March 18, 2005 - Cafe Metropolis - Wilkes-Barre, PA

On The Front Line in Pennsylvania

On March 18th I returned to Wilkes-Barre, PA and the Cafe Metropolis; this time to interview The Casualties.
My travel buddy for this trip was Walter Addley. He is one of the co-owners of Cafe.Net located in Syracuse.
The day was bright and the roads were clear, making it perfect for our little day trip. We left a little late due to a computer problem Walter had to clear up for a client, but then we were on our way.
Walter has a cool iPod with the wireless radio gizmo that lets it play in your car. It is a very cool toy. He has about 1500 kick-ass punk songs loaded into it. We set it on "random" and the mix was awesome.

We arrived at Cafe Metropolis to find a long line stretching all the way down the block. There were a ton of people there to see the show.
The Casualties drew a mixed crowd. Many young punks, a bunch of old schoolers, and even a few Hammer Skins. I bumped into this girl, Brenna Hell, that I had met last time I was in WIlkes-Barre and she looked GREAT. She had cut her hair into a Mohawk and did it ever look good!
We chatted for a few minutes and then Walter and I walked into the club, got banded and went to find The Casualties. It wasn't hard to find them. Jorge's hair stands out in a crowd. He was sitting by the merchandise booth talking with a few guys about some old shows in Philly.
I walked up and introduced myself and inquired to the whereabouts of Jake. From what I got out of the conversation was that Jake's aunt owns an Italian restaraunt somewhere in the area and I was told that Jake had gone to get food. So, Walter and I made ourselves comfortable and waited for the show.
Twenty minutes later, the doors opened and the crowd flooded into the small room at Cafe Metropolis.
The OPENING BAND was The S.T.D. This group of young punks is from White Haven, PA. They formed in 2003. The band consisits of Vocalist: Nick, Guitarist: Tommy, Bassist: Vinnie, and Drummer: Mike. The band has an average age of about 15.
The S.T.D. opened the show on a high note. They played songs off of their just released 7 song EP: TheAttic Hits, which as you can guess from the title was recorded in their attic. Although it was recorded in an attic, the CD has decent sound quality. I was told that The S.T.D. would be heading into a professional studio soon to record their newest CD.
Songs such as "We Gotta Riot," "Social Disease," and "Future Generation" really got the crowd going. The band's stage demeanor was impressive. Even with the hassle of a broken string, these young punks kept their cool and were soon back into full swing. The band sounds as if these guys were raised on some good old school Punk rock, and as a matter of fact they were. I was informed that drummer Mike's uncle is none other than drummer Chad 10 Seconds of Blanks 77. How cool is that?
(FYI: Blanks 77 will be playing at Cafe Metropolis on June 11th and The S.T.D. will be opening the show.)
The bands website: is well done with lots of info, photos, and about a half dozen mp3's to download. It is worth checking out and saving as a favorite. This young band will be something to keep an eye on.

Up next was Chaotic Alliance, a 4-piece outfit from Cleveland, Ohio. The band consists of Tony on Vocals, Joe on Guitar, Greg on Bass, and AJ on Drums. They are currently on a mini-tour with The Casualties, but will be heading out on a co-Headlining tour with label mates Frontline Attack supporting the Punx Unite 3 compilation. They have recorded their debut full-length CD New Breed of Terror and it will be released this summer on Charged Records.
It will contain about half new material and the rest will be from the bands collection of 7-inch vinyl records.
The band's vicious riffs and angry lyrics will get them a lot of fans. Their song content ranges from the anti-government stylings of the song "1984" to the nihilistic "Degenerate Society." With its message of no hope for the future, "Degenerate Society" is comparable as an updated version of Anarchy in The UK for Americans living under the current Bush administration. The crowd in Wilkes-Barre showed their appreciation for the band by moshing like crazy.
The band's website: looks very sharp and has lots of mp3's to download. Many features like the photo section are still under construction and promise new content very soon.

