DoubleCrossXX.com: a Chat With Site Founders Tim McMahon and Brian 'Gordo' Jordan
One gander at the site will show you the men behind it have a serious passion for the 'core; the kind that doesn't die once college rolls around or the first mortgage payment is due. Since such dedication is hard to find, Noisecreep sat down with Tim and Gordo to find out what keeps them documenting this normally unrecognized scene as well as the general history of the site.
Please give the chronological who, what, when and why of Double Cross.
Tim McMahon: I had done printed fanzines starting back in the late '80s and into 1990, so the idea of doing fanzines and documenting hardcore really goes all the way back then for me. I remember sometime around 1996 I had the idea of starting a new fanzine and I wanted to call it Double Cross. I still had stacks of hardcore photos from doing my last fanzines and throughout the '90s, my girlfriend shot photos at just about every show we went to, so I had plenty of visuals. I also did a few interviews, coordinated plans for a few more, but in the end, everything sat and my lofty goals exceeded my actual free time to make it all happen.
Then in 2008, everywhere I turned, people were doing blogs. Some blogs I thought were pretty impressive, some I thought were pretty lack luster, but it seemed easy enough to do, so I took a stab at it. There were no real plans or visions, I just figured I'd call it Double Cross and start posting all of this stuff I had lying around. I scanned some photos, got a few videos digitized, dug up a few of the old interviews I had done from years back that never got used and
within a few days, Double Cross was born.
It wasn't really until I showed Gordo what I had been putting together and asked him if he'd like to be apart of it, that things really took off. Gordo turned my little project into a finely tuned, focused, well oiled machine. Before I knew it, we were planing interviews and piling up the content. Gordo was unquestionably the shot in the arm that Double Cross needed and helped take it to the next level.
Brian Jordan: I always loved interviewing people. It's a little weird selling somebody on that, however, when there's no actual media behind it. You look like a stalker. Double Cross gave me a reason to track people down and interrogate them. Tim essentially had a hardcore museum in his basement and the ability to combine it all was apparent.
People criticize Double Cross for concentrating largely on the late '80s Straight Edge Hardcore scene.
Brian Jordan: Truth be told, Tim and I actually love a lot of hardcore and punk way outside that realm. But I think I speak for the two of us when I say that the late '80s SEHC scene speaks loudest to us in terms of obsession over details and a never-ending quest for total dissection of all aspects involved. For instance, I love a band like Circle Jerks. I can read details and stories and want to know about more than just the music. But I will seriously go to the ends of the earth to find out something I don't yet know about a band like Project X and then document it and analyze it from every angle. Am I insane? Probably. But tastes are tastes and I just know what I really enjoy. I'm not going to be a superfan of something unless I really feel compelled.
What do you guys feel are the 'crown jewels' in the crown of the Double Cross site as far as past content goes?
Brian Jordan: My number one is the Jules Massee (of Side by Side and Alone in a Crowd) interview. Never thought we would land that. That guy was shrouded in a level of privacy, mystery, and detachment that for years was probably only eclipsed by Mike Judge - at least in my mind. I finally decided to just email him one day. Didn't expect to hear back. Sure enough he responded with a cool email saying he was familiar with the site and wasn't really into the idea of an interview but wanted to at least talk to me on the phone. So I call Jules from Alone in a Crowd having no idea what to even expect. We ended up talking for a real long time. He said he was hesitant to wax nostalgic in an interview about such a brief time in his life. I appreciated his desire for privacy and disinterest in weird recollection. He said he'd think about it. I took it as "no thanks," but still hung up thinking the guy was just a very intelligent and intellectual class act.
We traded occasional emails and phone calls. Sometimes we just talked about work. He was sort of like a cool older brother to me. I could see the old NYHC gears turning as he was recalling times, people, and places. For a guy that said initially he could hardly remember anything from back then, he started pulling out really unbelievable details. He was thinking.
The Japanese earthquake and tsunami hit. He told me he wanted to do something to help. He saw that we had a vehicle and wanted to do something to help by way of charity, and thought selling his records and donating all the money was appropriate. An interview would make the auction visible. I think he felt that if he was going to revisit his youth in the hardcore scene it deserved a current context that contributed, maybe even in a small way, to simply helping people. We ended up raising a big chunk of money and he was totally selfless. It was just a good thing.
This was a guy that really put a lot of thought into how he conducted himself and was very clear in what he wanted to say. The interview speaks for itself and is a NYHC masterpiece...but even I'm not sure it conveyed the full extent of just what an impressive dude I think he is from all of our conversations. It's no surprise to me that he is successful in everything he has done and continues to do. He's just a class act. Never even met him but I consider him a friend first and the legendary singer of Side by Side and Alone in a Crowd second.
Tim McMahon: There's of course the obvious interviews, but one of the interviews that I've always been particularly excited about was the one we did with Jay Laughlin from Turning Point.
Turning Point were one of those bands that always meant a lot to me and that I felt particularly connected to because of them being from New Jersey. Some of those other great interviews we did, as incredible as they might have been, Jay's story just felt like it could have been my own. I could relate to the Turning Point story, I felt like I virtually lived through it and witnessed it first hand, so it felt a little more special than just hearing some old tales that I had no real connection to.
What are some of your 'dream' features' as far as the site goes?
Brian Jordan: I want to do a definitive interview with all members of Chain of Strength in a large fully-catered room with comfortable chairs over the course of a weekend. I'm not joking. I want the whole gloves-off history of the band in ridiculous detail starting back with Justice League and going into what all those guys did even after Chain. I want every rumor and talltale addressed in extensive detail. I love Chain of Strength...I love the love, the hate, the mystery, the criticisms, everything. I think they wrote 10 absolutely perfect hardcore songs with awesome lyrics on two flawless EPs with associated artwork, t-shirts, and design aesthetics that are outdone by no band to ever exist. I don't think all of it has been thoroughly and properly documented directly from the source, and with the upcoming reunions there's no better time. So, whenever they are ready so are we.
Tim McMahon: We've always wanted to catch up with Mike from Judge and Pat Dubar from Uniform Choice, so hopefully some day, at some point, at least one of those will happen.
Can you let us in on what's in the future for Double Cross?
Tim McMahon: We've got a pretty extensive interview running right now with Judge bassist, Matt Pincus, that we've all been pretty psyched about. We've also been in touch with Jason Farrell from Swiz about doing an interview. There's also always been talk of doing a substantial interview with Ray and Porcell together. I think having both of those guys in the same room, would really help them feed off on one another and produce some incredible stories and content.
Both of you have been involved in the hardcore scene for awhile now, especially Tim. What keeps you still motivated to do the site after all this time?
Tim McMahon: At this point, hardcore is literally woven into the fabric of who I am. I met my wife through hardcore, I got into my line of work through hardcore, I've met just about all of my friends through hardcore, how I live my life, my diet, it was all introduced to me through hardcore. Because of of how much hardcore has done for me, I feel the need to give back and in the process, through DCXX, document what's molded my life.
Head to www.DoubleCrossXX.com for your daily fix of hardcore and skateboarding mayhem.