Five Questions With South Florida's Hardcore Son Chip Walbert
Richard Walbert, better known as Chip (or xCHIPxSem) has been a member of the South Florida hardcore community for many years and he has performed with some classic bands like Destro and All Hell Breaks Loose.
He's also one of the nicest people around and an impulsive cataloguer of South Florida's punk and hardcore history as evidenced by the pair of blogs he maintains.
We recently had a chance to play the five questions game with him and here's how it went.
Crossfade: First off, who are you? Where do you come from? What bands have you played in? And what do you think about the possibility of Star Wars Episodes VII through IX happening in your lifetime?
My name is Richard Charles Walbert II or xCHIPxSEM. I was born in Tampa, but moved to Miami in 1985. My parents were raised here and wanted to move back, so I've spent the majority of my life here. As of now, I've played guitar in Destro, All Hell Breaks Loose, Until the End, Where Fear and Weapons Meet, and No Excuses. I have also sung for Dance Floor Justice. Currently, I'm in the process of putting together a new project which has not been named yet. Provided that George Lucas stays healthy, I could see him making VII through IX.
I am a huge fan and collector of Florida music, especially punk and hardcore. And I use your website for information and missing pieces in my collection. What is your goal, wants, needs with it?
Well, I'm glad you like it. That was my intention when I started putting it together: To remind those who were there of a time in their lives that meant something special as well as to educate the new kids about the history of a great scene we had. I haven't really put much effort into the site lately. When I started the site, I was living in Tallahassee and would make as much effort to contact people from the scene when I came down to Miami for a visit. More and more, people would agree but then cancel on me. It was just very disheartening and caused me to lose steam.
I still want to continue working on it. I just need the motivation. As far as what I'm looking for, I'd love to get the Donut Run demo that numerous people have asked me about. Old Space Cadet releases, Far Out Records, Brethren shirts, Culture, Morning Again, Bird of Ill Omen...
How do you feel about the current state of HC in Florida, the nation, and the world at large? After many years of SXE (straight edge) living, what are your thoughts on the culture?
To be quite honest, I haven't been as active lately in the scene. I feel somewhat disconnected since I haven't been out to a show in a while. I do keep in touch with many local kids who keep me up-to-date on what's happening, though.
ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE
At 32, I still call myself straight edge and am proud to do so. Straight edge is just not considered "cool" anymore. It seems like no one really cares anymore. So I continue to fly the flag, showing the new generation that they don't have to follow what everyone else is doing. I'm not telling them they should be straight edge, just that they can make their own choices.
What are the possibilites of a Destro reunion? I know you've folded the t-shirt company. But can people still acquire some of that gear?
A Destro reunion is actually happening in June at Churchill's. I can't remember if it's the 25th or the 26th. But it's happening that weekend. At my wedding last year, it was the first time in about three years we were all in the same place at the same time. We decided now was a good time to play a show since we missed playing those songs.
The t-shirt thing just kind of ran its course. If anyone is still interested in anything, they can email me at Dancefloorjustice305@yahoo.com.
What can we expect from Chip Walbert -- musician, historian, webmaster -- in the near future? Any bands you'd like to see reunite?
Currently, I'm working on a new project which will be a straight edge band. I'm also working as a mobile DJ for DJLeroy.com. I had taken a long break from DJing but I started up again about eight months ago and I'm having a great time doing so. I plan to continue working on Stuck in the Past, my '90s hardcore webzine as well as the South Florida Music Scene blog.
If anyone has anything to contribute for the blogs (demos, practice recordings, zines, flyers, shirts, etc.), please drop me an email.