Band Name Origin

Family, Music, Scene Unity, Death and Beating Addictions via PMA.

Posted by Morgan Ywain Evans on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 7:29 AM (PST)
Josh Eppard of Weerd Science/Coheed & Cambria (pic by Catharina Christiana)

Josh Eppard of Weerd Science/Coheed & Cambria (pic by Catharina Christiana)

Don’t take your health, friends or family for granted. Ever.

The following is an op ed of sorts which includes personal music scene memories of the last 20 years, memories of my father Tom Vink-Lainas who just passed away from Cancer and struggled with smoking  cigs and drinking decades of his life. It also touches on Blake Judd, Coheed And Cambria , Bad Brains, UNITY and why PMA is so important. It is mainly about the Kingston, NY and Woodstock, Ny region music scene I came up in (I’ve sung for like 9 bands since 1993). Hopefully it can help heal some people (myself included).

Click HERE for more.

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Long post. Losing my father suddenly to Cancer last week and facing full realization of the state of my mom’s dementia that Dad was helping her hide from the family (more info HERE) …being faced with these major problems, well…real SOLID memories and bonds are more important to me than ever. Thanks to everyone who has helped with lightening some of these burdens via friendship, donating to Gofundme for my mom or listening (yes, the story of what she is going through and how my dad died is true, very sadly).

In my weekly newspaper column for this week’s KINGSTON AFTER DARK “Amazing Grace” for Kingston Times (Upstate,NY), I’ll talk family, addiction, community, musical bonds/memories and friendship. It will be out this Thursday on stands and online. We remember recently departed local drummer/father Victor Ruzzo and my OWN just departed father Tom Vink Lainas as well as other local drummers I’ve known who are no longer with us like Pat Howland from my first band Melancholy, for example. I tell some of my dad’s life story. This is a companion piece to that one.

Dad lived here- Woodstock/Kingston- for over 30 years. My dad emigrated from Estonia and Germany fleeing Stalin’s tyranny after WW2. He came from nothing but through staying on his grind and believing the message on the Statue of Liberty, eventually he worked for Sports Illustrated and once played drums on the Ed Sullivan show with the Dell Vikings!!! Eventually Dad moved Upstate and started an ad agency  with my Mom and then an antiques business.Dad met Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali, saw Miles Davis many times. He always encouraged me to follow music and RESEARCH sociology. When I dropped out of college in 1999 so my  then sludge/punk band Fuse could open for hardcore legends Orange 9MM (it was the same night as a mandatory sociology class final), I already knew how to write and do PR because of my parents! So I just started doing it and kept playing in bands and writing ever since.This Woodstock, NY region where I live is WHERE it all started, so much of the “counter culture”!!!

Don’t settle for being in a Grateful Dead cover band (unless that’s your dream). Dad made me want to BE and insist on the
validity of believing bands CAN change the world. He bought me a Stone Temple Pilots CD but said “You could be the band, always remember that.” So I started booking punk and alternative shows at the age of 15 and have never stopped since! I’ll be 37 in April.

I’m so proud of the heritage of the Hudson Valley and Woodstock area, the Poughkeepsie hardcore scene. All of it! PMA is so important, the positive mental outlook philosophy espoused by local and national reggae/hardcore punk legends Bad Brains.

My sister Cambria Evans and our dad Thomas Vink-Lainas

My sister Cambria Evans and our dad Thomas Vink-Lainas

It is hard realizing how much I also struggled with alcohol like my dad over the years and how our drinking hurt people we loved at times and some times ruined opportunities for my family. I’m so glad I have been off sauce last two years for the final years of my dad’s life to balance some karma for both of us. Seeing him fade from Cancer was (almost) hardest thing ever in my life. The first was losing twins  a few years ago (worst thing ever) and the second was the difficulty of kicking heroin at age 20 after a five year dark descent that was very serious, not a teenage dabbling. (The first time I did dope was outside a Nyack
Toxic Parents show in a car and seconds later found out Kurt Cobain died, by the way). And then my friends started dying one by one for many years. I haven’t used since 1998 but definitely drank way too much up until the last few years.

But on the bright side…some of the bands I helped book at a young age became quite big bands like Coheed & Cambria and former Metal Blade artists Three, peers of mine with whom I shared countless of their earliest shows in bands of my own. And alas, all these bands struggled in some way with substance abuse over the years. It ripped friendships apart. Like my dad I battled depression my whole life and often failed. High function person with epic low function lows. Wooha. That’s why PMA is so important. Gotta keep your head up. There are not many pics of me with my dad. My fave one of us
together, my current profile pic since he died, I’m even wearing a Three t shirt. There’s a reason I’m mentioning that.

