LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 53: Darren Finizio of Hoppy the Frog, Muscle Factory

Darren Finizio/June 16, 2014

Joseph A. Gervasi inteviews Darren Finizio of the “identity bands” Hoppy the Frog, Muscle Factory, Well-Hung Man, Dyke, Faggot, Casket, Paraplegic, etc. While a life-long resident of Bensalem, PA with a self-avowed hatred of hardcore and the city of Philadelphia, Darren has been a cult figure in the Philadelphia underground music scene for decades. At times beloved — but just as often loathed (often by sound guys at clubs who just don’t get him) — Darren continues to present his many and varied artistic visions to at times hostile and often utterly bemused audiences (both in live settings and on his YouTube channel). We discuss Darren’s upbringing, his early music projects, attending punk shows at DIY venues such as Love Hall, the genesis of his most popular bands (Hoppy the Frog and Muscle Factory), his vast knowledge of music, Darren’s status as a permanent outsider despite a desire to have his work recognized, his disdain for the documentary made about him in 2004, drugs, getting ripped, and much more. Enjoy over 90 minutes inside the beautifully-coiffed skull of one of Philly’s most creative and divisive performers.

Reference: In preparing to interview Darren, I re-read a Philadelphia Weekly cover story I originally read upon publication in 2004. It’s entitled “Bad Music For Bad People” by Jonathan Valania and it was published on March 31, 2004. You can read it here.

You can see the the 2004 Hello My Name Is Darren documentary that Darren has distanced himself from here. It’s presented in four short parts.

Photos by Karen Kirchhoff
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Joseph A. Gervasi

Joseph co-owns DiabolikDVD.com, programs films and events as a founding member of Exhumed Films, and is a freelance writer, reviewing films for Cinedelphia. Joseph was a founding member of the Cabbage Collective in Philadelphia and Orgasmic Productions in NJ, organizing DIY hardcore punk and spoken word shows. He also "sang" in The Orgasmic Toilet Band (TOTB). He edited NO LONGER A FANzine (NLAFz) and co-edited the later stages of Philly Zine. Gervasi co-conceived The Valerie Project with Greg Weeks.

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