Posts Tagged ‘Hardcore’

On this week’s show, my guest is the one and only Mark Starr, the vocalist from Salt Lake City hardcore band, INSIGHT. This is a huge deal for me this week as I have been listening to that record for almost 30 years and now he’s on the LGL Show! Heaps good! We talk about his days before INSIGHT, his trek to California and then to Seattle to start The Gimmicks, and then coming full circle back to reuniting INSIGHT 20+ years later.

You can listen by clicking on THIS LINK. (more…)

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I love a good rockumentary and these days I seem to watch more documentaries than I do movies. I think this is because of my OCD of wanting to know everything about rock n roll and its origins. Well, to be honest, it’s mostly because I am a wannabe music journalist and I like to keep up on my knowledge so that I am not looking like a complete buffoon when I am writing about music or a particular band. While this is by no means a definitive list, and let’s face it, lists are fuckin’ stupid, really, this list is a bunch of documentaries that I personally love; documentaries that have taught me something. I hope you will search these out or watch them at the links below (for those that have links to the full movie) and feel free to leave a comment below about what you thought of each one, especially if you had never seen them before. Anyway, get yourself a pizza, a drink, sit back and watch cos you’re in for a real treat.

10. PUNK: ATTITUDE
There is nothing to fault in this documentary and you all need to see it. I mean, come on, the first person talking is Henry Rollins. I rest my case. Don Letts’ Punk is filled with great interviews and some mindblowing live footage by some of the greatest bands of all time. It also has a bitchin’ soundtrack. Why you wouldn’t watch this is kinda stupid and you should be ashamed of yourself if you’re not going to do so. Seriously, don’t be ‘that guy’, watch it now at the link below and learn something.

 

9. ANOTHER STATE OF MIND
One of the best and probably the most honest punk rock documentary that has been made to date. Filmed back in 1982, Another State Of Mind follows a tour of Youth Brigade and Social Distortion as they tour across the USA and through parts of Canada. What they weren’t banking on was everything going to shit with band members talking shit about each other and others just getting up and leaving mid-tour while some dude dyes his hair every couple days. It’s a really raw doco but it really shows just how things were back in the day and how doing things yourself can have great ramifications. Along the way they meet up with straight-edge legends, Minor Threat, and the live footage and interviews are killer. I’d love to see this doco made again with the same people at the age they are now and see just how different, if at all, these people are today.

 

8. THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION
Directed by Penelope Spheeris (Wayne’s World, The Little Rascals, Suburbia), this movie takes a candid look inside the world of punk rock in 1980. I could go on about this doco all day but it can seriously be summed up by watching the last 10 or so minutes with the live footage of the band FEAR who before playing a single note start a riot on stage with punches thrown and spit flying both to and from the stage. This is punk rock long before the breakthrough in 1994. This is when shit was dangerous. Penelope Spheeris went on to make a follow up years later on the heavy metal movement and that is also some priceless viewing. Look it up! The interview with Chris Holmes in the swimming pool will forever go down in history as cinematic gold. In the meantime, watch this.

 

7. A HEADBANGERS JOURNEY
Canadian metal fan, Sam Dunn, decided to make a doco on the world of heavy metal. While there have been many documentaries on heavy metal, this one stands out as one of the best. The interviews are classic (Mayhem’s being the most memorable), the live footage is great, and the story telling is just precise and delivered with a genuine love for the music and not a cash-in on a music scene by some Hollywood exec who knows nothing about it. A Headbangers Journey is a definite must see and chances are, if you are reading this site, then you’ve already seen it which in turn makes this suggestion completely redundant. Couldn’t find a link to the full thing so here’s the trailer.

 

6. SOME KIND OF MONSTER
I have spoken about this doco elsewhere on this site but it has to be said, any band that can sue its fans, make this highly embarrassing documentary, release St Anger and Lulu, and still continue to be the biggest band in “metal” is commendable. I don’t know how it happened but it did and this film is just priceless and worthy of your time. Sure, you’ll probably end up throwing a book at the TV (or whatever else is within your reach at the time) but that just goes to show that Metallica can really work an audience and get them feeling something. All the arguing and the ridiculousness of this movie as they record St Anger is at times extremely painful to watch but I still get a kick out it, especially the therapy sessions with guy in the Cosby sweater. I can’t find a link to the movie but here’s a link to the trailer which is just fine cos after three minutes you’ll probably be over it anyway. If that happens, just watch Cliff Em All instead. That’s a good one.

