I did this interview with Rick Healey of the band 25 Ta Life via mail in June of 1996
What are the band members names?
How long have you guys been together?
25 Ta Life first started in February of 1993 after I went on tour with Agnostic Front. I came back from the tour, Agnostic Front was breaking up, and I wanted to start a band similar to Agnostic Front; a band about the scene, about sticking together, to educate the kids, to motivate people, and get them active doing fanzines, helping each other out, sticking together, spreading flyers, etc. For awhile hardcore was in a pretty much sad state. There wasn’t that many bands in the early nineties. Hardcore got into the bigger clubs, a lot of the bigger labels took over. The scene fell apart, there’s no denying it. Without the kids there scene fell apart and that still holds true today. It’s all about the kids and all of our efforts to keep the scene strong. Once all the kids aren’t involved anymore, we leave it up to these people, the scene’s gonna die. That’s why 25 Ta Life, Commin Correct, Back Ta Basics, I totally support the whole DIY thing.
I have a side band now called Commin Correct. It’s a total DIY band. It will never be on a bigger label. It’s about staying true to the scene and keeping the scene strong. Any profits made go back into the scene, my label, making flyers; all the profits go into the scene. I urge people to do that and keep the scene alive. If we leave it to bigger labels, the scene is going to fall apart. They are only in it to make a profit from the hardcore scene. Meanwhile, bands like 25 Ta Life and a lot of the new bands are doing it from the heart like Holdstrong from Massachusetts, Cornerstone from Connecticut, Hatebreed from Connecticut, Krutch from Pennsylvania. All these bands are doing it for the love of music. One King Down from Albany. All these kids do it from the heart for the love of music. One For One from New Jersey. They’re doing it for the love of music, that’s it.
25 Ta Life and Back To Basics definitely have a DIY attitude. Would you like to comment on that?
Well I pretty much just commented on that. To me, hardcore is my way of life. It’s things you believe in. For a long time ever since I first got into this music since I went to my first show at the end of 1985, 1986. I had all the records: Victim In Pain, Cause For Alarm, Cro-Mags, DRI, Corrosion of Conformity, stuff I listened to back then since then I was hooked. For awhile there it seemed like the scene fell apart but I still felt it in my heart. It had a tremendous effect on my life, like with drugs. For awhile now I’ve been straight, not that I am Straight Edge but this hardcore scene has guided me and helped me in my life to choose what I want to do and help me get a clear head so I’m able to do this nowadays and basically try to carry the scene and help other kids out and show them the way.
Ya know a lot of people think the scene is about them. But with 25 Ta Life, Back To Basics, Commin Correct, it’s about everybody. It’s about kids singing along. It’s about people getting involved, helping me distro my records. It’s about the family and meeting new people; that’s totally what I’m in this for. A lot of people want to bring up the past issues and things like that but I was younger then and even though I don’t feel bad for anything I did, ya know, bebecause you got to live life to learn about it, to know what it’s about. Make mistakes, not that everybody has to, but for me it was something I needed to do to find out. But I definitely choose a better path in life ya know? I’m definitely out to help people. It’s a good thing to be able to make a change and make yourself become a better person. Like I didn’t have to I could still be walking around like a tough guy, but I don’t care about that no more. It’s like nobody cares about that. You want to go through life and have a good time.
I heard that 25 Ta Life’s album is going to be on Victory. If so, how has your relationship been with them?
