yot_tour

The legendary New York City hardcore band Youth of Today are touring Australia this week, bringing with them the energy and emotion that make them one of hardcore’s most important bands ever. 

Rest Assured will be along for the ride keeping a diary as the tour unfolds, so check back here for what are hopefully daily updates.

Follow us on Instagram at restassuredzine for some photo updates too.

Now that the tour is wrapped up we are working on putting together some video edits too.


YOTbondi

The Final Days 6 & 7.

Sydney really turned on some beautiful weather for our arrival and it was welcoming to feel warm upon exiting the airport. With the band headlining the two nights of Hardcore 2013, it was nice to not have to worry about getting to an airport the next day. First world problems I know.

We headed out to the show pretty early as I had to set up merch and Ken was keen to check out Higher Power as his old Damnation AD band mate Colin, has relocated to Australia and plays drums for them. Ken also is good friends with guitarist Lloyd and his partner Emilie, with both couples often visiting each other in their respective countries.

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Much like the majority of the other bands who had played on this tour, it was great to hear a variety of different takes on hardcore over the past week. There really are a lot of talented Australian bands at the moment. Its just a shame that Hardcore 2013 didn’t get half the crowd of the year previous, as the band’s really deserved more support. Would have been nice to see more people come out and what effect the low crowds have on the event even happening next year remain to be seen. As a credit to those who did attend, the shows were really fun with lots of crowd involvement and no shortage of bands with positive things to say for a change.

YOTsyd

On the Sunday we got to head out to do some sightseeing, while Ray held a Yoga class down at Cronulla. We headed down to Bondi for breakfast at Funky Pies before cruising the beach. Jake and Dean from Vigilante came along, as well as Lloyd, Emilie, Colin and his brother in law too. I had to split early to set up merch, while the rest of the crew headed off to Sydney Harbour to take in the sights.

By now you probably get the idea that Youth of Today are pretty damn amazing live. They brought out a real mix of young and old to the show and it was great to recognize a few faces from shows in other states going crazy during their sets.

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After the Sunday show Ray was introduced to Tom from the ‘Make A Change’ foundation (Mood Swing) and Jelena from ‘Bake Down The Walls’ (Outright), two charities named after Youth of Today songs who are doing amazing things for the less fortunate. He was sincerely touched by the efforts of Tom and Jelena and they both are really inspirational members of the Australian hardcore scene, the kind of people that make you swell with pride for their actions.

It was sad to know the tour was all but finished and my time with the band was winding down. It is still all a bit unbelievable to think about the company I’ve kept over the past week and the stories I have been privy too. Never in 100 years did I think I would get to see Youth of Today, much less meet the band and hang out with them.

Thank you to Graham at Resist Records for making the whole thing possible. Also to Dave, Jake, Dean, Coyle and Phil from Vigilante for being all round legends and so helpful with everything. Much gratitude and respect to Emilie and Lloyd too for hanging out and helping out as well. Thanks also to the other bands who played and impressed in all the other states and to the venue owners and promoters for being so helpful and accommodating.

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Below are some of the stories that I was told and discussions we had over the final couple of days…

Ray and Porcell’s friendship:

On stage at the All Ages show Ray dedicated a song to his oldest and dearest friend Porcell and he really wasn’t joking when he said this. The pair both met at the Anthrax when they were 16 and are still close friends some 30 years later. Currently they both live within a kilometre of each other and their daughters are best friends too.

I asked Porcell if it was weird when Ray did Better Than A Thousand without him and also asked Ray if it was weird not having him in the band. Ray said that because Porcell had already done Project X and Judge, it didn’t feel too strange. Both of them reflected that the first few years of doing Shelter were their favourite era of being in bands together. They still talk about resurrecting Shelter as it fits who they are as individuals more than any other band they have done.


 The “Disengage” EP and “One Night Stand”:

The track “One Night Stand” never appeared on the Disengage EP, but came out years later on the Revelation 100 compilation, marking 100 releases for the label. The track is in fact a cover originally recorded by Paul Anka. Congrats to the guy in Adelaide who knew this when asked by Ray on stage.

I asked why it didn’t make it on to the EP and Ray wasn’t exactly sure why, he thought because the song hadn’t been completed in time. Relations in the band were pretty strained at that point and by the time the EP came out, the band had already broken up.

“One Night Stand” first came to Ray’s attention as it was covered by the Partridge Family. At the time Ray tells me he was listening to a lot of different music, more Broadway styled and grew to appreciate the Partridge Family. Porcell tells me touring with Ray controlling the stereo at the time was annoying and often his tapes would fly out the window in frustration by the other band members.

