Thursday, February 26, 2015

SALT LAKE HARDCORE 101: COLLAPSE




Collapse was born out of a desire to just keep doing… something.

In 2008, Clint Halladay, Nathan Steele and Trevor Hale (me again, sorry) were sitting at a coffee shop talking about their desire to play heavy music again. Nathan was keeping busy with City to City, but the fast, hardcore punk they were playing wasn’t exactly what he had in mind. Clint wasn’t playing anything, and anything to do with Tamerlane was sporadic at best, so I didn’t have much going on either.

Nathan and Clint had written a couple songs already, and that's where it started. Pretty soon, the three of us decided that we’d take our love of Integrity and Crowbar, combine them with a little bit of Black Flag attitude and hopefully something special would come out of it. We enlisted Richard Foard for vocals, who was also itching to do something since the demise of Victims/Aftermath of a Trainwreck and bass wizard Josh Lambert.

The only rule we had for the band was “wherever Cherem would have gone into an end breakdown, that’s where we should end the song.” The songs were still heavy, but we wanted to make sure we found our own sound.

The band wrote nearly a dozen songs before Josh eventually left for an LDS mission. Before he did though, the band recorded nearly all the songs that were written, but only ever finished a few of them. The only song that was fully recorded, mixed and mastered was “Quicksand”, a track that appeared on the GCA Mixtape. A couple more are in the rough mix stage, and the rest are (probably) sitting on a hard drive in Andy Patterson’s studio, all in various stages of completion.

Collapse continued for about 8 months after Josh left, with Adam Olsen taking over on bass, but eventually it just became harder and harder for everyone to find free time and make schedules work. The band did embark on a tour of Ecuador and Peru, with Brook Aftermath and Casey from Dogwelder along as roadies, but no one remembered to bring instruments, so it was unsuccessful in that regard. However, it was very successful in regards to the rest of us having tons of fun.
Collapse never “officially” disbanded, but after April of 2010, the band never played another show.

There was a brief reunion that existed only in the warehouse of a boat cover manufacturing shop, with a plethora of DIY adjustments for equipment that had gone missing, but it never made it farther than that.

All that’s left of the legacy of Collapse is a two-show tour documentary that summed up the band’s existence perfectly.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ONE VOICE: WILLIAM PALICTE


William Palicte (aka @xpokiix) has been playing guitar in some of the best new bands around Salt Lake City lately (as well as filling in for a few notables like Cool Your Jets and xReflectx). His latest band, Chained Down, just released a new track, and have a record out at the end of the month.

How were you introduced to the Salt Lake Hardcore scene?

When I was in high school, I met my really good friend Jeff Pons and he pretty much showed me the ropes. Before I met him, I was always curious about hardcore and Straight Edge. I had already been listening to bands like Minor Threat, Youth Of Today and Gorilla Biscuits, so I knew a little bit about hardcore. I just didn't know it existed in Salt Lake. He then introduced me to the rest of the Straight Edge kids that went to our school and I started hanging out and going to shows with them.

What are some of your greatest SLHC memories?

Some of my favorite memories, not only in SLHC but in my life, came from shows at Artopia. That was hands my most favorite venue we have ever had. Every show there was always packed. No matter what band played, people always showed up. It was always the same people and it was almost always the same bands, minus one or two touring bands. I didn't care if I had already seen the bands that were playing, I just knew that if there was a show happening at Artopia, I wanted to go.

Who are your favorite SLHC bands?

That's a really tough question to answer. Salt Lake has so many talented and amazing bands, that it's hard to pick one. So, I'll name a few and I'll go from oldest to new(I stole that from Tyler's interview). I think my all time favorite to come out of SLHC is Lifeless. I remember the first time I heard that band and hearing the angry grunts and yells and after I was hooked. Cool Your Jets is another band that had a huge impact on me. I hadn't heard anything like them at the time. I'm not very into the whole "keep hardcore negative" bull shit and when I heard CYJ, I found that I wasn't the only one. Not that they're the most positive, but lyrics "Don't give up on us, we won't give up on you." Have always stuck with me. It's an honor to play bass for such an amazing band. xReflectx was always a good time to see. Those dudes played the same songs for I don't know how long and I loved it equally every single time. I got to play for them twice and they were some of the Funnest shows I've been able to play. Other bands like Cherem(obviously), The Lazarus Project, Insight, etc. have always been some of my favorites as well. As of right now, I think that my favorite local band would be Close Grip. Those dudes are all super super talented and put on a great show. I wish there were more hardcore bands right now, but I'm sure some will turn up.

How has hardcore and the Salt Lake scene impacted your life?

Hardcore has been such a huge part of my life and it's become so much more than just the music. I've met so many people through hardcore and not just in Utah. Hardcore music in salt lake has always been an inspiration to me. It made me want to try my hardest to make a band that will make someone feel something. I know it sounds cheesy or whatever, but bands like CYJ, Lifeless and all the bands I already named have all had something to do with why I play music. They make me feel sad or mad or happy and I just want to be able to play a song and have someone have an emotion attached to it. I can't confidentially say that I'm doing that, but I can say that I'm trying.

