Here In 1975 - here in 2014    
Reagan youth
home | interviews | photos | features |BGN issue list | reviews
links | contact us

Paul Cripple of Reagan Youth Interview

September 23, 2014

Reagan Youth

Reagan Youth , a band we haven't seen or heard from in lo these many years is coming to town this Saturday Sept. 27th for an amazing line up of a show at the Middle East with GBH, Angry Samoans, Reagan Youth, and Burning Streets. We got to throw some questions at the only surviving original and founding member of the Reagan Youth - Paul Cripple.

But before we get to the Q & A's we want to give you some info on what you'll see on Saturday. Paul's got all new members making up this version of Reagan Youth. On this tour the band will be playing songs from Dave and Paul's unreleased and final work together, entitled House of God. These long tracks, previously only available as rare demos laid down only weeks before Dave's death, we're to be the next chapter. House of God is to Religion as Reagan Youth is to Politics, and the band is thrilled to finally give these songs the audience they deserve.

Now for some info on the band…..
Paul Cripple -You know him, Reagan Youth's outspoken original guitarist. He grew up in the Bronx, and after moving to the same high school as the Ramones in Queens, Paul met Dave Insurgent and founded the band. Dave's vocals and the ironic Reagan Youth album covers showing the band dressed in KKK outfits and "Peace and Anarchy" message was often at odds with the emerging hardcore scene. Paul broke up the band after Dave committed suicide in 1993. After dropping out of music for over a decade Paul discovered Reagan Youth becoming increasingly more popular being found by a new generation on the web. He started the long process of finding new band members and putting the band back together, and more recently working on a new album dedicated to Dave's life and legacy.

Trey Oswald - vocals - Filling Dave Insurgent's shoes is a tough act to follow, and Paul tried numerous frontmen before Trey found his place. Bringing an energetic and often acrobatic style, Trey is a lifelong RY fan, but checks his ego at the door. Trey often sings large portions of the set from the pit, handing the mic around to other fans. His southern-style philosophy is that shows are always part tribute to Dave, and his job is to stay true to the lyrics and the message.

Tibbie X- bass - Growing up listening to Reagan Youth in New York Tibbie formed her own chaos punk band singing for The X-Possibles, touring throughout the US and Europe. Always a performer, Tibbie relishes breaking stereotypes and boundaries in the male dominated scene and found her place as bassist, helping Paul rebuild the band. Tibbie also sings for her S&M sleaze punk band GASH out of Philly, where she often handcuffs herself to the mic, symbolically offering herself to the audience.

Stig Winsper- drums - The youngest band member by far Stig is helping define the band's style for a new generation. Growing up outside of New York and touring with a band who helped start the scene and is listed by many artists as a defining influence, Stig brings a fresh and fast paced drum style to back the group, and is also one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.

The BGN Interview with Reagan Youth's Paul Cripple

1. How did the band come together back in the day?

Reagan Youth The band started playing because we were kids in junior high school (known as middle school to others) and Dave took piano lessons, talked of being a keyboardist like Jon Lord, but moving around all cool like, just like Edgar Winter. I took guitar lessons and only had an acoustic. Before you know it there's the kid going to Performing Arts high school playing the key's, One Hung Low, a guitarist with a real electric, me on acoustic and our friend George playing a snare. We tried to make it sound like Deep Purple but degenerated, and the lyrics were nothing, exactly opposite what they turned into was recorded at the keyboardist's house and one other song, "Nipcandi" which eventually turned into "Back To The Garden Parts I-V". Obviously, that one was different with lyrics, about a Japanese man who ran the local candy store, akin to a modern day Apu from the Simpsons. We were kids, playing with toys, making a lot of cool noise. And yeah eventually Dave and I were the ones who took it seriously and it does run through my head that songs that we wrote that summer after graduating junior high and getting ready to go to high school, that those songs are still listened to and considered important with a message behind it.

