Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It's Better To Burn Out Than To Fade Away!

Welcome back, this Megalomaniacal Supernaut hasn’t been sitting still lately, only it doesn’t show from this blog. Anyway, I’m back from a small hiatus and I’m ready to throw shit at that blogfan again. Obviously I won’t be updating daily like my blog splinter bomb before last year’s end, but I’ll try to update a few times every month again. I’ve got a lot of interesting stuff up my sleeve, you’ve been forewarned.
First things first, as you might have heard already, the greatest European hardcore band ever is breaking up. Dead Stop’s calling it a day, a lot of people knew about it already, but now it’s official, there’s no turning back and, yes, we’re all gonna cry when that last feedback fades. Well, I know I am going to. I know it is kinda lame for hardcore bands to have some sort of press statements about why they are breaking up and stuff, but then again, you better take a stand as a band as to why you are breaking before the world wide messageboard maelstrom breaks out and ends up twisting the truth.
So, here’s Dead Stop’s official notice:

"Though the decision to break up was a hard one to take, we feel like there is no better time to do it than now. We have accomplished everything we wanted to achieve with this band and then some. Rather than fizzling out like a candle we would like to go out with a bang, now that we are still fully enjoying what we do and before petty bullshit ruins what we have built throughout the last 4 years. We feel that with "Live For Nothing" we have written the best record we were capable of and have said everything we wanted to say with Dead Stop. We've been all over Europe, from England to Greece and from Norway to Spain . We've toured the US twice. We got the chance to play our beloved Lintfabriek countless times and got to share the stage with a lot of the bands we greatly respect. We are grateful for all the support we've gotten and all the craziness and hardcore enthusiasts that followed us nearly anywhere we went but it is time for something new. New challenges and new bands. We started this band to pay tribute to the early 80's hardcore pioneers we all loved and most kids seemed to have forgotten about. At the same time we were sick of seeing lame bands playing watered down hardcore to bored crowds. With a lot of hard work we managed to gain monumentum rather quickly and soon played shows of which we could only have dreamed of playing before, plus we think we managed to open a lot of people's eyes to the truly important and often overlooked early 80's hardcore bands that inspired us and brought us together in the first place. We are proud of everything we have achieved and how we achieved it. Thank you all for your support and we hope to see you all on the 20th of May and/or at the other shows we'll be playing before we say goodbye."

Dead Stop’s only planned on playing a few last shows all over Europe, if you can’t make it to the final show try to check ‘em out at one of these shows:

February 24th – Antwerpen, Belgium w/ Career Suicide, Seein’ Red
February 25th – Kortrijk, Belgium w/ Justice
March 3rd – Brugge, Belgium w/ Turn The Screw
March 23rd – Gent, Belgium w/ White Crime Club & Minutemen documentary
March 25th – Hoogstraten, Belgium w/ The Kids
April 2nd – Manchester, UK w/ Underdog, Justice
April 9th - Hengelo, Holland w/ Underdog, Justice
April 29th – Barcelona, Spain w/ Restless Youth, Fearless Vampire Killers, Bold
May 7th – Bremen, Germany w/ Fearless Vampire Killers
May 20th – Kontich, Belgium w/ Set To Explode, Iron Boots, Annihilation Time

One more thing, if you are one of those idiots thinking about Dead Stop as a mediocre hardcore band I suggest you a few things: 1) Done With You 2) Live For Nothing 3) Larry Edge 4) a clue. Besides, if Dead Stop is more than good enough for Dave Byrd, Poison Idea’s Jerry A and Henk Kangaroo, why wouldn’t it be for you? Just get out and find another “hobby”.

Also, Complete Control Records have just launched their freshly designed website, you can read their news update about Dead Stop, Restless Youth, Justice and the upcoming tours of Annihilation Time, Iron Boots, Set To Explode and Underdog by clicking

Let’s stick to Dead Stop for today’s entry. Last November Dead Stop flew across the Atlantic again, not that it is their only place to go, but one of the many, to tour part of the United States for a second time. This time I unfortunately couldn’t make it, but GLUEtarian Bjorn Dossche could and kept a little tour diary for us, Get-In-The-Van-style. Check it out, read it, close your eyes and pretend to be surrounded by these dudes in a van or at a venue, it’s not the real deal, but with a bit of imagination you get the overall idea! Thanks to Dossche for hooking me up.

