READY TO RUMBLE Monroe, Harrington, Marlardo, and Chihoski.
"Hard Working, Hard Drinking, Hard Core," the closing cut from Reason to Fight's new disc, Blue Collar Pride, ably delivers the veteran punk quartet's mission statement. RTF's founding members, lead vocalist Brian "Fuzzy" Harrington and bassist Greg Chihoski, have juggled more than a few lineups over the past 10 years, but with new members Bryan Monroe (drums) and Gus Marlardo (guitar), the quartet is ready to rumble on Blue Collar Pride, the follow-up to their debut, Blood and Glory. They'll return to their roots (sort of) with a release show at Club Hell, the reformer site of Club Babyhead, complete with hardcore legends Sick of It All (!) rounding out the all-ages Sunday late matinee that will surely conjure up some Babyhead memories.
Reason to Fight wear their DIY/blue-collar work ethic on their tattered sleeves, serving up aural melees and classic sing-along anthems like "Dying Breed," "Young Rebels," and "Hard Times," as well as declaring their love for "Pabst Blue Ribbon," a track introduced via Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet.
We checked in with RTF's Chihoski for a quick Q&A. The band plans on hitting the region behind the new album, and shoot a video for "One Step Fall." Get to Club Hell or visit Reason to Fight's website (reverbnation.com/reasontofight) for advance tix, because this one is a guaranteed sell-out out by Sunday afternoon.
OVER 10 YEARS TOGETHER AS A BAND, WHAT'S THE HARDEST PART ABOUT KEEPING A LINEUP INTACT AND MOTIVATED? The hardest part has been keeping people dedicated. We play hardcore/punk music, and we play this music because we love it. It takes a lot of time, effort, and money to make it work. There is no million dollar contract in our future, so when the time comes to hit the road, people jump ship. We just roll with the punches and try to stay positive.
HAS IT BEEN MORE DIFFICULT TRYING TO BOOK SHOWS LOCALLY, SEEING HOW THOSE OL-SKOOL PUNK DIVES ARE FEW AND FAR BETWEEN NOWADAYS? We grew up at the Living Room and Babyhead, along with the Church House Inn, Under the Hut, RISD's Carr House, Two Pi Skate Park, Fort Thunder, and the Safari Lounge. The first show I ever played was at AS220 when it was above Babyhead, way back in the day. Currently, Club Hell is our favorite place to play — they really support our local scene. We also play Borowski's and the B&B (in West Warwick). Those are DIY shows/venues where anything goes.
THERE ARE PLENTY OF RHODY-BASED AND REGIONAL PUNK BANDS REALLY MAKING SOME NOISE AROUND HERE NOWADAYS. The Providence scene is going pretty strong right now. Bands like the Dooshbags, the Usual Suspects, the McGunks, Unsung, Drunk Robb & the Shots, She Rides, and Weak Teeth all draw good crowds. We've had some packed shows with just locals on the bill, which is always great.
CARE TO ADDRESS THE BEARDOS AND HIPSTERS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DRIVING UP THE PRICE OF PABST BLUE RIBBON?! It's crazy. We ran into that problem at a bar in Florida a few years back. We were so used to PBR being the $1 draft everywhere, but when we got our tab at the end of the night it came to $216. They called PBR the "Dirty South Brew" and charged $4 a pint. There is no way anyone should pay more than $2 for a draft or $3 for a tallboy of Pabst Blue Ribbon.