2 Oct 2010

No trend, no scene, no movement: No Trend, the early years

Originally posted September 17, 2007
“No Trend fancied itself a sort of DC harDCore scene gadfly, razzing the scene from just outside the Beltway, pointing out its hypocrisy and conformity. In fact it was a fantastically creative and energetic scene, but it did bear some criticism, and No Trend felt it should provide that.” Michael Salkind

Michael Salkind, No Trend's first drummer, 1981. Lloyd Wolf

“No Trend's earliest conception, I think, was a briefly lived band called the Aborted. Jeff Mentges was the singer and Bob (I don't know his last name) the bass player, with 12-year-old guitar genius Brad Pumphrey the only person in the group who could play. It was my first gig drumming, and was well before I was able to play (perhaps that ability didn't come to me until at least after the contents of this CD, but if that's your opinion, keep it to yourself). We practiced in Bob's parents's basement in Maryland, perfecting such politically cutting material as 'Drive Fast, be an Ass' and 'Who's a Dick? Merv (Griffin).' We played one gig, at a party, with Government Issue, sometime during the summer of 1981. Our other two scheduled gigs were both canceled, and then I left for a year of college, at which point the Aborted probably ended.” Michael Salkind

Bob Strauser @ Lansburgh's, 1983. Jim Saah

“After college, which for me was about as much of a success as the Aborted, or less, I returned to DC and joined up with the burgeoning United Mutation, part of the Northern Virginia Hardcore Scene. I got kicked out in late 1982 for being unable to keep a tempo, something which United Mutation actually expected form a drummer, and was soon called by Jeff, who was now fronting a band called No Trend. They had a gig coming up, and had lost their drummer, and so I agreed to give it a go. It took the long lonely trip to Olney, Maryland, several times, tried out for the band, and then rehearsed several times. In the group was Jeff, still singing, and Bob (from the Aborted) still playing bass, and some guy named Frank who could torture a guitar like nobody's business. I think it was Frank who wrote all or most of No Trend's songs, and he's the guy who drew the cover of this CD (also the art work from No Trend's first EP, using the name Jim Jones; but Frank was quiet about his contributions.” Michael Salkind

Jeff Mentges @ Lansburgh's, 1983. Jim Saah

“No Trend was lucky (?) enough to have been picked up and brought under the wing of Steven Blush, an American University student who, as one half of what was to become Dog Bite Productions, produced many punk shows in the DC area. He became our manager, and we became an opening act mainstay for such bands as the Dead Kennedys and TSOL. We weren't very well liked by the more mainstream DC punk rockers, but developed a weird, fringe, suburban Maryland following, and even some support from the local rock critics (I was one of them, so that connection didn't hurt either). Still despite our rather rapid rise, the association with Steven Blush was one akin to selling ones soul to Beelzebub.” Michael Salkind

Steven Blush, DC, 1981. Steven Blush

“They hated everyone and everything; their grinding Flipper/PiL onslaught constituted a complete fuck-you to DC scene conformity. When I met 'em, they were shoving flyers that read 'No Trend, No Scene, No Movement' up all the Georgetown Coke machines frequented by Straight Edge types.” Steven Blush

“Mass Sterilization Caused By Venereal Disease by No Trend: that's the way anybody with any brains'd approach it if they still wanted to make really loud hard music in 1983. You had to do a Big Black or a Hose or a No Trend. You had to turn the music inside out, to the point where Hardcore kids were gonna hate it, so hopefully you'd find smarter people who still liked the dictates of aggressive music but weren't Hardcore.” Jack Rabid

“In March of 1983, we decided it was time to lay down some tracks, and we spent a fruitful day in Don Zientara's Inner Ear Studio, Arlington, Virginia, where all the hardcore bands recorded at the time. We recorded nine songs, three of which were destined to become No Trend's first record, simply entitled:

Skin-shedding “snake people”
the Man who gave birth
Humans with horns
Famed giants and dwarfs
The woman with 52 lb breast
Hideous cannibal rites
A 169 year old man
Siamese twins who married
The “leopard” family & much more!

Right after that we began planning our first trans-continental tour, a little summer jaunt planned to promote the EP which, by the way, actually saw the light of day right after we returned; not a lot of good that did us. The tour took place in June of 1983. We rented a station wagon and drove, within the span of three weeks, some 8500 miles, the four band members, our manager, and all of the equipment in this one car.” Michael Salkind

 No Trend @ 1349 Ogden, Denver, June 15th, 1983

“Right after we got home, the EP finally saw the light of day, the song “Teen Love” becoming a minor indie hit, garnering some positive reviews as well as radio airplay in several cities including Boston and San Francisco. My departure from the band was an imminent and mutual decision, though I did manage to play one last gig, in July at a place called Oscar's Eye in DC. I received 25 copies of the EP as my divorce settlement, and went on to play in a variety of bands in and around the DC area. None of them ever attained the status of No Trend, nor did I ever lose as much money and dignity.” Michael Salkind

No Trend @ Oscar's Eye, July 25th, 1983

“No Trend – the anti-DC DC band, to a fault. Their sound had more in common with Flipper than anything from the East Coast. They probably picked that just to annoy people. I first met Jeff and Frank when they came up to me at Yesterday & Today – 'Do you hate John Stabb?' 'Well, no, not really.' 'Do you hate Ian MacKaye?' Just real grim, negative stuff. I said, 'Stay in touch and send a tape.' The tape had more humor to it, but a much more fatalistic view than most bands. Frank told me everybody in the world should stop having kids as a solution to overpopulation. I've heard Frank killed himslef. He saw the big piture too clearly but wasn't able to get pleasure out of fighting it.” Jello Biafra

No Trend – Hanging Out In Georgetown

No Trend – Purple Paisleys Make Me Happy

No Trend – Teen Love
No Trend circa 1983 in a Los Angeles studio. Featuring members: Jeff Mentges, Frank Price and Jack Anderson. Manager Steven Blush subs for AWOL drummer, Greg Miller. Shot by Al Flipside for Flipside Videos.

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Excerpts taken from No Trend: The Early Months CD. Get it here.
More info here and here.


Anonymous said...

great post!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

perhaps the greatest band of all time

Anonymous said...

Their noise/music is the influence (ATTITUDE) here, right now, and... for never.
And maybe even after death it will be sounding in the "body"...

Thank you for informative post.

[just a nobody]

ONECHORD said...

Dear nobody,

Glad you like No Trend and endless thanks for your sweet comment.