Category Archives: Positive Peer Pressure

xjtx TOP 2014 RELEASES

LPs & 12″

inconnu_6

 

#1/ THE FLEX “Wild stabs in the dark”
Milk Run Records, Video Desease Records.

Everything in one record. UK’s finest. I wasn’t impressed at all by their previous releases but this very first LP is a blast: so old school and new at the same time. It seems that current UK scene just want to smash down what NYC and Boston did to hardcore punk during the 80s by creating a spirit, an attitude, a sound, overwhelmed by western civilization pressure, no matter if you’re into politics, a clean lifestyle or watching football games drinking beers with your pals…what is more is that the musical skills are definitly here! I’ve nothing to add about the recording or the mastering (courtesy of, respectively, James Atkinson and Dan Randall), this sound is just perfect. Thank for making this happening.

#2/ FORESEEN “Helsinki Savagery”
20 Buck Spin, Take It Back.

I’ll hold my own copy (vinyl version of course) in several more weeks but thank to 20 Buck Spin for putting this online on their bandcamp page I can already tell you what a pleasure it was to FINALLY listen to it – even if “Death Injection” had been repeated on Soundcloud maybe a thousand times before this record came out. I’d like to personally thank singer Mirko for sending me updated infos and pictures about this very first LP (especially when I was almost dying at the hospital). I’ve red a very few english reviews of that record (since I can’t understand finnish anymore) and all I can say is fuck the all-mighty comparison with AGNOSTIC FRONT and CRUMBSUCKERS: don’t stare at FORESEEN’s members t-shirts collection to publish rubbish like that. That’s a fact: FORESEEN, with all the respect due to natives NYC and Baldwin two great bands, just spit on their faces! “Un bonne grosse fessée!” as we say in France (if you’re into rugby). Guitars are just amazing and sharped! They become louder and louder as the groove just shred the record, as the drumming: it’s been a while that I haven’t been so stoked by a drummer! I have to admit that I’m really not into an over-emphasised singing but on this record, this is just perfect and well organized (“Delusion of no consequence” for example) and what about the choirs on “Death Injection” or “Both sides lose”. Very well done, dudes!

#3/ BATTLE RUINS s/t
Rock’n’roll Disgrace

Complete genius, but complete morons. That’s why you deserve third place assholes.

#4/ NIGHT FEVER “Vendetta”
Adult Crash

Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark (definitly a great place to live if you’re into hardcore IMO, DEATH TOKEN come from there too and their 2011 LP “All dreams are nightmares” was one of my favorite releases at that time), NIGHT FEVER released in october one of the greatest reasons to still listen to hardcore punk in the begining of the third millenium. “Vendetta” is absolutely an amazing record, between clean thrashcore and something else, certainly due to an incredible singing (it sometimes reminds Glenn Danzig! (“Denied”)) and guitars solos which stoked me a lot – like PROPAGANDHI’s latest releases. Favorite song? “Fuck your P.M.A.” I can’t help thinking of CRO-MAGS’s singer John Joseph “quotes” on his Facebook profile, whom sentences are always punctuated with a “PMA”!

#5/ LOST TRIBE “Solace”
Mass Media Records, Avant! Records.

Well, there’s a pretty good interview of ’em on CVLT NATION website (I’ll post a link below if you didn’t already ckeck it) so I won’t make a historical background. I’ll just write this band hails from Richmond, Virginia, they chosed their name after a DISCHARGE song and members also play/have played in AGHAST, EMPTY GRAVE, SYNDROME, CAVES CAVERNS…whom I know practically nothing about! I just know a few things: recently some dinosaurs from the worldwide hardcore attendance seemed pretty exhausted with the “post punk” fashion contaminating the d-beat/crust punk side of the hardcore moon, telling shit like since AMEBIX has discovered KILLING JOKE blah blah… Ok, guys! The “punk” shit is just about recycling stuff since 1975 so just shut the fuck up! And latest AMEBIX record is just great. You know what? You remind me the goth characters from South Park, with just one word in mind: “posers”. Screw all of you, I’m just about committing suicide…