2. What exactly is the anarchy + peace & unity school?

Anarchy means no government or self-government. Peace is exactly that, the opposite of beefin' or startin' wars, and unity means folks who don't want anyone telling them what to do, imposing authority without any right to, whatever, if those folks can unify, then please can they show up and we'll all sing songs of Anarchy. The form of Protest that includes having a great fuckin' time!

3. When you first started playing out at shows did people get the band and the switch in music being very political?

Nope, it was that we sounded good, and then when Dave hung out, made pamphlets, and he was great at drawing a comic of an important Russian anarchist, and he'd put it together nicely, leave them for free at Rat Cage Records or whereever else, and his stage banter, that showed people where his mind was at, but he didn't include lyrics. Now, after all these years anyone who questions if Reagan Youth is a Nazi band usually get humiliated by a fan like "How the fuck do you not know what Reagan youth stands for?" and in this day and age, with the internet, it's a lot easier to find out more readily than when you're just a kid slinging an album that has a Klan family picnic on the cover. But if you wanna understand Reagan Youth, then reading, unfortunately for some, is most definitely a requirement, and I mean those who can read but don't, not the poor who've been neglected an education by however means it happened, they probably would get the meaning behind the band because they'd talk, while the one who can read but doesn't, what kind of talking would that individual encourage, a one sided conversation. Totally intractability?

4. The music covered a little more ground than just fast and loud - Beautiful Day, Jesus was a Communist, What Will the Neighbors Think. How did the tunes take shape? Did Dave do most of the writing or was it a group effort?

It's a Beautiful Day does get fast, but that intro, I had written that and when Dave played Smash It Up Part I, not part two, but the nice instrumental part, I thought "why not", and then I stole some chords from a really wimpy Yes song called Your Move and though I didn't have lyrics, it was like "hey Dave, how about a song about Hippies having a picnic and then the thrash part comes in and the punk rockers beat up the hippies and then it gets mellow again and they're like 'thank God that's over' and then the thrash part cranks back in the punk rockers finish them off." He dug it, but made the song, initially, about how hippies were apathetic. And I did come up with the name of the song from the most hippie looking band ever; It's A Beautiful Day - they have one hit White Bird.

Yet, when all was said and done, it wasn't my stupid idea of punks beating up hippies at a picnic but now it's the average Joe, at a Bar B Q, and then a nuclear war begins. Dave turned it into an anti-war song/ pro vegetarianism....I don't think they had vegan then. Of course he pushed me to have guitar solo, and Dave was a great arranger. But also the most amazing lyricist. At the time, there was a commercial where all these kids are eating franks and cold cuts saying "Thank You Oscar Meyer" so Dave had to include "Oscar Mayer, we thank you for a beautiful, such a beautiful, beautiful day".

Dave always had lyrics to What Will the Neighbors Think? but no music, and I had been getting into Hendrix, and it's still a basic three chord, descending notes, E, E flat, D and that's repeated and the chorus is just two chords. I know it doesn't sound punk, the recording process during Volume II was hellish, but that's another story. I wish that one, we could have really done a great recording of. It breaks my heart hearing that, and Jesus Was A Communist. When we started playing that the U.S.A. still had beef with the U.S.S.R. and then when it gets recorded the beef with the Russia is squashed, but seeing how much life that song had...and thank god that song wasn't a disaster of a recording.

But yeah, Dave did the majority, I can come up with a catchy chorus, three chords, even some fancy shit, and I described the song writing process for one song, each one took however long it would take. Unfortunately, it wasn't a group effort. Al Pike co-wrote I Hate Hate, he came up with riff, very Minor Threat-ish, and it's a chord progression. And Al and Steve jammed out the music to No Class, Dave added lyrics and it wasn't something he ever wanted to play after Al left the band because they beefed so much, and that is why you can barely hear any of Al Pike's bass playing on Youth Anthems For The New Order, the original e.p. and we recorded that for over a year, so for over a year, Al fought Dave over the bass sound. Dave wanted that classic Fender bass sound that fit the songs, Al brought eight string bass and made it sound like a mandolin type bass which sounded like a disaster,. So collaborating with song writing, that was all about Dave and I since we played in a band prior to and after Reagan Youth. We stock piled songs and years, years later, they'd be ready and we'd have a new sound with On The Day I Die which were saved for the band we'd do after Reagan Youth, called House Of God (we were no longer kids talkin' bout politics, but men ready to take on a 'higher' authority'.