I am now on Paxil which helps my mood swings and hormone shifts. Anyone watch Homeland? Think of me as the male Carrie Mathison of Metal journalism, moody/a bit nuts and often times I’ve done crazy shit but in the end try and save the day and be agreeable to work with and a loyal friend to many. I should, for the record, also admit I smoke pot sometimes. A little bit helps take the edge off how sleepy the Paxil makes me (a common side effect). If that and coffee are my last small vices after no hard drugs since the 90′s but many years shit drunk in between, I’ll take it.


This week’s column for Kingston Times, a shout out to Joey Eppard of prog band Three and his brother Josh and collaborator Ernie of Weerd Science /Coheed who are plugged in my column (as well as here!)  for their recent song with Upstate rap legend Cage. It’s time to get real. Survivor’s guilt is a heavy weight. Major prayers to Joey Eppard’s wife who is also battling cancer and is a sweet and great person (the perfect match for Joey).

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I was really angry about ten years ago now when I found out Mic Todd from Coheed (well, ex-bassist now) had a crippling and near deadly (and eventually on fucking TMZ) level drug/opiates problem! He almost died backstage at an Avenged 7X show, and that’s just one time!!! It didn’t help that Mic Todd and I were once great great pals and were BOTH in love with same woman… who Mic eventually married (him even trying to be super cool and asking for my blessing at local dive bar Snappers Macgees, no less. He bought me like a huge glass of sprite and vodka, hahaha). I said some really nasty public things back then (on Myspace of all places) about Mic and Coheed in 2006…it caused a firestorm, but it was out of my own survivors guilt-after drummer Pat from my first band overdosed and died!!!- and fear Mic from Coheed was going to die and that no one was helping (as well as worried he’d take down said aforementioned girl with him).


I suffered for that too as Coheed’s fans have hated me and original Shabutie/Coheed drummer Nate Kelley for years ever since. I have been called a liar so many times. I don’t regret trying to help Mic Todd, though wish it all had been handled so much better. We were really young. It didn’t help that Coheed had same producers at Applehead Studios as my band Divest, who broke up after 7 years when our guitarist Dave Parker quit…to join Coheed! We had been making a record with Doc from Bad Brains and Applehead guys producing and it all fell apart. Shit got very tangled. I went a bit bonkers from the stress.

“In keeping secrets”, to coin a phrase? Keeping secrets has worked for Claudio, until the times it hasn’t (like when Mic Todd went to jail). It has made it so this all might as well be filed under Confusing & Convoluted to the average Coheed & Cambria teenage superfan that just likes the music and who often will take no criticism of their idols as valid. That’s how it has been 99% of the time for me. FACT. It also meant I lost out on numerous opportunities from labels and bands who knew Coheed didn’t like me anymore.

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On top of ALL that…Coheed’s original drummer Nate Kelley (from when they were called Shabutie) is my best friend. My sister’s name is Cambria and we also both felt that Coheed’s singer Claudio was mocking our families by not telling the true origins of their band name and also that Apollo (an album namesake for them) was Nate’s old dog, in addition to us being shocked at the drug use of that band which nearly killed half the band. But we were hypocrites cuz Nate and I also had major drinking problems, like epic epic epic barbarian shit. Like go to Southpaw wasted and lie and say we were Big Daddy Kane’s entourage type shit (that really happened). We called crazy stunts like that “being KANE” (our fake philosophy for trying to be as cool as BDK, but mostly we did dumb shit and drank Coors). And I certainly wrote some songs about those Coheed dudes in emo band Pontius Pilate Sales Pitch, a Hum/Dinosaur Jr/Glassjaw weird mix of influences rock band I was in with Nate after DIVEST broke up (and after he was out of Shabutie/Coheed).

PPSP: Pontius Pilate Sales Pitch keepin' it Kane.

PPSP: Pontius Pilate Sales Pitch keepin’ it Kane.


