Sunday, May 17, 2015

Thrashwagon Spring Cleaning

Hey folks! Bet you were wondering where I’ve been. Surely, the absence of any recent posts has not gone unnoticed! In fact, I’m positive it’s left some kinda’ gap in your life. Yeah, right! Still, I want to let you know what’s been going on in Go Start Your Own Band country.  

If you recall, my last post detailed a new project the Author has engaged himself in for the foreseeable future. That project being the ambitious and somewhat public undertaking of writing a book on the 2000s thrash-core revival.  Think Dead Nation, think Tear It Up, think Down In Flames, think What Happens Next?, Lifes Halt, Vitamin X, DS-13, ETA..and keep thinking! 

I’ve committed 2015 to gathering interviews for what will be the primary focus of the project – a robust oral history direct from the movers, shakers, and moshers. In the deep, dark throes of winter, this seemed like a reasonable goal. 50 interviews more or less in 52 weeks. Yet, it’s amazing how fast a month passes when you have a family, a job, yard-work and the occasional hangout with a buddy. Before you know, 30 days are gone. Damn. Well, like sleep, reading, or bad TV, I’ll never catch up. I can only push the boulder forward. 

The Author has been spent the better part of his free-time interviewing folks and compiling source material for the eventual oral history.  A super big thanks (and apologies) to all those who’ve been willing to be subjected to my questioning.  So far, I’ve leveraged my physical location in the Garden State to chat with members of Tear It Up, but also managed some phone conversations with Joe Hawk from RNR and the greater Massachusetts scene, as well as the touring, bass-pounding, open-container-posting machine Robert Collins of What Happens Next? and Conquest for Death just to name a few. Last weekend on the edges of farm country New Jersey, I sat down with Andy from Tear It Up and his brother Brian to look back on Tear It Up’s touring legacy for what I hope will be a stand-alone chapter. It will definitely need to be edited though as we went on and on for hours and eventually made an ice cream run to soothe our now-hoarse throats. A few days ago, I talked with ever-friendly Joe Shumsky from a little band called Think I Care. Even more recently, I’m met up Ian Thompsen from Down In Flames on a goddamn island to talk about the time he fronted a top-shelf thrash-core band as fucking 14 year old. 

And what does the future hold? Well, today Matt Wechter and I will be doing round three with special guest and expert stage-diver Swank. June means a little bit of traveling. First to LA to chat with Paul D'Elia of TIU, Cut the Shit, and The Rites. Then up to Boston for a slew of interviews with as many people as can stand my intrusive questions and frequent interruptions. Hoping the rest of summer will feature some in-roads into the West Coast scene, as well as all the great Euro bands of the time. 

Pathetic self-pity, notwithstanding, there’s been progress.  A lot of enthusiasm too.  I wish I could keep up with the enthusiasm actually. For those folks I've been in contact with already, I really appreciate the energy and excitement you've expressed. It keeps me going and makes me realize that other people hold those times near and dear, and it's not just me tapping my head on the wall of a padded cell. "Doctor, he won't stop rambling about bandanas!" For the folks I'll be reaching out to soon, don't let me down... 


  1. Hey Ken! Great that you dedicated yourself to this project. If you want to talk about how Thrash "revival" had impact on ex Yugoslavian countries, let me know. I played in at least two bands that were heavily influenced by Tear It Up and The Rites. Keep up with good work!

    1. Hey man! Awesome! What bands were you in! Send me an email at

    2. Hey Ken!
      I just e.mailed you!