 

5. FLIGHT 666
If you ever want to know how a band with more money than you’ll ever dream of spends their time both on and off the stage, then look no further than Iron Maiden’s very own Flight 666. Directed by Sam Dunn (A Headbanger’s Journey), our British godfathers of heavy metal allowed a film crew to tag along on their Somewhere Back In Time Tour of 2008 to capture the bands day to day activites, both on and off the stage. Flight 666 takes you everywhere with classic interviews and some seriously awesome live footage. Actually, I am really only including this documentary because I’m in it, albeit fleetingly (giving the metal horns at 20:47). You’ve no doubt seen this movie anyway but still, here’s the link for those who have not been blessed with such awesomeness.

 

4. LEMMY – The Movie
This really is a no-brainer. If you enjoy rock music of any kind then you should have already seen this movie. It’s everything you need to know about one of rock n roll’s living legends, Lemmy Kilmister. Fronting Motorhead for what seems like half a century, Lemmy – The Movie, takes you on a firsthand look at the icon’s lifestyle, his relentless touring, and his love of rock n roll as told by the man himself and the many who have been involved with him throughout his career. This is essential viewing and if you still have yet to see it, you need to drop everything and watch it now.

 

3. BETTY BLOWTORCH AND HER AMAZING TRUE LIFE ADVENTURES
When director, Anthony Scarpa, set out to make a documentary on all-girl hard rock band, Betty Blowtorch, he had no idea what was going to unfold. This amazing no holds barred documentary tells the uncensored story of the short-lived band’s beginnings, recordings and their tour across the USA that saw the band fall to pieces ending with the untimely and tragic death of vocalist, Bianca Halstead. This documentary has it all and then some. There’s fights, punk as fuck over the top stage shows, perversion, and most importantly, a ton of rock n roll. The DVD also contains a whole bunch of extras including the readings from Bianca’s funeral. This documentary is very rock n roll but also quite heartbreaking to watch as the band members tell extremely personal stories that are both shocking and unbelievable. Betty Blowtorch were a band who were as real as they come. I couldn’t find a link to the entire movie but apparently this link may work elsewhere as it says that the movie is not available in Australia so feel free to check it out if you’re elsewhere. Still, here’s the trailer. A taster of what you will expect from a band whose time was taken from them way too soon. Bianca R.I.P.

 

2. END OF THE CENTURY – The Story Of The Ramones
To make the definitive movie about punk legends, the Ramones, would have been an arduous task. It’s also something that should have happened a lot earlier than it did. Unfortunately, we thought the Ramones would live forever just like their songs will live on in the hearts of the people that connected with it. End Of The Century is both inspirational and depressing, yet it’s as close as we will ever get to knowing the story. This movie really digs deep and cuts hard, leaving the viewer with a warm feeling of love and appreciation for everything they ever did for the music we hear today. I mean, let’s be honest here: The Ramones were the greatest band of all time. What they did for music will mostly go ignored by the mainstream media and you know what? Who fucking cares. The mainstream never mattered to begin with. The Ramones connected with their legions of fans across the world, as is evident in this documentary, and that will mean more than being accepted by the mainstream public. Us fans know what they did and the lives they have inspired, the bands they have influenced, and the legacy they have left. Long live the Ramones. Gabba Gabba Hey!

 

1. A TRUE TESTIMONIAL
Before Detroit went to complete financial ruin, this incredible documentary was made by people with an insatiable lust of telling the most in-depth story on one of the most important bands in music history; The MC5. What we have here is two solid hours of rare footage of the band compiled with a truckload of highly informative interviews with each band member, people who were close to the band, and of course their very own spiritual adviser, John Sinclair. The thing that makes this documentary stand apart from other music documentaries is that this movie isn’t just about the MC5. This is a movie about the people of Detroit, the music of Detroit, and what was happening in the world during the years the band was active. Of course it all ties back to the band but there is something so powerful, so inspiring and so unique about this documentary that it is a travesty that it has yet to be seen by every single person in the world. This is an important documentary and is one that if you have the time, you need to watch immediately. You might even learn something about music and why it is so important to so many people. You may pick up a guitar and kick out the jams. Or at the least, you may feel so inspired to create something beautiful, and if any of these things happen, hopefully the world will become a much better place.

