Finally! I’ve been waiting a looong time to finally unveil this piece for you lads! Erie, Pennsylvania hardcore legend EMS and I finally finally got our asses together, worked out a definitive conclusion to our lengthy debate and I am more than proud to present you the entire interview. HUMAN ANIMAL is a new Erie heavy hardcore band comprised of members of bands such as SHOCKWAVE, BROTHER’S KEEPER, PRAYER FOR A FALLEN ANGEL, ABNEGATION, XDISCIPLEX AD, and JESUS WEPT. They a have a nice 5 song EP entitled “Dark Days” available for free and a couple more new songs waiting to be revealed in the nearest future.
Sit back and learn more about “Lake Effect Hardcore”, Erie’s local environment, tattoos, local radio stations, European punk scene as seen through the eyes of American hardcore veteran and a lot more! :)
Alright. No jokes. We have fuckin’ legends out here today [smiles]. Welcome, guys! Thanks so much for taking some time with me. How are you? How’s everything?
Things are okay, they could be a little bit better. The night you sent me this first question I was putting my son to sleep and came out to a buzzing cellphone. The call was from my business partner telling me that our tattoo shop we own had just been robbed at gun point and to come up as soon as possible. So we’ve been dealing with the after affects of that whole situation. It made me feel terrible that my partner, best friends, and co workers had to go through that whole ordeal and a bit guilty that it was on my day off. Two masked men busted in with ski masks and guns and preceded to pistol whip a few people and robbed everyone inside. They’ve caught some suspects and I’m hoping some series charges are filed against these scumbags although the cops in the scene were pretty much worthless other than the detective on hand. Other than that drama my mom and sister were in town visiting for the weekend (they live over 5 & 7 hours away) and tomorrow is my little son’s first day at school! And HUMAN ANIMAL practiced last night continuing to work on new material. So there are some positive things going on!
Oh man, I’m really sorry. Douchebags… Are mugs like this common in your area?
No, not really specifically to our area in particular. We’ve been at the same location for 13 years now and never had anything like this. Over a decade ago I caught one dude trying to break into my car and he got a serious right hook to the mouth and a few years back we had two of our tattooists out front beating the piss out of each other… but over all nothing of this magnitude. It’s kind of widespread in our city right now in all areas in general. Our friend Josh who sings in TASTE THE STEEL got held up at his job (DVD / video game store) a few months back and that was shocking. They were even located in a more heavily populated / retail store area of town. The same guy then robbed a beer distributor later on and the clerk there shot him dead. It seems like anyone trying to pull off this stuff always winds up getting caught so I don’t even see the allure to it. But our city and all of the Great Lake regions are part of the rust belt, areas of the US that were thriving during the World Wars. We were all industries and factories producing materials and products that the US needed during those times and our local economies were flourishing. Now so many jobs are outsourced and there are no blue collar positions left, just vacant decaying factories and plants and longer lines at the welfare office. It’s almost as if the middle class is being wiped out and no one knows what to do for a career so more and more people seem to be trying to take from others. There’s a definite lack of education and role models these days and many kids and young adults are lost and wandering aimlessly.
Does it foster the creativity of an average artists imbibing inspirations from their environment?
Oh definitely. If you look at all of the cities that circle Lake Erie you’ve got from east to west; Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, & Detroit. All are rather downtrodden places and much of the music that has come out of those cities is pretty dark and bleak. You’ve got classic stuff like COLD AS LIFE, EARTHMOVER, INTEGRITY, RINGWORM, DESPAIR, BURIED ALIVE, & ZERO TOLERANCE. And also all along the Erie Canal are great scenes like Rochester, Syracuse, & Albany. Many of our cityscapes and economics are similar in those areas and I definitely feel like the brutal winters and overall vibe of said places translates into the music coming out of them. I always felt like these scenes had a slightly different upbringing then say in the major cities of the East & West Coasts.
By the way, how are you holding up over this harsh winter? [smiles]
Today was another crazy snowy day here. I live only a few blocks from the lake so the weather can be kind of odd and really snowy in some parts of Erie and not so much in others… that’s where the term “Lake Effect” became the moniker for the Erie hardcore scene. Erie is actually #1 for snowiest US city so far this year. Syracuse was at the top until today [laughs]. But really you just take it day by day and you deal with it. When you’re leaving the house you try to leave for places a little bit earlier, you drive a little bit slower, maybe keep a spare shovel in your trunk because you never know when you’re going to get stuck in the snow. One thing people are pretty helpful with around here is if you see someone stuck you help them out because with the laws of karma that could be you next!
One thing that always really sucked was that rehearsal spaces for bands are pretty sparse around here. My first practice space for BROTHER’S KEEPER was on the third floor of a private social club called the Polish Falcons. A lot of legendary Erie bands practiced up there like DISCIPLE AD, NEVERFALL, PROBLEM SOLVER REVOLVER, SUMTHIN TO PROVE and a bunch more in the 1990s. All of the windows were kicked out and just had plywood nailed in their place. We would staple plastic sheets over top of them as it was so drafty. Someone had insulated the walls with cardboard from cases of Budweiser so it was a really classy aesthetic in there [laughs]. My last band SMOKE & MIRRORS practiced in a bunch of other different buildings. Some snow would actually blow through holes in the walls and they didn’t even have locks or any working heat. Another space we had was robbed but fortunately most of our gear was not in there as we had not loaded out from our previous show. Actually that ceiling leaked in that room too and it was so cold we had icicles hanging above our heads. The last place we had was a U-haul storage facility (which they are still practicing in). It’s beautiful in the summer as you can just leave all of the doors open but in the winter it’s totally brutal. The walls are only about a quarter of an inch thick sheet metal and there is absolutely no insulation whatever. The ceilings are about 20 feet high and the room holds no heat at all. Trying to write songs when you can’t feel your feet or hands was brutal and that lasts for months around here. 13 degree weather with a negative ten wind chill doesn’t exactly make you want to stay in there for 2-4 hours for practice but you do what you have to get things done.
HUMAN ANIMAL however is spoiled at this point with the studio that our drummer Bobby built. It’s a brand new building that he built on his property with proper heating and everything. It’s so amazing after almost 2 decades of playing in total shitholes. I feel like all of us deserved a break at least once in our lives and had a nice space. We’re totally spoiled right now but I don’t think that we take it for granted at all.
