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Youth of Today was a special band for me when I was growing up. They meant so much to me and stood for so many things I believed in. Now, many years later they proved once again that they're still stronger and more powerful than many of the hardcore bands today. Flame still burns - Youth of Today Reunion 2003 - an interview with Porcell.


Do you remember our first interview in August 2001?

Porcell: Hmmm, I've done a lot of interviews lately, so I'm not sure. I remember doing it but just not the details. I'll have to check it out again.


Now, that the reunion tour is over what are your impressions, what did you take home and how is ist different from other tours?

Porcell: Probably what hit me the most is the fact that 20 years down the line, people still are into Youth of Today and the songs still mean something to a whole new generation of kids. Honestly, I am shocked and humbled by it. If someone told me in 1988 that YOT would be doing a reunion in 2004 and kids would still be singing along, I would've told them they were crazy. YOT was a special band and I'm glad that I could've been a part of it.


Youth of Today - live in Berlin '03.


Who had the idea of another YOT tour and who came up with it?

Porcell: Initially, Marc from MAD came up with it. He was booking summer tours, and he called us up with the idea and it seemed like it would be fun. Plus it was only two weeks so it wasn't that big of a deal for us. It was good to see everyone in the band again -- it had been a long time.


Why did you chose Europe for this tour? Will there be any shows in the States too?

Porcell: MAD had everything booked and made everything very easy for us. We didn't even have to book flights, everything was taken care of in advance. If someone in the US called us and made a similar proposal, we might consider doing one or two shows, but we'll see. We're all pretty busy doing other things nowadays so again they'd have to make it easy for us to do.


Why wasn`t Walter down with another YOT tour, is it that this is not his thing anymore?

Porcell: Sammy had asked Walter, but right now he's in the middle of recording a solo album and is concentrating all his energy on that. We were going to get Matt Bold on bass, but beforehand he got a really good job at a bank and couldn't get the time off. Ken stepped in to do it and he worked out really well and it was fun to hang out with him again, he's a good friend of mine.


Could it be that Walter doesn't like the concept of doing reunions? Sammy mentioned something like that...

Porcell: I couldn't tell you for sure because I didn't talk to Walter personally. Actually I haven't seen him in a couple of years so I'm not really sure where his head is at.


What`s up with that YOT spoken word CD "A Time We`ll Remember", are you on it too or is it something that just Ray made?

Porcell: That was something Ray made entirely on his own. Honestly, I haven't even heard it because Ray sold all his copies before I got one, so I can't really tell you anything about it. I'm curious to hear it myself.


I listened to it recently and I think there are some funny stories on it. Not so bad. There were always rumors over the years about a YOT "Don Fury Demo", does it really exist or is it a myth just like the YOT "Crucial Times" EP?

Porcell: Nope, it's an urban legend. Now that "One Night Stand" is on that Rev 100 comp, everything we recorded at Don Fury's has been released.


Youth of Today - live in Berlin '03.


What do you say to the people that are saying you did this tour only for the money? I`ve heard crazy stories about the amount...

Porcell: We did get paid a lot of money to play, which was great for me because I'm running my own label now called Fight Fire with Fire Records, so that'll help me with future releases. Money had to be a consideration because all of us are grown up now, own houses, have kids and bills and mortgages, so unless we got a significant amount we wouldn't have been able to do it. But it definitely wasn't the only reason. I wouldn't have done it if I still didn't believe in what YOT stood for.


What do you remember from the first European YOT tour in 1989 and was it something special for you?


Porcell: Mostly I remember a lot of bottles being thrown at me! Back then, there wasn't any straight edge scene whatsoever so the squatter punks could get real hostile. There were even a few riots! It was a great tour though,because it was more like a mission. We had something to say and we were going to say it, no matter what the opposition was. In that sense, it was something special.


The second time you toured Europe was with Gorilla Biscuits, how was it? What were the differences to the first tour?

Porcell: When GB came back two years later, I couldn't believe the transformation in the scene. Straight edge was huge, and the shows were incredible. Somehow Youth of Today had paved the way, so the road was a lot smoother for GB.


You live in Albany, NY now, how is the scene there? Any upcoming bands etc.?

Porcell: The scene in Albany is small but I've seen some great shows here. For the right bands they'll be anywhere from 150 to 400 kids. Plus the scene really supports its local bands. The new sensation around here is that Albany band Heartbreaker that I put out, their full length CD called "Turn the Channel" just came out and they're doing really well. Great band!


Seems like I have to check these guys out. How do you see the European hardcore scene, now 15 years later? Still the "little brother" of the US scene?

Porcell: The Euro scene seems really strong. In the 90's it seemed like Europe was always a few years behind the US as far as recognizing good new bands, but it seems that since the internet boom we're living in a more global community these days.


When will you fly over and tour Europe with your new band Never Surrender?

Porcell: We talked to Marc MAD and he felt doing the tour in Sept. was too soon and he wouldn't have enough time to promote it. Right now it looks like it's going to happen in January, with Face the Enemy. I'm looking forward to it.


Youth of Today - live in Berlin '03.

Ok let' s switch to the the questions I keep asking in every interview. The first one is what`s your greatest concern about the world right now?

Porcell: I read the paper every day, and it amazes me just how screwed up the world is on a global scale. It actually worries me about what kind of world my 2 year old son is going to grow up in, considering the war, hatred, greed, environmental distaster, political strife, etc. Seriously, now more than ever there is such a need for a spiritual renewal. Blatant materialism is going to light this world on fire if we don't.


What makes you happy?

Porcell: Being with my wife and son, worshipping my deities, bhajan, spending time with my friends, putting out records, making music, and understanding that there's a loving God who arranges what happens to us for our own purification.


My son is now six months old and sometimes I'm like "hey shit what if he just listens to techno or hip hop when he's old enough to be interested in music". What are your feelings on that, would you rather see your son going to HC shows and listening to the bands of his dad than going to house parties?


Porcell: I'd be psyched if my son got into straight edge because I think it's such a positive influence, plus I could hook him up with a lot of good CD's (smiles). Seriously though, whatever music he chose to listen to would be alright with me.


Alright thanks for the interview, anything else you`d like to add or say to the kids out there?

Porcell: Like I said, I'm running a record label called Fight Fire with Fire now and our first 5 releases are out now and available through revdistribution.com. Check out fightfirehq.com for more details. I'm also running a website dedicated exclusively to straight edge, which is truetilldeath.com. Check them out and let me know what you
think. Take care, be good to each other.


Interview conducted by Magnus Jaschke in July 2003.

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