HC on the Radio

| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:09

    New York Press: Why did you decide to write Radio Silence?

    Anthony Pappalardo: We knew so many talented people who grew up in the hardcore scene and continue to influence art and culture, and our goal was to not focus on the “remember when shows were so crazy” bullshit and try to just document something important.

    Nathan Nedorostek: At first we started out just talking shit, which is a required skill in hardcore, but that was soon exhausted and we realized that we were not alone in how we felt and began to develop an idea that could represent the genre in a respectable way.

    How did you get into hardcore? NN: I discovered hardcore music via skateboarding in my early teens. Growing up in suburban Connecticut in the mid-1980s, skateboarding and Thrasher magazine were the only assurances to me and my friends that the rest of the world didn’t suck as much as our town did.

    AP: BMX and heavy metal were staples of my suburban diet, even as early as fifth grade. My dad and uncle would give me their records and play me tons of hard rock and would take me to record stores to pick out records on my own, which I usually chose by cover —fuck you Meat Loaf, for having such a deceptive cover for Bat Out of Hell. 

    What’s the difference between punk and hardcore?

    AP: It’s like the father, the son and the Holy Ghost: They are one but they are separate too.

    Was there something virtuous about the analog life, before the Internet made punk more accessible, that we’re missing out on now?

    NN: When you’re faced with a problem and you have to figure it out yourself with no outside help or instruction, that’s when you get some amazing creativity. When Jeff Nelson and Ian MacKaye wanted to make the first Minor Threat 7-inch, they drew the cover art and copied the cutting pattern from a Saints EP. When everything is accessible via a search engine, everyone finds the same stuff and all the solutions to their problems end up looking the same.

    AP: There was something magical about trading letters and short phone calls from pay phones with a kid in another city and them appearing on your doorstep to crash, buy records and hang out; but everything is incredible when you’re younger.

    Why is hardcore still so important to you?

    AP: I was never in a frat; Skull and Bones didn’t kidnap me; I don’t have a high school yearbook or ring; but when you meet someone and find out they know what a 7-inch is or that they are from North Carolina and used to work at a skate shop, they instantly become your people; that’s our secret handshake.

    Being a successful musician usually means commercial success, which many hardcore bands never achieved. What makes a hardcore band successful?

    AP: Guns N’ Roses just surpassed Boston as having the best-selling debut album in the history of American music at 18 million copies. Anyone who was inspired by that record is a complete asshole. This is the sound of a Camaro driving by and calling me a faggot for riding a skateboard; Welcome to The Jungle’s chords make me feel sick, bored and frustrated. There are less than one million Minor Threat albums that exist in the world collectively, but the inspiration from that album has fueled design, culture, art, music and politics.