"This is the end of Hardcore. We started it and we're ending it here today".
Springa of SS Decontrol at a Jerry's Kids show in 1984.
It might be a bold statement, but to a large extend he was right. At least in the case of Boston Hardcore. Little remained of the original scene as bands such as SS Decontrol, DYS, Gang Green and The FU's had either disbanded, or gone metal [a sound that didn't appeal to many within the Hardcore scene].
People were simply growing up, and with adulthood came other priorities. Either that or they discovered that they could play music other than the 60 second, three chord assault that Hardcore Punk was.
Either way, by 1985 there were just a few bands kicking around, and the scene had gone from Hardcore to metal to dead.
Steve Risteen [ex Terminally Ill] kept bumping into Jack Kelly [ex Negative FX and Last Rights] in a 24-hour Food mart week after week. Jack Kelly, who wasn't in a band at the time, wanted to play again. So in October of 1985 Steve Risteen, Mark McKaye [Terminally Ill's manager] and Jack Kelly formed SLAPSHOT [they were originally supposed to be called Straight Satan, after the motorcycle gang which protected Charles Manson].
The threesome started writing songs and soon after Jonathan Anastas [ex Decadence and DYS] joined the band. He had been good friends with Jack through the Boston Crew, had roomed with him for a time and respected his vision for a new version of an old school Hardcore band.
There was big hype about SLAPSHOT before they ever played a live show due to Jack and Jonathan's reputations in Hardcore circles. And also since a friend of the band, Mike Gitter, who was writing for allot of magazines at the time [one of which was his own zine - XXX], had written that SLAPSHOT was a great live act. Note - in the Punk tradition of Malcolm McLauren and the Sex Pistols - these stories were written before the band had even played in front of an audience.
Mike Gitter later went on to work as an A&R executive for Atlantic and Roadrunner where he signed CIV and Orange 9MM to their major label debuts.
In October of 1986 SLAPSHOT released their debut album. To save money [as the band wanted to record the album on a full 24 tracks instead of the usual low-quality 8 or 16 tracks Punk records were recorded on at the time], the group had to record from midnight to 8 AM to get the lower overnight rate.
The album was completed in only four sessions. There were no real overdubs, a few takes per song - it was very live. Titled Back On The Map [a challenge to the world that Boston Hardcore was back], the album was released by Taang! Records.
SLAPSHOT was about to get reinforcement in the shape Jordan Wood [ex STP, The Loved Ones and Deathwish]. He joined the band as a second guitar-player right after Back On The Map was released.
In July of 1988, three songs [Same Mistake, Might Makes Right and an acapella version of the Gilligan's Island theme] were released as an EP and in October of 1988 the single was followed by the band's next release, a full-length album, called Step On It.
When the band was writing new material for their next album Jamie Sciarappa said that he'd be moving to Los Angeles and SLAPSHOT therefore once again needed a new bass-player.
So in March of 1990 Mark McKaye asked his friend Chris Lauria if he could fill the position. Mark, Steve and Chris all knew each other from the days with Terminally Ill. Steve Risteen wanted to try out some others first but eventually Chris Lauria was their choice.
In two week Chris Lauria learned to play 25 songs and the first show with the new bass-player was in Allentown, PA.
Three tracks, Firewalker, Chip On My Shoulder and Moment Of Truth, were then released as the Firewalker EP. However, contrary to popular beliefs, the second and third track weren't recorded live at all. They were actually recorded in the studio and the "live elements" were added later on [it's actually the band members themselves doing the shouting].
The band toured the US in support of Sudden Death Overtime in September and October of 1990 and in Europe February of 1991. However, when the band got back it was obvious that Jordan Wood wasn't getting along with neither Steve Risteen nor Jack Kelly. So Jordan Wood convinced Chris Lauria to quit the band with him and start another. Chris Lauria soon returned to the band but they were now in need of a second guitar-player and they found Darryl Sheppard. He and Chris Lauria had played together in a band a long time ago called Deslok.
The band's next album, Blast Furnace, took about 2 weeks to write and about 3 days to record, and the band members were sick of it before it even came out. However, that was album number one of a three-album deal - that's how the band saw it.
After releasing Blast Furnace and with only one original member left the band went to Europe in the spring of 1993. On the second date of the tour, what was to become the band's next release, a live called Live At SO 36, was recorded at a show in Berlin.
A month after Live At SO 36 was recorded band flew to Berlin to play two shows, then came back and released Live At SO 36 [two down one to go]. The winter of 1993-1994 was tough... The band was writing/scrapping material for what was to become their next release. About 30 songs were written all in all. Chris Lauria wanted to get Mark McKaye back to liven things up but Jack Kelly wouldn't have anything to do with it.
The band went to Chicago to record. The band really thought that this album was the greatest thing - a whole new direction. The album was called Unconsciousness and was produced by Steve Albini, ex-Big Black member and Nirvana producer.
In August of 1994 SLAPSHOT when off to Europe for a two month tour with Ignite and an EP was released to promote it. It kicked off at the Hultsfred Festival in Sweden on August 11th and ended on October 4th in Germany. SLAPSHOT played 50 shows in 7 countries in 54 days.
The band started working on a new album but to Chris Lauria it all sounded like the previous album. So he decided to start his own band and they would be the opener on the next tour. The band was to be called Bitter and since the singer and drummer were roadies for SLAPSHOT so it would only be one extra person on the tour bus.
