Part 1- The beginning.
The year of 1987 was passing thru my eyes when for the first time in my whole life music really meant something to me.
When I heard those different sounds of the Pistols and The Clash (and above all Strummer’s raucous voices and those wonderful backing vocals) it simply blown me away , and it all changed ‘till this very moment.
That, along with the first punk band that ever existed in our home-town (we were the second pack of bastards). They were called “Jesus Morto Da Cruz”, that means something like “Jesus dead of the cross”. It’s like a personal name, perhaps more like “ Jesus Dead Cross”, as simple as that, but with “of the” in the middle.
Well, you all know that old cliché expression: “Bollox, if the others can do it, so can we”! And so we did. Aye lads, so we did…
Me and Luis Moura, my best mate since we were little snotty wankers, decided we were goin’ to form a band. This only happened in May of ’88, after months trying to listen to the more punk records we could, very difficult for us to get at the time.
But we needed two more elements to achieve that, so we recruited Pedro “Cabunje” for the drums and Paulo Pessanha for the vocals, two pals of ours since high-school that were too getting themselves into the punk spirit.
In fact, in the very beginning of all this process, I was supposed to be the screamin’ bastid and Paulo the six strings scratcher, but I was the one who bought a git first and started to bleed it, so I became the feedback maker instead of him. He got the mike to dribble and spit on, and glad for it (and earned a throwing weapon as well). Moura got the bass like he always wanted and Cab could rest his big belly on the snare-drum.
Lor’ luva duck !!! And the “A.S.W.” were born. “Alien Spider Webs” was our original name (influenced by the almighty “Alien Sex Fiend”), but it didn’t last long ‘cause we fed up of explaining to other people what was the meaning of that. NO, I won’t explain it to ‘ya now, you twats!
With the months we had left in ’88 we did a lot of noise in my room with my crappy guitar and amp, along with lots of cans and boxes (helped by my neighbours). From all that shite two songs remained: “Raging boys transformation”, our first original song ever made and still not recorded, and “Police on the streets buggin’ me”, re-recorded and in our second cd “Sons of a switch” (2002).
The following part is the real start of what we are now: 12th November of 1989. A boring…bloody…Sunday. Let’s call it the official band D.O.B. Our first true rehearsal.
Meanwhile Paulo bought a guitar, so we started using two six strings gits, one of them doin’ the bass effect, ‘cause we had none. Along with an old (I think it was from the 50’s) Sonor drum-kit we bought cheap with the heads attached to it with tape, and some useless plastic microphone linked to something with no label for it, we really did it for the first time.
The first one we played was a version of the “Troops of tomorrow”. We loved, and we still do, the “The Exploited” heavy version of this immortal “Vibrators” classic track.
I was really excited. Honestly, I could eat a nun’s arse through the convent gate! But let’s cut with the old tosh before it really starts…
Rehearsals came and gone, we finally grabbed a bass guitar that sounded more like a machine-gun than anything else (it did “tak tak tak”, not a bass guitar sound), the flying mike had even more spit on it, and we could see what was coming.
Our main influences then were in fact the same of the present day. The second British punk wave. Bands like: “G.B.H.”, “Discharge”, “The Exploited”, “One Way System”, “Oi Polloi”, “U.K. Subs”, “Conflict”, ”Antisect”, “Crass” (alright, some of these are from the first wave), “The Ruts”, “Chaos U.K.”, and many others (they’re too many to mention all, of course). Not only English bands; one very good example is the German punk outfit “D.B.F.”, an extraordinary musical collective not just for the music but also for their good lyrics. A huge influence, at least for me, and unfortunately known just for a few. And they deserved a lot more… But it doesn’t stop here. The “Crossover” bands like “D.R.I.”, “Agnostic Front”, “Gang Green”, “Adrenalin O.D.”, “Rostok Vampires”, along with the thrashers of the 80’s, such as “Destruction”, “Tankard”, “Slayer”, etc., were deep influences to us. Thrash riffs were always in our sound since the first steps. In fact, my favourite musician is a thrasher (just a curiosity). Jeff Waters, lead guitarist, composer and producer from the Canadian (greatest) band “Annihilator”.
Our city was full of metal-heads in the late 80’s and early 90’s, with loads of thrash and death bands, like “Necrophilia”, “Paranoia”, “Desecration”, “Exomortis”, “Vomitory”, and so on. We were indeed all the same, so the blending of punk with metal was a natural course for us to take. And inevitable, I guess the difference between us was the anarchist ideology that we always stood for. We were the only punks around for many years, though.
So the band was there and ready to confront the crowd, but with lack of gigs. We tried several times to play, but nobody would allow us to. I remember at least eight attempts where we were going to do out stuff, but as soon as the venue keepers noticed who we were: “No, you shall not play”!
Blimey, all I wanted to do was to grab a rock, lob it ‘n’ then leg it, but fuck ‘em instead! They didn’t even deserve the effort. What the nip ‘n’ tuck were they thinking we were? Those catholic right-wing pricks that rule our schools and all that crap, controlling the kids minds or at least trying to. False moralities and hypocrisy… But our teenage hatred and memories of all those situations helped us and gave us even more strength to carry on, so I guess I owe them all some sweet words: “Thanx, you cunts”!!!
But soon enough our first gig was about to come.
(to be continued)