Saturday, 22 December 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Apologies yet once again for the lack of blog posts this week, things have been very crazy to say the least with Christmas around the corner. Andy Williams once sang "it's the most wonderful time of the year" which I think is definitely debatable. Between school shootings, the supposed apocalypse, and cranky Christmas shoppers some may be hard pressed to agree with that song.

I would personally like to wish each and everyone of you a safe and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year. Please take the time to kick back and relax with your families, friends, and loved ones.

I am going to take a short holiday hiatus over the next 2 weeks but never fear, Heavy Ghetto will reappear in the new year picking up right where we left off in the story. I hope Santa gets all of you everything you want!

- Kabal

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Grip tape Graphics 101

So the time had finally come for me to try and conquer the task of applying a black and white image onto the grip tape of my skateboard. I decided liquid paper, or white out as some refer to it, and a black permanent sharpie marker would suffice for the job at hand. I was a bit concerned about messing up the grip tape of my brand new board so I figured I'd better start of small.

For my first test and attempt at this I chose a Skate Rags skull that I saw in a Thrasher magazine add, it was a cool looking little skull and wasn't very typical in regards to what a skull generally looked like. I started applying the white out at the nose of the board, the white out brush wasn't getting in the rough texture of the grip tape very well, so I poured a small pile on the grip tape and began spreading it with the brush to achieve the general shape of the skull. Once I had achieved my desired shape I went in with the sharpie, cleaned up the edges, and began doing the details inside of the skull. Surprisingly it didn't take me long at all and the final product looked spot on considering I free handed the whole thing.

It was now time to test the integrity of my work to see how it would hold up with the wear and tear of my feet on it, so I set out on my board and headed to my favourite skate spot for the evening, Ching Library. After countless hours of thrashing I headed home. Once I arrived I inspected my new grip tape graphic and I was amazed to see it was still in perfect shape asides from a bit of dirt on it. I grabbed a wet J cloth from the kitchen and reluctantly began to wipe away at the dirt. Incredibly the dirt came off with ease and the image stood strong, bold, and un compromised.
I knew it was time for a second attempt.

When I returned home from high school the next day I headed straight to my room with my skateboard to create another new image. I wanted to do something fairly large and complex that would demand people's attention and respect. I flipped through the pages of Thrasher inspecting the tiny t-shirt adds but nothing caught my eye. Suddenly I clued into the fact that all my band t-shirts were black and white, so I started rifling through my closet until one shirt caught my eye, an SNFU shirt.

I ran back to my other room (I had 2 bedrooms) excitedly and got to work. I wanted the image to be the size it was on the shirt so it would fit the top portion of the grip tape, minus the area near the nose where the Skate Rags skull was. I ended up having to pour out the whole bottle of liquid paper and spread it strategically in the general shape I needed to work with, then just like the day before I grabbed my sharpie and got to work. Again I started with the outline and worked my way along the edges until it was complete, and once again I did all the detailing inside of the outline to produce another mind blowing finished product! Feeling great about the job I did and being eager to show it off, I hit the streets to shred and see who I might bump into along the way...

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The last deck in the cards

So I was on the hunt once again for a new kick ass skateboard deck. I had gone through so many in the past few months that I was now determined to find one I could settle on and be happy with.

While checking out one of the local skate shops called Street Surfers, that I frequently shoplifted from, I came across a really cool deck. It was made by a company called Brand-X, whom I had never heard of, but this deck looked awesome! The size, shape, and concave was very similar to the Santa Cruz Slasher and the Vision Lee Ralph model. On the top/middle portion of the deck there was the Brand-X logo, two crossbones making the X with a gnarly tongue sticking out between them. It was the graphic on the bottom of the deck that truly grabbed my attention however.

The bottom side of the deck was packed top to bottom and side to side with a collage of faces, resembling a crowd of monsters, creeps, and other weirdos. Some of the faces had empty speech bubbles beside them, similar to what you would see in the Sunday comic strips. I thought it was the coolest thing ever being given the option to write whatever you wanted in the bubbles. I purchased the deck with my hard earned money and hurried home to hook it all up.

Inside the speech bubbles I wrote things such as "skate or die", "not", "no poseurs", etc. all the cliche skate sayings and things relative to the world of thrash and hardcore music. Once I got my trucks, wheels, and rails on it was time to hit the streets. This bad boy was a sweet ride to say the least, and my Ollies were now at an all time high, I was getting close to one foot off the ground doing a stationary Ollie.

There was only one thing left to make my new ride complete to my satisfaction, it was time to figure out how to decorate the black grip tape like I had seen at Ching Park on Captain Caveman's board...