#6/ SYSTEMATIC DEATH “The moon watches”
Waybackwhen Records

After rehearsing with my band sooner in 2014, our drummer told us he’ll spend the festive season with a friend of us in Japan. They took their plane earlier this morning. Since I learn this, I didn’t try to get much records from japanese bands because I knew that they’ll bring back some freaking gems I figure you can only purchase in the Land of the Rising Sun. Around April we ordered the CONFRONT compilation LP, I listened to latest ZYANOSE LP (ok, I can figure how much DISCLOSE were such a great influence on japanese hardcore punk – I own several postcards/portraits my friends from MONARCH! gave me when they got back from a Japan Tour this summer even if I’m not a real fan of this band – but noise remains noise, and I’m definitly not sensitive to that form of art!), and I also discovered this year a great band called TRUST…but I’m sorry to tell you that I didn’t really dig into japanese hardcore punk bands in 2014! That’s why when I discovered that Yokohama SYSTEMATIC DEATH had released a second full-length I set upon it since I really love their 2009 “Annie’s full swing Systema-6” LP and this record didn’t disapoint me at all. In fact, it contains what I love with most japanese bands (and the euro ones who try to “copy” them like SELFISH): the efficient fury, heavy metal guitar solos, wild drumming, an incomprehensible singing (althought they shout in english!)…and that’s pretty much all this record is about! What do you want me to tell you? I’ll be the first to enjoy the appearance of a new GISM or PAINTBOX (but, please, not just copycats) but I definitly can’t ask for the moon! Even if…the moon watches. (That was free, please excuse me) In fact, if you agree with my position on japanese hardcore maybe you’ll like KAIBOUSHITSU (featuring members of CROW and DEATH COMES ALONE) 2010 LP on HG Fact… Anyway, favorite track featuring on “The moon watches”? Probably “Get Alone” for the groovy bass line!

#7/ NAPALM A.D. 12″
Skrammel Records

TOTALITÄR. HERÄTYS. TOTALITÄR. DISSEKERAD. TOTALITÄR. INSTITUTION. TOTALITÄR. NAPALM A.D. TOTALITÄR. Sweden.
Well, what can I add about this? A killer record for sure. But since 2010, there is always in my “top selection” a swedish band (sometimes the same members, duh) making a tribute to TOTALITÄR. Sweden owns Ikea, they own H&M, a social model that everyone dreams about (it seems that this golden age is now pretty bygone), but they ABOVE ALL have TOTALITÄR! So, as DOOM said: HAIL TO SWEDEN!

#8/ TAULARD “Les abords du lycée”
Et Mon Cul C’est Du Tofu?

TAULARD (french for “Jailbird”) was one of the few bands I listened to almost EVERYDAY during my several 2014 hospital stays, perhaps cuz I felt quite simply like a prisoner, waiting for nothing, staring at the window. Ok I wasn’t threatned to be raped in the shower, and you’ll maybe be upset by the gratuitousness of my words but, hey folks! I’m dealing with a synth/wave/pop/punk band so, as the lyrics of that kind of music allows us to, I can deal with EVERYTHING I want with black humour: suicide, loneliness, AIDS…
Seriously, TAULARD and NOIR BOY GEORGE are definitly two of current french bands who are worthy of my attention even if the synth thing isn’t my cup of tea at all. I really love the lyrics of that kind of music. Really simple, in french, so I can easily understand them. That’s not poetry, just reality: living in dark, industrial cities of northern France… Dealing with loneliness, different social or personal crisis Ok, you can’t do it shouting, moshing…whatever. You know, when I listened to this record the first time I could barely move, so that was perfect. Thank you TAULARD. Check out other 2014 releases by Et Mon Cul C’est Du Tofu?, this label is dope!

#9/ AGENT ATTITUDE “Deranged Realities”
Adult Crash, Monument Records.

Uppsala’s finest tribute to USHC this year! The best worldwide tribute to american hardcore punk IMHO! Did you think of another singer than Henry Rollins listening to songs like “Step Aside”? Or another guitar player than Al Barile (faster, faster, FASTER!) No, seriously I’m asking you if you don’t want to sacrify both nowadays BLACK FLAG, FLAG, OFF! (even if their video clips are hilarious) on the altar of self-respect after listening to AGENT ATTITUDE “Deranged Attitudes”? This record is awesome, it reflects youth frustration the same way (I guess) youngsters were living during the 80s.

#10/ AGAINST ME! “Transgender dysphoria blues”
Total Treble, Xtra Mile.