5. Which bands did Reagan Youth blast in the van? Who influenced you and who did you love listening to back then?

Reagan youth Sabbath, Zeppelin, Hendrix, even if it was just one of Jimi's studio jams like Nine + The Universe. Really, by the time we played our first gig we were already past the Clash and Pistols, The Ramones and The Dead Boys. We were listening to Gang Of Four...and P.I.L. was monstrous to us, and Dave was infatuated with Crass so much he based the album artwork on how they were doing theirs. But musically, instead of listening to Amebix or something like that, we went back looking at what we had forsaken without punk rock vows to hate, like the Allman Brothers. And when we went to San Francisco in 1984 we couldn't help but get into the Grateful Dead, early stuff like The Eleven and we did cover That's It For The Other One which we'd like to call Crypital Envelopment, which sounded more punk, but was just the name of the intro of the song we covered. and yes, the punk rockers slammed danced to it, because it was fast, and they didn't know they should be hating on it because it was a Grateful Dead cover.

6. Ha ha! That's hilarious!! Now, Reagan Youth was a mainstay at CBGB's Sunday matinee concerts; reminisce a little about that time. What was it like in the NYC punk scene then?

It was a nice way to play a show and then have the rest of the night to go do whatever you wanted to do. The band we had at that time was the band people seemed to have liked the most...... in New York. We started out with a rhythm section that Dave and I had brought with us from Rego Park, Queens but they were replaced by the best musician the band ever had, Steve Weissman on drums, and Al Pike was no slouch on bass, when he wasn't having fits of anger and was happy to play the song the way it was meant to be played, Al Pike was amazing. So for those matinees, it felt good playing to these kids (obviously not old enough to get in at night) and they we're showing up and getting into it and we'd play with The Beaties or Urban Waste, Agnostic Front, Kraut, Heart Attack, and the best of the best The Bad Brains. I didn't realize people would still be talking about those shows even today. We were teenagers playing with toys and making noise and kids are showing up and digging it. The mosh pit made it really exciting, CBGB's didn't have mosh pits for Television or The Testors.

7. Explain how you think the NYC scene changed and became less "peace punk" causing you to play more shows in California around 1987.

It was never peace punk, but the band was peace punk, and we had already went to California and played our biggest shows, opening for the Dead Kennedy's, playing with D.R.I. and M.D.C. and The Dicks, and "Institutionalized" had just come out and that summer, it was all about Suicidal, I'd say the west coast was more than a bit more violent than the NYC shows I was used to. We went out there to play shows, we stayed, both times in '84 and '87 for two months, and played somewhere along 10 or so shows. It was about hanging out, 3,000 miles away from your family, friends, and home and just experience another point of view. those were the best years of my life but it had nothing to do with N.Y.H.C becoming less peace punk.

There was peace punk band, Nausea, and the singer was married to Agnostic Front's singer, so individuality did happen, but if the scene went awry, I'd point the fingers at all those bands that actually believed this impresario/bullshit artist named Chris Williamson. He threw those Rock Hotel Shows and they became huge in New York and built up that scene you talk of. It took Reagan Youth two shows to figure out Chris Williamson sucked, it seemed to take the rest of N.Y.H.C. some three years until I heard that Carl (r.i.p.) from the NYHC band The Icemen curse out Chris Williamson. Reagan Youth played two shows, one was at The World on Houston Street opening for D.O.A. and The Dead Kennedy's.

