A Brief History Of Russians Best Punk Rock Artists

There will forever be a great debate about where punk originated. Some say the Sex Pistols in England were the first punk rock band. Some say the Germs in Los Angeles were the birth of punk rock. Many others claim that punk started at CBGB’s in New York. Regardless of where punk truly started, in the late 70s, punk rock music and culture spread across the globe. One of the places where the punk rock had special significance was in the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union was plagued by censorship and groupthink, and many young people were searching for a musical style that would allow them to voice their discontent.

THE EVOLUTION OF PUNK ROCK IN RUSSIA

In the late 1970s, countless Soviet youth embraced punk rock’s nihilism. A great many Soviets lived in cramped apartments, faced constant shortages of basic goods, and felt that their futures were bleak unless they embraced government propaganda. Young Soviet punks began to imitate their Western peers by wearing clothes from Russia’s military surplus store. The Soviet propaganda machine immediately disavowed punk rock. Punk bands began to play under the radar shows in tiny apartments. Bands such as Atomaticheskye Udovletvoritely (Automatic Satisfiers) and DK gained a steady following in Leningrad.

SIBERIAN PUNK

In the 1980s, Siberia became the heart of the Russian punk scene. Yegor Letov started a band called Civil Defense. Letov founded a claustrophobic home studio in the city of Omsk where he recorded dozens of Soviet punk bands. The Soviet government considered Letov a dissident and sent the KGB to arrest him. Letov spent three months in a hospital for mentally ill people, where he was given huge doses of psychotropic medication that nearly left him blind. Letov was not the only punk to end up in a mental hospital. The Soviet government routinely placed people who they considered enemies of the state—including musicians, artists, and journalists who didn’t tow the party line—in restrictive psychiatric care.

PUSSY RIOT AND BEYOND

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Russian punk became increasingly commercial as it did in other parts of the world. In 2011, a guerilla punk rock collective known as Pussy Riot bucked commercialism and began to make international headlines when they staged a series of performances that were critical of Vladimir Putin’s repressive policies. Pussy Riot’s emphasis on women’s rights and LBTQ issues was a departure from the masculine Soviet punk scene of the 70s and 80s. In March 2012, three members of Pussy Riot were arrested on charges of “hooliganism.” Two members ended up doing hard labor in a Russian prison. As protests against Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian government continue to rage, politically motivated punk rock bands such as Mirrored Lips have gained many devoted listeners. As long as the Russian government insists on arresting those they consider dissidents and silencing political opposition, the evolution of punk rock in Russia will surely continue. Punk rock music is a powerful means of expression for many Russians who are struggling to overcome oppression.

Is New York Pop Punk Making A Comeback In The Bronx?

A lot of people may think that pop-punk is gone for good but apparently they have made a comeback recently especially in the Bronx. As a matter of fact, some people saw Simple Plan and New Found Glory have a tour that is entitled Pop Punk is not dead. It was just pushed around a bit but now is it making such a huge comeback but now people are just waiting for new tracks about it to come back for a bit. It is true how it was big back in the day especially in TV shows where there were many shows about it. Pop-punk became huge in pop culture as a lot of music fans would walk around the streets dressed as their favorite pop-punk idols and it would look normal. Nowadays, a lot of pop-punk bands are emerging and they are getting invited to play in music festivals not only in the Bronx but in other areas of the world as well. Thus, you can’t deny the fact that it is time to bring those lovely merchandises that you kept. It was safe to assume that the pop-punk genre died back in the day when many bands decided to call it quits. Now, there are many reunion tours and a lot of people are paying their good money just to see these people perform at a high level. You can’t blame them for doing so because it is what they are all about.

Some good pop-punk bands a few decades back included Green Day and Blink 182. Their nice beat caught the attention of music fans all over the planet and some of their songs are still being played up to this day. When you dress up like those people today, chances are people would still recognize you and today’s young blood would know those musical icons. Pop-punk bands such as My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, and Paramore saw their popularity rise to fame during the early 2000s. Twenty years later, their songs are still catchy and you will still find places that will play their songs as they know it would draw crowds in. It is no secret that music is pretty popular in the Bronx with a lot of people wearing earphones and head bumping to the beat wherever they decide to go. It is such a great thing to do for them as it would ease their tension wherever they decide to go. Blink 182 and My Chemical Romance are just some of the bands that did tours to promote their latest albums. You can’t blame some of the pop-punk bands for switching to pop for a while when they saw the popularity die down a bit. They did not hesitate to go back to pop-punk because it is their passion to make more music like that. We should be thankful there are bands like that who love making pop-punk music to the best of their abilities.

