In this next segment from the Start Today Fanzine vault I thought id stick to the current record collecting theme and post up this interview with Jordan Cooper from Revelation Records.
Interview by Jeff Lasich.
Live pictures By Jeff the rest are property of Revelation Records.
On the Chung King “where are they” page, it says that about 20 are still in the vault. Why did you keep that many, and are you planning on doing something with them (besides having a raffle at Hellfest)
We don’t have 20 anymore, but we do have a few. They’ve been given to people who work/worked here, sold on the charity auction etc. No different plans for the rest really. The band and Rev split up the ones that weren’t sent to people who preordered Bringin It Down.
The discography page also says there are around 200 Chain silver sleeves in the vault as well.
Yeah, we still have most of those, but again, they trickle out here and there.
The vault is rumored to contain mint Project X 7”s with the zine, YOT 7”s on gold, Chung King’s, Warzone records, the Arc of the Covenant, Jimmy Hoffa, and Atlantis. Once and for all, what is in one of the greatest pieces of hardcore ‘lore?
There’s a list somewhere that we made a few years ago. Basically at this point we’re just saving one of every test pressing and one of every color vinyl record. The old stuff is just a few of the first pressings of most of the early stuff, a box of later pressings here and there (eg Warzone clear, Chain clear, the last pressings of SBS and NFAA 7″s from the 80’s). We do have one or two of the schism w/PX and some of the original Rev7 lyric books. A few YOT orange, a couple of Judge and Wide Awake 7’s from Skiz.
There has been the rumor of a 7” box set for years now. Will this ever see the light of day? What will be in it? (If it won’t come out, what was going to be in it?)
Ok, I like these questions. This is the type of minutia that I think about and remember so I can answer this. We’ve talked about doing something useful with the records in the closet (aka the vault) for a while and I have wanted to do a limited box set for them for years. The problem that we’ve always had is that there are different numbers of each record and one of the records (Sick Of It All I think) we have less of than any of the others so that would limit how many “complete” ones we could make. Then we have the issue of “completeness” itself, which means different things depending on how anal a collector one is. To me, having one of each record regardless of pressing, color etc is fine. To some other people it’s having all first press or all color or whatever. Then there are the people who want one of every pressing. Since there was no way to satisfy any of those with what we have I always thought this would be the best plan: Make 100 boxes with one each of Rev’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 (mixed pressings). We’d also sell the boxes with random single copies of those records for people who just want the box to either put the records they have in or for whatever else. We also want to put a decent booklet in there, which at this point I’d say is the thing that is holding the project up. It seems like a crazy thing to even worry about maybe, but that’s one thing I really want to do for some reason.
Rev has started a run of “final presses” on a lot of vinyl. Is that really going to be the last time people will be able to get those records on vinyl?
That’s what we’re saying. Hopefully we wouldn’t go back on that, but I also wouldn’t be terribly sad if vinyl sales came back enough for us to consider it.
Have you ever given thought to doing a “final press” of the Chain 7”?
Not really since it’s on the LP now. Re-pressing the out of print stuff is something I don’t really want to get into. If the music is available, then that’s what I care about. The only tracks that I’m aware of that you can’t get anymore are the entire Warzone 7″, the Side By Side song on Rev2 (but that’s getting added to the SBS discography when we fix that up), the version of Bold’s “Talk Is Cheap” on Rev2, but that’s going on the Bold discography and the versions of Together by Youth of Today and Searching for the Light by Supertouch were different on the Way It Is comp from the versions on Rev2. The Rev2 version of “Together” will hopefully come out on a Youth Of Today discography at some point. Raybeez didn’t want their 7″ in print so that’s why they re-recorded those tracks for “Lower East Side” that Victory put out. That about covers everything.
Another rumor was that Rev was going to do a re-press of the Reason to Believe lp. I think Jason Upright told me that in 96 or 97. Obviously, that hasn’t happened yet. Should I keep my hopes up?
We thought about doing that and talked to them, but they were never all that worried about it and we didn’t push hard to get it done so it just never happened. Several other people have asked me for their number to try to get it done so hopefully someone will actually put it out soon. The funny thing is that you can still find copies of the cd pretty easily so I think more people want to put it out because they love the band than because it’s something that a ton of people can’t find.
