Thursday, September 28, 2017


OK, here’s another old TEAR IT UP interview that I found online years ago. I keep getting requests lately to put more Tear It Up and related stuff on the blog which means that someone is reading this and actually gives a fuck about this stuff. That is fucking great and I appreciate it a lot. This interview was originally from Twice the Speed web zine that was done by some dude Mark from Umea, Sweden. I’m not sure if this was also a proper paper zine and also I’m not sure if this is still online, because we are talking about early 2000’s when this interview was done. The interview is from 2003, Matt answered the interview and this one is more laid back and funny than other TIU interviews (at least the ones I read so far). As many other TIU stuff, I also “stole” and published this interview in my zine International Old School Conspiracy # 14, October 2012. Enjoy in reading, I am The Snake 

Ok, what can you say about Tear It Up? Lots and lots I guess but there is no room for that here. Tear it up is actually my favorite, now existing, hardcore band and I'd say that the "Nothing To Nothing" LP is on my top 5 records list. I'm telling you; the first thing I'll do when I'll get a hold of some money is to ink my love for this band to my body. When I got the opportunity of doing an interview with TIU I got quite thrilled so I skipped my math class and wrote the questions right away, it didn't get that good I'm afraid but feel free to enjoy it anyway. For you who don't know TIU from before I can say that they play real hardcore, no metal shit, with a touch of thrash (especially on their first record). At first I thought that the interview would be with the singer but as it toured out Matt (the drummer) took care of the interview. By the way I can tell you that, despite of his rock-hard gangster-look (joke), Matt seems to be a great guy that actually answered the interview in about one day, thanks Matt. Mark

Mark: Ok, usual stuff then. Present the band + short band history.
Matt: Tear It Up is a fast hardcore band from NJ USA and we’ve been playing for about 2 and half years. In that time we’ve had a total of 7 members (two were replaced) and did 7 or 8 records. Fast enough? 

Mark: What other bands do Tear It Up members take part in?
Matt: Right now it’s just The Rites and A new Enemy. But members from Tear It Up have been in Dead Nation, Down in Flames and Cut the Shit. 

Mark: What do you do except singing for Tear It Up? Everything from school to crimes.
Matt: Well first off I’m the drummer, and I go to college and substitute teach. As far as crimes, just fashion I guess. 

Mark: You went on a quite long tour last summer all over Europe, I wonder; was it worth it?
Matt: Hell yeah we played a shit load of shows, that’s what’s important just playing. But it was hard finding good pizza in Europe is like trying to find good haircuts at a Locust show. 

Mark: What did you think of playing in Umeå? I heard from Karate kid that you were pretty excited.
Matt: Yeah it was a great show. We’ve been friends with the DS 13 guys for a long time and it was cool to play up where they’re all from because we’ve played with them here in the US a lot. Even if their bass player was off in the US when we were there. Bass players who needs em right? 

Mark: Right. I also heard that one guy fooled you into believing that he had played bass in Final Exit, did you actually fall for that?
Matt: I don’t know I never talked to any kid who said that so no I didn’t fall for it I guess. By the way I sang for Straight Ahead.

Mark: Yea right, his name was Craig wasn't it? Did you actually wear the same clothes the whole tour?
Matt: I’d say yes but there are photos that show otherwise. 

Mark: Tell us something really interesting and thrilling about the tour, did you get beaten up by evil Dutch jock guys or something like that?
Matt: No the Dutch are all sweethearts. But we did get into some weird confrontational conversation with some drunken Polish Mafia kid. We were told to leave by our Polish roadie so we split. 

Mark: Scary, in Sweden the polish people come to pick berries in the woods; for the money. That's weird, they really have fucked up economy down there. Tell me of the best unknown band you played with during your tour?
Matt: Probably Dead Stop. Or The Horror. 

Mark: Never heard of any of them. At what place were you best received by the audience?
Matt: Dordrecht Holland. It was our first show and lots of kids traveled to it, and lots of friends were there. We played really good and brought the house down. Literally there were no more shows there after that, but I think it was more due to some kid puking in front of the place or something. Tear It Up makes you puke, at least its punk.

Mark: When RAMBO came to Umeå they said that Kristoffer (138) had advised them not to come because Umeå sucked. Did he say the same thing to you?
Matt: Naw he just left us a note saying that here we were stuck playing in his shit town and he was off in America stealing all our beer, women, and mosh. But I’ve seen him mosh so I’ll say he way lying. I really love that guy though. 