You may think whatever you want about bands deciding to go into a pop (or whatever) bend after starting as an anarcho-this, DIY-that band with ethic and shit. Ok, ok, it’s all to your credit. But I do not give a shit about people’s opinions about AGAINST ME! In fact I’m personnally attached to the subject of this record: the coming out of singer Laura Jane Grace as a transgender woman. Since I’m not a geek or a die-hard fan of the band, I don’t know if there is a solid basis of people waiting this record to be released. I know it started to be conceptualized in 2011 after the release of “Black Crosses” (that I just love), and that they took years to release it due to line-up troubles (even Fat Mike from NOFX plays the bass on three songs). It results, as to me, the best “pop” record of the year. Every tune is…well, cool. Just “cool”. Cuz I don’t expect that much about a pop record.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Processed with Moldiv Processed with Moldiv

AUTISTIC YOUTH “Nonage”
NO PROBLEM “We’re already dead”
CADAVER EM TRANSE s/t
LONG KNIFE “Meditations on self-destruction”
HOUNDS OF HATE “Hate springs eternal”
BOSTON STRANGLER “Fire”
DEKODER “Flowers to blossom”
PERVERS ET TRUANDS s/t
FUTUR.s MORT.s s/t
PUNCH (RIP) “They don’t have to believe”
GAS RAG (RIP) “Beasts Off”
EAGULLS s/t
HORROR VACUI “Return of the empire”
SHEER TERROR “Standing up for falling down”

EPs

Processed with Moldiv Processed with Moldiv

1/ PROTESTER s/t
Trash King Productions

I’ve already done a review of that awesome 7″ on DROIDXRAGE, just scroll below, kids!

#2/ NERVOSAS “7 songs”
Build Me A Bomb

First of all, yes this one is a 12″ so, logically, it would be in the previous ranking, but, unfortunately for the pernickety ones, this record is actually titled “7 songs EP”, plus that’s a single sided so…but why am I losing my precious time with crappy details? French owner of Build Me A Bomb Label describes NERVOSAS EP as “nervous and gloomy punk, like an anxious WIPERS, and too punk to be post-punk” which is IMO quite right. Even if it must be SO embarrassing to ALWAYS compare your riffs with the WIPERS while you evolve, more or less, in the “hardcore scene”. It becomes like a trademark or worse, like a a religious foundation to be accepted in the ranks. “Ok, you sound like WIPERS, check!” Like THE ESTRANGED, you know, first EP: “Cool! They sound like WIPERS, great band!”, first LP: “Ah shit they sound like the shittiest THE CURE cover band I’ve heard, forget about it…” second LP: “Ah great they sound like WIPERS again!” and third LP: “What the fucking fuck…?”. Indeed, this record was a complete mess. [You know what? I’m a bit pissed with myself sometimes when I start to write some review and it turns into a stupid one-man-show with another me, just to be sure I agree with what I am curently writing, it’s somewhat as if I was the three headed giant in Monty Python and the Holy Grail… “Ok, ok, not biscuits…!”… Someday, Chuck Palahniuk will write a book about my schizophrenia, and maybe David Fincher… OK JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP RIGHT NOW MOTHERFUCKER!]
Wow! Maybe Build Me A Bomb must be right: maybe NERVOSAS actually really sound like an anxious WIPERS…

3/ KRIGSKADE “Når alt går til helvede”
Kontortid Records.

Ok folks. I just discovered that KRIGSKADE, Paris’s best swedish band from France (duh) had put out one of the best EPs so far. The fact is that when some friends of mine booked KRIGSKADE this summer I was just coming out of hospital and attending to hardcore shows was completely forbidden. I just came to the venue to chill with some friends before the show and I left the spot when bands started to play. Too bad. Because this record is increasingly good. IMHO it is a brilliant mix between clean kångpunk and Boston or current DC hardcore. This is exactly what euro-hardcore must be!
PS: You should check on Discogs website who did the recording and mixing sessions, this dude from my hometown knows how to make it!

4/ HARM DONE s/t
Straight and Alert

One of the few 2014 materials I was waiting for which did not decieve me at all! But that was risky! You know the deal: youngsters discovering the “powerviolence” thing whereas older folks think this kind of music belongs to 1997 (even if Iron Lung Records are doing a great job nowadays)… Plus: I don’t know why but, there is a huge wave of dudes just stoked by ENTOMBEDcore darkness, buying BOSS HM-2 effect pedal to have this 90s sound which IMHO is pretty embarrassing. Just think of shitty bands like NAILS or BLACK BREATH – well, to be honest I loved their “Razor to oblivion EP because of the 90s swedish crust/metal sound of that record but I’m releaved to have finally attended to sell their two first LPs to a friend of mine cuz I just felt horribly confused to have both BLACK BREATH, BLACK FLAG and BLACK SABBATH records sharing a shelf in my room! But, again, I’m losing my time: HARM DONE isn’t at all that kind of band. It’s just a great wall of sound, better than SEX PRISONER IMO, it’s more frustrated, more frantic… Musicians do their job the best way they can, plus they are nice guys!

