Well Dude, thanx for agreeing to do an interview and for even remembering me or my humble (hahaha) blog. A virtual honor, really. So, what does a fella know about Stormy (Vincent) and the legendary Blogged and Quartered site, I asked myself. Well, why not ask the fellow music lover behind it all. Had been checking out the blogroll at the Relics and lamenting all the comatose and dead sites. Are the days of the music blog over? Hell fuckin’ no, there’s still B&Q. Well sir, let’s get this started, how the hell are you Man?
So, who is this Stormy character, what’s life like outside the blog?
I’m 48. I grew up in NJ and was into music at a very early age. My dad owned a biker bar called The Purple Onion in the ’70s and i would bum change off the bikers to play the jukebox. It was usually the same 2 songs (back then it was 2 songs for a quarter). Hand of Doom by Black Sabbath and Taxi by Harry Chapin. From there i got into metal, especially the first 2 Maiden albums and early Priest, and finally i got into hardcore/punk after a friend in high school made me a tape of DRI’s “Dealing With It” on one side and Suicidal Tendencies s/t on the other. I think COC’s “Technocracy” was on there as well (still my all-time favorite crossover recording). From there is was listening to WFMU every Thursday like a religion, massive tape trading, writing to bands, starting many demo-only bands (i played drums), doing a zine called Off-Cycle, going to shows, buying records etc. This went on all through the late ’80s through the late ’90s. It all seems like a million years ago though. Now i live in Florida with my wife and 2 kids. I haven’t been to a show in a good 7 or 8 years. I think the last show was a Naked Raygun reunion in NJ. I just remember getting really drunk (for the last time actually).
EDIT: This may end up being more of a dialog, rather than an interview as Vinnie and I continued to communicate as I had more questions based on his answers. No more drinking? Is there a story you would care to share about that? A tall glass of water and a wide cup of coffee to ya!
As far as me not drinking. There’s no real reason. I partied (pretty hard) since 7th grade. Drinking, smoking pot, hallucinogens… whatever was in front of me really. That type of addictive behavior went on for like 30 years, until i had my kids. Now i have more than myself to think about, as cliche as that sounds. Now the only thing i take is Xanax to relax. And i LOVE coffee. I drink like 3 cups a day minimum.
…Sorry y’all no copies of his Off-Cycle zine in his possession…
Unfortunately i don’t have any scans of my old zine. I don’t even have a copy of the actual zine myself, which sucks. There were 2 issues. One had interviews with Apartment 213 and Abnormal Behavior, the other had interviews with Nasum (right before the singer died in the tsunami) and some other bands i can’t remember. I had a top 10 fave HC records section which had contributions by lots of HC band people. It’s fuzzy, but i remember Chris Dodge was one, and Mike Bullshit (GO!/SFA). I thought it was wild that Mike BS (who is gay) had Bad Brains s/t in his top 10 considering GO! has a song with the lyrics “Eat shit dreadlocked motherfucker”, about HR’s homophobia.
Anyway, the zine had a small run of maybe 100 each issue, and was given out free by Timojhen of Vacuum Records with orders. It was called Off-Cycle because i worked at a Printing company in NJ, and would work on the zine at work during our off’-cycle, which was usually about 4 days a month where there was absolutely nothing to do. I used the company’s computers and printers, so it cost me nothing to make, which is why i gave them away for nothing. I’d love to get my hands on those 2 zines. Shit, i forget 90% of what i wrote in them, just that there were lots of record and movie reviews, and lots of my own artwork. The whole thing was very graphics-heavy.
…I stand corrected…low and behold Vinnie did find an old copy of the zine!
Off-Cycle: Angry Mini-Zine
Hey man, here are the scans from the Off Cycle zine i promised. This is from the first issue from ’98. I scanned the cover, plus 8 pages. A 3 page interview with Apartment 213, a 3 page interview Abnormal Behavior, a one-page comic i did for the zine called “Bad TV”, a page of old HC faves, and a 2-page spread of movies. It would have taken too much time to scan the entire zine, although i may do it in the future. Use however much of it you like obviously. The stuffed file of jpegs is here…
…Vinnie’s got music for ya too…
Unfortunately, i don’t have mp3s of my first band (S.M.O. from 1987-1990), which was crossover hardcore. My fave band i was ever in. We did 3 demos and played with lots of great bands from the time, plus played parks and barbecues, house parties etc. Really fun times.
This was the band i was in after S.M.O. It started in the mid ’90s and ended in a few years. It was hardcore/punk with male/female vocals. The last song we recorded (not in a studio unfortunately) was My Anger, and that’s the direction we were heading in right before we broke up. It’s in the collection i posted, although the quality isn’t so hot). We were going in the way of early ’80s deathrock i think. To my ears anyway.
