CIV was a hardcore punk band from New York City. The band is named after its vocalist, Anthony Civarelli. Both Civ and Arthur are former members of Gorilla Biscuits, while Sammy played in many legendary hardcore bands including Youth Of Today and Judge. Their debut album "Set Your Goals" was produced by Walter Schreifels, also from Gorilla Biscuits.
CIV disbanded shortly after the releasing two albums (Set Your Goals and Thirteen Day Getaway). In 2000, it was announced that CIV's hiatus is permanent and the band may not reunite at any time in the future.
Civ / Sammy / Arthur / Charlie
Interviews and Reviews
by Wade Chamberlain
I had a chance to speak with Civ, the lead singer of the New York hard-core band CIV, when they stopped through on their current U.S. tour. We sat down on the venue floor after the show. I noticed Civ's shoes and the conversation went on from there.
RAD: Great shoes! Where did you get them?
CIV: I got them in England.
RAD: Are they NaNa?
CIV: No, they're not NaNa or Docs. They're just like a brand from England.
RAD: Yeah, NaNa sucks now.
CIV: Yeah, there's one in New York by my house. My friend Toby used to work there. All their shoes kinda bite now. They stopped carrying Doc Martens and stuff!
RAD: So how's the tour been going so far?
CIV: Good! It's pretty simple, but it's just weird. You play like a half hour to 40 minutes a day, and the rest of the day you're just in limbo tryin' to find shit to do or somewhere to go. All the shows have been goin' really well.
RAD: I saw you on the Warped tour as well. How do you think this tour compares?
CIV: I liked both tours, but the actual playing time I enjoy more on this tour--in clubs where it's more of a dark, really tight-knit atmosphere. Whereas Warped...it was always really big places and a lot of wandering. There were big barricades and big stages. There was a lot of separation between us and the audience. It was a little bit weird to get used to because we never really play in the day. On the Warped tour, all we did was play in the day. Between two and five o'clock everyday we would be playing, and on some days there was nothing over your head and you'd just be under the sun, squinting your ass off and sweating. I mean, it gets hot as fuck in clubs too, but it was just strange that the sun was in your face and you could see every sweat drop and every zit on everyone's face. And it was broken down to like the rawest denominator. (Just then a girl walked in shaking terribly) This girl is tweaked, man!
RAD: Yeah, I saw her outside just shakin'. Is she on a bad trip or what?
CIV: I don't no. I carried her off of the fuckin' stage before because she was passin' out. I saw her and I was like, "you alright, you alright?" And she was just buggin', but I think she's alright. I don't know if she's on something or if she just got so hot standing under the lights she just couldn't take it.
RAD: So what made you decide to sign to Atlantic instead of staying on Revelation?
CIV: Revelation can't really provide what we need in terms of getting the music out, tour support, and things we need. (The tweaked girl approaches us) How ya doin' honey? You're shakin' like a leaf still. (Her friend then asks Civ to sign her ticket while she whines. So he signs it. And tells her to take it easy and get better. Then she leaves and the interview continues)
RAD: Are you going to continue to release your singles on Revelation?
CIV: Yeah, we're gonna do strictly vinyl with them. We've always done stuff with them so we didn't wanna cut it off completely.
RAD: How do you feel about "Can't Wait One Minute More" being a buzz clip?
CIV: When we did the video we really weren't expecting anything. When it got picked up and it got big--I mean just the fact that they said they would play it--we were stoked. I think for any musician to say that you don't want your stuff recognized or your stuff to be heard is bullshit because you're a performer and that's what you do. Sometimes the fact that it gets accepted on a larger scale, you have to be willing to understand that your audience is gonna change. Different people who wouldn't normally be into the music might get into it. A lot of people are like, "but they're not hard-core kids into punk," but that's alright with me because everyone has got to start somewhere. If watching our video maybe gets a kid into hard-core and he buys our record and then maybe goes out and buys like a Minor Threat record or something else that will get him into it, then that's cool. Because none of us were born with fuckin' Docs and Fuckin' suspenders and you have to learn about it and get into the scene somehow. Right now it's just a different thing where MTV is into the hard-core scene and they're allowing us to reach bigger audiences. So I think it's cool.