Mark: I actually had that note in my bookcase for like a month. Kristoffer told me to give it to you for some reason. It's really weird. I mean I don't even know the guy. By the way, does that guy know every American hardcore kid in the world?
Matt: I don’t know I’m just one small insignificant little link in the chain of American Hardcore. 

Mark: The big question: Will Tear It Up be back in Umeå or any other part of Sweden?
Matt: Hopefully we’ll be in Europe for 6 weeks this summer and Sweden is top on the list. It was way rad last time. 

Mark: How the hell should you get a copy of your European tour 7" with the Raped Ass cover?
Matt: You should have been there to get it the first time. Or beat up some asshole that bought 3 of em. Check in Germany.

Mark: Do you like the big scenes with lots of people or the smaller scenes with a bit more closeness to the audience?
Matt: I like it all. I’ll take any gig man, but I do like the smaller places better it’s easier to get all crazy. 

Mark: What's the most stupid thing you have ever said between two songs?
Matt: Thanking kids who already left. San Diego this is for you! 

Mark: Have you ever had like a speech prepared for between-songs-chat? There's a lot of bands acting that way in Sweden...
Matt: Hahahaha no. Sometimes you make a note to yourself like, ask for place to stay, we have none or something like that. We like to think of ourselves as having remarkable wit. 

Mark: Have any one of you ever done any crazy, bound-to-fail, stunt during a show like a back flip of a speaker or something?
Matt: Dave has missed the bass drum once or twice. Paul fell over at the first show after a jump. I think that’s all the casualties. 

Mark: So much for "Play to destroy". Have you ever done something shocking on stage, black metal style, for example throwing up at the kids or slit your wrists?
Matt: I’ve definitely thrown up on stage but not on purpose for “the kids”…yet. We were planning on doing a Poison Idea set an making John sit in a chair and play guitar with a pillow stuck under his shirt.

Mark: Speaking of old bands; What's the magic behind black flag? I noticed that you played it in the van when you came to Umeå and that you all have Black Flag tattoos (or am I wrong).
Matt: Great band, great attitude, they had it all right. And no at that time only me and Dave had Black Flag tattoos. John has one now but he just got it.

Mark: Did Tear It Up get better then Dead Nation?
Matt: I think so, I mean I think there was a lot more fresh input and we took the music a lot more places, but it wouldn’t be possible to have done that without Dead Nation. 

Mark: Will The Rites be better than Tear It Up?
Matt: I like em both, I don’t think one is better than the other they’re different to me, and since I’m writing a lot of the stuff for both bands it must be true.

Mark: I've heard that you will release some new stuff. In what form and style will it appear?

Matt: The next thing out will be a Tear It Up 12 in EP called “Taking you down with me” on Havoc. It will be on CD also with the Down In Flames split and a live set.

Mark: Will you have a hidden rock n' roll track in this too?
Matt: Don’t have to there’s one of our own.

Mark: Why did you release one of your songs both as Dead Nation and Tear It Up?
Matt: That was the first song that I wrote that got played and I didn’t want to leave it behind because we didn’t play it that much and we broke up before it even was released. So I said fuck it it’s my song it goes with me.

Mark: Who did the cover art to "Just Can’t Stand It"? It's really cool.
Matt: Ernesto Torres from Life’s Halt. And yes it is cool.

Mark: If you had to choose one member to kick out of the band who would that be?
Matt: Doug, oh wait we already did. Next question. 

Mark: What's with your drummer? He looks like a drug addict and plays like he's on ecstasy. He's not straight edge is he?
Matt: Well I’ll refrain from answering this in the third person, but no I am edge and yes I do make silly faces. But I’ve got nothing on Raeph from Kill Your Idols he’s got the best ones. Man I thought I looked all right that tour, but I’ll take drug addict just make it something cool like dope, ecstasy is such a lame drug.

Mark: What happened to the fifth band member? He wasn't joining you on the tour, at least not in Umeå.
Matt: Ryan joined just before we were leaving and couldn’t go. He was on the US leg of the tour though.

Mark: What's with the huge stage dive photo on the lyrics sheet to the "Nothing To Nothing" LP? It looks quite sick.
Matt: Swank’s a great dude he’s been out with us a lot. One of my best friends, and he’s got the ups.