I literally visualized those places, you know? I wish I could go there one day and breathe in the Eriean air [smiles] and check out your neighborhood. Can’t wait to finally travel to the States.
You mentioned a few names. Could you please sum up all your previous music projects? I know there’s been hundreds of them [laughs], but let’s try… What bands have you been in?
I actually haven’t really been in too many bands [laughs]. And with HUMAN ANIMAL it’s really my first time ever just being a singer but let’s see some stuff I’ve done… My first real band was BROTHER’S KEEPER which I played bass / did back up vocals in from 1995-2003. We had a good run and toured a lot and had a lot of releases. We were one of those bands that you either loved or absolutely hated… which I think is cool as opposed to being an unmemorable band. I did one side project nearing the end of that called EMPTY PROMISES which I played bass in and did a bit more vocals. That was around 2001-2002. We had one EP out on 12 Volt Records which was one of the guys from Stay Golds label. I was pretty proud of that stuff. It was more in the vein of a poor mans HOT WATER MUSIC meets FUGAZI. After those bands ended around the same time I needed a change and I moved 7 hours east to Philadelphia, PA which is actually my birthplace. During that time in 2004 I spent a year filling in for bass with South Carolina’s STRETCH ARM STRONG and did a considerable amount of touring (my third time to Europe) with them which was super fun and made me a better player for sure. In 2007 we (my now wife and I) decided to move back to Erie, PA and I immediately started SMOKE & MIRRORS with some old friends and did that for 4 years. I was super proud of that band too but productivity was slow at times and I was getting frustrated. I started to have a negative attitude about the band and decided it was better for myself and for them if I left the band. It was a really tough decision but something I had mulled over for months. It’s a shame because I really like the guys and I really liked our output but for various reasons my attitude just kept getting worse and worse inside my head and was unhealthy. They’re still going and just released a rad new record and my new band recently played their release show so it’s cool that at this point there’s no ill will in either direction and that we can all play shows together as members from both bands go really far back. That all brings you to my current musical endeavor which is HUMAN ANIMAL. Right around the same time I had decided to quit S&M my friend Bobby and Adam asked me to start up something. I had been talking for about 2 years about wanting to do something where I just sang and wasn’t playing bass on. It was great timing because even though being in bands is time consuming and frustrating I tend to kind of feel “naked” without being in one and having a giant project to work on.
The other guys in HUMAN ANIMAL have an extensive history too. Bobby played drums in BROTHER’S KEEPER from 94-98 then went on to form bands like THICK AS THIEVES, PRAYER FOR A FALLEN ANGEL, & PROBLEM SOLVER REVOLVER who were big around here. He also drummed in THE AKAS for a few years too. Adam Salaga played drums in XDISCIPLEX AD, bass in SHOCKWAVE (allegedly), guitar in ANCHOR, & drums in JESUS WEPT. I had released several of those bands on my label Surprise Attack (SA Mob) and we all hung out a ton over the years but we had never been in a band together. He plays guitar in HUMAN ANIMAL which is a bit of a change since he’s been drumming for so long. Our other guitarist Nate Black actually was in BROTHER’S KEEPER very early on and I had actually replaced him back then. Fortunately he didn’t kick my ass and we’ve been friends since then. At the time I’d say he was more focused on his other vegan straight edge band ABNEGATION. He also went on to be in RUN DEVIL RUN, PRAYER FOR A FALLEN ANGEL, THICK AS THIEVES, PROBLEM SOLVER REVOLVER, SEVEN STITCHES (both of which Dave from SMOKE AND MIRRORS sang in), and a bunch of other local stuff. He kills it on guitar and plays all of the solos on our record. We’re all in our mid to late thirties and our bassist is only 21 so he’s only got one other band that he’s still currently playing guitar in a band called PHASES. So all of our musical paths are pretty intertwined. Bob, Nate, Adam and I have been in bands together or supporting each others projects for almost a solid 20 years (with very little drama for how long that is too!). I think we’re all pretty proud of our previous efforts and I know that as a band we hope to be productive and get a good assortment of new stuff out there.
Wow, thanks of the extensive review of these projects!
You mentioned STRETCH ARM STRONG. There have been some rumors about their reunion. Do you still keep in touch with David, John and the rest of the guys?
I keep in touch with David, Chris, and some of the other South Carolina dudes on occasion through text messages and social networks. I wish I talked to or saw those guys more often. I had some great times touring with them. Also before and after every tour I’d stay at either of their houses while waiting for my flights home and those guys and their families were some of the most accommodating and genuinely nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. It was the first time I had experienced true southern hospitality. I haven’t heard about any reunions but will definitely be investigating it now that you mentioned it. I told myself that if those guys play again that I will make the drive down to see them! Their last record “Free at Last” was grossly under rated and over looked. I’m not sure why as it was a wonderful record, maybe just because it was on a relatively unknown label but kids were definitely missing out on that one. I can’t believe it’s been so long already since that came out…
Ok, let’s go back to Surprise Attack for a while. How is the label doing? Anything new coming up? Your last message stating that you “wouldn’t say that you’re done releasing music for good, just not sure what the future holds for now” does not leave a positive impression. What’s up with SA Mob?
The label has been dormant for a few years now. I currently have nothing planned. I had hoped to reach 50 releases and I was getting really close but I just haven’t been feeling it the past few years. I felt like I could put together a really awesome release and have it come together really nice recording wise, production, and packaging… but when it came to selling them I seemed to have a hard time or lack of knowledge. I always tend to put out the underdogs or bands that other labels probably weren’t interested in. It is hard enough to sell music for a “nobody” band let alone a BROKEN UP nobody band. It felt like a lot of the bands I worked with were touring their asses off when they had a demo out and then I’d help them release a real deal CD or 7″ and then they hit the brakes. I felt like I was cursed for awhile. Everyone was breaking up or not working hard anymore… not too mention you can barely give away CDs these days and vinyl is getting more and more expensive to make. It’s been a tough decision to make as I put out my first release in 1995 so it’s been a huge and long part of my involvement in hardcore punk. Ironically enough I’m probably at my most financially stable point in my life where I could sort of afford to release stuff now and I have very little desire to. I have so much dead stock in my basement from releases that went absolutely no where and it breaks my heart as I believed in all of them very much so. Maybe I just have odd tastes or maybe I have no clue what the majority of people want to hear. Over the past few years I’ve still be involved within Erie hardcore whether it was with my bands, booking some shows here and there, helping out friends bands, and making fun Erie Hardcore or Erie straight edge clothing for the scene. It’s hard to really say what the future holds for releasing music so yeah it is kind of bleak…
Bummer. I hope it will get back on its feet sometime soon.
