Straight Edge, Tattoo's, and Brawls
First Printed in the East Coast Rocker, 1995
Civ, the frontman of CIV, is back. The voice behind Revelation's number one selling record
(Gorilla Bicuts's Start Today) has a new band and a new sound. He took two years off to pursue
other interests, but with the release of Set Your Goals and a spot on the Warped Tour , he is
back. CIV is just getting off an European tour. Be sure to catch them on the Warped Tour in
August and September.
me:Hey man! What's going on?
CIV:Well, right now we are just finishing up a seven week European tour with Sick
of It All and H2O. We have about four days left. I am pretty psyched to go home.
me:Where are you now?
CIV:We're in England.
me:How is it over there?
CIV:Pretty cool. We got into a big fight last night.
CIV:Yeah, Sick of It All had some beef with these guys last year and they all came
down last night with a bunch of guys. It was really no big deal, but it was pretty rockin'.
me:The hard-core scene hasn't changed.
CIV:No, it is still continuing on. But other than that everything has been good. We
have played some really good shows and played some festivals, which we have never done before.
me:Has Set Your Goals been released yet?
CIV:It is out here in a few places, I think in Belgium and a few others. It comes out
in the States in the beginning of August.
me:Is CIV all still straight edge?
CIV:I am, but the rest of the band isn't. I am still straight.
me:Is Set Your Goals geared towards being straight edge?
CIV:Not really. I mean nobody else in the band is; so it is not like a big issue. It is
more of a personal thing for me. We are not like, 'Rah Rah,' about it. It is still a major part of my
life, but not a major part of the record.
me:The record seems to be more about positive feelings and a positive mind set.
CIV:Yeah, it is more about a positive vibe. You know, like friendship and all. Not
just sitting around complaining.
me:What is that in the background?
CIV:They are doing a sound check for the drums.
me:Could you tell me about "The Warped Tour"?
CIV:Umm. Supposedly, as far as I know, everybody is psyched up about it. There
are going to be a lot of bands and a lot of like the 'skate thing' going on. Snowboarding, BMX,
and tons of other stuff. I am psyched to just be playing. It is going to be all outside. There are a
lot of bands that I know. And lots of bands that I want to see and chill with.
me:Yeah, it is going to be pretty crazy with all those skateboarders riding a
round the pit and people all falling off of their bikes and all.
CIV:At first, we didn't know what was up with it. We were just like this thing is
going to be fuckin' really weird. We thought it could go either way, either be really cool or just
be really weird.
me:Are you all going to play any old Gorilla Biscuits tunes?
CIV:I don't know. We have been playing them a little bit in Europe here and there.
Hopefully once the new record comes out, we won't have to play too many old songs. I mean
they are still cool to play, but I just want to establish this band on its own.
me:What's it like being on Atlantic?
CIV:So far, it has been like being on an indy with its shit together. They haven't
really questioned us about content with lyrics, music, artwork, or anything. We have total
freedom to do whatever we want.
me:Yeah, that always happens. Like a band will go major and then just end
CIV:Yeah, we knew the people we went with. We had a few majors trying to get
us, but we just went with the people who knew about hard-core and what we were about. We
talked to them first and just got everything straight. They have helped us tour support. And the
record sound really good. We had some really good people working for us.
me:Yeah, you had Don Fury do Set Your Goals.
CIV:Well, we figured if it ain't broke don't fix it. We liked working with Don. I
mean we could have gone to some big fuckin' fancy-ass studio, but I tried that before and it
me:How long did it take to record it?
CIV:Not too long. We had like a week lock-out session where we got the bulk of it
done. I probably did two or three hours a day doing the vocals. They took like two weeks. Then
we added all the other stuff like guitar effects and extra percussion. We took like a few days off
here and there. So, I guess, overall, it took about a month.
me:That is pretty quick compared to most bands who take like four years.
CIV:Yeah, like Pink Floyd's four year records.
me:Are you guys playing on every Warped Tour date?
CIV:We are playing on every date from August 4th to September 4th.
me:You are playing with Into Another on some of them, right?
CIV:I just heard about that. I didn't know they were playing.
me:I don't think they are playing around here.
CIV:Do you know which ones they are playing?
me:No, I am just looking at the flyer and they aren't listed. They rip.
CIV:I didn't even know they were on.
me:You took some years off from music, didn't you?
CIV:Yeah, I took two-years off. I was tattooing.
me:Not in New York, it is illegal.
CIV:Well, I was tattooing underground for about a year. Then I started working in
Long Island at a legitimate street shop. Then I opened up my own shop about a year ago.
me:Is it still open?
CIV:Yeah. I got a partner and three guys tattooing.
me:What's the name of it?
me:Did you think music was over for you?
CIV:I just wanted to take break and get back to the thing that was more personal to
me. And drawing was my first love. I didn't think that music was over, but I just wanted to get a
me:How did you slip back into it?
CIV:I started hanging out with the guys again. While I was tattooing, I wanted to
concentrate on work and all, but eventually I started hangin' out again and we started talking
about just doing a seven-inch or a show. It all just escalated from there.
me:Are you guys going to be huge?
CIV:(we shared a laugh)
me:Do you think the New York hard-core scene going to be the Seattle?
CIV:They have been saying that the New York scene was going to be huge for
years, so I don't know. I haven't had any anticipation about anything I have done. I just roll with
me:Is Gorilla Biscuits going to go on a reunion tour?
CIV:No, I don't think so. They were a band that we did, and a really good part of
our life. We just want to leave it at that.
me:I think you guys should go on a reunion tour with Led Zeppelin?
CIV:Yeah, maybe we would do that (big laugh).
me:Well, that's about it. I am going to go and see you on the [Warped] tour.
CIV:That sounds cool. Come by and say 'What's Up?'
me:OK, man take care, and don't get beat up.
CIV:OK, I'll try not to, Bye.
Written By: Geoff T.