Final Warning in 1984, left to right: Jeff Paul, Tim Paul, Dan Cunneen and Simon
|Origin||Portland, Oregon, USA|
|Genres||Hardcore punk, heavy metal|
Final Warning was a Portland, Oregon-based hardcore punk band active from 1982 to 1986. While the band is little known outside the Pacific Northwest, they were influential as one of the early hardcore bands to incorporate heavy metal to their sound.
The band first formed in 1982 as Broken Trust by childhood friends, guitarist Jeff "Simon" Simoncini, drummer Dan Cunneen and vocalist Tim Paul. Between 1982 and 1983, the original line-up was rounded out by respective past and future Poison Idea members Glenn Estes and Charlie Nims (aka Myrtle Tickner) on bass.
In early 1984 (after changing their name to Final Warning), Tim Paul switched to bass and Jeff Paul (no relation) joined the group on vocals. This would become the "classic" Final Warning line-up that would remain unchanged until Final Warning disbanded in 1986 (except for a brief period at the end of the band's career when Poison Idea drummer Steve "Thee Slayer Hippie" Hanford played several shows with F.W. on second guitar).
Final Warning released one self-titled 7” E.P. on Poison Idea guitarist Tom “Pig Champion” Robert's label, Fatal Erection Records in 1984. The following year Final Warning had a song ("I Quit") on the Drinking is Great Portland punk compilation E.P. (also released by Fatal Erection).
Final Warning would share the bill with many legendary bands during their career. Among them: Dead Kennedys, Scream, Dr. Know, The Exploited, Charged GBH, Hüsker Dü, Minutemen, D.R.I. and Mercyful Fate, but they never played outside the Pacific Northwest.
Members of Final Warning would go on to play in various other Pacific Northwest bands, including: Napalm Beach, Poison Idea, The Obituaries, Big House, Gruntruck, Zipgun, Kill Sybil and the Seattle based Nightcaps.
In June 2007, Southern Lord records released a 16 song compact disc that featured all the band’s studio material and 11 songs recorded live in 1985 at the Starry Night in Portland, Oregon (where Final Warning opened for Danish black metal band Mercyful Fate at their first U.S. concert).
On March 3rd, 2013, Jeff Paul died in a motorcycle crash in Portland, Oregon.
Final Warning was inspired by early 1980s U.S. West Coast hardcore (Germs, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and Circle Jerks) and the second wave of English punk (Discharge, Charged GBH, Disorder and The Exploited). What set Final Warning apart from other hardcore bands of the period was the merging of heavy metal into their sound (bands like Metallica, Motörhead, Venom and early Mötley Crüe.) Final Warning would combine these influences to become one of the early bands to break down the wall between punk and metal.
The most common lyrical focus of Final Warning's music was their stand against violence and war. Final Warning picked up on many of the anti-war themes that the U.K. band Discharge used and expanded them to include their own take on the conformity, complacency and militarism in the United States during the Reagan era.
In September 2008, Final Warning played two shows with the "classic" line-up (Jeff Paul, Simon, Tim Paul and Dan Cunneen). The first show was in Seattle, Washington on September 6, 2008 at the Funhouse, followed by a show in Portland, Oregon at Satyricon, on September 20, 2008.
- 1983 Final Warning demo (self released cassette)
- 1984 Final Warning 7” EP (Fatal Erection)
- 1985 Track on Drinking Is Great 7” EP (“I Quit”) (Fatal Erection)
- 2007 PDX CD (Southern Lord)
- 2008 Final Warning 7" EP (reissue) (Black Water)
- 2013 Demonstration 1983 CD (Rendezvous Recordings)
- Bailey, Everton, Jr. "Motorcycle rider killed in North Portland crash identified", The Oregonian, Portland, 04 March 2013. Retrieved on 06 March 2013.