Pat Howland of my first band Melancholy at Bearsville Studios in the early 90's (RIP Pat)

Pat Howland of my first band Melancholy at Bearsville Studios in the early 90′s (RIP Pat)

Nate Kelley quit Shabutie on stage in, I think 99′, cuz they were all too wasted for his liking on stage and he thought it was unprofessional (ironically, cuz Nate and I would play MANY shows trashed together in other bands after that). Then Josh Eppard left the band Three that he was originally in with his brother Joey Eppard and original Three bassist, and future early Coheed co-producer Chris Bittner. After Josh left Three he replaced Nate in Shabutie and Claudio changed the name to Coheed & Cambria, which seemed weird but cool at first but then a lot of shit started flying. Coheed used some of Nate’s old drum tracks “33″ and “Delerium Trigger” on their first Equal Vision release SSTB and never credited him. I showed Nate when I found out via an advance Japanese label sampler promo that had Saves The Day, Coheed and some other bands on it, if I recall…and Nate reasonably flipped out and the label had to delay the release until Nate got proper points.

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It didn’t help that the death of my first drummer Pat Howland- first dude that ever asked me to play in bands, my band Melancholy in 93-96′-…that Pat’s death from heroin led to Josh Eppard taking his deceased place for one tour in Pat’s last band that he was in after Melancholy broke up–even I forget that band after Melancholy’s name—the last band Pat played in while he lived (on NO LESS THAN Nate Kelley’s recommendation after Pat’s mom asked Nate first after Pat died to replace Pat but Nate couldn’t do it!!!!). This led to Josh Eppard meeting the guy Ashton (the singer of Pat’s last band) who ended up pitching Shabutie/early Coheed to Equal Vision Records who signed them and helped make them famous (and then they changed the band name and the “fun” and “success” started). Them forgetting about what killed Pat and getting into hard drugs so bad themselves made me so furious for years. And I blamed myself because I was one of the first people who used dope around Pat Howland. It all felt like “God” was punishing me and taking all my friends away, nixing my record and band and making EVERYONE hate me. I even lost the girl to Mic, haha. Def lost my mind and hit the bottle harder than ever for ten years, like an asshole.

Islander: make it count, dudes! One love.

Islander: make it count, dudes! One love.

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I plug Islander on Victory Records in this week’s Kingston Times piece and in general a lot because like DIVEST, they worked with someone from Bad Brains = H.R. for Islander. Again, we worked with Gary Miller aka Dr. Know in DIVEST, who is basically family and a mentor to many local musicians since he moved to the Woodstock area along with Bad Brains bassist D. Jenifer years back). Islander are a super positive nu metal/post hardcore hybrid like Divest used to be and Islander  kind of have the type of career I wish I’d not destroyed with depression and drinking. And they are great dudes and
deserve support. Islander keep it positive and have a great sound and message and I hope they get HUGE! (S/O to the amazing Rachel at Victory Records). Islander is the new shit you need to crank. They rule.

Caldio Sanchez jamming with me on vocals years ago

Caldio Sanchez jamming with me on vocals years ago… and Nate Kelley on drums

So yeah… I held on to anger at Coheed guys for years and wasted so much time also. Time i coud have sent writing songs when instead i poured whiskey down my throat.

I dont need validation. It’s much deeper.

Dear Claudio Sanchez, No one wants to admit they’ve told half truths or lies in national interviews with the backing of major labels like you…Claudiohave, in my opinion, done for YEARS. Well i dont want to admit my drinking made me lose lots of precious time with my dad when he was alive. He was addicted to cigarettes that got him cancer. its ALL still true! i was a closeted bi sexual and hid it in booze and drugs for years but it was still true!! I bet lots of you still don’t know that! I prefer girls but always liked guys too but like to be unnatainable or at least really really hard to get. What can I say? I have MAJOR trust issues (with men and women) and have also seen Predator like 100x .It’s all cat and mouse. With girls it varies. My “type”? I just usually like half crazy mouthy witches or rocker babes/aspiring poets with deep emotional scars or wanderlust, it seems the years have proven. Right now I am dating a super rad school teacher who forages for mushrooms! Tangent.

But anyway, back to Claudio Sanchez…Where did you get the name Cambria for your band? Was it from watching Star Wars and it sounded like Coruscant or some horse shit? No, it was given to my sister (who you know!!!) by my parents because my Welsh grandpa was a famous minister and Cambria is a Welsh name.
Our Grandpa Arthur Walwyn preached to thousands weekly at the age of 19. My own name Morgan Ywain is from Bishop Morgan who translated the Bible to Welsh and saved the Welsh language from extinction in doing so and the Ywain part (my semi famous Y.) is from Morgen Le Fey’s son in Arthurian legend who my great grandpa wrote about. Not “from some comic book” Claudio made up completely by himself. My sis  Cambria doesn’t care they used it anymore but I would like
the truth to finally be told. It isn’t that my family thinks we OWN the word “Cambria” like some of Coheed’s dumber keyboard cowboy fans have counter argued over the years online.

