By Max Dropout

[audio: and_the_industrials_-_cant_stand_the_midwest.mp3]

Prior to setting foot in Ohio for the first time over a decade ago, I had no preconceived notions or prejudice toward the midwestern region of the United States, but looking back most of my thoughts today on what that state embodies are firmly rooted in that first road trip I made to the state as a teenager. A handful of us had several friends in the state whom we’d met through various means, by participating in zines or seeing bands over the years. The internet was just starting to bud as a means of DIY promotion and communication… and it was through this that many of us had become acquainted with a guy named Mike out in Ohio. A handful of us decided to take a trip to visit him one fall… I’m not really sure why I went, as neither of us were particularly fond of one another, but I was somehow goaded into tagging along. Mike held the great distinction amongst most of our acquaintences due to the fact that he was black, actually, and therefore he held a sort of mystique amongst my largely WASP-ish clique, whom for the most part had never had a conversation with a Black man or woman that wasn’t somehow inhibited by fear or guilt — and they still hadn’t as far as I was concerned. My friends weren’t so much color-blind as they were color BLINDED, and our good negro friend was by my estimation very much aware of his advantage. Mike the token Black scene dude was by most accounts debonaire, witty, and so “well spoken.” Mike the human being was in my eyes just a bitter old asshole, no different than anyone else, except he never got called on his bullshit because he was cloaked behind the bullet proof mantle of his skin tone. In truth, Mike was more novelty than charming genius, and as I crossed state line in my friend’s trusty Taurus, I realized that we were embarking on a scene equivalent of visiting something like a Nazi death car or one of those world’s biggest balls of yarn type .

Mike lived in a rural area next door to a household full of fish-eyed rednecks, whose optical ports, according to our host, were slowly shifting toward the sides of their skulls with each successive generation. While inspecting the plethora of simian armed mutants haunting remote mail boxes and acting like skittish pets when approached, I developed a slight respect for toward Mike. Not only had he managed evade a lynching by the horde of sleestak motherfuckers stalking his property, but despite being reared in a virtual land of the lost, he’d managed to generate enviable diction and had accrued a decent record collection. In the midst of a cultural swamp land, Mike was a well-cultured anomoly of a man. How people like him occur is anybody’s guess. There were no record shops or book stores in his town. There was no local venue at which to catch performances from local hipsters. In fact, if he or his friends wanted to go see a show, it entailed hours of driving just to get there in time to miss an opener. The seeds sub-culture might have been dug out of static-ridden late night broad casts, inspiring jaunts into more metropolitan areas for the real goods, but as far as we were concerned, Mike was just some spontaneous occurrence. A little bang in a big nothing, and most of us could relate to that at some point in our lives.

During our first and only night with Mike, we snuck into a local watering hole full of leathery looking elder types who were too busy licking their dentures and spewing lewd and idiotic cum jokes over Johnny Carson in some sorry, drunken attempt to lure an equally ancient companion back to their chicken shit stuccoed shack. They were obviously all too fucked up to realize they were dead below the belt and that everything north was going south as well. Our presence went virtually unnoticed, save for the occasional order, which was fulfilled at a painful, petrified pace. At the time I never drank, so I resigned myself to a corner booth to brood and draw comics while the others, joined by Mike’s girlfriend and little brother, all damaged their volume knobs with alcohol and played pool. Amusingly enough, Mike’s girlfriend was ivory soap incarnate. She was beyond White in fact, and apparently, her parents didn’t take too kindly to the fact that she was dating a Negro. We were regaled, gleefully, with tales of decadent interracial fucking and the death threats that ensued from her Klan of Mengeles.

At some point in the evening, my concentration was shattered as a skirmish broke out amongst our party and I raised my head to see Mike and his pet snowflake nearly coming to blows. The heightened voices shattered an otherwise doped up atmosphere, and our party was soon encouraged to leave the premises by the pickled mummy who owned the joint. It was pretty clear that Mike and his girl needed a time out, so we decided that we’d drive Mike back to his place in the Taurus while Mike’s little brother, James, dropped the girlfriend off at her house in his car. And so, we all parted ways, went back home, watched bad television, and went to bed way too late. And strangely, while we were aware that terminal dawn had set as we lay down, we never realized amid our mongoloid howls over Troma films, indie rock records, and gossip that James hadn’t come back yet.