Back in 1990, myself and 2 friends, Ben and Darren, were at my house one Friday night eating pizza, talkin’ shit, listening to records, etc. and we were in the kitchen and suddenly noticed there was a spider crawling on the kitchen lightshade. I searched everywhere for some insect spray but we were all out. We did have Exit Mould though so we used that. We sprayed the spider over and over. We didn’t have anything to put it in so we used a biscuit jar and the spider fell into that and we took it outside and either let it go or stomped on it. I can’t remember. Either way, we were laughing hysterically and decided to start a band that night. My drums were usually set-up in the loungeroom for rehearsals anyway so Darren got his guitar, Ben grabbed some paper and a pen and we started writing songs. Within minutes (yeah, seriously, minutes!) we had tons of songs written. We decided to actually do something with this and began rehearsing regularly. Before long we were playing live gigs at backyard parties and venues. It was on and happening.

Soon after we entered the recording studios to lay down tracks for our first demo tape, “Alligators Are Scary”. This demo tape featured 17 tracks of metal punk hardcore rock with no bass guitar; just vocals, guitar and drums. It’s not a bad effort and cost us all up about $150 for the whole day. Recording this demo, half way through the drum levels being set-up, a priest barged into the studio demanding that we stop immediately. He advised us he was trying to conduct a service at the church next door and the drums were going through the airconditioning vents and into the church. We decided to name this priest Father Dowling and wrote a song about this incident right there on the spot. The engineer seemed amazed at how quickly we could put a song together and told us this story about a guy outside a pub during the Grand Prix who repeatedly told people about the $1 beers that the pub was selling at the time. This story made us laugh and an extra song, aptly titled “$1 beers!” was added to the demo. Hey, we moved fast!

“Alligators Are Scary” also included the infamous song, “Heaps Of Giveaways” which was a tribute to the local radio 5MMM (Now 3D Radio) heavy metal show host, Lewi Young, whose catch phrase on air was, funnily enough, ‘heaps of giveaways’. This song got the band much notoriety and the song became one of the most played songs on the radio at the time. This was the first time I had ever gotten into my car, turned on the radio and heard a song by my own band being played on the radio. Was a pretty good feeling for a 17 year old kid.

After the demo was recorded, we took advantage of our school’s media studies equipment and decided to make a music video for one of the songs on the demo titled “Musashi (Strongest Man in the Universe)”. I still remember how this song came about. The 3 of us were watching the olympics on TV one weekend and the weightlifting came on. This guy came up to the weights to begin his lift. Behind him, a huge banner saying Musashi. He picked up the weights, got them about 10cms off the canvas, dropped them and stormed off. We started laughing, Ben put pen to paper and the songs was born. This here is the video to Musashi, filmed at Salisbury East High School which is where the 3 of us attended our studies.

One night we were out riding our BMX bikes across the road in the carpark of the local radio station and we were on a BMX Bandits trip. We had been watching the movie and, like everything else we found amusing, another song was born. We filmed a bunch of us doing some hardcore BMX stunts and the results of both the song and video can be found here in our tune, “BMX Bandits”.

The band played a new years eve show in 1991 at the Tivoli Hotel and after the show was over, we were told that we weren’t going to be paid because we didn’t have a bass player therefore we were not a serious band. True story. We seemed stumped by this and after being paid $20 because we demanded something, we decided we should get a bass player. We recruited my brother, Jut, and went back into the studio to record another demo titled “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle”. This demo had a total of 12 tracks and had a much heavier sound. Songs ranging from topics to do with TAB (the drink – just one calorie), flatulence, DRI fans in Portugal who listen to the trash, and a re-recorded version of Heaps Of Giveaways, the demo was not as well received but still deemed a classic by the 10 people who heard it. “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle” also included covers of a Coca-Cola advert, the Zit Remedy, and Nena’s “99 Luft Balloons”. Sounds ridiculous? It was. Someday both of these demos may re-surface for your listening pleasure. One video from “Maurice’s Steak & Waffle” was made for the song Heller.

A 3rd and final demo, a cabaret demo of 3 songs was recorded and never officially released. This featured songs about Manna (a person who went into the jungle and never came out) and other such ridiculous soul-soothers. This also started the end of an era and Spiders In The Biscuit Jar soon disbanded. Sad but true.