 

Porcell, Judge and Chung King Studios:

By the age of 25, Porcell had played in Young Republicans, Violent Children, Youth of Today, Bold, Project X, Gorilla Biscuits, Judge and Shelter. Now that is a hardcore resume that is near impossible to match.

He told me the first Judge release, the “New York Crew” 7inch that was recorded with Don Fury, was done so for $75 and the whole thing was recorded and tracked in 3 hours flat at $25 an hour. He joked that it was the best spent $75 of any band he had been in.

We talked about the “Chung King Can Suck It” LP put out by Revelation that was originally announced as a 100 press on white, but was in fact a 110 numbered press, so records were altered by hand. While this may be common knowledge, apparently also the band made a limited run of t-shirts to coincide with the “Chung King” release that they sold at shows around the same time. Apparently people freaked out and were paying astronomical amounts to get the exact numbered shirt to match their LP number.

We also talked about recording “We’re Not In This Alone” at Chung King before Judge went there. At the time the studio was the premiere studio for hip hop and during the time they were there so was Public Enemy and Run DMC working on new albums. As YOT were the smaller band, with a lesser budget they had the night shift hours when it came to studio time, as opposed to the day time for the other groups. One night Public Enemy were working back and the band got to meet them. Walter showed up late and freaked out when he saw Flavour Flav and Professor Griff. Apparently he was like an over excited fanboy and as he walked away from the meeting, the other members of YOT heard PE called him a faggot and Walter was left devastated for the rest of the recording.

Again I was told a bunch of other stories that I cannot repeat nor am I at liberty to write for fear of repatriation.  Needless to say, hardcore has really evolved a lot since its early days. Ray joked that maybe one day he'll write a book about it all. I told him it would be a best seller. He told me it would probably cost him his life.

YOT_1_of_3


YOTBris_2_of_5

Day 5 - Sydney

The weather in Brisbane has been amazing and it was nice to not have to walk around a city all rugged up, like we have in the past couple of days. We had a fair bit of time to spend in Brisbane and the band keeps remarking how clean and beautiful Australian cities are.

Ray held another Yoga class this morning and had a lot of people show up. Seems his reputation, as a Yoga teacher is something I have perhaps underestimated. A couple of the Krishna devotees came down to the show last night and brought along a ton of amazing food to eat from Govindas. I’m a huge fan and a regular visitor to the Sydney restaurant, so we were all pretty stoked with the hook up. Ray and Porcell were instantly recognised when we first went there for lunch and it seems their profiles in the Krishna movement are of celebrity status worldwide.

Last night’s show was at Crowbar, a newish venue run by Trad Nathan who has been booking shows and tours in Brissy for an eternity. He has done a great job with the venue and a band’s every need are truly catered for, right down to the vegan hotdogs for sale. While the turnout was no where even close to that of Melbourne, it was much better than Perth and Adelaide and the people that were there, really got involved and made sure the show was a lot of fun.

YOTBris_1_of_5

It Runs Deep opened up proceedings with a set of mid 90s Mouthpiece inspired songs. Great to see a mix of older and younger guys in a band, combining to do something totally different to every other band in Australia. They’ve just put out a pretty awesome demo for free download, so make sure you check them out.

Again tonight was another first for Vigilante, having never played Brisbane before. Rick from Sick People and the It Runs Deep guys moshed their way through the set providing plenty of entertainment. Awesome to see a band like Vigilante developing a following around the country.

YOTBris_5_of_5

I feel like I am repeating myself a lot when it comes to writing about Youth Of Today on stage. They played “Slow Down” again tonight and I think it might have become my fave Youth Of Today song this week.

Tonight is the first night of Hardcore 2013 at the Hifi and will no doubt be a blast. Youth Of Today are planning on playing a different set for both nights of Hardcore 2013 so make sure you come to and catch at least one of them. The guys are looking forward to not having to wake up and travel to a show for a change and we’re hoping to squeeze in some sight seeing tomorrow.

YOTBris_3_of_5


YOTMel_3_of_6

Day 4 - Brisbane

Made it into Brisbane today and is nice to be back in noticeably warmer temperatures. Melbourne was definitely the highlight of the tour so far.

The show last night was at the Reverance Hotel, a new venue set up by the same amazing people behind the success of the fabled Arthouse Hotel. This new venue sounds amazing and is real impressive and I’m jealous of Melbourne because of it, just like I was with the Arty.

YOTMel_1_of_6

Right Mind opened up the show and these young kids play a melodic youth crew and its awesome to see young kids knowing more to hardcore than hard riffs. It was great to hear some of their 7inch songs live and hey have a new LP planned for later in the year through Life Liar Regret. Even threw in a Floorpunch cover to boot.

