In 1998, I was 13 years old...
Bands like Nirvana had introduced me to bands like Black Flag and all I wanted to do was play my guitar and skate.
That year, this thing called Warped Tour rolled through Salt Lake City. I convinced my parents to let me and my kid brother attend. We saw Bad Religion and Rancid. We watched Steve Caballero shred a vert ramp.
On the way out, I stepped on a catalog from a tiny Chicago hardcore label called, Victory Records. I picked it up and ate it up. Read every article 10 times. Ordered every 7" and t-shirt. I still own the ones I didn't trade.
Not long after, I made friends who could drive out to Salt Lake Hardcore shows with locals like Clear and Triphammer and touring bands like Snapcase and Hatebreed.
1998 changed my life.
It's 2015 and I'm 30 years old...
I have a grown-up job, a beautiful wife and a newborn son I love more than life itself. I owe so much of who I am today to Hardcore. Being a part of bands like Cherem, Skeiff d' Bargg, Tamerlane, First Blood and City to City took me around the world, built my work ethic and blessed me with lifelong friends.
Trevor Hale, Sias Parsons and I started GCA in 2008 with the sole purpose of unifying and promoting the Salt Lake Hardcore scene. But I can largely thank GCA for launching me into the career I have today that allows me to support and care for my family.
In 2015, looking back, I can honestly say that the Salt Lake Hardcore scene is a foundation that I've built my life upon.
There were many who came into the scene before me and many who've come after but young or old, all of us would agree that Salt Lake Hardcore is a family.
On November 15, 2014...
We lost a brother.
The day after that horrible and tragic moment, I received phone calls, texts and e-mails from people as far as Japan and Germany asking what had happened and how they could help. I didn't know Brad well but some these people hadn't even set foot in the same country as Brad.
Blake reached out to me quickly about bringing some of our old bands back together for a benefit to support Brad's family. Blake Foard's sunk more sweat into the Salt Lake Hardcore scene than anyone. We've played countless shows over countless years together, and I can't even text Blake without getting stoked on hardcore all over again. Of course we were all in.
On March 1, 2015...
The benefit show is happening and twenty years of Salt Lake Hardcore bands will be resurrected to show respect and support.
Clear is performing. Clear was the first Salt Lake Hardcore band I heard and to this day their music takes me straight back to those first feelings of being a terrified teenager venturing into a new world that would change my life.
Pushing Up Daisies is performing. I remember seeing Pushing Up Daisies and thinking, "holy shit, these guys really fucking care about their music." It was chaotic and beautiful and made me think that SLC finally had its own Converge or Cave In or Coalesce. In a scene where a lot of musicians never make it past the power chord, Pushing Up Daisies made a big impact on all of us.
Tamerlane's performing. There never was and probably never will be a Salt Lake Hardcore band as emotionally destructive as Tamerlane. Forget the amazing and pummeling technicality of their songs, the lyrics and delivery of Ed and Jack will fuck up the most jaded hardcore kid's emotional stability.
Aftermath of a Trainwreck's performing. I don't think I've ever had as much fun at a hardcore show than I did back in the days of the dancefloor deputy. If you were around, you know. If you weren't, you can get a taste at this show.
Cherem's playing. There's sticking to your guns, then there's Cherem. Billy and Trevor's impact on Salt Lake Hardcore is undeniable. Their respective bands, from the late 90s to the late 00s, from Deadfall and 78 Days to Up River and Tamerlane, have defined our scene. But through it all Cherem was the archetype: heavy riffs with heavy thoughts and heavy convictions.
Skeiff d' Bargg is playing. The band was built on a premise that we'd play fast hardcore that no one in Salt Lake would like very much and I'll be damned if we didn't do just that with flying colors. Expect your favorite covers.
City to City is playing. I grew up in City to City. The first demo was full of frustration and anger and all those things that hardcore helped me through in my youth. The second demo documented 5 guys growing up while still holding on to the music and scene they loved dearly. While the band was short-lived and sketchy even in its day, it's an honor that some of our words have resonated with people who were dealing with the same issues of anger, honesty and evolution that we were at the time.
We are all honored to be a part of this benefit show and we hope that all who read this will attend.
Hardcore is more than a music scene or a youth trend. I owe hardcore, and the family I've earned through hardcore, as much as I owe my own family in helping me become a strong, mature, responsible adult, husband and father.
To spread the word about the benefit show, Grudge City Activities will resurrect for the month of February. We will finally be completing our Salt Lake Hardcore 101 project with real cut-and-paste zines available at the show. We will be dropping some new One Voice interview posts and resurrecting classic pieces for your daily reading. And we will be bothering all of you to spread the word about this very important night.
To kick things off, please take this flyer and share it as far and wide as you can...