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Harley's War Cro-Mag
06/07/2003 (interview with Harley Flanagan)

Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

Well it's a solo project but it has featured alot of players from a bunch of different Hardcore bands on the recordings as you know. I had guy's from Suicidal Tendencies Rocky George, Warzone crazy Jay Skin Vento, Vinnie Stigma from Agnostic Front and Mickey Fitz from the Business. But live I've had so many other All stars from so many bands its incredible. Pretty much guy's from all the bands I mentioned as well as of course Cro-mags and guy's from Merauder, Murphy's Law , Skarhead, Crown Of Thorns, Dog Eat Dog, Leeway and more. But the biggest thrill for me was to have my old friend who is more like a older brother to me since childhood - Darryl Jenifer from the Bad Brains playing bass with me for like 10-12 shows and I was just singing. It was pretty sick we did some Bad brains songs and shit it was really cool. It's a thing where I get different friends of mine from different bands to fill in. I'm not really on a search for steady players just now I'm just playing with a lot of different cats that I respect an im just having fun with it. We've been doing all my new stuff and some old Cro-Mags shit as well as a few other HC or punk covers here and there..it's a good time.


My first recordings came out in like 79 or 80 with the Stimulators. I did some solo Cro-mag recordings in 82-83 that just came out as bonus tracks on the Harley's war disc. Harley's war only has the one CD out on my label Loud Fast Tecordings which you can pick up at www.cromags.com but as far as Cro-mags there's been so many. The Age Of Quarrel, Best Wishes , Revenge, Before The Quarrel, Alpha Omega some other crap I wasn't on and the countless live bootlegs and shit im not even sure of all of them. There's a lot of stuff out there, but my favorites as far as Cro-Mags is concerned were Before The Quarrel and Revenge.

How did the collaboration of members from Cro-Mags, Suicidal Tendencies, Agnostic Front, Warzone, The Business, The Stimulators etc come about and if you could include anyone (alive or dead) who else would you have on there?

I just made the calls and asked them... and other people I wish that could have played alive or dead...?? that's a tough one, there is so many..

Is there any egos when the bands get together? And what type of funny stories can you tell about the collective?

Absolutely not its a lot of fun just good times...to many funny story's impossible to think of which one's to tell,, I don't even know where to start...

How would you describe the band if you were writing a review and what are the main inspirations and influences?

Well it's kind of an autobiographical journey through my life and more ,some sort of hardcore punk oi metal or something it's got a raw production like back in the day. With a bonus of some really historical tracks from the 80' that set the lineage and history of the Cro-Mags straight. It's the blueprints for the Cro-Mags from back in the day and also the next stage of evolution from the motherfucker who brought you the Cro-Mags all on one disc with an All star lineup. It's some raw old style shit with a new twist !!!

The influences are endless..my inspiration is the life Ilived. I came from a poor family I had a troubled childhood ( check out the lyrics to "skarred 4 lyfe") . I grew up on punk oi and hardcore, I was a punk at age 10 in 77, me and my friends where the first generation of hardcore kids. I was NY's first skinhead and as we all know NYC had the first skinhead scene in the states. I grew up in a tough neighborhood left home really young and had a hard life on the streets, these are the things that inspired my music and gave me my edge and my sound...these are the things that make my shit real... a lot of people talk the talk, but not many it..My shit is 100% REAL !!!

When you have played the UK in the past, how have you found it and how does the Audience compare to the one in the US?

I had a great time at most of the shows, London was great , a couple gig's where a little under the weather but hey I always have a good time whether there 80,000 80 people or 8 people there. So it all good. I just dig playing and traveling and well, there's good people everywhere you go (almost). I always make a few friends that come through whenever I come back around and that's always nice.

And as far as compare..it changes over the years some years the shows are really sick some they are little less,it's like..it all goes in cycles and shit . As long as the kids always come out and someone always brings me some good green bud to smoke ha ha im all good no matter where im playing !

Name the best 5 releases of the last year.

Well, Mine of course ha ha ha ,and uummmm I dont know,,what the fuck came out this year ?? im a little busy, I just had a kid im not to up on what came out this year.

Since you started out, how has the music scene changed, and what do you see as the way forward?

A lot and at the same time not very much at all, it seems like its always the crap that rises to the top.. I think people in general like mindless garbage, the way forward?? be true to yourself and persevere and hope for the best what the fuck else can you do ?? Sell out ?? I dont know, I never did, maybe that's why im still broke..but adleast im true to myself and im still keeping it real.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2003.

Lots of plans lots of plans,nothing definite..some European festivals have been offered but nothing confirmed. Future release on LFR..live Cro-mags " The final quarrel" and Harley's war & Cro-mag DVD's as well as Stimulators Loud Fast Rules studio and live recordings from 1980-81 and M.O.I ( Mode of ignorance) Live at A-7 & CBGB's 1982 Feat: Me, John Bloodclot, Doug Holland and Nunzio from Antidote..so yeah there's a bunch of good stuff coming out a few new bands to, but you gotta check out www.cromags.com to find out release dates and other details...

Any final comments?

Well I hope you all check out my new CD and check out www.cromags.com there's a lot of cool photos of old NY Punk & Hardcore shit from the 70's 80's & 90's so check out a little bit of NYC history ha ha ha. Lots of cool Cro-Mags pictures from back in the day and from the last few tours we did. Plus Harley's War and all kinds of other stuff. We're gonna have audio and video files up soon to, so keep checking back. And yeah I'd just like to thank all the friends and fans that have supported the band and the scene over the years thanks for coming out to the shows and supporting the music..

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Please note that the opinions expressed by band members does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. Punk & Oi in the UK Limited are in no way liable for comments made by interviewees.