We awoke the next morning to the rattle of a telephone. Mike emerged from his bedroom and answered. His tone was gruff and defensive, but soon gave way to the voice of apprehension. Mike hung up and seemed shaken, alerting us all that his girlfriend’s mother had just called, irate that her daughter had not returned home yet. Indeed, James had never returned to his room that morning either. Mike hurriedly dialed his parents’ number, but James hadn’t turned up there either. He dialed the police, the local hospital, and his brother’s place of employment — all produced no leads. What happened next though left most of us completely stunned.

Mike called his girlfriend’s mother back in defeat, and said he had no clue where she was, and told her that his brother was missing as well… at this point, it was obvious that both parties were concerned. But then Mike had an idea. He asked the mother to check the garage. She did, and strangely, Mike’s car was parked inside with the door closed. And upon closer inspection, she made a horrible discovery. She howled into the phone and said she needed to go. We all piled into the Taurus with Mike and made way to the residence, where police had already arrived. Now, I probably should have felt bad when I heard the news, but I didn’t. In fact, I burst into hysterical laughter when the situation was explained to me. Apparently, while the mother was on the phone with Mike, she padded out into the garage and saw James behind the wheel, asleep. When she moved in for a closer inspection, she saw her daughter slumped over to one side with her head in James’ lap, and realized that her little angel had a mouthful of what appeared to be “colored dick.” She reached into the car to angrily intervene and realized both James and her daughter were cold to the touch. They were both dead, and had been sitting in their respective poses for quite a few hours before they were discovered.

What had happened was that in their drunken state, they had pulled into the garage — how the door was closed remains a mystery still. One thing lead to another, and pretty soon, Pollyanna wasn’t just huffing dick. In their stupor, they hadn’t turned the car off and were lulled into a never-ending fellatio-pose by the brown air of death.

Later that night, Mike attacked me and hit me in the face when I asked if she was going to have an open casket service. When he asked why, I said it would be weird to look down into the coffin and see her with her jaw locked in place like she was still giving head. Shortly thereafter, we hit the road and started back for the East Coast, as my unsympathetic presence seemed only to agitate Mike’s grieving state. And at the very moment we wheeled our way back to the somewhat more stable and explainable dangers of our urban nest, where people stay occupied and sane and, for some, crime is a means of basic survival, the corpse of fifteen year old Francis Thicke lay smoldering and enmeshed in the plush nylon carpeting of his parent’s two-story rural home, not too far from the tragedy we’d left behind.

Apparently Thicke had been left alone for the weekend by his parents for the first time in his adolescent life. One of those adulthood trials each of us faces. Unfortunately, not only did poor Francis fail, but the verdict handed down was not only cruel but amusingly strange. The morning after his parents had departed their home, a nearby neighbor spotted sinewy trails of smoke winding into the sky from one of the second story windows of the facade. The authorities rushed to the property and broke down the doors, rushing to the second story, where they found the badly charred remains of Francis on his bedroom floor. There was some immediate evidence that the boy’s genitals had been badly mutilated as well, which naturally sparked a sensation of Satanic accusations and fear that a cult was perhaps roving the countryside in search of genital sacrifices in effort to conjure demons and gain the powers of flight and mind control or some shit. However, in the coming days it was soon revealed that the boy had not been the victim of any foul play. The cult murder bubble was pierced by further investigation which yielded evidence that the boy had perished by his own hand, and quite accidentally. It seems that young Mr. Thicke had taken the opportunity of privacy his parent’s absence permitted, and had decided to experiment with a number of sex simulator schematics he had found in some creepy magazine. In one particular tome of perversion, an author had suggested that by procuring a cow’s heart and hooking it up to a 6 volt Eveready lantern battery by means of cheap copper wiring, you could simulate the sensation of a living vagina, which you could then have your way with. I’m not at all sure what Francis’ logic was. Perhaps he just had no access to a battery, or he decided he really wanted to go for the gold, but either way, he made the brilliant decision to hook his cow heart vagina direct into an electrical outlet; upon inserting his penis into this organic contraption, the poor dope fried to death.