Monday, 17 December 2012

The Jean Jacket

Apologies for no blog post this past Friday, I was a bit distraught over the shooting incident that took place in Connecticut, and the only thing on my mind was getting my son for the weekend and holding him tightly in my arms. My thoughts go out to the victims and their families, its terrible having to deal with such an immense tragedy this close to Christmas.
Now, on with the story.

I spent a portion of the summer of 88' acquiring patches to make my former heavy metal jean jacket transform into a thrashing jean jacket. Over the summer I managed to get some pretty cool patches. I found a nice Corrosion of Conformity patch with the image of the original Eye for an eye album cover, it was perfect to put on the shoulder of the jacket. I also picked up a small Misfits skull patch that went on the opposite shoulder. I ended up finding a small Stormtroopers of Death patch that I put on the left side of the chest. Buttons helped the decorating process as well and I had some cool ones, Anthrax, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy & D.R.I.

The coup de gras was a sweet back patch I found at a small rock shop in Malton in some tiny mall dubbed Westwood. It was solid black with Anthrax across the top in white and a huge image of the not man's face smack dab in the middle. Under his face, the word "NOT!" The jean jacket was in pretty kick ass shape now but I figured I'd continue working on it as I found more items over time. I think I only got to wear it for the first week of school until my girlfriend Lydia decided she wanted to wear it. It was common for cheerleaders to wear their boyfriends football jackets, but in the hardcore world our metal queens wore our jean jackets or our leather jackets.

As sad as I was to see my jacket go I was at least filled with a sense of pride and joy knowing that the woman of my life was proudly parading around in my colours. Since the jean jacket was now in her possession it was time to get to work on my leather jacket...

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Decks in effect

Over the course of the summer in the year of 1988, I was practically buying a new skateboard every week. I had a few Powell decks, a few Santa Cruz decks (mainly variations of the infamous Slasher model) and a few decks from Vision skateboards. I even ordered a Suicidal Tendencies deck from Dog Town skates through Thrasher magazine. Needless to say i was quite disappointed after waiting all summer to receive what was the flattest, heaviest deck I had ever owned. I rode it for a week or two and then ended up selling it to Craig.

There was one vision deck I really liked and stuck with for awhile, the Lee Ralph pro model. It had a gnarly design and a wicked graphic depicting a skinned corpse all folded up to fit the inside the perimeter of the deck. The concave on this board was deep and it had a fat, high angled tail. My ollies were at an all time high now, and I seemed to be a better skater over all while riding this board. As all great things must come to an end, I ended up snapping the tail off the deck fresh into the new school year.

I went to buy the same board again but none of the 3 skate shops in Brampton had it, so I opted to buy the Santa Cruz Slasher....again! I didn't even have the board two weeks when I was approached by one of the older thrashers in my highschool, a guy named Shayne who everyone called Spicoli because he resembled Sean Penn's character Jeff Spicoli from the movie Fast Times At Ridgemont High. Spicoli was very interested in buying the Slasher from me and he offered me $40 for it. I told him I'd settle for $20, a gram of hash, and his S.O.D. t-shirt. He agreed and the next day we made the deal. I'm not sure who was more stoked over the transaction him or me, but it seemed like a win win situation for both of us.

Now I stood at a crossroads with a new dilemma....I didn't have a skateboard! It was time once again to take a trip to the local skate shops and see what my next piece of wood was going to be... Little did I know it would be the last board I bought for the remainder of my time in highschool!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


My latest effort I've been working on for the last two years entitled 73' is finally complete & right on schedule as planned. Every song incorporates the sounds of the seventies as well as a bit of the late sixties which puts a new twist on my style of music to say the least, & it's by far my personal favourite work of mine that I've done to date. Speaking of dates, the release date was purposely selected strictly for the fact that it is 666 doubled. December 12th, 2012....or simply 12-12-12. In celebration of this & the holiday spirit ( and Satan \m/ ) I am only going to charge $1.2 for the next 12 days until Christmas, 20 songs & over 60 minutes of music for your listening pleasures for 6 cents a song! Plus you get front & back cover art, inner sleeve art, as well as the cd & cd tray artwork, only through my band camp page. I uploaded all the final masters and layout designs last night and 73' is now available for digital download. 
I hope you dig it & thank you everyone for your continuous support.


Get your copy of 73' now!!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Love at first...