5/ KOHTI TUHOA s/t
Svart Records.

Ough! What a piece of anger! KOTHI TUHOA (I believe that “tuhoa” means “destroy” cuz I remember that almost 15years ago finnish skateboarder Arto Saari won the “Skater of the year” trophy from THRASHER Magazine and this skateboarding bible released a finnish version of their well known “Skate and Destroy” t-shirt with a “Skedee Ja Tuhoa”, well…nevermind…) is a fresh new band starring members of well known finnish d-beat and chaotic hardcore punk bands such as MAAILMANLOPPU, KYLMĀ SOTA, PERIKATO or even SPEEDTRAP wich is more a heavy/speed metal band, CIRCLE, DEATH TOLL 80K, DEATH WITH A DAGGER, HARD ACTION, PYROTOXIC, DROWNING NATION, KAUHUN TASAPAINO, KHATARINA, SELFISH, STUMM, FORCED KILL, STENCH OF DECAY… Sorry for the name droping! Well, this record is a classic chaotic female-fronted mayhem of nightmares and doom. What did you expect from a raw punk record? I just love this record, there’s an inexhaustible source of energy and speed in it, with a groovy bass, fantastic heavy metal solos and noisy riffing, plus the classic reverberation on the singing wich is quite amazing I have to admit. A must have!

6/ AJAX s/t
Katorga Works.

Definitly one of my favorite NYC based band, this shit is dope. What a crappy production: violent, harsh… THE guitar parts really made think of early AGNOSTIC FRONT-era. This EP is a killer one. A great tribute to old-school american hardcore.

7/ SOCIAL DAMAGE “Eye for an eye”
Straight and Alert Records.

SOCIAL DAMAGE are from Indianapolis, Indiana, and somehow, they really remind me of SSD, or angry Boston straight edge bands… What I like with this band is the bloody mess reigning all over the recording sessions and the production. I think that nowadays, most straight edge bands are obsessed with a clean sound and production and that bores me. SOCIAL DAMAGE has a awesome and crude sound that most bands should imitate!

8/ PURE DISGUST s/t
Flophouse

There are so many good bands revolving around COKE BUST and Washington DC… I started my 2014 selection with one of them and I’m practically about to end it with another one. Plus, I believe their first drummer was PROTESTER’s singer… I think this is how things go in the worldwide hardcore scene – we nearly have the same behaviour in my hometown. Let’s get back to PURE DISGUST, I think that they go further than what they previously did with their previous demo tape on Hesitation Wound Records which was pretty basic towards what they did with this s/t. This is really aggressive without being too “hardcore” this record has the coolest rock’n’roll aspect of my 2014 of my selection, it’s more about dancing than moshing. It reminds me YOUTH AVOIDERS from Paris.

9/ MARABOOTS “Ils ont tué la oi!”
Une Vie Pour Rien

French Oi! at his peak! Led by a crew of youngster bootboys from Paris! Althought I HATE their name (too hard to explain why this pun is so…whatever), their 2010 self-released demo and that I’ve never listened to their first EP or split EP w/ STOMPER98, their only 10″ and this last two-songs EP were just awesome. Yeah, the band did split-up earlier this year, RIP. I hope newest french Oi! bands like OUTREAU or LION’S LAW will deputize, but what created their originality was the use of the saxophone which was a great idea!

10/ DiE “Vexed”
Sonic Terror Discs

I admit I prefered their previous EP but this one really deserves the “ssdbeat” tag DiE published on their bandcamp profile, plus the reverberation on vocals. I still think their previous EP is better but this record, nevertheless, is completely cool. I hope both 7″ announce a great first LP.

DEMOS

Processed with Moldiv Processed with Moldiv

1/ RED DEATH 2014 demo
Flophouse, Carry The Weight Records

This tape totally deserve the Holy top place of 2014 ranking. I discovered it at work (indeed) and Nick who plays the bass gave it to me during a COKE BUST show in Bordeaux. This tape has been well desbrided on the Internet throughout the year and co-writer Tieuma already posted it on DROIDXRAGE so, help yourself, just listen to it!

