Violent Apathy formed in March 1981 at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. The original band was three high school friends from Jackson, MI (Kenny, Dick, and Jim) along with Eliot Rachman, another WMU student who hailed from East Lansing. Eliot had worked on the 1980 U.S. Census in Lansing, MI with members of the Fix and the original publishers (Tesco and Dave Stimson) of Touch and Go magazine. He introduced the other members of the band to the then very new music of the Fix, the Necros, and Negative Approach, and all three bands provided a great deal of support and encouragement to VA.
Violent Apathy, through many lineup changes, played numerous shows throughout Michigan, particularly in Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo. The band played outside of Michigan only twice, both in 1983, once in Indianapolis and once in Chicago. The Chicago appearance, however, was supposedly attended by a young Dave Grohl and described as a formative experience for him in the book Come as You Are by Michael Azerrad. The band's sound also evolved considerably during its three and a half year life, moving from primitive thrash to a slower, more rock-oriented sound.
Another significant contribution of singer Kenny Knott was the formation in 1982 of Students for Progressive Action (SPA). SPA was an organization affiliated with Western Michigan University that brought many shows to Kalamazoo between 1982 and 1986. Some of the bands that played at SPA shows included Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Saccharine Trust, Minutemen, Butthole Surfers, Naked Raygun, Discharge, Misfits, Samhain, Minor Threat, and many others. Violent Apathy and many other southwest Michigan bands typically provided opening support at SPA shows.
Members of Violent Apathy have also been involved in a myriad of other musical endeavors. Kenny was part of the band 'Just Say No' in the late 1980s and is currently fronts the Monokulators in Lansing, MI. Tommy played in Black Spring during the 1990s and currently runs a brewery in Lawton, MI. Eliot and Jim were part of the original Meatmen. Eliot played with the Virelles, a group that eventually mutated into the God Bullies, another Kalamazoo legend. Also, Eric, Dick, and Eliot were part of a band from Kalamazoo College called Dick and the Balls.
HERE TODAY... 7" (Gravelvoice, 1983)
REASON 7" (Lost & Found, 1996)
PROCESS OF ELIMINATION EP (Touch & Go, 1981) "I Can't Take It"
CHARRED REMAINS tape (Noise/Version Sound, 1981) "Real World", "Hunger Strike", "Hypocrite"
I ESTIMATED YOUR WORTH TODAY tape (has demo tracks)
THE MASTER TAPES 2LP (Affirmation, 1983) "Society Rules", "Desperation Takes Hold", "Ignorance is Bliss"
Interview from the Zero #2
A 1983 interview with vocalist Kenny.