What are your thoughts on the state of hardcore today and its future?

I think hardcore rules right now. Bands aren't touring that much, it seems like, but there are tons of hardcore bands all around the country that are killin' it. I have no idea what happened, but currently there are so many Youth Crew revival bands and it's the coolest thing ever. I love it. As for our future, if everyone keeps up all the outstanding support and continues to make bands, go to shows, support touring bands or even just download an album then I think it's only going to get better. Hardcore for hardcore. Simple as that.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

SALT LAKE HARDCORE 101: PUSHING UP DAISIES


In early 2000, Daryl McLaren, Mike Morgan and Gary McLaren decided they were bored of playing fast, old-school hardcore. It was still a genre that they loved, but they were all looking to expand their musical knowledge and try a different soundscape. Tempered, the band they’d been playing in for the past few years had seen moderate success and recorded a short EP, but never garnered much attention outside of a few die-hard fans.

They played one last show before quietly disbanding Tempered, but they never really stopped playing together. They recruited guitarist Tim Meyers (who was also used to playing old-school hardcore in local bands like Breakaway) and drummer Nick Foster, and quietly went to work. They kept a lid on everything they were doing (which soon became the Pushing Up Daisies way) while they put together a new set, but a buzz started to grow.

By the time they were ready to actually showcase their new sound, no one had any idea what to expect. Their first show was in February of 2001 at Wagstaff Music in Sandy. It was an all-local show headlined by 78 Days After Death and a short-lived band called Haloraker. Pushing Up Daisies went on first that night and suddenly no one wanted to play after them.

Effects pedals littered the stage, the drummer had a keyboard set up next to his hi-hat and by halfway through the first song, they had already exceeded any expectations anyone may have had. The closest comparison was would have been Cave In’s sound from Until Your Heart Stops, but even that would be doing the band injustice. The eclectic style and virtuosity that they displayed set them apart from just about every other band in the hardcore scene.

The started to play local shows all around the city, branching out and routinely playing with bands that no one would expect them to. The songs all had a heaviness that helped them fit in with bands like Cherem and 78 Days After Death, but they also dared to let them drift into something far quieter, cleaner and almost beautiful. This allowed them to play shows outside their comfort zone and at venues that straight-up hardcore bands weren’t welcome. They quickly became one of the more popular bands around town, as well as one of the anchors of a suddenly revitalized SLC scene.

Pushing Up Daisies took five tracks into the studio and recorded nearly 40 minutes of music, but the finished product almost never saw the light of day. By the time they had finished recording, Tim was getting ready to leave for a mission, forcing him to quit the band, and their drummer, Nick, soon followed suit. With no desire to spend money on an album that they couldn’t properly promote, Gary, Daryl and Mike took a small hiatus to regroup and plan their next step.

Shortly after Nick and Tim had played their last show, another local band, Compilate, decided to call it a day which opened the door for Kel Prime to take over drumming duties. They recruited ex-Haloraker and Lazarus Project guitarist Ian Peterson to take the vacant guitar spot and immediately got to work finishing the Gunslinger EP.

The album was self-released in the fall of 2003 and the band sold out of nearly every copy they had printed and embarked on a few short tours. Their fan base kept expanding and Pushing Up Daisies kept pushing the envelope on the type of shows they chose to play, but were always a staple of the hardcore scene. The EP garnered a lot of attention from labels and fans outside Salt Lake City, but everyone in the band had too many other things going on to put forth the kind of time commitment necessary to take the next step. They played their final show at the SLUG Magazine Sabbathon event in Salt Lake City in 2004.

Mike Morgan graduated from medical school, and practices emergency medicine in Salt Lake where he lives with his wife, Denise. Daryl McLaren lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Erin and their daughter, Phoebe. He recently graduated from medical school and is currently interviewing for emergency medicine positions around the country, though his crowning achievement is definitely being recently featured on the DILF’s of Disneyland Instagram account. Gary McLaren runs a successful hydraulics testing firm, Kel Prime lives in Salt Lake City with his wife Amelia and their newborn son, Truman. Ian, his wife Charity, and their many pets live in Detroit, though last we heard, he was not trying to make it as a rapper on 8-mile road and just had a regular job.

Tim Meyers and Nick Foster continue to play music with various bands around Salt Lake City, though their most famous project is the popular Palace of Buddies.

After years of trying, Pushing Up Daisies will be reuniting for another set at the Brad Hancock memorial show.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

LISTEN TO CHAINED DOWN'S "BADITUDE"


"Baditude" will hit on Chained Down's new release Who We Are, out February 24. Spin it...

ONE VOICE: DOMINIC AYALA


Dominic Ayala has been booking shows under the guise of Fool Proof since 2013 and played in bands like To A Close and Speak Out. He's currently playing drums for Cherem as they get ready for the Sonny Hancock Benefit Show on March 1, and has a lot more in store when that's finished.