Tell me more about the straight edge clothing project.
The shirts I’ve made over the years haven’t all been specifically straight edge. I just really enjoy the process of coming up with an idea, working on designs by myself or with other artists, laying them out, thinking of color combinations and then getting them made. Obviously I hope that other people enjoy them and I like sharing them with my friends and people who support the local scene. I tend to make more stuff for Erie Hardcore in general rather than just straight edge stuff although I have made several edge designs over the years. I don’t want to overly exclude anyone as really there aren’t that many straight edge people around at this point and I feel like a lot of the sxe clothing lines have gotten rather embarrassing, offensive, and derogatory towards other people. I try to be more about self awareness and self empowerment rather than putting other people down, overtly obnoxious, and insulting. I’ve also made tons of shirts for my tattoo shop and my bands over the years as well as designing stuff for a few other bands which I’d like to get into more in the future. I always thought it was cool how rare some merch is. A record label might press 300-1000 of a CD or record but sometimes a band only prints a few dozen of a shirt design. Plus fabrics have a shorter life span and can go through more wear and tear. So owning 1 out of 36 shirts made is a pretty big deal when you really think about the rarity of some stuff. It’s a small piece of history documenting a specific time and moment in our culture.
(I attached a picture of just a few of my personal things I’ve made that I found in my closet. It’s a very, very small selection of stuff I’ve been a part of over time)
Alright, can we go back to your tattoo shop for a while? Could you please tell me more about this business of yours? How’s it going and what do you specialize in?
In 1999 my good friend Dave Steele (ABNEGATION) and I were hanging out a ton. I was running the label, my distro, and touring pretty much full time between the 3. He was tattooing at a local shop but wasn’t too happy with the owners involvement in wanting to upgrade and really push the shop. So we came up with the idea to open a split hardcore punk record store / tattoo & piercing shop. We looked at a ton of buildings but as soon as we said the word tattoo the door was pretty much shut in our face. We eventually met a landlord that wasn’t too much of an uptight pussdawg and he let us rent off of him. So with the help of a lot of friends (many who are still around) we began construction right after Y2K in Jan of 2000 and opened up Feb 1st. We pretty much just got a Home Depot & Lowes card in my name and maxed them out [laughs]. The very first tattoo Dave did there was the cover of BROTHER’S KEEPER “The Continuum” on the dude Dustin who recently replaced me on bass in SMOKE & MIRRORS. I actually just tattooed his hand last week too [laughs]. And the very first record I sold there was interestingly enough BROTHER’S KEEPER “The Continuum” on 12″ to my friend Nate who is actually the guitarist in HUMAN ANIMAL. So it’s pretty historic stuff and really shows the love for Erie past and still going in the present.
After a few years we kept adding more tattoo booths and artists and CDs really started to fade in sales. I was touring quite a bit all the time and was having a hard time keeping the record store stocked up on current stuff and didn’t really have anyone who could fill my shoes in that regards. So with the ever growing need to expand and focus on the tattoo aspect of it all I started helping more to manage that side of the shop and liquidated the records. We went full blown tattoos / piercing probably 2-3 years after we opened. I still have the Surprise Attack Records sign hanging in my backyard as those were great times. In 2003 BROTHER’S KEEPER broke up and Dave my partner and 2 of the guys from BK and my good friend Ryan decided to try something new and we all moved to Philadelphia. Our one tattooer Josh got bumped up to managing the shop and we did our best from afar to communicate and keep it ago. We weren’t making a lot of money but we had several people with families working for us so we kept it going for their sake. Dave wound up moving back to Erie for a bit and our other roommate Ryan did too. I stayed in Philly for a few more years. Ryan eventually bought into Ink Assassins as we expanded into a second shop and Steele taught local artist and musician Dave Quiggle (DISCIPLE, SHOCKWAVE, JESUS WEPT) how to tattoo there. After a year or so my partner Steele wanted to come back to Philly (where his then wife and baby’s mama was from) and buy a historic tattoo shop down there called Philadelphia Eddie’s China Town Tattoos (est. 1952). So Ryan and I bought out his part of Ink Assassins so he could purchase the Philly shop with some friends. I moved back to Erie in 2007 as Ryan and his wife were expecting their first child and I wanted to lighten his workload as he had really been busting his ass for the shop.
After having several employees really bum me out with their attitudes and poor work ethic I decided to start learning how to tattoo. I had been getting tattoos since 1995 and a huge fan of them forever before that. I was no longer touring in bands and just started drawing and painting. I really enjoy it a lot and it’s very challenging. We opened up long before tattoo shows and before it was super trendy. The tattoo scene was a lot different in the mid 90s and early 2000’s. Some aspects of it I miss a lot, but regardless it’s pretty awesome. We were just sticking with what we knew best and what came naturally to us; punk rock, DIY, and art. Still the same to this day.
Are you a tattoo designer as well as a tattoo artist? What do you like tattooing? Any leading themes you’ve always been into?
I definitely subscribe to the ways of simpler is better. I do design tattoos and reference a lot of older styles for my stuff. I’ve got tattoos on me that are almost 20 years old now so I’ve been able to see how they age and what has turned to mush. I prefer bold straight forward stuff with simple color palettes. A lot of imagery from the early to mid 1900’s that were mostly done on servicemen. There were so many great tattooers and motifs from back then and that stuff just gets me the most excited. They knew how to design tattoos for the best clarity, efficiency, and longevity. I’ll tattoo anything though that I think I can pull off and will age well. I spent today doing a big tribal cross before coming to band practice. Doesn’t bother me at all, it’s all about making the client happy. I enjoy just trying to pack in black solid and getting good crisp lines. Ink Assassins has a classic street shop vibe and we’re very a walk in friendly, first come / first serve shop. We’ll stay til midnight or 1am if things keep coming in. We’re a service industry and we try to interject our professional opinions into the tattoos without comprising what the client wants. It’s about making them happy, not feeding our egos.
How old where you when you got your first tattoo? What was it?
