Ray Cappo (aka Raghunath, Ray of Today) is the vocalist for the hardcore band Youth of Today, and former vocalist for bands like Reflex From Pain, Shelter, Better Than A Thousand, and the project recording "Pour Water On It". Cappo is originally from Connecticut, and played drums for the Connecticut band Violent Children. Before moving to New York City in the mid-1980s, Cappo and his band Youth of Today had already made a dent on the scene.
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Cappo was occasionally a guest DJ for college radio station WXCI, in Danbury, Connecticut, on a radio show called "The Adventure Jukebox" hosted by Darryl Ohrt of the band No Milk on Tuesday. Cappo played a wide array of hardcore music on the program, largely culled from his massive collection of records, rare unsigned EPs, and demo tapes. During this time, Cappo enthusiastically supported local hardcore shows including gigs by many early hardcore bands such as No Milk on Tuesday, 76% Uncertain, Seizure, End Product, and Abusive Action, and was often mentioned in the liner notes of their records.
Youth of Today
Along with guitarist John Porcelly (aka Porcell) Cappo started the seminal hardcore band Youth of Today in 1985, which quickly became one of the most well known bands in the New York hardcore scene. Based on their Straight edge ethics and a fast, aggressive sound, they created a subgenre known as Youth crew, influencing a large number of bands. An important figure in the early days of Youth of Today was Kevin Seconds, singer of the Reno, NV band 7 Seconds. Kevin not only influenced the band, but also released their first EP, "Can't Close My Eyes" on his Positive Force Records. Before disbanding in 1990, Youth of Today released two 7" EPs (one later remixed and released as a 12") and two LPs, widely considered to be some of the most influential American hardcore records of their time.
In 1987, along with Jordan Cooper, Cappo started Revelation Records. The label's first release was Warzone's "Lower East Side Crew". This was soon followed by a compilation entitled New York Hardcore 1987: Together, or simply the Together Compilation. This compilation included tracks by Youth of Today and Bold, (formerly Crippled Youth). This was also the first time bands like Gorilla Biscuits, Sick of it All, and Side By Side would be recorded and heard all over the world. Revelation would soon expand its roster westward, releasing records from California bands like Chain of Strength and No For an Answer. Today, Revelation remains a functioning record label operated by Cooper, who moved from New Haven, Connecticut to Huntington Beach, California in 1990.
The 1990s and "Krishna-core"
As Youth of Today began to wind down, Cappo found himself drawn to Krishna Consciousness, due in large part to his study of religions that embraced his vegetarian and straight edge ideals. He became a devotee and an outspoken proponent of the ideologies laid out in the Bhagavad Gita. Cappo resolved to create a final album to express his beliefs. The album was a marked departure from the style of Youth of Today, and Revelation Records decided to release it under a new band, which became known as Shelter. Cappo again found himself starting a record label to release bands with a Krishna-conscious message, the still operating Equal Vision Records. The rise of Shelter would unexpectedly create a musical sub-genre called "Krishna-core", with bands such as Cro-Mags as its spiritual forefathers and 108 among its main proponents.
Cappo currently lives with his family in Greenwich Village in New York City and is active as a yoga teacher. He continues his association with the Hare Krishna community in the area and is an avid mixed martial arts fan and practitioner. Aside from the European Youth of Today reunion tour in 2003 and occasional American and European reunion shows, Cappo has been only intermittently involved in the hardcore music scene.
In 2006, Ray Cappo released another Shelter record entitled Eternal on Good Life Recordings, and embarked on a European tour. He maintains a website for his yoga and raw food diet classes and an email list promoting raw foods and featuring recipes and inspirational quotations. Cappo also sponsors tours of India featuring important sites for practitioners of yoga.
with Reflex From Pain
- Checkered Future (1990)
with Violent Children
- Violent Children (1983)
- Violent Children (1984)
- Skate Straight (1984)
with Youth of Today
- Connecticut Fun compilation (1985)
- Can't Close My Eyes EP (1986, Positive Force Records)
- Break Down The Walls (1987)
- New York City Hardcore – Together compilation (1987, Revelation Records)
- New York City Hardcore – The Way It Is compilation (1988, Revelation Records)
- We're Not In This Alone (1988)
- Youth of Today (1990)
- Perfection of Desire (1990)
- No Compromise (1990)
- In Defense of Reality (1991)
- Attaining the Supreme (1993)
- Mantra (1995, Roadrunner Records)
- Beyond Planet Earth (1997, Roadrunner Records)
- When 20 Summers Pass (2000, Victory Records)
- The Purpose, The Passion (2001, Supersoul)
- Eternal (2006, Good Life Recordings)
with Ray & Porcell
- Ray & Porcell (1991)
- Just One (1997, Revelation Records)
- Value Driven (1998, Epitaph)
- Self Worth single (1999, Grapes of Wrath)
with Story of the Year
- Falling Down (2003, Page Avenue)
- admin (May 4, 2000). "The Krishna Hardcore Connection". The Temple News Online. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
- Downey, Ryan J. "Shelter Biography". allmusic.com. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
- True, Christopher M. "Youth of Today Biography". allmusic.com. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
- Clift, Caitlin (April 19, 2007). "Home Grown". The Daily Titan. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
- "East meets West". The Boston Globe (NY Times Company). September 18, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2010.
- Furfaro, Danielle (June 15, 2008). "Burning Desires". Albany Times Union (Hearst Corporation). p. 3. Retrieved April 4, 2010.[dead link]
- Harder, Jeff (February 25, 2010). "Disengage: Ray Cappo Is In the World But Not Of It". FIGHT! Magazine. Retrieved April 4, 2010.