He's been a staple with keeping Salt Lake supplied with consistent and great shows for the past little while and he's responsible for bringing some of the best new HC bands to town. We asked Dominic to tell us his background with another edition of One Voice.

How were you introduced to the Salt Lake Hardcore scene?

Before going to hardcore shows, I played in a thrash metal band and attended a lot of metal shows. Metallica/Slayer/Pantera were my go to bands that I listened to on the daily. Watching Headbanger's Ball religiously as a kid, I found out about bands like Hatebreed and Throwdown, more or less, introducing me to what hardcore was.

When I turned 15, a couple friends of mine who were already familiar with the SLCHC scene told me and another friend of mine about a show that was going on at a venue called Artopia, which was in the basement of what is now (or used to be?) The Shred Shed. The bands playing were Gloves Off, Reflect, Tamerlane, and Rhinoceros. Little did I know, attending this show would completely change my life.

I got there, and was instantly scared shitless. The majority of the kids there towered over me, were covered in tattoos, and looked mean as fuck. I didn't really know what to expect, being this was my first hc show. Gloves Off started, and kids immediately started going off. I didn't know Gloves Off was a cover band at the time, and I was having a hard time taking them seriously, as Blake was talking with that weird ass metal voice that he does. This show went on to be the craziest I had ever experienced. Seeing kids get hit, get up, laugh it off, and hug the dude that knocked em down was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. I was immediately hooked. I began attending shows regularly afterwards. And here we are today!

What are some of your greatest SLHC memories?

Seeing Starkweather in 2008 was badass. Reflect's last show was one of my favorites to date. I think I've been knocked out at every single Tamerlane show I've attended since day one, so that's cool. Being able to book shows with awesome bands from all over the country is something I will always hold close to me. Honestly, being able to participate in general is something I've always been thankful for. Having the opportunity to play shows at a young age with bands like Reflect and Dismantled gave me a feeling of importance when I was at one of the lowest points in my life. Seeing kids mosh and sing along to songs that I helped create is very well one of the best feelings I have yet to experience. Hardcore has given me memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and I'm sure there are plenty more good times to come.

Who are your favorite SLHC bands?

Maaaaaaan, there have been so many good bands to come out of Salt Lake. Most of my favorites were around before I was. Some include Lifeless, Triphammer, Climb, 78 Days, Up River, Cherem, Tamerlane, and Aftermath. Pretty much everything to come out of Salt Lake has been enjoyable to me. There are still awesome locals who are doing great things for our scene. Check out Chained Down, Despite Despair, Close Grip, DTA, Second Nature, and Blackbeard if you haven't already!

How has hardcore and the Salt Lake scene impacted your life?

At the age of 14/15, I didn't have many close friends. And the ones I did have didn't care about much more than getting fucked up. I was over the insincerity and I had no ambition to continue to hang around kids who I knew didn't care about me. After attending my first hardcore show, I was immediately interested in straight edge, and have been straight edge since. Without hardcore, I don't think I would have found a way out of the crowd where partying on a daily basis was the norm. Being exposed to hardcore and local bands like Cherem also opened me up to veganism. I've been vegan for 6 years now, and I don't think I would have ever been open to veganism without being introduced to hardcore. I currently have friends in my life that I consider closer to me than most of my family. Every single one of them, I have I met through our hardcore scene. I wouldn't be the person I am today without SLCHC. That's all there is to it.

What are your thoughts on the state of hardcore today and its future?

Overall, hardcore is awesome. And I feel like it'll always remain that way. Obviously, things aren't perfect, and they never have been. But there are a select few people who work hard, day after day, to try and make our hardcore scene thrive. I think people need to take a step back sometimes and realize why we're all in this. Hardcore, in my opinion, is supposed to be fun and a break away from the hardships we face on a daily basis.

I've noticed a lot of kids have a sense of entitlement in our scene, like they deserve more than the kid across from them. We're all in this together. Everyone should help promote shows and try to get new kids to come out. Everyone should be on the lookout for a new spot to throw a cool DIY show. The more you put in, the better our community will be. Keep coming to shows, keep bringing your friends, and continue to have a good time doing so. Support your scene, and it'll support you.

xDEATHSTARx REUNION AT FACEDOWN FEST

Back in the mid-2000's xDEATHSTARx was an honorary Salt Lake City band. Tommy Green, formerly of Cherem, was one of the frontmen and he'd always bring the rest of the guys out here to play.

The members of the band also ran a little church/venue in their hometown of Redlands, California that would host Cherem and Aftermath every time those bands went on tour and would help them book shows elsewhere in Southern California.

They're reuniting at Facedown Fest—the annual show put on by Facedown Records—in May.

Anyone heading out?

Monday, February 9, 2015

SALT LAKE HARDCORE 101: OPENED UP

While they were only around for blink-and-you-may-have-missed-it stretch during the early 2000’s, Opened Up accomplished quite a bit. Formed during the winter of 2000, Opened Up played their first show in June of 2001 and were no longer a band by November of that same year.

