97-03-30 The Locust – Jenny Piccolo – Separation – Serene

Posted: May 26, 2015 in VV 1997
Tags: , , , , , ,

97-xx-xx Locust & Jenny Piccolo (Vique)‘The Locust’ & ‘Jenny Piccolo’ touring-party (L => R: Al – Bobby – Chris – James – Jimmy – Justin – Vique – Steven); pic from the Swedish zine Handbook For Revolutionaries (taken by Axel Stattin)

This gig was organised by Joeri Hoste…

‘The Locust’ (from San Diego) played power-violence (“crazy, fast, noisy parts combined with ‘moshy’ bits; and screamy vocals”) with synthesizer-bits. Others described their music as “a mix of grindcore and mathcore” or “weirdo hype fastcore”. In the band at that time were: Justin Pearson (bass & vocals; ex ‘Struggle’, ex ‘Swing Kids’; founder & owner of the label Three One G), Dave Astor (drums; couldn’t tour Europe, one of the guitarists of ‘Unbroken’ – Steven Andrew Miller – replaced him), Jimmy LaValle (guitar/keyboards/vocals) and Robert ‘Bobby’ Bray (guitar/vocals). Their first release was a split-10” with ‘Man Is The Bastard’ (’95). Then there was a 5” split with ‘Jenny Piccolo’ on Three One G (‘96) and a 7” on Gold Standard Laboratories (’97)…

97-03-30 Locust (by Cathy B)‘The Locust’ (Bobby & Justin) live; pic courtesy of Cathy Bennett (photographer: Rudy Penando)

‘Jenny Piccolo’ was an “emo-violence” band from Santa Cruz (California) “cobbled together from the ashes of the band ‘Mohinder’…”. The guys touring were: Al Ruel (drums), James Fuhring (bass) and Chris Story (guitar/vocals). After the split with ‘The Locust’, they released the LP Information Battle To Denounce The Genocide (also on Three One G, ’97). They toured together with ‘The Locust’. Some of them later went on to play in ‘Yaphet Koto’.

97-03-30 Jenny Piccolo (by Axel Stattin)‘Jenny Piccolo’, photo courtesy of Axel Stattin (a young Björn Dossche looking surprised behind them)

97-03-30 Jenny Piccolo - James & Chris (by Petter Karlsson)‘Jenny Piccolo’ live (James & Chris), photo by Petter Karlsson (Erwin Van Looveren – R)

‘Serene’ (from Gävle) were Olle ‘Hård’ Johansson (drums), Petter Karlsson (bass), Fredrik Nygren (guitar), Klas Joakim Eriksson (guitar; later ‘Leiah’) and Anders Nähslund (vocals). They did a split-7” with ‘Separation’ on Genet recs in 1997. Their LP Inward Flowering was released on the same label in ’98. “Melody-driven hardcore and screamo punk.” They were back a few months later for the yearly fest (97-08).

‘Separation, a straight-edge hardcorepunk band from Umeå, were Axel Stattin (bass), Jonas Lyxzén (drums; ex ‘Abinanda’, later ‘Demon System 13’) and Lars Johan Strömberg (guitar/vocals). Before the above mentioned split-7” (recorded right before this gig), they also did a demo, and 2 releases on Desperate Fight recs: the EP/mCD entitled 5th Song (recorded Dec ’95 with José Saxlund from ‘Abhinanda’ on vocals) and a self-titled CD (recorded in ‘97 after this). José had quit ‘Separation’ to focus on ‘Abhinanda’ and his label Desperate Fight after the recordings for the mCD. This was their second time here (see 96-08-18).

