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Caustic Defiance - JPop.com
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Caustic Defiance

Caustic Defiance

Caustic Defiance


Caustic Defiance was formed in the creatively stifling cornfields of Central Illinois in 1983 from the remnants of Negative Element. The Stepe brothers (Barry and Chopper), still in their teens, were already seasoned veterans of the Chicago Hardcore scene (Negative Element) when they were displaced to this blue-collar wasteland by a family move. They wasted no time however starting a new band and found willing recruits in would-be teenage runaway Doug Chasteen – a prototypical punk kid from a broken (try shattered) home Read more on Last.fm
Caustic Defiance was formed in the creatively stifling cornfields of Central Illinois in 1983 from the remnants of Negative Element. The Stepe brothers (Barry and Chopper), still in their teens, were already seasoned veterans of the Chicago Hardcore scene (Negative Element) when they were displaced to this blue-collar wasteland by a family move. They wasted no time however starting a new band and found willing recruits in would-be teenage runaway Doug Chasteen – a prototypical punk kid from a broken (try shattered) home, and Brad Krohn- a smart-ass jock and music nut that took to the Stepe’s backyard half-pipe like a duck to water. In that pre-internet epoch the band’s influences could only arrive from the U.S.

mail and word of mouth – Flipside, Maximum Rock-n-Roll, Thrasher, My Rules, and other Hardcore ‘zines were piled everywhere in the band’s basement practice space. Inspiration trickled its way to the Caustic D. camp from both U.S. coasts via sketchy releases from southern California’s Mystic Records and raw 7” singles from the likes of Florida’s Hated Youth.

The band’s sound was always decidedly generic hardcore stop-and-go thrash and the members displayed a strong allegiance to the genre. Caustic Defiance recorded nearly exclusively original material in their sparse basement studio and the group found plenty to bitch about in the conservative confines of Peoria, Illinois. Harassment from local police was status quo (for skateboarding or just wearing a leather jacket) and the rednecks, robot jocks, and unenlightened metal-heads made every day of high school a tough affair. Understandably, Caustic D.’s lyrical content reflected teenage alienation (“Who are You”, “T.A.G”), skateboard harassment (“Controlled Aggression”), and the tenuous loyalty of the local Hardcore scene itself (“Don’t Let it Die”). The d.i.y. spirit glowed brightly in this teenage band long before the term was even coined.

Caustic Defiance, largely through the experience of the pioneering Stepe brothers, rented out their own halls for shows and secured bookings with nationally known Hardcore acts like 7-Seconds and Toxic Reasons. These groups would typically come through town on shoestring U.S. tours and crash at the band member’s homes. A short-lived local punk and skate scene quickly emerged.

While many hardcore punk bands were growing their hair and playing heavy metal, Caustic Defiance stuck to their punk roots. They shaved their hair even shorter and played faster. By 1985 all of the big name U.S. Hardcore bands had hung it up.

Dead Kennedys were over with, Black Flag seemed to be on a permanent acid trip, and even the Circle Jerks had slowed down. The uphill battle could only be fought for so long in a place like Peoria- it was a then typical scene in that the hard work of only one or two key people was responsible for sparking and maintaining the entire city’s enthusiasm for Hardcore. Brad Krohn 2008 Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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