Opened Up began when Eric Bradford and Jake Miller, decided to start something with more of a Starkweather-influenced vibe than what they were playing with their other band, 78 Days After Death. They recruited Troy Trujillo for vocals, Brandon Anderson and the legendary Warlock for bass duties and Trevor Hale (full disclosure, me again) to round out the lineup.

The band had a more doom/slowed-down black metal influence, but still firmly attached to Salt Lake roots like Triphammer and Iceburn (though not nearly as talented as either). Trujillo’s lyrics were laced with darkness and drew a lot of influence from Lifeless—which made sense considering most of the band had been close friends with Alex Slack.

After recording with Bruce Kirby during the summer of 2001, a finished 5-song EP called “All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Die” was self-released in two different versions that fall. The first release was a limited edition package that included a sticker, a dubbed two-song cassette and a lyric sheet. It was only available at the band’s sole out of state show, opening for Skycamefalling in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. All twenty copies of the demo pack were sold to the twenty people from Salt Lake that made the 4-hour drive to see the show. It’s possible that one of the 6 people from Wyoming at the show purchased one of them, but the odds on that are very, very low.

Opened Up’s live shows were always fraught with mistakes and the songs had a tendency to shift tempos right in the middle, but no one could say the performances weren’t fun.

They broke up shortly after the CD release show in late November of 2001.

Since then, both Jake Miller and Troy Trujillo have gone on to have successful careers in the tattoo industry and continue to reside in Salt Lake. Jake is now married and works out of Cathedral Tattoo, and Troy has two boys, Judge and Oliver, is happily married and works at King of Swords. Brandon works for Specialized, races bicycles competitively, and he and his wife are expecting their first child this spring.



SALT LAKE HARDCORE 101: BAD YODELERS


The Salt Lake Hardcore scene has become known for integrating experimental metallic heaviness and dark melody into traditional hardcore punk. This began with the work of one band: Bad Yodelers.

The earliest incarnation of the Bad Yodelers played its first show in 1983 in the basement of Jon Shuman's house (bassist of Massacre Guys) alongside the earliest incarnation of another classic Salt Lake act, Victims Willing.

In the same year, the band recorded its first demo with its second singer, Brian Szugye. The demo featured a cover of Dr. Seuss' "One Fish Two Fish" and landed the Yodelers a now-historic opening spot with Discharge at the Salt Lake Indian Center. Szugye left the band before the show though and his replacement, Norman Frazier, dove off the stage during the band's final song, knocking his front teeth out on impact. Road manager Kevin Golding took over vocals after the show.

[On a totally tangential but interesting note, Kevin Golding was a California native who moved to Provo with his family in the early 80s, played with Bad Yodelers and Napier's Bones, and booked a number of shows at the Salt Lake Indian Center for acts including Black Flag, Battalion of Saints, Husker Du, and Minor Threat! These are shows of legend. Husker Du showed up late, after most of the crowd had left thinking the show would be canceled. They played to a handful of people, were psyched to receive $20 and used it to buy beer and pizza for all. Battalion of Saints played to an equally small crowd and threatened to beat Kevin up for it. Back to the Yodelers.]

1984 saw the release of an eleven-song cassette. The record was locally-lauded and won over a large fan base along the Wasatch Front. The Yodelers also set off on their first tour of the Rocky Mountain West. Golding left the band later in the year and Karl Alvarez of Massacre Guys became the band's 5th frontman.

Alvarez's arrival marked a shift in the band's style from its punk roots to a more experimental, metallic sound. The band recorded nine songs with Alvarez and toured extensively before he left the band to join melodic punk legends, the Descendents/ALL. A long-time friend Dow Patten fronted the band briefly before setting sail for San Francisco. Laura Jones, who went on to front Salt Lake act Commonplace, played two shows with the band before splitting due to creative differences.

In 1986, the band acquired its 8th-and-final vocalist, Terrance DH of The Stench. The band signed with European label Semaphore Records soon after and released the album, I Wonder, in 1989. I Wonder introduced the world to the polished version of the Yodelers' new hardcore/punk/thrash metal amalgam. They toured Europe the same year.

1991's Window saw the band moving toward a more refined post-hardcore/rock sound that would carry into 1993's South and the subsequent formation of the members' next project/re-naming, Season of the Spring. SOTS released a powerfully-emotional, self-titled album in 1993 but sadly disbanded shortly after.

Terrance DH shifted his focus to the band Magstatic, and now plays with Danger Hailstorm. Guitarist Mark Allen is now an assistant professor of psychology at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Karl Alvarez continues to play with the Descendents and All. He's also played with acts the likes of Gogol Bordello, The Last, Underminer, The Vultures, The Real McKenzies, and The Lemonheads.



Friday, February 6, 2015

ONE VOICE: BRETT BARRETT


Brett Barrett grew up in Provo, Utah and helped remind everyone that there was just as much great stuff going on in the town down south as there was in Salt Lake. Starting out with the Better Youth Underground faction, he eventually moved on to help form Despite Despair, a band that filled a huge void when a just about every other local band had called it quits.

