The Cro-Mags came to the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. on its 10th anniversary reunion tour in May of 1991, and the Reston, Virginia hardcore band L.D.Kids opened for the legendary band. L.D.Kids has been through a lot, and has over the years built up an extremely loyal following among the Reston kids, hardcore and otherwise. I sat down with the band backstage before the gig and talked to Jerry, bass, Jamie, drums, Wade, vocals, Craig, lead guitar, and Mike, rhythm guitar.
D.U.: Mike, give me a really brief band history, as you’re the only original member left.
Mike: Me and Andy [on vocals] started the band in 1985, and then one of my friends was playing drums, Brian. And then [another] Brian played bass, but only for about a month. And after that, Craig came into the picture and played the other guitar. You know, we were just playing some garage shows. And we got a new drummer, Tim, who plays in that band Avail now. And then we had a new bass player, Chris, who played on our first demo, Stand Together, and then he quit and we got Jerry playing bass, and he recorded the 2nd Try demo with us. And then we got a drummer, Rob Coogan, from that band Indestroy. And then we recorded the third demo, called Kids Kids Kids, with Rob and Jamie [who] moved on to that band called Transilience [which] broke up and we got Jamie back. We’re getting things rolling right now. Things are moving.
Andy was killed in a drunk driving accident in the summer of 1990, and with Wade in the band, L.D.Kids dedicated the Cro-Mags show to Andy’s memory.
Why have there been so many lineup changes?
Jerry: Some people are hard, really, to get along with.
Wade: Mostly bullshit. I’m the newest part of the band, but as I see it, they’ve been trying to get the right shit together, the right thing. And basically this is what everybody wants. It’s like, bam! They’re fresh and they’re ready to start over and they’ve got their shit totally together, and now, L.D.Kids, I think they mean business.
What happened to the Reston scene, anyway? There used to be a lot more bands than there are now, so why did they all break up?
Mike: Avail lives in Richmond [Virginia] now. Psychotic Symptoms broke up. A lot of bands are still jamming, [but] people [are] doing different things, pretty much.
Jerry: A lot of people are going to school and, y’know, moving away and stuff.
People in Canada or California haven’t heard of you. Should they write you?
Wade: I think right now, L.D.Kids are prob’ly what a lot of people wanna hear. It’s still got the edge, and that’s why I wanna sing with them. They’re still powerful and stuff, but a lot of bands have lost that, y’know? They’ve gone either to metal or crossover or something like that. [L.D.Kids has] still got the old hardcore edge, which is really cool. That’s what a lot of people are still into.
Do you think hardcore is getting enough respect in the press, as opposed to a metal band?
Jerry: I think it died down for a while, but it seems like right now it’s starting to come back out a little bit. Metal bands I think get more respect than hardcore bands do, which it shouldn’t, ‘cause they’re all just as equally talented. A lot of hardcore bands are a lot better than some metal bands out there.
Wade: I think, basically, hardcore bands are really underestimated by a lot of people, like by the businesses and all. They think it’s nowhere. But if they look into the scene, they’ll see that it’s beyond their belief, really. It’s like, major followings. And I think they don’t give credit where it’s due, basically.
Do you agree with the straight edge movement?
Wade: The last band I came from was straight edge. And, I mean, everybody tries every day to be better, I guess. But, uh, it’s tough and I respect what straight edge people have to say and what they do. I tried it once, you know. I tried stopping a couple things, but I dunno. I’m just living, you know what I mean? You just live. You get into life and shit. It’s cool, but it’s not for everybody. It shouldn’t be, like, thrown down your throat.
What are your influences?
Craig: Rich Kids on LSD.
Wade: I think from what I’ve seen, man, everybody’s from different influences, which makes L.D.Kids who they are.
Mike: See, pretty much we were all in the easier classes in school, like general and basic, so we named the band, me and Andy, Learning Disabled Kids, you know? So that’s pretty much how we got the name.
Craig: The question was what’s our influences!
Mike: Oh, I just wanted to add that in, you know? Uh, Cro-Mags, Agnostic Front—
Wade: A lot of New York bands, really. D.C. bands like Bad Brains, Dag Nasty, shit like that. Everything!
Jerry: Slayer, for me, that’s one of my main ones. Iron Maiden. Cinderella! [laughs]
Wade: Like, I don’t sit down, listen to hardcore every day of my life, you know? I mean, I check other things out, ‘cause it just makes you a whole musician, I guess.
You’re going to re-release the last demo, right? What’s the story on that?
Craig: Jamie’s gonna re-record the drums, then the whole thing’s gonna be re-mixed. We’re gonna press it onto vinyl.
Does anyone have a wrap-up comment?
Jerry: Check it out. Write us. It’s worth it.
L.D.Kids is a really happening band, and I do recommend that you write it. The guys have two-sided, two-colored shirts for $7. Contact the band’s manager, Chris Vail. ■