Negative Element

Negative Element was born in the southwest suburbs of Chicago in the town of Willow Springs. Their first show was on Halloween 1980 playing covers by the Germs, Dead Kennedys, Cockney Rejects and Richard Hell. The group at that time included former singer Sparky Match and Little Guy on bass. The original lineup was: Sparky - vocals Barry - guitar Chopper - guitar Little Guy - bass Keith - Drums Later, Sparky was replaced with Western Springs native Tom Faulkner. Little Guy also left the band which forced Chopper to take over bass duties. The group was influenced by early punk bands but especially the newer hardcore bands coming out of Los Angeles like Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Adolescents, Fear and others. The band was also heavily influenced at that time by a number of Oi! groups like Cockney Rejects, Blitz, 4 Skins, etc. Negative Elements first recording appeared on the Meathouse compilation on the Version Sound label from Ohio. They appeared along with Battalion of Saints, JFA, Minutemen, Rights of the Accused and others. This is the only recording released with Sparky on vocals. With Tom taking over vocals and Little Guy out of the group, Negative Element played their first gig on August 15, 1982 at Exit in Chicago, with MDC, Six Feet Under and Rights of the Accused. They later played numerous local shows with groups like Articles of Faith, Big Black, Rights of the Accused, End Result, Anti-Bodies, Seismic Waves and others. The group also played with some larger groups like Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat and JFA. The group was heavily influence by the skate punk scene at the time. They released their debut EP on Version Sound called, Yes, We Have No Bananas with 8 songs in 1983. Steve Albini (Nirvana Producer) wrote that the EP was just brimming with real enthusiasm, joy, intelligence, wit and well-directed anger. Better than some of the early D.C. records at capturing the essence of being a teenager whos too smart too play the game in Matter Magazine. They also recorded several tracks for a Chicago Hardcore compilation produced by Articles of Faith that never saw the light of day. They also have three songs on the Starving Dogs compilation documenting the Chicago punk scene. They group planned to release another singer on their own label called Negative Elements Very Own Record Label and No One Else Can Be on Here Except Us, So There, Inc. but the band broke up after half of its members moved to Peoria, Illinois. Barry and Chopper went on to play in a number of Central Illinois hardcore/punk bands including Caustic Defiance, Naked Hippy and the Outbreaks. Keith Lyons went on to play in Happy Toonz and is still involved in music and skateboarding. He is currently living in China. Tom Faulkner played with Rights of the Accused, Mystery Girls and the Rosehips. The group has survived the years by radio play and internet interest. Number 33 of Roctober Magazine from Chicago featured Barry and Chopper's numerous band projects in a larger interview and free CD in Summer 2002. The CD (Get in the Back with the Dogs!) included 17 of Barry and Chopper's musical projects including unreleased Negative Element tracks. Negative Element will be featured in the upcoming moves "You Weren't There! Chicago Punk 1977-194" with rare live footage and recent interviews with band members. Negative Element lyrics are also quoted in the new book, "TV a-go-go: Rock On TV from American Bandstand to American Idol" by Jake Austin. And if that ain't enough, the group is also listed in the book, "American Hardcore"

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