If Rob’s name is familiar it’s because he was a member of Government Issue and Artificial Peace — two iconic Washington, D.C. hardcore bands.

Looking to get back into the rock ‘n’ roll game, Rob called up old friends and friends of friends to record an album of new material. While a bass player in his past, Rob now plays rhythm guitar and sings lead vocals.

Tell us about your current album. How did it come together?

Rob Moss and Skin-Tight Skin is the first music I made since I was the bass player in Artificial Peace and in Government Issue in the early 1980s. A few years ago I picked up a guitar and taught myself some covers. Then I wrote a bunch of originals and posted them on Facebook. A friend asked if I wanted to record them in his studio.

You have a different lead guitarist on every song. Why is that, and how did you get them to play on your album?
I wasn’t sure I had time to put together a working, touring band. And asking a lead guitarist to record 14 songs as a favor would’ve been a lot to ask. I thought it might be easier to ask 14 guys to play lead on just one song. So I called up old friends and friends of friends, thinking the worst they could say is ‘fuck you!’ Only two turned me down.

 

But kidding aside, it gave me the chance to work with guys who mean a lot to me. Back in 1979, I first saw Marshall Keith in the Slickee Boys. They were having so much fun on stage that I wanted to start my own band even though I didn’t know how to play an instrument. And around the same time, I first heard Bob ‘Derwood’ Andrews on the first Generation X album. That those two guys – and many more of my favorite musicians – would play on my new album is beyond tremendous.

 

How did you get ‘Derwood’ to say yes?

I just asked him.

 

What’s the response been to the album?

Many people comment on the song quality. That even after hearing the album once, they find themselves humming the songs. The earworm thing. To me, that’s the best compliment.

 


What was the early Washington, D.C. scene like for you?
It was new and fun, and things happened fast. Brian Gay (the original bass player in the GIs) and I started writing songs before the Teen Idles or any of the Dischord stuff happened. But there were almost no all-ages shows back then. Marc Alberstadt (original drummer in the GIs) has brother a few years older than us. He’d sneak us into places. That’s how we first saw the Slickee Boys, the Bad Brains, Tina Peel, Sorrows and other bands.

Musically, Brian and I took cues from :30 Over DC – a compilation album of local bands that came out in 1978. We formed a band called The Indians around the same time that Government Issue started. Brian on guitar, me on bass, Mike Manos on drums and a female singer. After one show, Steve Polcari replaced her and we changed our name to Assault and Battery.

 

We were still in high school and played shows with S.O.A., Minor Threat, the GIs and others. In September of 1981, Brian went to art school in Chicago. So Pete Murray, who’d been in Red C, became our new guitar player and we changed our name again.

As Artificial Peace we played mostly in the DC area, Baltimore and New York City. We were on the bill with a lot of early hardcore bands, including the Bad Brains. We also played with Black Flag on their Damaged tour. Recording-wise, we did a few sessions. One of which had three tracks on the Flex Your Head album and that entire session was later released as an album on Dischord.

 

I was going to University of Maryland, while the rest of the guys in the band were going to community college or not at all. I’d come home on weekends to practice. I had limited time, I wanted to work on new songs. But, at the time, they were less driven. That led to the band breaking up. They formed Marginal Man, and I went on to join Government Issue and play on their ’83 USA tour.

 

After the tour I learned I got accepted to transfer to a school in Boston. Stabb and Marc understood. But Tom was not too happy, knowing he’d have to break in another bass player. And by that time, for me, the scene was not so fun. People took themselves too seriously.

 

Today it’s easy to know what’s going on in different cities. How did you do that pre-Internet?

I had pen pals. Vote Vasko in Finland. And a bunch of kids in LA, Northern California, Toronto, Vancouver and elsewhere. We’d send each other letters about what was happening. We’d trade flyers, fanzines, cassettes and vinyl. So, we were aware of what was going on in different scenes.

 

Of course, there was Yesterday & Today Records. Skip Groff, the owner, would bring back records from London. He’d stock imports. Other than trading, that’s where I got most of my punk records.