This is everything we recorded. A studio demo and rehearsal space demo.:
This was me and my 2 roommates making noise in the late ’90s. We were heavily influenced by Sabbath and Rorschach. Would have been great if we knew how to play as well as those bands. We did a studio demo and a basement demo. It’s all here:
This project started in ’98. We did a demo in ’99 and then a bunch of studio sessions over the ext 2 years. We had a track on that Short, Fast, Loud comp on Slap a Ham. The only track i ever played drums on that ended up on an official release. Looking back i wish we would have picked a different song. We played powerviolence mixed with ’80s hardcore. We played with shitloads of bands, my fave being a show with Discordance Axis. We played what was billed “metal night” at some bar once with Mortician and Burnt By the Sun. Horrible response, but i got to meet Danny Lilker that night, and Daryl from CxAx, so it turned out pretty cool. Here’s the discography:
…that Spaul cover is incredible!
It’s by one of my fave artists, Richard Corben.
I was also in Abnormal Behavior, but didn’t play drums on their CD, which is posted in the NJ post on the blog. I joined after. They were killer.
My friend, and old guitar player Mark, is in the process of ripping all the S.M.O. stuff to mp3s. He’s a busy dude so it may take a while. We recorded a ton of music in the late ’80s. I’ll eventually post that stuff on the blog.
How do you feel about the fact that B&Q will be ten years old in February…I hope you’re planning some kind of celebratory post?
Damn, is it 10 years already? It feels great that people have been so appreciative of the blog. I’ve met so many people, and gotten so many rare recordings from bands because of B&Q. I think a lot of the music would have never surfaced if it hadn’t been for the blog, stuff like the Radio to Saturn unreleased LP and ABC No Rio comp. I’ve heard that some records were pressed, old recordings unearthed, and some bands reformed because of the blog. If that’s actually true, then i feel like all the time i’ve put into it is more than worth it. Even if it’s not true (which seems more likely), the response has been so overwhelming that it keeps me going. As far as an anniversary post goes. If i can think of something worthwhile, then for sure.
Why B&Q pal, what the hell compelled you to start a fucking project like that and did you think you’d still be doing it as of your last post in May (I’m hungry for more)?
It all started when i used to post on the old Relapse board. I was constantly putting together HC anthologies and posting them on the board. Just a hobby i wanted to share. Someone there (i think it was a cat named Noah) suggested i start a music blog. So i gave it a shot. I had a few collections i put together (NYC Mayhem, Dirge, the old SFA demos with Mike Bullshit…), rare and great stuff that a thought needed to be heard. It just snowballed from there. As far as my last post being on May… i’m a slacker. That and kinda a perfectionist. Especially lately. I need all the music to sound as good as possible, even if it means re-doing it 10 times, same with the covers and the writing. So, sorry for the wait. I’m working on a few things right now, aside from having an archive of hundreds of finished recordings i never got around to posting yet. I can promise my next post will be up soon. All i’ll say is it’s called “’80s Hardcore Grab-bag” and will be pretty lengthy.
Who’s the guy behind the blog (do you go by Vincent, Vince or should I just call you Stormy)? What makes you tick?
Most people call me Vinnie or Vin. Stormy was my avatar name on the message boards i posted (and still post) on. It came from an old Adult Swim cartoon called Sealab. What makes me tick? Well, i’m really into old movies. ’70s cinema may be the only thing i obsess over more than music. I’m mostly into gritty stuff like French Connection (my favorite movie), Taxi Driver, The Seven Ups, Sorcerer, Serpico, Chinatown, Hardcore, The Conversation, Network etc, plus all the blaxploitation, kung-fu and biker films of that era. Lately me and the old lady have been watching a lot of ’40s and ’50s movies. We just watched Ace in the Hole for the third time, and it never gets old. I collect old movies, posters, books about cinema etc. Outside of that, i’m all about my kids.
There’s a thousand good ways to describe B&Q, extremely thorough, for example, how would you describe and/or define it?
I guess i would describe it as a sort of hardcore restoration archive with a personal element. A resource that people can always come to for info and rare music long after i’m gone. That’s my ideal dream of it anyway.
So much time and energy, and love, put into every post, it’s mind boggling, any particular one that stands out to you, or perhaps the one that is your crowning achievement?
That’s a really tough question. I love the Hated collections. Such an amazing band. Same with the Funeral Oration demos. I love the way those came out, and that first demo is one of my favorite demos of all time. I also really like the way the Assfactor 4 and Merel anthologies came out. It’s great that the unreleased Jerry’s Kids EP is one there. Stuff like that needs to be heard. I had a lot of help from Freddy Alva, who supplied me with rare stuff by Collapse, Absolution, Show of Force, Life’s Blood and of course the Fuck Rock comp. Meeting Freddy, Daryl from Citizens Arrest and Mike BS from GO!/SFA at ABC No Rio was a real highlight for me. These are people i really respected. Crowning achievements would be the Radio To Saturn LP and Birdchest EP, i guess because the bands chose B&Q to share this stuff with the world. It’s a huge compliment. Also, over the years i’ve honed my Photoshop skills and really love making covers. My crowning achievement there would be the Deathrock California comp.