D.O.A. had just finished their set and we were told that they had to cut their 20 song set in half so we couldn't have a long set. We assured them we were only going to do 8 songs and by the fifth song we're told we have one song left. Dave told the audience that we only had one song, the audience all went "awwww", and then Dave said "Well I guess it's going to have to be one of those half hour long Grateful Dead songs" and the crowd erupted. I'm sure that pissed the promoter off but at the next show, we were told we were opening for Kraut and that Murphy's Law was going on after us. Now we love Jimmy, Dave and Jimmy were as tight as tight can be but Dave was like "No fuckin' way". There was an argument about me not bringing an amp and I was thinking why didn't he hook up a backline if he's such a big shot? Arguments ensued and basically, it's like we were blacklisted from the NYHC scene from 1985 until the band's demise but we just couldn't give a shit. Being punk rock didn't include kissing some douchebag promoter, like Chris Williamson's, ass.

Never was that, ever gonna happen or we'd cease to be Reagan Youth the anarchist band and we didn't want to be known as the band that jumps on band wagons, we jump off them and blaze our own trail, out west

8. It's pretty clear the Dave Insurgent was the soul of the band. What did he bring to RY in the beginning and middle? How did it come to an end?

Reagan youth I'd known Dave since we were in the third grade and though I was in the 'dumb class' and he was in the 'smart class', that didn't stop him from reaching out and becoming my friend, by junior high we got into music, by high school we became serious about being a real band and played shows. In college, that's where I said "I'm going to a different school than this guy" because we've been going to the same school three times in a row and he chose NYU, I went to John Jay and when you leave high school and enter college, you don't just grow up as an individual, but you grow up as an artist. And that's what Dave and I set out to gain, how to turn our music into an "art form". I later went to St. John's and bullshitted my parents into sending me there and all the while I got stoned and majored in History and Literature so I could come up with a concept album, which I did, which could turn into a movie (which could still happen) but I needed a partner to work with.

Dave left N.Y.U. and went to the New School for film. I told Dave of my idea for a concept album that could then be turned into a movie, kinda like The Wall or Tommy by The Who, only better because we're could bridge our political roots and expand it with what we were going to do with the new band House Of God....and you really should check out the songs In The Beginning, 10,000 Years From Now, Alaska, Father Sky, On The Day I Die and House Of God because Dave's vocal melodies were peaking as a singer, as was my guitar playing. We were only in our mid-20's once, and that was our best result.

But drug addiction, is an insidious disease, and when Dave's longtime girlfriend left, and she was only the love of his life, it didn't take too long for Dave to fuck up his life so bad....and over some powder that's someone sells you and Lord knows what's really in there. So just like his interest in movies - he made a short, his dad threw it away- the new music we concocted with House Of God - we were rejuvenated so we had a second wind coming into our sails but the disease of addiction took that all away.

And yeah he IS the soul of the band, not WAS, IS. The sound never dies and when I'm thinking about nothing walking through a park and feel Dave's presence come over me like there is no way in mistaking it, and he sends me a message, loud and clear. I'm as serious as a heart attack about that, and his message "The new album better not suck" and that's the way Dave communicated. And when the new album comes out, it will not or I'll take the incomplete, the way Dave would have done.

9. Paul, how did Dave Insurgent's suicide affect you?

I tried to be a tough guy about it, tried to put on a brave face and all that did was allow a needle to be put into my arm so I'd end up throwing away the 90's. I didn't have the guts to kill myself like Dave, so I tried to kill myself slowly. I couldn't believe someone I loved, as a musician, as a friend, as a human being could let me down so hard. And I'd always believed in him, and now I thought "For What!". Then around 2005/06 I got to go on the internet for the first time and seeing all these beautiful things people were saying about Dave, it kind of felt like vindication. So I wasn't wrong to have believed in this guy and what we did. And when fans tell me I suck for getting Reagan Youth playing again without Dave, that only makes me happy, because they're still giving my man Dave the props he always deserved, I don't care what they think about what I'm doing.

The band ended horribly, and I need a new ending, and do I disagree that Dave was the heart and soul of the band? No I do not, but it wasn't about him, it was much more, like people singing along to every song. Yes, Reagan Youth has songs, and that I can now play each and every song from both albums and the set doesn't miss a beat with the flow, as well as add a new song or three here, a cover song there, and I've dusted off 10,000 Years From Now from the House Of God catalogue so I can unleash that bad ass of a song into the set.

