DR: So let’s start at the beginning… Where are you from and what was your first introduction to Hardcore?
I skateboarded with a small group of dudes from the next town over and we all sort of discovered it together. I always loved music it was ingrained in me as a kid so the first records I bought on my own were Best of Queen, Supertramp Breakfast in America.. So when I was buying skateboards, I saw a Drunk Injuns cassette and I was off to the races… After that a skate trip took me to Repo Records a few towns over and I bought Minor Threat Out of Step, Misfits Evilive and a GBH tape… That’s when I discovered Straight Edge. The rest as they say is history.
DR: What’s the backstory on suburban fanzine? When did it all kick off?
Summer School, 1989. I was going to see Bold, GB, Crucial Youth, and Sand in the Face at City Gardens. This was what you could consider my biggest show to that point. I wanted to figure out how I could get involved in hardcore. I had just started taking photos at shows and wanted to take my love of HC to the next level. I went to the show and was floored. GB was sloppy but so fun, Bold was tight as hell. This was the Porcell/Capone lineup. My mind was blown. I actually did not take pics at that show though if you look closely at that Ken Selerno photo from that show, you can see me and my boy Tym. Anyway, the next day was a Monday and all I wanted to do that day in Summer School was work on my zine.I helped a future girlfriend pass the class, but I failed miserably. No regrets though. Later that year, the first issue was out. Interviews with Mouthpiece, GO!, and Edgewise. Mike BS taught me a lot about getting involved. I’ll always be grateful to him for that.
DR: What was the first show you went to and where?
The first show I went to was in Radnor, PA and it was with Homo Picnic, McRad, and Follow Fashion Monkey’s. In early 1986. An eye opening experience for sure. I did my first dive at that show. I remember I was wearing jeans and a hunter green Champion sweatshirt. Not for fashion, because it was like February and I had just finished skating with my friends!
DR: As for taking photos at shows, when did that become a thing for you?
My friend Tym and I, he used to take me to like every show from basically 88-92, so big ups to Tym. We’re still tight. He’s like a brother to me… Anyway, we used to go to shows all over the east coast. When I decided I wanted to do Suburban, I didn’t want to rely on other people for pics if I didn’t have to, you know? I’m still like that. Not that I think I take the best pics, but I like to express myself. God that sounds lame… Anyway. It’s true.
DR: What were some of your favourite shows you took photos at?
So of my favourite shows. That’s easy (in no order). The first More than Music in Dayton, Ohio. Mouthpiece, Lincoln, Endpoint. It was a coming out party for a lot of bands. That fest was really well done. Avail being on the bill was amazing. They opened a lot of eyes at that show. Another show would be Integrity (first show), Turning Point, and Judge in Reading, PA at Unisound. I saw a lot of great shows there but that was at the top. Who the hell where these dudes “Integrity”? they had so many stickers it was insane. I took a ton… No don’t have any left.. haha. Tom Front was up front and moshing the whole time. I knew him from Confront, so I was stoked meet him. Turning Point’s last show with BURN, Mouthpiece, and No Escape was memorable too, though for a different reason. Some jerk dove feet first on my during No Escape breaking my camera so I have no pics of TP from that show. Still bummed. And that was the hottest show of all time, as well. If that show was on the sun, It could not have been that hot. I was miserable. Haha
DR: Can we go through some of your classic shots that we have been seeing on Rev Instagram etc.?
Sure thing Adam over there has been awesome about getting a hold of me and posting my pics. There’s one of Chain that he posted that I took in ’90 at Unisound in Reading, PA. I worked on that negative in the darkroom for HOURS and never got it right. Years later the internet provided tools that helped me make that pic useable! Alex Barreto was hella stoked on that pic and that made me so damn hype! I like that Adam’s used a lot of my Farside stuff too. I love that band so much! Rigged is the perfect summer record. Every other record is playing for second place.
CHAIN OF STRENGTH
Adam’s also posted a pretty rare pic of Ryan Hoffman of Chain playing second guitar for Judge that I took in 1990. I know he only played a handful of shows with Judge including one at the Anthrax…
There was an Into Another pic of Drew that Adam used also, that became one of the photos we used for the Still Screaming Shows that we’re doing over the next few years. So, I’m pretty proud of that too!
Shelter – June 1990, Unisound Reading, PA With Inside Out and Quicksand. A seminal show for all that attended. I remember such detail about that show like buying an Inside Out Soul Expression shirt from Alex B. and talking to him for a while.