Do you feel weird knowing that people (myself included) obsess over getting every version of Revelation records?
Sometimes I feel bad about it. Obsessive record collecting is hard to understand, but a lot of people I respect and consider friends do it so I try not to look down on it. Sometimes people who do it sound like they hate the fact that they need every pressing. For a lot of labels and records completeness is a moving target depending on how you define it and what happens re-press wise. I feel a lot less guilt now knowing that we don’t press that many records anymore and that we don’t make much on each one.
If the Chung King record was pressed pretty much for people who had pre-ordered, and wasn’t going to be for sale, as the band re-recorded and left off 2 tracks, why did MRR get a copy? It’s funny; in the review they mention how it was going to drive collectors crazy.
Who knows? I looked up to Tim and considered him a friend though I only saw him once in a while. Maybe I just wanted to show people that SOMETHING was happening about the Judge LP. A lot of people prefer the Chung King recording to the Bringing It Down one, me included. On the Judge discography that will be coming out later this year both records will be there so people will get to have it even if their obsessive collecting side isn’t sated.
Do you have a test press for every Rev record?
It is possible that I’m missing one, but I doubt it. We have two complete sets as far as I know, plus Kevin Finn, the Rev archiver, has everything as well.
Tell me about the beginnings of Revelation.
We should put out a Warzone record”
“That would be rad”
“Ok, let’s do it”
Ray talked to them and basically made it happen. Oh wait, that wasn’t a
question…. Ok I’ll answer those below now.
So you and Cappo decided to start a label and put out the Warzone demo as a 7”. In 1987, was it common for someone to take a chance and put out a record? I’m sure it was a lot harder then, as resources weren’t as abundant as they are today.
Yeah, that’s basically the story. It was pretty common for bands to put out their own records and people to start labels. It seemed less common then, but there were tons of records and thousands of labels around. Ray’s band Violent Children put out their record so Ray wasn’t held back at all. Kinkos and later Macs made doing layouts and printing a lot easier.
Porcell With BOLD Singing Nailed To The X.
What made you leave Connecticut for California?
I was ready for a change and I hated the heat and humidity of east coast summers and heard CA was better. Porcell took me and a few of his friends out for a visit to his west coast friends and I decided to move later that year.
Do you think it’s crazy that kids still go nuts for bands like GB, YOT, Judge, Chain, etc?
People get inspired by different things. I try to keep an open mind, but it’s easy to be jaded after all this time.
After the first pressing of the GB 7”, it needed to be remixed (?) What is the story behind that?
There was a lot of time that passed between the original pressing and when we had to do that. Basically the pressing plant that did that record went out of business so we lost the master, plates and whatever print was there. The record had to be remixed just so we could get it remastered, and press more. There was nothing wrong with the first pressing’s mix, but I think the guys who were in the band prefer the second one, though I’m not 100% positive on that memory.
Has there ever been a band you really wanted to work with, but it never happened?
Sense Field was almost that band. I was never more into a band than I was into them. I sent them a letter asking for their number but they never wrote back. I waited but no reply so I went to a few shows and finally talked to them and finally convinced them that they didn’t have to be hardcore to be on Rev. I can’t think of a lot of bands that I really loved that we missed out on though I’m sure there are plenty of great bands we missed. New Found Glory asked us to put out their record before they went to Drive Thru. I still have a Good Riddance demo somewhere that probably never got listened to until way after they were on Fat Wreck.
Really, who the hell was Slipknot? Where did they come from? I had never heard of them, and then all of a sudden, the best label in the world put out their 7”.
They were some kids from New Haven that I kind of knew. They were crazy. I used to play guitar with Mike (the drummer), but I think they only reason he did was so he and F (the guitar player) could use my amp for Slipknot (who went by Evil Dead at first). One time I came by and they had one amp’s out going into the input of another amp and I was like “what are you doing, this is going to mess something up”. They just said, “we like the way it sounds” so I figured they were just on a different level than I was operating on and after that, but not for that reason, I stopped hanging out with them. A few years later one of their other friends gave me a practice tape they made. It was amazing so I asked them to do a record. It wasn’t easy to get them to do that or anything really. They would say things like “we’re not a band”. Our friend Brian helped get them together and to the studio and they did that record and after it came out they did one show at CB’s. That was about it. Long before the record was recorded they had done some shows in CT. The singer was in Fatal Vision before Slipknot with John Nutcher who works at Revelation
now. That’s as much as I can tell you about Slipknot.
