Youth Brigade (Washington, D.C. band)
Youth Brigade at 9:30 Club, Washington, DC, 1981
|Years active||1980–1981, 2012–2013|
|Associated acts||Untouchables, Double-O, Dot Dash|
|Past members||Nathan Strejcek|
Youth Brigade was an American hardcore punk band from Washington, D.C., formed in late 1980 and disbanded in 1981. They released the Possible EP and appeared on the Flex Your Head compilation, both on Dischord Records. Although active for less than a year, they were nevertheless contributors to the development of D.C. hardcore punk and have influenced many other bands. Several members briefly reunited for performances in 2012 and 2013.
Formation and activity (1980–1981)
Nathan Strejcek of the Teen Idles and Danny Ingram of the Untouchables formed Youth Brigade in late 1980, shortly after the California punk band of the same name. The two were childhood friends and together attended Wilson High School along with Ian and Alec MacKaye, Bert Quieroz, Geordie Grindle, Jeff Nelson, and many other future members of bands on Strejcek's Dischord Records imprint. Singer Strejcek and drummer Ingram initially played with a few different bassists and guitarists, including future Skewbald/Grand Union member John Falls on guitar, and a bassist named Greg. The Youth Brigade lineup was ultimately completed by Quieroz (also of The Untouchables) on bass and Tom Clinton on guitar.
The band debuted in March 1981, played the first Black Flag show on the East Coast shortly thereafter, and embarked on an aborted tour with Minor Threat that ended when Clinton's mother demanded the return of their tour van, which she owned. They recorded a demo at Inner Ear Studios in mid-1981. Their only release during this era was the Possible 7" EP on Dischord. Its title was a tongue-in-cheek response to Ian MacKaye, who cited a "possible EP by Youth Brigade" in an early Dischord ad. They played their final show in December, and had three songs included on the Flex Your Head compilation released in January 1982.
Legacy and reunion
Though short-lived, the band is cited as an early influence on the development of hardcore punk in the United States and in Washington, D.C. more locally. Their scant recordings and appearance on the popular Flex Your Head compilation have helped them to continue to remain influential. Additionally, several band members went on to other notable projects. Queiroz was in the later Dischord bands Double-O (briefly alongside Clinton), Second Wind, and the post-hardcore band Rain. He also had a stint in The Meatmen. Ingram went on to play in the U.K. band Swervedriver, Strange Boutique, EmmaPeel, and Dot Dash. Strejcek left Dischord and the hardcore music scene soon after the band's breakup.
On December 29, 2012, Strejcek, Ingram, and Quieroz reunited for a Youth Brigade show at the Washington, D.C. club The Black Cat, with Steve Hansgen (ex-Minor Threat, ex-Government Issue, and then a member of Ingram's group Dot Dash) playing guitar. The show was a benefit for the D.C. hardcore documentary Salad Days and also featured Scream and Government Issue. That same foursome played a second show in February 2013 at the 9:30 Club as part of the "Punk-Funk Throwdown" series.
In 2015, Dischord issued their demo recording as the Complete First Demo EP. Writing for PunkNews.org, critic Alexander Lalama praised the record's raw musicianship and production, calling it a 'gem' of a 'historical document'.
- Nathan Strejcek – vocals (1980–1981, 2012–2013)
- Danny Ingram – drums (1980–1981, 2012–2013)
- John Falls – guitar (1980)
- Greg – bass (1980)
- Bert Queiroz – bass (1980–1981, 2012–2013)
- Tom Clinton – guitar (1980–1981)
- Steve Hansgen – guitar (2012–2013)
- Rich Wilson. "Youth Brigade". AllMusic. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- Mark Andersen and Mark Jenkins, Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital, Akashic Books, 2003, pp. 81
- Touch and Go Fanzine #15, July 1981
- Andersen and Jenkins 83
- Andersen and Jenkins 92
- Andersen and Jenkins 95
- Steve Blush, American Hardcore: A Tribal History, Feral House, 2010 (second edition), pp. 160
- Gregory Adams (October 15, 2015). "Early DC Punks Youth Brigade Remembered with Demo Collection". Exclaim!. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
- Andersen and Jenkins 98
- Michael Azerrad, Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981–1991, Little Brown, 2010, pp. 127
- Jeff Apter, The Dave Grohl Story, Omnibus Press, 2018, pp. 18
- "Scream, Government Issue, and Youth Brigade, Black Cat, Washinton, D.C." bigtakeover.com. December 29, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- "Dag Nasty, Youth Brigade, Government Issue, Black Market Baby, and more D.C. bands to reunite for December show". Verbicide Magazine. October 23, 2012. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- "Youth Brigade Complete First Demo". punknews.org. Retrieved November 24, 2018.