Upon our return, we were made aware of the strange tale of one Francis Thicke, and this only added to our impression that Ohio was full of some fucked up, fish-eyed, cow heart fuckin’, dumb dick suckin’ motherfuckers, and we didn’t ever want to go back. To this day, I hold those who grew up or reside in the state in a vague sort of respect. And sure enough, almost everyone I’ve ever met from Ohio generally had a habit of doing weird and senseless shit. It was never malicious of course. Sometimes it was just plain stupid… but I simply and sympathetically rationalize this behavior as a condition of a chilling boredom. Whenever I think of Ohio byproducts Russ Romance and Ryan Horrible, I can’t help but think of the carbon monoxide blowjob, or the electrified faux vagina, and the wild world of weird weeds these guys must have waded through during their everyday existence, and how this must have affected them. It sure does explain a lot… and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Many a marvel has crawled out of festering flotsam. After all, how many paintings by the renowned pedophilic artisan Michael Angelo were terrific odes to little boy anus? How often do you think you may be swooning in response to some seemingly terrific piece of art rooted in neurosis, rape, prejudice, zealotry or flat-out ignorance? Quite a few ethereal hymns and oil renderings have the personality of a Roman cult or some sort of political propaganda smattered all over them. I guess what I’m trying to say is, no matter how much awesome rock’n'roll has come from it, I hate the festering geographical shit stain that is the Midwest with every nerve, vessel, and fiber in my trigger finger. To anyone who’s ever driven across the bleak expansive wasteland that is Middle America, it isn’t any wonder that our coastlines are so heavily polluted with humanity. For the overall repetitive direness is enough to send people scattering outward in lemming-like fashion to wherever else they can get. Thousands of flat acres devoted to agriculture whizzing at a hypnotizing pace can induce hallucination within a few hours. For those subjected to the dreariness in greater mass, such as truck drivers, I imagine it is necessary to punctuate the never ending yawn of nothing with random acts of road stop sex and murder to stave off approaching madness. Oh sure, there might be an occasional town where, despite all the antiquated values and slack jawed dwellers, you will find odd modern staples like Wal-Mart or Fuddruckers, though they are usually outnumbered by all-you-can-eat buffets, which are generally frequented by mastiff-necked saltines, their bovine wives, and their six pack of sausage-like progeny whose cheeks are so flushed with lard that their eyes are nothing but unintentional and perpetually scowling slits. They amble around, shoving things in their mouths, yammering mindlessly, and despite all encroaching modern convenience they patronize and all those Mad TV reruns at which they guffaw, they still coo in awe at shiny objects and retain a hefty disdain toward outsiders, at whom they mockingly hee-haw through candy corn smiles. The scenery is so bleak and redundant that it lulls the impressionable and mentally weak populace into a state where they are virtually one with their own livestock. They eat, fuck and breed, because that’s all there is to do, in fact — consume and reproduce — and the few conveniences they have been permitted distract them from every realizing their own complacency or their dwindling youthful glow. And so they just keep plowing away. On regular occasion, though, we get a peep out of the mess… we’ll get a picture or a song from someone in the heart of the sedative mire who’s somehow managed to retain consciousness. And as much as I despise the Midwest, I realize some of the best music comes out of those states primarily because it is so awful that it provokes some pretty alarming cries for help. All of the most intense and fucked up shit comes from the heartland for a reason. It’s like a death cry. Punk rock was most likely born in the Midwest as a direct reaction in an attempt to resist and escape the gulag of corn fields, church society, and stifling morality. They fight back by screaming, pissing, sending love letters to Satan, and fucking any sour hole they spy. They refuse to lay down with boredom of course, and thusly some of the most retarded and loudest bullshit ever was born, and continues only to flourish even still. It is a rule of thumb that you often find the richness of art is often in proportion to the shittiness of a particular society or political regime, and surely if the Midwest didn’t suck so much leper dick, we wouldn’t have Dow Jones & the Industrials, the Gizmos, or the Necros.

Flash ahead ten years, and I’m on the phone with Russ Romance, who’s scream-slurring drunkenly at me, “You wanna know what I think of you, bro? You motherfucker… I’ll fuck you… check this out, check it out”
Seconds later, I hear what sounds like running water, and a few gasps of relief in the distance.
“You hear that? That was me pissing in my sink… I don’t give a fuck, bro. I’ll fuckin’ kill you. Come on… come to Ohio, bro… ya’ fuckin’ homo faggot. Horriblefest. I’ll kick the shit out of you.”
Somehow, the conversation ended amicably that night. I don’t even remember how I ended up on the phone with the guy, or what we were even fighting about, really.

But from there on out, Russ Romance was a friend of mine.

