After the breakup of The Reformation in summer 2004, remaining members Von and Rob teamed up with Joey, and back with Duncan soon after. Capitol wrote 7 songs and joked that since they ripped Silent Majority off so much, they might as well just get Tommy to sing for us. They gave him a demo and he liked it, and even came to practice. Then they recorded 9 songs inside a Kindergarten and released it as their "eXtreme demo" / first record "Signal Corps". Revelation Records asked to put out another record with them. In Spring 2007 they went back to the same Kingergarden with Phil (Latterman, Small Arms Dealer, Iron Chic) recording them this time. Capitol released "Homefront" in Fall 2007 and have been playing pretty much every Crime In Stereo show on Long Island, and then they all go back to work on Monday morning.
chris nolte - drums
rob mcallister - guitar
duncan macdougal - bass
joey saccente - guitar
tommy corrigan - vocals
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Interviews and Reviews
Interview by Jordan A. Baker
One of the great questions that often makes the rounds on our message board and in common conversation is "if you were in a band (presuming you currently are not in one), what kind of style or sound or band, including their message, would be your primary influence?" If I had to answer that question right now, without a doubt, CAPITAL's blend of melodic hardcore and aggresive, well-sung vocals, plus witty, relevant lyrics, would be my model of choice. As lead singer Tommy Corrigan mentions in this interview, it is the Long Island sound (with generously borrowed influences from DC), and it is as familiar to me as the back of my hand. CAPITAL is a fascinating band because of what it is not. It's not retro. It's not a reunion kind of thing. And it sure as hell isn't a band without a clear source of inspiration. With Corrigan now in his 30s (32 to be precise), CAPITAL smolders from having the perspective of wanting to take back a scene that has gone astray. This isn't some holier-than-thou bullshit... this is about embracing what made hardcore different from other walks of life... and believe it - the independent music scene is under siege. But as long as there are bands like CAPITAL springing up that believe there is still a way out of this mess, I'd venture to say we're still in pretty good hands. This interview was conducted by email with Tommy in August of 2006. The band's debut release, Signal Corps is out now on Iron Pier Records.
Pastepunk: Right from the very start CAPITAL has had an almost "reactionary" feel to it... a band not looking live in the past per se, but to embrace the DIY ethos and styles of an older hardcore era where things weren't so, for lack of a better term, marketable and pre-planned. Can you talk a bit about what brought you back into starting a band after BLOOD RED ended and what you want to accomplish in CAPITAL?
Tommy: I was actually just sitting around one night in the spring of 2005 when my phone rang and it was Duncan (bass). I think he had heard I was looking to do a band and he asked me if I would be interested in singing for a project they (guys from the band THE REFORMATION) had started. They had a lot of the songs written and recorded already. I asked them for a copy of the stuff and the rest is history. Towards the end of BLOOD RED we really wanted play hardcore and our last 7" proves that, so I was totally in the DAG NASTY/melodic hardcore frame of mind when I got the call. What I wanted to accomplish with CAPITAL was just to have everything as DIY as possible and eliminate the money aspect of the game... since everyone in the band was either in another full-time band or had a full-time job, it was easy and comfortable to set our own pace.
Pastepunk: Did the well-received SILENT MAJORITY reunion/benefit shows figure much into the reasoning for starting CAPITAL? Do you have any information on when the DVD might be released, if at all, featuring those shows?
Tommy: NO! I was jamming with CAPITAL even before the idea of those shows came up. As far as the DVD goes, I have no idea.
Pastepunk: The big line from Signal Corps that's been drawing compliments and amazement thus far is the sing-along part to "Goth N Roll." Before the eyeliner, before the SoundScan, before the street team, and their corporate master plan there was a scene created by the kids who really gave a fuck about what they said and what they did. When I first heard that part of the song, I just had this grin that felt like it was a mile wide. I'm not sure what you may want to say about the song that can't be inferred from the lyrics, but if you were trying to explain it to say... a 14 year old AIDEN fan who many not know much about punk and hardcore before the days of MySpace, how would you go about doing that?