I was super jealous of Coheed’s fame and them blowing cash on partying while my dad was dying of cancer and I was broke the last decade. Dad started having health problems right when DIVEST were recording at Applehead in 2003, same studio as Coheed. after that when DIVEST broke up and our $40,000 dollar album NEVER CAME OUT (until years later only on bandcamp despite all the names attached to it, still)…I hit major booze bottom, repeating myself now…And I really blame myself for not making more money and for drinking way too much in the years since, getting a DWI at one point even which I swore I would NEVER DO…even though I busted my ass the last few years and became a music journalist, my dream.

When Mic Todd from Coheed and his ex wife got divorced, a few years later I even dated her and helped her raise her truly amazing kid (not Mic’s) for 3 years despite our rocky past and that was certainly not a waste, even though we broke up we remain close friends (with matching bambi tattoos)…AND no one can dissuade me of that and say it was a mistake… because I know I did a lot of good when few others were helping her with her young daughter (who I treasure like she was mine and hope to stay a good force in her life). But God, I have regrets. I wish quit drinking years earlier than 2 years ago. The depression is huge. Now my dad/Cambria’s dad is gone. Family name and legacy is what is left to salvage.

Blessedly, Josh Eppard of Coheed’s own awesome punk rock uncle John The Baker and our mutual friend (and my bassist in a band I sometimes sing with nowadays) called Antidote 8 Dave Daw helped both Josh Eppard and I so much to start our recoveries at different junctures (A8′s song “Take It To Heart” was about Mic Todd and mine’s friendship being wrecked). So the help from Daw and John The Baker helped to heal some bridges, I hope. Jess Kilgannon who is associated with Coheed’s online presence also really was a solid support when I started quitting drinking . And it has been good to become friends with Shabutie super fan Cody as well as Neesh (both from Radio Xenu). Cody who recently had a tragic death in his own family). Rebuilding or building new friendships within the CoTF (Children of the Fence) Coheed community who don’t hate me has been really meaningful.

Now, I’m gonna be formal and keep this cool. It hurts you still haven’t acknowledged me, Coheed. It’s not just me being nice when I write nice things about you or 3 or Grape and The Grain now. Is it cuz I’m not famous enough? I plugged the beautiful song you wrote for your own son “Atlas”, Claudio.

We are all family in the underground. That’s what the emo, hardcore and metal scene is supposed to be. What the hippy Woodstock scene or protest folk scene is supposed to be. What alternative rock should be about…these “SONIC HIGHWAYS” as Dave Grohl calls them (didn’t a Foo Fighter play drums on one Coheed record NWFT when Josh was out of the band? Yep).

Claudio lied in many major label sanctioned interviews about the band origin. Fact. No one wanted to deal with it or even support me much because they either couldn’t be bothered, thought I was being an asshole or didn’t see how it was affectong my career and personal life/friendships or for whatever their reasons. Thanks, everybody who didn’t have my back. It’s been great seeming like a crazy fucking elephant in the room for ten years and told to let it all go. Fuck you.

Maybe that’s too harsh. The good outweighs the bad here by far, in that we’ve all done some amazing things. I just want to learn from it. But I’d like to feel mutual respect when it comes to family.

But yeah…Their band name Coheed and Cambria is not just ‘ from a comic’ he thought up. My sister is a real person. We all grew up together. SO many tmes I have hated myself…price of addiction’s ghost. But being and feeling blacklisted and written out of a scene’s history I helped build by one of it’s… if not THE most succesful band- it still fucking stings. I had to take over the whole damn internet several times and I’ve been an asshole! But cuz of sociology as much as my own very stung pride!

God loves, man kills. Music and community mean the world to me. From 15 to 36 and still I’m singing hard rock and punk and metal, never to quit.

For a band who purport to care so much for rock history and led zeppelin, etc. you’d think Claudio and Coheed could still be more honest about their own rather than have their management PR/Blaze James do damage control, still!

