Cro-Mags

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Cro-Mags
John Joseph Gwar B-Q 2015.jpg
JJ performing at the 2015 Gwarbq music festival outside of Richmond, Virginia.
Background information
Origin New York City, New York, US
Genres
Years active 1981–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website cro-mags.com
Members
Past members

The Cro-Mags are an American hardcore punk / crossover thrash band from New York City. The band, which has a strong cult following, has released five studio albums, their first two considered the most influential. With a Hare Krishna background, they were among the first bands to fuse hardcore punk with thrash metal and were associated with the birth of a tougher attitude within the hardcore scene in the late 1980s, related to the world of martial arts. Harley Flanagan (formerly drummer for the Stimulators) and John Joseph are practitioners of Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing[citation needed] respectively. The Cro-Mags have gone through several line-up changes and, as of 2018, there are no constant members left in the band.

According to Allmusic: Before the Cro-Mags, the idea of combining hardcore and heavy metal together was unheard of. But with the release of their classic debut, The Age of Quarrel, hardcore-metal was born, and in its wake came a legion of similarly styled offspring (Biohazard, Vision of Disorder, etc.).[1]

History[edit]

The band's early years were spent living in burnt out buildings, squats and on the streets.[2] They first released a demo with songs that would eventually find themselves on their debut album The Age of Quarrel (1986). Singer John Joseph subsequently parted ways with the band, leaving bass player Harley Flanagan to sing on the following Cro-Mags release, Best wishes (1989), which had a more heavy metal-influenced sound. The next record Alpha omega (1992) saw the return of JJ. According to guitarist and songwriter Parris Mayhew, he wrote most of the album with guitarist Rob Buckley. However, neither Mayhew or Buckley played on the actual recording, as Cro-Mags disbanded and later recorded the album with the return of Doug Holland and a new rhythm guitarist: Gabby Abularach.[3]

The album Near death experience (1993) followed, after which the group disbanded for several years. They began touring again in the late 1990s, and eventually released Revenge in 2000. For many fans, this album signified a return to Cro-Mags' early hardcore roots. Many songs were comparable to those on The age of quarrel, although some featured a more melodic/punk rock style. The release of Revenge and its subsequent tour resulted in yet another break up, which caused lasting resentment between Mayhew and Flanagan. The Cro-Mags have since reformed, and continue to play sporadic live shows.

In 2008 John Joseph and Mackie began playing shows with hired musicians on bass and guitar. In an October 2010 interview JJ revealed that they were planning to release a new album in 2011.[4] As of 2018 the album has yet to be released.

On July 6, 2012, Harley Flanagan was arrested for allegedly stabbing two men backstage at Webster Hall in New York City before the band was scheduled to perform.[5] Flanagan reportedly sustained a broken leg while being subdued by security. Injuries to the victims were not life-threatening.[6][7] Flanagan claims that he was jumped, and the stabbing was in self-defense.[8]

Members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • John Joseph – vocals (1984–1987, 1991–1999, 2002–2003, 2008–present)
  • Mackie – drums (1984–1986, 1996–1999, 2008–present)
  • Craig Setari - bass (2008-present)
  • A.J. Novello - guitar (2008-present)

Former members[edit]

  • Harley Flanagan – bass, vocals (1981–1993, 1999–2002)
  • Parris Mayhew – rhythm guitar (1982–1991, 1999–2001)
  • Eric Casanova – vocals (1982–1984)
  • Doug Holland – lead guitar (1985–1989, 1991–1993, 1996–1999, 2001)
  • Pete Hines – drums (1986–1989)
  • Dave di Censo – drums (1989–1995)
  • Rob Buckley – lead guitar (1989–1991, 1993–1995, 2001)
  • Gabby Abularach – rhythm guitar (1991–1995)
  • Rocky George – lead guitar (1999–2001, 2002–2003)

At various times during the 1990s and 2000s, Flanagan and JJ simultaneously led separate versions of the Cro-Mags with completely different lineups. The groups billed themselves as Cro-Mag Jam, Street Justice, Age of Quarrel, FVK (Fearless Vampire Killers) or Cholo-Mags.[citation needed]

Timeline[edit]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

Related bands[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]