Fang (band)

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Fang
Origin Berkeley, California, USA
Genres Hardcore punk, punk rock
Years active 1980-present (hiatus 1989-1997)
Labels Boner
Website Fang's Official MySpace
Members Sam 'Sammytown' McBride
Tom Flynn
Joel Fox
Chris "C. W." Wilson
Past members Bill Collins
Joe Miller
Tim Stiletto
Brian Beattie
Mike Branum
Josh Levine
Chris Ritter

Fang is an American hardcore punk band, formed in Berkeley, California in 1980. The group was originally part of the punk rock scene in Berkeley, California in the 1980s. Fang initially broke up in 1989 when vocalist Sam McBride was sent to prison for killing his girlfriend, Dixie Lee Carney. Upon his release, in 1995, McBride changed his name to Sammytown and reformed Fang.

History[edit]

Fang's first record under the name Fang was an "experimental record", according to the band;[1] the "Yukon Fang" single. Fang guitarist Tom Flynn and bass player Brian Beattie, his former bandmate from the bands Tapeworm and Safety Patrol, put out "Yukon Fang" as a duo and Fang was formed. The original incarnation of Fang toured the country once, only to break up shortly thereafter with Beattie moving on to Texas where he later formed the band Glass Eye. In the early fall of 1981, Flynn began playing with drummer Chris Ritter. They soon added bass player Chris Wilson and began playing shows in the Bay Area as a three piece, with Flynn on vocals.[2] While this was happening, Sam McBride, the band's soon-to-be vocalist, was singing with future Fang drummer Greg Langston in the band Shut Up. In early 1982, Ritter was replaced with drummer Joel Fox, and at Fox's audition he brought along his friend McBride, who volunteered to be the band's singer.[3] The lineup solidified as McBride (vocals), Chris Wilson (bass), Tom Flynn (guitar), and Joel Fox (drums). Together they contributed the song "Fun with Acid" to the Not So Quiet on the Western Front compilation album.[4] Shortly thereafter, guitarist Tom Flynn founded the label Boner Records and released Fang's debut album Landshark and their EP Where the Wild Things Are.[5] Tim Stiletto drummed on the latter. These two releases are now considered classic East Bay punk.[4]

In January 1986, the "Spun Helga" LP was recorded in West Germany with McBride singing vocals, and two Germans named Joe (Guitar) and Ollie (Drums) playing instruments. We Bite Records in Germany released the LP, but in the U.S. it was handled by National Trust Records. Fang next released was 1987's "A Mi Ga Sfafas?" (The title literally means "Give Me Head?"). The lineup during this era was McBride, Bill Collins (guitar), Joe Miller (bass), and Steve Chinn (drums). Drummer Mike Branum replaced Chinn and Fang recorded the album "Pissed-Off Buddah", which remained unreleased until 2008, when it was released with Fang's other albums "Spun Helga" and "A Mi Ga Sfafas?"[1]

In 1989, Sam McBride strangled his girlfriend, Dixie Lee Carney, to death and was sentenced to six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.[6]

Reformation[edit]

After a long break, Fang regrouped in 1995 and put out the "Electric Chair" single on Man's Ruin Records.[5] The lineup at this time included Sam McBride (vocals) (who had recently legally changed his name to "Sammytown"), Greg Langston (drums), Bill Burnett (guitar) and Josh Levine (bass). This incarnation of the band recorded the American Nightmare LP on Wingnut Records.[1]

In 1989, Boner Records released Fang's first compilation album, Landshark/Where the Wild Thing Are. The album included Fang's debut album and debut EP.[4]

In 1999, Jim Martin, formerly of Faith No More, joined on guitar and recorded four songs for the Hello Records CD Fish and Vegetables, which was released as a split LP by fellow punk rock groups Dr. Know and Hellions.[4]

In May 2000, Sammytown and Jim Martin, along with Casey Orr (Gwar, Rigor Mortis) on bass, and Dallas drummer Clint Phillips performed two shows in Texas, one at Trees Dallas, and a sold-out show at Emo's in Austin.

By 2001, the band was composed of Sammytown, Brian Schopflin (bass), Jonny Manak (guitar), Alby Wasted (guitar), and Ike Eichensehr (drums). Sammytown, Brian, Jonny, Alby and Ike also started The Resistoleros, an Oakland-based rock 'n' roll band. Steel Cage Records released the Resistoleros CD Rock 'N Roll Napalm in 2003.[1]

In 2004, the Live Cheap CD came out on Malt Soda Recordings featuring Sammytown (vocals), Brian Schopflin (bass), Ike Eichensehr (drums), Alby Wasted (guitar) and Jimmy Crucifix (guitarist for 1980s hardcore band Crucifix and hard rock band Proudflesh) also on guitar. This is the only Fang recording with two guitarists.

