Friday, August 05, 2005

Hardcore Friday: The Detonators

Just Another Reason LP, 1986

The Detonators were an ok lefty regular joe hardcore band that originated in L.A. and then pulled up their stakes and settled in Eugene Oregon where the scene was more forgiving and less rife with freeloaders and trendoids. This was their last album before the move and while it suffers from a rough sound and a sloppy drummer, some of the cuts still are like nitro glycerin being transported in a fast dune buggy.

The band stayed together for awhile after that and then went into hiatus while growly voiced Bruce Hartnell and Juan Camacho (effortless lead guitarist) went into the club and restaurant business, respectively. Hartnell also started a "9 piece mariachi/spaghetti western/norteno band." They got back together recently (minus Camacho) and have two 7" releases that pretty much sound like 1986 all over again (at least the MP3s I listened to).

Don't tell MXV but this is blue vinyl. Wooh.

Download A Song:

"Child Psychology" is my fave cut on this record and it goes out to Tom Cruise and all my Scientologist Homies.

Detonators Homepage has some good stories about their fun with the Circle One Gang (Rev. 2) and how Flipside hated them. There's a link to a recent grumpy "tell it like it is" MRR interview with Bruce Hartnell:

I work as an audio engineer in a performing arts center. I’ve worked with many top-tier acts; I’ve done about six Bob Dylan concerts for example. I also used to own a rock club, and I play in a Mexican band that does really well financially and gigs with bands like Los Lobos and the Neville Brothers. The thing I learned from all that is that everything about show business IS business-from the basement shows to arena gigs. The acts that succeed take steps to take care of business, whether it’s a small hardcore band trying to get a record out or a huge act that plays arenas, they all take care of business. The ones who don’t succeed get the business done to them. Promoters don’t give a fuck how good you are, just how much money they can make off of you. If you’re not the headliner, they’ll tell you in no short terms how lucky you are and how big of a favor they’re doing for you-you’re just a headache to them. If you can make them any money at all, they’re just as quick to suck your cock. So I guess the job of every band is to get as much head given to you as you can without giving any back. There are a lot of bands that suck way too much cock out there, and have no problem doing so, so to them selling out isn’t even an issue, just a fact of life in this business. They just don’t care, and you’d be lying to yourself if you didn’t think it happens at the hardcore scene level too.

Because I have this experience of working backstage at major concerts, I’ve become even more cynical of the business. I have no idols or heroes, and I don’t have a lot of respect for most of the acts I work with. A lot of acts are so bitter that they completely lock themselves away, or ban stagehands from the stage. What rock bands do is act like “rock stars”, even ones at the lowest level of the business, like some hardcore bands I can name. I’m just not that fucking impressed anymore.

I spend a lot of time polishing the turd of the show these “sellouts” bring, and you know what? No matter how hard you polish it, its still a turd. And the bigger the turd, the more willing the public will buy into it. As a booking agent in my own club, I had to deal with guys from William Morris Agency or CMA trying to shove the next big thing down my throat and have them tell me the whole time how lucky I was. I blew up once at a guy from William Morris Agency for trying to get me to book Jimmy Eat World for a two hundred dollar guarantee. They had played there several times before and couldn’t draw flies if they were covered with shit. I told him that no one wanted to see them-next thing you know they sell a kajillion cds!! The band didn’t get any better; they just got their business done.

Their Discography page has additional hardcore MP3s from all their records including their recent 7" releases.

Bonus Link:

Los Mex Pistols Del Norte - Hartnell's other band


Eric said...

A decent track. I liked their track on the MRR comp from 1990 or so, but most of their other stuff I checked out was hit or miss as I recall. I guess it's time I gave their first LP another listen.

Anonymous said...

THE single-most clueless of all the early 80's South Bay meatheads, transparent as glass, and always two steps behind the curve. These dorks thought Stiff Little Fingers were profound, and blamed Greg Ginn's influence for their failure. They're now very fat!!

Anonymous said...

Anoynymous sounds like our first singer. Who keeps popping up to talk smack. what a goof

Michael Mooney said...

Well done, Anonymous #1 (do I know you?). So profound were SLF that, after I pointed out the existence of another (Northern Irish, no less) Detonators, Bruce demanded a name change to "The Suspect Device". Unfortunately, our drummer misheard and produced a (classic- I still have it) flier for our next gig proclaiming "The Suspect Of Ice". Sort of a police procedural or Cold War potboiler-ish tag, but just daft enough to get my vote. Of course, a sense of the absurd, or any humor whatsoever, was forbidden in The Detonators. As for you, Anon#2 (aka Bruce), it's not smack; you are very fat.