My mom made me wait til I was 18 years old to get my first one. I remember as it was half way through my senior year of high school. I drove up to Erie and got tattooed by Mike Ski as we had corresponded a lot during his time in SUMTHIN TO PROVE. I first wrote to him when the Victory Records “Only the Strong” 1993 comp came out and had visited a bunch. He was my gateway into the world of tattoos. He did my initials “EMS” on my lower back which at the time wasn’t as taboo of a spot to get tattooed. Things were a lot different in 1995. I think it took Mike three different sittings to finish it and we did a lot of it in his bedroom at his father’s house and then the living room of SUMTHIN TO PROVE’s guitarist Roger Hurlburt. I’ve since gotten my entire back done a few years ago by Jeff Zuck in Ann Arbor, MI. A lot of people thought I might cover it up since it’s a little dated but I didn’t care, I kept the tattoo. It was a major point in my life getting that first tattoo. It was 18 years ago and helped shape me to who I am so I felt like I’d be doing a disservice to myself by not keeping it even if it’s not the best tattoo, its part of my history now.
Is it your most meaningful tattoo?
I wouldn’t necessarily say it was my most meaningful but it was a momentous point in my life. I thought long and hard about that question and I couldn’t really pick just one tattoo to fit that description. However some of my favorites are my stomach rocker that Mike Ski did not long after that first one. It says “Down For Life” arched across my stomach and “XXX” below my navel. I don’t have many other straight edge tattoos because I felt like that summed it up for me. Not much more needs to be said for commitment! I don’t need X’s tattooed on my face to prove anything, I know where I stand and how dedicated to discipline I am. I also enjoy my feet tattoos done by Aidan Monohan. I got my mother and sister’s favorite animals (penguin & elephant) on them in honor of their love and support they’ve given me over the years. I got a few tattoos on tours back in the day so that was pretty cool too. My first color tattoo was done in 1997 by Grime at San Francisco, CA’s Primal Urge on our first full US tour with BROTHER’S KEEPER & ONE KING DOWN. Many of them really capture a point in my life and some great, fun times that were had. My wife and I travel a bit and we’ve both gotten tattooed in some neat places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii. My most recent tattoo was a small traditional compass rose on my wrist. For a wedding gift my wife gave me a compass so the tattoo is symbolic of our marriage which we are creeping up on our 6 year anniversary this May. I plan on getting something for my son soon but don’t have solid ideas just yet.
Awesome. Ok, let’s move on. You recently gave the public a look inside your work via a few radio stations. Do you have many channels supporting punk out there? It doesn’t look too good here, you know? It’s nearly impossible to track hardcore punk tunes in terrestrial radio stations.
The answer really would be “No.” The stations we’ve been featured on are local college stations as Erie has several universities. Unfortunately the broadcasting isn’t too wide of an area other than the internet streaming which is nice feature though. The one show we were on “More Metal than your Ma’s Kettle” is an old Erie Hardcore / metal dude called B who has been around for ages so he’s really into pushing the local scene which is pretty cool. He’s only on for a few hours every Friday night during the school year. We talked to him about doing a live performance on the air in their station to debut some new stuff once it’s all ready to go so that should be a ton of fun. But other than those two shows we’ve been on there’s not a ton of stuff in Erie in that media. I’m not even sure what kids look to these days to find out about new bands. It’s hard to put my mindset into someone 20 years younger than me and to try to relate or know what their life is like or the way they think. There used to be a couple of different record stores 10+ years ago and a few mainstay local venues but all of that has gone by the wayside. There has been one smaller DIY venue for the past year or more called Basement Transmissions ran by an old punk dude. I think it’s a great spot and we’ve played there twice. It seems like there’s a good bit of shows all the time with tons of bands I’ve never heard of so it seems like a good source to get exposed to new stuff. I assume most people just look to the internet these days for new stuff… where online I’m not really sure? I tend to just check sites like lambgoat, gluehc, toxicbreed funhouse, and a few stoner rock sites. Other than those I just try to pay attention to what my friends are talking about and trade music with them. I tend to watch a lot of music videos for bands even if I think they suck or had no clue who they were beforehand, I enjoy checking out how they choose to share their music in a visual form.
Great! Any artists you’ve recently fallen in love in?
The most recent band I was just introduced to is INCENDIARY from Long Island, NY. They have a pretty awesome groove and heaviness. They’ve got a bunch of stuff out but I just started checking them out recently. They did a split 7″ with a band I had previously released called UNRESTRAINED who are awesome too. They have a nostalgic hardcore sound to them but still relevant in today’s current scene. There’s a newer band from Buffalo called WRECKAGE that features an old friend Jesse who drummed in DESPAIR & BURIED ALIVE, both bands BROTHER’S KEEPER had toured with. They new stuff is going to slay people. There’s also another Buffalo band called MALFUNCTION that is solid, they’ve got stuff coming out on Reaper so more and more people will get to hear them. I’m definitely looking forward to the new TERROR as their last one KOTF was a flawless hxc album. DEAD ENDING had and awesome debut not too long ago. They feature dudes from RISE AGAINST, ARTICLES OF FAITH, & ALKALINE TRIO. It’s a total rager in a skate punk / old school hardcore kind of way. Ian Mackaye’s latest band THE EVENS put out a new LP this year and they are one of my favorite mellower listens with awesome lyrics and passion. LIFE AFTER DEATH from OH put out a great CD with a real DEATH THREAT / STEEL NATION kind of sound to it but I think they’re currently on hiatus which is a bummer. That was one of the better heavier hardcore bands I had heard in a while. Speaking of which there’s a newer PAxHC band called MENACE that can keep up with the best of them. Crazy moshy hardcore but kind of nasty too. I booked them with us HOMEWRECKER, & HARVEST last December and they killed it. The last TWITCHING TONGUES stuff was super awesome. I’ve been around long enough to see and grow up on SAM BLACK CHURCH, TYPE O NEGATIVE, ONLY LIVING WITNESS, LIFE OF AGONY and they’re one of the best current bands I’ve heard borrow from that style of metal / hardcore. Closed Casket Activities released those guys and INCENDIARY so they’ve got quite the roster these days. Heck they even did a new WHEN TIGERS FIGHT and those guys can do no wrong in my book! The WAR HOUND CD that came out last year was a great fix for the huge BIOHAZARD / FURY OF V fan in me. Pretty brutal hardcore right there with great song writing. Straight edge band DISCOURSE from South Carolina features members of Where It Ends who I had released years back. They’re latest stuff is a rad mix of hectic ballsy metallic hardcore like TURMOIL or something. I expect great things from those guys. I also dug the new OLDE YORK CD for some solid NYHC. Our guitarist turned me onto TRC this year too. I really like my hardcore to have some groove and bounce to it. I love some bite and attitude. I’m not a huge fan of just nonstop fast stuff or nonstop beatdown mosh. I need it to be diverse enough and the band keeping it interesting. I also listen to a ton of old hip hop but can’t think of much new other then rocking a lot of KID CUDI, THE KNUX, THE COOL KIDS, GNARLS BARKLEY, and some others. I love a good bit of stoner metal type stuff like HIGH ON FIRE, PELICAN, FU MANCHU, THE SWORD, KYLESA, and weird rock / indie stuff like PINBACK, BAND OF HORSES, BRAND NEW, FISCHERSPOONER, DEPECHE MODE (one of my faves), and a bunch of others. Whenever people are in the shop getting tattooed by me and my iPod is playing they look at me like I was crazy because my playlists are all over the place but that’s the way I like to keep it man. Gotta be eclectic. I’d go crazy otherwise. I told myself years and years ago to never be ashamed of something you like especially music. If people want to crack on you for your tastes well fuck em.
