Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Posted by xCHIPxSEM | File under : , ,
While I was packing my CDs up in preparation for my move to my new house, I picked up my Slugfest CD that Initial Records had released back in 1996. The day before, Scott Vogel had emailed us to say how much he liked what we are doing with the site (thanks Scott) and I got the idea of interviewing him about the different bands he had played in. By now, you all know that Scott has been a part of some of the biggest and best bands of the 90s and 2000s but I feel like everyone forgets that he also played in Fadeaway and played drums instead of singing. I wanted to go back and touch on these bands as well as cover the one's you may already know. This is part 1 of a series of short interviews I'm doing with Scott about the bands he's played in that have helped shape the hardcore scene. In this part, we cover the bands Slugfest and Fadeaway.

Stuck In The Past: How did Slugfest form?
Scott: Me and my brother Jay had been messing around with bands for a bit, more punk stuff I guess although I was never really into punk. We were just kind of finding out about underground stuff and the different directions and scenes etc. I was playing drums and he was playing guitar. When we were first introduced to hardcore, I think both of us were hooked. We went to any show we could find, bought records and kind of spun our lives in that direction as much as possible for 14 year old kids from the suburbs of Buffalo. The club most shows were at in Buffalo then was called the River Rock Cafe. Me and my brother went there a lot. We became friends with the owners son Jon who ran the place and did sound. He played drums so we talked about starting a band. We practiced at the venue and Slugfest was born. We picked up our crazy friend John Gibe and Jon brought in his friend named "Fuck Em". This dude was older, played in a Kiss tribute band and breathed fire so in the early days we would cover God of Thunder and he would do the same at a Slugfest show. I’m pretty sure this is why all the Clevo bands liked Slugfest. Anyways, no one was close to sxe and it was a very interesting mix of characters. We didn’t care if we fit in. We got the name from a Simpsons episode where Bart is playing a game called Super Slugfest. It was just fun times and learning how to write songs and lyrics and getting on stage every time was an insanely new adventure. Our first show was with Judge and we played with Zero Tolerance, Slapshot, Integrity, Upfront and all sorts of cool bands.

SITP: How did you guys hook up with Structure Records to release the “Buried Alive” 7 inch?
Scott: I can’t really remember how it happened but Chris, the singer of Chokehold, booked us up in Hamilton. Ont. Canada. It may have been one of our first road trips. We played a floor show in a hall. The vibe was real cool I remember. Kids knew our words and we were on a natural high. At this point, Tim Redmond was in the band who went on to play in Snapcase. I remember Chris told us he lost money but didn’t care because he loved hardcore and the show so much that it didn’t matter. Me and Tim always talked about how cool this was. So Chokehold and Slugfest became friends and Chris and Jeff started a label releasing the Slugfest EP and a Bloodlet EP. The Slugfest record recording came out great for the time and talent we had. I still remember getting that thing in my hands…so fucking cool.

SITP: Give us some of your more memorable moments in the band.
Scott: Slugfest was just a party band. We would always be in the van drinking 40s with our friends that didn’t even listen to hardcore before our shows. We would practice at Tim’s and it was a long drive. We would smoke weed and stop at Mighty Taco and then go try to write songs or learn covers. We got to play in Detroit with Earth Crisis. A few shows in Erie and Syracuse and stuff like that…care free days. No talk of money or labels and bad mouthing other bands.

SITP: What caused the band to break up initially?
Scott: I didn’t know any of this was going on at the time but Snapcase asked Tim to join their band. Our record had just came out. We were getting mail from Europe and shit, shows were getting better and Tim just left us to play with them. I was bitter at the time. Me and Tim, I kinda felt like we were a team, a team that didn’t really have much in common with Snapcase but I was wrong. When I think about it now, I kinda understand. Tim was sxe and more laid back and had his shit together a bit more than the rest of us. He saw a good opportunity and took it. He left and the band died.

SITP: At what point did you join Fadeaway?
Scott: Fadeaway was a cool band that was coming up in Buffalo towards the end of Slugfest. They had a good style and their front man Rob was on point. Their drummer Phil was a dude that played in a lot of bands but seemed to always be leaving or quitting or whatever. So when he left Fadeaway, they asked me to do it. Again, just a cool time. 5 hardcore kids writing songs and hanging out, simple stuff. Practice, go to Dennys and drink coffee, act weird. make fanzines. Good times.

SITP: Had you played drums in a band before Fadeaway? I don’t think many people know that you played drums for the band.
Scott: Yeah I wasn’t the best either. I could play a good fast beat and do enough of the rest to get by. I played drums in Against All Hope for a bit. That is a really underrated ahead of their time band from buffalo…kinda on a dag nasty tip but with a Buffalo edge to it.

SITP: How did the Slugfest discography that Initial Records released come about? Was that the reason you guys did the reunion show in 1997?
Scott: Despair was doing records with Initial Records at the time. Andy Rich was a really cool kid and was always treating us more than fair. He must have brought up the idea and we went for it. I spent a few years really being against Snapcase but I guess me and Tim must have talked and decided let’s do this. Slugfest had some cool songs that never got recorded and I think we even maybe wrote a new one for this release?? So we put this thing out with a very horrible cover photo. What were we thinking? A weird tree? What the hell did that have to do with anything? ha ha ha. We also did that reunion show. Slugfest just stopped out of nowhere. One day we were playing and the next it was just over. So I think there was a small demand for a last show. We put together a cool line up, played one more time and recorded it and put out the live EP.

SITP: Will Slugfest ever play again?
Scott: I highly doubt it. I think about 60 kids in the world know those songs. Not really something that needs to happen.


Chris Logan said...

this dude is 100% responsible for me being into hardcore as much as I got into it. I still tell stories of him taking of his seat belt while driving me in a car and (stage) diving onto me in the passenger seat, while the car was still moving. one of the most genuine and core people ever.

Tim Pryce said...

Scott=great dude!!!


thanks.great interview.cant wait for part 2.

Crucial D said...

Jeez, why don't you guys just have a big ol' circle jerk?

Anonymous said...

I had a band that did nothing but Slugfest cover's in high school, circa 1998.

xBojanx said...

I think he could find much more than 60 kids (well, kids at hearts at least,) that know Slugfest songs only in Serbia.

Koda said...

I played in Empathy and our first tour was to be with Fadeaway. However, they broke up the week the tour started.

We stayed with Scott a time or two when we'd come to Buffalo. I really miss that about those days...the fact that there was always a place to stay. Kids would just walk up to you after you were done playing and offer up their or their parents place.
Good times and memories.