Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cro-Mags interview with: Harley Flanagan. January 21st. 2010.

Vista: Hey Harley. To me you're not a guy who needs an introduction, but to those out there...Can you give us a brief summary of groups that you've been in? Also, are you still based out of New York City?



Harley: Well, It would take pages & pages but I got into punk rock in the 70's. I was 10 years old. I lived in Europe and Scandinavia at the time. I had been to London and hung out with Rat Scabies from The Damned and seen his band, The White Cats play & other punk bands. I was in my first punk band, Little Big Boss in late '77. We toured once, played at a big Anarchist festival and a big punk rock New Years party, after midnight, so that was '78. Then we broke up. Then me and my mom moved back to NYC and the L.E.S. {lower east side} which was a pretty fuckin' crazy back then & yes, I'm still in NYC...Just not the L.E.S.. It's too expensive and yuppied up for me.


Vista: I recently picked up the Harley's War cd/dvd. I was blown away how friggin' awesome the dvd portion is. I have the original pressing of the cd which didn't have the dvd. Tell us a little bit about this release? Did you independently release this cd/dvd? Harley: Yes, I did. All the details are in the book I just completed, that will be out early this year. I have several publishers making offers. I'm glad you liked it.
 


Vista: Speaking of the newest cd, there are pictures in the layout of you with a couple of small children. Are those your kids? Also, do they have any musical aspirations?
 


Harley: Yes, they are mine. Hahaha...I don't just grab random kids up and take pictures for my cd. Hahah. Yes, they are very into music and they train Jui-jitsu at Renzo Gracies with me.
 


Vista: You're a guy with literally decades of history in the hardcore/punk scene. You must have seen a million trends come & go. What is your take on the current hardcore scene? Is there a scene? What is your opinion on the NYC scene these days?  



Harley: Well, there is, I guess. I ain't part of one, but I never was. I just do my own thing. The hardcore scene was created by people like me. I don't need to be part of a scene anymore. I'm a grown man. I got kids. I do my own thing. What's my take on it, well I don't know...It seems like some fake thug shit with a lotta wanna-be tough guys. I think real mother fuckers fight MMA and shit like that. They don't jump people at shows, but, whatever. I'm not all that impressed. I've seen a few good bands over the years, but not many. I don't see anybody doing anything really new. The only thing new is hardcore kids dress all hip-hop and think they're gang-bangers or some dumb shit.
 


Vista: What has been the response & reaction to the Harley's War cd? I know the dvd portion has you guys performing live from Europe & Japan to really large crowds. How is the band perceived in those countries?

 
Harley: It has been overall pretty good. People over their are still fans of my old shit, so they are psyched to see the new shit.
 

Vista: I know you are really into martial arts and MMA style fighting. Can you give us some information on that? What style do you practice? When did you get into this? I see you have fought in the ring as well. Are you at a professional level or semi-professional?

 
Harley: Well, I have been paid to fight, so I guess that makes me a professional hahaha. But, it wasn't a sanctioned match. Shit is illegal in N.Y. State but yeah, I have competed in MMA and grappling/submission tournaments like NAGA and others. I train Brazilian Jiu-jitsu under my friend and instructor, Renzo Gracie and have been with him on & off since '95.
 
Vista: What's going on with the Cro-Mags? I ask because I have no clue & I'm confused as to what's up? The last I saw, you & John Bloodclot were doing shows together as: "Cro-Mags NYC". That seems to have fallen apart? What happened?
 
Harley: Well, that was a long time ago bro. John took it and ran with it. He's a fuckin' dick. I have kids, etc...He started booking tours and went out without me and the rest of the original band. But, he still calls it the Cro-Mags. He's just a bitch.
 
Vista: I had heard rumors of an "anniversary" type of tour? What was that about & was it suppose to be all the orginal members?
 
Harley: Maybe he was selling it as that, he's done that before. No, It wasn't, It was a scam. I wish it could have happened. But, It won't. He wants to be the controller of it even though he never wrote a song in his life and joined the band after me & my old singer had already written most of, "Age Of Quarrel" and we had been gigging. He basically walked into a band with a lyric book full of lyrics already written...That was already gigging and got over. He quit after the first "Age Of Quarrel" tour of Europe and basically that's when all the drama began. Dude, read my book and you will hear the other side of all the bullshit. But, I'm actually pretty tired of it all and done with it. I got kids. A life, in real-life. Fuck him. Fuck all the bullshit. All this hardcore fantasy, rock star bullshit. The dude is a fraud. He was back in the day and he still is.
 