In 2004, the band toured the United States. Sammytown, Jimmy Crucifix (guitar), Brian Schopflin (bass)/Bubba Dennis (bass) and Ike Eichensehr (drums) toured as Fang in the Spring of 2004 and as the Resistoleros and Fang in November 2004 with Greg Elliott on rhythm guitar.

In January 2005, Sammy, Jimmy, Brian and Ike recorded a cover of Agression's (1980s hardcore–Nardcore band) song "Salty Leather" for a tribute to Agression members Mark Hickey and Henry Knowles, who had died. Dave Haro and JellyRoll came up with the idea for the tribute. The CD, Taking Out a Little Agression, was released on Dr. Strange Records in 2007 and featured bands including JFA, McRad, DI, Ill Repute, Dr. Know, Verbal Abuse, MDC, Oppressed Logic, Shattered Faith and Dave Haro & JellyRoll's band KatKiller.

From 2005–2008, Fang performed with the steady line-up of Sammytown, Jimmy Crucifix, Brian Schopflin, and Greg Langsten (returning to the drums). 2008 also marked the year Sammytown formed The Disciples, a raw mix of hard rock, which recorded the album Redemption in 2009. The Disciples consisted of Sammytown (vocals), Jamey Dangerous (drums), Scary Larry Tamez (bass), J-Stain Werthless (lead guitar- originally from punk outfit Diesel Boy), and Mat "The Kid" McCoy (guitar), the line-up which also emerged in 2010 as the current line up for Fang. After countless live shows and touring, the band wrote and recorded "Here Come the Cops", which included contributions from original member Tom Flynn who has re-emerged and played live with the band on at least one occasion in 2012.

In 2011, Malt Soda released the double disc CD Pissed Off Buddha, comprising three Fang albums: Spun Helga, A Mi Ga Sfafas?, and Pissed Off Buddha - the latter being a previously unreleased album recorded in 1988. A live DVD of the band was also included with the release.

A new album, Here Come the Cops, was released by Malt Soda in 2012. In summer of 2013, the band released a split 7" with Whidbey Island, WA's Potbelly, on PB Records.

2014 saw the band appearing on a limited edition split 12" alongside Symbol Six with two exclusive new songs, including a cover of "Riot In Cell Block #9". The EP was released as an exclusive Record Store Day release via Jailhouse Records.

Discography[edit]

LPs[edit]

  • Landshark (Boner Records, 1982)
  • Where The Wild Things Are (Boner Records, 1983)
  • Spun Helga (National Trust Records, 1985)
  • A Mi Ga Sfafas? (Boner Records, 1986)
  • Landshark/Where the Wild Thing Are (Boner Records, 1989)
  • American Nightmare (Wingnut Records, 1998)
  • Fish and Vegetables - Released by Fang, Dr. Know, and Hellion (Hello Records, 2000)
  • Live Cheap CD (Malt Soda Recordings, 2004)
  • Pissed Off Buddha [2 CD set comprising three albums - Spun Helga, A Mi Ga Sfafas? & Pissed Off Buddha] (Malt Soda Recordings, 2011)
  • Here Come the Cops (Malt Soda Recordings, 2012)

EPs, singles, 45s and compilations[edit]

  • "Yukon Fang" (1981)
  • "Fun with Acid" - Not So Quiet on the Western Front compilation (Alternative Tentacles Virus 14, 1982)
  • "They Sent Me to Hell C.O.D." - Rat Music For Rat People, Vol.2 compilation (CD Presents, 1984)
  • "Johnny Puke" and "Better Off Dead" - Them Boners be Poppin' compilation (Boner Records, 1985)
  • "Electric Chair" (Boner Records, 1995)
  • "Hair of the Dog" (Man's Ruin Records, 1998)
  • "Police on My Back" - Backlash, The Clash tribute compilation (Dwell, 1999)
  • "Skinheads Smoke Dope with a Cheap Beer Hangover" - Fang/Oppressed Logic split 7" (Beer City Records, 1999)
  • "Salty Leather" - Taking Out A Little Agression, Agression tribute compilation (Dr. Strange Records, 2007)
  • Fang/Potbelly split 7" (PB Records, 2013)
  • Fang/Symbol Six split 12" EP (Jailhouse Records, 2014)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Fang's MySpace at [1]; retrieved on May 7, 2008
  2. ^ 2010 interview with Chris Ritter at
  3. ^ Boulware, Jack and Tudor, Silke. "Gimme Something Better" Penguin Press, 2009. Interviews with Flynn and McBride.
  4. ^ a b c d Fang's Discography Short-Form at [2]; retrieved on May 7, 2008
  5. ^ a b Blush, Steve. Petros, George. American Hardcore: A Tribal History. Feral House. 2001.
  6. ^ Yockel, Michael. Between Punk Rock and a Hard Place. Miami New Times. Mar 12, 1998.

External links[edit]