What about all the mail order problems back in the day?
Slow but get it there was our motto I guess. I’m about the slowest person anyone could know so the stuff just was always ahead of me. I always wanted to make shirts of that famous office cartoon that said “You want it when” and had all these people rolling on the floor laughing. No one thought that would be a good idea though. Now that other people handle the mail order, speed is no longer the issue it once was.
Have you ever thought about using some of the older Rev shirt designs? Really, it’s time for a new Chain shirt!
Yeah, we’ve been talking about that for years. I’ll see what I can do. Thanks for reminding me.
Where do you in the future for Rev?
I want to redo our antique website and put out records that matter to people in the band, everyone at Rev and hopefully other people.
In a previous email, you mentioned the colorful people who have worked there in the past. What are some of your favorite stories?
We got a rolling ladder like they have at the hardware stores so people jumped off of it into the packing material. Travis Guichard was looking for something up in the rafters and fell through the drop ceiling. Greg Brown (from Blackspot) worked here. It was like having Jim Carey, Jack Black and GG Allin here all at once. This woman interned here and now is a famous author. My friend Keith would get drunk and sleep here and we’d come in in the morning and he’d be asleep on a cart that wasn’t much bigger than a filing cabinet. Other days he’d put on a nightgown and cardboard crown and walk around with a cardboard sword. Tons of people in bands. Josh from 411 got drunk one time and rode a bike around the office and warehouse wearing a sombrero which really doesn’t sound that crazy, but it was funny. There are a lot of characters that have been through this place, but I’m not the best at describing it all.
Ok, that was fun, thanks
I have been a fan of Start Today Fanzine since picking up issue 3 in 2003 at a Hardcore alldayer in Nottingham.
I’m pretty sure someone had brought the pile of them back from the States after Posi Fest in 2003.
Ever since that I have owned every issue that’s gone to print, bought directly from Jeff Lasich, and all the other PDF issues.
I have had some contact with Jeff on and off since 2005 and have always admired him for ST.
It’s probably my favourite Hardcore Zine ever published as it was really current with all those bands I loved in the early 00’s, like The First Step, Carry On, Champion, Count Me Out, Face The Enemy… just to name a tiny handful.
So now given the chance to publish a definitive history of this great collection of Hardcore literature, I’m literally so syked and very thankful to Jeff for wanting to do this.
In the coming posts there will pictures, exerts and even full interviews from early issues of ST.
Face The Enemy.
Start Today Bio.
Words and all photography By Jeff Lasich.
The first time I thought about doing a zine was around 1988. I didn’t know much about zines, with the exception of MRR and the Zine Thing column that was in Thrasher. I didn’t make it too far, pretty much writing down a couple thoughts about skateboarding, straight edge, and school. I guess those were pretty typical topics. At the same time, I was making flyers for local shows and stickers for the local bands.
The First Step.
I was a 14 year old grommet who wanted to do something, but didn’t really know how to do anything. I thought playing guitar would be cool. I took guitar lessons for two weeks, but then I broke my elbow skating a curb, while imagining I was Ray Barbee in Public Domain. That ended my musical career. I spent the next few years skating as much as I could and going to shows if I knew about them. Living an hour outside of Pittsburgh, I didn’t always know what was going on, and often found out about shows weeks after they happened. By 1996, I was going to Erie for shows. They had a great hardcore scene there, plus it is located equally between Buffalo and Cleveland, and Pittsburgh was only a few hours away. I bought so much music at those shows, along with a ton of zines. Around that time, I got inspired to give zine making a try thanks to zines like Surprise Attack, Anti-Social Brat, Trustkill, and Quarantine. I did a crappy half page zine, that looking back at now, totally embarrasses me. But at the time I was happy I was able to do something.
