Once upon a time, Sunday afternoons in the Bowery would come alive with the sounds of the hardest of hardcore bands as part of CBGB’s matinee series. While it’s been close to a decade since the venue closed its doors, hardcore punk returns to Sunday afternoons this weekend with a killer line-up at The Bowery Electric. Everyone’s favorite hockey-obsessed punk rockers Two Man Advantage celebrate the release of their new album Dynasty alongside Stigma’s latest For Love & Glory and No Redeeming Social Value marking their 25th anniversary together. We spoke to Two Man Advantage’s guitarist Captain on reuniting hardcore punk with Sunday afternoons and touring last year in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
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Right before you hit the road last fall to promote Dynasty, Hurricane Sandy hit. How much did that affect the tour?
Well, it didn’t really affect the tour in that none of the dates were missed and we left on time. By the time we came back, everything was pretty much back to normal, except the places that got the most damage. The only real repercussion was that the tour was supposed to promote the record, and the storm really messed things up at the pressing plant, it caused a lot of delay. The record didn’t come out until December, a week or two after we’d already gone home. We kind of re-dubbed it a 15th anniversary tour. As far as us personally, everyone turned out fine except for Snapshot, our bass player, who had to move. He lived in Island Park, and his entire place flooded out. He got the worst of it.
The other monumental event since the tour was the return of Hockey. Where were you when you heard it was coming back?
I think that I was actually at work. Somebody, probably one of the other guys in Two Man, sent me an email to a link. I think at first I thought it was a joke, because you kept hearing rumors about it, like December 1st was going to be the day because they wanted to make sure they got off the Winter Classic, the highest revenue game of any regular season game, and that there’s no way the league would pass that up. December 1st came and went, and at some point I just stopped paying attention, I was fully prepared for it to be like last time. I can’t say that it’s completely untainted, there’s something less exciting about this season. It’s good to know that hockey’s back and it’ll be years before we deal with that again. But, I can’t say I’m as emotionally invested as I am for a normal season.
You also played at the 4th annual Continental Reunion show in January. How was it returning music to such a distinct New York venue for one day?
It was great. Every year is a lot of fun. It does seem to be the same bands every year, but I guess [Continental owner Trigger] takes bands who were very closely associated with The Continental over a period of time. We played more shows at The Continental, even though they’ve stopped doing shows for a couple years now, more than any other place we’ve played. Once a year is pretty good, the place and the faces still look familiar. It’s a really great place for shows. As long as we’re asked to do it, we’ll take part in it.
What’s it been like preparing to bring Hardcore back to Sunday afternoons?
It’s a Sunday Matinee on the Bowery, just like old times. It should be crazy. You can never duplicate something that just happens once and you can’t recreate the feel and the time of the CBGB’s Sunday matinees, but every time has to come and go eventually. So, hopefully this will be a new Sunday hardcore tradition at Bowery Electric.
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The show this weekend, along with celebrating the release of Dynasty also marks the release of (Agnostic Front guitarist/founder) Stigma’s new album, as well as No Redeeming Social Value’s 25th Anniversary. Do you recall your first time seeing them?
I’ve been a fan of Agnostic Front since I was 14 or 15-years-old. Even though I’ve been in the same room and been around him, I’ve never actually met Vinnie Stigma. Some of the other guys know him better. The first time I saw Agnostic Front was before their initial break-up in the early 90s at the Palladium. It was a huge show that ended in complete chaos. They played five songs and invited people to the stage, 100 kids rushed the stage and the cops shut down the whole show. I’ve seen them a whole bunch of times since they came back. Stigma is an essential character in the New York Hardcore history. When they write a book on it one day, he’ll have his own chapter, the man’s a legend.
I’ve been aware of No Redeeming since before we were even a band. Those guys are definitely friends with our guys, even outside of the music world. Guys go to each other’s weddings, that sort of thing. It’s always a good time to play with them, and at a Two Man and No Redeeming show, everyone’s going to get it on.
Top-to-bottom, it seems like a pretty stacked show.
The opening bands are all really good bands too: No Dice, Abject, who we’ve played with a bunch of times, and Brain Slug. You have three bands who are a little bit newer and getting a name and a buzz, and mixing that with three senior citizen-level hardcore bands.