Thursday, January 24, 2008
E-mail me or post answers. The winner gets a prize in the mail from Food Fight!
When Karl started this Incarnation* of EXC in 1991 He asked the members of Syracuse's first vegan straight edge band if they would play on demo for him. What was the name of this band?
Who did Earth Crisis open for on the american leg of the GSE and Breed the killers tours? (2 points each)
Who sang the "fuck you" in the song all out war? (5 points)
Karl did guest on three albums for oter artists that I know of name the artists?
(2 point each)
Who was the first singer of Earth Crisis? (20 points)
The above question is not as hard as people might think. however the challenge is that Karl and the boys acknowledge that era exists but never talk about it.
What did Karl play in the first incarnation of Earth Crisis? (10 points)
Karl wrote all the music and lyrics for one song before the line-up was formed. Which song?
In What state was the show where a man stage diving in a fur coat dragged out of the club? ( 10 points) This information is online.
Name three EXC side projects or joke bands? (1 point each)
Name of the studio where all out war, G Season ends, Green rage and Day of suffering recorded at in Syracuse? (5 points)
What food was Scott Crouse arrested for shoplifting on the all out war tour? (5 points) I'm pretty sure this information is on the DVD.
Bulldog was too young and his parents wouldn't let him do the first tour. Who played bass on the all out war tour? Hint he is in a still operating vegan straight edge band. (10 points)
Which song on GSE was written in the studio? (EASY point)
Who painted the cover of Destroy the machines? (1 point)
Which member of the band wrote the essays inside the GSE and BTK albums? (5 points)
How many verisons of Ecocide did EXC record? (5 points live counts)
Which EXC record had a song recorded for it that they left off at the last minute(for political reasons) and the name of the song? (1 point for the name of the record 10 for the title of the song)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Earth Crisis was and I hope I can revise that to IS an amazing band. They have written some of my favorite songs ever recorded and the effect they have had on me is hard to measure. Here are some of my favorite moments from the songs and the live shows.
Favorite Live moments
1. playing Stand by - 1993 Dayton Ohio more than music fest singing along getting crushed. Never forget it. So many people were on the stage everything went out except the drums. Only fifty of us(outside of Syracuse) in the world knew the lyrics and when we were all singing the lyrics with out music it was powerful as hell. It made me love that song. Syracuse kids were in ski masks in the pit…no one had ever done that before. It looked awesome.
Scarred PC kids were screaming at them. It was too late hardcore changed forever that night.
2. The last official show at hellfest 2001 The last song the “I am straight edge” sing along. I’ve never heard so many voices screaming like that. I get chills everytime I hear it on the DVD. I didn’t have the money to go, so a roommate and I made greyhound bus passes at kinkos and somehow made it from Indiana to Syracuse. Punk fucking rock.
3. CNN show at the lost in Syracuse 1996. CNN was filming a special about straight edge and they played an ADL benefit show. The night before the ALF blew the shit out of six sausage trucks at a near by slaughterplant. The ATF was swirling outside the show and Karl was on fire. The best set I ever saw. First time they played the order in forever.
4. Oath that keeps me free show. Somehow during the live set firestorm recording got messed up. Everyone had left and they had about 15 of us come back inside and they played firestorm again to re-record it. Also that night the show was around the corner from a MacDonald’s. Hundreds of kids were there.
Adam Weisman from NY ADL was in town for a court date. He didn’t understand hardcore, when we told many of the hundreds of kids at the show were vegan he decided to harness the rage that EXc had whipped up into a silly but scary looking protest outside the random unsuspecting MacDonald’s. As kids left sweaty and angry from the EXC set Adman was standing alone yelling at the golden arches.
I admit I told him it was stupid, pointless protest but he insisted that it might teach them the power of protest. Next thing you know Adam has sixty kids sitting down blocking the doors to the restaurant. V.O.D. one of the other bands pulled up their van and their bass player stared in wonder. “Dude I think the vegan revolution just started.” I heard him say as they drove away. I didn’t see the end as I went to sing along for firestorm part deux.
Eden’s Demise: This song from the firestorm EP had my favorite lyric "Don't let your outrage at injustice end where your selfishness begins." This is perhaps the most brilliant lyric written expressing a political message I have ever heard. It can also be applied way beyond just animal rights. I once talked about with Karl about his lyrics. He used work on every song for hours and hours. (Which doesn't explain the title of and super corny sing along of ultra-militance - an otherwise brilliant song).
Eden’s demise also has the sing along “A peaceful world can evolve after animal liberation.” This lyric contains an important distinction. A peaceful world will never happen, until Animal Liberation happens first. I agree.
Ultra-militance. From the Breed the Killers Album. Ok it’s a terrible title and the chorus is corny but the break down with the sing along… "Now this war has two sides," it gave me chills the first time I heard it. Amazing.
No allegiance from the All Out War E.P. "Fuck all who cheap what I am in others eyes" When ever some one sells out veganism or edge I think of this line. Because I've been edge for 20 years and that surprises people Why? Because of all the chumps who cheapen what I am by making it look like a dumb trend. Love this song.