The Story Behind Wax Trax Records

Wax Trax! Records was an influential American independent record label that helped elevate underground new wave, punk, techno, and industrial music acts. The brand grew out of a few underground record stores then became a legendary record label, as documented in the film INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records. Some of the recording acts associated with the label include Ministry, Front 242, KLF, KMFDM, Underworld, Front Line Assembly, and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult.

From Record Store to Label

The label’s roots trace back to 1975 when founders Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher launched a record shop called Wax Trax Records in Denver. Three years later they opened another store in Chicago that featured European imports along with underground music. The stores thrived throughout the seventies, eighties, and nineties. 

These stores helped promote British acts that didn’t get much exposure otherwise in the United States. The Wax Trax stores became important local scene hangouts that helped expose countless underground punk bands and new wave acts experimenting with new electronic instruments.

Early Success with Ministry

After Jim and Dannie relocated to Chicago in 1978, they formed the record label that took the same name as their stores except added an exclamation mark. Some of the early bands they signed included Strange Circuits, Strike Under and Divine. In 1981 the label released Ministry’s debut single “Cold Life” after the band’s founder Al Jourgensen met Jim and Dannie. Initially, they suggested he play guitar for their band Divine, but then Jourgensen decided to make and submit his own demo and call it Ministry.

Ministry started as a synth-pop project based around Jourgensen’s experimentation with new electronic sounds. The band steadily evolved toward a harder, more industrial sound. They went on to sign briefly with Arista Records for their debut album With Sympathy in 1983. Then Ministry released several more singles for Wax Trax! Records including the legendary club hit “Every Day Is Halloween” in 1984. The following year Ministry signed with Sire and released a string of commercially successful albums.

Mastering the Club Sound

Wax Trax! Records had its most success in the eighties marketing 12 inch singles of cutting edge electronic artists. Jourgensen, who worked for the label, encouraged the signing of the Belgian electronic act Front 242 in 1984. Front 242 then supported Ministry on their American tour as the opening act. A few years later Front 242 signed with European label Red Rhino then supported Depeche Mode in 1987 while maintaining its relationship with Wax Trax! Records. The band’s first club hit was “Headhunter” in 1988 from the label’s all-time top-selling album, Front By Front.

Other acts signed to the label in the early to mid-eighties included The Blackouts, Minimal Compact, Revolting Cocks, Wiseblood, Coil, Luc Van Acker, and The Young Gods. By the late eighties, acts that joined the roster included Fini Tribe, Front Line Assembly, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, PIG, KMFDM, and Meat Beat Manifesto. In the nineties, the label signed Sister Machine Gun, Braindead Soundmachine, Excessive Force, Black Dog Productions, and Psykosonik.

These bands cultured small groups of die-hard fans that were quite distinguished from the pack with colorful and aggressive hair styles, colorful and geometric clothing styles, and sobriety outlooks ranging from straight-edge to exotic substance use. As much of the scene involved hanging around venues before and after the shows, this culture even trickled down to the pets that fans would bring along with them. Heck, they were likely pioneers in the realm of treating their dogs to cannabis products, which seems to have finally caught on with the main-stream world of late.

Bankruptcy and Rebirth

Wax Trax! Records filed bankruptcy in 1992 and were acquired by New York-based TVT Records, as Jim and Dannie held on to creative control of the label. After Jim Nash’s death in 1995 TVT continued to keep the Wax Trax! brand alive until TVT shut down in 2001. Dannie Flesher passed away in 2010. Julia Nash gave the Wax Trax brand a new life as a Chicago pop-up shop in 2014.