Jack Kelly was listening to some of Bitters material and was apparently so impressed that the band scrapped just about all the material they had, moved into a new rehearsal space and started collaborating. Jack Kelly and Chris Lauria collaborated on the music while Jack Kelly wrote the lyrics.
The collaboration resulted in a completely new album, called 16 Valve Hate. It was first released by Lost & Found Records in Europe. The deal was very low key. No contract, Lost & Found Records paid for the recording and gave the band some CDs.
The album was then released by Taang! Records in the US.
Anyway, on August 25th 1995 the band set off on their most ambitious tour to date in support of 16 Valve Hate. With Doug McKinnon [ex Vandals] filling in for Mark McKaye, SLAPSHOT played over 60 shows in 8 countries with only 4 days off. Right Direction from the Netherlands was the opener.
When the band came back from the tour they started planning for the next album, writing songs and playing shows. The album, called Olde Tyme Hardcore, was then recorded and released. Olde Tyme Hardcore was originally recorded for Taang! Records but Century Media Records wanted to put it out in Europe, so the band signed a deal with them. Therefore the layout looks a bit different depending on what version you've bought.
In the spring of 1996, Century Media Records asked SLAPSHOT to headline the Crossover 2000 tour in Europe. It was a disaster from the beginning and somehow managed to get worse everyday. In the midst of this turmoil, SLAPSHOT played one of their biggest shows to date, headlining the skatefest stage at the Dynamo Festival in the Netherlands on May 24th 1996.
Two weeks later the band returned to Europe and played a short two and a half week club tour with John Madden [ex Doc Hopper] on bass. This tour featured SLAPSHOT's first appearence at the With Full Force Festival in Germany on June 23rd 1996. Opening for Motorhead and Ministry, SLAPSHOT played to a crowd of over 20.000.
SLAPSHOT did not tour again for almost 3 year...
In July 1997, SLAPSHOT played what was to be their last US show for 5 years in Plymouth, Massachusetts. For a long time, it looked as if this show was gonna be their last US show, ever. The show was videotaped for a local TV and the band was interviewed after the show [i.e. Mark McKaye and Jack Kelly since John and Ben from Ten Yard Fight played the guitar and bass for that show]. At the interview Kelly stated that he don't know if this was SLAPSHOT last show or not, every show can be the last, but then again, they might come out a few years later and do another show...
Then everything went all quiet and the mandatory rumors of a split surfaced. However, all rumors were killed off when there was a confirmation of a forthcoming European tour. Initially, the idea was that the line-up would consist of Chris Lauria, Steve Risteen, Mike Bowser, Mark McKaye and Jack Kelly. A sort of a reunited SLAPSHOT tour. The tour kicked off on March 26th 1999 in Chemnitz, Germany and ended, 16 shows later in Maastricht, Holland. The band also made it over to Europe for a couple of shows in July, making their second appearence at the With Full Force Festival and their first appearence at the Graspop Festival in the Belgium.
Boston drops the gloves - a tribute to SLAPSHOT was the title of a tribute album issued by Ken Casey's [Dropkick Murphys' bass-player] Flat Records and San Francisco based label TKO Records. The release date was December 12th 1999. 22 Boston bands paying homage to Boston's finest Hardcore outfit.
The contributing bands were:
Blood For Blood, Tommy And The Terrors, Ten Yard Fight, Close Call, 30 Seconds Over Tokyo, Anal Cunt, The Pug Uglies, Strikers, The Bosstones, Vigilantes, Intent To Injure, Kicked In The Head, The Trouble, Wrong Side Of The Tracks, The Pinkerton Thugs, Blacklist, Last In Line, The Grenades, Nobody's Heros, Down But Not Out, The Molly Maguires and The Dropkick Murphys
On October 22nd 2001 a new SLAPSHOT album, entitled Greatest Hits, Slashes And Crosschecks, was released by Century Media Records and a new chapter in SLAPSHOT's legendary history began. Featuring fierce rerecorded version of classic SLAPSHOT songs, the records was an instant favorite for long time SLAPSHOT fans and helped intrdouce SLAPSHOT to a new generation of Hardcore kids.
Chris Lauria rejoined SLAPSHOT and the band returned to Europe in May of 2002 to play 17 shows in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and England. The tour was well received and the band was invited back to Europe for two club shows and two festival shows [the Graspop Festival and the With Full Force Festival over the 4th of July weekend, 2002.
On August 3rd 2002, SLAPSHOT played a short set as special guests on the Kill Your Idols/Poison Idea show at the Hideaway club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
On October 13th 2002, SLAPSHOT would have played their first official show at the Hideaway in Cambridge, Massachusetts but due to the venue shutting it's doors at the last minute, and with no alternative venues, the show got cancelled.
On October 26, SLAPSHOT played the 6th annual Back To School Jam festival with Blood For Blood, Reach The Sky, Converge, Panic, No Warning, Count Me Out, Fit For Abuse, Impact and Some Kind Of Hate. SLAPSHOT also played this show as Stars & Stripes.
In November of 2002, SLAPSHOT returned to Europe for three club dates and an appearance at the European Hardcore Party, were they signed a new record deal with I Scream Records for both SLAPSHOT and STARS & STRIPES.
In November of 2002, Boston based label Bridge Nine Records reissued Greatest Hits, Slashes And Crosschecks in the US. One year after the album's initial release date, it had become obvious that Century Media Records hadn't been able to distribute it in the US so Bridge Nine Records stepped to the plate.
Today in 2003 I Scream Records is very proud to give you the long awaited new studio record