Great! You mentioned lots of amazing bands and a few more that I really need to check out. Thanks!
Is iPod your main player nowadays? How else do you listen to music? A telephone, radio, vinyl, YouTube (videos you mentioned before)?
Yeah it’s either my ipod or pandora radio. I tend to lean towards the Pandora as it’s a lot more across the board for the guys I work with and our customers. I listen to a lot of really aggressive stuff at times that not everyone is going to want to so I try to take others into consideration. I’ve amassed a huge mp3 collection and all of my CDs are in boxes in the basement. Not really sure what to do with them. I still use a few CDs in my car but work is barely 3 miles away and I don’t go to very many other places. I still enjoy vinyl and my sister a few Christmas’s ago bought me a record player that also hooks up via USB into my computer and converts the tracks to mp3 so that’s really cool. I wound up getting a cassette to mp3 converter as well. But both of those have been packed up for a few months as we’re currently trying to sell our house. We packed up a lot of our things to depersonalize it and half of our life is in boxes in the basement. It sucks and I hope that we sell soon so we can enter into a new phase. We’re thinking of maybe building a house out of the city somewhere. I enjoy a more nature like setting and each year it seems like I want to be further and further away from other humans [laughs].
Oh, man. You don’t wanna know about my tragic loss [smiles]. I have 1,5 TB of amazing rarities and great rips frozen in my broken hard disc. The failure turned out to be really complicated and it will be a major cost to get it back. I’ve already recover around 500 GB of data before. It was bloody expensive, but this one really hurts [smiles]. There are tons of rare rip made by my “online friends” from the US back in the 90s (!). They’ve been sending various demos and albums via IRC with me [laughs]. Yeah, but the good old vinyl releases remain! [smiles]
Alright, let’s discuss the “Swine Flu” video. Tell me more about it and reveal some details [smiles]. When can we expect its release?
That is my worst fear! I have my mp3 library on one external hard drive and I have another that I periodically back it all up on. My first one crapped out one time so fortunately I still had the back up. Your story makes me want to run out and get a back up to my back up now! I’ve read the date recovery can be ridiculously expensive ($500-2000!).
My friend Justin had initially mentioned to the Holy Mountain Screenprinting guys that we were hoping someone would do the “Dark Days” EP on vinyl. Danny and Jonathan are old friends of several of us in the band and really enjoyed the EP. They hit us up about releasing it on vinyl and we were all about it. Danny also runs Seventh Dagger Records but we’re not a straight edge band so they had been talking about doing a side label with their screen printing shop which is Holy Mountain to feature different stuff. Anyway, they mentioned that instead of doing print ads would we be interested in doing a video for extra promotion for the EP release. Our response was “hell fucking yeah!” This was something I was really interested in as I tend to watch a ton of bands youtube videos. It’s a great way to further express your songs or just to put a face to the music that you’re listening to. I had only ever shot one video in the past which was “I Shot JFK” when I was in BROTHER’S KEEPER but that was all ready 12+ years ago. Bobby shot a few when he was in The AKAs, Adam did an awesome one with Jesus Wept for “Broken Crown” and maybe a Shockwave one, maybe… and I think Nate might have done some with Run Devil Run. So hooking up a video for the band was like a dream come true for us.
Danny put us in touch with the dude who does Spencer Films from around Pittsburgh, PA. They’ve done some cool stuff like the new MENACE video, Summer of Hate fest stuff, and a bunch of the XREPRESENTX videos which I actually did guest vocals on a few years back So Spencer and his dude Dugan came up (and man do they love some beatdown hardcore) and we set up our gear in abandoned building that I am the lucky owner of. It’s totally gutted and a real mess. It’s got a some cool texture to it and nice drab colors so we thought it would make for a nice simple shoot with it being our first video and all. It took them a few hours to get the lighting all set up and then we ran through the song as a full band and then individually. All in all probably around 25-30 times. We shot a few extra scenes that will be apart of it but nothing too overly complicated. Like I said with it being our first video experience we didn’t want to bite off more then we could chew. Fortunately SMOKE AND MIRRORS let us borrow their torpedo space heater to keep the room pretty decent as it was below freezing out. One time it did attack me by acting like a flame thrower and burnt my legs at one point. The other guys were filming and the smell of burnt leg hair just wafted in their direction. It felt like someone had hit me in the legs with a baseball bat but fortunately I didn’t fall back on top of the heater. The song is called “Swine Flu” but we didn’t include any pigs in the footage. It’s been just a month since we shot it some I’m hoping to see a rough edit of it here in the next few weeks. We’re super exited to check it out and grateful for Holy Mountain and Spencer Films for making it happen. Definitely a dream come true. We’re all ready talking to another friend and video dude about shooting another one for the song “Dark Days”. He plays bass in BLACK MASK (check them out!) and before he was in the band he had done one of their videos and it’s sweet. Tyler also did the new RUN FOREVER video and its shot beautifully so I’m really excited to work with another friend and a different director as I feel like it will come out totally different. We’ve all ready spit balled ideas and this one will have more of a storyline and be connected to the lyrics even more so than our previous one. He lives closer and is in Erie more often so I’m hoping to spend a few days on that footage once he’s home from tour. I’d shoot a video for every song we had if we had the money and time!
Oh yeah, I love the idea. Melodic punk rock band RVIVR have recently decided to make that move. Every song from their new album gets a video. How cool is that?
