Bold - John Porcelly

Interview Date: May 30, 2009

Associated band: Bold


John Porcelly has most likely been in at least one of your favorite youth crew hardcore bands from the 80s. His resume of bands spans Youth of Today, Judge, Shelter, Gorilla Biscuits, Bold, and Project X, and he occasionally comes out to play with some of these bands again. For Black N Blue Bowl 2009 in Brooklyn, he came with Bold to play a full set. At the end of the set, Porcell got off guitar and took the mic, a thing he has most recently been known to do when performing Bold's song \"Nailed To The X.\" However, this night was different. The band kicked into Judge's \"New York Crew,\" and the entire venue went wild. The surprise goes down as one of the most memorable moments of BNB Bowl 2009. Before their set, he sat down with us at Studio B to chat about everything that has been going on recently for Porcell and what he thinks of hardcore today.rn

Can you introduce yourself?

JOHN PORCELLY: The name’s Porcell. I’ve been in a bunch of bands over the years: Youth of Today, Judge, Project X, Bold (who’s playing tonight), Shelter, played in Gorilla Biscuits for a little bit. In those days, it was kinda like a family. You just swapped members around and had a whole new band *laugh*.

Black N Blue Bowl has that family vibe too it seems.rn

PORCELL: Yeah dude, I can’t walk ten feet without seeing a person I haven’t seen in like eight years. It’s amazing. It’s really cool because back then, the scene was so tight so you knew everyone. Everyone was friends. It’s almost like you went through a war or something and years later have that bond. Seeing these people you haven’t seen in forever…. It was such an experience to go through so seeing them today, you can really click with them.

Any bands you are psyched to seen tonight?rn

PORCELL: I haven’t seen any of these bands in a LONG time. I haven’t seen Murphy’s Law and Indecision in a long time. I did see Earth Crisis recently; Bold played in New York a couple years ago, and we did some shows with Earth Crisis. It’s always good to see those guys. I’m definitely psyched.

Seems to be a reunion fever going around. Bands are popping up again all over the place. Do you feel like Bold caught some of that and is coming back?rn

PORCELL: Well, bands like Earth Crisis are doing it differently. Those guys are actually putting out new material and doing a continuation of the band, which is less of a reunion and more of continuing where they left off. With Bold, we aren’t writing new material or anything like that. Basically, we toured a couple years ago and went to Europe and had fun with it. I haven’t seen any of those guys in like two years because I live in Florida now. Civ (Gorilla Biscuits) called me up and was like, “Hey, want to play this big show in New York?” and I figured…. Why not? We’re all really good friends so whenever we get the opportunity to hang out and jam out, that’s golden for us. We don’t really see each other that much. It’s really good to spend some time with those guys.

Do you ever get that nostalgic feeling of hoping that you can pull together a show for another one of your older bands?rn

PORCELL: It does, and it’s such a fight. I’m 42 years old now and have two kids. I got responsibilities and a job I have to be at, and I have to make a certain amount of money every month. It’s like, I’m so busy now. I also have my own straight edge clothing company now called True Til Death that I’m doing on the side. I got my guitar and amp set up in my apartment, and I kind-of look at it every once in a while and wish I had more time and freedom. As you get older…. Well, who knows, maybe my kid will get older and start a band. It’s a young man’s game.

Have you been paying attention to the younger hardcore scene that’s been coming about? Any bands you’ve noticed?rn

PORCELL: I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground a little bit. I keep in touch with those Bridge 9 guys a lot, and every now and then they’ll send me a package with some stuff to check out. A lot of that stuff is incredible, like Have Heart and Verse. Those are awesome bands. I really like this band from Florida called Battle. They are from Gainesville, and they are really awesome. Every now and then I’ll hear a band who is extremely aggressive, and I’m like, wow, hardcore is still alive and well. Not only that, but people are still pushing the boundaries and making their marks on hardcore. Like that band Verse, what an incredible band. They really have their own sound.

So you live in Florida now. You just visiting for the weekend?rn

PORCELL: Yeah, I’m just up for the weekend. All the guys came down for a weekend, hung out in the sun, and practiced some songs. After that, I came up here and practiced. It’s amazing. I haven’t been to New York for years. The transformation that New York City has gone through is unbelievable. I used to walk through Tompkins Square Park, and you used to have to fight off junkies. I used to live on Stanton Street right near CBGBs, and the projects there are where everyone used to go to buy heroin needles. You’d buy the heroin down the block, but the needles were at Stanton and Bowery. Now, those projects are now where students live, and NYU owns that whole area. People wouldn’t believe that back in the 80s, that spot used to be the WORST place in the world. In a lot of ways, that takes away from the area because that takes away a flavor of New York that is now gone and not coming back. Especially for musicians, a place where you could live for cheap and get creative…. Musicians, photographers, writers…. The whole lower east side used to be filled with that because it was cheap (yet dangerous) to live at. It’s all been kinda pushed out. It’s sad to come back and see New York so whitewashed.

Seeing CGBGs close must have been a hard hit for you too I assume.rn

PORCELL: Yeah man, I went to that Gorilla Biscuits show that was one of the last shows, and also the Sick of It All and Murphy’s Law show that happened a couple days later. It’s so bizarre to me that CGBGs, a world-wide landmark, could close. I’ve traveled all over the world, and people in like Japan are like, “New York, CGBGs!” People who have never been to America know that place. To have a place that famous close is so tragic. The downside of cleaning up neighborhoods is that you close iconic places like CGBGs. That was really sad to see that close. I was in New York a couple months after it closed and saw it with the awning taken off, and I was like…. Wow, that place used to be my home.

Do you have any shout-outs to people here at Black N Blue Bowl 2009?rn

PORCELL: I’ll tell you. I was walking up here, and I saw Vinnie Stigma. I was SO psyched to see Vinnie Stigma because when I was just a young kid coming to CBGBs and everything was so intimidating around here, he was SO friendly to me and welcoming to me. It was awesome to run into him because it brought back all those feelings of how much it was a family back then. Vinnie Stigma, big shout-out.