'No Redeeming Social Value'
'No Redeeming Social Value' formed in New York in 1988, and have earned
a reputation as one of the most notorious live acts on the hardcore/punk
scene. The band released the 7"s Negative Image and Hardcore
Your Lousy Ass Off, on their own Desperate Fight Records. In 1996
the group released its debut album No Redeeming Social Value Rocks
The Party on SFT records, and a year later released their second full
length Hardcore your lousy Ass Off. In the summer of 1998 the group
went into the SD50 studios, and started recording material for their new
Gardar Eide Einarsson: The hardcore scene seems to be built up
around the personal interests and initiatives of people with a passion
for the music and with quite idealistic reasons for being involved in
the HC scene. How do you think this has influenced the music (if it is
Dean, No Reedeming Social Value: Well of course Hardcore music
is a special kind of music and scene. It is unlike any other in the world
of music. Therefore, the people involved in the scene (the ones who also
shape it) are quite a "different" kind of people. Idealistic is a good
word to use - however, it is sometimes to a fault. Too much idealism can
ruin a good thing. In Hardcore it is important to remember that everyone
from the band to the fans, to the zines, to the promoters, to the clubs
are in it to have fun and enjoy music. If certain ideals come into play,
of course, it is important to respect people and their ideas. That is
more of an important message than any single persons' ideals. Tolerance
of all is really the only ideal that the HC scene as a whole needs to
be concerned with. It is something that is missing from this world. Therefore
it is nice to see some tolerance of ideas and exchange of ideas within
the scene. It is important.
GEE: Could you talk about why you chose the name No Redeeming
D, NRSV: Well to totally contradict what I just said, the name
No Redeeming Social Value has a very special meaning to us, because
it was thought up by a friend to describe the kind of people we are -
totally without class, or morals. Totally useless to society in every
way. With all the "incidents" that we find ourselves in and the way we
look at the world, the scene, and ourselves - i feel that it is an accurate
name that i can actually be proud of.
GEE: How would you describe the relationship between hard core
bands and smaller hardcore record labels? How is NRSV's relationship to
its record label?
D, NRSV: Well, the only knowledge I have about this topic is through
my own personal experience through NRSV. We have always had a good relationship
with every label we ever worked with - and we worked with a lot of them
-big and small. Our current label, Triple Crown Records (in the U.S.)
is a great label and we are very pleased to be working with them. They
know about hardcore music and love it as we do - therefore, we see eye
to eye on most things as far as how our music should be presented, etc...
I hear bands complain about their record companies all the time and I
think it's stupid. My advice to them is -"hey, learn how to read the contract
better next time and just be glad that someone actually wants to support
your music, dumbass."
GEE: How do you feel that the hardcore scene today has evolved
compared to the earlier hardcore scene, and compared to the historical
roots of hardcore (like early punk)?
D, NRSV: Wow...well, Hardcore sure is different from how it was
intended to be at the beginning. Now, a lot of the present hardcore is
being fused with metal, rap,and industrial sounds to create something
totally different. Personally, i am a fan of old-school style 80's hardcore
- Judge, Warzone, Minor Threat, YOT, etc... That's the best to me. But,
the important thing is that Hardcore has and continues to evolve into
new things. Whether you like a new bands' sound or not, you gotta respect
'em for trying to make something new outta something that inspiried them
in the beginning. Otherwise, hardcore, punk would have died a long time
ago. Hardcore LIVES!!!!!!!
GEE: In which respects do you feel that the hardcore scene differs
from the more commercial/ mainstream music scene in relation to the fans
and to how the music is distributed?
D, NRSV: Good question. I feel that Hardcore is a totally and truly
independent music scene. Hardcore don't need MTV, VH1, Rolling Stone,
Metal Maniacs or any of the commercial things like radio, or big chain
stores. Hardcore, thanks to the fans, fanzines, labels, bands, and promoters
is still a true underground artform. Put it this way, if MTV died tomorrow,
so would DMX, Madonna, Aerosmith, etc....Hardcore wouldn't be affected
at all. To me that is what makes Hardcore even more special. Hardcore
is around in our hearts and in our minds and on tour stereo, because we,
the fans want it to be there - not because we are told by MTV that it's
cool. Hardcore was never cool. It is just Hardcore - it is indeed something
special just by being what it is - underground.
GEE: Does NRSV have a stable fan base? How has this fan base been
D, NRSV: Oh yes. We just completed our 4th European tour and it
gets better everytime we go on tour. We've been around for 12+ years playing
shows all over the US and Europe and releasing albums for almost as long
We always have great support from our label by getting the record out
there. And the fans respond better with each tour, or each show, or each
record. We are especially grateful to everyone that has ever bought a
CD or come to a show to sing along, because the fans enable us to do what
we love - drink beer!!!HAHAHA.
GEE: What role do fanzines play in the hardcore scene?
D, NRSV: Fanzines have always been a crucial part of the hardcore
scene. Without fanzines, how would I know about bands from Slovenia, Germany,
Argentina? How would they know about NRSV? Fanzines really bring the scene
together. Everyone I know reads them (those that know how to read, that
is), and everyone has their favorites. Most importantly though, Fanzines
make it possible for every band to get their message out to the fans of
HC - even if their music has yet to be heard on a wide scale.
GEE: Do you feel that your fans share the same background as yourselves,
and that they can relate to your music and lyrics?
D, NRSV: Oh yes,,..that's for sure. Our fans are all as fucked
up as we are. There is no doubt in my mind about that. People are always
singing along, and having fun at shows, drinking with us and dancing along.
It's a great time and everyone has fun. That is what we're all about and
we're thankful that people recognize that and can have fun with us.
GEE: Do you feel that hard core, and NRSV, has a social function?
Do you think it can contribute to changing society/ the system? Do you
think it needs to?
D, NRSV: Well like i said NRSV dosen't have any heavy message or
anything like that. We're just drunk guys that like to make loud, fast
music and scream. As far as social impact - the only thing we contribute
in that way is to keep the beer companies in business. Hardcore has an
important social impact in that, as I said, it shows the world that you
don't need to be on TV to spread your message and be heard.
GEE: Hard core appeals to a small number of people, compared to
many other forms of music. Do you consider this a problem? Do you consider
it an advantage?
D, NRSV: Well, I've always thought it's better to have an army
of soldiers that want to fight than a bunch of guys that don't have their
hearts in it. Hardcore, because it is underground, will always appeal
to a select (smaller) number or group of people - because it takes time
to discover Hardcore, to check out the bands, to find the cd's, etc...It's
not on TV - so not any brainless asshole can be told that it's "cool."
Too bad for them, i guess they're missing out. The important thing is
"Dont' forget the Struggle, don't forget the Streets, don't forget to
GEE: How do you think the internet has affected the way hard core
music is distributed? How has the internet changed the distribution of
D, NRSV: Well, I don't think that it changed things for us that
much..i mean you can buy our cd online if you like at certain sites like
CDNow.com or NRSV.com or our label's site, but if it wasn't online, people
would simply buy it in the store I guess. The best thing about having
our music online is that you can listen to it before you buy it. In general
though, the internet is important thing to musicians of any kind of music
- because for the first time in recent history, the "artist" controlls
the destiny of his or her music -not the big corporate record company.
It's good for the musicians. The record companies are starting to realize
that music (esp. Hardcore) dosent' need them anymore. I think it has them
interview with the 'Dropkick Murphys'