LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! is a series of intimate, unedited interviews with participants past and present in Philadelphia's DIY hardcore punk scene and related underground offshoots. Interview subjects range in age from 19 - 70-something. These dynamic interviews stand as portraits of the interview subjects as well as historical explorations into the scene and the city. The emphasis in these interviews is passion and enthusiasm, not cynicism or golden-hued nostalgia. They point forward, not back. LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! was created by Joseph A. Gervasi of Exhumed Films, Diabolik DVD, and, formerly, NO LONGER A FANzine, the Cabbage Collective, and The Valerie Project. Some interviews are conducted by guest interviewers, most notably Stacey Finney. All black-and-white portraits are by Karen Kirchhoff. Color photos are by Joseph. LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! is an on-going project.
LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 79- Andrew Martini, Myles Donovan, Mon Ovath of Limp Wrist, Disemballerina, A Stick and A Stone, Negative Queen, Erik Ruin’s Ominous Cloud Ensemble, Forgotten Bottom, Mafouka ‘zine, Hanoi Panic ‘zine
Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Andrew Martini of Limp Wrist, Kill the Man Who Questions, and The Stuntmen; Myles Donovan of Disemballerina, A Stick and A Stone, Negative Queen, and Erik Ruin’s Ominous Cloud Ensemble; and Mon Ovath of F80 and Moufoka and Hanoi Panic ‘zines. We discuss how they grew up and came into their queer and punk indentities in Philadelphia. The emphasis is on the queer punk scene that came to full fruitition in the 1990s (fueled in part by ACT-UP activism and Riot Grrrl) and gained momentum as more young punks came out and brought the energy and confrontational politics (as well as the fun) to audiences who were not always receptive, but were not given the option to turn away. In a pre-internet era when networking was significantly more tenuous and primitive, finding fellow “members of the tribe” could be a frustrating — and at times dangerous — process. Through their art as musicians and performers, Andrew, Myles, and Mon reached — and continue to inspire — young people looking for outsiders like themselves. Their stories eventually interconnect with one another and twine through the history of Philadelphia’s underground music scene and the people and places that once comprised it. This is a raucous interview with three fascinating fellows.
Limp Wrist Bandcamp page
Disemballerina Bandcamp page
Negative Queen Bandcamp page
A Stick and A Stone Bandcamp page
Myles Donovan photoblog from MaximumRockNRoll magazine circa 1996
Hanoi Panic speaking live in Vietnam (Featuring editor Mon Ovath)
LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Bonus Episode: WE ARE THE CLASH Live Event
In this bonus episode, Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki, co-authors of the new book, We Are The Clash (Akashic Books, 2018). The episode begins with a short interview that took place before a live event at Brickbat Books in Philadelphia and is followed by the audio of the event itself (in its entirety). The live event was moderated by Frank Blank Moriarty. Both Mark Andersen (of Positive Force DC and We Are Family) and Frank Blank Moriarty (of ’80s Philly punk band Informed Sources) have had full interviews as part of the LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! project.
Special thanks to Frank for audio assistance and for his deft interviewing skills at the live event.
All photos by Karen Kirchhoff
Check out Nick Spacek’s review of We Are The Clash here
LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Bonus Episode- Neil Robinson Follow Up!
A follow-up interview with Neil Robinson of Nausea, Squat or Rot, Tribal War Records, Final Warning, Jesus Chrust, ABC NO RIO, and the Farmageddon Growers’ Collective. I first interviewed Neil in the summer of 2015. That interview appears in the main body of interviews on the LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! website and in all the other places it’s been posted to through the Cinepunx podcast network. While I was in Portland, Oregon (and surrounding environs) in mid-October, 2017, I paid a call on Neil to catch up a bit. After we shared a meal at Pappa G.’s, a vegan deli, I recorded this follow-up interview in his truck. Because follow-up interviews are not part of the interview series proper, it’s not considered a full interview. On the L!F!P! site this appears in the blog section. We had a terrific talk (as I hope you’ll soon hear) about Neil’s life in the two+ years since our full interview and the state of the world today.
LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 78- Greg Pizzoli
Joseph A. Gervasi interviews illustrator and writer Greg Pizzoli. Greg is the author of several acclaimed books for children including: The Watermelon Seed (winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award), Templeton Gets His Wish, Tricky Vic, Number One Sam, Good Night Owl, and The Quest For Z. His books are published by Viking Children’s Books (a division of Penguin) and Disney Hyperion. Greg also comes from punk, which has influenced his work in many ways. Greg finds himself in a unique position: writing books that are read and loved by scores of children around the world. With the attention comes a responsibility, though he deftly avoids using his work to moralize to his readers. Greg speaks at schools about forty times a year and uses his ability to communicate with the kids without condescension to encourage creativity. We talk about Greg’s early influences in music and books and how those works shaped him into the writer he is today. Perhaps most crucially, we talk about spreading empathy in dark times. Greg is in a unique position to be able to communicate to the kids who are the future, and what he says about them (and, I’d add, what he helps to foster in them) is an encouraging sign that we’re all looking for and rejoice in seeing. Some seeds one swallows — inadvertently or with intention — when young grow into trees of great and lasting beauty.
Greg Pizzoli’s website
Photos by Karen Kirchhoff
LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 77: Mike Barone, Shannon Roche, Rob Jahn, JP Flexner, Josie DiCarlo, Mike Ski of Grindcore House, Crust Vegan Bakery, Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company, Barnet Fair, True Hand Society
Joseph A. Gervasi interviews Josie DiCarlo of Barnet Fair, Mike Ski of True Hand Society, Shannon Roche of Crust Vegan Bakery, Mike Barone of Grindcore House, and Rob Jahn and JP Flexner of Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company. This was a panel discussion held at the Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company in Croydon, PA upon their invitation. The discussion was about punks who own and operate businesses. Despite being a terribly noise environment thanks to many individuals present not for the event but to drink and eating loudly amongst themselves, the discussion was still fascinating and well worth your time in listening. While full apologies are issued due to the sound, you’ll still find a thoughtful discussion of how each respective business came to be, what the interviewees brought to their business to make it unique, how the businesses reflect the ethics of punk, operating with a conscience under capitalism, dealing with the city/state and all the regulations that come with running a legit business, the toll making and sustaining a dream project takes on one’s life, and a great deal more. Many thanks go out to the Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company for making this event happen and helping to bring together these inspiring business owning punks. They also make excellent beer.
Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company
True Hand Society
Crust Vegan Bakery
LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 76- BONUS EPISODE
Consider this a bonus episode and not part of the interview series proper.
For a live event in front of an audience at Tyler Contemporary, Tyler School of Art at Temple University, Philadelphia, Ed Avery-Natale interviewed LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! creator Joseph A. Gervasi. The L!F!P! project and Philadelphia HC punk (among other retaliated subjects) were discussed. This took place on November 17, 2016. This is a recording of this spirited event.
Ed Avery-Natale is the author of Ethics, Politics, and Anarcho-Punk Identifications: Punk and Anarchy in Philadelphia (Lexington Books, 2016).
Photos by Karen Kirchhoff