2/ U.S. DOGS 2014 demo
?

What a coincidence: Ed already posted their demo earlier in December and there is practically no information about this band on the Internet. But this demo is sick, an awesome early NYHC sound.

3/ THE CREW demo
?

Killer Seattle, Washington, straight edge and youth crew demo, which means mosh parts, choirs, Air Max, crosses everywhere, Les Paul and X-Rated watches. I guess. This demo is really powerful.

4/ CRIMSON SCARLET “Athens Cave Sessions” K7
Doomed To Extinction

Another post/punk/goth release put out by crust punks. This post really starts being boring!

5/ B’URST demo
Thinking Straight Records

These guys are like Brazilian AGNOSTIC FRONT! If you like FORESEEN early releases you will like demo. This is a great tribute to late 80s/90s NYHC and crossover.

6/ SHRAPNEL “The Demo”
New Instinct Records

Moshing, blasting hardcore punk from Leeds. It sounds like a tribute to BREAKDOWN’s 87 demo. Really impressive. Really cool.

7/ SHORT DAYS 2014 Demo
Black Knife Records

This sounds a bit like nowadays Portland based bands like AUTISTIC YOUTH or DEFECT DEFECT, who seem to be really inspired by WIPERS, but they come from Lille, Northern France. This demo reflects an intense melodic sounds, nevertheless It remains gloomy. This might explain the VICIOUS cover featuring on that tape.

8/ CRIMINAL WAVE demo
XEROX Records

“CRIMINAL WAVE’s demo tape was meant for one thing and one thing only, blowing your boombox out while getting rad”. That’s pretty much what this demo is all about. I can’t help remembering the glory days of the Bones Brigade era when I listen to that tape, it’s like listening to an even messier BLACK FLAG. This is really cool.

9/ INFIDEL DEMO
Self-release

LAST GOTH RELEASE OF 2014. Releaved? Not yet, you haven’t heard any sound from this cassette, where everything seems to be calculated for escaping from the nightmare of living. (Fart noise)

10/ AGGRESSION PACT Promo Tape
Self-released

Ok. What a hell of a tape end this 2014 top releases. I can conclude this global review by doing some shitty name fucking droping of the different members bands so you can understand why this band features in my favorite 2014 releases in less than 5 minutes of demonstration: BOSTON STRANGLER, PEACEBREAKERS, PRISONER ABUSE, STEP FORWARD, WASTE MANAGEMENT or MERCY KILLINGS (killer 2013 EP)… Can you figure this violent Boston sound of anger? No? Just listen to it.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Hardcore, Positive Peer Pressure, straight and alert, Straight Edge, U.S DOGS

The Definitive Start Today Fanzine – Collection Part #6 – George Haye – Positive Peer Pressure.

By Ed

Anhang 14

This a piece jeff did on George Haye of the iconic PPP.

React Records did some reissues of some of these but i know little about that.

 All the shirts in this piece are original and belong to @XNUHROX 

So big thanks to him for hooking me up with all the images!

A few months ago, while at lunch at work, I was reading an old issue of Schism.  I came across an ad for Positive Peer Pressure clothing company.  I have always been a fan of the shirts and I started to wonder what George Haye was up to these days.  After a little research, I was able to track George down.  He was excited to do an interview and talk about old times.  George is a great guy with an interesting, positive outlook on life.  Read on.

This is a response to the first email I sent George, asking some basic questions.

     Re your question: I’m 33, and I used to be 18. I’m sure that’s older than some people and younger than others. My thoughts: it’s never been about age, and that’s even more apparent now that we’re talking about stuff I was doing when I was 18… So, here’s my thought: everyone else who was 18 when I was 18 is 33 now, just like me. And hardcore continues, as it always has. I think I’m older than a lot of the kids now, because I’m older than them, but I’m also younger than a lot of the guys in the scene when I was 18 because they were older than 18 then. (I know this language is a bit silly, but it points out how silly our old fixation on age always was, and still is.)

