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Poison Idea: The Indestructible Kings Of Punk

The metal-friendly punks are back for another round

The histories of punk and metal are littered with the empty shells of bands that had a massive influence on generations of musicians and fans without ever receiving an appropriate degree of recognition for their seminal efforts. Fortunately, some iconic bands stick around long enough to continue making their presence felt. One listen to the brand new Poison Idea album, Confuse And Conquer, should make it more than apparent that the Portland punk legends are a vital and vibrant force, even 35 years after they originally formed. Despite a sporadic and often turbulent career, frontman Jerry A. has weathered the storm for long enough to know that punk rock dedication is a commitment for life.

With classic albums like Kings Of Punk and the immortal Feel The Darkness, Poison Idea raised the bar for balls-out punk rock with a discernible metal edge, receiving plaudits from across the heavy music spectrum along the way, not least when their songs were covered by both Pantera and Machine Head during the '90s. Looking back to those very early days, however, Jerry is eager to stress the humble nature of his band’s origins.

“The real starting point was the very first Wipers show,” he says. “The Wipers were the band in Portland… everybody needs to check out that first record, Is This Real?, because that was life-changing shit for us. That first show… I’d never seen anything like that before – I was, like, 13 or 14 – but it changed my life. I didn’t know what I was seeing and hearing, but I knew that I loved it and I needed more of it in my life.”

“Portland wasn’t like London or LA, but that made the scene more exciting in a way,” he continues. “But dressing like a punk rocker could get you punched in the face real easy! What we had was a city full of rednecks and then all these punk kids… more than once, someone stopped their car and got out and attacked us, just for dressing the way we did. But that just made us more determined, I guess.”

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