Alright, there’s a few more questions, bro. I hope you don’t mind [smiles].
We passed over the generic questions about when, where and why did you create HUMAN ANIMAL. [smiles] Could you shed some light on it for me? What was the main inspiration behind putting this pack together?
That sounds awesome for RVIVR! I’ll have to check that out. It’s definitely a really cool approach to have so many videos and with the current technology a great way to express yourselves. As far as your questions goes… I think the only reason this band started was so Bobby, Adam, and Nate could jam on INTEGRITY, CRO-MAGS, & BIOHAZARD covers every practice [laughs]. No really though the main thing for our incarnation was to have a project that brought old friends together and all the while create something raw and powerful. Bobby and Adam just talked one day and came up with the idea of starting something new and unlike a lot people in the world actually backed up their words. That was in Dec of 2011. We practiced a few times but then my wife and I had our baby so I wasn’t free for weeks upon weeks after that. So the initial start up was pretty slow but once we started recording things started coming together. I’d say we’ve all known each other for so long but many of us haven’t ever played together or haven’t in a real real long time. So it was a great excuse to hang out and work on band stuff. It’s very challenging and we tend to really analyze our song writing. It’s kind of cool with Adam being an excellent drummer too, him and Bob really feed off of each other. And any time Nate is working on his solos we all just sit there with our jaws on the floor. But after a lot of practices we tend to sit around and watch movie trailers on youtube, some funny stuff online, play some new bands for each other, and share stories. Our practices sometimes are 4 hours long even. When we can we try to all hang out and hit the Mongolian BBQ or get some food elsewhere. I know for me personally this band is about pushing myself and stepping out of my comfort zone of always being a bassist. This is my chance to do my best as a singer, lyricist, and idea sharer. For whatever reasons I got really uptight in my last band about band debts, productivity, and in general, momentum. It wasn’t really the other guys fault, just more my own battles in my head at times. I’m really trying to approach things differently this time as I wound up making myself very unhappy. So far these guys have really been bringing it. They bust their ass and I love the stuff they’ve been coming up with. I can’t wait to finalize some new tracks. We’re playing in May with THE MONGOLOIDS and FOCUSED MINDS so we’re going to try to debut 2 new songs there and our 7″s of “Dark Days” should be in as well. I feel like we’ve got a long road ahead of us proving ourselves but we’re ready for the task. Our future releases will speak for themselves I suppose!
Amazing. Is this the only date arranged so far?
Yeah that is all we really have booked in the immediate future. We’re really trying to stay focused on getting a new EP recorded. Just tonight Bobby and Adam recorded drum and guitar tracks for 2 brand new songs so that’s pretty exciting. I hope to start playing outside of Erie a lot more this Spring & Summer. We’ve had a lot of people mention bringing us to their town but nothing solid just yet. It’s tough because all of my booking contacts are from 2001 so I don’t really think many of those are useful at this point [laughs]. But we would definitely be up for more shows. We just really want to play with some different bands, hang out, check out some restaurants in other cities, and have a good time. Hell, maybe even get a tattoo somewhere on the road.
You’ve been giving your music away for free, right? Why? Will you follow the same path with the new EP, as well?
It was just something I have always wanted to do in a band. Friends and other people think we’re nuts but really how much money is there to be made in punk rock? What am I gonna do with an extra $10? I’m gonna blow it on soda and junk food that’s what. We, meaning Bobby, recorded the music, I asked my friends and co-workers to do some artwork, I did all the layouts for the CD and the photos, and then we pressed the CDs. We put it all up for free download and when we play shows or anyone asks the CDs are always free. We’re not getting any younger and I just wanted to start out with more momentum that way and not waste time getting music out there. From the couple sites I put the music up on I’d guess we’ve had over 1,000 free downloads of the entire EP which is pretty cool to think about that many people checking it out all over the world. I didn’t even want to play a show until the CDs were in so our first show was our release show too. I felt like I didn’t want to play out if kids didn’t have something they could take home and listen to the songs again and read the lyrics. Also all 5 of us have full time jobs and we’ve never made any money off of being in bands so I figured what the hell, just give it out. I’ve never wanted to be a career musician, hardcore punk is something I’m into because I love it. It’s not my job. I’d rather 1,000 kids be listening to it then 10 kids who gave me $5. It’s just a sign of the times and you can’t fight downloading so you might as well embrace it and utilize it. The kids who want to support us might order a shirt and the EP is also coming out on vinyl too. They’ll be able to order that very soon and really anyone who buys a 7″ is a vinyl junkie (like myself) and just really enjoys that aspect of hardcore and doesn’t mind paying for it. They know they could download it just by typing it into google but there’s something really cool about giant artwork, the crackle when the needle hits the record, and something tangible to hold in your hands. That feeling will never get old for some people.
It’s hard to say if we’ll keep doing free downloads for new releases. Ideally I’d love to say yes, but I’m also hoping that we get to work with some other labels around the world and do some releases or splits. So we’d have to honor what was best for each situation and all involved. And I’d be more than glad to work with Holy Mountain again too. They’ve all ready invested who knows how much money into us by pressing the vinyl and paying for a video for us and the only way they’ll really recoup on that is with some shirt sales, 7″ orders, and paid digital downloads. So I want to respect what others have gone out of their way for us too. They’ve really gone out on a limb for us just because they believed in the album. I mean really the scale of how much they’ve spent vs. selling 300 7″s (that’s how many they pressed) is ridiculous on what the return will be like. I’ve put out records so I know, it’s hard to even remotely break even, even if you sell almost all that you pressed. So we’re extremely grateful for what they’ve done. But the future is kind of a blank page right now. I’d just like to get some more exposure in other regions and play more shows really. Going back to Europe or touring Asia would be a dream come true for me and some of the guys who have never been or who haven’t in over a decade.
Oh, I was just about to touch this subject. Do you miss Europe? What are your memories of it? What did you like about it hardcore punk-wise and, in general, about us Europeans, our cities, landscapes, etc?
