ALL formed in suburban Los Angeles in 1987 when Milo Aukerman, the lead singer of the Descendents, left to pursue a graduate degree in biochemistry, forcing the band into a hiatus. The remaining members – guitarist Stephen Egerton, bassist Karl Alvarez, and drummer Bill Stevenson – decided to carry on as a band, adopting the title of the Descendents’ last studio album ALL as their official moniker.
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The Descendents are an American punk rock band formed in 1977 in Manhattan Beach, California, by guitarist Frank Navetta, bassist Tony Lombardo and drummer Bill Stevenson. In 1979, they enlisted Stevenson’s school friend Milo Aukerman as a singer, and reappeared as a punk rock band, becoming a major player in the hardcore punk scene developing in Los Angeles at the time. They have released eight studio albums, three live albums, three compilation albums, and four EPs. Since 1986, the band’s lineup has consisted of singer Milo Aukerman, guitarist Stephen Egerton, bassist Karl Alvarez, and drummer Bill Stevenson.
When art and music collide! “Artists Beyond the Chords” is a Dying Scene series highlighting stories from various visual artists in the scene. Our first installment showcases the work and wisdom of Chris Shary.
Chris Shary is one of the hardest working artists, who’s been a hard hitting staple in the punk community for decades. Based out of Stockton, California, Shary is also a dedicated drama teacher, father, husband, and self-proclaimed dork. He truly does it ALL (pun intended). Best known for his depiction of “Milo” (Descenedents), his works have also supported the likes of ALL, The Damned, Devo, Blink-182, The Meatmen, Circle Jerks, 7 Seconds, The Dead Milkmen, Agent Orange, Melvins, The Lillingtons, Chemical People, Masked Intruder, and so many more. His output ranges from album art, concert flyers, t-shirts, specialized merch items, and even action figures. With such an impressive resume, one might think it’s all done for notoriety, but deep down he’s just a huge fan expressing his undying love for music.
Shary’s artistic journey began when he was first able to hold a crayon and pencil, but really became serious at the tender age of 6. At 17 years old, he started creating pieces for different bands and has been going strong ever since. He often teeters between different portraiture styles such as vibrant pop-art induced color blocking and black and white sketch realism. His current art-weapons-of-choice are pen and ink, mainly sharpies, but he recently started working with acrylic paints again. Consistently creating is key to his process.
“I try and draw every day, but I do a lot of thinking prior to starting commissioned work, or if I am getting ideas together for a band I want to work with. I walk my dog for a half hour every morning right when I wake up and that’s time I devote to thinking of ideas of what I might create,” said Shary.
Another way he searches for ideas is by experiencing live music. Oftentimes you can catch him at some of the biggest shows snapping shots for his latest creations. Not many can rock a phone camera in the photo pit without getting a boot from security, but he has clout, and for good reason.
“I use the photos as reference when I’m working,” Shary explained, “but it also connects me with bands on a much closer level.”
As far as his true artistic motivation, Shary does not look outside of his own home. Family comes first, and it lives in the heart of each piece he creates.
“My family is the thing that inspires me the most. My wife Lori is also an amazing artist and she is constantly making incredible pieces and kinda pushes me because of that. My son is also a big fan of the work we do, so I always want to impress him.”
Like a machine, Shary regularly posts new works on his social media accounts. Whether it’s commissioned or perfectly juxtaposed doodles for his own pleasure. Music aside, subjects range from pop culture references, memes, movies, television, and comic books. He never lets himself falter or take long breaks away from art, and strongly believes no creative person should.
“I think the idea of an artist’s block is kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. People tend to psych themselves out and then can’t get out of it. It just seems like an easy way to not work. I’m all about making things and hitting headlines. Just keep doing work and there is no need to slow down.”
For those who want to break into the music art industry, Shary preaches the importance of repetition while remaining open and to your true self.
“Do the work. Draw everyday and be happy to do it for yourself. No one owes you anything so be happy for whatever happens. It’s not always a quick process so do the work,” he advised.
When asking Shary what he would like to leave Dying Scene readers with he offered a pure sentiment of kindness.
“Be nice to each other, and try seeing things from other people’s point of view.”
View and support Chris Shary’s artwork at:
Chris Shary’s Liner Notes
Do you have a favorite concert memory?
One of my biggest thrills was singing “Bloodstains” with DESCENDENTS in 97. I guess one of my all time favorite shows was one with Kevin Seconds, Steve Soto and Alyson Seconds in an acoustic setting. It was insanely beautiful.
What bands are you listening to now?
The Linda Lindas have been an obsession lately. Just saw Bleached and fell for them. Kinda been listening to the Lemonheads a lot lately and always Jawbreaker, and DESCENDENTS of course. Saw HoleHog in Sacramento the other night and they were rad!
What song best describes you as a person?
The theme from Shaft. At least that’s what I hear in my head a lot.
Yo! What’s going on, friends? Welcome back to the Dying Scene Record Radar, the weekly column where we present you with colorful plastic discs of music to spend your hard earned money on. We’ve got a lot of good shit in store for you this week, so I hope your wallet’s feeling fat, and your credit limit is nice and high. Enough fucking around, let’s get into it.
