Sunday, January 20, 2008
Earth Crisis returns! A three part tribute!
Part 1 of 3
2008 marks the return of the most important band to my life. I’ve been straight edge since 1989 and vegan since 1993. Being vegan is incredibly important to me. Perhaps the biggest influence for vegan for me was the music and lyrics of Earth Crisis. I was already on my way to being vegan when I heard them, but they inspired me to take the struggle for Earth and Animal Liberation seriously. They taught me about the strength that sobriety gave me for fighting injustice. On top of that they were just an amazing band.
Musically they crushed and brought the mosh every time. In 1993 I first met the EXC guys when there fan base could fit on a school bus. I watched them play the More than Music Fest(the first ever three day hardcore fest). They changed hardcore forever that night. I have that set on video and love watching yearly. Back when the core was good. I liked EXC back then but it was moving to Syracuse in 1995 that made them my favorite band.
Earth crisis shared practice space with a band named Beta minus Mechanic (Eric now in EXC/path played guitar) Pete Speilman the Beta Minus bass player grew up with them and was one of my best friends when I lived there.
It was through Pete and Red Ranger(singer of Syracuse band Attitude) that I learned alot of Earth crisis history, it was through Pete that I got to the practice space (in a insurance office building in north Syracuse) to hear them writing songs through the walls. I had a blessed view. That being said I like EXC more because of my experience.
Most hardcore bands when you get to know them better they are not what you expect, you end up hating them. Outside of Kris Weichman(who they kicked out) they were awesome people.
We had an ADL protest once where it was my girlfriend (at the time) and myself alone for ten minutes and all five members of EXC showed up and held signs. That meant alot to me. When Nicole Rogers helped to open a struggling collective veg restaurant called mister A's in YMCA (Pete, Jonathan of Another Victim and Derick of vegan radio worked there too) they could not get customers.
Dennis and Pete brought their whole bands one day. Dennis talked to Nicole(she was also an ADL founder) for a while and promised her customers. He got the word and in couple days we had tons of kids there. It was rad.
I also got to know Karl the human being, (Who for three months a year was home not being Karl Crisis) I saw him dressed as strawberry for Halloween, I talked to him about comic books and movies, I saw him skating with his best friend.
Am I sick? Do I ike this band too much. Sure. Earth crisis means something to deeply as well politically. I weeped like a baby at the last show (hellfest) because I didn't think they would do a reunion. I should've know they would come back. they are to powerful a force to ever die.
You want proof of what this band means to our struggle. My friend in San diego has a video of shows from the Destroy the machines tour. It has shows in Germany,New jersey, Chicago, and California. I watched that tape and knew they played cities every else in between and looked the same. I saw kids in all those cities pile and sing along to songs about animal liberation,straight edge and direct action. Around the world. Don't forget they are big in Asia and south america too.
How many people you think at each show 200 or 300 how many were exposed to veganism? I think it's fair to say 10,000 or more went vegan and stayed vegan because of their influence. EXC inspired many of us to go vegan and in the end every person we inspire is still apart of EXC's influence. More direct action happened for the animals during that period than any other time in history. The animals had a voice that did not waiver and the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act can't go after lyrics.
For the record Karl did get harassed by the government in Syracuse, he never went public about it. His car was sabotaged once and the mechanic asked his wife if they had enemies. There had been several meat packing places that had been attacked in Syracuse, one went under, another moved. Karl believed it was someone connected to them. I believe it was the ATF who had threatened Karl telling not to promote Direct action. No one knows for sure
Despite the threats to his family, Karl went on America's most wanted and called the ALF heroes. That is part of what makes Karl a hero himself.
Go see Earth Crisis on tour
Part two: Favorite EXC moments.
Part Three: EXC Trivia