97-03-30 Separation - Lars (by Petter Karlsson)Lars ‘Separation’, photo by Petter Karlsson

Brob

>> [‘Jenny Piccolo’] was comprised of some of the coolest and funniest people I have ever met, great touring comrades musically and personally. ‘Locust’ and ‘Jenny Piccolo’ were booked to tour Europe together. In retrospect the booker was crazy to bring us over. Both bands were unknown and were doing stuff that wasn’t really well-known or successful at the time. In Europe, people were heckling us for having synthesizers, odd haircuts and clothing that fit. At that time, a plethora of rehashed hardcore bands were touring there successfully. At our shows in Europe, we had old burn-outs, crusties, a shit-ton of hardcore jock-types and one night, some guy of ‘Doom’ who posted up right in front of the stage, shouting insults right until the first song smacked his old ass in the face. […] <<

Justin Pearson; in his book From The Graveyard Of The Arousal Industry

My band ‘Serene’ went on our first tour on Easter holiday of 1997. Up to this we had only done a couple of shows in the close surroundings of my hometown Gävle and it felt surreal to go playing in places I knew very little about. One could say that the Swedish punk/hardcore community in that particular time was held together by a consensus on a few political positions: Beat up racists, eat vegan, denounce sexism and be gay-positive. My band lived up to these premises. In retrospect, I can see something problematic in this. We were a band consisting of young heterosexual males, to some extent posturing as gays with the objective of showing solidarity with the gay movement. When we got to Belgium our reputation of being anti-racists, vegan, anti-sexists and gay-positive had travelled before us. The first three positions was a good door-opener. The fourth was… Well, the people we met weren’t gay-friendly at all, to say the least. We got threatened with violence and people confronted us with an attitude of “I’m OK with your band being gay and all that but you can’t sleep at my place because I don’t like guys butt-fucking all across my moms basement.”. This, of course, just made us push the gay-positive position further. Almost 20 years later I find it interesting to think about the processes that shape our identities and our communities. Political awareness is often raised experimentally, by trying things out and ‘taking a stand’ by appropriating other peoples struggles. And even though this support is done with good intentions, it is problematic since it is a very patronizing kind of support. The hardcore scene in Sweden in those days was full of what you could call privileged people taking a stand on issues that was outside of their own sphere of experiences. On March 30th 1997 we played the Vort’n Vis. I had listened to some stories from Axel from ‘Separation’ about the place being really awesome and had high expectations of visiting. I also knew that we were playing with people that had a history of playing in the band ‘Swing Kids’, who I highly appreciated. ‘Jenny Piccolo’ and ‘Separation’ played first. Our gig went down the drain since the drummer – out of some kind of defiance against those homophobic people we had met the days before – decided to play naked and therefore slipped his sweaty ass off the drum-chair all the time. It was fun. We ended with playing a cover of ‘Born Against’s Mary & Child and left the stage for ‘The Locust’. They were good! They did a quick set and I remember catching one of the syntheziser-keys that flipped off the keyboard. After the gig was done I remember taking off with the guitarist in ‘Serene’ to drink beer with two women that offered the band sleeping-places. I have trouble recalling their names but I think one of them was named Susanna. Their house was just outside a big field with remnants of trenches from WW1 and I remember sitting there in under the spring sun in their small garden getting the first experience in my life of feeling truly free.

Petter Karlsson, ‘Serene’ bassist

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

VV 97-03-30 - (book C) Locust & Jenny Piccolo

VV 97-03-30 - (book C) Separation

VV 97-03-30 - (book C) Serene

additions wellcome!…

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Comments
  1. Rudy Penando says:

    I took that picture (of ‘The Locust’) and as far as I remember, they played in Dunkerque (Fra) – a show organised by my brother Karl at the Local 7 [Brob: According to Karl it was ‘Swing Kids’]. I think they stayed at my flat in Lille after the show in Ieper.

  2. Cathy Bennett says:

    ‘The Locust’ guys and ‘Jenny P’ stayed at our place in Lille, together with Vique Simba. Not a huge crowd either at the Vort’n Vis…but it was jolly good fun. Rudy got a brown super tight T-shirt of ‘The Locust’.

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