About Me

My photo
Detroit, Michigan, United States
I'm a punk rock guru from Detroit. Part skinhead, part crusty, part metalhead, part hardcore kid, part party kid, 100% punk rocker.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Interview with Ryan Cappelletti (Positive Noise, Punks before Profits Records)

Interview with Ryan Cappelletti

1. What was your first band? What did you guys record/ release? How long were you together?

It was a band called MENTICIDE. That was the first real band anyway; I am sure I had some jokey bands before that. We played for a few years and did one demo tape and one split CD with a band called THE DECOYS. Me and my best friend Nick (still today) got really obsessed with bands like FIFTEEN and CRIMPSHRINE, so we tried to start a band like that. It was a great time for sure; I still love that style, but I just have not gotten in another band like it since.

2. When did you decide to become vegetarian? Anarchist? What prompted you to become these things?

Well, I was 19 or 20 years old, doing a lot of stupid shit; well, really 17-19. Just being the standard punk rocker: Going to parties, getting wasted, doing nothing. I didn't play in bands, I just drank with my friends and listened to records. I helped with some shows at that time and put on a couple, but for the most part just got wasted and said fuck society and spiked my hair really high hahahaha!

Then, when I turned 20, I got really freaked out; I felt like I was doing a lot of stupid shit. I grew up in a small city called Olean, NY, which is just a little bit out of Buffalo, NY, a major city. Olean was still far enough way that it was not a suburb, it was its own city. Olean was the kind of town that could swallow you up and toss you in some factory, and boom you turn 21 and you retire to the bar, and that was the last thing I wanted to happen.

So I found SXE and it was my escape from that life. I stopped it all; I stopped drinking and doing drugs, quit smoking and my life got turned upside down to say the least. Most of friends changed because without beer or whatever, we had nothing to talk about. We had no bond anymore, and that was really sad. When I got sober, the world hit me hard; I started to notice all the fucked up shit all around me. I was already off meat, but still not vegan. I noticed all the fucked up shit that happens in the world, and I really took it the wrong way, and the hard way. I got heavy into politics in a very closed-minded way. I just hated everything and could not understand how people could act that way. I really didn’t know how to handle it, so I became very hardline about a lot of things, to say the least. But all in all, this needed to happen to get me to the place I am at today.

3. How long have you been involved in the Grand Rapids punk scene? How has it changed since you first started?

I moved to GR about 5 years ago. I was involved right from the start; I was a member of the DAAC, an art collective in GR we do shows at. I was doing some house shows at my place; it was hard because GR had no bands and really no kids coming out at that time, but I still wanted my friends to come from out of town, so I still booked shows. Even if 4 people came, I just wanted to see the bands myself. It has changed so much since I moved to the area. It's awesome now, tons of bands, tons of kids, it's fucking awesome to say the least!

4. What makes the Grand Rapids scene better than the Detroit scene, in your opinion? Would collaborative efforts improve the status of both scenes?

I really have no knowledge about Detroit, so I can’t comment on that. I will say, what makes the GR scene awesome is the amount of unique people involved in the scene. You have all sorts of different people and bands doing shit. I think it challenges each other and keeps us on our toes.

5. What are your favorite places to see a show in Grand Rapids? Why?

Well that always changes, because I love illegal spaces, so they tend to change all the time. I think punk is the best when you have that sense of “what the fuck is going to happen tonight; will the cops come, will this show happen?” I think that’s fucking awesome. It’s the shows that happen by any means necessary, and just say no, fuck you, we can do this and we will! So any awesome shithole putting noisy fucking nasty HC punk is always my favorite.

6. What’s the single best show you’ve ever played/attended? What made it so great?

WOW what a question! So I will say my top 3 that come to mind right away.

2000, when LIFES HALT/NO REPLEY played a basement in Buffalo, NY. This show was at a time I really thought I was going to hang it up. These two bands walked in and they just looked awesome, like they meant business. I was like fuck yes this show looks like it could rule! THEY LIVE opened the show, and as always, it was fucking awesome! Then, these bands played and changed my life forever, to say the least. They took the fun side of hardcore and mixed it with the political side, and this showed me I don’t have to be so fucking hardline, and it truly opened up my mind.

2001, when I saw LIFES HALT and WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! In Philly; what a fucking a show! Over 600 kids were going fucking nuts! This entire era of hardcore changed my life forever; I owe these bands everything!