Brett's still actively playing music with both Despite Despair (who will be playing the show on March 1) and with new projects called GEIST and Temples—who recently released some limited vinyl and are planning a new EP in the near future.

How were you introduced to the Salt Lake Hardcore scene?

My first band was called Malcontent. We played punk. We were 14 and we all had drug problems that we were all more or less all in denial about. After I nearly committed suicide with my dad’s pills I said “enough of this shit” and found a friend in Michael Gilchrist, who played in a youth crew band called Bullshit Authority. I started hangin around them and their collective they called the Better Youth Underground, cleverly dubbed “BYU”- cuz we lived in Provo, and I was heavily influenced by their ideas of veganism, straight edge, and radical politics and philosophy. That changed my life - forever. We had a bunch of bands that shared members that ran by the names of Drug Shit, Youth Descent, and later Ritual Fuck. I think there were two or three shows I can remember that genuinely felt like there was a very clear feeling of being apart of a “Salt Lake City Hardcore Scene”. One was when Bullshit Authority played with Lewd Acts at Red Light Books. Another was when Drug Shit played with Gravemaker and A Better Hope Foundation (and I think the Mooks?), and the third was when Despite Despair (Ex-Youth Descent and Railspike) played with Reviver at that weird church place that probably lasted two weeks. Ha...

What are some of your greatest SLHC memories?

The first time Youth Descent played at Red Light Books and I realized that my shitty town wasn’t everything. There were other people like me that liked the same stuff. They circle pitted and we didn’t have to tell them to. It was mind blowing. Then there was the time that Bullshit Authority ripped up and burned a “Quad” and caused an outrage. Another was every time Reviver played with us at Baxter’s Coffee house and they let us use 90% of their gear for like a year following. The best was when Despite Despair played with Trial and Parallax in the same year. Such a huge part of who I am was shaped by those bands. It’s cheesy but I truly felt like “I made it” in those moments and everything else was just extra.

Who are your favorite SLHC bands?

Living or dead, my favorite will always be Parallax. Forever. There’s also Railspike, Reviver, All Systems Fail, Gunner, Speak Out, Fever Dreams, Eons... There’s countless SLCHC bands that I loved listening to when I grew up as a teenager and are shamelessly influential on my music and art but hopefully that’ll be less obvious aside from Parallax. The ones that get a mention here are ones that I shared personal relationships with, which is really what it’s all about.

How has hardcore and the Salt Lake scene impacted your life?

Without music I’d kill myself. It’s what I live for. SLCHC is to a large part the total sum of shared experiences and relationships that have founded who I am. It’s my culture. It’s where I came from. I know it’s such a huge part of my life because I’m now married to someone who comes from a different culture and culture and identity are always conversations in our home. Certainly SLCHC is still shaping where I’m going with new projects like GEIST and Temples and Despite Despair. I needed straight edge to keep me alive. I needed a collective to home me when my house wasn’t a home. I needed radical politics and philosophy to show me that there’s something to believe in and fight for in a world where that tells you there’s not.

What are your thoughts on the state of hardcore today and its future?

I won’t name contemporary bands but everyone can think of bands that go to the same producer and draw the same kids and it sounds very commodified and safe and accessible. However, my answer will be a bit paradoxical because I grew up playing youth crew and punk, ya know, cookie cutter shit. Power chords, straight edge, friends, whatever… And I think it’s important for younger bands to keep doing that because some things are important and need to be said over and over and done over and over again. So if you need to do that shit cuz that’s how you feel and you’re honest about it, then do it. I’ll respect that. On the other hand, there are bands that influenced me that were really self conscious about Hardcore norms and stereotypes and were true artists about the process. They mastered their craft and later sought to change the craft itself. Bands like Refused, Dangers, Parallax. Bands and hardcore kids should recognize that the content of rebellion, and alienation, and anger, and the “sigh of the oppressed” or (whatever characteristics Hardcore can be described with) changes and molds into new forms and ways of expressing itself. The point is that Hardcore should push the fucking limits. Bands shouldn’t shy away from DIY ethics or worry about "making it". They should work hard and let the work do the talking and speak for itself. My best friends I made through music taught me that. They should recognize it’s about relationships. They should be community minded and recognize the incredible sense of solidarity that comes from suffering together and identifying with that and supporting each other in that suffering. As long as it’s about that, I think the culture will continue and I’ll continue to identify with it.

STILL ESSENTIAL LISTENING: BOYSETSFIRE


With Still Essential Listening, we asked a few of the band members playing the Sonny benefit show in March which albums or bands are still in regular rotation for them.