YOTMel_2_of_6

Vigilante have played Melbourne a few times before and go down a treat. They sound amazingly huge from the back of the room and impress as always. By now the room is close to full and you just know things are about to go a little nuts. There are a lot of old heads from Sydney who have travelled down for the show, making the most of the chance to see Youth Of Today in a small room.

YOTMel_5_of_6

Needless to say the pit erupts from the first to last note of their set. All the hits are played and its high fives, stage dives and smiles all round.We hear more stories about 7 Seconds and the best mosher in New York, John Watson who is the inspiration behind the iconic carton character adopted by the Circle Jerks. Apparently John Watson invented the term moshing and the dance style too deviating from the push shove style that was the norm.

YOTMel_6_of_6

Both Ray and Porcell told one of the funniest stories so far this tour about the time they went and saw GG Allin. Apparently they bumped into him on the street and he recognized them for some reason and invited them to a show he was playing that night at the Cat Club. They couldn’t figure out why he was playing the club, as it was way too nice to be hosting the show and was more of a cabaret styled venue. They meet up with GG Allin backstage before he goes on stage and he is shoveling handfuls of laxatives into his mouth. So GG plays the show naked, smashes his face with the microphone more than he sings into it, insults the crowd and they throw bottles at him and he throws them back at them and then rolls around in the broken glass cutting himself. The whole set only lasts about 15 minutes until the laxatives kick in and he starts shitting on the stage then rolling in it. By now couples in the crowd having dinner and what not are horrified at what is going on. GG starts throwing his shit into the crowd while Ray and Porcell dive under a table, using it as an umbrella from the raining shit. They make their escape as the security start to chase GG out of the venue and he runs off down the street naked and bleeding, covered in his own shit.

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Tonight’s show is at Crowbar with Vigilante and It Runs Deep, a new band for Allan Reid of Just Say Go fame who sound kinda like Mouthpiece. I’m excited.


YOTAdl_4_of_4

Day 3 – Melbourne

Adelaide turned on some perfect weather for our visit and seeing the city on a sunny day made me realise how well planned and appealing it is with its architecture and building structures.

While waiting for our luggage at the airport Ray tells me some interesting stories about pit etiquette in the old NYHC days. At his first CBGBs show as a young kid with a curly haired mohawk, he jumps in the pit and starts slamming with everybody else, only to be grabbed by the throat to face up to a clenched fist. After pleading not to be punched in the face, he realises there is a pecking order and etiquette to moshing and regulars don’t take too kindly to being slammed by a stranger. He has to learn the code, adopt the dress and works his way from an onlooker up the back to being accepted in the pit. When an out of town band play his local Connecticut venue he joins them as a roadie for their New York show the next night. Finally feeling accepted he gets over confident and is moshing around on the traveling band’s singer’s shoulders in the pit. Unbeknownst to him Cro Mags bassplayer, Harley Flanangan enters the venue dressed like he stepped off the set of Clockwork Orange, complete with a curved handled cane. Harley sees Ray on the guy’s shoulders, walks up behind him, raises his cane and yanks Ray down to the ground with a thud, just to remind Ray of the pecking order in the pit at shows.

After a late lunch at the Zen House Café we hit up awesome local record store, Clarity and say hello to owner Footy from Crisis Alert / Stolen Youth. On the shelf he happened to be stocking a book on the iconic New York venue, the Anthrax. On the cover of said book is a photo of Kevin Seconds from a show in the mid 80s and there in the front row screaming his lyrics back at him is Ray. The story from the night before now makes a lot more sense. Porcell looks at the photo and tells me ‘that was a fucking great show man’. I believe him.

Over lunch Ken revealed a side to him that I didn’t really know a lot about. You see Ken does a lot of music producing and studio work and has had a few successful songs chart for hip-hop and R&B artists. One artist he was representing blew up in profile pretty quickly and caught the attention of Suge Knight from Death Row records fame. Ken and the artist had to travel to LA and hire security guards to meet with Suge and his crew of Bloods (who all drive around red SUVs) and had to turn down a record deal knowing full well the folklore of people signing contracts under gunpoint for Death Row. Interesting world to dip a toe in to.

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Tonight’s show was at Enigma and had a decent turnout for the diminishing reputation Adelaide has gained. Crisis Alert opened up the show with their brand of flat out DC inspired hardcore. They also showcased four new songs off an upcoming 16 track LP they are set to record at the end of the month. Can’t wait to hear that. In typical Crisis Alert fashion their set was over in a blink of an eye.

