Harley Flanagan’s CRO-MAGS have shared the details of their new LP “In The Beginning”, to be released on June 19th via Arising Empire/Mission Two Entertainment and unveiled their new killer track “The Final Test”, streaming below and available to those who subscribe or login to their social media at this location.
“I am glad we were able to give you all a free concert in this time of quarantine. I would not have been able to do it without my team and I would like to thank them. These are the times we have to find new ways to help each other. We as people can’t let the fear turn us against each other. Stay strong, be smart and stay safe!” – Harley Flanagan
Flanagan reflects on recent times and the importance of doing this show, “I am very unhappy that the show with Body Count this weekend was postponed by Governor Cuomo – I was really looking forward to it, but I am more sad for the many people who are going to be out of work for who knows how long, and for those who have become ill from this terrible disease. We all must take extra precautions these days, but we will learn how to deal with this like we have learned how to deal with deadly diseases in the past. Be safe, be strong and be smart. The show will be rescheduled, and life will go on. Eventually we will all be “killed by death” just ask Lemmy. If it’s not one thing it will be another, but life will go on. And so will this show.”
Announced on Friday, March 13, the Body Count/CRO–MAGS show at Webster Hall in NYC was postponed, leading CRO–MAGS founder/bassist/vocalist Harley Flanagan and crew (guitarists Rocky George and Joseph Affe, Garry “Gman” Sullivan on drums) hit SIR Studios on Sunday, March 15 and took their set online, now known as “The Quarantine Show”. Today, the band delivers the full, multi-camera performance:
GO HERE to check out their recent Quarantine Show!
The history of the CRO–MAGS is integral to the history of Hardcore, it’s evolution from punk and the development of alternative music genres such as hardcore, cross-over, thrash metal, post punk and grunge to name a few. Numerous iconic bands from METALLICA to GREEN DAY, and individuals such as Dave Grohl have credited CRO–MAGS with having had a primal influence on their development.
Born out of the violence and depravity of the Lower East Side of New York in the late 70s and early 80s, the CRO–MAGS was the brain-child of a very young Harley Flanagan (at the time 14 years old) when still playing with THE STIMULATORS. By 1982/83 he wrote and recorded the very first CRO–MAGS demos consisting of four songs that would become the blue print for the seminal 1986 »Age of Quarrel«. He wrote all of the music, played each instrument and sang. Before long he connected with Parris Mayhew and the two started writing music and auditioning band members.
After several line-ups, 5 studio albums (beyond the original demos) and 30 + years of tours around the world, CRO–MAGS remains one of the most iconic hardcore bands with arguably the greatest reach beyond the genre.
Why now? In Harley’s words:
“Lemmy came to me in a dream and said, ‘Take it back mate, it’s yours, you started it.’ The fact is, I never legally lost the name Cro-Mags, others were using it without my permission, while I was raising my kids. An agreement was struck with the previous members and I regained full control over the name worldwide. Now with an amazing line up and 2 record deals I am moving forward. I have a great team of people behind me; I have never felt stronger, better or more creative.”
And so bassist Harley Flanagan has reached a settlement with singer John Joseph and drummer Mackie Jayson regarding ownership of the CRO-MAGS name. Flanagan will now perform under the name CRO-MAGS while Joseph and Jayson will perform as CRO–MAGS “JM”.
In 2019 Cro-Mags signed with Victory Records and Arising Empire.
The single: consist of 3 tracks, ‘Don’t Give In’, ‘Drag You Under’, and ‘No One’s Victim’.
The lyrics are meant to inspire and kick you in the ass when you need it. Some might not take them that way, but that’s my intention. Sometimes you need someone to tell you to man-the-fuck-up, or woman-up, cause life ain’t easy and you will get crushed if you don’t. I wrote them more for myself than anyone else, cause sometimes I need to hear these things, as I think we all do.
Some of them were inspired by loss, the loss of friends, by suicide, cancer, struggling with depression, mortality and ultimately the beauty of life. You have to be able to recognize it, even when you’re suffering and struggling. Although we all fight our own personal battles, and they vary, none of us are alone in the fact that we have to fight our battles, and many of them we must fight alone. In that way, we all have something in common, besides needing basic things like food water and shelter. We also must learn how to cope with struggle and mortality. Some rise to the top while others crash and burn.
I feel like I crashed and burned enough times that I somehow managed to rise back to the top. I feel stronger, happier mentally, spiritually and physically than I have in years; and it did not come without a struggle or cost. But that is life; you have to fight for what you want, and you also have to know how temporary it all is.
The single and album feature, along with Harley Flanagan, Gabby Abularach (Gil Evans Orchestra, amongst many other projects) who played on Cro-Mags’ »Alpha Omega« (1992) and »Near Death Experience« (1993); Rocky George (formerly of Suicidal Tendencies and Fishbone) who played on Cro-Mags’ »Revenge« (2000); and Gary “GMan” Sullivan (who has played with everyone from the B-52’s, Berny Worrel of Parliament Funkadelic, TM Stevens etc.), who joined Cro-Mags in the 90s.