2008 in Grand Rapids, Michigan at Michigan Meltdown, I saw the band MERKIT and they played a 10 minute set of some of the best hardcore I have ever fucking seen in my life. I truly felt like something awesome was happening, and I was there to see it!

7. When did you start Punks Before Profits Records? Do you think record labels are still as meaningful and pertinent as they once were?

1999, as a zine was the start of PBP. Yes, I think DIY punk and hardcore labels are everything. I love getting MRR every month and just looking at the ads for stuff I am going to order. These labels are great because you get a piece of the person putting the record out along with the band; it’s a very real idea.

8. Do you have a favorite band that you’ve personally released? If so, who is it?

That’s tough, because I love every band I did a record for; they all truly have a special place in my heart, but I have to say the OUTRAGE/TROPIEZO split and the FOREVER YOUTH/I OBJECT split are two the best records I ever did. I just love all those bands so much, and I feel like those bands truly capture the spirit of the label. Also, doing records for STATE has been an honor.

9. Have you ever toured? Where, when, and who with?

This would take about 6 pages to write; so, I will just say I toured all over the world with a lot of bands, I OBJECT being the big one. Touring taught me about life and how to just make shit happen; it also gives you this never say never attitude. I will just go on tour go support bands on tour, and most of all, make sure your band is ready to tour. I will also say the best tour I ever did was the first I OBJECT U.S. tour; that was fucking awesome! DIY touring is about the community; all ages shows are punk, non all ages are not, it's that simple. Don’t go on tour to support for the fucked up alcohol industry by playing shitty bars; play for you, play for the kids who support you! When you go on tour, keep your money in the scene, because we lose enough at the fucking gas stations.

10. When did you form Positive Noise? What prompted you to take up an early 2000s bandana thrash sound?

PN started about 3 years ago, because I love the early bandana thrash sound. Like I said before, that era changed my life and is the entire reason I am still into this today. I think it was the total no bullshit time for hardcore and I miss it.

11. Do you have any upcoming plans with Positive Noise? What about Punks Before Profits?

PN will be together forever; we plan on doing some touring and putting out some new records. PN is our release from the day to day bullshit, it gives us life. We are 4 very close friends who love the spirit of HC punk and we need this band to keep breathing! PBP I have tried to stop for years, but I never will. I have some cool records coming out now: SPEED TRAILS-WORST BANDS OF WEST MI comp that has 17 bands all recorded one day in my house in GR. This is a one sided LP that fucking rips! Also, HOLY TERROR demo from 1984 coming out for record store day this year. Another awesome punk band from GR! I love records and putting them out, so many things to come, I am sure.

12. Why was it you started booking in the Grand Rapids area? Some people just let others do all the work. In short, why be active?

Why, because why not! If you want cool shit to happen in your town, then go for it, make it happen. I think too many people move to the cool cities so they can be lazy and not worry about doing shows or kids coming out and all that shit. I think true change happens in the small pockets around the world, where kids just make it happen. We have so much creative energy in this scene, so let’s share and bring in our community outside of punk and show people you can do anything you want, you just have to have the drive!

13. Do you think touring bands ignore western Michigan? Why do they or don’t they?

I think a lot of people ignore Michigan in general. This state fucking rules, and all those fucking crusty bands who sing about the apocalypse should move to this fucking state, because we got all the resources to survive for very cheap, and we got buildings they are fucking giving away. You want a tour of this state, get in touch and I will show you what mean.

14. What are some upstart bands from your local area?

So many I will forget but this it: CLOUD RAT/ XTRA VOMIT/ DSS/ SCABBURGER/ OILY MENACE/ ATTENTION SPAN/ AMOEBAS/ SHATTERED BADGE/ NOTHING BUT WEEDS/ BUNNY SKULLS/ CYCLES/ SKELETON PARTY/ xSHALLOW BREATHx and many, many, many more check out www.grscreamer.com for tons more info.

15. For any not familiar with the western Michigan punk scene, where’s the best place to go for info and getting acquainted?

We do a great site called grscreamer.com; that is the best source for any info in this area. It’s a collective site that rules. Go to that, and find out all the awesome shit this area has to offer, because we got a lot.

16. Anything you’d like to say in addition?

STAY PUNK STAY PISSED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment