Don’t just sit there! Our weekly riot of New York City hardcore punk backflips continues, pulled from the pages of Tony Rettman’s big, meaty NYHC book.

The Crumbsuckers formed in 1982 in Nassau County, Long Island, New York. The original lineup of the band played the early NYHC hotspots A7, Gildersleeves, and CBGB. With the addition of singer Chris Notaro in 1985, however, the band’s metal roots came to the forefront, drawing massive interest from the burgeoning international metal/hardcore crossover scene.

Parris Mayhew, Cro-Mags: “The only New York hardcore band that ever really blew me away was the Crumbsuckers. They were the only band that ever made me nervous in terms of talent. I wasn’t hearing anything that made me think the Cro-Mags would be overshadowed until I heard the Crumbsuckers. I really tried to be influenced by them, but they entered a realm that was so magical, I couldn’t really fathom what they were doing.”

Gary Meskil, founding member, Crumbsuckers: “Getting signed to a label was the furthest thing from our minds. We were basically a band that wanted to get together on weekends and have some fun. But we played once with Nuclear Assault at CBGB. Nuclear Assault had label reps there to see them from New Renaissance, Combat, and Roadrunner. Johnny Z from Megaforce was there. He showed up with some professional wrestlers, and they were stage diving and stuff.”

The band signed to Combat Records and released the widely embraced records Life of Dreams (1986) and Beast on My Back (1988) before dissolving. Bassist Meskil and drummer Dan Richardson went on to form Pro-Pain, while other members joined Christian Death, Krakdown, and a later version of Carnivore.

Gary Meskil: “The hardcore scene is responsible for everything I’ve done in music. Those are great, unique roots to have as a musician. These days, it gets you immediate respect on a worldwide basis. We did that as a result of being in the Crumbsuckers.”

Pick up the whole head-cracking neighborhood of NYHC mayhem! Read Tony Rettman’s NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980–1990.

NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980–1990, by Tony Rettman



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