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The Anti-Matter Anthology

August 30, 2009

l_4a91e7d32f37ed6e6a653c3eaa6c4c61I picked this book up while i was on tour over in Europe. I remember hearing about this a few years ago when they did the book release show with Snapcase and 108 in Brooklyn but i had forgotten about it until recently.

I was extremely shocked when i picked this up and read through the list of band interviews that were featured inside. Before reading i did not know all to much about Anti-Matter and what type of impact it had on the post-punk/hardcore scene in the early 90’s. After reading this book i realized how much i really wish i was a hardcore kid in the 90’s.

Here is a brief history of Anti-Matter taken from their site:

“For those who don’t know, Anti-Matter was a fanzine published between 1993 and 1996 from a bedroom on the corner of East 10th Street and First Avenue in New York City. Anti-Matter was also a compilation album, released in 1996, that documented sixteen hardcore, post-punk, and indie bands who weaved the fabric of the music that featured prominently in the fanzine. On November 6, 2007, for the first time ever, Anti-Matter will become a book: The Anti-Matter Anthology: A 1990s Post-Punk & Hardcore Reader will be issued by Revelation Publishing, the literary sister of Revelation Records.

Anti-Matter was conceived and created by Norman Brannon — in 1993, a former guitarist for Ressurection, 108, and Shelter. Upon its demise, Brannon went on to form Texas Is The Reason and New End Original, in addition to working as a DJ and running an independent dance label called Primal Records. His work has been published in Alternative Press, Punk Planet, Ego Trip, Soma, and VIBE, among others. Brannon is currently working on new music, as well as a second book of short-story nonfiction. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and online at Nervous Acid. Also, he apologizes to anyone who bought Fuzzy or Inch records at his behest.”

This book includes most of the interviews that were featured in every issue of Anti-Matter plus additional bonus material. Some of the many highlights for me personally were the interviews with Into Another, Mike Judge, Farside, Quicksand, Shelter, Jawbox, Samiam, Rage Against the Machine, Snapcase, and Sunny Day Real Estate.

l_80e4d4768717af80226e82b5bc57baedThe interviews are on a much more personal level than most zines and interviews that i’ve read. Brannon asked a lot of personal and emotional questions that would often make me wonder if i would want to answer some of the questions if i was being interviewed. In the interview with Mike Judge he explains why he wears sunglasses when he is in front of people or being interviewed. In the Shelter interview Porcell talks about the few incidents were he sold out numerous times one being with Walter of Quicksand at a Morrissey concert.

Zack de la Rocha gets very political during the Rage Against the Machine Interview. Zack talk about Leonard Peltier for two and a half pages as well as the direction RATM was taking at the time, being on MTV and making music videos. Every interview in this book is different from the on prior.

The whole idea behind Brannon’s interviews are to get on a personal level and to interview people who he knows really well. I mean how could you get personal if you hardly know the person that your interviewing? That is why the interview with RATM was very political and the interview with Richie of Into Another had a slew of questions related to personal and emotional problems involving his ex girlfriend, the way he felt about his friends and his home, as well as questions involving the direction Into Another was going in and if he as ready to take on fame.

The one question that was asked numerous times throughout all of the interviews was “when was the last time you cried?”. I was surprised that everyone who was asked that questions answered it without shame or embarressment.

This book is one of the few books that I’ve read about punk and hardcore that Ive thoroughly enjoyed all the way through. Most books just have pictures and boring bio’s of bands, i do enjoy reading up on bands that i admire but sometimes it gets old. This book is something more, it goes deep into the heart of the people being interviewed and really makes you understand why we do this and why punk and hardcore is apart of our lives. This is more than the lyrics and the music, its a personal and emotional state of mind and the interviews in this book captures that state of mind.

A lot of great bands and people were involved in the punk and hardcore scene during the 90’s and it was a very innovated time for punk and hardcore. This book is by far one of the best I’ve read about the era and punk an hardcore in general. There are a few good books out there but for me personally this one is the best. Go and pick this up, if you are a fan of the 90’s or any of the bands featured in this book than you will not be disappointed.

Snapcase Reunion with special guest Lou Koller (Sick of it All) at the Anti-Matter Book Release in Brooklyn, NY November 24 & 25, 2007

You can pick up the book through Revelation Records and be sure to go and check out the Anti-Matter Myspace Page for more details and info about the book.

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