Vista: What is your take on the John Joseph book? Is it an accurate take on what went down with the Cro-Mags? Also, I heard you were doing a book? What is the status on that & when will it be released?
 
Harley: Well, let me put it this way...I never read it cause the guy has been pretty much a bullshit artist since the old days, so why would I bother reading it, so it will get me mad? Fuck 'em, but the funny shit is recently at a book signing of John Bloodcolt's, he was reading his book and one of our mutual friends, this chick Kate, who was there and so was one of John's brother, Eugene. And about every 2 pages or so, E would whisper in her ear, "that's bullshit" & "that didn't happen like that" & "that's bullshit, that didn't happen like that". Of course, this is no surprise to me. I've known him forever. That's why I have no need to read his book. I already know what's true and what isn't & I've heard it all before...But when John heard she mentioned this and it got back to me, he called her up and started going off and threatening her and shit. He's such a dick. The fact is, he's a good salesman and he's pretty much a bullshit artist and he has been his whole life...And this is coming from his brother's mouth as well, just not mine. It's funny, the guy has made a whole life out of bullshitting people. And now all these dummies want to credit him as being, "The Cro-Mags". That's why Eric J. Casanova, our old singer and me wrote most of the words to "Age Of Quarrel"...And it doesn't even matter really. All I know is all you dummies who buy into him and his bullshit are being had, but hey what do new-jack hardcore kids know about him anyway? Nothing...Only what he tells them. All i know is people are gullible. They believe shit just cause it's in print. It cracks me up. So i guess YOU should believe in spiderman too...And the Incredible Hulk cause that shit is about as true as the shit that comes out of Bloodclot's mouth, but whatever. I'm just amazed that people believe some of the shit he has said about me is true cause it's just so fuckin' ridiculous, but whatever. People are stupid, I guess? So, i wrote a book, people have been telling me i should since the fuckin' 80's. It's not exclusively about the Cro-Mags or hardcore or whatever. Those guys were my friends as you will read. I have at least as many good things to say about them as i do bad. But, i had to have my side told cause this shit is just ridiculous, mother fuckers have been talking so much bullshit about me, but whatever. All i know is this, from here to eternity i will always be willing to EITHER one...Gig together with all of those guys just strictly out of the love for the music & the Cro-Mags or if John EVER actually has the balls to back up all the shit he talks, to step up and I'll beat his ass. Again...That is if he EVER has the balls to actually step up to the 100's of times I've called him out, emailed him, called him, etc...But I'm pretty much over it. I'm at Renzo's training all the time. He knows where to find me. He knows my number and my email. Funny shit is...I remember even a few stories that I told him about people that I knew that he never met...And years ago in 2000 when we did that little reunion tour with me, him, Doug & Rocky...He showed me some bullshit script he was working on & he accidentally showed me the story I told him!! Unfucking believable, that guy. Hahahaha. What a fraud...And on top of it, I was told that shit made it into his fuckin' book man. He's a funny mother fucker. Well, I hope all his shit he's talking about the people who wrote all the songs he sings and the people who use to be his friends pays for his hair plugs cause that's about all it's worth...Fake hair. But it's sad that he would take that route. Me and him both know the truth and we both know he's a fraud. A really fake mother fucker and all that "spiritual" shit is just another smoke-screen. All I know is wait till you read MY book...You will laugh your fuckin' balls off.
 
Vista: The last Cro-Mags record was the, "Revenge" album. What is up with you & Paris? From what I heard, you two aren't on speaking terms anymore? What happened?
 
Harley: Who cares. It's all just old drama. Give it a rest bro.

Vista: Is there any chance in our lifetime that you, John Joseph, Paris & Mackie will EVER perform together under the name: Cro-Mags? Is there too much bad-blood and/or bad feelings between all of you? 



Harley: I'd do it. But see...Once you grow up & have kids, you realize how dumb all the bullshit is and we did a ot of great shit together, so I would do it. But, I can;t see it happening. I think It would make a great reality show. Hahaha. Just kidding. But, It would, if we didn't all kill each other. Hahaha.

