Interview: Tom Lyle - Government Issue

Of all the original DCHC bands, no other produced as much product as GOVERNMENT ISSUE. The band's sound constantly evolved with each release but retained a credibility that many of its USHC contemporaries lacked as they progressed. Rather than interview the band's larger-than-life frontman, John Stabb Schroder, I thought it would be interesting to read the opinions of the only other member of the band who was there from the very start (almost), guitarist Tom Lyle.

..Tell us about the recent GOVERNMENT ISSUE releases starting with the live EP on DC-Jam Records. How did you get involved with DC-Jam and what was so notable about this particular live show that made it a worthwhile release?
..Tom)
DC-Jam contacted us for inclusion on the DC-Jam ‘Skaterock’ compilation. We sent them two songs from two different live shows in DC, one in 1982 and the other in 1983. We have lots of live tapes in the vaults because I was practically obsessed about taping the shows. I thought those songs would be good was because the recording quality was OK, and it was nice to be able to use shows from those early years. Then DC-Jam asked me if we wanted to do an EP, so I sent a few more songs from those shows.

..I’ve read of two songs from what would have been the follow-up to ‘Crash’, namely ‘Land Of Me’ and ‘Rabbits’ - were they recorded and will they ever be released?
..Tom)
Like I said, there are shitloads of live tapes. But there isn’t a whole lot of studio material that hasn’t been officially released. There is an album of outtakes and b-sides on an album titled ‘Beyond’ that was released in the early 90s on Giant, but it is out of print. Maybe one day it will be re-released, I’m not sure. Versions of ‘Land Of Me’ and ‘Rabbits’ are on the live DVD that Dr. Strange released.

..Dr.Strange recently reissued the ‘Make An Effort’ EP. Why did you reissue that now - especially when Dr. Strange already reissued it on the Complete GI CDs?
..Tom)
We’re going to release every album and EP on vinyl as it was originally done. It might take a few years to get all of them out, but so far that’s the plan.

..Cool! Dr. Strange also released the excellent, three show DVD, ‘A HarDCore Day’s Night’. Tell us how this came about. It does a great job of documenting how the band progressed.
..Tom)
My answer to that could easily fill up the rest of the interview. But the only video that was available for the longest time was the Flipside video of the two shows that were part of our West Coast tour in ’85.

..Yeah, I’ve got that too.
..Tom)
That is an OK DVD, but we knew for the longest time that we had better video than that stuff. We’re just glad that Dr. Strange agreed to release this new DVD, and that the final product came out okay.

..Given there’s seven years between the first show and the last on the DVD, can you tell us how your attitude and perspective of the music industry, GI and HC changed during the intervening years?
..Tom)
Back when the first show on the DVD was taped in 1982 at the Wilson Center in DC, those shows were like huge private parties. At least that was my impression of them at the time. And I think that one at the Wilson was the biggest show I played after switching to guitar from bass. During that earlier period we were definitely anti-music industry, and just about anti every trapping that rock ‘n’ roll had produced up until then. There was never even a speck of a thought in our minds that we were doing this for any other reason than to have fun, and at the same time trying to prove that DC was capable of producing music and a scene that needed absolutely no outside contact with the rest of the musical world. Again, at least those thoughts were going on in my gelatinous mind. By the time the show in Philadelphia was taped in late 1983 we had already played quite a few shows, and we even played short tours on both coasts by that time. I also knew what I was doing on guitar a lot better by then. Then the next show on the DVD jumps all the way to 1989. That wasn’t my original idea to leave a gap like that, I also gave Dave, the guy who assembled the DVD, a show from ’86 from the European tour, but I guess he didn’t think the quality of the tape was good enough. By ’89 we were a completely different type of band playing in a completely different world. We were always either on the road or recording. The band was a full time job. But I don’t want it to sound like we were trying to be like corporate or anything; we were just doing what we always wanted to do. But we were a lot more serious about keeping the train rolling.

..Considering the DVD and the Complete GI CDs, you must have a really good relationship with Dr. Strange. How did you end up working with Doc Bill - and where did the inspiration come from for an (almost) entire back catalogue reissue?
..Tom)
The Doc is great. He is a great person, and it is a great label to be working with, for many reasons. I first got in contact with him through my friend, Richard Gibson, who used to be the guitarist in the Northern Virginia hardcore band MFD. I was thinking about re-issuing the GI catalogue for a while; our relationship with Dutch East India who was responsible for originally releasing most of the original records had deteriorated to the state of a rotting corpse. My idea to re-release them all at once on two double CDs was because I was impatient; I didn’t want to release all the stuff slowly over a period of time. Also, I was thinking that it would be a better deal for fans of the band. Or potential fans of the band. That’s how I would want it to be done if I was on the other end of the deal.