If people show up and expect a karaoke version don't come. Dave always insisted we embellish our playing, and Trey, the new singer, is able to rant over many of my guitar solos much the way Dave used to, so it doesn't get boring, just more interesting.

10. With Dave is long gone, why pull a band together and gig now?

It happened like this. I moved to The Lower East Side, ran into a punk rocker I knew from a long term residential drug program, and he was fucked up, so I exchanged numbers Yeah, I admit it, he was fucked up and who knows, maybe I could get some of those great drugs he was taking...but he ended up calling me, and this was back in 2006 and I left my cell at home, like it was my home phone. When I finally get him, on the 15th call he tells me I have to meet him and I do. He tells me he booked a Reagan Youth gig. I asked "who's going to sing" and he said he would and I did remember him singing Are You Happy during the morning shout out at Damon House, the place we met, so I played along.

Now it was supposed to be the Woodstock of Hardcore, and I said sure, I'll go on stage, rip some mean guitar like Hendrix did and that will be my last gig, because it sucked when you play your last gig and you don't realize it's going to be your last one, 10 years later. So the Woodstock of Hardcore turns into New Jersey and when I play people are saying I was in the band for a minute, that I was a phony... shit like that. If they didn't, I would have played that one show and that would have been that. But no, the proverbial 'they' had to pop shit so I got some of the old guys from back in the 80's, Al Pike from Vol I and Johnny Aztec from Vol II to play drums and when we played, it was legit sounding, and the singer was new so he wasn't into sabotaging the band just yet, for the first year, it was good.

By the time we went into California, the singer didn't belong and should have left. Now at this time I started having songs in me again, this time, about my dearly departed singer and how about if I work on making one last album on the Life and Times of Dave Insurgent. Al Pike was the only one into it so that dissolved.

But do not think I did not notice that Reagan's policies are still in effect? His vice president/ex CIA director George Bush succeeds him and after Clinton Bush's son is elected, twice, and Dick Cheney and the patriot act? It was obvious what the band was singing about, and protesting was in full effect. Did I get Reagan Youth back because of that reason? No, but who knows, maybe the SOUL of the band made it happen so his message could still be heard, and it's being heard a lot more now that I'm playing these songs all over again and again and again (not to mention Volume II was released after the band dissolved, so it was like I was finally giving that record a tour). Dave's not there for the stage banter, I 'm no Dave, but I do my best when it comes to speaking to the band's core audience, and those who came to see what Reagan Youth is all about.

11. Yeah so you mention the album based on the life and death of Dave Insurgent. Last year you talked a lot about putting that album together. What happened, where's the album at now?

Reagan youth You can hear five songs, but I recorded it under the band name Dust Angel. Love is Between My Legs is about Punk rock free love, Dave was a hippie punk and he did believe in free love. Lucky 7 is about Dave, and the US in general flaunting drugs. In The Thirsty Hour is when that drug consumption leads to addiction and now there's an unquenchable thirst. It's a fast song and that's also about Dave's bad times on the drugs. Temptress is about Tiffany Bresciai, the girl Dave was with, his fiancée according to him but he was off his rocker on drugs at that time. She was murdered by a serial killer. The song is a pretty song, great bass line and three chords, it's a hit and I don't want to hear how "but that's not punk" because IT IS. So yeah, that one is about the oldest profession and Necrophilia is a song about the serial killer, not gonna mention his name, gave it a Misfits feel, in a way, lyrically while still being three chord based. You can hear these songs on Reverb Nation (right here: and no you don't have to pay the 99 cents to hear it.

I used Beatrice because she's been with me for almost a decade now and saw how much problems I had with the guys I played with, so she sings and let me tell you, she can sing. I play guitar and bass (and yeah, that's my voice when you hear a guy) and we have Ronnie Pest, who's no longer playing with us on drums, sounding really kickass.