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I’m sorry Nate Kelley and I leaked the Shabutie stuff all your fans wanted to hear years ago that you wanted to keep from them because you were beefing with Nate still after he quit early Coheed/Shabutie on stage. And because you wanted to sound more post hardcore to fit in with At The Drive In and fill the void they left when they broke up/distance yourselves from the more nu metal and Smashing Pumpkins influenced Shabutie sound for the more prog and post hardcore sound Coheed evolved into. Josh I remember told us he didn’t think we should put out kind of more Deftones/Korn sounding song ‘The Hollow Point” on the DIVEST record (I have a good memory) because of the changing styles in 2003.


Yeah, Nate and I both said tons of nasty things about you guys online for years. I broke my hand punching a telephone pole once I was so upset when I found out I thought Josh had relapsed! Like he was wasting his god given talent on that BS! And so yeah, Nate and I leaked the early Shabutie tunes years ago cuz you guys didnt have the masters. And your record label still threatened to SUE Nate. It felt to MANY in the scene like you guys had turned backs on scene to some people even as obviosuly thousands and thousands of others thought you were the “sacred” band of the area once you signed the
Equal Vision and then major label deal and were the new alternative rock hope.

Please this time I hope my friends and others see the validity of what I’m saying and support me. I have tried to promote and help many of you and your bands for over half of my life!!!!!!!!!

Again, I’m so very proud of you all. Coheed and Three are some of the first musicians I bonded with. I was singing fucking Shabutie “Star Cecil” driving my car the other day! I can’t escape you guys, haha… but be real to the roots. I’m sure Mic Todd and I will never be friends again, most likely. We haven’t talked since 2006, which sucks. Same with Claudio. I’m still essentially blacklisted by Claudio. Persona non grata. Omitted from history by him. Though Josh Eppard is always cool and civil when he sees me…And yet even Nate Kelley has been mentioned on their Never Ender DVDs, but I’m like a ghost to you Coheed guys (cuz Claudio calls the shots), it feels. Well, I’m still alive. While nine years ago I spoke out about Mic Todd’s addiction, it was cuz I’ve known it myself and it ruins everything sacred. Will you hate me forever? If so, you’re loss.

Me with my buddy Nate Kelley (1st Shabutie/Coheed drummer and also ex member of Divest and Pontius Pilate Sales Pitch with me)

Me with my buddy Nate Kelley (1st Shabutie/Coheed drummer and also ex member of Divest and Pontius Pilate Sales Pitch with me)

After NEMHC Fest seeing Killswitch a few years ago, I (sober) almost crashed due to rainy road glare a few years ago and one of the first things I did was write Travis Stever from Coheed saying it wasn’t worth it to feud and how life is a gift. No response. I have written glowing things since from the heart many times abut their songs and their peers and our mutual friends songs. No response from anyone except when I spoke to Josh Eppard in person a month or so back, who has my sincere respect. Again…very proud of that dude’s recovery and new material.

Cambria and I and my family…we are real people. I have sung here for over 20 years and interviewed hundreds of bands. I interviewed fucking Ian Mackaye!!! Moby!!! Slayer!! The Atlas Moth!!! Wovenwar!! OTEP 3x (I got to get the guts up to kind of “come out” in one of the interviews with Otep as being bi while we were discussing LGBTQ rights). I’m not some fake, unreliable news source or jaded liar who is butt hurt. I still play basement shows anyway. I didn’t give up music cuz you made it and I “didn’t”, Claudio. It’s all perspective, I guess. My band Antidote 8 even did a song with guest vocals from Rebecca from Profound Lore artists Sub Rosa called “Settle Down” and the chorus lyrics I wrote for that song are also ABOUT ALL THIS BULLSHIT! (“tripping over stones on level ground/walking way too long/overdue now I refuse to settle down”).

I NOW write for many mags that featured Coheed for the same last decade you have been famous, from New Noise to Metal Riot. I am friends with Jason Christopher (now of legends Prong) who used to play with Josh Eppard’s uncle John the Baker in a band called Slimy Penis Breath and who I’ve performed with. Jason also has played in Stone Sour with Corey from Slipknot to thousands. I used to do dope with that dude ehen I was like 16! And he is lucky to be alive. Now he is a recovered and amazing father. Let’s get real!

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The other day my friend Greg Allen who drums for a TBA new band of mine (and who has worked sound with That Metal Show, Lady Gaga, Sleigh Bells and many more), asked me “Does your sisters name Cambria have anything to do with Coheed & Cambria?” It was two days after my dad died and I thought ,” I am so
so so so so sick of this shit.”