Ryan,  King Louie,  and Russ at last year's fest.

By this time, the Cleveland Horriblefest, an event which featured a mixture of garage punk and hardcore bands, which was organized by both Ryan and Russ, has become part of modern punk rock lore. Come on, this is the land of cow heart sodomizing creeps, juvenile delinquents violently vying for patron saint hood, and boredom inspired mutilators in general. People who want things to “work out” don’t go to fucking Ohio. They go to The Blackout. This IS “Horriblefest” afterall. The fact that weekend became renowned as some sort of train wreck in a way, though represents a success unto itself. While the results may have proven financially unfortunate for some, the festival itself remained true to the shambled, blood and guts nature of the very best the Midwest has to offer: it was a complete clusterfuck. A glorious train wreck, if you will. Despite the fights, thefts, feuds, and a slightly disappointing turnout, for those in attendance it was a lot of fun, for the most part. Come on, it was Cleveland. You’re lucky no one came down with napalm poisoning or shit out a rabid AIDS baby during the fiasco. And besides, it’s hard to deny the fact that these guys had their hearts in the right places. Personal gain was most certainly not a part of their design. Instead, these guys are simply devoted to their scene; they genuinely love music. Besides, it’s one thing to criticize, but the margin of failure when you sit around with your thumbs up your ass is nil when you don’t do anything. Still, even if there were kinks in the first fest, overall it was a triumph in some ways… particularly since many of the participating acts received a deluge of attention and positive press following the event. I can nearly guarantee that any of the overly moral hipster boy scouts patrolling message boards and brandishing their geeky merit badges in petty insults and typing skills who took time away from their good Samaritan work down at the local soup kitchen to libel either Russ or Ryan have probably never done anything significant to contribute to the promotion or preservation of the culture they use as a means to distinguish themselves from the rabble. At least they tried. Russ and Ryan are going to try to apply the knowledge they gained from last year’s experience with Horriblefest 2, which will again occur in Cleveland during the second week of November. We interviewed them about how things are shaping up, but also took the time to discuss exactly what went wrong last year. One of the more detrimental aspects of last year’s event was the inclusion the legendary Jabbers, featuring Wimpy Rutherford on vocals. They came at a high price unfortunately, and while some saw this as a flat out stupid move on their part, the attempt was a reasonable risk according to the Ohio duo. In their own words…

One of the most curious things about the first horriblefest was the inclusion of the Jabbers. I want to know what motivated you guys to include this band in with all these fairly obscure garage punk and hardcore bands?
Russ and I got the idea while jamming the Jabbers at 89.3, Russ’s old station he used to DJ on. We though they’d be cool to see. I mean, c’mon Wimpy Rutherford singing for the Jabbers? I thought it’d go over well.
Russ: Yeah, we debated for a while if it would work, or if it would be worth the cost or hassle of getting them there. Actually, we asked quite a few people what they thought of the idea while at Goner Fest II, and most people we talked to thought they’d be fun to see. My take on it was that the Murder Junkies without GG draw pretty well in Cleveland, and they come around at least once a year. The Jabbers had never played the Midwest and seem to have a broader appeal than the MJs or GG’s other bands; plus with Wimpy and his involvement with the Queers, I figured the Jabbers would bring out enough old-timers and younger kids to make it worth the risk. I was also hoping that some of those people whoudl have been exposed to some of the newer punk bands, such as the Feelers and the Catholic Boys. I figured that people there for other bands would at least have some fun hearing the hits to wrap up the weekend even if they weren’t big GG fans. It sounds a lot better in theory than it turned out.

Well, ultimately, it had a negative impact on the fest due to the immense guarantee the Jabbers had. I guess what I wanna know is why you agreed to the guarantee.
We struggled with the idea of their gurantee for a while, but ultimately, at the time, we thought it might have help bring more people out. Afterall, it was going to be the first time the Jabbers had been to Cleveland as well
Russ: The Jabbers guys did give up some of their guarantee so the other bands could at least get something. They weren’t really greedy or real demanding — just the cost of flying the five of them in for the show was pretty outrageous.

How did the Jabbers draw and what was their take on things? Did they watch the other bands or participate in any way other than just playing?
The draw wasn’t terrible, but it didn’t justify their guarantee. I think their crowd may have been scared off the high price tag and not knowing the other bands. The Jabbers themselves seemed stoked to be there, even though they were just mainly working their merch stand. They seemed to have a good time, and were excited about checking out the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame.
Ryan: Chris Lamy of the Jabbers got pretty excited about the bands, and they came up and watched some of them. They liked the fact that we asked them to play the event.