Anhang 13

     Hardcore/Straight Edge question — Short answer: I love hardcore, and I love many aspects of the straight edge philosophy, but I love a lot of other things too. If asked what inspired me more the music or the message I would likely say the message, although it would not have inspired me for long without the music!
Positive Peer Pressure always was against conformity.  It always has been about doing your own thing. So, if someone listens to ONLY hardcore, that’s OK with me.  If they listen to NO hardcore, that’s OK with me. If they are somewhere in the range in between (like me, I love hardcore and listen to it, but I don’t listen to
ONLY hardcore), then that’s OK with me too.
Personally, I love hardcore. I love a lot of other things too. It takes guts to fight to stay out of groups and cliques and concrete shoes that friends can pour for you so that they can control you and prevent you from listening to music that they don’t listen to, or wearing clothes that they don’t wear.
That’s what PPP was always about. Heck, my message never was “drinking sucks”, it was “IT’S OK NOT TO DRINK!”. And, I wasn’t going around saying “fuck you if you do drugs”, I was saying on my shirt “DON’T NEED DRUGS.” It’s about personal choice, and to me that’s the positive side of hardcore. The negative side of hardcore is when you get stuck needing to look exactly a certain way and listen to exactly certain music.  Some things never change, and what I like most about straight edge and hardcore is the positive spirit and the openness to personal choices than can be different from the heroin-crowd, etc. To this day, I still do not see why the hell alcohol is such a big thing in the world. What a waste. And hard drugs — what are people thinking?
And that’s something I do not like about other aspects of straight edge and hardcore — the concrete shoes,
the “you must be exactly like this” mentality. That has nothing to do with anything except brain washing
and forfeiting your own personal freedom!! I ask – why even pretend to call ourselves rebels if we so gladly try to be like everyone else that calls themselves “straight edge”?
For example, there’s an incredible band by the name of Mano Negra that I’ve had a real kick out of. (No
longer together as a band.) Does it matter to me if any of my fellow Earth Crisis, Dag Nasty, and Bad
Brains fans have even heard of Mano Negra? No. Does it matter to me if any of them would even like Mano Negra? No. (Does it matter to me if some folks who like Bad Brains would NEVER listen to something anything like Earth Crisis because it’s way way too different for them to handle? No, that’s their choice.) Again, why even bother pretending that we are rebels if we so gladly label ourselves and don’t stepout of our “roles”?

Anhang 12

Tell me a little about yourself.

I’m 33 but I won’t be for long. I still live in California. I still have never been to Europe. Among other things, I listen to Manu Chao, ride mountain bikes, watch hockey games, and read poetry.

In a previous email, you sent a pic of you backpacking in South America. Is that something you are really into?  Do you have any good stories from that trip?

One of my favorite things to do is to go to other countries and see how life is lived there. Of course, even if you go cheap, it’s still impossible to get time off, so I’ve not traveled too much yet. So, OK, a story: I plan this awesome trip to Chile.. On the second day of the trip, I break my foot windsurfing! Cool, I guess THAT was meant to happen. SO now what? Doctor says “wear cast / no hiking”, I immediately find the oldest school mountaineering boots you can imagine, and I wear them for 90 days straight! Foot’s healed! George painfully walked all over, and saw so much of, dear Chile!

Anhang 10
I was watching Letterman last night and the guy who was pinned under a boulder and had to amputate his arm was on explaining the ordeal. You popped into mind, knowing that you are an avid fan of hiking and the like. Do you think you could have done the same in that situation?  What sort of
preparations do you make before you go out?  Could you imagine being in that position?

I’d suggest that everyone bring a knife, plenty of water, some food, the Minor Threat Dischord compilation CD, a jacket, a compass, and anything else you can think of whenever you hit the trail. The guy who saved himself by cutting off his own arm is a hero of mine. Inspiring. I cannot imagine how painful that would be, and who knows how the heck I would stay conscious while cutting off my own arm?! That is some kind of determination!

Anhang 11

How did you get exposed to the scene?

Originally a metalhead, I had a penchant for ballistic music. Being a metalhead, I also saw a lot of drugs. I didn’t understand why you’d use them, but I respected my friends that did – or actually this quickly would change to: I worried about my friends that did.(!) Luckily living in Orange County, I got wind of the scene led at the time by Pat Dubar and Uniform Choice. The rest, as they say, is history.

What made you start making shirts?  What I mean is, was there something that happened that pushed this from an idea to becoming a reality?