Clinton Sawicz - Cherem/City to City

BOYSETSFIRE - This Crying, This Screaming, My Voice is Being Born

I first heard BoySetsFire on a mixed tape a friend had made me, around '95-ish. I went and bought This Crying, This Screaming, My Voice Is Being Born as soon as I could. The recording quality was poor but it almost helped magnify the raw emotion of the record. Since the first time I heard the beginning riff of "Vehicle" I have been a BSF fan. The way this band melds together aggression and melody is something I've heard tried by many, but only accomplished by a few bands. I have listened to BSF almost every day since then. Each new release is like a checklist of what the listener should be enraged about, with songs about; body image, class struggle, domestic abuse, sexual harassment/abuse, and socio/political issues. This band has influenced books I've read, other bands I've gotten into, movements I've become involved with, and the way I play the drums for just shy of 2 decades. I can write a novel about how listening to and watching this band has helped shape me as a person.

Also see:
-You and I
-The Assistant

ONE VOICE: MIKE TURLEY

Mike Turley is best known as the singer of XReflectX. His band carried the dark, passionate sound of Salt Lake Hardcore into the late 2000s and introduced a whole new generation to the hardcore scene.  Mike is also a talented artist (see the cover of his band's swansong full-length, The Hourglass End). Sadly, XReflectX retired this year but Mike remains passionate about hardcore and the world eagerly awaits his next endeavor.

How were you introduced to the Salt Lake Hardcore scene?

Through some of my closest friends I was shown certain bands and given the idea of going to a hardcore show. When I was 15 years old, I went to my first show at The Junction with Bad Luck 13 and I've kept going since.
 

What are your greatest SLHC memories?

I feel somewhat privileged to be able to have some of my closest friends also being a part of the hardcore scene. I have so many great memories of fun shows and times with Reflect and such. Like when we recorded our demo, we had no clue what we were doing and some stuff had to be rewritten and broken back down. It was funny but a total nightmare for any recording engineer. Probably one of my favorite shows was when all of our bands went out to California and played the Coming of Age Fest. Although it was lacking in attendance, it was a really good time. All the bands played great and it was a good experience.

Who are your favorite SLHC bands?


Pushing Up Daisies is definitely one of my all time favorites because of the stage presence they had and the musical style they introduced me to. Tamerlane, of course, for the time they've put into sticking around and the emotion and anger pushed out of the songs they produce.

How has hardcore and the Salt Lake scene impacted your life?

My appreciation for music was something I felt was never fully understood until i started listening to underground music like hip hop and hardcore/punk, and im glad for it. The people i've met and the lives that have touched me and my friends in the scene have made a huge impact on me as a person. Its honestly like an extended family.

What are your thoughts on the state of hardcore today and its future?

I feel like its a struggle in this time -- where hardcore has become so mainstream and such a money grubbing match -- to find decent people that can put on a traditional diy style hardcore show. I mean the majority of hxc bands nowadays don't even do their own booking for tours, which i mean isn't a big deal but lessens the point of the diy style of it all. That's something i totally respect about bands that take the time in doing so. The future of hardcore i think is slightly uncertain. I dont feel like shows are promoted well enough anymore outside of the internet. People need to understand that we as a whole need to do what we can to make this all work and not just the small minority of people that run a website or play in a band... every person that attends these shows through one way or another.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

DID YOU CATCH THE NEW OUTLET SONG?


Last week, our friends from north of the border, Outlet, posted a new track called "Mortal Coil."

Even though they reside in Idaho Falls, the band has been a staple of the Salt Lake City hardcore scene for many years, and hosted shows for numerous SLC bands passing through their hometown. They've been hard at work on a new EP called Memento Mori, which will be released through Glory Kid Ltd. later this spring.

The slow, heaviness has always been a signature part of their sound and that's prominently on display here, but there's another layer of vulnerability that helps distinguish the band from everyone else trying to imitate similar sounds. Vocalist Andy Gomez (an old friend of the GCA crew) also helps take this track to another level. This band has great things ahead.

Head over to New Noise Magazine to listen to the track, and keep an eye out as I'm sure the band will be rolling through town in support of the new record.

SALT LAKE HARDCORE 101: CITY TO CITY

When it comes to being a hard-working, productive, responsible, united hardcore band, City to City was truly a disgrace. But that was sorta the point.


The band was formed in 2007 out of every early 00s SLC hardcore band: Cherem, Aftermath of a Trainwreck, Skeiff d’ Bargg, Cool Your Jets, Tamerlane, even Gutshot. In fact, all members of City to City played in Cherem at some point but never all together.

Between 2007 and 2009, Brook Lund, Nathan Steele, Austin Kent, Clinton Sawick and Dan Fletcher recorded 2 EPs comprised of 7.5 songs and played 7 shows with maybe 7 total band practices.






Unlike their previous outfits, the guys set out to form a catchier, melodic hardcore band and cooked up a batch of songs that were equally influenced by 80s youth crew and 90s post hardcore. The influence of early 90s SLC acts like Bad Yodelers/Season of the Spring and Lumberjack was readily apparent to old people. Young people thought they sounded like Have Heart or something.



The band took their name from the classic DYS track, inspiring one B9-board commenter to write, “I wish these guys actually sounded like DYS.”