2018 Documentary Film 

In 2018 the documentary film INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENT: The Story of Wax Trax! Records were released, chronicling the label’s history. It was recognized by various film festivals across America including in Chicago, Seattle, Denver, Nashville, and Santa Cruz. The 94-minute film was directed by Jim’s daughter Julia and Trent Reznor composed the music.

How Johnny Ramone Became A Punk Rock Legend

Johnny Ramone (1948-2004) was a founding member of the American punk band The Ramones and helped bring a more rhythmic and pulsating guitar sound to punk music. The band was formed in 1974 and remained together through 1996. Here are some key highlights that defined the career of Johnny Ramone.

Rise to National Prominence

The Ramones formed in New York City at a time when the music scene was about to change. The energy crisis caused petroleum-based companies such as record labels to tighten their spending. Consequently, major labels resisted signing new acts and relied on established artists during this period. Most punk bands started on indie labels, whereas The Ramones were signed in 1975 to Sire Records, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group. 

The band’s name was inspired by Paul McCartney, who said he used to book hotel rooms under the name “Paul Ramon” in the Beatles era. Each of the band members adopted the last name, Ramone, although none were directly related to each other. 

Johnny Ramone was born John William Cummings. His autobiography called Commando was released in 2012, eight years after his death. His love for underground bands like The Stooges and MC5 drove him from plumbing to music and connected him with bandmates Douglas Colvin, who became Dee Dee Ramone, then singer Jeffrey Hyman, who became Joey Ramone. The band added drummer Tamas Erdelyi, who became Tommy Ramone.

The band’s self-titled debut album was released in April 1976 after it was recorded a few months earlier. It contained the single “Blitzkreig Bop,” which became one of their staple songs with fans. It kicked off a long string of hits that became familiar with audiences that listened to modern rock or alternative stations in the 1980s and 1990s. The band’s most well-known songs include “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “Rock and Roll High School.”

Historical Significance

One of the reasons The Ramones stood out from other punk bands and were more commercially successful was due to their polished sound. The band kept the production basic without fancy studio tricks even when working with “wall of sound” producer Phil Spector. Certainly, the hooky melodies helped make the songs memorable, along with occasional controversial lyrics such as “Bonzo Goes To Bitburg.”

The interesting political contrast within the band is another nuance that makes them unique. Most rock bands distance themselves from conservative views and politics completely, whereas The Ramones gave voices to both sides of the political spectrum. While Joey Ramone voiced a left-leaning position, Johnny leaned to the right, telling the press he thought Reagan was the best president of his lifetime. When inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, he said “God bless President Bush.”

At one point Johnny Ramone even claimed that punk was a åright-wing movement, although many prominent rock historians disagree. Johnny was known for reckless behavior in his younger days, but by age 20 he stopped drinking and taking drugs. Even so, the guitarist suffered a near-fatal injury from a fight in 1983 that required brain surgery. This incident was reflected in the band’s next album title, Too Tough To Die.

Personal Life

In 1984 Johnny married bandmate Joey’s ex-girlfriend, Linda Danielle, who took the name Ramone. Some people believe this relationship put a strain on Johnny and Joey’s friendship. But when Joey died in 2001, it had a profound effect on him, he said in the 2003 documentary End of the Century. Johnny died in 2004 after a five-year battle with prostate cancer.

How Bands Like Eli Whitney and the Sound Machine Are Keeping Ska Alive

Just when we thought ska music is dead, it keeps on coming back thanks to bands who are committed to bringing this music back to life. They have new hit singles like Reasons to Leave and Objective to show how much they love the genre. The beats of both songs are very catchy and it is no surprise that so many people have already viewed them on YouTube and downloaded it on Spotify. They serve as inspirations to ska fans all over the world craving for new content and you can bet a lot of fans are awaiting this band’s next few moves. Some people would wonder how bands like Eli Whitney and the Sound Machine are keeping ska alive. The truth is they have their own sound and mix it with how Ska music used to sound back in the day. it is no secret they have musical inspirations of their own. As a matter of fact, they admitted that some of their ska band inspirations were the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the Clash in terms of songwriting. When they write their own songs, they would listen to other bands from different genres as it is all about coming up with something that a lot of fans would like. Thankfully, it is something they are good at and they see themselves doing it for many years to come and it does not look like they are going to slow down. They started out with many members but have since become a lot less which is actually good since as they say too many members can be a bad thing as there can be some jealousy within the band.

