Scream were an amazing hardcore band from the musical wasteland of Alexandria, Virginia. Because they were outsiders in DC, they were initially ignored by the cliquey Dischord punks and played local shows and keggers with whatever bad bands were in the area. The Stahl brothers, Franz and Pete, led the band on guitar and vocals. Skeeter Thompson (bass) and Kent Stax (drums) held up the rhythm end. The band began playing as Scream when Pete joined in 1981, and did a US tour in the summer of 1982 despite having no record out. By this time they had caught the eye of Ian MacKaye, who recruited them to record an LP for Dischord. Still Screaming was recorded in three days and came out in late 1982.
Scream was a diverse band who wasn't afraid to play their instruments. Pete's vocals, which contained actual singing, stood out from the more macho east coast hardcore bands. They ventured even further away from hardcore with This Side Up, their second LP. Dischord's financial troubles forced the band to finance the record themselves, splitting it between two sessions. Side A was done with Dr. Know of the Bad Brains turning the knobs, perhaps inspiring the reggae that pops up on the record. Side B found the band adding heavy metal guitar player Robert Lee "Harley" Davidson - a rocker dude from a local cover band who beefed up the Scream sound. In the summer of 1986 the band toured Europe, which was at the time still a major feat for a US hardcore band. They became more poltically engaged, championing leftist politics along with fellow DC bands like Beefeater and Soulside. The title of 1987's Bang the Drum LP was inspired by Positive Force's punk percussion protests at the South African Embassy.
After the long Euopean tour, Kent Stax quit the band to be with his wife and child. He was replaced by the mighty Dave Grohl, a teenage veteran of suburban DC bands Dain Bramaged and Mission Impossible. Grohl's first show with Scream was an Amnesty International benefit and Scream's set ended with part of the audience marching on the embassies of various countries known for human rights violations. The final album, No More Censorship, on RAS records was a pretty big success, but not the commercial breakout the band had hoped for. Also, Skeeter's drug problems forced him to leave the band. He rejoined briefly in 1989, but promptly pawned all the equipment to buy drugs. Further attempts to put the band back together proved fruitless, and ended when Grohl left to join Nirvana. After that band's demise, he started the Foo Fighters, which briefly included Franz. Pete Stahl was the Foo Fighters' road manager and played in Goatsnake and earthlings? Scream did end up doing a reunion tour in 1996 with Grohl on drums. Kent Stax recently resurfaced for an Iron Cross reunion, although he wasn't originally in that band.
STILL SCREAMING LP (Dischord, 1982)
THIS SIDE UP LP (Dischord/Sixth International, 1985)
WALKING BY MYSELF 7" (Jungle Hop, 1986)
BANGING THE DRUM LP (Dischord, 1987)
NO MORE CENSORSHIP LP (RAS, 1988)
MARDI GRAS 7" (DSI, 1990)
YOUR CHOICE LIVE LP (Your Choice, 1991)
FUMBLE LP (Dischord, recorded 1989/released 1992)
LIVE AT THE BLACK CAT CD (Torque Records, 1998)
STILL SCREAMING/THIS SIDE UP CD (Dischord, has both records)
BANGING THE DRUM/FUMBLE CD (Dischord, has both records minus one song)
BOUNCING BABIES LP (Fountain of Youth, 1984) "Ultra Violence/Screaming"
FLIPSIDE VINYL FANZINE LP (Gasatanka/Enigma, 1984) "Fight"
ANOTHER SHOT FOR BRACKEN LP (Positive Force, 1986) "Green Eyed Lady"
F-R-5 LP (Fetal, 1986)
VIVA UMKHONTO! LP (Mordam/Konkurrel, 1987)
STATE OF THE UNION LP (Dischord, 1989) "Ameri-Dub"
20 YEARS OF DISCHORD 3CD box set (Dischord, 2002) "Fight/American Justice", "Search for Employement"
Interview from Flipside #36
This is a 1982 interview with Scream and John Stabb, done while Scream was on tour in California.
Scream Section on Dementlieu Punk Archive
Find two interviews here.
Interview from Flipside #48
Part two of a "mid-period" Scream interview from 1986 (I've never seen part one). Check out the "The Purpose of Life" section...
easy subCULTure mp3s
There's two mp3s here from a Scream show in 1985 - good songs (especially the version of "Laissez-faire") and the recording quality isn't too bad either.