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Many years ago my mom had me, Nate Kelley, Cladio and like 7 of his friends from Nyack all piled in our van once and let
them all stayover. We listened to RHCP “One Hot Minute” on tape (it had just come out) and everyone stayed at our house. My mom made everyone pancakes and then MORE of my friends showed up at like 3 a.m. to our once nice farm house in Shokan that has now fallen into grave disrepair. My mom is a super sweet and kind woman and taught me to care for my friends, like Dad told me to be stubborn about what I believe in, and now Mom can’t even tell what day of the week it is from her dementia. This shit blows beyond belief. But I’m supposed to take it all in stride.

Travis Stever’s son’s birthday was one year ago today. I know family is important to him too because he was writing about it on Facebook this morning and how it changed his life. You know who also had kids? My parents. One was named Cambria. Want me to start a band named after your kid, Travis? And pretend he doesn’t exist? FML. This has been the stupidest soap opera. My dad has been dead a week.

But I care about all these people still, so…olive branch yet again from me and (it’s fair to say) still not from you, Claudio. I am real. My family is real. I exist in the same scene as you. Christ, I even had deep conversations with the even more notorious junkie of last few years than Mic Todd, Mr. Blake Judd of notorious black metal band Nachtmystium via email recently before he seemingly relapsed and went radio silent/awol/deleted all internet
presence and (like Mic Todd) allegedly had kept ripping off fans selling merch he didnt own to them online for more cash in desperation.


When I was talking to Blake for a few months or so in late 2013 while he was working on The World We Left Behind (final Nachtmystium album after their Addicts record), he really seemed to be trying to get better…even asked me if i thought some of the lyrics he was writing for “Voyager” on TWWLB were too confessional about his shame at some of what he’d done to his fans. Crazy but true! The most notorious black metal musician since Varg asking me about his lyrics. I really appreciated that and as he never ripped me off personally I’d still call Blake a friend if I ever talked to him again (though so many people hate that dude now). Would I trust him? No idea. Not like we knew each other well. I know Stavros from Twilight/Atlas Moth a lot better. Did Blake get clean? No, he probably didn’t and now is off Century Media and shamed into hiding by the internet, even though he is mentally ill/an addict. It sucks. The whole thing sucks.

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Seeing the online Blake Judd hate via Blakecrush more than anything made me sad for everyone’s
lives, including Blake’s, fucked up and affected by his addiction. Sure, Blake Judd robbed people and fans to fuel his herin addiction. But Blake is also a human being and a very troubled musical genius… like Mic Todd (I’d argue)…like all of us, myself fucking included (even if way less people know my best material or that I even exist). I’m a good front man, dammit. I will take on any fucking band on this earth toe to toe if I have the right band behind me. Bring it.

Claudio, I know you aren’t still mad because my band was more popular when we were teenagers 20 years ago? Trust me, you are more popular now dude, it’s all good. ahahahaha. But it’s not all good, actually. There’s a family matter. And it’s about being REAL. As cambria’s pre-teen daughter sophia says often “#reallife”.

“Each one teach one” is a phrase Gary Miller/Dr Know of Bad Brains taught me when I was singing in DIVEST and he was co-producing us in 2003 (I used it as lyrics on the DIVEST song “In Crowded Faces”).  The second version of “In Crowded Faces” is about my dad’s drinking, by the way. It goes “some people live in their tunnels/a withdrawal from visions harsher light/but chances are if you ask me/it doesn’t have to be over”. And yeah, Doc from Bad Brains played guest guitar on the first Coheed album Second Stage Turbine Blade. Now Doc even dates my cousin Nadja! My favorite guitar player!!!


“Each one teach one” = Yes, it’s so true and we all have to learn from one another and I hope we can learn from this tangled karma of bullshit . Rise above! everyone! like Seattle grunge bands teaming together, not like glass houses and TMZ and VH1 drug shit and broken dreams and scattershot poverty (in my case, haha)- until I turned my life around finally within the last 2 years off the sauce and after becoming a music journalist full time (which still means I’m broke but it is my true calling, YOLO…or so I used to think).

My city of Kingston (where Josh Eppard and Mic Todd and Joey Eppard and I essentially grew up) is in a renaissance because of unity and health oriented festivals like O+ and healing the town!!! of our psychic wounds and poverty also. Bonding the music scene. Growing closer. Being real with each other. Healing burnt bridges is a two way street.