..OK, let’s slide back in time and do some history. First off, how did you discover Punk Rock/ HC? Were you into any music before, or did it hit you as a ‘year zero’ kinda deal?
..Tom)
I discovered Punk through buying the SEX PISTOLS’ ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’. Before that time I was in a band on guitar, and we were trying to play cover tunes of all the music that we liked – I guess you could call us a garage band or something. But we were just so horrible it is almost embarrassing to even think about it. I just pretty much gave up. But then a few important musical events happened. I went to a BLACK MARKET BABY show in 1980, I heard the SOA record, and I went to a MINOR THREAT show at the 9:30 Club. By the time of the MINOR THREAT show, it was during the summer of 1981 I think, it was a done deal. Then that was all that mattered.

..You didn’t play on the first GI release, ‘Legless Bull’ EP - correct? How did you get to know the band and end up playing bass in time for the ‘Make An Effort’ EP?
..Tom)
Now that I think about it, it is pretty funny. Maybe funny isn’t the right word. It was Halloween afternoon, October 31, 1981. I was bored, so I went into Georgetown to the record store that John Stabb worked at as a security person – the guy who checks your bags at the door while you shop. I get there and he’s all bummed out about the show that GI is supposed to play that night at The Chancery. By that time the original bass player, Brian Gay, had left the band to go to college, and Brian Baker was on bass. He joined after MINOR THREAT broke up, because Lyle Pressler went off to college. Anyway, that night was the night that FEAR was going to play on Saturday Night Live, and Brian and a bunch of other kids from DC were going to go up to New York and see the show. I said, "Hey, I know your songs, I’ll play bass." That was actually a little bit of a lie, I didn’t really know how to play the songs that well. But we got together for a quick rehearsal later that afternoon, and I played the show with them that night. It was the complete original line up except for me on bass. After a couple of weeks, Stabb called me to say that all was forgiven, so Brian was back in the band. But soon John Barry, the guitarist, was going to leave the band, so Brian would switch to guitar, and I would be back on bass again. Only after about a month after I joined again we played our first out of town show at CBGB in NY with the BAD BRAINS, and right after that recorded the ‘Make An Effort EP’. We recorded it at the same studio where I recorded the Beaver EP, where I did guitar and vocals, about six months earlier.

..How did you (and the band, Stabb included) get on with Brian Baker? I’ve read things that state he was a trouble maker in a cowardly kinda way and quite manipulative. There’s a story where he apologised to THE MISFITS (of all bands!) for Stabb’s outlandish appearance. They just vicious rumours? I mean, he is on the ‘Punk’s Not Dead’ DVD stating how he manipulated himself into BAD RELIGION. You have much to do with him now?
..Tom)
THE MISFITS story is true. Stabb used to get even more outlandishly dressed in whacky clothes after that happened not just to piss Brian off even more, but it certainly gave Stabb more motivation. Brian used to complain to me that Stabb embarrassed him. But I would never say Brian was being cowardly, that’s too harsh. I guess Brian just had a certain vision in his head about the way things should be. And after being in MINOR THREAT with Ian… maybe that affected him in a certain way. But to this day I consider Brian a friend, even though we don’t see or talk to each other that often any more. I’ve never had any problems with Brian.

..By the time of the next release, ‘Boycott Stabb EP’, Baker had left the band and you moved to guitar. How did you cope with the transition?
..Tom)
I did not want to play guitar. I loved playing bass, even though I wasn’t that good at it. I was really disappointed when Brian left the band, but he said to me that it was no big deal, that I should just play guitar. "Easy," he said. It was not so easy though. I thought I really didn’t have much going for me as a guitarist. I actually talked to a couple of people about them taking over guitar duties, if I remember correctly. But I guess those thoughts didn’t last too long, because very soon after Brian left we started rehearsing with me on guitar. It didn’t take too long before I really started to take it seriously and write a ton of new songs.

