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Scream at the Emma, Amsterdam, 1986
|Origin||Alexandria, Virginia, U.S.|
|Genres||Hardcore punk, post-hardcore, art punk|
|Years active||1981–1990, 2009–present|
|Labels||Dischord, Jungle Hop, Konkurrel, RAS, DSI, Your Choice, Torque|
|Associated acts||Earthlings?, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Wool, Jawbox, Burning Airlines|
|Past members||Robert Lee Davidson
Scream was formed in Northern Virginia in 1981 by singer Peter Stahl, his brother Franz Stahl on guitar, bassist Skeeter Thompson and drummer Kent Stax. They are considered one of the benchmark bands in the history of the Washington, D.C. hardcore music movement. Along with bands such as Minor Threat and Government Issue, Scream ultimately merged the attributes of the movement, which were blinding speed, heavy political and social connotations in the lyrics, unpretentiousness of attitude, and shunning of commercialism. Their music is faithful to the roots of rock, but spun itself into other genres by employing sounds that predate the raunchiness of grunge, while saluting reggae and speed metal. Scream hated the classification of bands into certain types and considered what they played as simply 'music.' Recording their music in the basement of the now legendary Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Virginia, Scream became the first band on the Dischord label to release a whole album, Still Screaming, as opposed to singles or 12 inch EPs. Like the hardcore band Bad Brains, they could play clearly at breakneck speed, but also played mid-tempo songs like "American Justice" and "Hygiene," which were metal-tinged reggae.
For their second album Scream added another guitarist to their line-up, Robert Lee "Harley" Davidson, to thicken up the sound in the studio and in their live performances. In turn this eventually led to a powerful dual-lead guitar style, with complex guitar tracking, a more powerful live sound and an over-all crunchier sound for their third album. For a few compilation efforts and some live shows they added a keyboard player, Bobby Madden, who was a colleague of Davidson's from the same metal scene.
After the third album Banging the Drum, Kent Stax left the band for personal reasons and was replaced by local drummer Dave Grohl, who then played on Scream's 4th album No More Censorship. The band then toured Europe; with their May 4, 1990 show in Alzey, Germany being released by Tobby Holzinger as Your Choice Live Series Vol.10. Scream then recorded their fifth and final studio album Fumble, (which was much later released in 1993 on Dischord Records) and then called it quits in late 1990. Pete and Franz moved to North Hollywood and started rock band Wool, while Grohl joined the Seattle grunge band Nirvana. In 1997, Franz Stahl joined Dave Grohl's newly formed group, the commercially successful Foo Fighters, for a two year stint. During this time Pete Stahl worked as a road manager for both the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, while continuing to record albums with several bands, including the Earthlings? and Goatsnake. Skeeter Thompson remained in the D.C. area and continued to work in bands, including playing one gig at the Brickskeller in the spring of 1994 as Scream with keyboardist Robert Hunter, as did Kent Stax with the Skinhead/Oi! -tinged bands: the Suspects, United 121, Spitfires United, and Alleged Bricks. Stax has also committed himself to a family life. Davidson moved to Los Angeles and joined The Drills from 1989 to 1991. He returned to the D.C. area and formed the band Orangahead in the mid 90's with Skeeter Thompson and then joined up with the Baltimore based punk band Jakkpot in 1998 for a European tour. Davidson went on to form new bands Festival of Fools and God is Dead.
To coincide with the belated release of the album Fumble, the Stahl/Stahl/Thompson/Grohl lineup of Scream toured North America in the summer of 1993.
The Stahl/Stahl/Davidson/Thompson/Stax lineup of Scream played a one-off reunion show at the Black Cat nightclub in Washington, DC on December 28, 1996. (Grohl joined the band on drums for the song "No More Censorship.") This performance was released as Live at the Black Cat in 1998 on Torque Records.
The original line-up of the band played a reunion show on December 20, 2009, once again at the Black Cat.
An ad hoc lineup consisting of Pete Stahl (vocals), Dave Grohl (electric guitar), Skeeter Thompson (bass) and Kent Stax (drums) performed "Choke Word" and two Bad Brains covers at the 9:30 Club's 30th anniversary bash on May 31, 2010.
- Current members
- Peter Stahl – lead vocals (1981–1990, 2009–present)
- Franz Stahl – guitar, backing vocals (1981–1990, 2009–present)
- Skeeter Thompson – bass, backing vocals (1981-1988, 1988-1990, 2009–present)
- Kent Stax – drums, percussion (1981–1986, 2009–present)
- Clint Walsh - guitar (2009-present)
- Former members
- Dave Grohl – drums, percussion (1986–1990)
- Robert Lee Davidson - guitar, backing vocals (1984–1989)
- J. Robbins - bass (1988)
- John S. Pappas - drums (1985)
- Touring Members
- Bobby Madden - keyboard (?)
- Ben Pape - bass (1988 for part of one tour)
- Still Screaming (1983) Dischord Records
- This Side Up (1985) Dischord Records
- Banging the Drum (1986) Dischord Records
- No More Censorship (1988) RAS Records
- Fumble (1993) Dischord Records
- Still Screaming/This Side Up (1995) Dischord Records
- Fumble + Banging the Drum (1995) Dischord Records
- Live at Van Hall (1988) Konkurrent Records
- Your Choice Live Series Vol.10 (1990) Your Choice Records
- Live at the Black Cat (1998) Torque Records
- Complete Control Recording Sessions (2011) SideOneDummy Records
- "Walking by Myself" b/w "Choke Word" (1986) Jungle Hop Records
- "Mardi Gras" b/w "Land Torn Down" (1990) DSI Records
- Bouncing Babies (1984) Fountain of Youth Records – "Ultra Violence/Screaming"
- Flipside Vinyl Fanzine (1984) Gasatanka/Enigma Records – "Fight"
- Another Shot for Bracken (1986) Positive Force Records – "Green Eyed Lady"
- F.R. 5 (1986) Fetal Records – "Solidarity"
- Viva Umkhonto! (1987) Mordam/Konkurrel Records – "Feel Like That"
- State of the Union (1989) Dischord Records – "Ameri-dub"
- It's Your Choice (1991) Your Choice Records – "A No Money Down" (live)
- 20 Years of Dischord (2003) Dischord Records – "Fight/American Justice" and "Search for Employment"
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