SATURDAY 10/29/2005: THE BASEMENT, NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ: Landed at JFK around noon local time, picked up the rental van which to our surprise had been pimped (it had a Dead Kennedys logo scratched on the side) and set sail for the first show of the tour. We got to New Jersey early as hell which left us with some time to kill. We strolled around town but there wasn't much to see so we just got pizza (in case we wouldn't have the chance to eat pizza in the next 2 weeks) and hung out. The show was in a basement which got me excited because I guess it's just an American thing you know... basement shows. We met up with the 86 Mentality and Set To Explode dudes and Dave Sausage who'd taken care of Dead Stop's merch and brought them their Havoc LPs and their 7"s on his own label, Six Feet Under. He takes care of business! To everyone's surprise the show started in time and I remember Set To Explode putting on a good show, as well as an awesome 86 Mentality set with original guitarist John, since their current guitarist was still in Europe wandering around. They got a great response and set the mood for the rest of the night. Dead Stop was next and did fairly well - kids were going off but I knew the best was yet to come. Forward To Death sounded very Black Flag-ish and covered the Dead Kennedys. Headlining tonight was Kill Your Idols and we were all siked about that since it's been ages since they've been to Europe. Kids went nuts and rightfully so. Their set ended with a ton of Breakdown demo covers, "It's Clobberin' Time" and their Jawbreaker cover. Good times. After the show Coorde explained us all what "grease trucks" were and we drove to DC where we were staying at the hardcore mansion there, with dudes like Tad To Explode and AfterMatt living there.
SUNDAY 10/30/2005: THE U-TURN, WASHINGTON, DC: Jason from 86 Mentality had organized this DC hardcore matinee and I was thinking how crazy it was that we were actually in DC - one of the most crucial cities in the history of hardcore. This show just had to be cool, there was no other way. It was definitely sweet to see that a lot of kids turned up... and it also made Jason's day a little less stressful. Forced Forward went on first and just when I told Michiel that they kinda reminded me of old Rollins Band meets 108, they busted out a 108 cover. Pretty cool. Even cooler was talking to their singer after the show about Liar, Congress and the H8000 scene. Set To Explode played another explosive set, with some crowd response and the band going off on stage, causing John's amp to take a nosedive and nearly die a painful death. Dead Stop was welcomed as if they were coming home after having been away for a year. There were circle pits, lots of kids singing along to the Done With You songs and Dead Stop was getting into gear. DC's own bastard sons 86 Mentality then went on and boy... mayhem ensued. Hard as fuck, tight and dudes were definitely "getting aggro". Awesome show. The only bummer was that Gert twisted his ankle while doing the pogo to 86 Mentality and his foot looked fucked. And it was the foot he uses to play his kick pedal. Despite everyone being worried Gert played every show of the tour, this dude is obviously hard as nails...if you've seen his leather jacket you know why. After the show we all got some awesome vegan food at Jason's house, while Michiel played "House Of The Rising Sun" on an acoustic guitar. Even though everyone was dead tired, a few of us went to the Black Cat (owned by one of the Iron Cross dudes) afterwards to chill, play pool, get drunk and request Bad Brains, Bowie and Stooges songs on the jukebox. Awesome night.
MONDAY 10/31/2005: NANCI RAYGUN, RICHMOND, VA: Dead Stop and myself had been really looking forward to this show because we all know a bunch of people there, plus Richmond has a reputation for being one of the best cities for hardcore shows these days on the East Coast...and Dead Stop had already played an awesome show there last year. So after some serious shopping in a mall halfway between DC and Richmond we get to the venue, which is an awesome and spacious (but punk looking) place, kinda like our own Lintfabriek. It was awesome getting to see old friends again and catching up. Great food too. Government Warning played this show, they were really good and include members of Direct Control and Alex Dimatessa, one of the nicest dudes ever and owner of Grave Mistake Records. Mad As Hell played too, their second show ever as this band is kind of a goofy side project of various Richmond scenesters and Down To Nothing members. Things got kinda wild already and when Set To Explode starting playing kids went off even more. The band was on form and a lot of kids already knew the 7" songs. A raging and energetic set, definitely one to remember. I had been watching Set To Explode with my man Jason Mazzola, and as soon as they were done he turned to me and said: "That old man's still angry" (referring to Dave Byrd) and that about sums it up. Then it was Dead Stop's turn. Now I knew it was going to be good, but this show was actually off the hook. An awesome response and Dead Stop raging harder than a motherfucker. Opening their set with "Tied Down" was a great idea, and so was closing with a couple of Bad Brains covers. Kids were eating that shit raw. The cool thing was that the response to the covers and their own songs was nearly the same - I was proud of them. After the show we hung out with the Iron Boots dudes and other cool people that were there. Iron Boots seemed determined to make it to Europe in 2006, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed! We left Richmond around midnight because we had a long drive ahead of us, to Daytona Beach, Florida.
