THE RISE AND FALL OF PSYCHOTIC REACTION PART 3
2001 was a pivotal year for PSYCHOTIC REACTION. At this point, PSYCHOTIC REACTION had a decent following (at least people knew of us and more than six people were showing up for our shows). The band now had a back catalog of new songs written and so the next step was whether or not to go into the studio (a real studio). At this point in the band's history everything was done DIY with little money spent on recording, pressing and releasing our music. The band was at the time generally disappointed with the way our debut album came out (which was my fault as well as the rest of the band's fault in many ways). So i put the question to the band. Do you want to go into a professional studio and record our next album, followed by promotion, touring and working as a truly indepedent band above the level of your general local band scene. In other words go professional (or at least semi-professional). The answer was unanimously yes. This was a decisive moment in our history and looking back i don't know if i would have gone forward but as always hindsight is 20/20. When i joined PSYCHOTIC REACTION my goals in general were to write/record/perform songs with a band and play some big shows. Well my goals were partially fulfilled at the time. I recorded an ep (with none of my songs) and an album (with some of my songs) and i had played some shows (some big most not). I really wanted to go into a professional studio and record an album that sounded professional or sonically perfect in recording,mixing,etc. And i wanted to record the songs i had written up to that point. My own desires got in the way of better judgment. Ace and Rob. There lied the problem. You've heard the expressions. "Talk is cheap." "Put your money where your mouth is." "Step up to the plate." They did none of the above. Ace and Rob didn't have any money to contribute to the substantial expenses that would result from recording/pressing/promoting our next album. They were lazy and in some ways indifferent to the process that THEY agreed upon! Other than showing up to play and putting their 2 cents here and there they were "out of sight, out of mind" when it came to PSYCHOTIC REACTION. Either it was girlfriends,personal issues,drugs or resentment. I don't know definitively but THEY BLEW IT! In my opinion, PSYCHOTIC REACTION had the potential to go a long way but at this pivotal moment the band dropped the ball.
Red Alert 7' and Last Train To Nowhere, 2001
During the winter of 2000/2001, PSYCHOTIC REACTION went into Trod Nossel Studios in Wallingford,CT to record our first 7 inch record, "Red Alert" (PSY 006) and our second album, "Last Train To Nowhere" (PSY 007). We had about 21 original songs at the time that we wanted to record so we chose the song, "Red Alert" to be featured on the seven inch (different from the album version), a live version of the song "Run" recorded at CBGB's back in 2000, a song called "Why?" written by Dennis (which was an excellent song that we hardly played), and a cover of the UK Subs song "Warhead" (which Rob sang lead vocals on and fucked up the lyrics). I designed the 7 inch's cover art (which i thought came out pretty good). Remember that "Red Alert" was a song i wrote based on the PC game Red Alert. It wasn't about the "Russians" or the "Cold War". It was about playing the game! I think i can count on one hand how many people got it but i really didn't care. It was a good song and still is in my opinion. "Last Train To Nowhere" would feature 18 songs, all originals. The songs Dennis wrote were "Riot", "Punx + Drunx", "Don't Give Up The Fight", "Julie Ran Away", "What You're About", "Two Faced", "Fight This War", "Out Tonight", "Rat Race", "All I Need", "Blame Yourself" and "Not Missing You". The songs i wrote were "I Could Care Less", "I See Red", "Trust", "Rubber Room", "Red Alert" and "Empty Bottles". There were two extra song we recorded that later ended up on the compilation, "Shred The Leather, Wear The Suede" put out by Punkskattaman Records. They were "Fuck Myself" written by Dennis and "I'll Take The Good With The Bad" written by myself". The album was recorded/engineered/mixed/mastered by Rich Robinson (who did an excellent job and put up with us too!). It took 3 days to record, mix and master (which is super fast) but we did it in a weekend in February 2001. I did the artwork again, with a minimum of help, and had it pressed to be released in July. "Red Alert" was released in March 2001. And as suspected it sold little to none. After that we had an old song, "Frustration" put on the "International Punk Rock Box Set", a ten disk compilation of punk bands from all over the world put out by Meathead Records released in May 2001. It's a small footnote for the band. Our song ended up on the 10th cd and creately little to no buzz for the band. And in July of 2001, "Last Train To Nowhere" was released with a release show to follow in August of that year. We played some good shows that year with The Vibrators, The United States of Mind, Kermit's Finger and the UK Subs. Things were going well until...
Shred the Leather, Wear the Suede, Punkskattaman Records compilation, 2001.
Not too far into 2001, the signs of trouble with PSYCHOTIC REACTION were beginning to manifest. Ace was becoming more and more of a problem for the band. His personal issues were interfering with the band's practices,shows, progress in general and everyone was getting fed up with him. He became more and more undependable and this caused anxiety amongst us right up to hours before a show. The other sign was BROKEN BOTTLES, the band that was formed by Rob and Dennis' friend Armando. BROKEN BOTTLES featured Rob on guitar, Dennis on drums, Dana on bass and Armando on lead vocals. They were a hardcore punk band that created a buzz (is some cases more so than PSYCHOTIC REACTION) but it also took away attention to us and fortunately/unfortunately depending on your view was short lived. It is apparent now that Rob and Dennis weren't getting satisfaction from PSYCHOTIC REACTION if the need to join another band was there. But back to Ace...at the end of 2001 things came to a head with Ace and i pushed (insisted) that Ace be fired (kicked out, booted whatever) from PSYCHOTIC REACTION. He was a constant source of anxiety,frustration and misery for myself and Dennis and to a degree to Rob. Other than showing up from time to time to practice and play a show (or not) he contributed nothing to the band. He was a liability and although not his fault, his mentall illness did play a factor in his mental stability (but we didn't see that as an excuse and it wasn't). I was and am a mental health professional and i tried and went all out to try and help Ace with his personal issues but if someone doesn't have the desire to change then no one person is going to convince him/her to do so. So we played our last show with Ace in October of 2001. And despite the relief of one problem with PSYCHOTIC REACTION was now gone, the next problem was emerging...Rob.