Wednesday, August 19, 2009
More than fest interviews underway!
Photos: Guav + Josh Trustkill
Well interviews have begun for the book and I'm starting with interviews for one of the chapters about the most important shows in the band's career. The first interviews are being done about the more than music festival. Here are some pictures from the show and a few brief quotes from the interviews.
I was there at that show in march 1993, you can see me at the tip of bulldog's hat on the left. I was just recently vegan, unsure about that but had been straight edge for two years already. All day there were rumors that they wouldn't be allowed to play. People were trying to prevent them from playing. Large numbers of people were yelling at them to get off the stage and various other things. At the same time they gave one of the most powerful performances of raw power I had ever seen. They believed in being vegan, straight edge and it had a huge impact on me that night.
“I think it was the true birth of Earth Crisis that night. We realized that we were empowering people and that motivated us to give 110% to the band.” - Scott Crouse Guitar
“That was a crazy show. People were purposely unplugging the power to try to shut us down. But we just kept playing. We didn't give a fuck and I don't think the people that were into us did either. They continued to sing along and go off. That did kind of set the stage for what we were up against for the rest of our career.” - Dennis Merrick Drums
“I was fucking blown away, they had so much power and intensity. I thought, this is what hardcore is about. Fuck the people telling them to get off the stage, most of those people were narrow minded and I doubt even involved with punk or hardcore now. I was one of the people going crazy, their performance stands out as one of the best I have ever seen.” - veganshawn Zinester of Crunchface
“I'd heard all of the basic rumors that were floating around at the time, like people showing up at their shows with guns, etc. It struck me as a bunch of hype more than anything, I'd already been to a couple of shows in Syracuse by that point, so I was pretty familiar with how the scene was there, and didn't believe the gun shite for a second.” Reece Ex-Hardball and Split Lip Roadie
“The thing I remember most is that was the first night Bulldog came out of his shell. He started going fucking nuts and I was amazed. I remember he did a stage dive with his bass and I was wondering "who the hell is this maniac." - Scott Crouse
“The whole entire upstate NY scene was there I think. The place just exploded. My jaw was dropped at how crazy the place got. We had never seen pile ups and that kind of passion at a show before. I knew there was something about to explode within the hardcore scene. and to have this powerful presence taking a radical in your face approach to the defense of animals. I knew they would be the poster kids for many of years and every step they took would be watched,admired,feared,critized,etc.” - Scott Niemet Ohio show organizer and zine editor.
“we'd caught wind of the interest, but this was one of the key dates where you could see it so clearly. They already seemed bigger than the other bands. Also, you gotta understand Syracuse, NY. It's so isolated from the rest of the country, even from New York City. If you grow up in Central New York it's hard to grasp that anything you do is gonna touch another part of the world, especially back then. We knew that people were super interested, and everyone in Syracuse knew that the hype was well-deserved, but it wasn't until they played a massive show in the middle of Ohio and almost brought the walls down that we really saw it. It crystalized all that we had assumed... basically that they were gonna be the most famous hardcore band of the decade simply because they were one of the best musically and they were immersed in controversy straight out of the gates.” - Shane Durgee Vocalist of Framework, Gatekeeper, and Reflection records
“it was a really great experience in HC, there was a passion and a real sense of the community being really vibrant and alive. I met so many new people over that weekend, and saw so many bands for the first time that I hadn't had the chance to see before (Into Another, Mouthpiece, Mean Season, and Ressurection to name a few). looking back, it is awesome to see what was accomplished with so little, and how it was all done totally DIY. The most popular bands weren't necessarily on the biggest labels, or popular because of the amount of money spent. they made an impact because of their energy and passion, or what they had to say. EC was a perfect example of this at that time - they had a 7" released on a fairly unknown label, but the energy and conviction of that recording surpassed expectations” - Kurt Vocalist of Birthright and Catalyst records
“We opened with Firestorm. We played it differently back then - Ben would start it off alone on guitar and I would come in after he played the riff a few times. I remember screaming my head off when he started playing that riff and the room truly felt like it was going to blow up.” Dennis Merrick
“It's amazing to me how non-punk the early detractors of Earth Crisis were. These kids responded to adversity with censorship. Why would they even go to a hardcore show? I can't imagine being so frightened of music that I'd have to take measures to make sure NO ONE hears it,” -Shane Durgee
“We all had this feeling that something was brewing. when we got there we bought every zine we could get our hands on. the first night at the hotel as we are flipping through a 12" stack of zines we realized that EXC were in EVERY zine. It was amazing.” - Josh Grabelle Trustkill records
“Playing with EC, and playing More Than Music Fest as my first show, was the best thing that could have happened. I remember my friend, Paul, that drove with us out there, asked me later "How much are you willing to give up to be in that band?" I'm still not quite sure what he meant by that question, but my answer would be "anything." That was the best thing I could have ever done at that point in my life and I would not give up those experiences for the world.” - Dennis Merrick
“I was surprised on so many levels. Surprised people knew our songs, and surprised that people also had such hatred for us as well. Syracuse was SO great back then. We had a crew that followed us to every out of town show! That show would symbolize the push and pull that Earth Crisis has felt from that day forward. There are no fence riders when it comes to EC. You love us or hate us.”- Scott Crouse
Other shows I plan to profile.
Firestorm record release show
Middlesex yogurt throwing show
First show overseas