The next band was The Code. They are from Pittsburgh, PA. Formed in 2000 out of an intense love for punk music and many deeply shared ideals, the 5-piece band consists of Marcdefiant on Vocals, Little Roger and Beau on Guitars, Andrew on Bass, and Seth on Drums.
The band is touring in support of their latest CD Rhetoric of Reason which was released on Jumpstart Records.
The Code's music is an impressive collage of hard-nosed in-your-face punk rock and ska that could be compared to Operation Ivy in sound, intertwined with positive politically and socially conscious messages. Serious as they may be in their causes and ideals, The Code doesn’t forget the importance of having a good time, something you’re guaranteed at their live shows. It is some of the most intense and energetic punk rock around.
The Code rocked out to such songs as "Know Your Enemy", "In Hope", and "Alert. Aware. Involved." The crowd was clearly liking what they were hearing and the stage divers were insane. I must have been kicked in the head about four times. It was all I could do to keep a grip on my camera and keep it from getting smashed to the floor.
The Code put on a fantastic set and it was easy to see why this band is becoming very popular.
Check out their website at It is very modern looking with several mp3's and lots of photos.

The Casualties formed in 1990 out of a desire to return to the heyday of punk.
During the band's history there have been many line-up changes. The only founding member left is Singer: Jorge. Guitarist Jake came aboard in 1993, Drummer: Meggers (Formerly of The Rivits) in 1995, and Bassist: Rick (Formerly of Manix) in 1999. This current line-up has remained stable ever since. The band has built a HUGE following. The have been one of the Headline acts on the Warped Tour and toured with some of the biggest names in Punk rock.
The crowd made one final push towards the stage and it was on! The Casualties took the stage. After the first song, Jake had a guitar problem and his sound cut out completely. As Jake and the tech worked on getting the rig going, Jorge, Meggers, and Rick fooled around and entertained the crowd.
Jorge did an a cappella version of "Le Coocaracha" and then they broke into a small bit of Iron Maiden and a few other well known songs. It was all pretty funny. Then Jorge asked for some jokes. Being in the front near the stage I couldn't resist. I grabbed the mic and gave one of my sickest jokes and the crowd loved it. A few other people shouted out jokes and the rest of the crowd called out song requests.
It took Jake and the tech guy about five minutes to get evertyhing working correctly again. When they were finished, the band launched back into their set and all Hell broke loose. The previous insanity was nothing compared to what the crowd did now. There were stage-divers and crowd-surfers were everywhere. The crowd moved and shifted with the moshpit and it was like being in the ocean during a hurricane. At one point, a stagediver leaped from the stage and caught his arm on a buckle or spike, (or something) on somebody's jacket and gashed his arm all up. A few minutes later he was outside in an ambulance.

As the band played songs with choruses like "40 Ounce Casualty" and "Drinking is My Way of Life" the rowdy crowd shouted along in unison, but the line that got everyone the most pumped was "If the Punks are United, We will Never be Divided."
I finished shooting my photos and dropped the camera into my bag, secured it, and headed back to the Front Line to jump into the fray. It has been a while since I jumped into the Pit to actually mosh. It was so fun.Usually, I am too busy taking photos or doing an interview, but this was a great night and I wasn't going to miss getting some of The Casualties pit action, and it made me feel great! Luckily for me there were a few big guys in there and not just the guys Walter's size...
The last songs of the night were The Casualties' tip of the hat to The Ramones entitled "Made in NYC", which riled the crowd up a bit more and then, as an added bonus, the band launched into a slamming version of The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop." The entire front section of the crowd jumped up on the stage, singing along and dancing. There had to be at least 40 people on that tiny stage. I cant figure out how it stayed up, but it did. The Casualties finished and the crowd dispersed.
Afterward, I met up with Jake and we did the interview. It was really fun talking with him. He was really friendly and liked to talk. The interview is just under 17 minutes long. We discuss the past, present and future of The Casualties and Jake gave me another cool Ramones story. We wrapped up the interview and I got a quick photo of Walter with Jake, then a photo of me with the entire band. Walter and I thanked the band for a great show, packed up my gear, and headed home.

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