Spuds Mackenzie. Need I saw more? Maybe I need to: Bud Light t-shirts with alcoholic dogs on them were being worn by every kid in my school in Huntington Beach (Marina High School). What is rebellion? Well in high school, one form of fun rebellion can be doing diametrically the exact opposite of that which is socially required. Heehee. I wrote activist articles for the school paper and I printed crazy bold “no-drugs” t-shirts and gave them to everyone I could. I had the tallest guys on the basketball team wearing my shirts and standing on benches in “the quad”. (One of them, Mark Jorgensen, ended up playing for the Arizona Wildcats NCAA champ team, I believe. Yay.) That was just the beginning…

Anhang 9

What sort of reaction did you get from the kids who weren’t into the message you were sending? (like the AC/DC vo-tech kinda kids)?
What do you mean? All of the kids at my high school were straight edge!  Seriously though, more than anything they were completely shocked that I didn’t give a damn about being socially decimated, ostracized, marginalized for making my little (big) statements that were oh-so-uncool. Heck, I’ve always been in the out crowd and sometimes I still find myself there, happily. I was oblivious and never understood how anyone could ever care about what their peers in high school thought of them. It never occurred to me that it matters. Does it!? When did we learn that? I really must have missed that day. Truth: I never cared what anyone said or thought, unless…it was positive!

Anhang 8

Did you do the printing yourself?

Heck no. I was clueless, but I found a 2 pack per day smoking lady with a big heart and a tiny hot tin warehouse t-shirt printing business who didn’t mind printing my propaganda (i.e.: SMOKING STINKS).

Do you still have the screens?

R.I.P.

The screens are long gone, do you still have the original art?  Kids would REALLY be into another run of those shirts.
The screens and art are gone/in another dimension by now. One thing I
can say is that they wouldn’t be that tough to duplicate the art and the
screens and if someone wants to make them and produce shirts, that would be
cool, just contact me at: geohaye@yahoo.com.

Anhang 7

How did you feel the first time you saw the cover of We’re Not in This Alone.  Plain as day, there it is, an It’s OK Not to Drink shirt.

OK, I admit, I can be a hero worshipper. YOT are heroes of mine. Seeing my shirt on there was a total blast. Hey, I was an activist, a communicator. THEY were the real deal making the music and rapping the rap and doing it LOUD. It was awesome! I felt like my team made it to the world series, but different.

Anhang 6-2

What was PPP Europe?

PPP Europe was a short-lived experiment. A friend of mine in Europe bought a bunch of shirts to sell over there at shows, etc. Well, what can I tell you? We were not businessmen. We lost money at every turn [somehow I had him pay me only $3 per shirt including shipping; well at least my heart was in the right place…].

Anhang 6

There were 4 designs?

Yes: (1) IT’S OK NOT TO DRINK, (2) DON’T NEED DRUGS, (3) SMOKING STINKS, (4) THE PPP AUSSIE SHIRT. For the most part the message was about personal freedom and outrageous rebellion in the face of cemented social standards which to this day remain set in stone(!). We were saying IT’S OK NOT TO DRINK, and we were *not drinking*. But note that we were not saying that it sucks to drink or you are lame if you drink or anything like that. We were happy to positively influence our friends, but we simply did not look to see what everyone else was doing. “Our challenge was in house”, and it still is.

Anhang 5

Did you have anything else planned, but never saw the light of day?

Who knows what this cat would have gotten into if it had not been for college and graduate school, literature and environmental law, casting a “disappear” spell on my free time!

Anhang 4

Did PPP have any distribution?  A friend said that every time he wrote to order a shirt, you were out of them.

I was busy and had no cash flow but kept stock most of the time. Let’s see, I remember shipping every shirt out of my parents house, by hand. I read/deciphered letters written in English with Polish accents, Brazilian accents, and even New Jersey accents. I wrote back my pen pals until my fingers bled. I was interviewed for fanzines and alternative radio stations in all the relevant world capitals: Amsterdam, Medellin, Lima, Jerusalem, Wash DC… Just a shy kid keeping busy. I kept T-shirts in stock very well for a long time, and lost only a couple thousand dollars all told, but at some point it all ended. Then, predictably, after that point, yes, when people wrote to order shirts, I was pretty much always out of them..

Anhang 3

You were invited to a United Nations meeting in Australia in 1989. Tell me about that!

The United Nations asked me to speak as a youth leader at the Seventh World Congress for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency held at Brisbane City Hall, Australia, September, 1988. Kings and Queens, Heads of State, and delegates from over 60 nations attended.. from places across Europe, Central America, Africa, and Asia, where I still dream of hopefully visiting some day. I of course made the official T-shirts. You see, Downtown Brisbane was never as colorful as on those days. Dignified dignitaries in traditional garb.. with turbans, African headdresses, and berets.. all wearing my PPP T-shirts!