From 2007 to 2009, City to City’s demos progressed from heavy post-hardcore to a more melodic sound characterized by punk rock progressions and Dan’s shift to a cleaner singing style. These demos were collected on the very-limited-edition discography, Vision. You can stream and download Vision from the GCA Soundcloud:


City to City band practices were defined by the animosity between drummer Clinton Sawick and guitarist Austin Kent. Most practices consisted of the band talking about cover songs they’d never end up playing while Clinton flipped off the back of Austin’s head. No one ever learned the origins of this animosity but it was on full display in the “Making of Vision” in-the-studio documentary produced by GCA’s own Trevor Hale.


Unbeknownst to many, the band members coined a number of new terms in the English language including the noun, backstache.

The band also had its own signature Vitamin Water.

This happened:



City to City played Artopia, Baxter’s Cafe, Vortex and The Basement with touring acts including Set It Straight and Xibalba, and locals Tamerlane, Cherem, Cool Your Jets, Collapse, Dogwelder and One Clean Life back when people put MySpace.com pages on flyers.









In 2009, the band started growing up. Its members, once ranking among SLC’s most-eligible bachelors, in a MySpace poll, started getting wives, kids, dogs and real jobs. The band officially dissolved when Dan moved to the east coast. They regrouped for one show when Dan returned for the holidays at the end of 2009. This would be City to City's final show.






City to City will reform with other Salt Lake Hardcore acts in support of the Sonny Hancock Benefit show:




SALT LAKE HARDCORE 101: MASSACRE GUYS


*Originally posted July 28, 2010

What do the Descendents, Speedway Cafe, CBGB and the roots of Salt Lake hardcore have in common?

Massacre Guys

The band began as the brainchild of two Arizona natives, Jon and James Shuman, during the summer of 1979. After penning a fictional zine called "The Leisure Cambodian," the brothers decided to make one of their fictional bands, The Massacre Guys, a reality. They moved north in 1980, and enlisted Salt Lake's Stephen O' Reilly (a.k.a.  Stephen Egerton or Steve-O), James Owens (a.k.a. Jimmy Germ Warfare), and Paul Maritsas to bring one of Salt Lake's most legendary hardcore punk bands to life.

Many of the band's early shows took place at the house-party pad of Steve McAllister, located on 21st South and Redwood Road. Bands like the MGs, The Boards, Atheist, Plants and Angles would play the basement every weekend. That is until a gang of rednecks crashed one of the parties, clashed with a gang of skinheads from Long Beach, and someone ended up getting stabbed. A separate account his it that an out-of-place hippy pissed off a skin from San Francisco and received said stabbing. McAllister would later relocate to NYC to become the sound guy at CBGBs.

The Massacre Guys released two cassettes between 1980-81, Bloody Baggage and Bad Medicine. The latter was recorded by Steve McAllister who would later become the sound man at CBGB. Paul Maritsas left the band shortly after these recordings for college, and eventually founded the Speedway Cafe. Jimmy Germ left the band around this time as well. The Guys enlisted close-friend Karl Alvarez to fill Paul's spot, along with Paul Krowas on 2nd guitar and Phil Miller of local reggae/ska act 004 on saxophone.

In 1982, the band recorded "twenty more songs in a hippy's cedar-paneled basement on the east bench of Salt Lake County." Toxic Shock Records released six of these as the Behind the Eight Ball EP. Tours alongside legendary acts such as The Dead Kennedys, JFA, TSOL, Bad Religion and The Faction followed. In 1984, the MGs entered the studio again to record the Rider EP for Unclean Records (which included an early version of the song "Schizophrenia" that would later appear on the Descendents' 1987 album, ALL).

How would that song end up on a Descendents record? We're getting there.

In 1985 the MGs began to dissolve. Paul Krowas moved to Kansas and Stephen to Virginia. The remaining members enlisted other local artists for a handful of shows over the next year, but it simply was not the same. Stephen returned to SLC for a final farewell show with none-other-than Black Flag at the Salt Lake Community Center, after which the band went on an "indefinite hiatus."

Karl Alvarez sang for Bad Yodelers for awhile before relocating to Southern California to join Stephen Eggerton in legendary melodic punk band the Descendents (there you go). Alvarez has also played with Gogol Bordello, The Last, Underminer, The Vultures,  and The Real McKenzies. He recently joined the reunited Lemonheads. Eggerton runs Armstrong Recording Company in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Jon Shuman went on to play with the Boxcar Kids, Wonder Crash, A.U. (with brother Jamie), the Qualitones, Dollymops and PCP Berzerker. He is currently working on a rock musical. Guitarist Paul Krowas now plays with Kansas City's The Throttlers. As we mentioned, Maritsas went on to form the Speedway Cafe and also played in the band Angle. Various members of Massacre Guys can be found playing MG songs around Salt Lake City to this day in the band Die Shuman Bruder.

The Massacre Guys reunited in the summer of 2009 for a benefit show. Videos from the reunion can be found on YouTube.