Inside Out – June 1990 Unisound Reading, PA Life altering. First time I saw Vic throwing his axe around and Zach screaming his head off while Al B. kept it all together and Helmet just rocked out. Epic is a word thrown around WAAAAAAAYYYYY too much, but in this case. It fits. I think my jaw was agape the whole time.
Judge – December 1989, Unisound, Reading PA. this was when they were a 4 piece and Bringin’ It Down wasn’t out yet. So hard. So angry. So good.
DR: What are some of your all-time favourite Hardcore bands?
All timers? I’d have to list Minor Threat first and everyone else is down the list.. I was fortunate to see most of my favourites in their heyday. Judge, Turning Point, Token Entry.. All gold. Underdog, I love a lot of new core too. I love, love, love Praise…. Proud to have that pic on the cover of that latest 12”. Those dudes get it. Much respect to them. Freedom? That band is sick. I love Unbroken, American Nightmare, Burn, Beyond, AF… Raw Deal? Come on… I saw Warzone and the Uprise (yea, the White Pride version) in a basement in East Stroudsburg. I was a skinhead at the time and went with my friend Frank Kapus. He’s half Asian, half German.. And it was cool. No problems for anyone. Raybeez was rad to us and I’ll never forget that. So, yea, Warzone has a special place in my heart.
DR: What are your top five favourite Straight Edge Hardcore 7″s?
Minor Threat “In My Eyes”, Judge S/T, Turning Point S/T, Release “Pain Inside”, Ressurection S/T 7”
DR: Give us a bit of history on the band Prohibition?
Sweet Pete started the band with the Kingpin dudes in the late 80’s as sort of a joke band. They were like 25 Ta Life, but the singer didn’t take it too seriously… Pete and I became Pen pals in the early 90’s and he asked if I wanted to do it. I said, what the hell? Why not! That incarnation was Pete, Andrew Kline (strife) on drums, Chris Patterson (Nevertheless, Ten Yard Fight), Straight Ed (Search, Mouthpiece) and Me on guitar. It was chaos and so damn fun. I wasn’t even plugged in! The third incarnation (Pro. III) was Undertow (Mark Holcomb, Ryan Murphy, Damien Johnston) and Andrew Kline with Pete on Vox in Southern California. And the final version was Pete, Me, Ed, Brian Maryansky (Van Pelt, Ressurection, Another Wall, Jets to Brazil) Mike Hartsfield (duh), and Chris Daily (Jets, Ressurection, Lifetime, Supertouch, etc.) with Glenn Maryansky playing drums on the last song instead of Daily. Another chaotic show in Central Mass. What a great time to be alive!
DR: What are you currently working on?
I have two photo shows that I am very proud of. One is a traveling photo show called Still Screaming. That show has Michael Dubin, Justin Borucki, Carrie Whitney, Brian Maryansky, Nathaniel Shannon, me and our benefactor and all around saint, Mark Beemer. He put this all together and I am so damn stoked that he did. The show is going to hit Oakland, Venice Beach, DC, NYC, and beyond! I can’t say enough good things about all the people involved. I look at their stuff and I’m humbled to be a part of this crew. We just wrapped up the first show at Arch Enemy Arts here in Philly and it was amazing the turn out we got for it. So many old friends rolled through that I didn’t expect. So damn stoked over it.
The other photo show I have is a solo show here in Philly. It’s called True Love Travels On. It’s a play on an Elvis Presley song True Love Travels on a Gravel Road. A song that’s near and dear to me… Anyway, this show is at Blackbird Pizza (a vegan Pizza joint) off South Street. So far the reviews have been great. I’m pretty happy with the way that turned out. If anyone wants to see it or buy any prints, get a hold of me via my Instagram Justin.SuburbanXX
INTEGRITY (First Show)
DR: Thanks for your time dude, anything you would like to say or add?
I’d like to publicly acknowledge my beautiful and loyal wife. She’s stood by me when most people would’ve bailed. I adore her more than I could ever express in words.
She’s my rock and for far too long, I acted like that wasn’t important. To that end, we all need to stop putting ourselves first. I’ve done this way too much and am sorry for it. Look around… Consider other people before you act. Lord knows I should do that a lot more! My/your actions have long term repercussions. So consider them!
I’ve got a wife and kids to think about and I consider myself extremely lucky to have
Last thing… I speak and write like a run-on sentence…
I’ve always tried to keep my mind and eyes open to new things… It’s lead me down some amazing paths and some that flat out were vampires. Just keep yourself entered, breathe and keep loving.
Also keep an eye out for the Encouter discography coming out sometime late this year or early next. Pretty happy to be involved with that.UNBROKEN