..Why did the band leave Dischord Records in favour of Fountain Of Youth Recs after the split-label release of ‘Boycott Stabb’? In hindsight, do you feel that leaving Dischord did GI a great deal of harm?
..Tom)
Of course we would have sold more records on Dischord, we weren’t stupid. We knew that. But after recording ‘Boycott…’ Dischord was getting ready to release MINOR THREAT’s ‘Out of Step’, and MINOR THREAT was also getting ready to tour. Ian said that Dischord couldn’t release ‘Boycott Stabb’ right away. We didn’t want to wait. So we went with Fountain of Youth. As a favour, and I’m sure partly because Ian had so much to do with the recording of the record, Dischord let us put their name on it. After releasing ‘Boycott…’ Fountain of Youth was pretty much able to release every record we wanted on our schedule, so we stayed with them.

..How did GI fit into the DC Scene back then? Stabb was a theatrical front man and GI never regurgitated the same old beats and riffs as many did - no doubt resulting in GI’s longevity. Did the band take a lot of grief for either Stabb’s appearance/performance or for the new boundaries pushed by the band’s writing?
..Tom)
That was the point. We weren’t going to march lock-step either musically, lyrically, or anything else like any other band on the DC scene, or anywhere else. Did we take a lot of grief? From who? I mean, it wasn’t like we were ever leaders of our scene or anything like that. But I have to admit we disappointed a lot of Punk Rockers when we’d show up for shows in their town and we weren’t dressed in the Punk Rock uniforms.
But in the end, we got to write songs in any style we wanted, and we got to record them as soon as we had enough for an album. And we got to play shows. That’s all we wanted to do. And I think the only thing that contributed to the longevity of the band is that we didn’t break up after losing other members. Me and Stabb stuck together and called it GOVERNMENT ISSUE. Looking back at it now, when you compare the 1984 album 'Joy Ride' with 1988's 'Crash' does it even sound like the same band?

..I know what you are saying Tom, that stylistically they are worlds apart, but I think there are certain similarities – but that’s kinda down to the common bond of both albums featuring Stabb and both being GI albums. And hell, I’ve been playing them both for about 20 years – the sound of them both is kinda ingrained as GI now.
..Tom)
Yes, both have Stabb on them, but even he sounds like a completely different singer, you have to admit that. Listening back to it now, it's just like we were watching him grow up. And I guess listening back to it now it is like one is listening to me learn how to play the guitar. But in retrospect, that might not have been such a good thing. Our style of songwriting had changed from a two minute, three or four chord punk rock train wrecks to the stuff that's on Crash, which are practically anthems when you compare them to the older stuff. That's why I like the older stuff better sometimes, it was more from the gut, less from the head.

..The DC at the time often staged what I believe were called Punk Funk Throwdowns; shows that mixed DCHC with Funk. I appreciate how the likes of Texas’s BIG BOYS could bridge a gap - but tell us about the GI show where you had the unlikely pairing with TROUBLE FUNK. Given the reputedly violent nature of some of the DC scene of the time - was there ever much cross-scene violence?
..Tom)
There were two shows booked in 1983 with GOVERNMENT ISSUE and Trouble Funk. The first was at Paragon Too in northern Georgetown. That was a club that catered more to their kind of audience. The second was at Georgetown University’s Hall of Nations, which was more Hardcore territory. Neither show was successful. The one at Paragon, the cops showed up after our set and closed the show down, Trouble Funk never got to play. At Hall of Nations, the university wouldn’t let us play, they banned us because they said we drew a violent element, or something stupid like that. The gig that was successful was the MINOR THREAT/Trouble Funk show in downtown DC in September of ‘83. That was MINOR THREAT’s last show, by the way. It happened without any violence or anything.

..What was the deal with Mystic Records? The label has a dubious reputation, but you released the excellent, ‘Give Us Stabb Or Give Us Death’ EP plus a live record with them. I note reading the liner notes from the Flipside DVD, that Mystic’s main man, Doug Moody, flew GI out to California for some shows - doesn’t sound a bad deal to me. The shows on the DVD certainly look OK.
..Tom)
We wanted to release a record with Mystic because we wanted some West Coast exposure; we thought the Fountain of Youth/Dutch East India just wasn’t getting us known out there. Mystic flew us out to LA for a great tour in 1985. They treated us like rock stars. We played the Olympic Auditorium in LA with DOA and CONFLICT. We went into the studio. We drank fruit smoothies on Hollywood Boulevard. I have nothing bad to say about Mystic.