In 1996 I had promised my mother that I would attend college here in Erie and enrolled part time. Then BROTHER’S KEEPER got an offer to do a European tour with RYKERS and I decided that school would always be there for me but overseas tours only pop up a few times in life [laughs]. She understood but I’m sure was disappointed. So I did that in 1996 with HA’s drummer Bobby. I think I was 18 or 19 and thought it was the coolest thing in the world to be over there. The shows were super fun and the kids enthusiasm was great. I’m not sure why but our singer Mike didn’t tell the booking agency that 4 out of 5 of us at the time were all vegetarians. A lot of the venues were really nice and provided food but not a lot veggie options because we neglected to tell them so that was tough. There was a lot of booze too and none of us drank so Bobby and I would steal cases of Coca Cola and hide them in our bunks and horde things. I’d also make cheese and mayo sandwiches at the venues and wrap them up for later and stash them in the bunk too.
We were just in awe of everything. The cities, the languages, the energy. It was exhilarating. I was the only single guy at the time and had a calling card linked to my phone bill back home. I let the other guys use it to talk (mostly argue) with their girlfriends and once we got back I had a $2,000 phone bill waiting for me and I didn’t make one call. I freaked out on the guys because I was scared they wouldn’t pay up but they all did! I’m sure they would say it wasn’t worth it now since they are not in any of those relationships today haha. We were touring on a bus too so that was really different. I like to sleep so it was nice having a bunk. Right before we came over Integrity and RINGWORM had toured in the same bus so every night about 12 inches above my face was a goat head and pentagram drawn on the wood above me with “H.F.” next to it. I’m guessing that was the Human Furnace from RINGWORM’s bunk which I thought was pretty cool. Our very first show was also a huge fest in Leipzig with REFUSED, KICKBACK, RYKERS, and MADBALL which was just bonkers. We played some basketball with MADBALL before the show and Vinnie Stigma came onto our bus and said they had used the same one before. He also mentioned that my bunk and the one above were both his and that he’d get so drunk and piss the bed then the next night he’d rotate to the other one so it could dry out until he pissed the bed in that one! So I’m sure if those buses could talk they’d have some serious stories.
BROTHER’S KEEPER went back in 2001 which was a lot of fun but also a little frustrating due to band issues. We did a huge full US tour right before and our van burned down to the ground in freezing weather in Minneapolis and right at the beginning of that same tour two different members had decided they were gonna leave the band after the US & Euro tours. So in a way it was bitter sweet. I’m glad we got to hang out and experience all of that together but it was also very hard for the band to keep moving on after that. We’re all still good friends and made the most of the tours though and it was a great thing to experience together. Also turns out during that tour my girlfriend of several years was banging one of my other friends while I was away so that added to more frustrations. Anyway though I got to go again in 2004 playing bass in STRETCH ARM STRONG. Bobby went over with that one tour with BK and also again in The AKA’s. Adam got to go over once in 1998 I think playing in DISCIPLE and SHOCKWAVE, and Nate went over playing with RUN DEVIL RUN and even got to do Dynamo fest back then. I think we would all love to do it again. I’m not so sure how our wives would react but if they love us they’ll support us!
Some of the things I remember most about touring there though was how cool the clubs and squats were with showers and bunk beds for the bands to stay in. People would help you out a lot with load in. And even though I bitched about food that first tour the next few times I went it was amazing. Some serious punk rock feasts were had. I played in Budapest and it was some of the best cooking I had ever ate in my life. I definitely enjoyed walking around and seeing the buildings and architecture. It was really cool seeing the Berlin Wall and playing Eastern Germany as it was kind of like a time warp there. Heck the wall had only been down 7 years when we went over. Last time I went we went far out into Poland and even Serbia. That was really cool to see and the shows were absolutely amazing. Kids were lined up to stage dive. I felt like I was playing a Sunday matinee at CBGBs in the 1980’s or something because the vibe was so rad. Amsterdam is a really neat yet awkward place. BK’s one guitarist went missing until the sun came up and he never spoke of what he got into that night in the Red Light District. I believe a lot of places have younger drinking ages then the US so we were really surprised at the amount of sloppy young drunks everywhere. At times it would frustrate me and led to a couple different altercations on my part. In one of the earlier tours a dude kept trying to sneak into the show then he knocked over our merch table when the door man was passively trying kick him out. Once he fucked up all of our stuff I just grabbed him by the coat and threw him down a small flight of stairs. So my temper didn’t really help that out. The RYKERS guys and tour manager seemed bummed on me. Then in 2004 I was playing with Stretch Arm Strong in Italy and the singer Chris said these dudes up front kept spitting on him and it was driving him nuts. Now Chris and those other guys are like the nicest down to earth Southern hospital type folks. So one song starts with a bass lead in so I step up and kick into it and the dude who was spitting on Chris jumps up and is shoving his middle finger in my face. I don’t know how it is in Italy but over here we don’t take kindly to that type of shit so I proceeded to just blast him mid song and split is face open and blood is just pouring out of him. Then after the show I’m all freaking out thinking SAS are gonna kick me off the tour as I was just a fill in and they definitely aren’t known for stuff like that! The guy comes outside and is trying to tell us that he was saying “Fuck George Bush” as that was right around the time of the elections and I’m freaking out yelling “you don’t know who the fuck I voted for so why are you messing with me?” Fortunately nothing else really happened as the guys just told me to go inside but sometimes I think politics can get a little misconstrued a lot and perceptions of what the USA is like. A lot of Europeans would tell me how bad America is but they’ve never been here all the while their country had just as much of a violent history of classism, oppression, and racism. But all in all I would say all of the times I went were beautiful opportunities that still today seem unreal that I even got to do. Europe made America seem like such an infant as our history here only goes so far back really. I think with the crew I have in this band that we’d have a blast if we ever got to tour over there. We’re at a point where I think we’d be really appreciative of the opportunity and would just try to soak it all in. It’s been over 9 years since I was last there so I’m over due for a trip!
[smiles] You wouldn’t have any problems with food now. International bands are often very positively surprised with the support and food they get. Vegetarians have no reasons to bitch, too [smiles] You noticed it during your second visit, as you mentioned.
How long was those tours?
Oh, and to be even, what are some of the cruelest jokes and stereotypical stories about Europeans? [smiles]
Oh yeah for sure man. Like I said that was just the first tour, everything after that was amazing. Also 1996 feels like forever ago too! I think most of those tours were probably a solid month long. Nate just told me last night at practice that he went over 3 different times with RUN DEVIL RUN so that was even more then I remembered. I brought up to everyone your question of any stereotypes and jokes and we really couldn’t come up with anything at all man! Trust me we tried but I got nothing! And I wouldn’t hold back either if I did.
Let’s play bookie. When do you think you’ll be back in Europe. How would you bet?
