This is a piece I wrote for Jim Grimes (of Extinction/ Stormtrooper Fanzine fame) to be included in the fourth installment of Stormtrooper Zine – which was one of the better zines operating in the 90’s hardcore scene in my humble opinion. The latest issue was released recently at The Rumble in Chicago after a long hiatus. Hopefully he doesn’t mind me posting here as well.

What it Meant, and Where it Went
I’m generally really wary about writing from the perspective of nostalgia, and talking about the “good old days.” It’s an easy trap to fall into, and it seems like an endless cycle of people expressing how their time spent in the punk/hardcore scene was the “real” scene, or was more significant or meaningful that it is today. Change is a reality of course, and the scene in the span of five years is never going to be exactly what it was five years previously. more

One of the most common questions about I get asked is regarding the “missing” Catalyst Records #2 release. CR002 was really a placeholder that I equated with two (cassette only) demo releases, which I didn’t regard as “real” releases. Instead of assigning them each an individual catalog number, when I was in the process of pressing and releasing the Abnegation 7” (CR003) I decided to just combine the two demos into one release number. I’m not sure why, but it made sense at the time. Obviously I was working on the principle that two cassette demos = one 7” EP. more

Catalyst #3 cover image

Catalyst Records started out as Catalyst fanzine, there were a grand total of three issues published and a fourth planned that never saw the light of day.  I’ve uploaded a PDF of the third installment here, and I’m planning on including the first two in the future as well. The issue featured two band interviews, one with Mouthpiece who was about to release their first full-length, and Split Lip, who were friends of mine, and quite popular at the time, right before the release of their LP For Love of the Wounded. more

I wrote this piece for a friend who wanted competing opinions about how people interested in ending the exploitation of non-human animals should view welfarist tactics, such as a recent Peta move to encourage chicken producers to use a “more humane” method of slaughter.

I don’t think my response has been posted yet, but the article being referenced, and my friend (and former Risen bassist) Alan’s critique is here. more

Debunking the concept of  the trinity:
First of all, we need to lose the idea that the three X’s that often times represent straight edge in iconography in any way represent three distinct issues. They don’t, and it wouldn’t make sense if they did.  One  each for drinking, for smoking, and sex?  Or maybe one X for drug use (which would include both cigarettes and alcohol consumption) and one for sex?  That would still leave us with an unclaimed X. Its easy to see how this erroneous belief came about, but it should also be obvious that the representation of straight edge with three X’s is nothing more than an aesthetic device, and is not representative of three specific “I don’ts” of straight edge. more

The Setting
It was the early 90’s, and I had been getting increasingly into hardcore, beyond the small but growing local scene in Indianapolis.   I spent most of my weekends in Indianapolis or other cities that were close (Louisville, Cincinnati, Dayton, and occasionally St. Louis) hanging out with friends and going to shows – there wasn’t much in the way of hardcore going on in Bloomington (where I was living part of the time)  besides a few HC kids attending the university. more

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