The second issue was also half size, and was slightly better. I probably would have been done after the first one, but I was doing college radio at the time and had set up an interview with Jerry Only and figured I’d use it. This was right around the time American Psycho came out, before he make a joke of “The Misfits.” By the time I did issue #3, I moved up to full size. I would scam copies from where my stepdad worked and it would take me weeks to put them all together. The content was pretty basic, band interviews, reviews, some stuff about Star Wars, animal rights, and of course straight edge.
The zine wasn’t too photo heavy because at the time I was more concerned with dancing and singing along to the bands. I had a basic point and shoot camera and would hardly take pictures. I wanted the zine to be a vessel to exchange thoughts and ideas. I have always been really shy and am not very good with small talk and often think I am forgettable, so I tend to keep to myself unless I really know someone. To me the zine was a good outlet for me. Oddly enough, for as much as I love skateboarding, there has never been a whole lot of skate talk in my zines. In 1997, I started splitting my time between Pittsburgh and Geneva, NY. Geneva is located between Rochester and Syracuse. Gym Class Heroes are also from Geneva. On a side note, their original bass player was a kid named Ryan who sang for a emo/screamo band called Cast Aside (not the one from Virginia.) I went to a ton of Syracuse shows.
Even though they aren’t crucial, and the argument can be made they aren’t “hardcore” bands, it was great seeing bands like Poison the Well, Eighteen Visions, Everytime I Die, and Throwdown play at coffee houses and recreation centers. Adapting to my environment, I would end up interviewing the bands for the zine. While I liked those bands, and still do, I always had a soft spot in my heart for more traditional hardcore.
I did my last issue of Death Before Dishonor in 2000 and I was done with zines. In February, 2001, I moved to Philly. The scene there was completely different from what I had experienced in Syracuse and Pittsburgh. There were so many shows, bands, record stores, venues, great places to eat, and lots to skate. My first show there was American Nightmare, Count Me Out, Strike Anywhere, Go Time, and The Final Plan. One day while record shopping, I came across Cut the Tension Fanzine. When I looked at the contact info, I realized the guy who did the zine, Donny Mutt, lived pretty close to me. I really didn’t know anyone there at the time, so, like a weirdo, I sent Donny an email and we were soon friends. His zine kinda got me thinking about doing another zine. But I wanted it to be something new to me…
Youth Of Today.
The First Step.
I got the Burn 7” sometime in 1990 and instantly fell in love with it. Not surprisingly, I never had a chance to see them. Well that is until July 1, 2001. The night before the show, I was driving into Philly to pick up dinner, completely excited to see Burn the next day. I had an apartment in Upper Darby, and was driving back thinking about doing a zine. I wanted it to be fun. I didn’t want it to be too serious, which I was seeing a lot of in both the scene and in the mirror. I was listening to Gorilla Biscuits- Start Today at the time. That record had always been symbolic to me and was in constant rotation all throughout high school. In 9th grade, I ever tried to get my haircut like Civ’s on the back of the lp. That was the moment I decided I was going to do a new zine. I was going to call it Start Today to capture that moment. (I also thought it would be a good name to do a Suicidal Tendencies logo rip off, but that never actually happened.) I got home and quickly came up with a few questions to do a Burn interview.
The Hope Conspiracy.
The next day at the Rotunda, I nervously asked Chaka if he would do an interview with me for the first issue. He agreed without hesitation and the zine had officially started. At the time, I really didn’t know what direction I was going to go with it. There were a lot of free zines out, with interviews written more like articles. I attempted to do that with the Striking Distance interview, and to this day I hate myself for writing it that way. Although it was only 16 pages, I hate that issue so much. But it had to start somewhere.
Count Me Out.
Once it was finished, I sent it down to Small Publisher’s Co-Op in Florida. They had connections to local printing presses and would mass print zines for extremely reasonable prices. A lot of people used them during that time period. I printed issues 1-5 there, until they went out of business. I’m still bummed they are gone. Donny and I printed a bunch of Start Today and Cut the Tension shirts in my basement. The DIY approach we took lead to printing most of the One Up shirts as well as the start of Bottled Up Records. All of those things go hand in hand and are a great representation of that time of my life. I time I will always cherish. A time to remember.
In My Eyes.
Running Like Thieves.