Let it never be said that I let an opportunity go to waste. I was stuck in northern Connecticut (roughly 5 square miles of shopping plazas, and nothing else) for my “day job,” and decided I should take advantage of being down here and see if I could interview the guys from Cry Havoc! (yes, I was very excited to interview them, but the exclamation point is actually part of the band’s name, à la Against Me!). I first met Cry Havoc!’s drummer, Jon Snyder, when I was working merch for the Ducky Boys in Albany at a show where these guys also played. They rocked the shit out of Albany, and I felt like I owed Jon a favor after he bought a ton of merch from me…I thought I was just a great salesgirl, but after witnessing proof of his 3,000+ cd collection, I guess he’s just an aficionado. Or possibly an addict.
The band, comprised of Jonny Disaster (vocals), Jesse Delinquent (guitar/vocals), Jon “Snyderock” (drums), and Skot Apathetic (bass/vocals), describes their style as “old school” hardcore punk. Jon credits early-80s hardcore bands like Black Flag, Agnostic Front, Bad Brains, and Boston’s own SSD as some of their influences.
Jon came into the punk scene about 10 years ago, thanks to Jonny, who introduced him to the music and the inclusive culture of this crazy scene that somehow brings a bunch of misfits together. No one in the scene is out for themselves, and that appealed to Jon. He only started playing the drums 7 years ago, and is completely self-taught. Since these four friends already spent time together jamming and hanging out, they decided they might as well form a band, and so Cry Havoc! started in 2006. They are DIY by choice, self-releasing and recording some solid tracks on Preparation for Combat and Call for Attention.
As “grown-ups” in the scene, the band members base their touring around wives, families, and jobs back home. Cry Havoc! is focusing on playing out-of-state shows as much as possible, and will be seen in Vermont, Long Island, and New York City in the coming months. Although Jon’s goal is a longer tour, the band confines itself to only Saturdays away from home for the time being. This is unfortunate, especially when coupled with the lack of a scene here in the New Britain area. Cry Havoc!’s “local” shows are usually in New London, Danbury, and New Haven. Jon doesn’t seem to mind, however, and says that the band is willing to make the drive in order to be a part of a bigger punk scene.
Although Jon claims that the band members are “dorks” in real life, on stage they pack major intensity and energy into every song. Jonny loves to be on the floor, in the faces of the crowd, and the band thrives on building that audience interaction. In particular, check out the politically-charged “College Is Combat”—the studio version samples a clip from Full Metal Jacket, and live it’s one of the band’s favorite songs to play. Jon says that the song is actually based on information gleaned from the war documentaries favored by the band, as well as personal observations of the world. You can check out 7 of their songs (including the must-hear “Catch Me in the End” and “Dead Dead Dead Dead”) on ReverbNation and Facebook, where you can also find their lyrics—you may need them to follow along with Jonny’s fast-paced verses, but give them a few listens and you’ll be hooked.