Title track for Slither LP. I might get shit for this but one of my favorite EXC parts is on Slither. In the title track w/ the Ozzy style vocals “Ten thousand eyes that follow from above and from below…” leading in to the sing along scream of "stand up or die." Brillian,. I hate the chorus to that song but that part rocks.
Situation degenerates from Gomorrah’s season ends. Mosh Part in this song is underrated, Pete of beta minus mechanic claims he wrote this riff for his old militant vegan band gatekeeper. Kris who went on to be in EXC was in gatekeeper and "Wrote that riff," None the less it is a killer break down. Listen to it again. Do it.
Cease to exist from Gomorrah’s season ends. So underrated. Artistically speaking this is their most dynamic and powerful song. After they recorded the demo for GSE, mike Riccardi(the drummer for the first path album and all out war) and I were hanging out listening to it. He said something that made me love that song. The song is about nuclear war right. There is a chorus with no lyrics just a dirgy guitar part. He said when he heard it he saw a picture in his mind of being in a helicopter looking at a nuclear devastated earth. every time now I see that. it's a powerful thing for a song to do.
Karl's vocals on this are his most insane matching the insanity of the topic. Listen to him screaming "Awakened by sirens - the fifteen minute warning" or "All creation is in the hands of these madmen"
So see you at firestorm fest Earth crisis on tour soon!
Sunday, January 20, 2008
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
Thursday, January 17, 2008
So it’s a new year. Cari and I are getting used to living in Portland. It was nice moving here for lots of reasons. Amazing Vegan community, cheap movies, old school arcades, and best of all old friends. When we arrived at our new home we had two friends here already. Randall our buddy from back in So Cal is here, and an old friend of mine Ian (Bru-dawg) from Indiana lives here too. In a really strange world’s collide moment I helped Ian move his ridiculously huge record collection into Randall’s apartment as they are now roommates.
Pretty awesome, they are going to be roommates. Randall’s last roommate was a sell-out turd who never paid him a dime of rent. They have both been awesome friends. We also met the local horror writers at the H.P. Lovecraft film fest and it was rad to meet the bizarro writers. A month after we moved here we jumped in and helped to organize the Vegan Holiday Fest. Made lots wonderful friends there.
What is going on professionally? I admit I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with my young writing career. You know what…Hell or high water I’m going to finish these projects. Case in point.
The Vault of Punk Horror. After four years the short story collection I co-edited with Gabriel Lanas has finally been released. It is a charity project, so please buy it, read it, enjoy it. The first couple copies came off the presses with a jacked up cover and we had to make a few changes before it’s perfect but it is out now. Its a few years late but we got it done. It is pretty awesome to see it.
Next up is a trade paperback Screams from a Dying world (2nd edition). It will be twice the length of the first edition with 11 stories and a full novella. I’ve been working with a couple of editors getting it cleaned up and ready for final publication. It wont be out till march or April but we want get it done now so we can put out advance copies for review.
Punk Horror is planning our first releases by authors not in our immediate circle. Both authors were in The Vault. This is a big move for us and when it’s official we will make a big deal about it. You’ll know soon.
I’m also working on heavy editing of my first full-length novel Hunting the Moon Tribe. We have the first four sample chapters ready to go, and they look pretty good. I’m shopping the book around, as well as seeking an agent. Not just for my books but also for my screenplays. I would love to also try and get work writing media tie-ins.
Speaking of screenplays after the seven drafts we did of The Slaughter – an animal rights themed horror script we declared it done. I co-wrote the script with Eric Prescott. Eric managed to produce a movie with the title Bachelor Party Massacre. He pulled that off I’m hoping he can make The Slaughter happen.
Writing my second novel at the moment. Twelve chapters in and after a month off I’m shooting for a chapter a week until it’s done. I had to do a lot of research into coming technology and water scarcity issues for this book. I found the water research to be scarier than global warming; it has made me feel much better about all the rain in the northwest.
Not enough yet? Ok how about my first non-fiction book. I’m written lots of propaganda for various activist groups and causes, but have never written such an intense non-fiction project. The book will be called Radical Sobriety. I’m researching and writing it with my boy Randall. We felt there was a need for a well researched, articulate book about Straight Edge(drug free) politics. Randall and I are also planning a trip to Europe to promote this project and to talk about my first amendment battle in a euro- speaking tour. So if your in England, Germany, France or Spain keep an eye out in late June or early July.
Don’t hold your breath for the straight edge book, we are just getting started, we have tons of research and interviews to do yet.
Last but not least is “Try Vegan Week PDX”. This is project a few of us are working on but I think it is the biggest most comprehensive act of Vegan outreach ever launched by a single community. It is a whole week that will include Vegan outreach and mentoring events that will include individuals, restaurants, grocery stores, activist groups and more. More details as it comes together but the idea is to support anyone in the community wanting to try veganism for a week. We know many will stick it out.
Veganism saves animals lives, curbs global warming and could actually reduces the water crisis. So if you have not considered veganism before please do.
This is the plan for 2008. check back next year and see how I’ve done but the key to being an activist is being active. Alright back to work…