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Vigilante will be joining us for the rest of the dates and tonight was also their first ever show in Adelaide. Drummer Adam Coyle is like a kid in a toyshop around Ray and Porcell, but these are his teenage idols after all. Vigilante shred their way through a set of what are fast becoming classics somehow without guitarist Jake’s fingers catching on fire.

ADLsetlist

Ray had been trying to sleep off a stomach bug all day and hadn’t been feeling too great. He pulled it together enough to play, but without the comedy routine of the night before. Setlists are only a rough guide of how the show is going to pan out. The band are always open to requests and last night Coyle insisted they play “Slow Down” and so for the first time in years apparently, they did and it went down a treat. You can see Porcell’s mind ticking over on stage as he remembers a riff from a song requested that they haven’t played in a while. He is like a human guitar tab book. Ray praises his good friend’s catalog of bands and you really have to marvel at some of the songs the guy has written.

After the show a lot of old heads approach Ray and Porcell and thank them for coming out. It seems no one can actually believe a band they grew up listening to in that of Youth Of Today are playing their local. Tonight's show is at the Reverance Hotel with Right Mind and Vigilante, be sure to come down for a time we'll remember.

YOTAdl_3_of_4


YOTPerth_1_of_4

Day 2 – Adelaide

Up early today to catch a 9 am flight to Adelaide, not a real lot of sleep after last night’s show, but no one seems to mind. While last night wasn’t the most well attended hardcore show ever, it was definitely one of the funniest. The fact is was a Tuesday and pouring rain probably didn’t help, but Perth you really snoozed and lost out on that one.

Break opened the show after being on hiatus for a while and sounded really cool. They played a Carry On cover and have a new 7inch due out soon. The guys from Break informed us that the bassplayer from notorious white pride band Skrewdriver has relocated to Perth and is actively trying to recruit kids at local skate parks. Some people never change.

YOTPerth_2_of_4

The Others were up next, featuring two of the brothers Crowe from the very talented Perth family. They played a couple of new songs, which sounded amazing. They have a new LP that will be up for preorder real soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Nick and Cam from Miles Away came out to the show to catch up with Ken, as it turns out he came to their rescue with a van for them to hire on a recent US tour when theirs broke down. He went the whole mile taking them out on a guided tour of New York too. Small world indeed.

In Ray’s words, tonight’s show was going to be all about turning ‘lemons into lemonade’. Ray Cappo is 100% pure entertainment. Part frontman, part stand up comic. He went out of his way to make sure everyone had a good time and enjoyed their lemonade.

The set list featured all of the YOT classics you’d hope to hear, even taking requests for half of it. The in between song banter and story telling was as much of a highlight. Ray and Porcell decided to play a game of NYHC lookalikes with people in the crowd. We had Wally (Walter Schrifiels), Vinnie Stigma, Pat Lundie, Allan Cage, members of Wide Awake and a bunch more, they were all there.

Ray is a very frank and honest guy and he jokes about some of the band’s history like the “No More” film clip, laughing that at the time only them and Devo had film clips. Later Porcell tells me it cost $3000 to make the clip and the guy edited it all in his video camera and Caroline Records got ripped off paying for it.

YOTPerth_3_of_4

As the show goes on the crowd participation increases and it almost becomes a jocular Q&A session in between songs as Jim from Refrain mocks Ray’s growl. Ray takes it in his stride and argues that he doesn’t even need to be on stage with Jim around.

There are requests for “Fame” off the Ray & Porcell 7inch, as Porcell plays that awesome intro riff. Ray laughs about the release and asks the audience when they first heard the record if they thought it was “cutting edge” or they just hated it? Because hating it was the general consensus. This is met by the question “what were you looking at out the window on the cover?” Ray who has a comeback for everything, replied “it was a bomb you smart arse!”Was one of those ‘had to be there’ moments.

Ray wrapped up the set with a lengthy story about their idol Kevin Seconds releasing their first record and taking them out on tour with 7 Seconds in LA in a old station wagon with no window or number plates, wrapping up the show with a cover of “Young Til I Die” as a tribute to Kevin.

I have heard a ton of great stories in the past 24 hours, mainly from Porcell this time around. Ray particularly enjoys a story about Porcell getting jumped in line at a Bowery show by a skinhead gang for being straightedge, that sounds real heavy to have experienced, but somehow funny now looking back on it. Some of the stories I can’t repeat, but a lot of the tales revolve around how crazy the Cro Mags crew was. From brawling with the Suicidals gang to sorting out an infamous DC skinhead gang run by a girl named Lefty, who was renowned for orchestrating acts of senseless violence. Lefty relocated to New York after a brick to the head and some death threats with the gang dissipating not long after. Some of these stories sound like they were lifted out straight out of a scene from The Warriors. Ken and Vinnie are enjoying these stories as much as me and there seems to be no end to them.