Mark: Will he be back for the new record?
Matt: We have more pictures of him doing stupid ass shit like that but I don’t think they’ll fit it the layout.

Mark: Five most important bands throughout history?
Matt: 1. Black Flag
2. The Stooges
3. The Ramones
4. Beach Boys
5. Beatles

Mark: Five most important records throughout history?
Matt: 1. Pet Sounds the production was amazing on that and quite revolutionary for the time.
2. Stooges’s Raw Power perhaps the most vicious bunch of Jams on a rock album ever. Raw and loud.
3. Ramones this took the songs back for the kids and away from the asshole professional musicians.
4. Circle Jerks Group Sex linked songs in a way that was unsurpassed in the punk world. They really did make an album not just a bunch of songs put together.
5. Damaged Black Flag this LP killed them all. Hard raw and desperate.

Mark: Which is the best? Paper-zine or online-zine doesn't matter.
Matt: I gotta say Game of The Arseholes Stuart’s trip to Japan was well worth reading about?

Mark: Which is the best: CD or LP?
Matt: LP’s. 

Mark: Which is the best: Mohawk-punks or youth crew kids?
Matt: Your less likely to get pulled over with youth crew kids around. It looks like you have the football team with you. 

Mark: Which is the best: Deadalive or Havoc?
Matt: I hear that Lost and Found is a bunch of real cool guys.

Mark: I heard they're dead. Will hardcore ever die?
Matt: Dude it died in 86 when no trend broke up. That book was such a waste. 
(This is a reference to American Hardcore book, remark by The Snake)

Mark: Will the new record totally thrash our brains?
Matt: If you have any. 

Mark: Oooh, attitude. Any last words?
Matt: yeah contact us at 21 Sulliman Rd, Edison, NJ 08817 USA or write, Thanks a lot for the interview man.

 A very bad copy of IOSC # 14 and one of the worst IOSC front covers, ha ha!

Monday, September 18, 2017


OK, in front of you is THE RITES interview that I found on the net some years ago and it was published on which was some French web zine but it seems that the page doesn’t exist anymore. I’m not sure if there was ever a paper version of the zine. Anyway, in early 2010 I published this interview in my zine: International Old School Conspiracy (Newsletter) # 6, I’m sure that whoever did that web zine wouldn’t mind about that and that I’m doing the same thing again on this blog. So, this dude Sylvain did an interview with The Rites, with Matt (The Rites vocalist) actually in spring of 2004 and he did a pretty good job, really good questions and Matt also put a lot of effort to give the good answers.  This is pretty cool interview and if you are into The Rites, dig in and thank me later with sending me some of The Rites records, thanks!

I am The Snake and this must be The Rites interview, tntnnnnnnnn! 

Nothing tremendous to explain why I choose to interview THE RITES. When a band keep putting out good records, you just wanna know more. Probably you shouldn't take all these answers the first degree. You see. I wanna add that Matt was very available, kind and enthusiastic during this interview - spring '04 -, that was very motivating for me.

The RITES were in Europe in June '04 and was absolutely energetic Live band! Their new 12" called "Wish you never knew" is my favorite records from them. Enjoy ! (Sylvain Abstr.act)

1) Hello guys, to begin can you tell us the history of the band? Who does what and why? What else do you do except the band?
M) Well the band basically started for two reasons, one so I could sing for a band cause I have been a drummer and a songwriter for like 4 years and really wanted a chance to sing my own lyrics for a change, and two since Paul quit tear it up to move to Boston that I could still play in a band with him. I really feel I'm at my best musically when I work with him so I wanted to keep that connection. We got John and Pete (down in flames/ tear it up) to play bass and drums and played sporadic shows culminating in 2 records (Deadalive records) and a US tour with Cut The Shit last summer. Since then Pete moved to San Francisco, and John wanted to do other things musically so we got Dave (the boils) and Mullet (Bones Brigade) to replace them. The goal of this band really has been to get a band of guys who are really good at their respective instruments so we can tour once or twice a year and play every month or so and always sound tight, and I think we've done that. So in case I didn't bore you enough and you're still actually reading this, besides the band me Paul, and Mullet all go to college, and Dave works doing some computer kind of shit, oh and I am also a substitute teacher…….believe it.

