Posts Tagged ‘Sticks & Stones’

Concert organised by my mate Joeri Hoste (Emotive Impulse zine). He was a volunteer at the V.V. like myself and we’d tried to fuse our distros (also with Bruno VdV’s) but that didn’t work out… The day before (95-01-07) he’d already arranged a show in his hometown, Brugge with ‘Sticks & Stones’, ‘Blindfold’ (Bel), ‘Vanilla’ (Fra) and ‘Kosjer D’ (Bel).

‘Sticks & Stones’ were from Bridgewater, NJ. They had gained our attention when Charles Maggio of ‘Rorschach’ released the Theme Song For Nothing LP (‘92) on his label Gern Blandsten. That record featured bassist Osamu ‘Sam’ Kawahara (on this tour Rob Santello), drummer Chris Calello, Pietro (Peter) Ventantonio (a.k.a. Jack Terricloth) doing vocals & guitar, and guitarist ‘Johnny X’ Mike Cavallero. They’d already done some 7”s on various labels plus a tape that was intended to be released on ‘7 Seconds’ Positive recs (’88). In 1994 they released the LP The Optimist Club ‎(Tinnitus recs) and the EP Cynical (Chunksaah recs, a punk-rock label formed by ‘The Bouncing Souls’). The latter also released their disocragphy on CD (The Strife And Times; in 2003). In the beginning they played punk-rock (sometimes compared with ‘Stiff Little Fingers’) and evolved into “emotional post-hardcore, post straight-edge rock”.

Mike Cavallero claims the band never played Belgium (read below) but Joeri insist “They did! I even organised several gigs for them…” though the last newsletter before this gig mentions “‘Sticks & Stones’ quit their tour one week earlier than expected…”.

‘Autonomia Indigena’ (from the Orléans area) were a “fast political in-your-face hardcore band” with Audrey Lacroix (guitar), Franck Le Poder (vocals; also ‘Sea Shepherd’), José (bass) & Rodrigo (drums). The latter originated from Chile. Political HC (emo-crust) with an interest for Latino issues – some labeled them “the french Los Crudos”. Lyrics were in French and Spanish. They did a 7” on Ape recs in 1994. I believe they also did a split-tape with ‘Sea Shepherd’ in support of a squat. Christophe Mora of Stonehenge recs intended to do a split-7″ ‘Autonomia Indigena’/‘Vomit Yourself’ but it never happened…

At the time of this gig – right after their tour with ‘Blindfold’ – ‘Congress’ (who’d played here already a bunch of times, e.g. 93-04-25, 93-05-22, 94-01-08, etc.; and would return frequently, e.g. 95-04-09) consisted of Joost ‘Josh Fury’ Noyelle (guitar), ‘Uniform’ ‘UxJx’ Jan Vandekerckhove (bass), ‘Pitbull’ Pierre Vanrumbeke (vocals) and Ilja ‘Chill Jay’ De Ceuleneire (drums). No idea if their additional guitarist Michael ‘Micha Soprano’ Pintelon (also in ‘Deformity’) already played then. GoodLife’s marketing-strategy (“H8000 vegan edge-metal”) was in full swing. After the ‘release’ of the Euridium 7” (on Warehouse recs – the precursor to GoodLife – GL started officially on Jan 1st ‘96; a limited edition was handed out at their gig in The Pits, 94-12-23) the band started working on the Blackened Persistance (should actually be ‘Persistence’) album…

‘Sherry’ was meant to be a ‘project’ with Jurgen Desmet, Françoise ‘Hazel’ Lepers (ex ‘Rise Above’, ‘N.O.F.’, ‘Shortsight’; Superfluous zine), Jeroen Lauwers (ex ‘N.O.F.’, Machination recs) and Tom De Pauw (Holy Hardcore zine).

The Germans of ‘Stack’ were also announced early on but then they disappeared from the newsletters so I think their first passage was postponed until 95-04-28

Brob

Sherry [Sherry Beth Sacks] (see 94-08-21) was a American girl that Marco [Walzel] was with briefly… A friend of ‘Hazel’ too. We tried some stuff out with Tom De Pauw (drummer of ‘Settle For Less’) and Jurgen Desmet but that didn’t work out, and few months later we tried again with Stijn [Persoons] and Arne [Van Petegem] of ‘Kosjer D’ but these guys played way better than us so we forgot about it…. There’s (luckily) no recordings of the band ‘Sherry’ left.