We’re all family or neighbors or “children of the fence” in the end or as islander would say “were all criminals” in the end. we’re all “sinners”. Or students. Or riding out that dead man’s learning curve, flirting with disaster. It’s an interconnected social media world now.

Claudio, please accept my sincere apology for shots fired back in the day or perceived to be now. I thought Mic and Josh were gonna die.

AND please also acknowledge the wrong you have done and don’t just ghost me like always anymore, Claudio. It hurts my feelings a lot- so deeply- and I love my sister Cambria and my family and they will always make me fight the world for their honor if I have to…and it has seemed like I have had to at times…and she was often treated like crap by some of your fans. Called a liar or worse. Asked if she slept with all you guys. Bullying bullshit. She used to collect the fucking door money at our Community Center shows in Woodstock sometimes, dude! You god damn know that! Not cool! Just fucking admit
she is a real person, please.

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That said, I wish your fans would accept me and forgive the times I also was really angry towards them. And that you guys would stop the cold war of attrition and actually care about my sister and I as people like I care about you and your band (s) and your families. That’s bullying also. Please. It’s the punk rock and right thing to do. People will understand.

Christ, I might even shut up about how I helped put out the first comp CD Error 404 “Not Found” that shabutie/coheed were EVER ON on and how Claudio used lyrics from my old band Fuse from that comp’s song “Be The Engineer” in Coheed’s song “Hearshot Kid DIsaster” and yet never credited me but I NEVER SUED. I want it to heal and to feel better and not have wasted ten yeards of my life beefing with these people to never have Claudio acknowledge or honor the truth and for all the good seeds we planted years ago to still be unable to TRULY heal these wounds full circle. Please take the time to look
up from your succesful band and think about that. Josh’s new song with Cage about facing demons is AMAZING and real!!!!

Claudio, I am also deeply sorryI made vicious public comments years back yelling at you and saying you forgot the struggles within your own family with substances. That was not my place and, again, I was very angry and worried about Mic and Josh, who I thought you and your manager were just keeping going on tour to keep the cash coming in until they were burnt out (when they clearly needed medical help). Having lost my father now, who struggled with alcohol all his life, I can of course see why you were sensitive when I made below the belt comments about your own lineage.

I miss the old days when it was all about friends and family in this scene. Why can’t that translate into the national scene more? I write about that every week and push it on people like a new diet drug, cuz I believe in UNITY so strongly!!! I want that life and those friendships to really feel back.I should have been touring or working seven jobs instead of 3-4 like I did the last few years or getting off booze sooner than just the last 2 years and healing bridges I had harmed or people I’d hurt.
Instead,you dont get that time back or the money not earned. While I’m glad I helped hundreds of bands the last decade get press, Now I’m also losing the house I grew up in and my dad is dead and I’m still badly estranged from people (Claudio and Mic and Travis) that I started this Upstate Ny alternative rock 90′s scene with 20 fucking years ago!  And I’m broke, but hood rich on good friends at least and get to write for amazing magazines on the regular.

I’ve also been told I’m fairly well endowed, so that’s a plus.

The rest…it sucks. RIP Dad. I gotta keep my PMA. Don’t stop believing. FTW? No, I and I survive. Even if I have made people look at me cross eyed with this shit for years, I know what is true.

If Claudio and I never patch it up and I never get him to fess up? I still forgive him and love that dude, but the whole ordeal has fucking sucked for me. And I’ve also been a huge, huge prick over the years (even if I thought I meant well).

Is that sober and succinct enough for everyone? This is my life too. I feel really empty and am trying to fill that up. Thank you to everyone who has supported the Go Fund Me to help with my mother’s care for her dementia and mounting bills the last few days. Cambria and I are so grateful, even if it looks like we’re gonna lose the home we grew up in.  One love. God bless. This is not opportunism. It’s about legacy, family, health and “scene”…for all of us. Always has been. Anyone that thinks otherwise, you have my full contempt.

I’m glad, again, that most of us are still alive after these crucibles of addiction and pain. Can we course correct? My dad had a lot of stress in his life and without it, maybe he would have lived longer. That goes for all of us. We can all still do better. Stay positive. Work together in this rock scene. I’ll never take a moment of life for granted again or any friendships.

I wanna go play my dad’s drum set now.

My Dad and I

My Dad and I

#coolstorybro #ripdad #fml666 #redemptionatthepuritanshand #pma #etc #ifitringswillyouanswer #timeandtrauma #betheengineer #reallife

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