Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gorilla Biscuits

Background information
New York City, USA
Youth crew
Hardcore punk
Melodic hardcore
Positive hardcore
Years active
(Brief reunions: 1997, 2005)
Revelation Records
Associated acts
CIV, Youth of Today

Gorilla Biscuits are a New York hardcore straight edge band consisting of Anthony Civarelli, Walter Schreifels, Arthur Smilios, Alex Brown and Luke Abbey. The band is currently signed to Revelation Records.

Gorilla Biscuits were formed when Smilios, and Nick Drysdale met Civarelli while they were both attending the same high school in Long Island, New York. All three were fans of the band Agnostic Front, and started going to hardcore shows at CBGB's on weekends. There they met people like Ray Cappo and John Porcelly of the band Youth Of Today.

Arthur sought to form a hardcore band and asked Civ to act as vocalist. However Civ was not interested in singing, and due to nerves had to face the floor or wall during early gigs. Members of the band Token Entry arranged a gig for the still unnamed band (Gorilla Biscuits used Token Entry's drummer, Ernie Parada for that first show), but needed a name to give it to the promoter. A popular drug in the area at that time was quaaludes, which people called "ape shit," or "gorilla biscuits" due to the pill's large size. Eventually the name evolved into Gorilla Biscuits, and though it was initially only meant to be temporary, they have continued to use it.

The band made a number of low-fi demo tapes which were sold at a dollar store. Their first official t-shirts were blue with an image of gorilla riding a skateboard and were made using black magic markers and an ink blotter.

Revelation Records featured the early Gorilla Biscuits song "Better Than You" on one of their compilations, and later released the eponymously titled Gorilla Biscuits 7" EP in 1988, which later became a Hardcore hit. The band toured the United States and Europe twice. In 1989 the band released their first full length album Start Today, which became the biggest selling ever for Revelation Records, and was also the first album that was issued on C.D., alongside it's vinyl and cassette versions, as part of the routine production. The band started writing material for a second L.P. (an unreleased song, "Distance" can be seen played by the band during a performance in the 1991 documentary "Live In New York") which they never recorded, and eventually disbanded around the year 1992. Some of the members went on to play in a follow up band, CIV. Besides singing for CIV, Civ now owns a tattoo studio in Long Island, NY. Walter went on to form the post-hardcore band Quicksand. He then wrote the songs for and helped produce CIV's first album.

Gorilla Biscuits reunited for one show in the Fall of 1997 at CBGB's to benefit the family of then recently deceased Warzone singer Raybeez, and played another show at CBGB's on August 14, 2005 as a benefit towards the club's legal costs.

In 2006 Revelation Records reissued their seminal recording Start Today. The album is remastered and features in-depth liner notes by Walter Schreifels. They band held a month-long reunion tour during the summer of 2006, and featured both exclusive 7-inchs and exclusive Paul Frank t-shirts only available on tour stops.

In September 2007, Gorilla Biscuits performed a month long tour across Europe, including stops in Germany, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands and England. In celebration of the European Tour, Paul Frank collaborated with Gorilla Biscuits again to produce an exclusive run of Gorilla Biscuits wallets. Only one was sold at each Paul Frank store worldwide.
As of 2008, there are no plans for a new Gorilla Biscuits album

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