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

ONE VOICE: TYLER PHILLIPS


Tyler Phillips is part of the next generation of Salt Lake Hardcore and is carrying on the time-honored tradition of playing in multiple bands at the same time. Gotta stay busy somehow. He used to do vocals for the band Speak Out before they disbanded, and currently plays bass in both Chained Down and No Sun.

How were you introduced to Salt Lake Hardcore scene?

There were two kids I went to high school with that were very involved with the scene. So this was like 2007-08ish and I was into Warped Tour Metalcore shit that was/is popular (don’t ask) and these two kids would see me sporting these terrible bands shirts and encourage me to come out to a show. I finally caved and went to a show at Boing! House. Over the next year I saw the Better Youth Underground bands (Drug Shit, Ritual Fuck, Active Aggressive) and other bands like Collapse and Reviver a number of times. After the BYU bands stopped playing, I rarely came out to shows. Getting back into the groove of things was weird. In 2009-10ish I started to roll around with Will Palicte and he showed me all the old Salt Lake Hardcore bands from Lifeless to Reflect, he then told me that all those old bands don’t really play shows anymore and it was, for the most part, gone. He and Dominic Ayala had been working on starting a hardcore band and they asked me to do vocals. Control was born which turned into Speak Out and we eventually added Blake Foard on bass. Without each of those guys or that band I don’t think I would’ve found a home here in this scene.

What are some of your greatest SLHC memories?

My absolute favorite memories are playing shows. If I had to narrow it down, I can think of two shows that were really sweet. First, the Cool Your Jets reunion/comeback whatever you want to call it show. They were the first older band to play again since I started getting involved with the scene. I remember later that year a picture from one of the CYJ shows was published in SLUG and it was during the pile-on part in For A Friend and I was dead center. I don’t give shit, being pictured in a magazine acting like a fool is sick. That article in SLUG was actually a preview for my second favorite memory which is the 2013 Sub For Santa show. Two nights of the best of Salt Lake’s old and new. I finally got to see Reflect, Cherem and Tamerlane. Not being around when those bands were in their prime bums me out more than you know but I’m glad I’m here now. Speak Out also was fortunate enough to play Day 1 of Sub For Santa with all the regular locals at the time (Hitchhiker and Prime Oppressor) and all for a good cause. It always amazes me to see how much the hardcore community is able and willing to give, whether it’s a charity or a benefit for one of our own.



Who are your favorite SLHC bands?

This a tough question. So much talent over such a long period of time. I’m going to split this into three categories; older, old and new. Older: If we’re talking the really old bands I’m going to go with The Lazarus Project but it’d be wrong not to mention how amazing Lifeless or Clear is. Climb is another band that I absolutely love. Old: City To City is my favorite for sure. But Tamerlane and Reflect are right up there too. Cherem is a very important band. There are so many good bands in this era and if you are in these bands and reading this then yo play shows again :) New: No Empire was the best newer band but I guess they aren’t really a band anymore. Their members have two new bands coming together so hopefully those bands are cool. Close Grip was and still is doing cool things. Not to toot my own horn but Chained Down has new album coming out this year. Fever Dreams just put out an amazing album. A message to all old guys and dropouts, Salt Lake Hardcore is still alive, roll out every once in awhile.

How has hardcore and the Salt Lake scene impacted your life?

First off, The Straight Edge. Secondly, when I first started going to and playing shows I had no idea how important it was going to be to me. Everyone has their shit, bad relationships, school, work, parents or whatever it is and hardcore is, at least for me, an escape from all that stuff. Is it corny or cliché to say it saved my life? Yeah, definitely but I’m sure fucking glad that it did. I think about it every day, try to listen to it every day, wear it every day, have it tattooed on my body, it’s taken me all over the west coast and hopefully one day the country. God, I’m corny. I don’t care though, hardcore is fucking sick and I don’t know what the fuck I’d do without it.

What are your thoughts on the state of hardcore today and its future?

On the national level, hardcore is gaining a lot of popularity and starting to dive into other markets exposing kids who normally wouldn’t see bands like Expire or Rotting Out because they are doing different things like going out on tour with big alternative bands like Senses Fail or jumping on Warped Tour. I think that kind of stuff is great. That helps the local scene grow too. More kids into bigger hardcore bands means more kids getting involved locally and that is something I will always back. Seeing the scene grow from when I started going to shows to right now is insane. Last month I was at the Cruel Hand, Angel Du$t, The Beautiful Ones show and it was jam packed and that shit rules. If you were there you know. As for Salt Lake City right now, we are having venue problems. We haven’t had a solid hardcore spot for a year or two now but I guess that’s how it always been. As long as kids give a shit about hardcore then shows will happen, bands will roll through, we’ll find some basement or garage to slam into each other in. The only thing it’s missing is more of you guys so roll out to a show or two this year.

Thanks for reading. If you see me at show or wherever and want to talk about hardcore or anything, I’m about it, so let’s have a conversation. RIP Brad. XXX.