2) Is there any reason why you play this kind of punk/hc? There is nowadays a certain "revival" of the old sound with bands influenced of lot by bands like BLACK FLAG, MINOR THREAT, POISON IDEA, etc. What do you think of it? Is it just another fashion in the small punk/hc world? To which bands would you love and hate to be compared?
M) Well basically this is what me and Paul love to listen to and to write. If you look at all the other records we've written in the past few years with Tear It Up or Cut The Shit it’s all pretty much just pissed off fast hardcore. This is the music that really grabbed me in life, this is the music that told me that other people were as fucked up as I felt all the time, this is the music that kept me from killing myself, and this is what I use as an outlet to get out all the shit that burns me down.
I personally think that the current acceptance of this music is a double edged sword. On the one hand the fact that people were paying attention to this kind of music again allowed for a lot of kids to write and see a lot of good music like Last in Line, The Oath, and Life's Halt. On the other hand I think a lot of kids just jumped on the band wagon and made a lot of really terrible bands that I had to sit through show after show on tour. I mean don't get me wrong I'm not against people being influenced by something and going out and making their own band to say what they wanted, but at the same time it seemed that any kid who could barely play (and had no motivation to get better at it) would from a "thrash" band and start getting acceptance due to the fact they were characterized as such. I don't see it much as a fashion thing because there's nothing really provocative about the dress style it’s just simple clothes that anyone could wear or buy anywhere, but I am glad that the flip cap fad is fading away.

And to answer the last part I'd love it if someone compared us to a band like the Bee Gee's, cause it would show that they really didn't listen to the record and review it, as opposed to the reviewers that see that its ex-tear it up and down in flames and compare it to that without even listening to it. We know you guys are out there! But seriously I guess anything older that we like, like flag, poison idea, DRI, I hate when I see reviews and it just lists current bands like say Charles Bronson or What Happens Next? It’s like come on guys do your homework first, there was music like this created before 1998.

3) Can you tell something about the title of your 12" "no fucking entertainment"? It seems to be an allusion to the big "cultural" companies, isn't it? What do you of think of the entertainment these companies want to impose upon us? Are there other forms of entertainment for you?
M) Well the 12in is basically just a self-titled record, but the insert says Not Fucking Entertainment across it. That kind of goes with the song not your entertainment and basically what I am saying is that as a band The Rites don't play shows to entertain a crowd. We don't care if you show up, and we don't care if you don't like it. We do music because we love to, and because we're a bunch of fuck ups that need to get our aggression out through music. We always play hard and give 110%, and on stage we do what we want. We don't take requests, and we don't do the covers kids want us to, we do what we want. A lot of bands cave to the pressure of the crowds and play what the crowds want to hear, and to me that's shit. I'm there to try and offer something honest about me and how I feel, and you can take it or leave it. If people like it that's possibly the most amazing thing that could happen, but I'm not here to please you, if that's what you want go see fucking Blink 182 or something, we do it for ourselves. I guess the best quote I read about something like this is "we try to give the crowd what we think they need not what they want."

4) What importance do you give to the lyrics? I find your lyrics very cynical do you agree this point of view? What are for you the best adjectives to describe them and why?
M) Cynical is good, maybe angry, maybe remedial. I don't know. I guess it’s just me trying to be honest about my life and how shitty I feel, or how angry I get. I really use music to help me work through problems. When I get depressed or something I try and write it out, and make something positive of it. 

5) What guys got you into punk/hc ? What were the first records you bought? The first gigs you went to? What were your feelings when you discovered punk for the first time? Feel free to give us details about that!
M) The thing that really got me into punk was the fact that I perceived it as a space where kids of any race could be accepted, and where kids wanted to help each other. Being Jewish I always felt out of place in the metal world. I always saw a lot of racism, and it made me feel even more awkward about myself. But when I started going to punk shows there were no nazis, in fact the first time I saw skinheads there they were escorting Hoya from Madball around and he's Latino. Punk to me offered a place where all the real fuck ups could go to, and try to help each other. At all the metal shows I went to kids would beat on each other, but at hardcore shows kids would pick each other up off the ground, and it really touched me that it could be that way. 

The early music I was into was a lot of first wave NYC bands like Dead Boys, New York Dolls, Ramones, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers, and stuff like the Queers, Screeching Weasel, Black Flag, The Misfits, the Germs, and local heroes the Bouncing Souls (they were from 2 towns away). The first bunch of shows I went to were total mosh metal shows though, we're talking like 1994/1995 in New Jersey that was everywhere. I saw a lot of Bulldoze, Vision, Strength 691, Motuhpiece kinda shows, but I got out of that cause it got too violent for me, and I started to have other rides to different types of shows.