It’s got to feel good to get such a healthy response to your posts, any particular responses that stood out to you?
So many. It’s a great feeling when a band member posts that he’s happy to see his stuff online, or that he thinks i did a good job cleaning the music or writing my thoughts on the band. Shit so many… members of Assuck, Crumbsuckers, Hogan’s Heroes, Youth Korps, Spazz, Agents of Satan, Infest, Crowd of Isolated, Assfactor 4… it goes on and on. It’s amazing. That combined with all the positive feedback has what kept me going for so long. And i have no intentions of stopping anytime soon.
What about the artists that you have posted, what kinds of responses have you gotten from them? I’m sure it varies from right on, thanx for the support, to, take my shit down. One post that I remember that you took down was the Mental Abuse one (I posted the Message from America: Hardcore Has Come of Age comp on youtube and it was promptly taken down…btw, fave song on said comp was Seizure’s “Living in the Streets”), there must be a story behind that? Other’s that stand out?
Guess i kinda answered this one in the last question. Really all the bands have supportive of what i do, and actually Dave Jones is the single person who wanted his stuff removed in the 9 plus years i’ve been doing this. It’s odd to me because there are bands OK with me posting there stuff even though it’s either still in print, or available on bandcamps. All i can think is that it’s good publicity for their band since the blog has such a decent following. But all Dave’s bands are long out of print with no plans or reissues, so i have no idea why he doesn’t want people hearing Mental Abuse and Outgroup. Shit, i’d be flattered if some blog cared enough to post some old band i was in over 30 years ago. But whatever. I removed those links. Well… fortunately i have something on my blog called Easter Eggs. A kinda loophole. Anyway, besides him, everyone’s been everyone’s been awesome.
The music you’ve posted over the years has been very eclectic to say the least, so much so that I couldn’t stuff you into some kind of niche, like metal head, punk or new waver, but I’m sure there’s a story behind the evolution of your tastes? Where are your roots, do you have any allegiances?
I’m just a lover of (what i consider) good music. I grew up on classic rock, which i still love, and it just kind of grew and branched out from there. I’m a big fan of ’70s funk stuff like Isaac Hayes, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, Marvin Gaye etc. Some hip hop like Public Enemy, Tribe Called Quest, Cannibal Ox, Disposable Heroes, Wu Tang, MF Doom etc. I love all kinds of metal – death metal, NWOBHM, black metal, thrash etc. Some jazz (fave is Albert Ayler), ’70s disco, ’80s New Wave and goth… fuck, even noise/gorenoise. No allegiances.
Are you embarrassed by any musical tastes you’ve had? Is there anything you just can’t listen to?
Absolutely not embarrassed by anything i’ve ever liked. Even as a little kid. I’ll listen to Abba followed by KISS with zero embarrassment.
How about the music in your life, outside the blog…do you play instruments, go to gigs, collect records?
I’ve played the drums since the mid ’80s, and was in at least half a dozen hardcore bands between 1987 and 2007. All demo bands. The last band i was in was a powerviolence band called Spaul. We put out some demos and had a track on a Slap A Ham comp. I don’t go to gigs anymore, although my 12 year old daughter is a huge fan of that band Merchandise, so i plan on taking her to see them, since they reside here in Florida. No more record collecting. In fact, i’ve been selling my collection off.
She’s a huge Smiths fan as well. My 7 year old son’s favorite album (swear to god) is Naked Raygun “Jettison”. He sings along to it in the back seat of my car all the time. I love that i was able to turn my kids on to good music, and that it actually clicked with them.
Who puts on a good live show…who couldn’t play live to save their lives? Bands you wish you had seen?
So many good live shows i wouldn’t know where to begin. Standout would probably be Jawbreaker on the Bivouac tour. Only time the hair on my arms actually stood on end during a show. I saw Discordance Axis a bunch of times and they always killed it. Bad Brains on the Quickness tour with Leeway opening was unreal. Slayer in the early ’90s was unreal… Maiden and Priest in the ’80s. Absolute worst band i’ve seen live was Mortician. The drummer was Awful. The band i was in at the time (Spaul) played the show. The two band i regret never seeing would be Swans and Lambchop. I also regret not having gone to the final CBGB shows. As far as “dream shows”, that would be Bad Brains in ’82 and Rudimentary Peni in ’82/’83.
I don’t think you’re as stuck in the past as I am, or are you? Who’s hot in 2018? Who from the past is hot in 2018 (hahaah)?