..Dutch East India Trading subsidiary Giant Records then appears on the scene for the release of ‘You’ - I believe you got pretty well shafted via Giant, which was a label created specifically for GI yeah? Did you have to battle to get the rights of the stuff they released for the Dr. Strange re-issues?
..Tom)
Is this interesting to anybody but us? It’s kind of boring, really. Yes, in the end we were not treated fairly by DEIT, to say the least. But when GI was together things weren’t all bad. They gave us money for recording, released our records, and even helped us by giving us a little seed money for a couple of tours. Our last couple of tours in North America they even ran a booking agency that got us shows. But after we broke up things went sour. It wasn’t pretty. But by the time we released the catalogue with Dr. Strange their rights to our stuff had expired. I showed the contracts for the original albums to a lawyer before we gave the stuff to Dr. Strange, and she said that we didn’t owe anybody anything. Nobody could legally come after us, no matter what we did with the tapes.

..GI seemed to have a habit of hooking up with some dubious labels - Lost and Found was another with a bad rep. I believe that deal was down to you for telling some random German Punk to ‘go ahead’ and release a record - resulting in the ‘Fun And Games’ release yeah?
..Tom)
Again, like Mystic, these are other band’s experiences, not ours. But I feel bad though, that anyone that hooked up with them because they saw we were on the label, and then ended up being screwed. But our relationship started when Lost and Found contacted me after the German tour in ’86 to say that they wanted permission to release an audience tape as a bootleg of sorts. But I said to them that I had decent tapes of some shows on that tour, and I would give those tapes to them for a better record. That’s how ‘Fun and Games’ came about. But I didn’t give them any artwork or anything because I sort of wanted it to look like a bootleg, we were still with Giant at the time, after all. Later they wanted to release a full album, so I gave them the tapes of the two shows for them to make ‘Finale’, another official bootleg, if you want to call it that.

..There have been a number of ex-GI members with yourself and Stabb as the main focus. In what ways did this harm AND aid the band?
..Tom)
There was only one instance where we asked another member to leave against their will. Other times it was a bummer that a bass player would leave the band, and a huge bummer that Marc Alberstadt, the original drummer left the band. But when you look at it now, the last two studio albums, ‘You’ and ‘Crash’ would have never been what they were without the rhythm section of Pete and J... That’s an understatement, for sure. Both those albums are what they are because of Pete and J. in such a huge way. And given the progression of the band as the years went on they are an obvious extension of what we were trying to become musically. If the band had stayed with the same members over the nine years of my tenure on guitar, we probably wouldn’t have sounded much like that band on those last two albums. Whether that’s a bad thing or a good thing, I’ll obviously never know.

..I read that ex-bassist, John Leonard, ended up in some kinda mental hospital due to his time in GI. Can you elaborate on this?
..Tom)
During the West Coast tour in ’85 he kind of had a break-down of sorts. Was that because of GI, or he just happened to be in GI when it happened to him, I don’t know. But he was OK very shortly after that, and he’s doing fine now.

..You mentioned J. Robbins earlier, what did he bring to the band when he joined for the ‘You’ album? Was it apparent that he was destined for some pretty great things with JAWBOX, BURNING AIRLINES and currently REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY? Are you still in touch with him, and what do you think of his work post-GI?
..Tom)
He joined before the ‘You’ album after Steve Hangsen left. He was very young when he joined, and quickly learned how to play his instrument incredibly well. Before he joined the band I was pretty much responsible for writing almost every note of the music, and Stabb wrote the lyrics. But when J. got up to speed his contributions were major. And Pete Moffett’s were huge, too.
I’m not going to try and put myself into a mind-set 20 years ago to guess whether I thought of any destiny or anything. I think JAWBOX was an excellent band, and he is an excellent producer. One of my favourite records so far this year is Wino’s ‘Punctuated Equilibrium’, which J. produced and was recorded at his studio.

..Is it true GI would have signed to a major label just prior to the band splitting up? Given GI’s track record with labels of disrepute, and the benefit of hindsight, are you glad this didn’t happen? How do you think a major label may have altered the path GI was heading during those final days of its Giant Records tenure?
..Tom)
We were never approached by any labels. Majors or otherwise. Ever. You have to remember that this was the pre-NIRVANA alternative rock era. We were still sleeping on people’s floors when on tour about ¾ of the time, and travelling around in a smelly van.

..I appreciate that – it’s just I recall an interview where Stabb said he would have signed to a major at that stage.
..Tom)
Maybe the way a major would have altered things is that we might have gotten a good night’s sleep every once in a while. I said might have. Or maybe we would be dropped by the label after one record for not moving enough units. Or maybe we would have been as big as Metallica. Or maybe we would have sued each other, and after loosing our millions featured on an episode of VH1’s Behind The Music.

