Hardcore Punk Film Director Drew Stone: The Toilet ov Hell Interview

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Taking time away from his hectic schedule, renowned film director/video director/international playboy secret agent Drew Stone stops on by to give us the skinny on some of his new projects and more.

(1) So, how, for for those unfamiliar, how did a clean cut, nice guy get into this insanity of punk and metal, and what is some of your music video work (since most of us are too drunk or ADD to sit through a movie, considering Spaceballs 2 is in the works)?

DREW: I grew up in New York City in the 1970’s as part of the “Blank Generation”. Too late for the ’60’s thing, too early to be a part of the MTV generation (thank god) and I fucking hated disco. In August of 1981 I went up to Emerson College in Boston Massachusetts to study acting. Soon after my arrival I was introduced to a guy in the Emerson cafeteria who had his head shaved. At the time the only people that had their heads shaved were marines and psychopaths. He told me that his name was “Choke” and he was into this “Hardcore” thing. “Hardcore”? I replied “What do you mean Hardcore? Like The B52’s, Joan Jett, or Blondie“? I didn’t have a fucking clue what he was getting at so after trying to explain it to me for a while we decided the best way for me to understand the whole thing was to just go and experience it for myself.

So a few days later we rode our skateboards to downtown Boston and into an old factory building to a place called the Media Workshop for a Sunday matinee show. As fate would have out it was one of SS Decontrol‘s first shows and it turned out to be a pivot point in my life. There were about 30 people there and everyone in attendance was my age or younger. There were no drugs or alcohol around which was very strange to me coming from a very different environment back in New York City. I felt very connected to what was going on in the room and jumped right into the melee. After the band finished playing the guitar player Al “Lethal” Barile came up and introduced himself to me and in turn the introduced the other guys in the band. He was very interested in knowing who I was and where I came from. It was a VERY small scene back then so when someone new showed up they were met with much enthusiasm. After that I was swept up in the early Boston Hardcore scene which to say the least was an extremely exciting time.

Two years later I lost interest in school and came back to New York City where I started the band The High & The Mighty and then eventually joined Antidote. I started my film production company Stone Films NYC around then. As far as the video stuff goes I had a run doing music video’s back in the “Golden Age” of music video production which was about 1989-1994. Thru my company Stone Films NYC I produced many videos including Type-O-Negative‘s “Black #1”, Onyx‘s “Slam” & “Shiftee” and five Biohazard videos including “Punishment” & “Shades Of Grey”. Those videos were directed by Parris Mayhew of the Cro-mags. After that run I went on to direct / produce videos for Agnostic Front “Gotta Go”, Madball “Down By Law” & “Pride”, Shelter “In The Van Again” and many others.

(2) And for a schmuck like me who’s never been to NYC, how would you say the scene and the city has changed since the hardcore and old punk heydays, or even from the days George Carlin talked about?

DREW: The only thing about New York City that remains the same is that it’s ALWAYS changing. In a lot of ways it doesn’t even feel like the same city post 9-11 but that can be said about a lot of cities these days. There is always an ebb and a flow it any kind of social movement like hardcore so that’s to be expected.

Drew_Stone photo by Albie Mitchell(Drew Stone, photographer: Albie-Mitchell)

(3) Tell us about ‘New York Hardcore Chronicles’ and how you did you go about this godless endeavor?

DREW: After I did “xxx ALL AGES xxx” The Boston Hardcore Film people started asking me when I was doing one about the NYHC scene. I really had no interest. I felt like it was just too massive and convoluted a story to even attempt to tell it. Soon after I started my other film “Who The Fuck Is That Guy?” The Fabulous Journey Of Michael Alago and that really started rolling along. At some point The New York Hardcore Chronicles page got launched on Facebook and just really took off. It was a bit shocking how many people joined the page and got involved. What makes the page special is that it isn’t just about the music but deals with the community and the culture of NYHC. Although I created the page there are many “Content contributers” to it which really adds to the community feel of it. So to keep a short story short the film is really an extension of the The New York Hardcore Chronicles Facebook page. That page is so well loved and has a following close to 50 thousand people so it made sense to translate it into film.

(4) Do you think there’s still room for growth in the hardcore scene?

DREW: There is always room for growth. There will always be a a group of 16 year olds in their garage learning how to play their instruments and playing hard music as fast as they can.  For many people growing up like myself at the time hardcore music was a “gateway” to other artistic endeavors. Some of the values and principles that I picked up in the early hardcore scene are still a part of my life to this day.

(5) As you tell, with many of the metalheads here on The Toilet, we’re pretty much all Type O Negative and Carnivore fans here. What are some of the experiences you and some of the bands had with Peter and the crew that are in the film?

DREW: I saw Carnivore play a few times thru the years and of course produced the Type-O-Negative “Black #1” video. I interviewed Carnivore drummer Louie Beato for “The Crossover” segment of The New York Hardcore Chronicles Film as well. Since you and your people love Carnivore so much here is a never before seen clip of him talking a little bit about his Carnivore days:

Vinnie and Roger from Agnostic Front  and Todd Youth (Photo- Jammi Sloan York)(Drew with Agnostic Front. Photographer: Jammi Sloan York)

(6) Any final words?

