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″ EP of Minor Threat’s performance and it’s the show where Ian MacKaye got hit by a van but soldiered on to play despite his head injuries. After seeing hundreds of punks go wild for their set, Jim knew that F.O.D. was what he wanted to be doing. Over three decades later, after several records, some European and US tours, and never breaking up or even taking an extended bread (or making an embarrassing metal record, for that matter), F.O.D. rages on. Each generation of punks in Philly falls in love with their manic speed and intensity as well as their goofiness. Jim has amazing and often hilarious stories and even does some singing now and again. It’s a rollicking interview that is similar to the band’s music in that the pace never flags. For this interview I was joined by Bruce Howze of SRA records, the label responsible for the F.O.D. re-issues, the +HIRS+ records (see: the L!F!P! Jenna Pup interview), and much more. Bruce helped make this interview happen after nearly three years of this project (Jim was always at the top of the list) and he co-interviewed with me. At the time of recording, F.O.D. was in the studio working on a new LP.
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