Tommy: There is a Cindi Lauper song called "Money Changes Everything" -- I guess there is an opportunity now in the 21st century to make a lot of money doing this kind of music and it is now so big that when your average kid wants to start a band in 2006 it's going to be EMO or some shit. Kind of like how in 1987 it was like LET'S SOUND LIKE POISON! 'cause that's what was on the radio. Now I'm not talking about punk or hardcore kids, I'm strictly talking about your average square civilian. There are bands who are using the emo/hardcore format spinning their guitars around and MAKING MILLIONS just like in the late 1980's when it was glam metal and in the early 1990's it was grunge etc. Shit, there are even nu-metal bands from the late 1990's dressing in tight pants now... they play emo on fucking Z-100 here in NY [popular hot 100 singles radio station... but with a playlist of like 20 songs - Ed.]. There will be a Destiny's Child song followed by a YELLOWCARD song. I know this because my wife listens to that shit and when I borrow her car and flip through her presets it becomes obvious how Top 40 this stuff has become. And it's not like the music isn't catchy, but the lyrical content is WAK. "She" is always saying something or "we" are always fighting something. It's so vague. These bands have no balls and they cater themselves to 14 year old girls. I wonder if the dudes in FALL OUT BOY or any other band in that universe are ever "rocking" out and they look out into the crowd and realize they are not performing for their peers. How weird must it be to be playing all aggressive on stage and screaming and shit and the people in the crowd are mostly pre-teens with their mommies, or are out of touch jocks and squares. I can't comprehend that shit.
Pastepunk: The venom on that's on Signal Corps manifests itself over and over again, from "Snake in Disguise" to the bitingly critical "Emergency Broadcast." While I hesitate to suggest that this is far removed from your older works, I have to wonder, where did the bit of positivity go that usually loomed in your songs?
Tommy: Yes, I started to realize that that is the direction the album went and then I just said fuck it... I might as well start pulling cards. All the new stuff that I'm working on is going to be a departure from that. Not to say it's going to be soft... but just waaaaay more positive.
Pastepunk: I think it's safe to say that "the internet years" have been particularly kind to you and the bands you've been a part of, especially in keeping the "lore" of SILENT MAJORITY alive. As you're still connected to the music scene you've been a part of through both your music and working at MerchDirect, do you pay attention at all to that? Is it weird constantly seeing your name connected to the words "influential"?
Tommy: I guess it's flattering to some degree and it's fun to point out an article to my wife (who is a total square) where they mention SILENT MAJORITY ... or tell my fishing buddies, but other than that I don't trip on it too much.
Pastepunk: Looking at the logo that's adorned throughout the artwork to Signal Corps, my eyes keep focusing on the torch that's in the middle between the flags. Since art is your thing, can you go into the symbolism in the artwork? Do you view yourself or the band as carrying the torch?
Tommy: The flags with the torch is the insignia for the US Army Signal Corps so I really didn't design it or anything. I think the name has way more significance though. Signal Corps is the branch of the Army that deals with media, photograpy, films, and broadcasting. It's their job in a war to get the information recorded and distributed and also, to send messages. And that is what we were trying to accomplish with the record - to document and make people aware of the shit that's going on in our scene... which basically is under attack from people with dollar signs for eyes.
Pastepunk: Word has it that CAPITAL is selling Signal Corps at an insanely low price at shows. Is this just a reflection of where things are at because of file-sharing? Is it to encourage people to come out to shows?
Tommy: We sell our record for $3 at shows because we have no desire whatsoever to make money. We are in a position where we have no overhead. We recorded it by ourselves for free and pressed it for a ridiculously low price. The CDs were originally were going to be fucking free! We are just really lucky to be in that position.
Pastepunk: Musically, there are parts to Signal Corps that seem like they could have come right out of the SILENT MAJORITY song book. With fellow band members that are clearly your junior in age and were unabashed SM fans in their youth, what was it like writing the album and making sure that CAPITAL was cutting its own path?
Tommy: The rest of the guys in the band are down with the Long Island sound and it's that simple. That is the way they play and this is the way I sing.
Pastepunk: With AVAIL's Tim Barry forging ahead with a couple of solo releases this year, has it ever figured in your mind that something like that might be in your future? Is there a treasure chest somewhere full of Tommy Ce full of Tommy Corrigan demos?
Tommy: Bro - if I could play an instrument I'd be all over that shit! But I'm not a solo artist so the answer is no...
Pastepunk: Alrighty - final questions. Will BLOOD RED's Hostage or Redwood EP releases ever see a reissue? How about the two SILENT MAJORITY full-lengths? Is a proper CD reissue even necessary with the progress being made in the digital music file arena? Shoutouts?
Tommy: I have been approached for re-releasing the SILENT MAJORITY stuff by a few people and I am personally not that into doing it. It was not like we had all this unreleased stuff. -- shit we only wrote 6 songs between 1997-2000. Digitally, they are available everywhere so it's not that big a deal. Thanks for the interview and make sure to check out the other bands in the CAPITAL realm, namely, THEIVES AND ASSASSINS and THE REFORMATION, and be on the lookout for our split with CRIME IN STEREO and our future full length which will be coming out on a label I can't mention just yet....[later conversations and confirmations determined this to be Revelation Records - Ed] Peace! And oh yea... a shout out to my brother Vinny who is reppin' Galway City Ireland.