TUESDAY 11/01/2005: SEABREEZE LOUNGE, DAYTONA BEACH, FL: Driving overnight turned out to be a tight plan because it meant we arrived around noon, drove up to the beach and actually just parked the van on the beach, hopped out and jumped into the sea. Best thing ever. The waves were big and the water was warm and it was the first of November. Siked! After getting food and exploring Daytona Beach (nearly deserted when it's not summer) we got to the club early. Lino, Larry and me chilled with the girl that owned the club. The club was sketchy looking to say the least. It usually housed death metal shows, and there was exactly one customer there, who seemed to be on a serious bad trip and kept yelling at himself in the mirror. The girl that owned the place was kinda nice, kinda chubby and kinda not so smart, but she did tell us about how she "redecorated" the place with a chainsaw while a death metal band was playing. Cool. When Billy, the promoter, got there and brought us food we knew it was gonna be cool because Billy rules. The first band played and covered Infest, Discharge, Charles Bronson and more. I forgot their name though. When it was time for Dead Stop to go on, Billy took the mic and told the 40 kids there how awesome it was of them to come and then went on to motivate everyone to buy Dead Stop gear, support touring bands and small shows and then got kinda angry when he thought of the 22 year old washed up computer nerds that don't even bother coming to shows no more. He was on fire and so were the 40 kids there by the time he'd finished. The show was awesome, constant circle pitting, singalongs, tons of energy. Larry was doing circle pits! We stayed at Billy's house, which was like a hardcore mansion where all kids came to hang out. We all went kinda crazy when we saw pictures of Floorpunch and Degradation, taken at our own legendary Lintfabriek...not to mention the awesome Liar picture! Billy took us out for breakfast the next morning, told us about his company called "Straight Edge Cuts" and his motto: "If it's not straight, it will be". I miss Billy!
WEDNESDAY 11/02/2005: THE BEDROOM, ATLANTA, GA: Atlanta, Georgia. None of us knew much about Atlanta, nor about the scene down there but still we were kind of excited to be there. If all went according to plan Dave K. of Hardware Fanzine fame was gonna be at this show...but he wasn't. The show got moved in the last week or so and ended up being a house show. We got to the house at around seven and chilled there. Ordered pizza and hung out on the porch which was fun. Kids started showing up and to avoid a huge bum out if cops would show up and shut the show down, Dead Stop went on first. They played someone's bedroom and the place was packed with kids. Not a whole lot of moving around, but a tight set none the less and during the Bad Brains covers things got crazy. We sold merch in the kitchen and talked to drunk locals and vampires. If I remember it well, two other bands went on after Dead Stop, one featuring Jesse, our host for tonight. Jesse used to be a drug dealer and got very enthusiastic when we told him most of us did drugs, weed, coke, XTC and what have you. That was cool. He wasn't even too bummed out when it turned out we were just making shit up and four out of the six dudes at his house were actually straight edge. Jesse also did Dead Stop a huge favour by calling and threatening UPS because they kept fucking up the delivery of a package with some extra merch Dead Stop had ordered. He drove to the local UPS office early in the morning and worked it out, and returned with the box. Much respect.
