In the 1980s, the New Jersey hardcore scene was represented by bands like Adrenalin OD and Bedlam who wrote songs about fast food and foul-smelling old people while kicking out an extremely suburban weisenheimer vibe.
What is life but one big cycle. A cycle, ever changing. It seems that about every five to ten to fifteen years there is a so called “change of the guard”, where a new, younger crop of bands, promoters, and artists, start to book shows, play shows, and make a name for themselves in their communities.
We recorded every Judge practice, because we always practiced at the same place, and they had a huge PA mixing board. This was the same place we practiced for DBD. But so many of those Judge practices run together. I don’t remember what was what, but so many were like real recordings, hundreds, with good levels and sound.
This wraps up our gigantic interview with Jimmy Yu. Be sure to go back and check any parts you have missed. We want to give Jimmy a big thanks for being a gracious host and letting us put this out there for everyone. And oh, Jimmy just got his doctorate from Princeton, so he is now Dr. Yu! Coolest doctor to come out of hardcore? You decide.
With Judge, the way I remember it is a little different. Maybe I’m wrong, I will have to ask Porcell about this. But I remember writing Judge songs with Mike before Judge. Mike had the ideas, and he would play them on drums. As I remember it, Youth Of Today was together.
SSD, Minor Threat…the straight edge bands from then, we listened to their music, but slowly it got deeper than that. You see, a lot of those early hardcore bands, their lyrics were good, and I hate to say this…but they were just similar to other normal punk bands that were writing songs.
My brother Steve is three years older than me, and he was best friends with Mike. And they got into punk...but guess what punk band? You’ll never guess this…Duran Duran! Crazy, right? But at that time, 1980, they were considered punk. Now we look at them, and it is like the softest, weakest music.
One of the most mysterious guys to ever come through the doors of the NYHC scene may in fact be Jimmy Yu. When Tim and I were getting content together for Double Cross, Porcell told us, “Man, you gotta interview Jimmy Yu! He was there from the beginning and he just disappeared! He went from being a lower east side punk to a full on Buddhist!”
When it comes to 90s hardcore photographers, Danielle Dombrowski is a household name who needs no introduction. Hailing from New York, Danielle has shot hardcore shows and fests all over the northeast and beyond over the last 20+ years.
Rev. Hank “Straight Edge” Peirce became known to many of us as the Slapshot roadie with a great nickname, and the only person to appear as a character in an actual Slapshot lyric (“Wake up Hank we’re off the line” - Step On It)
Anaiah Lei currently plays in DARE and his personal project Zulu. He’s previously been a member of The Bots, FireBurn, and Culture Abuse. As with his musician fluidity, his skateboarding feels loose and improvisational yet totally controlled and purposeful. I caught up with him over the phone to talk about the crossovers between skating and hardcore and we did.