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Interview

Battalion 86
17/03/01

Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

Well, right now B 86 is me (Brad) on vocals, Chris on guitar, Alex on drums and number 7 (aka Greg) on bass.

Line-up changes, shit yeah, there have been a few. Chris and I started out with Sean from the Counselors filling in part time on drums and then got Andrew on drums and promptly moved him to bass with Jim from Red Angel Dragnet on drums till we could find someone permanent. Then we found out that a friend of ours, Alex, could play drums, so we gave him a shot and he’s
still here today. So after a time, things weren’t working out with Andrew and we got this hairhead metal type that Chris worked with to play bass. He lasted all of 3 weeks and 1 show. So, Andrew came back and we added Pete from Hurtin for Certain on at second guitar. Then Andrew was having problems with time, and other commitments so once again he departed. We moved Pete
over to bass and then things weren’t working out with Pete, so he’s gone now too. Greg is coming along really well, so it looks like he'll be around for a while. We have had this long running joke that we are just a 3 piece band with interchangeable bass accessories.

Discography.

We've got a self released CD EP out now called Street Level Justice, a
song on the Full Force Attak zine comp, and the Pure Impact Promo comp.


Why did you choose the name Battalion 86?

When Chris and I first got this thing going a couple of years ago, we were known as Steel Toe Alarm Clock. After a while it got a little old, plus it was too damn long, so we got to thinking about something a little more serious. The Battalion is for us being united against a common foe, the
status quo and the 86 is just that, 86 it, give it the boot.

(Chris) WE NEEDED THE NAME CHANGE, AND THE TIMING WAS GOOD {BEFORE OUR SELF
RELEASED EP}. WE BREAK A LOT OF STEREO TYPES OF WHAT A "CURRENT" OI BAND IS
"SUPPOSED TO SOUND LIKE, SO THE NAME FITS.


You sound seems to be more British oi!, than the usual American stuff, how and why did this come about?

Not really sure as to why, we try to have as unique of a sound as is possible. A lot of our influences come from the old stuff, Condemned 84 to Arresting Officers to (yes, I know they're not Brits) to Agnostic Front (ditto). Most of the stuff out there just doesn't pack the same punch that the old tunes do and we want to bring back a little of the old touch.


Do you do any covers in your live set, if so what?

We mix it up between Last Resort's Violence in our Minds, Combat 84's Rapist, Iron Cross' Crucified, The Four Skins ACAB and a couple of others if we feel like it.

If you were putting together a gig and you could get any 5 bands to play (past and present) who would it be?

Brad - I would just say screw it. Putting on shows like that are too much of a pain in the ass and I don't have the extra free time to do it.

Alex - Us, Old school Misfits, and I can't think of any more cause The Simpsons are on.

Greg - Gorilla Biscuits, Infa-Riot, Zao, Minor Threat, Us

Chris - Last Resort, The Blood, old Suicidal Tendencies, Forced Reality, Fit for Abuse


What is the Punk/Oi scene like in your area?

(Brad)-There is a pretty decent punk/Oi! scene. We have about 15 Skins that live here and there are a few punks. WE don't have a big scene, but we have a good one. The hardcore scene here is really strong and there are couple of good hardcore bands. However, there are far many more shitty bands than good bands. Everybody pretty much gets along really well and there usually isn't much trouble. A typical audience at one of our shows would be made up of mainly skins and punks, a good number of hardcore kids and a few "normal" types.

(Greg)-Richmond's got a great scene. A small but, really tight family feel to it. These kids love their hardcore though.

(Alex)-Somewhat receptive. A lot of people around here are in to all sorts of different music. The biggest thing Richmond has going for it right now is hardcore and crust punk as I far as I can tell.

(Chris) - RICHMOND is A GREAT PLACE BUT MOST OF THE PUNKS HERE ARE ALL POLITICAL, SO THEY DON'T COME TO MANY SHOWS. The HC KIDS COME OUT A LOT THOUGH, AND THE SHOWS HERE ARE GENERALLY FUN.


What bands would you recommend checking out?

Like I said, most of the bands here suck but if you get a chance, check out Dead Serious. They are a kickass hardcore band from here. Counter Attack is a good up and coming Oi! band from the DC area and Brassknuckles from here are pretty good also.


Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2001.

Our full length, And the Spirit Survives, will be out probably in April from Reality Clash Records, we've got a song on Outsider Record's Scene Killer 3 comp, one on the upcoming comp by Blood & Whiskey Records, a Johnny Cash tune on a tribute comp with Full Force Attak zine and possibly a 7" also on Reality Clash Records at the end of the year. We're playing pretty regularly on the East Coast, the Promote the Chaos fest down in Atlanta in June, a slight chance we'll be in the UK for HITs, as well as possibly playing the HITS in San Francisco. We're also trying to get over to Europe in July or August to play a few shows. Might try and squeeze in a short US tour somewhere in there.


Any final comments?

Thanks to Rebecca for all the help and the interview, thanks to Ethan and Rosa at Reality Clash for all the support, Chris L. at www.oxbloodoi.com, go buy some shit from him. Check out our website at www.skinheads.net/Battalion86 (we haven't been able to update it in a while, but it's better than nothing). We've got a couple of songs on there to download, as well as some merch.



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