Friday, October 11, 2013

Decontrol - Shutdown

With the recent government shutdown, I think it is only appropriate that I post the Decontrol song Shutdown. Here's a video featuring a lot of old photos and flyers from the band's heyday.

The Virus is back!

Here is a new interview with Paul HERE.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Better Than A Thousand/Rain On The Parade - York 1/3/98

Found some videos from this show of Better Than A Thousand & Rain On The Parade from 1/3/98 at The Fenix Club in York. The Fenix(later named the Zodiac) had its share of great shows in the 90's including Misfits/Warzone/Murphy's Law etc. They used to have raves after the shows, and I distinctly remember the rave kids filtering in at the end of a show one time. The mix of punks, skinheads, and hardcore kids intermingling with the ridiculous looking rave kids with their pacifiers and glow sticks, I knew there were going to be some fights! The club got shut down shorty after due to some kind of drug scandal, which was definitely involving the raves and not the punk shows.

Some other flyers from the Fenix/Zodiac...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sunnybrook - 1996 Demo (pre x24th Solutionx)

Here we have another classic from Lancaster, the Sunnybrook 1996 demo. This features Todd "the Todd" Mogle and Joey Struggle pre-x24th Solutionx.

Thanks again to our friend Jeremy Farkas for putting this up and including...

I was lucky enough to see Sunnybrook play their first show at the Chameleon. They opened for Anthrophobia.
I don't know how many shows Sunnybrook played, so I'm lucky to have seen them at all. This demo was recorded Summer 1996, and then the 24th Solution 7" was recorded starting in April 1997. So it was a short-lived project, but a real solid one.

This only seems fitting as tomorrow marks the 7th year anniversary that we lost Joey. RIP.

UPDATE: From Todd, "Thanks for sharing this. The last song on this was used for an xstretchmarkx song... Not too many people are aware of that! ...btw the chameleon gig listed in the notes for the demo was not our first show. There were a handful of smaller shows played prior. Only two additional shows were played after that gig too... played chameleon again with Vision of Disorder & Today Is The Day... And a community center with Turmoil.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Product Of The System Zine - Bigwig Interview

From 1999-2002 my friends Justin, Ben, and I did an e-zine called Product Of The System. The internet was still kind of fresh and exciting and we wanted it to be a one stop source for everything Pennsylvania punk. The site had interviews, reviews, articles, show listings, and a pretty terrible message board. We even helped put on a bunch of shows. Here is an interview Ben did with Tom from Bigwig. If you were around then you know they played here like once a month.

Ben: so... the first question is, how do like playing Pennsylvania?

Tom: I love playing Pennsylvania

Ben: I didn't think that it was as good tonight as it was on Wednesday though

Tom: yeah, a bit different

Ben: there were a lot more people here, I was a bit dissapointed

Tom: I had a good time though

Ben: what would you say your favorite place to play is?

Tom: in Pennsylvania or in general?

Ben: just in general, or in Pennsylvania

Tom: uh... New Jersey is my favorite out of all

Roadie: Mullet Gulch, Pennsylvania

Tom: and I guess Florida and California, definately like Quebec and Canada... it's really nice up there

Ben: what are some of your musical influences?

Tom: well, personal ones are like... I grew up listening to a lot of metal and shit like that so I like Slayer, Metallica, like all that old stuff. But I listen to a lot of punk rock... I guess my favorite band is probably Jawbreaker

Ben: hell yeah

Tom: yeah, Jawbreaker's definately one of my favs

Ben: so how did the band get started?

Tom: um, well I got out of another band and my best friend who was our first drummer picked me up from the train station after a tour. So we just got a band in our basement pretty much. And uh, that's pretty much how we get started, we just did a basement thing and it started to come together. We got a different bass player, then we got John and Josh. We got signed to Fearless real quick after we recorded a demo so that was kinda cool. I guess we got kind of an easy start, you know what I mean?

Ben: yeah

Tom: We're kinda lucky, thanks to the cool people that hooked us up.

Ben: so, what's the deal with Max?

Tom: Max is roadieing for Sum 41 right now, making lots of money and having a good time.

Ben: do you have any idea what the lineup is going to be like without him?

Tom: um, well Tony is our definate bass player and we have some people in mind for guitar.

Ben: I saw that you played with Josh from the Overdrives tonight

Tom: yeah, he's right there

Ben: oh, hey

Josh: hey, what's up?

Tom: Josh was nice enough to fill in

Ben: that's cool, so what can we expect from the new album?

Tom: death and blood.

Ben: hahaha

Tom: and slaying. Well, it's heavier and faster than the last one.

Ben: so why did you guys decide to go back to Fearless instead of staying with Kung Fu?

Tom: I guess we felt more comfortable with Fearless, we have no problems with Kung Fu though... they're really cool people. We just wanted to go back to the Fearless thing.

Ben: so what is it like working with Fearless, as opposed to Kung Fu?

Tom: I dunno, Fearless treats us a little differently. I guess that since we did our first record there that we kinda feel a little bit more at home.

Ben: so what happened with Warner Brothers that you had to change the cover of Unmerry Melodies?

Tom: oh.. haha, they were being kinda dicks. Warner Brothers didn't actually sue us or anything. They, uh, got mad... so we had to change the artwork and take out all the stuff. They said they own the rights to those rings, that's why they had to be filled in with little "Bigwig"s. So, it's a big crock of shit.

Ben: so how did you guys end up playing warped tour?

Tom: uh, they finally sorta asked us. We actually played a couple warped shows before, but nothing too great. I mean, it was great.. but I'm saying like, no long extended time.

Ben: are you playing the main stage this year?

Tom: um... they told us the Second Stage, so I don't know what stage that really is.

Ben: how long have you been, and why did you decide to become a vegetarian?

Tom: I think I'm going on 5 years, 6 years maybe. I dunno, I just never really liked meat as it was. I'm kinda into the animal rights, sometimes I wear leather shoes.

Ben: haha, like Freegan

Tom: yeah. I try to do as much as I can to not buy leather products and to not buy animal products. I try to eat vegan as much as possible, but it's expensive, and it's hard to do on tour... especially in the midwest.

Ben: yeah, I can imagine that that would be pretty hard.

Tom: yeah

Ben: do you have anything else that you'd like to say to anyone that reads this?

Tom: The new record's coming out in August. Like I said, it's gonna be.. like, beacuse of the whole emo thing...

Ben: emo?

Tom: well like, you know the big emo trend that's coming over the earth. I guess we tried to do the opposite and get a little heavier, a little more pissed off. You know, we've gone through a lot of shit in the years, so I guess this record is like.. telling it all. It's when we finally let it out, and we're really happy with the way it came out. Ryan Green mixed it, he does all the Fat Wreck stuff. It fuckin' came out awesome... this guy Mike Wooding recorded it. It's the happiest we've been, so it's been pretty cool.

Ben: how'd you like the bands you played with tonight?

Tom: well, New Found Glory's been one of my favorite bands for a while.. so it's always cool playing with them.

Ben: yeah, but I didn't like the fact that the crowd here was like... mostly kids who I never see at shows.

Tom: yeah, but you know what? I think the thing about New Found Glory is that it's true punk rock still, and they're spreading it to more of a... hey what's up Steve, I didn't even see you over there.

Steve: I just heard New Found Glory and I was like "what, are you talkin' shit?"

Tom: actually bailing your ass out

Steve: we actually played our first New Jersey show with Bigwig

Tom: that was great

Steve: we had a show in Long Island and it sucked really bad, and we're like "hey, there's a show... Bigwig's playing, let's go over there and play". And they let us play and it was awesome. That was the first time we actually heard Midtown. That was the first time Midtown got our CD and played it for Drive Thru records, and that's how we got signed.

Ben: really? That's interesting.

Tom: so kinda sorta Bigwig is semi-responsible for the popularity of New Found Glory? Naa, I'm kidding. I didn't know that man, that's cool... that's a weird twist.

Steve: yeah, it's weird

Tom: and that's the thing I was saying... these guys toured their ass off for fuckin years, and deserve to have packed clubs. And kids respect that band, you know what I mean? I've always respected those guys. I think they're great the way they do their shit, and they're really nice. It's a rare thing to find people who stay true and stay cool and I respect them. So I'm happy to play here, it was a good show.

Bigwig at Red Lion Skatepark, Red Lion, PA

717 XXX Patch

Colby Black made these patches in 9th grade. I still have it on my bag. XXX

VIDEO - The Alliance last show at Classic Rags

From youtube user undeadpeteed... "It was their FINAL SHOW on July 2, 1998 at Classic Rags in Carlisle, PA. THIS WAS THEIR LAST LIVE SONG EVER PLAYED TOGETHER!"

I went to my first show at Classic Rags. It was a used clothing store that pushed all the racks of clothes to the sides of the room to have shows. It was on the second floor and I always felt like the floor was going to cave in because so many people crammed up there. I think the last show there was the Spleen last show in 98? I'd love to see a video of that!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Running From Dharma - Beginning EP

Running From Dharma - Beginning EP

Paint By Numbers
*What Matters More (extra track)

Finally got the first Running From Dharma release up! Thank you Jeremy! Jammed this tape a lot over the years for sure. They had two bass players then. They played The Wire a lot too. Some of these songs eventually ended up on the Hoping For The Better split and the full length. Apparently, they are playing another show here this Spring! Here's a classic one the played in 98.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Interview Series - Matt "MC" Hyser

I first met Matt around the Spring of 1998 when he was booking shows at Liberty Fire Hall in York. He played in a band called The Underground Conspiracy and that is where he got his nickname of Matt Conspiracy (MC). He went on to play in TMI Generation and then we finally started Decontrol in the Fall of 2000. To say the least he is one of my best friends and one of the craziest people I've ever met. He was a staple in the Pennsylvania scene for many years before recently relocating to Louisville. He booked just about every band you can think of, many of which by phone pre-cell phones, and I remember seeing his mom's house phone number on flyers for years.

Can you name every band you have ever played in?
Underground Conspiracy, TMI Generation, Decontrol, Bete Noire, and Olde Tigers. I've messed around with a few other projects here and there, but nothing really notable. Mitch would probably be pissed if I didn't mention Skin Flute, so there's that.

What was the first show you ever went to?
I honestly don't remember, but I know it was 1995 at the Big City/Zodiac/Fenix or whatever it was called at that point, and then for my birthday that year Blag XIII and the Fanboys played my birthday party in my mom's garage.

What was the first show you ever booked?
First show I ever booked was at Liberty Fire Hall in 1998. Underground Conspiracy, Violation, Squire, The Scam and one other local played. Over 100 people showed up for an all local show that no one had to sell tickets for. That doesn't happen anymore.

How many venues have you run/helped out/booked at?
Countless! At least four different fire halls, two record stores, four or five legitimate venues, three or four houses, and three or four bars. Probably more.

What was it like to move out of York?
It was tough! Almost everyone I've ever known has been connected to me through York somehow. But it was a great decision. Small towns are great, but they can also be very restrictive.

Can you talk about bootlegging videos for a bit?
Hahaha yeah, we were all about bootlegging videos. All the distros were doing it in the 90's so why not us too? The extra money made a lot of stuff possible for the band and the shows we were able to do.

How many times have you seen The Casualties?
More than I can count for over fifteen years now. They still put on a great live show to this day.

What was your all time favorite show you played and/or booked?
This one is really, really tough. I can't pick just one so I'll pick one show I booked from every era:
Liberty Fire Hall - My favorite show I booked was the first one. All locals and a great turnout. Got me hooked on doing shows.
Dillsburg Fire Hall - Can't pick just one, but I booked The Casualties and The Unseen two weeks apart and both shows had over 300 pay at the door. It was unreal. I was able to pay every band way more than their guarantees and still went home with more money than I could have imaginied.
Champ - Kill Your Idols, Forward to Death, The Spark, Decontrol, and Last Sunset. Kill Your Idols had become one of my favorite bands and I was so stoked to have them in central PA.
Post-Champ - I did a lot of shows in a lot of different places, but my favorite was the first show I did at the Skid Row Garage with our friends we met on tour Just Die! and Reignition. It was the start of three years of crazy DIY shows in a tiny space.

There were soooo many other shows that were amazing and fun for countless different reasons, but those four would be my personal highlights.

As far as favorite shows I ever played, there are far too many to list. Almost every show was great for a different reason. We always joke about how Decontrol played everywhere, and we really did. I could name drop countless bands that we've played with, but that's way to cliche. Maybe the best thing was that first real tour we did with Bete Noire in 2007. We bought a shitty old van, turned it into a mobile home and hit the road without a care in the world. We didn't have GPS or fancy cell phones, just printed out directions and a list of contacts for the promoters and venues. We made it with almost no problems and had a blast.

Will there ever be a Decontrol reunion?
I kind of doubt it, but it would be fun. Would people really want to see that? Do we really want to hear people yell for "Shutdown" again? It would be weird going back over all that material and reliving it.