6) George W. Bush is president of the USA since 3 years now... What are for you the worst things he and his friends have done during these years? In your opinion, are there differences between the republicans and the democrats? Will you vote for the next election?
M) Well I didn't vote for him and I won't next time. I voted against him and will again. I think he's a terrible person, and a worse politician the guy can't even make speeches without fucking up every other word, and quite frankly he has made me very scared to live in America. I always have lived near New York City and have a strong attachment to it, and it seems that every asshole that has a problem with America takes it out on New York City (the city with the perhaps the largest immigrant population in the country). And to be quite honest the actions of the past few years have me really scared to live where I do. I really do feel like a target, and if he gets elected again I'm seriously considering moving to Holland that's how concerned I am. There is no difference to me between democrats and republicans, just that republicans are way more open about pushing right wing christian bullshit through our legal system and into our society.

7) What do you think of the role of each individual in the current society? Are we really powerless?
M) You know what man I say fuck society. My world really focuses on myself, my family, and my friends. That's what I have to deal with and that's who I have to look out for. I don't think people can change shit without proper power backing them. Even someone like Rosa Parks from the infamous Montgomery Bus Boycott was put up to it by people with power and money to try and make a public statement about laws that needed to be changed. Do you think it would have reached that level if a 21 year old black man had refused to give up his seat? If you do you're fucking deluded. I try and ignore the bullshit of the system, and if it gets too intrusive the world is a small enough place that I can move to where there are less assholes.

8) Do you consider yourselves as anarchists? Who does anarchy mean to you?
M) No I don't. In order to have a functioning society you need rules, and you need laws to keep the people under control. Is that just? I don't think it is but that's the sad facts of life. There's too many assholes around for people to just do whatever they want to on a global political scale. If it were anarchy the dudes with the money and the missiles would just control us anyway but this time they wouldn't have to pretend to be nice about it.

9) What are for you the best and the worst things in life and in playing in THE RITES?
M) the best things in life for me are playing and making music with good friends, holding my girlfriend, and listening to the first 4 songs on Lifetime's Jersey's Best Dancers on a spring day. The worst I'd say are bills, people I know getting sick or dying, and feeling helpless.
For playing in the Rites, the best would be getting to express myself vocally, and trying to break myself into pieces while we play, and the worst would be having to go home when the show is over and feel like I did before I got a chance to play.

10) A flyer for your 12" from DEAD ALIVE says that you guys have a bad attitude: can you justify it? Any proves? Can you tell us examples of what you are able to do? :-)
M) I don't know I never saw that one, maybe it’s just cause we don't give a shit about what people think of the band, and that when we play shows I tend to be very confrontational with the kids in the crowd. I don't think it's a bad attitude or malicious though. Maybe Jon is just finally fed up with my complaining after all these years. Once I punched myself in the face with this kids hand a few times at a show while I was singing, he freaked out and tried to mosh me off him, but I just sat on top of him, wrapped the mic cord around his throat and held him hostage for the rest of the song, but afterwards I gave him a big kiss so I don't think I had a bad attitude about it. Do you?

11) This question is free, you can talk about anything you want (something "serious" or not!), it's up to you!
M) Herpes is a serious disease. Make sure you get on some of those meds before you start fucking everything you can get your dick in. You really fuck things up for the rest of us when you don't. Just ask your mother.

12) Something to conclude? Can you give us details about your summer European tour with CUT THE SHIT and your other project?
M) Sure can. In an attempt to be as vague as possible let me say that we're gonna be doing a 4 week tour with Boston's Cut The Shit in Europe this summer. The dates are May 27th-June 30th roughly. Coalition records is gonna be booking it so if you're interested in seeing us check out or e mail if you wanna book it somewhere.
As for other projects, me and Paul both play in Cut The Shit, Mullet is in Bones Brigade, and Dave is in the Boils. Besides that I have a few things in the can but you'll have to wait and see cause nothing is ready to go yet.

Thanks a lot for doing this interview, and thank you a lot for actually getting through it. You are a brave soul.

International Old School Conspiracy (newsletter) # 6, January 2010.