..So, just why did GI split up? I read a quote from John that stated, "While all of our hearts were still in this monster called Government Issue, it was best to end it for good." Can you expand on that a little? You put nine years of your life into GI, there must be something more to it than a spur of the moment decision.
..Tom)
It was kind of sudden, actually. I think there were a few reasons why, both that concerned the band as a whole, and some that were my personal reasons. By that point we were constantly at odds with which musical direction we should be headed. Like Pete was getting influenced by more mainstream hard rock, and Stabb was listening to more mellow and melodic stuff. But I think if we thought about those musical problems a bit we would have found a solution, like forming side projects for those outlets or something. But the biggest reason for me, and this is just me, was that I was doing it for nine years, putting more and more work into it every moment of my waking hours, and sometimes it seemed like there should be a natural progression to more popularity. And that wasn’t happening. I don’t mean mainstream popularity, I never wished for that. But for example, especially in the US, we’d sometimes still play shows outside of DC where no one would show up. It was getting exhausting. I was also sick of touring, and that was definitely a big part of it.

..You have any regrets about ending the band?
..Tom)
Looking back at it now? I don’t think it could have lasted longer than it did. So it’s not worth thinking about.

..After GI you did GLEE CLUB - an experimental kinda deal. Were you jaded by Punk/ HC and attempted to distance yourself from it in some way, or was this another attempt to expand your own musical boundaries?
..Tom)
No, GLEE CLUB was during GI, in 1985 or thereabout. That was one of those times when musical influences start to take hold. Me and Stabb’s obscure tastes in music, or lack of taste really, forced us to go into the studio for a release, a purging if you will, of that stuff. It’s me playing 95% of the instruments and Stabb singing. I think it’s a pretty good album. But it’s definitely different from anything GI had ever done, or was going to do, that’s for sure. It was released on vinyl in small numbers, and never re-pressed. It was never an attempt at distancing ourselves, or an attempt at anything, really. It was just our way of having fun.

..Wasn’t the ‘Rollkicker Laydown’ single released here somewhere? Tell us about that – why wasn’t Stabb involved?
..Tom)
My fuzzy faulty selective memory won’t let me in on why Stabb wasn’t involved. Like I said, right before GI broke up we still had two songs in our set that were never recorded, ‘Land Of Me’ and ‘Rabbits’. J wrote new lyrics, and we changed the music slightly, and went into Jeff Turner’s studio and recorded them. This was only a few months after GI split. It was released as a seven inch single on Desoto. You can still get it as a download on iTunes or Amazon.

..You also did a couple of Hard Rock influenced solo albums in the early 90s yeah? During GI, was Hard Rock an influence? How do you feel GLEE CLUB and your solo albums were received by long-term GI fans?
..Tom)
Those solo albums suck. The best laid plans by mice and men often go awry. Or something like that. But at the time I thought I was doing the right thing. Hard rock was definitely an influence in GI’s music. No type of rock was off limits to us. I think if you listen throughout the catalogue that’s pretty apparent, at least to me it is. I don’t think most GI fans are aware of GLEE CLUB. And I hope they haven’t heard the solo albums, at least for their sanity’s sake.

..What memories do you have of the benefit shows for John Stabb after he got attacked in 2007? Was there not a second show that had Stabb back fronting the band?
..Tom)
There was one benefit show I was involved in, at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hotel in DC, in September of ’07. They booked it as GOVERNMENT RE-ISSUE because there were three former members of GI in the band. It was me on guitar, Brian Baker on bass, Stabb singing, and William Knapp from 76% UNCERTAIN on drums. My favourite part of the show was when a young lady came flying out of the stage-diving slam-dancing crowd onto the stage and crashed full force into the drum set. That brought back some good memories of shows from the old days. But the most important thing was that we raised lots of money for Stabb’s backlog of medical bills.

..Looking back, what’s the one GI release you are most proud of - and how do you think your post-GI work stands up to GI at its peak?
..Tom)
Nothing I’ve ever musically done since GI was as good as GI, that’s a fact, not opinion. My favourite GI record changes all the time. Usually I just don’t think about it. But if you forced me to choose it fluctuates between ‘Joy Ride’ and ‘You’.