How often they practice is another thing they were able to influence bands since they work hard in keeping ska music alive and it looks like it will be with the new generation of ska bands popping up. As they look up to Eli Whitney and the Sound Machine with all the nice things they have done in the music industry. There is no shortage of fans who have posters of them all over their rooms. This band takes pride in giving the best they got in all the songs they put in their album. They are not like other hands who only have one or two songs that are good the rest are not that good. They would write songs that have messages in them too. You know they are passionate about music as they are also music fans themselves and they love watching other people perform as they give their hearts out to what they do every time they go out on stage. When you see this band’s past performances, you can tell right away everyone is having a great time which is why they would get new fans even during times when they don’t have a new release out. They plan each one of their shows so that they would cater to the audience who are excited for them.

A Bio Of Ska-Punk Band Kill Lincoln

It would not be that hard to find a bio of the ska-punk band Kill Lincoln because of how popular they are. They have six members all playing different instruments. They have a lot of musical inspiration and they make music by blending in their own style of music. This year, they are proud to bring back ska music like never before. This genre was popular before then the bands that played them started to dissolve. It looks like this band is here to stay because it is one of those things that you would want to happen during the time of quarantine. Yes, we want to hear as much good news as possible. Based in DC, when you attend a Kill Lincoln show, you can expect mayhem to ensue and that is what makes it so fun to watch. There will be moshing pits and various band members doing stage dives so audience members must be prepared for what is sure to be a fun night. That is not even mentioning the fact that they are going to be playing all of their hit songs to their most loyal fans. They are going to make you relive those glory days of attending shows where you are all wet because of all the things that are going on and it would be hard to keep track of every single one of them. The important thing is that you are having fun and that is what Kill Lincoln is here to provide. Yes, it is non-stop entertainment like no other.

They have released a new single titled ‘Can’t Complain’ which is what ska fans right now should be since they have a new single. The last one was five years ago and it seems like a very long time. They made the music video during the time of quarantine and they did not mind doing it. They did every safety guideline possible and the end result is something they are very proud of. Of course, they would love to perform the song in front of a live crowd but we don’t really know when live concerts can resume again because of the pandemic. They have been making nice ska music since 2009 and the band just keeps on getting stronger. When you hear their sound, it is like you were transformed back to the 1990s. Some would argue that it was the best decade for music with talented bands popping up out of nowhere. It is no secret they were huge music fans during that age and they are not afraid to show it. They say they always wanted to produce something new for their fans who have been clamoring for more music from them. They can compete with 1990s ski bands and at the same time get something fresh out there. It is like a mix of different styles which is why today’s ska music topics would always go back to Kill Lincoln and they have gotten new fans.

A Comparison Of The Ska Music Scene in the UK and Japan

The Japan ska music scene is a bit of a craze there as there were many bands looking to make a name for themselves. These pop icons became such a hit not only in Japan but in other parts of the world. It is no surprise how there are many ska bands in Japan and almost all of them have a ton of members that play different instruments. Some would all sing and they would not mind getting into the groove when the time is needed. Some of the bands include Yum Yum Orange, Kemuri, Determinations, and Ska Ska Club. Even if they rose to fame in the 1990s, the radio is still playing their nice music up to this day as they get new fans from all over the country. Some members of those bands would go to other countries and fans would instantly recognize them. It shows how big ska music was back in the day. Concerts were so big when these ska music legends would go on tour and most of their venues were sold out weeks in advance. They were such a huge commodity back in the day that most fans today would welcome some kind of a reunion even if a lot has already changed in terms of the pandemic.

The UK ska music scene became hot in the 1980s especially with bands like the Police and the Specials making worldwide hits that became quite a sensation. One particular song that would stand out is the Police’s Every Breath You take which was remade into I’ll be Missing you by Puff Daddy in the 1990s. It even became a mash-up when the two artists combined to make such a huge hit in the MTV music awards that year. It was meant to be a tribute to Puff Daddy’s friend Notorious BIG who died at such a young age. Amy Winehouse was another English singer but she also died at such a young age but not before she left a lot of good songs that are still being played on the radio up until this day. It is evident she could have reached new heights in her career if it was not for an accidental overdose. It is understandable how there are many music festivals for the ska bands that have hit the UK. When those music festivals happen, a lot of people would flock to them and figure to have the time of their lives. A comparison of the ska music scene in the UK and Japan focuses more on the fan base as the fans in the UK are a bit rowdier especially when you consider the fact that these people pay good money to see their favorite bands perform right in front of them. Lily Allen is one current ska singer who is pretty popular not only in the Uk but all over the world as well. As a matter of fact, a lot of her fans are just awaiting her next album to be released.

How Brooklyn Became The Perfect Home For Ska Music

For the past few decades before our present one, ska music was predominantly based in Manhattan, New York. The 1980s and early 1990s were eras when NYC was home to countless clubs that produced and performed ska music.

Rents eventually skyrocketed in Manhattan come the early 2000s and most of the ska clubs and musicians can’t afford the leases and the rent anymore as they doubled and tripled.

Clubs closed and decided to move somewhere else more affordable. The musicians and the club owners packed up and moved their ska gigs to Brooklyn.

The early 2000s laid out the foundation for making Brooklyn the permanent American home of ska. A new army of bands like The Hard Times, The Forthright’s, and The Frighteners called Brooklyn, the largest borough of New York City, their musical paradise.

There were also flourishing DJ scenes courtesy of Agent Jay of The Slackers and other personalities. Regular ska shows like that of Version City (hosted by King Django at The Knitting Factory) and Dirty Reggae (hosted by Agent Jay at The Lake in Bushwick) rounded up the ska scene to give this unique music genre a productive renaissance.

During this era too, a film student and ska fan, Samuel Gursky, also worked to document the origins and culture of the Brooklyn Rocksteady scene. He grew up in the ska scene and started as an enthusiast of ska-punk. He evolved into embracing the slower and more soulful sounds of traditional ska and which seems to be the preferred ska of choice of most Brooklyn rooted bands.

Over time, ska in Brooklyn drifted and took a vacation, but it never really went away from the place that embraced it. The nostalgic element of ska has reemerged in the present times and proves that well-loved musical genres like ska flow through approximately 2-decade cycles.

Yes, it’s been around 20 years since the peak popularity of ska has waned. Its anti-racism linkage has passed through 4 years of turbulent times under the Trump administration, and it has survived and has risen up even stronger.

Now, Ska in Brooklyn has not only become a rallying point against racism but also against homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and other types of bigotry. There now exists a strong network of new bands producing incredible material and performances, which goes to show that ska is alive and kicking.

This sustained ska scene in Brooklyn also inspires other thriving ska scenes in other parts of the USA and also in Japan, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and the UK. Ska is not just music that’s pleasant to the ears but is also placed at the forefront to combat negative politics whenever it can.

From the original ska of Jamaica (the 1950s and 1960s) to the 2 Tone Movement of UK (1970s to 1980s) to the ska-punk evolution of the US (1990s) to the reemergence of ska in the present times with Brooklyn as a major hub, this musical genre has shown that it is constantly in motion and evolving but moving forward.

How Norwood Fisher and Fishbone Paved The Way For Ska Music

A lot of people would love to know how Norwood Fisher and Fishbone paved the way for ska music back in the day. The truth is they are like any other band that has gone through a lot of changes in their band members. Some of them would just call it quits out of nowhere and they would suddenly be left scrambling for replacements even if they are in the middle of the tour. Recently, Norwood admits it was all part of being the only ska-punk band in the world and he knows that the band is pretty strong right now compared to when it was first formed. It is evident there are a lot of fans who came to Fisher’s concerts and he would want to entertain each and every one of them. His passion for Ska music would inspire a lot of other bands to come up with their own ska music. In a recent interview, he stated that he would love to pave the way for other people to get into the music scene using their music as some sort of a catapult. He knew how the touring scene of playing their brands of music all over the country had a ton of rowdy fans. He grew up expecting a lot of riots to happen. There is a documentary about the band and that helped them get back to the scene. It is always a nice feeling to have some kind of rebirth in your career. They would not even mind competing with some of today’s hottest bands as they know they have their own brand of ska music and the new ones have theirs too.