Now I know the songs are not in an order that makes sense, so you'll just have to wait for Hapless Misfits, Idle Hands, The Beginning Of The End, Crown Of Thrones, Altercation At St. Peter's Gate. That last one is about Dave committing suicide, so St. Peter won't let him into heaven even though days earlier his Tiffany and mother got in, so he gets Abbie Hoffamn , Darby Crash and everyone else who committed suicide to rush the door, like Skin Heads who don't want to pay for that Skrewdriver concert. And there's more.

Give it time, but if you hear the songs, mixed and mastered, you will have a good idea what the songs are all about and eventually Charley Tripper, the one other original band member alive, can play drums, I can play guitar and bass if need be and I've already asked all of the original NYHC singers to sing one song each, as attribute to Dave for the final album. Wish me luck, but hopefully, it won't be needed

12. Why did Victor Venom refuse to play one last show and said he would never play with them again, when Ronald Reagan was leaving office as our president?

You'd have to ask him. The weird thing was Dave and I hadn't even run into him since the last time we saw him, at a Reagan Youth show were we opened for his band Nausea back in the summer, and now he won't do one last show.... Dave said "Fuck it Paul, let's go to Victor's mother's apartment and pick up our guitar bottom and bass amp that we'd left with Victor so Nausea could use it. When we recorded Volume II I asked Victor, even after he left, to please come back, put whatever the differences that existed aside, and let's record the remainder of the Reagan Youth songs and he showed up late, left early, played like shit (that's why I play bass, and I wasn't the leader and I didn't pay for the recording, those two were the ones that said that I should just play bass on everything so Victor's time in the studio turned out to be wasteful and seemingly nasty. Of course he had to ask "So how does Nausea get the same record deal as Reagan Youth?" so I pointed him to the label owner, who he had already met, and he said no and then looks at me with that look like "why'd you do that to me Paul?" and it sucked. I wish there wasn't so much pettiness and bullshit going on when Dave was only getting worse daily with his battle with heroin.

13. How did it feel when Nicky Garrat of New Red Archives approached you about re-releasing the band's only recording with bonus tracks?

George Tabb had told him about us and we agreed to the re-release with three added songs so it wouldn't be an e.p. anymore, but an l.p. Dave was able to find seven totally different versions of the original songs, so people are wrong when they say the mix was fucked with. The mix was left alone with the songs from our e.p., but for our l.p. we found alternate versions of each song and mixed and mastered them. Someone asked me, why did you do that and I said "Dave wanted the original recording to have the best versions", that's why the versions from Volume I aren't on Youth Anthems for the New Order, and so what, now everyone can have two different versions, recorded months apart, different length of time, different groove, different fills.

But for some reason some people would only want to hear just the original choices, what's wrong with hearing the second best choice on the re-issue? And with three new songs included - No Class, Anytown and In Dog We Trust. Maximum Rock and Roll released a demo, no singing, from those sessions and you can hear Brave New World and Acid Rain are recorded, but we held off, thinking, we'll save it for the next record. too bad there was only one other record, and it wasn't a pleasant experience, to say the least.

14. And how come you had so many songs for a Volume 2 release? Why were those songs never released back in the day?

Reagan youth Dave was a perfectionist. We had actually played One Holy Bible as an encore at our first gig ever, back at A7 , and the drummer, Charley, wanted to do the breakdown part to Queen Babylon instead because it was faster. Those songs had different names back then, and the arrangements weren't there, and so we kept honing our craft and before you know it One Holy Bible isn't a Public Image Limited type song with a Jah Wobble bass line but now it's morphed into this eastern rage that deals with following one's own law. As for Queen Babylon, I stole some chords from a Yes song - yes, my older sister was into prog rock- a three chord instrumental called Wurm, and I changed the key, roughed it up by strummin' it punk and it was known as I Don't Like Japs. But not Japanese people, but Jewish American Princesses (and Princesses alike) so Dave had to change my line of "You, you're acting like a princess so I gots to be beat you senseless". That was not going to be sung by Dave, and the chorus was something he grappled with for a while. "A Goddess, would be more modest" is so much better and smarter, thank you DAVE INSURGENT !