THURSDAY 11/03/2005: RAMP RIDERS, ST. LOUIS, MO: Set To Explode didn't play the past two shows so tonight was our "reunion" with those dudes. Plus tonight would also be Michiel's debut on guitar for Set To Explode since their guitarist John couldn't do the whole tour due to legal issues or something like that. This show was in a huge skate park which made me wish I wasn't such a loser and could actually skate. Dave Byrd proved that you're only as old as you act and impressed everyone with his skills in the half pipe. Quite a sight seeing this 34 year old rip it up with a stylish pink safety helmet. Since everyone was obviously hungry we decided to order pizza and I'll be damned if this wasn't some of the best pizza I ever had. Rob who put on the show also told us he was taking us out for pizza after the show too so this was perfect. Unfortunately not too many kids showed up tonight, even though Dead Stop had played an awesome show in St Louis the year before... Hardcore kids, who understands them? Rob's band Cardiac Arrest played a good set and a band called Step On It played a few songs too, but I thought they sucked and the whole vibe was definitely getting weird. "Going through the motions" would best describe their set and the response they got. Michiel's first show with Set To Explode went really well, without rehearsing once as a band – quite spectacular. Tad To Explode was so taken back by how well things went that he stopped playing for a few seconds. When Dead Stop played kids were a little hesitant at first but the longer they played, the more kids got into it and "Nervous Breakdown" did the rest. Overall, a forgettable show, but there was pizza and casinos ahead, so whatever! Pizza was good again and the casino was on a boat that was in the Mississippi river, the natural border between Missouri and Illinois. Gambling is illegal in Missouri, so the boat was on the Illinois' side of the river. I love America! Larry and Lino proceeded to win $300 in the casino while poor folks like Michiel and me just ordered free drinks and went sight seeing on the upper deck of the casino boat. Tad To Explode played blackjack the whole night, no one knows why as he didn't make a buck. He's a hero though! It got late so we went back to stay at this huge house/squat that looked like the HQ of an underground rebel army.
FRIDAY 11/04/2005: HAUNTED KITCHEN, KANSAS CITY, KS: Well, this show wasn't in Kansas City, but a smaller town about half an hour further down. It took us a while to get there and everyone in the van got kinda nervous to meet Felix Havoc, Dead Stop's US label boss, for the first time. The show was in the basement of a pretty big squatted house. First person we saw when getting out of the van of course was Felix! Larry was on the verge of a nervous breakdown! Felix Havoc looked normal and didn't appear to have a gun on him, nor did I see any blood anywhere, so that was cool. Felix was nice as hell, he was there with Regulations from Sweden who he was driving around on their nearly two month long US/Canada tour. What I remember about this show:
1. Some of the best mashed potatoes I ever had, EVER.
2. This 40+ hardcore dude with a Cro-Mags shirt that drove four hours to see Dead Stop. He had kids and a wife and was so stoked to see Dead Stop it was unreal.3. Kids in Justice shirts.4. People going nuts to Regulations in that mid ‘90s French emo style. This is how you do it: wiggle back and forth, wear glasses, hold your shoulders (or backpack) with both hands. Cry if you want to. Weird.
SATURDAY 11/05/2005: TC UNDERGROUND, MINNEAPOLIS, MN: After the show in Kansas we drove halfway to Minneapolis and slept in a motel. Today was actually a day off but we wanted to check out the first day of the Midwest Hardcore Fest, Extreme Noise Records and Minneapolis. I can tell you now that Extreme Noise is one of the best hardcore punk stores I've ever been too. Everyone was stoked and bought loads. Lino neglected to buy Belgian hardcore classic Strike The Match by Nations On Fire for $1, luckily Larry was there to buy it instead of him. I only saw a few bands play due to the Mall Of America, the presence of the internet in the venue, the record store next door and the absence of bands I really wanted to see. State was pretty good though and so was Caustic Christ. The show was done around ten. Coorde, Gert and me and went to check out a show in another club in town, with Coliseum, Torche and Kylesa. Not too many people there either, but both Torche and Kylesa played blazing sets, with a huge crushing sound. Coliseum is a great band, but their show was a bit of a letdown due to the sloppy sound. While we were head banging, Dave Byrd and Tom To Explode nearly got in a fight with a bunch of bouncers from the bar next door.Day 2 of the fest, with Dead Stop, Set To Explode and Regulations. Before those three went on, I also saw a young local Lockin' Out type band called Listen Up and they were good too. The singer's stage presence reminded me of a young Matt Bold. I didn't see most of the other bands due to merch duties. All in all, Felix and everyone involved with the fest were kinda disappointed with the turnout as they were expecting 200 to 300 people to show up and I'm guessing there were only maybe 100 people there. Still, Set To Explode played another solid set, some people even knew the Government Issue cover which must've made Dave Byrd happy (for a little while). Dead Stop also played a solid set and got a good response, especially when they covered Minor Threat. It's funny to see a whole room explode after a whole day of standing around. Just like last night, it seemed most people were excited to see Regulations, and even though I'm not a fan, I can understand why cause this band does what they do well, they have presence, a good sound and play tight. Highlight of the day was actually going for pasta with the whole tour "crew" (Dead Stop + Set To Explode + roadies), some of the best pasta I had in 2005. Unfortunately plans for another night out were cancelled because we had a long drive ahead of us and we wanted to hang out in Chicago before the show tomorrow night too. Too bad cause I really wanted to see Big Business who were playing elsewhere in town.
