STAB THE JUDGE
Stab the Judge started out as a band that Erik and i(Manic) would start and make our other band The Don't Cares a side project. The Don't Cares was a band that consisted of Erik, Bubba, and myself. Our only objectives with this band was to create a chaotic environment for wherever we played.
Erik and I were in the band Amerikkka's Least Wanted when Bubba and ourselves wanted to create a band that was just out to have fun and be annoying, offensive, and destructive. At first this seemed to be a great idea and for a while it was. A.L.W.'s downfall was from during the late summer of 98- november 98. In Sept. (Labor Day) Syracuse was blessed with a storm that caused much destruction within the city. During this time Erik wrote what would be the first Don't Cares/Stab the Judge songs at Bubba's house in candle light and unpowered electric guitars. "Getting Married" a love ballad and "In a R.U.S.H." a song about forced intercourse with skinheads. all in good fun right? We wouldn't play these songs together for about a month. During this time Bubba was working at a nursing home and they were going to be throwing a Christmas party in late November(yes november). He convinced his boss that we were a rock n roll band that played old cover songs such as "la bamba" and "johnny b. goode." as well as origionals. We were going to be paid i believe $50 for doing this. So we asked former drummer of A.L.W. Brandon to fill in for this one gig. He agreed and so The Don't Cares were ready for their first gig. The set that night was all ALW songs, the Germs' "Shutdown", and butchered versions of "Johnny B. Goode" and "La Bamba". I remember the audience made up of mostly middle aged people to be ammused, annoyed, and a little scared. After the we played we stayed for the festivities. Erik almost had the bartender ready to fight him on the account that Erik wouldn't stop bugging him.( I think at one point the bartender threw straws or something at Erik. )By the end of the night we had accomplished minor vandalism and were told by a lady that we should behave more maturely at an adult gathering or something like that.
After the gig we decided to start our search for a full-time drummer and make more songs. Our first drummer was Pete Baldwin(who would later become the drummer for Ill Nature and poster boy for Stab The Judge).
So here's the first line-up:
Erik Least Wanted- Vocals
Manic Monday- Guitar
Pete Baldwin- Drums
Pete couldn't work out because the skinhead song frightened him. He quit, no official practices.
during this time Erik, Bubba, and i would practice in Bubba's basement room writing and working on songs. Our next drummer would be Sean, former drummer of the Deviates(later changed name to Ill Nature). Sean was a perfect drummer for us because he was into what we wanted to do and could play with us very well. The only real problem was transportation because he lived a bit away from us.Now he works all the time and wears sweat pants. So that didn't work out either.
(same as first, only Sean as drummer)
I was going to school with Baby Jeezus and through friend Emo Dave I found out that he could play drums and was actually quite good. So i asked him if he would like to jam out with us sometime and he said "sure". Baby Jeezus has played in so many different bands (some semi-popular...some not) that i can't list them all. So one day we practiced at his house. It went over well and we told him that we had a show coming up on Jan. 10th and wondered if he wanted to play full time he said sure and thus the present line-up was created.
Baby Jeezus and i were printing up copies for the Don't Cares show at his work and decided to change the name from Don't Cares to Stab the Judge. From that point on we would be known as Stab the Judge and this is why some of the fliers say Don't Cares and others Stab the Judge
Within 3 weeks we recorded our first demo with 10 songs and two covers. The Germs' "Forming" and our own rendition of Body Count's "Cop Killer". The demo was not good in recording quality at all. On Jan. 10th we handed them out for free to the people there and after the show we continued making copies and handing them out to people at shows.
I guess another big event for us was valentine's day. I was on vacation with my family and the 3 other members were supposed to play a show and Erik would fill in on guitar and sing. From what I recall i guess the PA was fucked up or something and Erik was just pissed off and smashed his guitar and walked off after 1 and 1/2 songs. Another band Ill Nature plugged there gear in and started playing. It's somewhat possible that(this is my opinion) from this point on we would loose respect from some people in the scene.
later that month we would play a house party where Erik under his breath called a group of people there pc fascists and one of these people overheard and more controversy was created. Again about the controversy subject no one really knows because nobody actually came up to us and said we were "banished" or whatever from the scene but it just felt like it. i say (and again my opinion) fuck em if they did.
Since then we have calmed down as people a lot and become a better band focusing on more political subjects in our songs. We've played more shows and are attracting a bit of a following. We recently recorded our 2nd demo and Erik has changed his vocal style to a screeching scream type thing. It's a definate step up compared to the quality of the first demo and people have been complimenting us with it. We played our first out of town show in Scotia, New York (right by Albany). People there were awesome and we met cool bands U$MC and Fugue from Missouri.
After Scotia we came back and i got a job at a Wendy's to save up for an amplifier, and Bub got a job too. Our next major gig was Sept. 12 at the westcott. We were playing w/ Blanks 77, and the Cuffs...duel radical records bands. That whole weekend was great chillin with the elmyra kids and partying.wooooooo hoooooo! sorry had to do it. The show was real awesome and it was cool playing with the cuffs on one of their last shows ever. Blanks 77 were great...anyone who missed that show...i'm sorry. a side note on this show was again bad timing for booking because i can't believe i forgot their name but a big hardcore band(i'll post it when i remember) was doing a one time reunion show at another hall that day and that was a huge show...but surprisingly attendence for the blanks show was still good.
Next would come a show in Elmyra, NY. Just your typical show i was unable to be there so Erik played guitar and sang. And i guess we went over good and another erik who booked the show had "a really big PA system".