I’m pretty sure ‘Sticks & Stones’ never made it to Belgium. I did see them at the beginning of their tour (94-12-24) in Germany because they did a show with together with ‘Blindfold’. I had a chat with one of those guys and I would’ve known if they played in Brugge ‘cause I would’ve seen the guys back. In Brugge I think it was ‘Blindfold’, ‘Kosjer D’ and a ‘Moss Icon’ cover band with Joeri.

Jeroen Lauwers

Gern Blandsten released our first LP, Theme Song For Nothing, on vinyl only (Skene! was our actual label, and released the same record on CD. So it was a sort of partnership between the two labels.)

There was a German guy who went by the name of Goliath [Brettschneider] who had a business booking bands and renting vehicles and equipment. ‘Goli’ was on vacation with his girlfriend Beata, when they bought our album, Theme Song For Nothing. They liked it and contacted us offering to put a tour together. However, Goliath wanted to get out of the booking side of the business and only rent equipment, so he had a colleague of his named Detlev handle the actual booking. Since ‘Goli’ had instigated the whole thing and because he liked our record, he volunteered to drive us for part of the tour. Other drivers included these two German kids named Carston (Redman, maybe?) and Marcus, who had released our European-only LP, The Optimist Club. By the end of the tour, we drove ourselves.

Things started out very well. It was our 6th tour and we were unaccustomed to having any help, getting paid, having places to stay, good sized audiences and all those other positive things associated with the European scene. Our U.S. tours were mostly miserable. Unfortunately, as the tour progressed things started to fall apart. Dates in Austria and France were cancelled, or to be more precise, were never confirmed to begin with. We spent Christmas Eve in a post-office lobby because we had no money, food or anywhere to sleep. As things got worse, Detlev disappeared and would not return any phone-calls, leaving us on our own. We were able to replace some shows and sometimes we would just show up somewhere and ask to play. At our last show of the tour in Nuremberg [Nürnberg], Detlev finally showed up. He looked exhausted. It was clear that he felt terrible about how things had worked out but hadn’t known how to deal with it, so he just disappeared on us. I was prepared to be furious but when I saw him I didn’t have the heart to really say what was on my mind. If he had just communicated with us, things would have been better. Anyway, we went home a few days later and we didn’t play again for about 10 years.

‘Sticks & Stones’ may have been booked to play but we had numerous cancelations and I’m fairly certain we did not have any shows in Belgium, unfortunately. The band went to Europe only once. We played in Germany, Italy, Sweden and Denmark.

So… unfortunately Pete and Chris both say they don’t remember whether or not we ever played there, so not very helpful, I’m afraid. For my part, we have photos from every other part of the tour, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Sweden, but nothing from Belgium. As a professional cartoonist, I don’t think I would forget a visit to the centre of European comics. I’m fairly certain we were’t there. Maybe Goliath might be able to shed some light on the question. Of course you can draw whatever conclusion seems best.

During that time, I launched ‘Johnny X And the Conspiracy’ and ‘Zero Zero’ (with members of ‘Lifetime’) and Pete (a.k.a. Jack [Terricloth]) started ‘World Inferno Friendship Society’, which he’s still doing. ‘Sticks & Stones’ have been talking about playing a Christmas show [2014] in New Jersey with ‘The Bouncing Souls’, which seems to be happening.

Mike Cavallero, ‘Sticks & Stones’ guitarist

2 weeks before this (94-12-23), there was the presentation [at ‘The Pits’ in Kortrijk] of ‘Blindfold’s 7” World Of Fools. ‘Congress’ and ‘Blindfold’ started a Euro tour on Dec 25th. Both bands’ 7”s were free at the entrance. The ‘Congress’ 7” [Euridium] had a comic sleeve and ‘Blindfold’s 7” was available on green vinyl only at this local show. It came with an anti Lost & Found sticker: during that tour we (‘Blindfold’) had a run-in with the L&F boss [Bernd Granz], he came to a show and started an argument about the H8000 scene who were all aginst his label.

Hans Verbeke

excerpts from the V.V. guestbook:

additions wellcome!…

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