Tonight’s show is at Enigma with Crisis Alert and Vigilante who will be joining us for the rest of the tour. If you’re around, be sure to come down as I guarantee you’ll leave with a smile on your face.

YOTPerth_4_of_4


YOT1

Day 1 – Perth

The band flew into Perth today direct from a quick two-show stop over in Jakarta and Singapore. The night previous they played a show in Singapore that wrapped up around 11pm. By 12:15 am they were at the airport ready to board a 2am flight to Perth.

The band got in at 7:30am, ate and went straight to sleep. At the Singapore show the night before, bassplayer Ken Olden’s input jack got trashed as kids stormed the stage, snagging his lead. So while the rest of the band slept, with the help of local Adam Mossman of Annihilate Bookings, we tracked down a place that could repair it for tonight’s show.

Spent a lot of time today talking to Ken about his long, long, long list of amazing bands. From writing and recording classic BATTERY albums in 8 hours, to the intricacies of writing and recording all of the music for the first few DAMNATION AD releases. We also talked about BETTER THAN A THOUSAND, the side project that blew up out of nowhere and pissed off Roadrunner Records in doing so and the unreleased album that became FACE THE ENEMY with Tim McMahon joining on vocals.

“Value Driven was recorded in my bedroom" he tells me. "Ray did the vocals in my bathroom", he adds. He filled me in on how he first put up Youth Of Today on the “We’re Not In This Alone” tour in DC and how the friendship grew from there. Turns out, Ken has actually been Youth of Today’s longest serving bassplayer, having first played with them in 2001. Seriously this guy is an encyclopedia of hardcore stories, having played and recorded with everyone imaginable. If you make it out to the shows be sure to have a chat with Ken, as Ray and Porcell aren’t the only hardcore legends on this tour.

Tonight’s show will is at the Amplifier with the Others and Break. YOT are psyched to be here, as it’s one of the last places left they have never toured. They’re going to be mixing up the set lists at every show and will be playing all of your fave YOT anthems. Ray hints that this may be the last time the band play, as he is due to become a father again in January. Don’t blow it, make sure you come out to a show!

As I mentioned before Ray is hosting yoga classes while in the country too. He had one today in Perth, pretty admirable to do so with just a couple of hours sleep. He has more planned for Brisbane and Sydney. I’ll post the details when I have them. I asked him if hardcore kids ever show up and he laughs and tells me he wishes they would, but they’re too unfit. Prove him wrong. Make a change!


Rag

Ray Cappo or Raghunath as he is known in Krishna circles, will also be teaching some yoga sessions while in the country.

Will try and update the sessions for those who are interested. Otherwise find him on facebook here for more info or updates.

Raghunath Cappo teaches a very dynamic uplifting practice where he threads inversions, hindu mythology storytelling and bhakti (via singing chants and harmonium playing) throughout the class. He has studied and practiced Yoga for 23 years and has previously spent 6 years studying at an ashram as a monk in India. Raghunath teaches classes and workshops in New York City, Los Angeles and regularly leads pilgrimages to India. Raghunath is a captivating story teller and he has a gift for sharing the teachings of Yoga, making them accessible and understandable for modern day living.

The first workshop in Perth will be held at:

St Mary's Church Hall
9 Ridge Street South Perth
Tuesday 9 July 2013
1:00pm to 2:30pm

More info over here.


Youth Of Today Australian Tour

Tuesday July 9 Amplifier, Perth
w/ Break, The Others
Ticket from Oztix outlets and www.oztix.com.au

Wednesday July 10 Enigma, Adelaide
w/ Vigilante, Crisis Alert
Ticket from Moshtix outlets and www.moshtix.com.au

Thur July 11 Reverence, Melbourne
w/ Vigilante, Right Mind
Ticket from Oztix outlets and www.oztix.com.au

Fri July 12 Crowbar, Brisbane
w/ Vigilante, It Runs Deep
Ticket from Oztix outlets and www.oztix.com.au

Sat July 13 Hi Fi, Sydney
w/ Toe To Toe, Warbrain, Vigilante , Boneless, Higher Power
Tickets from www.thehifi.com.au and 1300-THEHIFI (843 443)

Sun July 14 Hi Fi, Sydney AA
w/ 50 lions, Relentless, Survival, Shackles, Outsiders Code, The Weight, Outright, Crisis Alert, Rain Dogs
Tickets from www.thehifi.com.au and 1300-THEHIFI (843 443)


YOT


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