..Have you seen the ‘American Hardcore’ film? Amongst its failings was a total lack of GI - especially when you consider just how charismatic and good on-screen value John Stabb is. Do you feel the film overlooked GI in the same way it overlooked HUSKER DU?
..Tom)
Of course I’ve seen it. I went to the theatre to see it when it came out. The maker of the film, Steve Blush, was never a big fan of GI. I guess you’d have to ask him why he let his personal taste taint the film.

..How much input did you have in writing songs for GI? GI never really tackled politics in the same way as many of the band’s contemporaries of the day did - why was that? Looking back, lyrically and stylistically, which songs - and why - really stand out for you?
..Tom)
‘Joy Ride’ was the first album where I wrote most of the music. Stabb was always the only one in charge of the lyrics. I think it would be better to ask Stabb why he was more comfortable writing about personal politics rather than world politics. But that was fine by me.
I really can’t think which songs stand out more than others. Of course there are songs that I like more than others, but again, if you forced me to choose, I’d say a song like ‘Wishing’ on ‘You’ where it takes my favourite mid-tempo DC Hardcore pace that was influenced by bands like THE FAITH, and combines it with the electric sitar guitar solo. Then there are more feedback laden heavy songs like ‘4-Walled Hermit’ from ‘Joy Ride’ that I don’t mind hearing every once in a while. But if you forced me to choose songs tomorrow, most likely there would be two different songs.

..Why did GI record a version of THE FAITH’s ‘Trapped’ on ‘The Fun Just Never Ends’ album? Do you know what THE FAITH thought of your version?
..Tom)
Alec told me he was kind of uncomfortable with it, that it brought out the heavy metal in the tune that they didn’t intend. But by about 1985 when we recorded it, up until our last shows, really, we would often play FAITH and VOID songs in our live set. Those are two bands that I still listen to all the time. I will never get sick of either of those bands. Ever.

..We touched on the band’s longevity being attributed in part to its constant progression - is there anything else you feel contributed to GI being the only original DCHC band to make it beyond 1983? From memory, the only other was SCREAM - that correct?
..Tom)
Like I said, it was that we weren’t afraid to replace members. That’s all. But since it was me and Stabb for nine years, I would hope that he wouldn’t replace me and still call it GI. I shudder to think.

..What was your opinion of the UK/European bands of the 80s? I recall you playing with the likes of CONFLICT and EXPLOITED when they ventured to the States.
..Tom)
We never played with EXPLOITED.

..No? Lucky you!! I thought there was a show with THE FREEZE that you played at...
..Tom)
No. I’m going to speak for myself here, definitely not for Stabb, but I was and still am a huge fan of DISCHARGE and GBH. As far as 80s European Hardcore, I have a pretty big collection of that stuff, too. I was hugely into 80s Hardcore bands from Finland, especially RIISTEYT. As you can probably hear by listening to GI’s albums, I was into all types of music. But if it was totally up to me, GI would have sounded like a cross between THE FAITH, VOID, DISCHARGE, GBH, and KISS. I guess it was good that it wasn’t totally up to me.

..Haha. What does Tom Lyle do in 2009? I assume you do not make enough from GI royalties to sustain an income. Do you play in any bands, or record any music - even if only for your own personal enjoyment?
..Tom)
Correct, I don’t play music other than for my own enjoyment at home. But I listen to music on the stereo. Constantly. But what makes you think I don’t live off of a retention bonus from Dr. Strange and DC-Jam Records? Ha. I prefer to be behind the scenes these days. In my studio I do a lot of mastering and some mixing, all of other band’s stuff.

..Do you still live in DC? How do you think the city has changed since the early 80s and the DC that you see today?
..Tom)
I moved in late 2006 to New Jersey, exit 14 before you ask. I moved here because my wife got a job in New York City, our town is thirty minutes from there. So here we are. Maybe I should consider joining the current line-up of ADRENALIN OD.

..What are your thoughts on music today and how it compares with 80s DCHC? Do you hear anything today that can rival the urgency or the sense of unity that you may have felt then?
..Tom)
I’m afraid to say that the old man in me thinks that nothing comes close to the energy and creative spirit that was DC Hardcore. Of course, there is always going to be something new. Some of it is always going to be great, you know that. I hear stuff that is pretty intense, like SLANG from Japan, and AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED from Massachusetts that get my juices flowing pretty well, but without a band like VOID that came before them they probably wouldn’t even exist.

..Anything you wish to add?
..Tom)
Just thank you. Stabb’s usually the one who’s asked to be interviewed, not me. If anyone wants to get in contact with me, they can do it through Dr. Strange or DC-Jam, that’s the best way, really.

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