Negative Approach: "You Can't Kill Hardcore"

Want to raise hell for Halloween? Negative Approach and the Casualties are coming to Churchill's Pub with their Destruction Campaign Tour: Coming to Ruin Your Town.

These are two bands that have inspired more wild, reckless rockin' than Johnny Cash shooting crank with Elvis at a Motörhead show.

We here at Crossfade caught up with NA's John Brannon as the band loaded its van for the 15-city, seven-week road trip. Here's what he had to say.

Crossfade: Wassup? I'm callin' from the newspaper. You got time for an interview?

John Brannon: We're loading up the van to head out on tour. Later, when we take a lunch break. Whatever. Let's just fuckin' do it right now.

How did you get together with the Casualties?

We played a show together in Memphis at the House of Blues. We share the same booking agent, and they said, "Hey, you guys wanna go on tour together?" And we said, "Fuck it, why not."

How many tours have you been on now?

I been on tour for 35 years. I just can't keep track of that shit, y'know.

What's your history with Miami?

Our first time ever playing in Miami was just last year with Off. That was the first time I ever been in Miami. The crowd was great; the show went great. It was cool.

What kept you out of here for so long?

We just could never get any gigs down there back in the day. In 1984, we played Gainesville, and that was the farthest we ever went. And then we did this thing with Off, and it was like, "Too bad we stayed away for so long."

How did the music come about originally?

A lot of those songs just came out of how I hated people who fucked with me growing up, and destroying, and people telling me I can't do this and can't do that. I was just like, "I'm gonna do my own thing. Fuck you. I live my life my way."

Who was giving you shit?

Just like everybody, man. All the fuckers in high school, people who told us we couldn't play this style of music. Y'know, there's a never-ending amount of assholes out there. Always some motherfucker telling you that you can't do something.

When's the last time that happened to you?

That shit just comes up in everyday life. People you work with, people you know. Somebody's always trying to fuck with you.

What's the lineup for the band?

Me, John Brannon, on vocals. Harold Richardson on guitar. Ron Sakowski on bass. And our original drummer, Opie, couldn't make it, so we got John from the Meatmen playing with us. Except for the drummer, it's the same Negative Approach I been playing with for the past ten years.

How'd you pick up the drummer?

I've known the Meatmen for, like, 30 years. They practice down the hall from us. And we done a lot of tours together.

Where do you practice?

Down the Cass Corridor. Downtown Detroit. In the ghetto.

What's it like out there for somebody who's never been there?

Probably kind of scary. It's all desolate, burned-out buildings. Always gotta watch your back for somebody trying to jump you or something. It's tough in Detroit.

You ready for action?

We're gonna come down and tear Miami up. This one is gonna be crazy. We been playing a lot and just did a huge-ass tour in Europe. The band is really tight. We're playin' everything and more. All the old shit, new shit, old shit, good shit. The set's really gonna go by quick.

How'd the band get its name?

I just came up with it one day, thinking about what kind of music we wanted to do. I said, "We should just take a Negative Approach with whatever we fuckin' do." And that sounded good.

So you came up with the song after the name?

Kinda, yeah. I figured we needed a theme song. So...

What bands do you like?

Basically, all the shit from Detroit: Alice Cooper, the Stooges, MC5. Detroit created punk rock. That's three of the best of all time. We always had good music around here, growing up.

What do you think about hardcore music still being around in almost 2014?

It's kinda crazy. We started doin' this, and we didn't think it would last this long and still be popular. It's cool, it's cool. You can't kill hardcore. It's always gonna be there.

Negative Approach and the Casualties' Destruction Campaign Tour,

with Acidosis, Old Habits, and Super Mutant, plus DJ Hussler. Friday, October 25. Churchill's Pub, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami. The show starts at 8 p.m., and admission costs $20. Ages 18 and up. Call 305-757-1807, or visit

Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jacob Katel
Contact: Jacob Katel