What was the cover for the Jabbers night compared to the other nights?
It was $15 for the final night with the Jabbers and eight other bands. The first two nights were $10 each.

Generally when people put fests together, they start out kind of small, and I think the impression a lot of people got was that you guys bit off more than you can chew. How did things end up so big, and why did you let them GET that big? What did you originally intend or want to do?
Actually, it seemed like everytime I got on the internet another band wanted to play. We thought we could pull it off until Saturday night when the shit hit the fan.
Russ: We originally wanted it to be only two nights, but then the Black Lips tour came through town the day before the fest was scheduled to start, and we had the opportunity to add that to the fest. We also wanted a sort of big band to get some people’s attention – especially in Cleveland, so that people would see it was a big deal and want to come out. It did end up being a bit too much for a first-time thing, though.

Assuming you realized your errors after the first one, how is the next one going to be different? What sort of precautions are you taking? and how easy has it been putting it together this time around?
Well, we’re definitely keeping things on a smaller scale this time around… keeping guarantees realistic so no bands feel ripped off afterward. It’s always sort of tough to get something of this size together, but a lot of people have been enthusiastic and very understanding about the errors from last years. We definitely intend to learn from the experience.
Ryan: We know what not to do now. We’re only doing two days this time with no huge gurantees, thats for sure. Bands are coming around. I mean, a lot of people know us personally and know we didn’t intentionally screw people over. we wanted to do somthing good for Cleveland and music – period.

Absolutely, I don’t think anyone thought it was malicious. But there was definitely a shit storm that slammed into your reputations afterword, which is so odd, because so many people helped hype the fest… but when it came down to responsibility you guys took the blame for bad shit going down. Have people lightened up? I know I saw a lot of assholes on message boards acting like fools and flapping their gums like they know shit.
Yeah, there was a lot of good hype going – but then a lot of other shows also cut into the draw. I can’t really blame bands for being pissed when they are stuggling just to make it back home. I think things have calmed down overall, and we helped take care of some of the bands after the fact.
Ryan: People definitely lightened up. I don’t think there are any hard feelings out there. I made alot of new, good friends through the experience. I can still go out in public and get along with everyone (laughs).
Russ: Yeah I’ve talked to most of the bands in person since then and they are cool.

So Beachland Ballroom aren’t angry anymore?
Nah. Mark Leddy is an alright guy.
Russ: Mark’s the owner of the Beachland, hes been doing shows for a long time, even before he opened the club.
Ryan: The equipment that was stolen during the fest was returned and I also put on a local benefit show for him just to help out. He wants us to do it there again, but we haven’t confirmed anything yet.

I thought that it was sort of strange that the whole stolen equipment thing made the papers and people were harping on it, but any and all reparations you guys made were never acknowledged by most.
Yeah, funny how that works man.
Russ: Well, right after the fact is when people were all worked up. By the time we did make good, it was off a lot of people’s mind.

When was the equipment returned?
That was a couple a months ago. Mark was happy as hell to get the anonymous box in the mail. Mark called me the second they got it.
Russ: It was sent from out of state… a state where none of the bands were from. Even so, we did promise to protect the people’s identities as long as stuff got returned. We were on people right away after it was brought to our attention, helping to spread the word online and letting people know that the Beachland wasn’t to blame for the way things went.

But you guys probably have some idea as to who took it, right?
Yeah, we have some ideas.
Russ: I could make some pretty educated guesses….but really, I still wouldn’t bet money on who did it.

Have you guys received any negative reactions while trying to book the fest this year? Have you been cautious about who you approached?
Not really. People still seem excited about it. I’ve got money set aside just for the bands already, too.
Russ: The people I’ve contacted haven’t really been negative, but then again, I do try to explain what happened last year, and how it’s going to be different this time. I think it helps that a lot of the bands last year did go over well and got some good publicity and good reactions from the crowd.