As far as the new record goes, we talked to Victory. I like Tony a lot, I respect his effort and what he does to keep the hardcore scene alive. I thought it would be a really good label to be on. I talked to Tony and he seemed really into it. There’s nothing definite, no contract signed. Even if the record doesn’t come out on Victory it won’t hurt 25 Ta Life. I just think Victory has a lot of bands right now and we wouldn’t be the main band that he focuses on. We might shop for something better. We are just going over contracts. But Victory is definitely a label we are considering being on. With Back Ta Basics, Tony carries all my stuff and I carry all the Victory stuff so we have a good relationship ya know? I support him and he supports everything I do. Regardless, 25 Ta Life is going to have a new record out in early 1997 called Strength Through Unity: The Spirit Remains. Some of the new songs are gonna be Through These Eyes, Back Ta Basics, I Still Believe, and Turning Point. Back Ta Basics is about being involved and taking the scene back. Turning Point is about life, growing up, maturing, and pushing your life in a positive direction. I Still Believe is about how a lot of people bad mouth the scene, saying bands are trying to relive the past. I mean, whatever, it’s something that’s in my heart and I carry on. I still believe whether or not people believe in the message anymore of brotherhood, unity, and helping each other out. Fighting against that isn’t going to help. Help one another out and do the best you can do. Strive for world peace or just to make the world a better place and the hardcore scene a better place. To me it’s not about one band or one specific individual person. It’s for everyone, every kid, every band, every fanzine; there’s room for everybody. If you’re not wanted somewhere else, hardcore to me used to be when I was picked on by the jocks in school or the people who didn’t understand my look bebecause I was like a punk rock kid and earlier on I was into metal and stuff and people ya know looked at me weird or had something to say so I was like a kid who was always fighting for what I believed in and that’s totally what hardcore is. To me, the scene is about accepting and understanding each other. Everybody’s different, but that’s what we have in common and we should spread our message and what we believe. Just look out for each other and keep the scene strong.
What do you think of bands like Shelter, Focused, 108, etc who bring religion into hardcore?
When I was younger I didn’t believe in the whole religion thing, but as time went by in my life I’ve learned to accept other people and their opinions. Who am I to put them down and say that doesn’t belong. I’m not down with having any rules to follow but as far as a band like Shelter, I don’t know, maybe I’m just getting older, but I kinda respect those guys. You know people say their making money and why does he wear this, but you know they are a band with a good message and they’ve been doing it for and stuff and Ray Cappo you know they just do their thing. I totally respect those guys and 108. They are living a positive life so I really respect bands like that. With 25 Ta Life a lot of people have their differences with us but I mean just accept people for who they are and if you don’t like it, that’s cool. That’s your opinion but respect people for what they do for the scene and for them being there and keeping the scene alive making fliers, etc. Just because I’m not a Krishna doesn’t mean I can’t be down with 108 or Shelter. I’ve played shows with both those bands. I think it’s totally cool. Respect, that’s the whole thing. Same with that big Earth Crisis show last week when they pulled the plug, they were throwing yogurt on the kid and the fighting with the kid who ran through the crowd with the fur coat on. That’s kinda disrespecting Earth Crisis. They are a band that sticks up for the animals, the weaker things in life who can’t defend themselves. I’m not with the whole militant thing, like if somebody is drinking knock the beer out of his hands, because that is there opinion. If I was still drinking beer and some kid tried to knock my beer out of my hands I’d knock his teeth out. I’m not gonna lie. That’s everyone’s individual right to drink a beer, not drink a beer, be vegan, not be vegan, be Krishna, not be Krishna; labels divide things. Respect brings it together regardless. Respect and looking out for each other that’s all I gotta say. Don’t talk shit about bands because what goes around comes around. If you talk shit be able to back up what you say. Don’t be on a computer saying shit where people can’t get to you. Bands who don’t want my help and wanna talk shit, I’m just not gonna play shows with your bands be because I don’t wanna be a part of that scene. I wanna be a part of a scene where people care about the music and are out to have a good time. The fight is against society, against those who put us down for our beliefs.
What do you think of the bands that played the Middlesex show?
Earth Crisis are amazing. I think they have a good message. They are really good guys. I totally support those guys. What happened at the Middlesex show was ridiculous. Mouthpiece was always a band I really liked. Tim’s a good guy and I’ve always supported his band. They’ve been doing it for awhile so I totally support him. Battery are really nice guys. Good band from DC. All three bands are really good and that was a good show besides all the idiocy that happened. But what are you gonna do? Like I said, rise above the ignorance.
Any closing comments?
Thanks for your support Bill. I really appreciate you spreading the word for 25 Ta Life and giving me a chance to show what I’m about. Good with your zine! Peace, HARDCORE LIVES UNITY!