In the summer before I started grade 10 , I had mentioned how I became an avid buyer of Thrasher skateboard magazine. Not only could you see the newest skate trends and products, learn the newest tricks, and read in depth interviews and articles on your favourite skaters, but you could also discover some pretty cool bands through the rag. A few bands in particular that I discovered in the pages of Thrasher were SNFU, GWAR & a Seattle outfit called The Accused.

I can clearly remember sitting in the lounge at work on lunch break reading the newest issue like it was yesterday. I stumbled upon an article/interview called The Accused A-Z. I had no idea who they were or what they were about but I decided to read it anyway. This wasn't your typical band interview however, instead the writer through 26 words at the band, each one starting with a letter of the alphabet in chronological order. From there the band talked about the first thing that came to their heads for each word that was thrown at them.

It didn't take me reading much of the article to realize these guys were HUGE horror movie fans such as myself. In fact they were so enamoured by horror and darkness that they didn't even call themselves punk or thrash or hardcore, they had dubbed themselves in their own personal genre which they referred to as "Splatter Rock/Splatter Core" they even had their own band mascot like a lot of bands did, her name was Martha.

Martha Splatterhead to be exact, a zombified punk rock prostitute back from the dead to serve her own brand of street justice on rapists and child molesters. Needless to say I got my butt down to the Record Peddler pronto and picked up their latest release "Martha Splatterhead's Maddest Stories Ever Told" As soon as the needle hit the record I was in love. You've heard of love at first sight? Well this was love at first listen! This music was insane! It was fast, heavy, had sick break downs, insane time signatures, undertones of jazz, and was quite technical all around. Their singer "Blaine Fart" had a voice like none I had other heard, he  sounded somewhat like a small animal being tortured to death, and judging by the photos in the album sleeve, these guys brought some seriously intense energy to their live performance.

A lot of my friends who liked thrash and hardcore didn't like The Accused very much because they didn't like Blaine's voice, I for one however loved it and he still stands as one of my all time favourite vocalists. Some of those friends came full circle eventually and liked the band, while others just didn't get it. Regardless they were now at the top of my list and I was ready to spread the word to everyone and anyone who was willing to listen...

Monday, 10 December 2012

Welcome To Grade 10

High school was back in effect once again and I was now in grade 10. Gone were the days of Adidas, I was now strictly rocking converse and imitation converse as far as footwear went. I had traded in my skin tight Levi's jeans for camouflage army pants. I now had a fairly large collection of black and white five dollar band shirts from my favourite headship in Toronto. I also now owned a few cool Judge Dredd shirts from the local comic shop. I still had my trusted leather jacket and jean jacket, but they were slowly being altered with buttons, patches, and paintings to resemble the hardcore look as opposed to the metal head look.

I had quickly turned my back on the world of metal. I no longer thought it was cool to like bands such as AC/DC and Iron Maiden. All the music I grew up on that helped shape me to this point in my life was now ignorantly dismissed by me. I would eventually come back to my roots and embrace the genre once again but that didn't happen until over a decade later. I was now looking down on rockers and metal heads because they didn't understand hardcore and thrash music, or the nuances of the kids like myself who listened to such.

I even had some thrasher friends who loved bands like Metallica and Megadeth but they just couldn't understand what I saw in bands like D.R.I and The Accused. I was constantly butting heads with them trying to convince them of how kick ass this music truly was and still is. Some of them got it eventually, others just never progressed from thrash to crossover and hardcore. Further more many of them still had a very difficult time understanding what I saw in rap and hip hop and just couldn't fathom why I listened to it.

The scene was growing in our school as well. There were alot more skaters, more punkers, more thrashers and more skinheads. It was plain as day however to clearly see those who were true and those who were posing. Poseurs....where do we begin? You know the wannabes who follow a trend or fad to try and fit in even though they know nothing about it or have absolutely no interest in it. Sure my style changed gradually as time passed on, but there were other kids who seemed to be changing style everyday just to fit into a certain crowd and find some form of security, acceptance and belonging...not because they loved a type of music or lifestyle dearly and were truly interested in such, they just didn't know who they were as people yet...

Friday, 7 December 2012

Current updates 12/07/2012

I just wanted to take a few minutes to apologize to my faithful readers for the lack of blog posts recently. I've had quite a few personal issues to deal with the past couple of weeks and I have just not had the time or proper mindset to write consistently. I always try to put my readers first but sometimes I have to compromise that while I deal with the curve balls that life pitches at me. Heavy Ghetto will return this Monday, December 10th with the continuation of my ongoing life story in regards to my involvement with music. Mondays blog will pick up where we left off in September of 1988.