Oh man! Well if I had my way I’d say this summer but I know that’s not realistic as we’ve had virtually no distribution overseas yet other than free downloads of the EP. I must say we have received a good deal of responses from places I had no idea it had reached so that’s a pleasant surprise. Just this week I sent out a bunch of promos to foreign labels and I’m hoping that maybe some of my favorite DIY hardcore labels might help us out with distro or maybe re-release “Dark Days” overseas or even be interested in doing a split or our next release. Who knows!? I think any of those options would really increase our chances of getting over there with a proper European release under our belts. The US post office international shipping rates had a price increase recently and I couldn’t believe how much it has gone up. I’d say almost double what it was a few months ago. So for people outside of the US to order our stuff from here will just get more and more expensive because of this, so if someone in Europe, Australia, or Japan helped us out with some releases it would help keep prices down in those regions. But really none of that is up to me, it will just take the right person who enjoys and believes in our band to want to help out with their time and resources. I know that the guys in the band are pretty much into doing whatever. We just gotta keep writing songs and recording them and do our thing. A trip to Europe would be one hell of a time together though that’s for sure!
Your official description states that your “sound and lyrics would best be described as intelligent cavemen struggling to deal with the modern worlds frustrations”. What frustrates you most today?
Well initially I’d have to say that I frustrate myself the most. I’m constantly worrying about not getting enough done in life, for my jobs, quality time with my family and friends, balance in general, and I have a huge fascination with time and the lack thereof. I’ve got a lot of battles (as with most people) going on constantly in my head. It gets the better of me many times to the point where I make myself physically sick. I dwell and dwell and analyze things some more. Other than a lot of self-loathing I tend to have a hard time in society. Throughout my day to day interactions with people I do my best to be kind, courteous, and respectful. Many times though I feel like it’s not the way most people go about their day. So many people are walking around bitching about nonsense and have such an air of entitlement that the world owes them everything all the while doing nothing to better their surroundings. As a personal code I see no point in being an asshole to someone unless they’ve crossed a line and deserve it. I just can’t stand the way people talk to others. I feel like cordial relationships and correspondence in everyday life has just taken a serious downward spiral and the world is turning into uneducated, arrogant, embarrassing, pompous filth. I have very little faith in people, politics, law enforcement, humanity, parenting, & education. Many of these things that go through my head are the same reason that I’m trying to sell my house and live off in the woods, basically for my own mental stability. Now granted that all sounds pretty damn bleak. I do love to have a good time and share a smile and some laughs with my family, friends, and acquaintances. I’m not all doom and gloom. I tend to keep a lot of thoughts to myself as I think everyone will think I’m insane. I feel like I’m rarely ever truly honest with anyone as to what my inner voice is saying to me.
Wow, man. Thanks so much for such an honest comment. I must say I feel pretty much similar to that.
What do you think are some of the biggest reasons for social alienation these days?
I don’t know man. I struggle a lot with the burdens of technology and having infinite possibilities in your pocket all times of a smart phone. I don’t feel like we’re any better off than we were 15 years ago. We all got along just fine. I tend to think of my cell phone, social networks, and texting as a long leash or a noose if you will. But still I partake and play the game every day. But I feel more and more disconnected from people in a different way. My interactions with my friends is different because all of these things. When everyone is hanging out they’re just looking at their phone or looking online trying to find the next best thing instead of spending time in the present. I also worry about the next generation of kids as they’ve become more and more dependent on this technology. They’re missing out on being self-sufficient and learning certain skills and traits that now they rely on their pocket computers for. Some friends and I have been talking a lot about youths sense of entitlement and we’ve been sharing articles on the rise of narcissism since the 1980’s and I’m sure the use of social networks and the internet has only aided in such mentalities. But really with me being 36 it’s hard to be objective and put myself into an 18 year old kids shoes and see the world through their eyes and what they are exposed to on a daily basis.
Yup.. and try not to be scared about your own kids, right? I’m 29 and I’ve noticed I’m also going with this bloody flow. It seems inevitable… at least that’s how I explain to myself.
But do you feel the abundance of recorded music that is so easily available on the web has led people to place more importance on the live experience as the ‘authentic’ way to hear music?
Hmmm not particularly, at least not for me I should say. I have no clue really what other people are doing at this point to seek out new music. I know for me I try to just check out as much different stuff that I can on metal / hardcore news sites and I also read the new releases in the Revelation Records distro mailer each week. The web makes it a lot easier to at least get a taste for what a band is about whether it’s checking out an mp3, a video, or even a live concert. There’s definitely a lot more quantities of shit to sift through but I definitely find some gems that get me excited and remind me of why I was looking for something in the first place. I think with a lot of things in growing up we look to our friends and what they are doing or listening to. I’m always eager to hear recommendations from other people. Obviously a good live show can go a long way but there are great bands that aren’t touring that much too. The US is so vast compared to other places that a band from the same country can be 3,000 miles away still so there’s a good chance they’re not gonna roll through Erie anytime soon. Hell it takes 7 hours just to drive across Pennsylvania. However live shows do kind of set some bands apart from the rest of the pack when they’re just up there killing it. I can really tell when a band has worked hard, practiced, know how to make their gear sound good, and are just super tight and comfortable. Sometimes you can just sense that ferociousness and it just enhances the energy in the room.
Alright, man. It was really amazing talking to you. Is there anything you would like to add before we end?
It was a really fun and challenging interview that put me on the spot to really think some nights, which I enjoyed! Hopefully I wasn’t too long winded and people made it all the way through [laughs]. We appreciate your help with the band as we’re pretty off the radar so far so once again thank you and IDIOTEQ big time. Huge thanx to Danny, Jonathan, & Justin with all the help on the 7″ stuff. I wish more younger kids were getting more involved within the hardcore scene, and I know a lot are. But locally I just wish more kids were picking up the ball and running with it. Get involved. I know not everyone can be a musician but there are so many other things that you can be involved with locally; booking concerts, local charity / benefit events, and even journalism in a DIY light is super important. Share your voices, be creative. I know I need to tell myself that more often. “Yo E get off of your damn cell phone and enjoy life around you! Pay attention to your wife and your friends, listen to them when they’re talking.” I’m on a never ending quest for expanding myself, and often disappointed in myself which makes me keep trying harder and harder. I hope others are trying new things in their life and stepping outside of their confined boundaries. Take care Karol and much respect! – EMS / HA
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