MONDAY 11/07/2005: PULASKI PARK DISTRICT BUILDING, CHICAGO, IL: Chicago is cool. Checked some record stores and second hand clothing stores, didn't buy much, but it was cool to stroll around. My man Cedric loves Chicago and I can't say that I don't understand why! The show tonight was at some kind of community center at the edge of town, there was a daycare center for kids and an indoor basketball court. Cool. There was a ping pong table in there, so Lino and me went for it and played 25 sets or something ridiculous like that. We also met the fella who does Lifeline Records (Modern Life Is War, Kill Your Idols etc), a really nice guy. The room the show was held in was too big and wide, and again, there was no stage, but whatever. Turnout was good for a Monday night. Wound Up was playing this show too and to everyone's surprise they covered The Kids' "Fascist Cops" in honour of the Belgians that were in their town. Unfortunately for them people weren't really into them and the "zotte sfeer" was definitely absent. Weird, cause this was their 7" release show, and as we discovered afterwards, their last show too. "Is anyone angry?", is what Dave Byrd asked the crowd tonight. Before anyone could think of something that pissed them off, Set To Explode had already played half of their songs. I could keep saying this, but this was another raging set, this band doesn't disappoint. Some crowd participation too, but it wasn't until Dead Stop went on that this show started looking like a hardcore show... Lino dedicating a Bad Brains cover to the one black guy in the audience was a winner too. Good show. Mexican food afterwards and some drinking and brawling (courtesy of who else than the mighty Dave "Monsieur l'Oiseau" Byrd?) ended a fine night in Chicago. We stayed at Mark from Punch In The Face/Wound Up/Pinkeye's place which was a really nice loft. The man also showed us around Chicago the day after which was nice of him. Too bad the Married With Children fountain was out of service.
TUESDAY 11/08/2005: REFUGE SKATE SHOP, DEARBORN, MI: A tiny skate shop in Dearborn, Michigan (fifteen minutes from Detroit) was the setting for tonight's show. Due to some other shows happening the same night (Converge and Ringworm somewhere in Detroit for example), this show wasn't too crowded. The skate shop was cool though and the owner/promoter of the show was a really nice dude, so hanging out was fun. I don't really remember much else, besides the Mexican food we got after the show and the sleepover at the dude's house, with Tad To Explode threatening to kill Lino if he didn't stop making fun of Tad's hair. Good times. By this time it became obvious that Tad was a genuine "heerser" and an interesting character to say the least. He also decided to wear his hair down instead of Discharge-styled in order to cross the border to Canada without getting into trouble.
WEDNESDAY 11/09/2005: ADRIFT SKATE PARK, TORNTO, ON: Armed with a semi waterproof plan (we had a "contract" for one show in Canada and the other one got “cancelled”) and Michiel's expertise at the wheel we got to the Canadian border early in the morning. As expected we had to get out of the van, the van got searched, Michiel got questioned and we had to wait for quite a while until we were finally allowed into Canada. When I think of Canada I think of Spoiler and Friday, No Warning, Haymaker, Fucked Up, Criminally Insane and Cursed, so needless to say that everyone was pretty fucking excited, me especially since it was my first time there. Oh, on the way to Toronto Gert also decided to call Set To Explode to say that we'd been refused access to Canada and would have to try to get in through another border. Afterwards it turned out this had led to serious panic attacks in Camp To Explode, a bunch of calls to American Border personnel and DC officials. Uh oh! Got to Toronto, went shopping, drank hot chocolate, hung out with a few heroin junkies at McDonalds and then head to the house where we'd be spending the night and where the dudes that did the show lived (one of them sings for Urban Blight). They'd cooked up some great food and we hung out before heading to the show, which was in the back of a skate shop. It had a little ramp in the back too. Cool. Turnout was good and so were the opening bands. Dave Walling was there, the dude has driven up all the way from Philly. Heerser. Terminal State played a good solid set of fast, trashy hardcore and Gunnar Hansen were really good too. Early 80's styled stuff with a Black Flag touch. Their singer was a true madman, foaming at the mouth, running and rolling all over the place wearing a white Justice shirt, which he later tied around his head. Toronto was ready for Set To Explode, who were on form tonight, as well as Dead Stop who got the crowd moving again. Mostly from left to right and back. Dave Byrd was moshing. Good show. Food afterwards was brilliant and so was Tad's quote of the night: "No, it's not like that man".