Sincerely, Kabal

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

An Unfortunate Event

As great as the summer was there was one unfortunate event that took place I neglected to mention. At the start of the summer my mother approached me and mentioned we would be going to visit one of her two sisters that lived out in Cobourg for a few days. No big deal right? Wrong!

My hair had reached quite epic proportions as I had been growing it for almost two years straight now. My mom was not a fan of this and stated I needed a haircut before we went to visit our relatives. She wanted me to look somewhat respectable. I wasn't happy about this but agreed to it none the less. As per usual we went to my mom's best friend Lillian's place. I thought I was just in for a trim but I was sadly mistaken. The first thing Lillian did was chop the entire back of my mullet clean off! She proceeded to bean the rest of my head which resulted in me looking like I was back in grade school again. I was not happy about this at all to say the least. In fact I believe I held a grudge with my own mother for months afterwards.

Now with my hair short and all one length I decided upon a new mission. I was so into thrash and hardcore now that I didn't want to re grow my mullet, instead I decided to try and grow my hair all one length similar to my thrash heroes like Scott Ian and Tom Araya. Realistically I only had two months to grow my hair before it was time to return to school, which definitely wasn't enough time for my hair to reach the length I wanted it to.

By the time grade 10 started my hair was pretty shaggy but not very long. Sanjai loved it because he said I looked like Buddy Bradley, one of our favourite comic book characters from Fantagraphic titles The Bradley's & HATE comics. I was fine with this comparison since these were my favourite comics at the time. Although my hair wasn't super long my bangs practically covered half of my face. This seemed to annoy a lot of my teachers because they could never tell if I was paying attention in class or if I was even awake.

The big question on my mind now was just how long would it take me to grow my hair to the length I desired? And further more would there be any more unfortunate events that would get in the way of my mission?

Monday, 3 December 2012

Summer Closer

Summer passed by in a flash now that I was a working man, and it was time to finish it off in style. What better way than to goto a kick ass party! My friend Greg who lived on my street who was a few years older than me was throwing a big back to school party and there was no way I was going to miss it. I recall it was on a Saturday night because I didn't work that day. Jerry and I kicked the festivities off early, pre drinking at his place, which was pretty much across the street from Greg's place. Greg's parents were away somewhere that I can't remember and he had the house to himself. Coincidentally Jerry's folks were also away so we commenced with the drinking.

Before we left we decided to spy on one of our buddies through his basement window, while he received fellatio from a girl we hung out with who had a reputation for servicing her male friends. He ended up catching us and we had a big laugh then headed up to Greg's place.

When we got there it was still fairly early but the party was already rocking. As time passed by more and more people showed up. Before you knew it there was barely any standing room in the place. I don't remember how many beers I put down that night but I'm guessing Jerry and I split a 24 case like we usually did. At some point I ventured down to the basement and an extremely intoxicated girl started hitting on me. The next thing I knew we were making out intensely. This girl was a huge Beastie Boys fan and she was enamoured by my B-Boys shirt. She asked if she could wear it and I agreed under the stipulation that I got it back by the nights end. I can't remember if I had another shirt on underneath or if she gave me hers, but I definitely wasn't topless for the remainder of the night.

The girl disappeared after awhile so I walked around socializing with people. I started chatting up a fellow Greek guy who gave me my first drink if ouzo from a wine skin he was carrying. I found it amazing that it tasted like black liquorice. I made my way into the kitchen and there were a group of drunken, irate dudes carrying on. Ends up they were all bent out of shape because they had been making out with the same girl, now they were in an argument over who was going to be with her for the night. I joined in their convo and ends up they were talking about the same girl I had made out with previously. Now they were furious and out for revenge.

Awhile later I was feeling dizzy so I went out on the front porch for some fresh air and a cigarette. The next thing I knew all the irate drunk guys were carrying the make out queen and they tossed her out the front door. She slammed onto the concrete porch with a sickening thud. I tried to help her up but she just laid there lifeless in a drunken stupor. The next thing I knew she started vomiting all over herself and all over my Beastie Boys shirt! So much for that. I left her in her mess out front and headed back in. The rest of the night was a blur from that point forward, and I ended up passing out on Greg's living room floor in the middle of the night.

The next morning we continued drinking beer while Greg, who was an extremely talented guitar player, strummed along to the newest Iron Maiden album "7th son of a 7th son" It amazed me how Greg could pick up on a song he had never even heard before and play right along. Greg was a phenom no doubt. I ended up dragging my ass home sometime in the afternoon and flaked out for the rest of the day. I could only imagine what other wild parties awaited me in the new school year to come...