ramones at The Ritz…my first show was at some venue in midtown with Reagan Youth…The Dancetaria show…any shows we played with The Cro-mags.
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DR: So your new band Huge is you and 3 ex members of Underdog?
RI- Now that Dean is gone it’s 2 members of UNDERDOG…Me and Marc, Mike VanPelt (MVP) is on Bass …Grady on Rythm guitar and our new drummer Girth Hatrick is badass!
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DR: How would you describe Huge’s vibe to some one who hasn’t heard you before?
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RI- I’ve tried to many times…all the songs are kinda different from each other…except for the one thing, that I cant sing anyway LOL…it’s kinda like dirty Rock…other people have compared it to Rose Tattoo, Skrewdriver WITHOUT the racist lyrics! …Motorhead…support the band and buy our 4 song ep…
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DR: Was it an easy transition for you from bass to vocals?
RI- No, it was always nice to have that bass to kinda hide behind LOL…now I’m right there out in front with no place to hide…like I said before…besides…I cant sing anyway LOL.
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DR: I ask everyone this but who are you listening to in Hardcore right now?
RI- My favorite band would be The Brought Low…it’s the guys from Sweet Diesel’s new band…Sooo Good!
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DR: Thanks for your time dude- anything you would like to say?
RI -I’d like to thank the companies who support me JETTY, jettylife.com, Guy at Dwindle skateboard distribution. Verne at Skateone.com, August at Emerica… For the HUGE record or bookings or anything else email me at; sauce138@optonline.net
 Follow me on Instagram, @donspizzaking @underdognyhc @681huge @russiglay
Huge Photos by Kathleen Hayes

I Love My Family.

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