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samedi 18 mai 2024



Most people are familiar with NEUROSIS, the Oakland (California) band formed in 1985 from the ashes of VIOLENT COERCION and PUBLIC ENEMA. To be honest about NEUROSIS, only their 1986 demo TAPE and their excellent 1st LP from 1987 on Alchemy Records ("Pain of mind") are what I like by this band whose the sound progressed towards a sludge/doom metal style.

Anyway, the subject that we are concerned with here is about VIOLENT COERCION, formed in 1984, broke up in 1985-1986 and are reformed now in 2023.
This band released two demo TAPES and both were very popular in the old hardcore punk tape trading circle, due also to PUBLIC ENEMA and CHRONIC PLAGUE, even if they were all short lived bands.
So, what a great surprise when my friend Eric McIntire sent a Various Artists LP called "Distort the Bay", a 2023 Bay Area Hardcore Punk Compilation with "teenage depression", one song from the VIOLENT COERCION reformation.
This song is an excellent catchy mid to fast tempo hardcore punk one, very well played, aggressive and short enough to never being boring!
This reformation consists of Dave EDWARSON (Bass, Vocals), Ryan SULLIVAN (Guitar), Eric MCINTIRE (Guitar, Vocals) and Erik THOMAS (Drums), only veterans members who played in a lot of bands such as NEUROSIS, SACRILEGE BC, PUBLIC ENEMA, CHRONIC PLAGUE, SAMIAM, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT, DEFACE, NEGLECTED among others...

So, no need to talk myself about as it was an evidence for me to make an interview of Eric, so here it is :
"1) Q : Can you present the band? During which year did you start playing?

Eric : So the history of the band is as follows : they were originally called PUBLIC ENEMA in 1983/1984 but had a few member changes and by 1985 changed their name to VIOLENT COERCION. That band broke up sometime in 1986 and some members decided to form a new band called NEUROSIS. So A few years ago, past members from both bands decided to get PUBLIC ENEMA back together and played a few shows. The guitarist left and I then joined in 2023. We decided to change the name from PUBLIC ENEMA over to VIOLENT COERCION and here we are! The members are:
Erik Thomas-Drums
Ryan Sullivan-Guitar
Eric McIntire-Guitar & vocals
Dave Edwardson-Bass & vocals

2) Q : Did you play in other bands before starting VIOLENT COERCION ? Did you record something with these bands?

Eric : I actually did NOT start VIOLENT COERCION. I just joined these guys over a year or so ago, so we are all old friends.

3) Q : Apparently you were part of the "Bay Area", California, US punk scene. What was it like to be a punk in this part of USA at that time?

Eric : The Bay Area was an amazing place to be in as a kid because you had shows all over here (San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, Oakland & other cities) and there were so many bands that came through these towns. Also, Tim Yohannon and Maximum Rock ‘n’ Roll magazine and radio were vital to us, pre-internet so I’m very lucky.

4) Q : Which bands were you close to at that time?

Erikc: Bands that we were close to were Violent Coercion, Social Unrest, Sacrilege BC, Teenage Warning, Positive Outlook, Christ On Parade, Part-Time Christians, etc...

5) Q : Did you play a lot of gigs with VIOLENT COERCION at the time? Did you have many places to play in San Francisco or around? What other bands did you play with that time?

Eric : Yes, we played a handful of shows with Violent Coercion back when both bands were young and just starting up. We would play small venues all over the area. We played with so many great bands back then as well as the bands I’ve previously mentioned.

6) Q : In my humble opinion, VIOLENT COERCION had a very singular musical style, very personal. Do you consider yourselves as children of the first hardcore punk wave or rather of the second wave?

Eric : Well, I would say that we are definitely children of the first AND second wave of hardcore.

7) Q : What were the bands that influenced you at the time (local, national or international)?

Eric : Well, I’d say that we all influenced each other when we were young and just starting because we were all part of this scene, but as far as other influences, I’d say most of the early 1980’s bands as well as some early thrash metal bands too. The Bay Area has always had a “metallic sprinkle” on our music.

8) Q :  Could you please give the VIOLENT COERCION Tapography including unreleased recordings?

Eric : There is the first demo with 4 songs, and the second demo with more songs. That’s the one that people are most familiar with.

9) Q : Do you know how many copies for each cassette release VIOLENT COERCION did and if they did make an artwork for each?

 Eric : I believe that a small run of both demos were made but those are very hard to find now after so many years. There may be artwork for both demo covers...

10) Q : Do you know why did the band not release any proper stuff on vinyl?  Was it a choice or just it didn't happen?

Eric : Well I don’t know exactly why the band didn’t release any vinyl back then. The band was relatively short-lived and I’m sure the two demo tapes may have been enough back then. Probably a little bit of both.

11) Q : You are featuring on the Various Comp. LP "Distort the Bay", a 2023 Bay Area Hardcore Punk Compilation with the song "Teenage Depression". Tell us more about this song and how did it happen on a recent release? Are there other tracks recorded during this recording session or is it the only one?

Eric : So the song used to be called “Dave’s Song” and we wanted to give it a better title. We were asked to be on the compilation and we had no new material so we just recorded the track without vocals at our studio and overdubbed on top of that. That was the only track we recorded like that too.

12) Q : By the way, how do you look back today on the lyrics you wrote in the early 80's? And on the band in general?

Eric : Well, the lyrics for the most part still hold up today although maybe a bit dated. We all still pretty much in the same things we did as kids.

13) Q : What are the former members of the band doing today ? Have you stayed in touch?
Erck : The other members are in touch and are still friends with most past members. The old singer Jason is a great artist and also does tattoos in SF nowadays.

14) Are you aware that you were (and still are...) "famous" in the old international Tape traders circle?

Eric : Haha, I had no idea. I am flattered but there are many other “famous” guys out there too that were also a big part of tape trading. That is just what we did when we were kids!
Spreading the love of punk/metal & hardcore through the underground!

15) Q : How do you feel that some people still LOVE you after all these years? Is it deserved or not?

Eric : I think that’s great that there is still love for me & my past and present bands. That’s the best feeling. Whether or not it’s deserved is up to everyone else!!

16) Q : Did you have any connection with PORTLAND or SEATTLE + Canada's early 80's scenes (Vancouver maybe)?

Eric : Yes, we played shows with Portland and Seattle bands back then. Vancouver not really.

17) Q : Can you consider to release officially the VIOLENT COERCION tapography on vinyl ?

Erck : There were some talks about releasing the first tape but it fell through, and the members on those recordings are happy to have those demos out in the wild as they are and do not have any plans on putting either demo onto vinyl. The sound quality is just too poor to be happy with.

18) Q : Any last words?

Eric : Last words? Well keep an eye out for our album coming out very soon. We re-recorded a lot of the old material along with a few new tracks and it’ll be a 12” called “Still Time”. Please make sure to get a copy if and when it’s released!!

Thanks Herve’!!!!."

So, with a song like "Teenage depression", the VIOLENT COERCION 12” called “Still Time” coming is promising! We'll wait and see...

Thanks Eric for everything!