I got the impression you guys wanted the opportunity to set things straight though, so there must still be some lingering negative vibe about things…
Well, we just want to make sure that the same number of people realize what’s going on this year – and make sure we get some excitement going without lingering on the past.
Ryan: I wanted to set the situation from last year straight, and assure everyone that the financial picture this year will hang right. We will be taking care of the bands this year and that is my number one priority. I’m committed to that. (pause) I sound like a car salesman. (both laugh)

Well, you did take care of people last year, albeit a little late. But nevertheless, I think that shows some integrity on your behalf. I wish you got more credit for that. So what happened to Alicja Trout? I heard she had some interest in being involved this year. But from what I hear now, things seem to be leaning more toward hardcore bands. Why the hardcore slant? Why not as strong garage-punk presence as the last year?
Yeah, I guess bad news is more fun to gossip about than the good stuff though. Hopefully the people involved at least spread the word to people they know.
Ryan: Alicja and I originally talked about some stuff, but we sorta lost contact.
Russ: And unfortunately, the “Rurnt Fest” in Mississippi happened to fall on the same weekend as our fest this year. A lot of the Southern garage-type people are involved with that. I wish it wouldn’t have happened this way, but with Cleveland winters we cant really push things back too far, and we had already booked some bands for those dates. Garage-punk is sort of a tough draw in Cleveland, too, whereas hardcore does really well. But there’s still going to be a large variety of stuff.
Ryan: Exactly, it’s not all hardcore

Mostly, though. I heard Tunnel of Love and LiveFastDie may be participating this year. Can you give me some firm names on who’s playing this year and what we can expect?
Well, Tunnel Of Love confirmed for sure. LFD aren’t quite sure yet, but we’d really like to have them and they want to be there. It’s just a matter of logistics for them.
Ryan: DC Snipers are excited about the prospect of playing. I’m just waiting for a calls confirming gas money, etc. Other bands we have confirmed though include Brain Handle, and Rotshit. Bill Bondsmen may play. We’re working out some kinks with a lot of bands right now.
Russ: Friday night will feature most of the hardcore stuff. We should have The State, who were an early eighties Ann Arbor hardcore band. We’ll also have the Darvocets (some of the same guys involved with Cider and Wolfdowners who both played last year) and Sickjoys – great bands and very well-liked in Cleveland. I hope some out-of-town people get to check it out. Cleveland HC shows are definitely wilder than any other city.

Sounds good. Any big surprises? Like major draws you are excited to have that you can tell us about yet? Seems like it’s all been kind of under wraps, but it’s fast approaching.
I’m excited about the Evolutions playing on Saturday. It’s not only going to be their first out-of-state show, but Brad and Roy are actually burying the hatchet to do it. Ryan: The Candy Snatchers is one I don’t wanna miss personally. They were my personal addition to the fest.

The idea of a mixed punk fest is really interesting… but unfortunately so many people are closed minded these days. What do you think of mixing bands on the bills? Why did you do this?
To give everybody a little of everything
Russ: I think a lot of serious fans of underground music like a little of everything…so especially for people traveling, and the bands themselves, getting to see something they might not have checked out otherwise is appealing. Last year, the Blowtops went over really well in front of a mostly HC crowd, but I dont think a lot of those people would have checked them out otherwise.

How did the garage crowd react to the overall rowdiness of last year? It seemed like there was a definite culture clash oddly enough. Like I know Cider and the Image Boys from Florida did not get along.
Yeah, I think a few of the more garage bands were a little shocked by the craziness…like I said, Cleveland hardcore shows can be a little nuts, and I think some people were surprised.
Ryan: There was a lot of shit-talking and craziness I guess. Russ and I sorta knew somthing would happen. I was at the Beachland helping get ready so I missed all that between Fashion Fashion and Cider. I didn’t even know about it until the next day
Russ: I think FF came up expecting to raise hell, and they did, which is cool …but when a band like Cider who hasn’t played in a few years is thinking they might not get to play cause of FF’s set length…

What happened there exactly? I heard Fashion Fashion played an epic set… which they did intentionally to piss people off.
That was bad news – the majority of the crowd wanted to see Cider. They’re a well-known local band and well-known people in general. Once Ciders’ drums got fucked up they were pissed. But really, it could have gotten completely out of hand and didn’t. I’m sort of surprised things didn’t get violent. It was a bummer for Kill the Hippies, River City Tanlines and Cider though, who had to really rush because of FF’s set length — all three are great bands who didn’t deserve that shit.
Ryan: I like and get along with both bands, so whatever.

