Monthly Archives April 2016

LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 69: Jim McMonagle of Flag of Democracy (F.O.D.)

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Jim McMonagle of the Philly hardcore punk band Flag of Democracy (F.O.D.). Jim grew up as a “monster kid” obsessed with horror and science-fiction films and books, especially King Kong, Godzilla, and Japanese TV shows such as Ultraman. By the late 1970s, Jim was embracing the nascent punk scene. At the start of the 1980s, F.O.D. was born. Their first show was also one of the most infamous hardcore shows of the early ’80s: the Buff Hall show in Camden, NJ that both Agnostic Front and Minor Threat played. This show was immortalized on the 7″
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 68: Nathan Gray of BoySetsFire, I Am Heresy, Church of Satan

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Nathan Gray of the bands BoySetsFire, I Am Heresy, and now solo work. Nathan details his experience of growing up with under the weight of fear in a Pentecostal family. Until he began to shed his Christian faith in his early thirties, Nathan found the religion he was raised with to be debilitating. Despite being the son of a Christian minister, Nathan is now a member of the Church of Satan. We talk about moving from faith to atheism/Satanism, discovering punk (not a simple prospect, considering how and where he was raised), a bit about BoySetsFire
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY Episode 67: Ralph Darden of Random Children, Franklin, AM/FM, Jai Alai Savant, DJ Major Taylor

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Ralph Darden, also known as DJ Major Taylor, who played in the bands Random Children, Franklin, AM/FM, Jai Alai Savant and more. While Ralph now lives in both Chicago and Los Angeles, he grew up in Philadelphia and spent much of his youth in the racially-mixed Mt. Airy neighborhood. In this long and frank interview, Ralph talks about the racial divide in Philadelphia, growing up in a world where he didn’t quite fit in with either while or black folks, discovering punk through BMX bikes (RAD!), playing in early bands and seeing shows in Philly, playing
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 66: Neil Robinson of Nausea, Squat or Rot, Tribal War Records, Final Warning, Jesus Chrust, ABC NO RIO, Farmageddon Growers’ Collective

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Neil Robinson of the bands Nausea, Slaughter, Warning, Final Warning, and Jesus Crust. Neil co-founded Squat or Rot and ran the Tribal War label and distro. He was also active in ABC NO RIO. Neil is now one of the founding members of the Farmageddon Growers’ Collective in Oregon/Washington. Neil and I spoke in his hand-made and electricity-less shack on the Farmageddon property just outside Portland, Oregon after a tour of the (very impressive) veganic farm. This is a long interview, every minute of which is well worth listening to. Neil recounts his life from growing
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 65: Mark Andersen of Positive Force DC, We Are Family

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Mark Andersen of Positive Force DC, We Are Family, and the books Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk In the Nation’s Capital (co-authored with Mark Jenkins) and All the Power: Revolution Without Illusion. On the thirtieth anniversary of Washington, DC’s “Revolution Summer,” I wanted to celebrate and illuminate the event that sent reverberations out into the world that continue to resonate today. While Mark has nothing to do with the Philly punk scene this project focuses on, he’s like some other interview subjects (e.g. Martin Sprouse) whom I’ve elected to interview for being so influential
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 64: Jade of Posers

Stacey Finney guest interviews Jade, lead singer of the Philly hardcore band Posers. Jade is musically talented (she began playing the piano at the age of three!), playing multiple instruments in addition to singing. Jade is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, but has lived in Philadelphia for the past two years and now calls this fine city her home. In this 90-minute interview, Jade shares her experiences about growing up in St. Louis and how she discovered the punk scene there. She gives her personal experiences and comparisons to St. Louis, Boston, and Philadelphia punk in general and why she
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 63: Mano Divina of The Divine Hand Ensemble, F.O.D. (Flag of Democracy)

Joseph A. Gervasi interview Mano Divina, the original drummer of Philly’s favorite hardcore punk band, F.O.D. (Flag of Democracy) and the founder of The Divine Hand Ensemble (with many bands in between). Mano Divina (that’s his legal first name) was raised by an Italian-American family who took great pleasure from all forms of music and sharing it with one another. Since Mano Divina claims he can’t remember most of his childhood, our discussion soon reaches his teenage years, which were fueled by his obsessive love of music and, by his early teens, his welcoming into the nascent Philly punk scene.
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 62: Pierce Jordan, Ruben Polo of Soul Glo

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Pierce Jordan and Ruben Polo of the Philly hardcore band Soul Glo. Soul Glo is a relatively young band, but in the short time they’ve caught the attention of many with the intensity of their performances and Pierce’s impassioned and confrontational lyrics. We talk about their upbringing as outsiders in both the black community and the largely white world of punk, how they came to Philadelphia and met, and how the band formed. Most essential to this interview is our discussion of the power of words, particularly the word “nigger,” which appears in Soul Glo’s lyrics.
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 61: Eric Hansen of Spent Flesh, FDH Records, Suicide Bong Tapes

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Eric Hansen of the blazing and chaotic HC punk band Spent Flesh and the man behind both FDH Records (just don’t ask him what the “FDH” stands for) and the marvelously named Suicide Bong Tapes. We talk about young Eric discovering punk as a kid in upstate New York and his enduring love for all sorts of music, most especially electronic music in its various forms. Eric’s love of music inspired him to release local NY bands (then later bands from all over) on his FDH label. Upon moving to Philadelphia, Eric co-founded a tape-only label (Suicide Bong) devoted
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LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 60: Jenna Pup of +HIRS+

Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Jenna Pup of the trans queer grindcore band +HIRS+. We talk about Jenna growing up as an outsider and eventually coming to Philadelphia, where she came to an understanding of who she really is and what it would take to be that individual. We discuss gender and sexuality both in and out of the punk scene. Addressed at length is the impact of role models on young people and the responsibilities that come with being one (either by choice or by circumstance). Other subjects of discussion include the perils of substance abuse and suicide, especially among
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