Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Message

Dear Mr. Sayfan and his most loving family,

I am Michael (medical graduate from Hong Kong) and about to depart Boston for L.A. and soon will be flying back home.

Thank you for letting me participate in your care. I understand your inner turmoil and fears - which is natural in the circumstances, but at the same time I am in awe of your courage and positive outlook in life and have been also been most touched by the loving bonds in your family.

My heartfelt gratitude for your kindest encouragements as I begin my practice in medicine next month. When I endure hardship in the future, I will remember you and be inspired by your example in facing adversity, and recall your kind words for strength.

I will be praying for you. You are in the best hands possible and thereafter, we will hope for the best.

My best wishes for you and your family,

Michael

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Think Right (To Unite)"

My dear friend and co-worker Matt Pick hooked me up with a link to an old Straight Ahead interview where Tommy Carrol answers the questions. I've been down with the Craig Ahead interview for a little bit now, but had never seen or even heard about this one. In my excitement I figured I'd share it with all my loyal readers.

This is taken from District Eleven Webzine, and they took this from Definite Choice - International Hardcore Fanzine. D11 reproduced the text as it is from the fanzine, providing for lots of misspellings and awkward grammar which just makes the interview cooler in my opinion.


WHO ARE IN THE BAND?

Me (Tom.C)-vocals, Rob on guitar, craig.s on bass, and filling in on drums in Arman. Craig and I are 16, Rob and Arman are 18.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC/SOUND?

Fast with crucial mosh n.y.style! very generic at some points, like old minor threat sped up a lot, you have to hear it to judge.

WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU: THE MUSIC OF THE LYRICS?

The lyrics 'cause I write them, the lyrics because that is the main thing to be in a band, to express your views, trying to make a better tomorrow for future generations. We put a lot into the music too!!

WHAT DO YOU SING ABOUT? AND WHO WRITES THE WORDS?

We sing about unity, peace, carring, loving...etc. hoping for a better world, helping people in need, never forgetting to care. I, Tom.C that's me, write most of the lyrics. It's time to help others, unite to fight the enemy, our fucked up system which only supports the rich. People have to start helping other people to make things work. We're much stronger when we stick together to destroy: Sexism, Negativity, Fascism, Nazism, Racism, We are the youth, the future it's up to us to make a better world!

DO YOU PRACTISE A LOT, IS IT EASY TO FIND A PRACTISE ROOM IN N.Y.?

We practise 1 or 2 times a week, sometimes 3 times. Yes it is easy to find a room here, we rehearse for $5, - at Giant studios in N.Y.C.

TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT THE N.Y. SCENE?

New York is a good place, a strong united scene, not much fights i'm happy to say but sometimes stupid shit starts for no reason. BANDS: T.F.Numskulls, Youth of Today, Fit for Abuse, rest in pieces, token entry, letch patral, cro-mags, sheer terror, murphy's law, crippled youth, there are many good N.Y. bands. Too name a few good zines: Attitude, guillotine, tse-tse fly, smash apathy, bullshit monthly. Gigs every week at cbgb's, sometime even 3 gigs a week....very strong scene & good bands.

DID YOU EVER PLAY IN OTHER GROUPS?

No, well oh yes! i played in N.Y.C. MAYHEM for almost 2 years before we buske off and a couple of joke around bands before that.

WHO CAME UP WITH THE NAME OF THE BAND, AND DOES IT HAVE A SPECIAL MEANING?

I did and yes much meaning, it describes our music, attitude and the way we think and live. We're proud of what we do and who we are, we walk STRAIGHT AHEAD, straight to speak with fairness, truth and honesty and ahead to try to succeed in our fight for unity, caring, and peace.

DO YOU HAVE A LOT OF GIGS AND HOW'S THE ATMOSPHERE AT YOUR GIGS? IS IT EASY TO GET A GIG?

We play 1 or 2 times a month this summer we tour the U.S. we might go to europe this summer also. The atmosphere is good, no fights only 1 or 2 fights in all the time we played that were serious. No violence almost, it's kind of easy to get gigs you just have to meet people in other big bands.

DO YOU HAVE ANY "FANS", A FANATIC STRAIGHT AHEAD FOLLOWING?

People come to see us, but i don't know about any fanatic following, mabey? who knows?

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT POLITICS? ARE YOU A POLITICAL BAND? ANY PERSONAL VIEWS?

Concerned...we're not really a political band although we know the U.S. system has to be changed to help everybody not just the rich, don't get me wrong i don't hate them, some of them worked hard for their money, it's just that they got so much and we got so little. Our system must be changed or improved but we the people must stand together to make a change.