Well FF also messed with other people, too, like the Krunchies, haha
Yeah I missed that, too. Matt Krunchie apparently got punched I heard.
Russ: I didn’t see that or hear about it until after the fest was over. Heard it was pretty sneaky and unprovoked, but I don’t know the details.

One of the questions I have comes from an anonymous source out of Florida, though: “who changes the drummer from Cider’s Diapers?”
Oh man, I think I heard some cracks like that.
Russ: Florida kids sure love busting balls! I’ll let Cider handle that question themselves. All I can say is Bob (drummer in question) may not be the youngest dude, but still rages, and has done a lot over the years.
Ryan: I was surprised all that happened Derek. FF rode back with me after the fest and didn’t mention anything about it.
Russ: You mentioned that Austin vs Florida thing you’re putting together down there… maybe we ought to do Cleveland vs Florida sometime

Paul, from Cider responds: My response is this… Their band sucks. Those fags borrow our equipment and played their generic shit for an hour. I will meet them anywhere they want and fight the whole band by myself. I am dead serious. Garage fagzzzzzz!

That’s good stuff. You guys got pretty fucked up during the fest, which was probably not the best idea for the key organizers to do. I hear Ryan didn’t even know how to get to the venue on friday night he was so fucked up. Are you guys gonna keep it somewhat sober this year?
Ah yeah, thats the plan, man. I did go a bit overboard.
Russ: Personally, I like to handle the pre-show/planning things more than the actual planning at the show. I will try to keep it somewhat mellower this year — while most of the work I do is stuff prior to the show, it’s probably for the best that I’m not completely smashed if I do end up needing to help out with things. And I know Ryan can answer for himself, but I don’t think intoxication had anything with him finding the venue that Friday – it really is a tricky spot to find.
Ryan: Yeah, the Blacklist was in the middle of nowhereland. (laughs)

But you dudes were fucked up. I have seen photographic proof. (laughs)
Oh yeah – by the end of each night, I was annihilated, especially Saturday.
Ryan: Russ whipped his penis out and tried to pee on Dr. Filth from the Functional Blackouts. It was hilarious. (everyone laughs)

What did Dr. Filth do?
We all kind of stopped Russ from what I remember
Russ: That’s an accomplishment, too! Dr. Filth is used to some filthy behavior though, hence the name. He thought it was funny afterward and just asked where I went later that night.

You guys heard about the Philly fest shit this year I presume, right? I wanted to know how you guys, as fans of not just garage punk, and punk but also hardcore felt about that fiasco… especiall since youre trying to broaden your band coverage.
I actually didn’t hear anything about it.
Russ: Yeah, that sounded like a mess. I’m not really into the whole crust/squatter thing myself, but shit like that is bad news for anyone trying to do DIY shows – just terrible publicity.
Ryan: what happened?
Russ: I didn’t hear a whole lot about it… but when you have punk kids on the news punching cops and shit, you know people are going to crack down.

Basically some crusty assholes and some FSU guys got into a tussle. The cops showed up and the crusties sicked their dogs on the cops and all hell broke loose.
A lot of it seemed to be caused by street type kids who had no intentions of seeing the bands. They were just hanging outside. That fest has always seemed to draw a trouble-making crowd… and coming from me, that’s saying something. Closest we had to police trouble was one of the FF dudes getting picked up by cops for passing out outside afterwards. That was at an afterparty. They didnt even arrest him, he just had the chance to sober up a bit down at the station.

Well, thanks for answering my questions. I wish you guys luck planning the next fest. Any closing comments you guys wanna leave?
Thanks Max, I just hope people can see that we realize where things went wrong last year. I hope it won’t keep people from coming out this time. Also, despite the troubles, I think the shows last year were great for the most part, tons of great bands, and a wild time, especially Friday night. Hopefully the bands at least got some new fans and contacts out of it, even if the pay was a little rough.
Ryan: I hope we can get ya up to Cleveland this year for it. we’ll take good care of ya. The lineup, although not totally complete, is looking great and it should be a fun time.

Post Script: Well, it looks like Horriblefest 2 has been postponed until April of 2007. Apparently, Ryan and Russ figured it would be more reasonable and better for the fest itself if they pushed it back past the winter and into Spring. Hopefully, they take advantage of the time and fortify the bills they are building and dont’ let shit get too out of hand. We wish them luck, though, and appreciate their initiative and effort. Check back at for updates.

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