The band:
Ben Reichman – Vocals, Piano
Darren Borrowdale – Guitar
Damo – Drums, Backing Vocals
Jut – Bass

Discography:
Alligators Are Scary (1992)
Maurcie’s Steak & Waffle (1993)
The Cabaret Demo (1993)

Both Alligators Are Scary and Maurice’s Steak & Waffle can be downloaded for free from the band’s bandcamp page.

Undertone was a hardcore punk noise band from Adelaide, Australia. When the band started, they were originally called Bile Slime but weren’t really doing much. I met a couple of the guys at the Pizza Hut I worked for (true story) where all of us delivered pizzas. We all got talking about music and then it dawned on us that we should get together and jam. So I joined the band as a guitarist (the first time I ever played guitar in a band) and started writing songs for them and things really started to move. The band was taken seriously and the jamming was done regularly. On the weekends, Grover (singer), Matt (bassist) and myself would go into the city, eat food, talk music and go record shopping. We all listened to so many different things that I think it helped inspire the sounds that we brought to band practice which would explain why our songs seemed a bit mish mash. One song would hear similarities to Helmet while the next was in the genre of crustcore like Infest followed by one inspired by the straight edge hardcore sounds of bands like 7 Seconds and Minor Threat, yet somehow it all sounded like Undertone.

We decided that the name Bile Slime wasn’t so great and searched out a new one. Then after listening to the band Inside Out (Zach’s band before Rage Against The Machine), there was a song on the CD titled “Undertone”. That sounded like it fit us perfectly. As Zach screams “You can’t silence the Undertone!” we figured that it suited our sound just fine and BAM! The new band was ready to rock. After only jamming a short time, playing parties, scout halls and any other venue that shut us down after 15 – 20 minutes, we decided a proper gig would be good and Undertone played our first show with the bands All Flight Crew Are Dead and Price Of Silence at the Crown And Anchor Hotel on the 7th of May, 1995. People started talking and the band started playing more frequently and got established rather quickly in the process. We added a second guitarist, Mark, and completed the line-up. We wanted a heavier, crazier sound and I wasn’t a competent guitarist on my own to make that happen. Along with Craig’s tight and super spazz fast drumming, the band was now cookin’ with gas! On the 17th of September, 1995, we went into the studio at the School of Audio Engineering to record 4 tracks which can be heard at the band’s Myspace page.

Then, something happened, one day I just got fed up and walked out of band practice never to return. Something changed with the band’s direction and my interest. I loved this band, I loved the high energy performances, I loved the insanity and chaos but the band was changing. Crust core had become the “in” thing in Adelaide at the time and that wasn’t really my cup of hot chocolate. I mean, sure, 1 or 2 songs per set was fine but a whole set’s worth? It didn’t do it for me. So I parted ways with the band. Neither me or the band were happy with how things were so it was the best thing to do. I have no idea how much longer they lasted but it seemed like all this happened within a year… but I could be wrong.

I had always proposed to master the recording and release it on 7” for the world to hear but to this day, it still hasn’t seen light. I did a cover and had it all ready to go but the funding was the problem. Then my interest. Maybe when vinyl pressing gets cheaper (if it ever does) I can look into it. Or if someone wants to put it out themselves, let me know. It does need to be mastered though and I think it’ll sound sweet once it is. Maybe I’ll do that part just for kicks so I can hear it at its fullest sound.

Anyway, I have this video on YouTube as it gives a pretty good idea of how Undertone were as a live band. I have a bunch of videos of this band as I tried to film all of our shows but this one especially sticks out for me as my favourite. I may add some more videos later but for now, you can check out this video of these 5 songs all in just under 9 minutes. The songs played are:
1. Reason For That
2. Passing Unnoticed
3. Chunks (a cover tune originally by the band, Last Rights)
4. Your Continued Success At Being A Fucking Asshole
5. Sea Of Shit (a song I heard rumours was written about the crowd at the Adelaide Big Day Out who were watching The Offspring but I can’t confirm if this is true or not as I am no longer in contact with any of these guys)

On a side note, I think if I was ever to be involved with a reunion show from any of my past bands, this would be the one. We just had something that seemed to work. Craig ended up drumming for Gacy’s Place, I went and drummed for the Blood Sucking Freaks, played guitar in Blood Of Others and started Muscle Car, and Mark moved to Melbourne and joined a hardcore band (I think… but I don’t remember their name. Fallout maybe?). Regardless, enjoy!