 
Vista: Many years ago you did a band under the name, "White Devil". How did that come about? Also, that was on the "Lost & Found" record label out of Europe. That label was infamous for ripping off bands. How was your experience, dealing with that record label? 
 
Harley: Again, all I can say is read the book bro. It's too much to fit into an answer for you. It was fun, we had Bobby Hambel {Biohazard} with us. I love him to death. I had a blast playing with him. Yeah...We never got paid any money from them. Whatever.

Vista: I know you have done recordings & touring with Rocky George from Suicidal Tendencies. He's a great guitarist for sure. My question is...I heard rumors that back in the day, there was some some issues with you & a member of Suicidal Tendencies when you were in L.A....And when they came to NYC on tour, they accused you of pouring sugar into their gas tank. What is the story behind this? Harley: First off I'd like to say, Rocky is one of my best friends and one of my favorite guitarists. I had a great time playing with him. We still talk all the time. Second...No, that was some chick who was friends with Agnostic Front, named Alexis or whatever. I wasn't even there when she did that shit. I showed up later, but got blamed for it. Sugar in the tank...Come on, gimme a fuckin' break, that ain't my style. Read my book. You'll see what went down. There were some riots that came about cause of some shit like that. You gotta read my book.

 
Vista: Don't you do some type of website dedicated to the "all-stars" of hardcore/punk? Also, what is, in your opinion...The top 10 essential hardcore/punk records of all time?
 
Harley: I has a site up for a long time, hardcore hall of fame...With interviews I did with a lot of friends of mine: Ian Mckay, Henry Rollins, Roger from AF, Jimmy G...All the old school cats. I'll just say this...Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Discharge, Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing...There are so many though, but prior to all of that, it was...Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash and so on...Sham 69. All the early punk. The early Oi, etc....Read my book. I'll tell you the whole evolution of the whole shit. But I like all kinds of shit, I always have. Again, READ MY BOOK.
 
Vista: I saw on your site that Ryan Gracie passed away. For those who don't know, tell us about him, if you will?
Harley: He's a close friend and my teachers brother. He was a legend...A great fighter and a great guy, and I'm gonna miss him a lot.
 

Vista: Speaking of your site, I saw something about some promoter company named "MAD". From what I understand, they are pretty much the biggest booking agent for European tours. What's the deal with them?
 
Harley: What's the deal with them is, their just another booking agent...When they're mad at John Joseph, they book me. When there is money in booking John's fake Cro-Mags, they book that. They are just a booking agent trying to make a buck, that's all.
 
Vista: Outside of hardcore & martial-arts...What are some of your other hobbies and/or interests?
 
Harley: My family, that's it.
 
Vista: What are your future musical projects?
 
Harley: You'll hear.
 
Vista: Thanks a lot for taking the time to do this interview. Is there anything else you'd like to say?
 
Harley: Read the book, you will bug the fuck out. Shit ain't always what it seems. Check out my Myspace page, it's got lots of classic pictures on it and some music, videos, etc. I am on Facebook but I don't check it or use it for shit. I hate computers and I don't like dealing with people, but yeah...Read the book. That's all I got to say as far as hardcore. Yeah, I'm hardcore for life, like Jimmy Gestapo from Murphy's Law said: "I say the torch was handed down from the Stimulators and Harley. Harley is the forefather of NYHC, he was the first". So, people can say what they want. They can suck John's dick and blow more smoke up his ass, whatever...Support the fake Cro-Mags. Whatever. Fuck the scene. I could give a fuck. I'm not part of a scene. I started the fuckin' shit. I only care about the people on the scene that I knew who I grew up with...Not the johnny-come-latelys and the new-jack, wanna-be thug crews that need to jump niggas cause they got no fuckin' balls on their own. Fuck 'em. I'm living my life, that's all. I play music. I train Jiu-Jitsu and I'm a family man. I could give a fuck about much else. That's me. People don't like me, fuck 'em. The people that I respect, they respect me & that's what matters to me...Not all the other bullshit. I'm surrounded by the people that I love and that's all that matters. Life is too short to care or give a fuck about bullshit, so fuck it. But, one last thing...Check out my book. There's a lot of history in there. It ain't just a, "he said-she said" book at all. You will like it. Peace out. Harley...

2 comments:

  1. AAAAND. now he stabbed them. LOL.

    hands down. this motherfucker is HARD-CORE

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