Anhang 2

How did they find out about you? What was your initial reaction when you found out they wanted to send you to Australia?

It is still a mystery how they found out about me! Well, when I got the invitation letter, my first reaction was more like “Shit! They caught me!” — kind of like I had been busted for being such a trouble-maker (That’s where my mind was in relation to the world at that time of my life.)  Then, I slowly realized that this was an incredibly cool opportunity, and I was going down under!

Alas, I was a rebel. I noticed that many of the delegates were in fact somehow actually believing that they were morally superior to anyone who drank, or smoked. For them, there was a “right way” of living. They were doctors, lawyers, leaders, clerics. I was a pimply kid with crazy hair just counting the seconds until I could get away to listen to Hirax, Bad Brains, or Insted.

So instead of playing the part of a prophet and moralizing for a couple of hours, one day I ditched speaking on the panel and rather I wandered the back streets of Brisbane like a lost dog. I happened to become thirsty and then I happened upon the most insanely large Foster’s Lager you’ve ever seen! I nursed it back to my hotel room and I began literally counting sheep being driven into small blockades on TV (the national sport). I somehow convinced myself to taste the blasted Lager (my 7-Up drinking awareness did allow me to know how to open the can), and I did. My Dad came in silently slightly later and smiled. Yes, you see, this particular act was yet another act of rebellion (rebellion against the closed minds of some of the U.N. leaders), but it sure as hell didn’t taste good.

When you drank that lager, what were you thinking and what were your emotions like?
As far as that Aussie beer I tackled, I bought it because I had never wanted a beer before and therefore had never had a beer before, but I wanted one now. You see, there were lots of moralistic people at this U.N. Congress, and I was rebelling against them, if you can imagine that. They thought it was “wrong” to drink, and that people who drink are “bad”. All I was doing was saying “IT’S OK NOT TO DRINK!” — free choice –I just wanted to crack a little opening in the world for kids to crawl through who wanted to make a positive independent choice, for a change. Oh, and I was a sophomore in college — that’s about normal for a first beer, don’t you think? Anyway, it tasted incredibly horrible — just the astonishing fact of how horrible it was…was amusement enough to make me feel better about my foolish purchase.

Anhang 1

Everyone has a good idea of how shows/the scene was on the east coast in the late 80’s (CB’s, The Anthrax), what was going on in California?

Late 1980’s on the California coast. Huntington Beach. Colorful time. Lots of lazy sunshine, spinning records, and surprisingly very little spilled beer. Fender’s was the place that everyone wanted to play – I can still vividly remember the first time I saw Uniform Choice play there. First, after school, the band and everyone else hung out with Big Frank and Billy Rubin (Half Off) at Zed Records in Long Beach, then we all headed down the road a mile or two to go off at Fender’s. But mainly, everyone “played wherever they could plug it in” which would often be some random spot such as the Bakersfield Civic Armpit Auditorium. No problem.

There were lots of cool shows from San Diego to San Francisco. And yes, we were fanatics.. Kevin Seconds said it best in “I Can Remember”: “I remember the H.B. kids so well, they’d bus to San Francisco…we’d dance along and sing the song until we were black and blue.”

Bl’ast! from Santa Cruz would thankfully come around from time to time and leave us deaf. Anaheim produced some of the most energetic bands including Insted and ska-sters No Doubt (ever heard of them?). Up the freeway from Anaheim, we’d catch Scott Radinski playing baseball for the L.A. Dodgers, then catch him singing for Scared Straight!

More fun “local” bands included Free Will (with Mike Hartsfield) from Lake Tahoe and Wind of Change from AZ. Oxnard’s Fred Hammer appears to have led the prodigious zine scene with his great “It’s Alive”. It all comes back to 7Seconds, however. Kevin and the boys truly tied together the music and the message in a way few bands ever have. Their awareness of their place and their time, their fearless pursuit of groove and originality in their music, and their indefatigable positive spirit have made them untouchable, timeless… – I know I will still be singing “Young ‘til I Die” when I’m a grandpa!

Anhang 2-2

Do you still check out newer hardcore bands?  Do you go to shows still?
I do go to shows still, but overall I am pretty clueless on what’s happening in the scene. Let’s just say I can’t wait for this issue of your zine to come out — maybe there will be some clues, so I can find out what’s
up!

Leave a comment

Filed under Positive Peer Pressure, PPP, Start Today Fanzine, Straight Edge