What’s your plan, post-pandemic?

Well, I was never completely set on forming a touring band. I’m more interested in songwriting. So how things will affect me once venues open up is unclear. And I’m not sure I could find one lead guitar player who could do all those songs justice. As far as recording a follow-up album, I’ve written more songs that are as good or better than the 14 on the current album. I’d like to record them. We’ll see.

 

The album’s available as a CD and digital download on Here on Rock On Records

 

Note: the full list of musicians on the album can be found on the Bandcamp page and the album’s available as a CD and digital download on Bandcamp at the link above

Acetate Records unleashes Junkyard’s previously unreleased 1992 album “Old Habits Die Hard” on November 22!
“Junkyard is not a band from the 80s. Junkyard is not a band from the 90s. Junkyard is pure kick-ass bar-hopping motorcycle-ridin’ rock n roll that seems as relevant today as when they first started.” – Riki Rachtman

Junkyard opens the vault and blows the dust off a killer collection of recordings slated as the follow up to 1991’s “Sixes, Sevens and Nines.” Guitarist Brian Baker’s (Bad Religion, Minor Threat) opening riff serves up the concoction of raucous, bittersweet, bloozy rock that follows. Loose and tight in good measure, with stomping beats and dual guitars zigzagging around David Roach’s raspy howl… make no bones about it – this band could play.
The strut and swagger of “Pushed You Too Far” and the soulful “Tried & True” are balanced by the slow, dirge of “Blue Sin” and the melancholic duet “Hangin’ Around With My Dreams.” “Old Habits” recalls everything from Sticky Fingers-era Stones and ZZ Top to the Ramones and Lynyrd Skynyrd (who they toured with in ’91). More than anything else, though, it sounds like Junkyard.
Back in 1992, Junkyard was a well-oiled machine, their previous two releases performed well, they had multiple videos in rotation on MTV, and successful club and arena tours under their belt. Looking to infuse more of their musical sensibilities into their third effort, they began writing and recording and in a short few months, they had compiled over 20 songs. The new material reflected more of their alt/punk roots, which wasn’t much of a directional change considering their strong punk pedigree.
But the major label’s rush to jump on the next “popular music trend” quickly led to Junkyards demise. “At this point, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album had been out a few months and we all kinda knew which way the wind was blowing,” singer David Roach recalls, “we didn’t really ‘officially’ break up as a band, it was as simple as the party’s over.” So, with zero fanfare, the band members signed their release paperwork from Geffen (a whopping 2 page fax), gathered their gear and parted ways… the tapes were left to gather dust in the vaults.
Twenty years later, Geffen re-released the first two Junkyard albums and once again, the band was in demand. Tours of Japan and Europe followed, including a headlining slot at Serie Z Festival in Spain, and the band started writing again. In early 2017, Junkyard released “High Water”, their first full-length album in 26 years on LA indie, Acetate Records. The album peaked at 24 on Billboard’s Hard Rock Charts and Junkyard once again played to packed houses across America and Europe. With the band back in form, it seemed like the right time to dust of the tapes.
“Old Habits Die Hard” pretty well summarizes where the band was at the time,” Roach continues, “The addition of Tim Mosher (yes, way back then) brought another element to what Chris Gates and I had been doing. So it was the hard rock, blues, southern thing plus some more melodic and punk which was also a natural course considering where we came from.”
“During the months we recorded these songs we were in various stages of dealing with Geffen. Trying to write a single, but also trying to not care and write for ourselves. The songs indicate the direction we were ultimately not able to take until all these years later.”
“Old Habit’s Die Hard” will be released via streaming, CD and ‘Beer’ colored vinyl on November 22, 2019. A limited number of signed LPs will also be available via acetate.com.

A limited number of signed LPs will also be available!

Track Listing:
1. Introduction
2. Pushed You Too Far
3. Out Cold
4. Tried & True
5. Fall To Pieces
6. Blue Sin
7. Holdin’ On
8. Staredown
9. I Come Crawling
10. Hangin’ Around
11. Take Me Home
12. One Foot In The Grave