Blanco on Drums

In 1996 I went with my friend Mike Hartley to Orange County to play drums for a hardcore band he was trying to get started. They had a couple guitar players and a bass player. I don’t ever remember meeting a drummer come to think of it, but I am pretty sure I was coming down to replace somebody. Hartley and I had already toured the US together with my band ‘Rainchild’ and we were determined to have a metal/hardcore band which would slay all bands we had been witnessing. We wrote and recorded our first self-titled EP and released it on San Diego label; Words of War. The song from this video, which I believe is either titled “Freedom” or “Liberate Me” was from this EP and became a crowd favorite throughout the years. I don’t think we had been playing this song regularly on this tour, but for our friends of Seattle, where we frequented often, we wanted to pull out a little special treat. This was June 1st, 1999. We had spent the prior 3 years mostly on tour and performing shows.

* excerpt from an old bio*
Countervail started slowly in the late months of 1996 and had already done a full U.S. tour in the summer of 1997 with no releases to rely on. Countervail found great satisfaction in touring and sharing their deeply personal music with people all over the U.S. and Canada.

They played over 100 shows in 1999, including a full U.S. and Canada tour, three West Coast tours, and a tour of Hawaii. Using the momentum from their debut EP (Words of War Records) and their second EP “An Empty Hand For A Heart” (Phyte Records), Countervail’s strength and popularity as a band continue to grow.

Their first full length CD, “The Most Abused Word,”(New Age Records 2000) was recorded with Eric Stenman (Will Haven, Far, Deftones, Training for Utopia) behind the controls. Countervail go beyond labels of hardcore, metal or emo having shared the stage with bands like Converge and Bane.

I’ve always enjoyed the hardcore scene. I am deeply rooted here. It wasn’t about the music. It was about the release. We would write whatever music we wanted to, but there was for sure always one thing on our mind…. What does this song need to do to make people feel like: dancing, moshing, slamming, windmilling, stage diving, screaming, singing, and my personal favorite walking. (California Take Over at Showcase Theater 1994? I walked off the stage across faces and made it a good solid 6 steps. It’s on film somewhere and still one of my proudest hardcore moments:)
If you don’t know what I’m talking about feel free to watch this video: Teaching how to Mosh & Stage Dive.

This video was for Hellfest Volume 3. I think we played the original Hellfest 1 in 1996 with Indecision and possibly Hellfest 3 in 1998 with Snapcase, Today is the Day, Coalesce, BoySetsFire and more.

Great times with great friends throughout the years. So many people. So many bands. So many shows. So many towns, couches, pasta dinners, breakdowns, gas stations, truck stops, the milk game,  poo-dollar…. and so many more memories.



4 Responses

  1. ctrvl

    Wow, such a great band and such an inspiration to me in that time period (my email address is proof of that). Ray, there was a movie that came out in the late 90s about a suburban party invaded by the undead that IIRC had Countervail’s music on it as well as possibly some music from other New Age Records bands – do you remember the name of that movie?


    • RayBlanco

      That is awesome! Thanks for hanging around for so long 🙂
      The movie was titled 42K. I was a producer on the movie…and was also a machete carrying masked guy who gets blasted…..and jumps into the pool. hahah Good Times.

      • ctrvlc

        Ha! I never realized you were in that movie. Just ordered it from Amazon, so thanks for reminding me of the name 🙂

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