DREW: It took me a long time to figure out how to do a New York Hardcore film that is viable and interesting and now that I have that vision I will do my best to make it great and not let you down. I have to thank old school NYHC gal Alexa Poli who has gotten behind this project and been supportive of me as a artist. I also want to thank Cuz Joe, Buske, Freddy Madball and all at Black N Blue Productions who have been extremely supportive. If you see me out there on the ball field please come up and say hi I want to know who you are. Thanx for the support and please visit The New York Hardcore Chronicles Page on Facebook as well as www.stonefilmsnyc.com Thanx for the supporting REAL independent filmmaking!

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  • Edward/Breegrodamus

    Well, this is different. I’m at home playing music when the first story went live.

  • Dr. Dubz

    I guess it’s a Type O day today. Interesting interview.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain
  • Edward/Breegrodamus

    Shaun, good interview. It’s interesting to learn this guy produced music videos by Onyx.

  • Hey, Shawn! This is very interesting. Is there any way to check those films about hardcore history in the internetz legally? Are they in youtube?

    • A lot of NYHC hardcore history revolves around the CBGB’s club which was famous for the Sunday matinee. Some well known hardcore bands got their start there – Agnostic Front, The Cro-Mags to name a few.

      • that was the bar were The Ramones played?

        • Yes, the Ramones are known for playing there early on in their career.

        • more beer

          I`ve heard CB`s referred to as a hallway to a stage. Which is a pretty good description.

          • I’d say that’s accurate. I was to able to catch quite a few shows there before it was shutdown.

          • more beer

            I have been there many times. I was the right age at the right time. Living in Westchester, so every Sunday it was an option.

          • Don’t think I ever caught a matinee over there. I remember seeing Candiria there before they started getting popular and Discordance Axis twice.

          • more beer

            I used to see Candiria in the Bronx quite a bit at the Black Thorn. Also Billy Club Sandwich.

          • I remember those guys, they used to put on a good show.

          • more beer

            Fuck yea they did.

      • more beer

        Sunday matinees there were a lot of fun. Never leave out Warzone they were very influential to the scene. I was talking to Vinnie Stigma a couple of years ago about Raybeez. It was a really cool conversation He was very loved and respected.

        • It was on the tip of my tongue.

          • more beer

            Just certainly Warzone is one of the really important bands from that scene. But there were so many great bands on that scene. I read No Echo at least a couple of times a week because they have a lot of really great interviews and story`s about that scene. Those guys know their shit.

    • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love
  • Really interesting interview, looking forward to checking out those films!

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Good interview. I only wish there was a full 9 minute version of this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFwYJYl5GUQ

  • Stockhausen

    Very cool! I can’t say I’ve ever gotten too much into hardcore, but this was a good read and I’m interested in looking into these films.

  • great read, Shaun (aka the guy who has interviewed everybody)!
    PS … Blondie >>>>>>>>>>>

    • Jajajaja, srsly. Shaun has interviewed a lot of people 😛

      • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

        Yeah, but this is my first in over 10 years.

        • I want to read more!

          • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

            We shall see!

  • more beer

    That was a great interview. I was at the Carnivore show at Lamour with the White Castle`s. Pete said they told us we can`t throw meat anymore so we are going to throw something that`s 100% not meat and started chucking White Castles all over the place. There were actually people eating them.

    • In fact, just thinking about those tender little White Castle burgers with those little, itty-bitty grilled onions that just explode in your mouth like flavor crystals every time you bite into one… just makes me want to burn this motherfucker down.

      • more beer

        Drunken White Castles after a show are the best!

        • Dr. Dubz

          In Texas Whataburger is the go-to after show food stop.

          • mother of pearl! visited the website, saw the “Chicken Strip Monterrey Melt”… i’ll see you in a few hours W!
            edit: ok, that entire menu looks abso fantastic.

          • Dr. Dubz

            Gotta get one of those honey butter chicken biscuits.

          • Dr. Dubz

            We always have the Green Chile Double here. Love it.

          • more beer

            I used to go to Whataburger when I lived in New Mexico. But they have Blakes also and their green chile cheeseburgers are dam good.

          • Dr. Dubz

            I was in Santa Fe last week and made sure to get a green chile burger and some pizza with green chile.

          • more beer

            Those are mandatory when you are in the 505. Thankfully being in Colorado I`m close enough that there is still green chile here. I have a bit of an addiction when it comes to them..

          • Dr. Dubz

            We still get a lot of Green Chiles here where I live in Texas, but nothing seems to quite live up to the ones in New Mexico.

          • more beer

            Nope. There is nothing like New Mexico for them. From August on all the places roasting them, the smell of green chile is everywhere. It`s pretty magnificent.

          • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love
          • more beer

            I love those!

          • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

            His recipes are pretty basic but effective.

          • more beer

            Those are the best kind of recipes.

          • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

            Never had one, but I heard Kanye’s trying to open one in Chicago. Wrigleyville Dogs was my usual go to spot for after show eats. Chicago hot dogs >>>>>>>> everything!

            http://www.chicagonow.com/hot-dog-blog/files/2013/01/hotdog2-300×207.jpg

          • you ain’t kidding, those are tops.
            i was visiting a friend in Chicago who lived one block from a hot dog & gyro stand. i think that kind of geography would make me broke & fat.

      • I had White Castle once. ONCE.

        • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

          Horrifying experience, I’m guessing?

      • My buddy and I were coming home from a show. He was intoxicated and wanted to stop at White Castle, his treat. The dude proceeded to order the largest amount of burgers on the menu which is impossible for two people to finish. Came back with a ton of leftovers.

        • i know they’re horrible, but i love them. mum and pops were buying them when i was a wee lad, so my stomach developed immunity at an early age.

          • Dr. Dubz

            How many GBPs for a Cassy Patty?

        • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

          I’d make a Harold And Kumar reference, but that’s just low hanging fruit.

      • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

        I HATE their burgers (and steamed burgers in general), but their mozzarella sticks and chicken rings are the food of the gods.

      • Dagon

        Do I look like the kind of brother that would be unsure of something like that?

    • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

      I met Peter when I interviewed Moonspell. Nice guy, but he wasn’t looking too good. I’m guessing that was around the time he quit doing coke.

      • more beer

        The first time i met him was outside of that Lamour show with the White Castles.

  • Good to see some mention of hardcore on TovH. We don’t seem to discuss it very much.

    • more beer

      There are only a few of us here who really like hardcore.

      • The Beargod

        I think you might find quite a few less vocal abouy it, if and when these HC posts become more frequent.

        • more beer

          I think it was easier back in the day to bounce between scenes. Plus you had all of those crossover bands back then. Which made it really much easier because they would be playing with straight up hardcore bands. An example I saw Sick Of It All, Rest IN Pieces, and Burn with KRS-1. There aren`t show`s like that really nowadays.

          • The Beargod

            In Finland there’s a lot of crossover bands, but either they only play with metal bands (and are far more metal than punk) or with other crossober bands. They’ve become a sort of a scene of their own for fans of neither instead of both.

            Only old punk bands play crossoverish stuff with punk bands now.

            So I guess I am forced to agree.

          • more beer

            I definitely see the differences in shows now. Back then bands wanted to play and didn`t care who they were playing with. It seems now you get 3 to 5 bands of the same genre. There was more diversity at shows back then.

          • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

            Sick Of It All’s still going strong, and Agnostic Front dropped a new one as well.

          • more beer

            Trust me I know. Killing Time is still doing things also.

          • I saw Biohazard and Lordz Of Brooklyn. Fear Factory played and was booed off the stage when their drum triggers failed on them. NY crowds were sometimes cruel.

          • more beer

            I saw Biohazard a ton fuck of times I would always get stoned with Billy when we would see each other. The strangest place I saw them was this place the Zone DK. It was an S&M club that had shows once in a while. There dudes in cages hanging from the ceiling. It was a strange show. New York crowds can be brutal. I saw Discharge have to run off the stage for their lives. For about 30 seconds there was a sick pit. Then it stopped and everything that wasn`t nailed down in the old Ritz was getting thrown at them It was pretty crazy.

          • That all sounds bizarre and crazy at same time. Stuff like that probably sticks out in your mind so you are not likely to forget it.

          • more beer

            Nope there are some things you can never unsee!

    • fred flinstone

      the only good ‘core imo

  • This conveniently comes around at a time when I find myself interested in hardcore. Sweet!

  • The Beargod

    ‘Tis a great read here. Gyyd wörk.

  • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

    First interview I’ve done in over 10 years. Took me a second to get in the groove again, but it was fun!

    • more beer

      That was a great interview Supreme Leader.

      • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

        Thanks!

    • I enjoyed reading it. Didn’t know you dabbled in hardcore.

      • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

        Here and there. Mainly the old stuff.

    • CT-12

      Great job dude, fun read!

      • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

        Thanks!

  • God ov All

    I don’t have time to read the whole article right now, but will be circling back once work starts (lol) to read the whole thing. also in news, Breaking Benjamin is back from their hiatus and I know some of you will care:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2B8bXYXTb-o

    • JamesGrimm

      …………………………………………

    • Possibly the least shitty buttrockish band. I used to really dig these dudes before I moved to metal.

    • Maik Beninton

      Cool.
      I still like them.

    • from the archives…

      • Chicken Tender Gulag O Love

        The new leader of ISIS?

        • Sir Tapir the Based

          Speaking. How can I help you?

      • God ov All

        #unsahamedfanbrah

    • CT-12

      My buddy who’s more into hard rock and trad metal stuff (and is a crazy fucking good drummer) auditioned for these guys, didn’t make the cut, but he wasn’t enough into the band as some of the other guys to really dedicate himself to it (I know for a fact the dude could play all of their material without breaking a sweat).

    • more beer

      Fuch yea wise to da game.

  • Drew Stone

    Glad so many people enjoyed the interview, it was a fun one to do. Thank you for the opportunity.

  • Sleepy girl

    Interesting article, great read!