They played at different venues from the Playboy mansion up to the Disney theater and they would not mind as long as they would send their fans home pretty happy. With all the changes, Norwood says that his band stuck long enough at a time when other bands decide to call it quits. He knows that despite all the other changes, Fishbone has a special love for music that they can’t seem to get rid of and he would not have it any other way. Fisher admits that there are a lot of changes he needs to get used to and he knows there will be a lot more in the future. Norwood can even recall how his cousin gave him some musical inspiration to start his own band and he started rehearsing in his own apartment. It was not long before they got discovered but not before angering a few of his neighbors. After that, the rest as they say is history. Their music became a mixture of a lot of things but it mainly became what is known today as ska music. Back in the early days, they got their inspiration from a host of artists from different genres. Thus, they were able to mix in their inspirations to come up with the songs that all their fans love them for.

A Brief Bio Of American Punk Rock Band Down by Law

Down by Law, initially formed in America, has only one original member currently, Dave Smalley; he is also the one that started the punk rock band in 1989. From the time the band was formed, it recorded its music at Epitaph Records but then switched labels in 1998. The band’s commercial success has been considerable; nonetheless, the band has been immensely influential, having recorded seven studio albums. By 2003, the band was recording and touring before they went on a break. After a few years in 2008, they came back to the scene to create new content and do a tour. The tour, meant for 2009, would have been the first after six years of missing in action.

The current members of the band are Dave Smalley, Sam Williams, Hunter Oswald, John DiMambro. They came together in Los Angeles, California, and the main genre they do is punk rock. The original members that Dave Smalley founded the band with include Dave Naz and Chriss Bagarozzi. Their first-ever album was called “Down By Law,” released in 1991. Brett Gurewitz, the founder of Epitaph Record, was the one that recorded both of their albums. The second studio album, called “Blue,” was recorded in 1992. The band split in 1993 after they finished touring and promoted their second album.

Bagarozzi, who played the guitar, was replaced by Sam Williams, Urlik, who dealt with the bass by Angry John Di Mambro, and Naz, who played drums, was replaced by Hunter Oswald. One of their best selling releases, Punkrockacademyfightsong was recorded by the new lineup and was released in 1994. A few of the songs like “Hit or Miss” got videos, and they managed to receive decent airplay from radio stations and MTV. Down by Law decided to do a tour that lasted for a year in an effort to promote their album. During the tour, they also supported some bands during their shows, including Pennywise, Burning Heads, NOFX, and the Vandals.

By 1997 the band had already worked on two more studio albums “All Scratched Up” in 1996 and “The Last of The Sharpshooters” in 1997. After recording the two albums, they left the record label they had been working with, Epitaph. After working with the record label for many years, they called it quits in 1998. Afterward, they briefly worked with another record label called “Go-Kart Records.” During that time, they released a new album, “Fly The Flag” and soon after, two band members, John Di Mambro and Chris Lagerborg, left the group. Unfortunately, after he departed from the band, Chris Lagerborg passed away in 2002 at 33.

It didn’t take long before the two members were replaced by Milo Todesco and Keith Davies, who took over on the drums and bass, respectively. Down by Law released yet another album in 2003, four years after their last one with the new members. This time they worked with Union 2112 Records, but the Windwardtidesandwaywardsails album wasn’t very successful. After the album failed, they went on a break again that year. The next time their fans heard from them was in 2008 after the band announced on their website that they’d be working on a new album. A year later, they went on another tour since the last one they’d done in 2003, performing in South America and America as well. In 2010 they did two shows in Florida and performed in the Netherlands as well.

Later on, in 2011, they signed up with DC Jam Records. They announced and released an album in 2012 called “Champions at Heart.” Consecutively in 2013, Down by Law also released “Revolution Time,” an album that had seven mini-tracks. Dave Smalley did some solo shows in 2015 and 2016, and in 2017 Oswald and Di Mambro joined the band again.