Ok there's a big report on Boston in the news section and i don't feel like praising boston yet another time.
Next up we played a small college town in good ol' NY called Fredonia. By this time tensions were running between members and less effort was just being put into the project. A funny thing about that show though we got to fredonia and we're looking around for the place with the directions we got and it took us like 45 min. to find the hall.
Next was a gig at Syracuse's infamous Lost Horizen. There was unbelieveable attendance for that show, i still can't believe it like 200+ kids, and no out of town bands...weird. We played a short 15min. or so set rocked pretty good if i do say so myself. did a sweet cover of "fortunate son" by CCR (if you don't know CCR you's fucked in the head). An interesting event happened at this show too. I think this is the first show where kids started floor-punching to "Beer Party Hero". Since all the bands were playing real long sets it was rumored that all the bands weren't going to be able to play. a small group of kids were wanting to see beyond fall, and during another band LSD's set some chanting and verbal abuse began to develop towards LSD. The fans of LSD didn't like this so conflict broke out somehow, i was in the back so i didn't see the exact moment but LSD started wrecking the stage. kids will be kids and figts broke out...amazingly the show didn't get canceled and Beyond Fall got to play unfortunately LSD's set got cut off.
Next show Dec. 11th would be advertised as "315 hardcore locals". This show had an amazing turnout too. again like 200 people were there. well this is the show where i put one of my teeth through the bottom of my lip because of my stupidity hooray for Manic Monday...it's not just a name it's a lifestyle. ho ho. well with balled up tissues in my mouth and blood leaking we played a really good set, nothing broke and we were using nice amps.
That would wrap up our dec. shows and all the shows of 1999.
Sometime during all these happenings Steve started two other projects one with a former member of syracuse band Set in Motion called "Gunmen in Flight Paths" and another with our own Erik Least Wanted on gtr. and some members of the now defunct Eternal Youth called "Slit Wrist" GIFP play shows and i'm not too sure what Slit Wrist is up to as of now. i think it ended but i don't know.
Jan. 7th @ where else...THE WESTCOTT. This was a show that turned out to be similar music wise to the Dec. 5th Lost Horizen show...but the bands didn't play as long and there were no fights, however the police came and dragged a girl out of the place and put her in a paddy wagon. during this time a kid up here for the holidays organized a little chant "if the kids are united/they will never be divided" ala sham 69...clever young man.
Steve and i were feeling experimental that night and we grabbed a tape with some "twilight zone" episodes on it and an audio cassette tape of an old radio show called "suspense". We projected the TZ episodes on a movie screen and had it play behind us...during a brake between a song we played the indecipherable suspense tape. For those who were there the sample was this conversation between an alien and a human being. The alien was trying to proove that since humans found knowledge of the atomic bomb he had to eliminate the human race. confused still? don't worry...so was Erik. Somewhere through the set the episode ran out and there was just snow being projected...i actually thought it looked nice. Well besides me being constently out of tune the whole set it went nice. oh by the way remember those jobs we got well i bought an amp and bub bought one too so we were for the first time eve using all of our own equipment
at a show.
So if things were going so good why did we break up? Well there are a few reasons. we never practiced. and we hadn't wrote a song since July. The first time we played Beer Party Hero which was our newest song was July 20th in Scotia. And with practicing ever since Scotia our practices were just dedicated to working on set lists for "that show this weekend". With other projects going on amongst members (not just musical ones) we just couldn't find the time to practice either. Steve got a better offer and we decided to discontinue it. It was becoming a chore, but it was lots of fun and it was a really entertaining year. awwwwww i'll miss STJ :(
I got erik over at my house one day in the summer. things were looking grim with my other project at the time (john wayne's severed head), and i said to myself fuck it, let's get back together. so we did and we played a couple of really awesome shows. got to go to boston again on our "reunion tour" of one date. and we even wrote a couple new songs. well fast forward to today steve has quit and we're searching for spots to record and a new drummer (something a lot of syracuse bands seem to be looking for as of late). STAB THE JUDGE WILL NEVER FUCKING DIE!!! so all the nay-sayers can just take a nice boca burger microwave it for 2 minutes and stick it up their oraphases.
Tyler was our new drummer. he's a great kid and loves to rock out. we practiced with him a few times and got enough songs down for a short set list. we played one show with him as a 4some at planet 505. the set lasted about 10-15 minutes. i think to my recollection we played "mallah allah", "what's the difference", "burn down down-town", "let it go", "beer party hero", and got about halfway through our final song for the evening "take this job and love it" before i broke my A string. rather than ask someone else for a guitar and restart our last song, we decided it was a good 10-15 minutes and called it a night. we practiced some more but with complications between everyone working we never really got to practice with all 4 members at once. weeks and some months went by and i left. i (and i can't speak for erik, bubba, or ty) think after everything that was said and done, i came to a conclusion that STJ was not a dead horse that needed burial badly, but that our time had passed us and it was a mistake to try and recapture what we once had, because that was impossible. not because we didn't love what we were doing, but we just couldn't continue it. selfish? maybe. i don't think so. we all love eachother and i have the deepest respect for everyone that had anything to do with STJ, believe me. i personally cannot stress how much i love stab the judge in words. it was more than just 4 kids playing shows and writing songs. and even through our collective inability to perhaps use our instruments like professionals, what we lacked in maybe musical talent we more than made up for it with a passion. which to me is what this band was always about. playing under any circumstance at any opportunity we had, and not ever looking back. keep your ears and eyes open for further projects with erik, bubba, and tyler, the august prophecy, and john wayne's severed head. much love to anyone who stayed inside while we played.