But yeah, that song had so many different titles that you couldn't count how many different names it went through. It's a Beautiful Day was one we did. We came up with Miss Teen America, Jesus Was A Communist, What Will The Neighbors Think? and Heavy Metal Shuffle when Rick Royale was the drummer and Victor had just joined. And Victor would play something and Dave would say "what's that you're playing? Would you want to make a song out of that?" and like every time, Victor would say no. So instead of having Dave Insurgent put some amazing lyric over that nice thing Victor was playing, he chose to go and do something with his friend or with Nausea. and he'd play a song incorrectly and I came up with many songs that way. when I asked Victor to show Dave what he just did, he'd say "NO".

And I hear he wanted to sue us? Why not sue Led Zeppelin Victor? You're playing isn't on any of their recordings and you didn't write/contribute anything towards their songs either. But with all that, I'd still welcome him to come and lay down some incredible guitar work on the last album with Charley and I. Shit, I'll play bass behind you this time Victor! But I think he's clinging to his bitterness and I hope he conquers that.

15. Tell us about Dave Insurgent getting attacked after he recorded the vocals for Vol II. Who did it and why??

A guy he owed $500 to, over weed. Dave kept blowing him off, I don't think Dave was making any sort of overtures to this dealer he owed $500 to and it just so happened the night after Nicky Garratt and I had to practically kidnap Dave and have him sing every song on what would become Volume II. He put two vocal tracks on as many songs, went home, and the dealer, don't know his real name but he went by the name Mike Raphone, was lying in wait with a baseball bat. I had left a note on Dave's door saying I was at my boiling point and if Dave didn't show up and sing, I'd bash his head open. So the dealer he owed money to read it, thought it be a good time being the cops would be looking at me because of my angry note I left on his door. and if Dave had died, who knows, I might have been thrown into jail but Dave survived, and because of his pride, it took him a whole year to finally fess up who actually attacked him and why.

Reagan youth This dealer had been waiting in front of his apartment door with a bat, and Dave knew it because his neighbors told him. It changed his life forever, and for the worst. and it hit me hard because my friend since forever is now walking around with stitches around his forehead, for everyone to see, because he had to get a frontal lobotomy to survive.

It was the most horrible time of my life, no matter how normal I tried to act like everything was, it wasn't, and it ate away at Dave until he committed suicide and I stuck that needle over and over in my arm, because that was the fuckin' worst. Yes, $500 is nothing to take a man's life over, but how could someone so brilliant, so great, allow himself into a situation like that, and all because of shit they were selling on the streets. I'm sorry, that's a bad memory I have to live with and it hurts to this day, and no Dave's dad wasn't interested, Dave was too embarrassed and when he finally fessed up it was like "What are we gonna do?" With Dave, a shell of what he once was, there wasn't anything to do, he wasn't about revenge, or anything except getting high, and before I knew it, I was leaving my mind alone and just got high as well.

16. Wow. Best we leave the past behind.....What's your take on the state of punk circa 2014?

I like the young kids, they seem to understand there are no limits. The bands from the last two decades seem to have a certain way punk is to be played. and it baffles me when I know a bunch of guys are starting not just a punk band, but a hardcore punk band,.... to make money. Enough to pay taxes on. Mainstream Punk, bigger oxymoron than Jumbo shrimp!

17. Any particular post tour plans?

In April, hopefully production starts on this movie called Mentiros. I wrote the screenplay, met the director and a couple producers. I saw the short list of the ten actresses that are up for the lead, and if all goes as planned, I'll get a nice amount for my screenplay. I get paid first since I finished my job on the movie before everybody, I wrote the thing. So I wouldn't mind starting to write something besides music, like a great HBO series. And of course, my other band Dust Angel. We have our own songs, not just the songs for the last Reagan Youth album. I'm ready to record a second album and it's going to be like 70's hard rock meets 80's thrash.

18. What will we hear at the Middle East on September 26?

A tight band that will be informing the crowd through the power of music that truth and love is better than stealing oil from Arabs.

home | interviews | photos | features |BGN issue list | reviews
links | contact us

Copyright © 2014 Paul Lovell. All rights reserved.