THURSDAY 11/10/2005: CAF L’INCO, MONTREAL, QB: Half of Dead Stop drove up with Dave Walling, reportedly listening to a lot of death metal on the way to Montreal which made me jealous because I hadn't heard any metal in over ten days at this point. Montreal was cold as fuck. We got to the venue and heard this was the same place where Fearless Vampire Killers had played an insane show a few weeks ago. How cool. Set up and merch and chilled inside while we waited for Spoiler The Legend to show up. It was awesome seeing him again, he hadn't changed much, a new camo jacket maybe, but his Side By Side sweater was still there! I kinda forgot about the bands that played this show, I remember a band that kinda sounded like Think I Care and the singer was wearing a sleeveless Celtic Frost shirt. Friday got there too in the meantime and a dude from Inepsy was selling some second hand CDs. My Revenge from Vermont played too and started with a Slayer cover. Don't know what else to say except that my mom told me to keep my mouth shut if I didn't have anything nice to say. Set To Explode's set started with the best intro ever: Dave Byrd walking up the stage and saying "What's up, we're Striking Distance". Maybe he drank a little too much? Didn't matter though, the old man was as angry as ever and even though only Gert Dead Stop was singing along to the Government Issue cover, this still was a really good set. Tension started building by now and you could kinda feel that people were excited to see Dead Stop (again). Starting off with the infamous Justice intro "for The Spoiler" the place went nuts from start to finish. I remember a bunch of Bad Brains covers getting thrown in the mix ("The Regulator", "Right Brigade", "We Will Not") and a Void cover as well. Anyway, this was a blistering set with an awesome response, definitely one of the best shows on the tour. Larry, Dave Byrd and Spoiler getting in that moshpit...what more could one ask for? After the show and after chilling with the club's owner and discussing Leeway we head out for a sightseeing trip through Montreal, in our van of course and then ate with Mr. and Mrs. Spoiler before crashing at their place. I love hardcore.
FRIDAY 11/11/2005: REGENERATION, BOSTON, MA: Left Montreal early so we'd get to Boston at a decent hour. No borders problems this time, Coorde even made friends with the officer on duty. "How's that video game working out for you son?" "Oh well, you win some, you lose some." We got to the venue easily and found out it was punk hardcore record store and tattoo parlor, then we head into town for some shopping and food cause the show was gonna start pretty late anyway. The store was turned into an awesome venue with a small, but cool stage and gradually more and more people came in... The show ended up being sold out (I think over 150 paid to get in) and some people wound up not getting in at all. The place was packed by the time Killer Fiction played, a new band featuring Mike from Striking Distance on guitar. They were actually quite good, reminding me of Integrity at times and Entombed at others. Say Goodbye played too and was well received. Set To Explode's show highlight was seeing Al Quint lose it to the Government Issue cover. Actually, the whole set was really fucking good, again. Can't wait to see this band again when they hit Europe. While Dead Stop was setting up and getting ready to play I could feel there was a certain vibe in the air that reminded me of Belgian shows... People were stoked to see Dead Stop and they were about to witness an absolutely blinding set, with tons of energy, stagedives, moshing and mayhem. It didn't even matter that the vocal amplifier sounded like absolute shit. This show was insane and a perfect end for an awesome tour.Thank you Dead Stop, Larry, Set To Explode and everyone else who made these two weeks as awesome as they were.

Bjorn Dossche