ARE THERE ANY SQUATS IN N.Y.C.or 'rEAL' punk/HC CLUBS (OWNED & RUNNED BY PUNX)?

Yeah!! There's squats, also real punks. The clubs i really don't know of any clubs owned by punks mabey runned by punx but not owned by them.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE N.Y. BANDS?

Wow! many, too name a few it has to be: T.F. NUMSKULLS, SHEER TERROR, WARZONE, YOUTH OF TODAY (ct.), REST IN PIECES, MENTAL ABUSE (n.j.), CROMAGS, and so on.

HOW DO YOU THINK ABOUT METAL MIXED UP WITH HARDCORE? SEEING HC BANDS GOING METAL?

If that's what they want to do then i guess it's fine. As long as they keep the heart, trust, spirit and hardness and don't forget the people who supported them in the beginning. Stay loyal!

WHAT'S YOUR VIEUW ON "STRAIGHT EDGE" ? IS THERE A HIGH DRUG-ALCOHOL ABUSE IN N.Y.?

I'm straight edge the rest of the band doesn't take drugs or shit like that, they drink beer once in awhile. Plus they have girlfriends and shit, that's fine if they really love them. Yes too many people get drunk and start fights, if they can't handle alcohol they shouldn't drink. Drugs, not that much just smoke, that stuff is stupid and a losing game, STAY STRAIGHT, stay pure and stay hard, especially when it controls you instead of you controlling it.

WHAT ARE YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES AND WHAT BANDS INFLUENCE YOU LYRICALLY?

Too many too name ,put it this losy band i've listened to since i've been into music. I listen to a lot of south california bands like Doggy Style, Scared Straight, Unity, Uniform Choice....etc. I like good positive thinking bands.

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON NUCLEAR POWER, THE ARMSRACE?

We should bring it to an end DISARM!, why should we pay for our government's ignorance and angry. We're people equal as they are, the first thing to do it to unite and stop this mad obsession with power.

DO YOU LIKE LIVING IN N.Y.C.?

Yes, very much but i wish i had a car or money to travel. I've been here to long i need a vacation.

HOW ARE THE COPS IN YOUR CITY, DO THEY LEAVE THE PUNKS/SKINS ALONE OR DO YOU GET HASSLED?

The cops are pretty cool lately but i don't know, you give somebody a gun and a badge and they think they're better and stronger than you, alot of them are very ignorant and don't care about helpin', just killing or beating up people. But there is good & bad too everything and everyone. I'm only one voic e that will never stop expressing his vieuws!

I HEARD THERE ARE MANY YOUTH GANGS IN N.Y.C. IS IT TRUE, IS THERE A LOT OF VIOLENCE ON THE STREETS, CLUBS...IN LIFE?

That was 2 or 3 years ago not now, it's mellow alot. The scene is smaller more united. Sure, there's fights but nothing like there were back awhile ago. Besides they're weaker and we're getting stronger, we'll take a stand for our scene.

HAVE YOU MADE ANY DEMO/TAPE/RECORD ?

No, but we're recording 10 songs for a comp.ep in feb. That should be out in late march or april (It's out now!!!!!) LaRM, PILLSBURY HARDCORE, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT will also appear on it. MIKE RUBENSTEIN is putting out the record called: END THE WARZONE. Then we record a 7" E.P. and we're looking for a co label to press it up. We might put out an official live tape in march too.

ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC OR PESSIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE OF HARDCORE?

We're getting stronger, the scene is more united and i see many improvements. Nothing dies in my heart, it just makes changes for the better.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ACTIVITIES BESIDE THE BAND?

I help fanzines out, but i'm not a studyworker or writer for one yet. I woorkout, practise (i play drums), work sometimes, hagnout with friends, write lyrics...stuff like that.

DO YOU HAVE JOBS/GO TO SCHOOL OR ARE YOU UNEMPLOYED? DO YOU WANNA WORK? AND IS IT EASY TO GET A JOB?

Bob works, Craig goes to school and i work sometimes at a moving company. It's hard to find a job and even harder finding a good job, but we manage.

ANY FUTURE PLANS?

Records, tours and looking for a better world for you and me.

ANYTHING MORE TO SAY TO OUR READERS?

Stay pure, stay straight, stay true, stay hard. Keep the spirit and never loose the heart. Think right (to unite) start to care for others. Take a stand for unity and wipe out all negative ignorance, watch out for a group of kids from washington D.C. calling themselves POSITIVE FORCE, they sound like the got cause, spirit, and heart. Take care of yourselves...thanks to Paul from larm for the interview, rock'on hard!