RAD: It's different than the old days when you had to hear every thing from your friends.
CIV: See, I really can't say it's a bad thing. I mean sometimes you look out there in a crowd and see the most generic rock people standing there 'till we play "One Minute More," then they start rockin' out. It's funny because that's the only thing they know and they came to see us because of the video. But if they enjoy the song, then what can you say? "Stop that?!" If they're down to support the band and come and see the show then it's cool with me!
RAD: What did you think of tonight's show?
CIV: I thought it was really good, but the monitors weren't out for shit, so I was like, "can we get some more monitor?" And the guy was like, "Yeah sure dick, no problem." I was singing and I couldn't hear myself at all, so I wasn't sure how the performance was going over. I concentrate on a lot more now than I used to. Before, shows would be like this and it didn't matter. Kids just wanted to go off. But now when you play good sound stages, you wanna sound exactly like the record and every night give the best performance. It's hard when things are not in your control like guitars breaking or a bass breaking. You've gotta stand there like a dick for five minutes. When things like that happen you've gotta just roll with it. But the vibe in the room and the crowd response was great. If everybody was lame when all that bad shit happened, I would be totally cracked right now, sitting on the bus bummed out.
There were barriers and security, and it was cool! It got a little weird, like every one started rushing the stage and standing up and standing there. And I know that pisses every one in the crowd off, so I tried to control that, but you don't wanna taint anybody's spirit so you gotta do it very diplomatically. But then you gotta watch sometimes, because you get too many people on the stage all of the sudden. Next thing you know, all of your amps are fallin' down, pedals are gettin' broken, and people are freakin' out.
RAD: It looked like you got hit in the head.
CIV: Yeah, I got hit in the head a few times tonight but that's alright. You expect it. If I'm gonna come and play a show like this in a place like this and get pissed off because someone kicks me in the head or something, then I'm a dick. ITS A HARDCORE SHOW! That's what people tend to forget.
RAD: Too many people forget and that's why there's so many fights.
CIV: On the Warped tour we played upstairs in this little tiny room and there were no bouncers and no barricades and everybody was goin' sick. And some kids were screamin' at me from the audience right after "Soundtrack For Violence" goin', "Are you crazy? Listen to what you're singin'!" I was like, "I'm sorry but where do you think you are? We're not at a day care." People are here because this is what they wanna do, and I'm here because this is what I wanna do. It's all personal choice and if you don't wanna get jumped on, then stand on the side, watch, and enjoy.
RAD: I think it's a lot more violent now.
CIV: I think to an extent a lot of people don't understand or weren't weaned into hardcore the way a lot of us were, where we understand what's goin' on. A lot of meatheads come in and start throwing their weight around, and if they get banged they start throwing' punches.
RAD: Sometimes I wish we could take some of these kids back 10 years to a show to see how it was back then.
CIV: In New York it was accepted or understood. I mean, you went to CBGB's on a Sunday to see Murphy's Law and you got your fuckin' head handed to you. You got your clock cleaned every weekend, but it wasn't like you were pissed off. You went because you wanted to go. It was like you got nailed in the face, you went down, you got picked up, it was like, "Dude...you OK?" and you went on. I mean Walter got his nose broken, I broke my collar bone and fingers. But that's why you were there, so you could get it out and not be an asshole on the street beatin' kids up.
RAD: How was it having Walter produce your record?
CIV: It's kinda like raking' leaves in the back yard with your brother. It's not a big deal, it's just something you do together.
RAD: How much of a influence did he have on the sound of the record?
CIV: Yeah, He wrote the music with the band. When we do things together it's gonna sound a certain way no matter how long we've been apart. It's just a real easy thing.
RAD: How long have you been together as CIV?
CIV: 'Bout a year
RAD: Weren't you a tattoo artist between Gorilla Biscuit and now?
CIV: I own a tattoo parlor in New York. I miss it. It's a great love in my life. That will hopefully always be there.
Let me just comment on my boy's outfit here (A worker taking apart the stage). That is like the most hard-as-hell workman I've ever seen. He should be hammering nails in a ship yard or somethin', and he's got fuckin' wack-ass Hawaiian tropic hat on that just doesn't work. That is a fashion faux paus!