2018 has been a bit of a dry spell. I really like the No Problem “Let God Sort Em Out” LP and the new Vile Gash LP. As far as the past few years goes, anything put out by Coke Bust, Fractured, Despise You, Burnout, Concussive, Repos, Bellicose Minds, Spectres, Arctic Flowers… Uranium Club is great if you’re into DEVO. As far as metal goes, i really dig Syphilitic Vaginas (the best), Grave Upheval and Sect Pig.
How do you feel about old bands (some, only partially) reuniting? I personally like to see these old timers (I’m an old timer too, so no insult intended), and for God’s sake it’s good to finally have them make a buck. With that said, I saw Joan Jett play a couple years ago and she put on a fantastic set, but I would have much rather seen her 35 years ago. Thoughts?
I don’t know. It depends. I agree that it’s great to see them make a buck. I’m glad Jawbreaker are finally getting paid being that they were broke back when they were on top of their game. That said, i wouldn’t go see them. Now it seems like every band (especially in NY) are reuniting. Even bands like Altercation who only put out one demo. It’s crazy. I would have loved to see Infest in 1989 or whatever, but i wouldn’t want to see them now. That’s just me though. Only reunion i saw was Crumbsuckers, and they were so fucking tight, if you closed your eyes, you’d swear they were playing the LP over the speakers.
So are you really just some old retired guy, why the move from New Jersey to Florida?
Haha. Yeah, i just sit around eating hard candies and yelling at kids to get off my lawn. Actually i moved here because my dad (who passed away a couple years back) offered to help me out financially to get a house in Florida so i could be near him and other family. I decided it was perfect because i didn’t want to raise my kids in NJ. So here i am, in the land of Assuck and oranges.
do you still have ferrets?
No more ferrets unfortunately. In my dad’s backyard in NJ, he had rabbits, ferrets, dogs, cats and a rooster named Henry who would wake us up every morning. I really miss all those animals.
what do you do for a living?
Right now i work from home, doing some freelance computer work, plus selling records. I’ll soon be selling off DVDs, comics and books as well. I’ve accumulated so much stuff over the past 40 years it’s crazy. I’m a bit of a pack-rat. When my dad passed away he left me a nice Inheritance, so i’ve been kinda living off that since i moved to Florida. When i lived in Jersey, i worked over 20 years for a publishing company, then a few years at the Daily News, so i’ve always been in the publishing / print industry.
Religion, politics…do we even want to get into that?
I’d rather not. I’ve argued about religion especially back in the ’90s in my zine where i went into detail about being beaten with rulers in Catholic School. I used to get hate mail from Christians and i’d always respond. I had some nice back and forth dialogues. Now i really don’t care. Whatever makes people happy and content is fine by me.
Love the addition of the “Easter eggs” in the posts although looking for them reminds me that I need to go to the eye doctor and get a new prescription for glasses. Just how many gigs have you got squirled away (I lost years worth of shit because my hard drive crashed a couple of years ago)?
I got real lucky on the storage front. After mediafire deleted all my files and i closed up shop, i was contacted by a fan of the blog who runs a storage space called Firstpress. He offered to store all my files for free, and showed me how to post to the site myself. I forget the guy’s name offhand, but i owe him everything. Guy was a life saver.
Any plans for a next post? You’re not one to post frequently, it’s quality rather than quantity, you do what I call, Super Sabado Gigante Mega Armageddon Death post…all or fucking nothing man. What does it take to do a post like that?
Haha. Yeah, it takes a lot to do those mega-posts. Months really. Cleaning up and compiling all the music, then making the covers, then building the page, doing all the research and writing, and adding the links and hidden links. It gets crazy. Thank god the next one is almost ready.
What would you say to someone starting their own (music) blog?
I see so many music blogs that are just downloads. Like the album cover and the link and that’s it. Maybe a one or two word description. I’d say if you’re going to do a blog, put your own experience with the music in the post. If you love music enough to start a music blog, then you must have something to say about the music. Also, try and get obscure with it. Try and post stuff other blogs don’t have. If you’re starting a blog to share your Bad Religion and Ramones CDs, then i don’t see the point.
Justin, i want to thank you for this interview. It was really fun. I haven’t done one of these since the early ’90s for my old bands. Answering these questions felt like a trip back in time. Take care
Thanx Vinnie an honor and a privilege getting to know you! Now people, you must go to Blogged and Quartered… and get educated on how a music lover shows his love and as Vinnie said, he is liquidating his physical music collection, so go check out the The Blogged and Quartered Record Store…if you tell him Mustard sent you he might give you a deal, actually he will give you a sweet deal, I got a hell of a lot for a 100 bucks…but still tell him Mustard sent ya…haahahaha!