Super exclusive, world premiere, breaking news, OMGGGGGGGGG hoooooly fuuuuuuck!!!!!!
1-2-3-4 Go! Records has been on an absolute tear lately with exclusive reissues from Rancid, Bad Religion, and the Descendents, to name a few. In their latest email blast, the Oakland record store announced their next reissue will be an exclusive pink vinyl pressing of Money Money 2020 by The Network (which totally isn’t just Green Day wearing ski masks). This is coming at some point in September; join their mailing list to be among the first to know exactly when it’ll be available.
Former ALL frontman Chad Price’s band A Vulture Wake has announced a new full-length album! One.Kingdom.Animal is set to release in November on Thousand Islands Records. There are two vinyl variants, limited to 250 copies each. Go here to get your pre-orders in, and look out for a new single next week.
Lots of exciting stuff going on over at Mom’s Basement Records! Some of their upcoming releases include new LPs from two Canadian pop-punk bands, Avem and The Smelters, and a brand new record from Germany’s Hawaiians. They also have copies of the Punk Rock Raduno 5 compilation. Head over to their webstore for all of this and more. Our Canadian friends can get Avem’s Three Birds Stoned LP from the Forbidden Beat Distro.
Here’s another one from our friends at Thousand Islands Records. British punks On A Hiding To Nothing released their debut album We’ll Probably Be Fine, last year and it kicked fuckin’ ass. Now, it’s getting the wax treatment, with a super limited red vinyl pressing. Get your hands on this one here.
Now that all the cool stuff has been covered, here’s what I’ve been listening to… I continue to abstain from spending money on new records; after all, I’ve already got hundreds of the fuckin’ things, why do I need more? This week the Lawrence Arms and Frenzal Rhomb got some play time, along with Sloppy Seconds‘ classic Knock Yer Block Off. I’ve been listening to Sheboygan, WI’s Jetty Boys a lot in the car and at work, so I threw their record Let ‘Er Rip on the turntable, too. This is a fantastic pop-punk album – highly recommended listening!
And that’s all, folks! Another Record Radar in the books. As always, thank you for tuning in. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, and don’t blow too much money on spinny discs. See ya next week!
*Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Type “Record Radar” in the search bar at the top of the page!
Hello, loyal readers! Thank you for joining us for this week’s edition of the Dying Scene Record Radar, where we cover all things in the world of punk rock vinyl. Kick off your shoes and make yourself at home, because it’s time to run through this week’s releases. I hope you’re feeling spendy, because there’s a lot of good stuff that might find its way into your record collection. Let’s get into it!
Up first, we’ve got 1-2-3-4 Go! Records with another killer exclusive pressing of a classic record. This time it’s the Descendents‘ Everything Sucks, limited to 1,000 hand numbered copies on blue vinyl. This will be available on their webstore Friday, August 5th at 8am Pacific (11am Eastern). Join 1-2-3-4 Go!’s mailing list to be among the first to know when it goes up.
Brooklyn Vegan has an exclusive green 2xLP pressing of Social Distortion‘s Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes up to pre-order on their webstore. It’s limited to 300 copies and the color is pretty cool. Not a huge Social D fan myself, but this album’s alright. Also, if you join Brooklyn Vegan’s mailing list, you’ll get 10% off your order! Very nice.
Mom’s Basement Records has announced their upcoming Queers tribute compilation God Save The Queers Vol.2 will be available to pre-order this Friday, July 29th, at Noon Eastern. Head over to their webstore to grab your copy. Canadians can get this one from Insipid Records, and our Bri’ish mates will wanna hit up Council-Pop Records.
Hardcore punk supergroup OFF! has announced a new record! Free LSD is the band’s first new studio album in eight years. They’re describing it as “a heavy punk industrial free jazz soundtrack recording”. Watch the music video for the first single “War Above Los Angeles” below, and pre-order the record here. There’s also an orange variant available from Brooklyn Vegan.
A decade after the downfall of The Clash, frontman Joe Strummer would spend the last three years of his life making new music with his band The Mescaleros. A box set compiling the band’s three albums and a bonus LP of demos, outtakes, rarities, has been announced. This is due out on September 16th, and can be pre-ordered here. These records go for $100+ each on the resale market, so this is actually a pretty great deal.
Reminder! If you are attending SBAM Fest, Brackrock Festival, or Punk Rock Holiday over the next few weeks, Fat Wreck Chords is going to have exclusive new variants of a shitload of records at their merch booth. Titles include Lagwagon‘s Hoss, Strung Out‘s Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues, the new Face to Face album, and many others. These European festivals are the only place in the entire world these will be available. Check out Fat’s Instagram for more info.
Now that all the new and upcoming releases have been covered, I thought I’d share what I’ve been listening to lately! I saw my favorite band Less Than Jake for the 19th(?) time last week, so I’ve been on a LTJ kick lately. I got Losers, Kings, And Things We Don’t Understand at a show in Orlando back in… 2012? And this red pressing of See The Light was one of two Christmas variants limited to 100 copies. It had been a while since I listened to either of these, so I gave them a few spins.
That’s all, folks! Thanks as always for tuning in to the Dying Scene Record Radar. If there’s anything we missed (highly likely), or if you want to let everyone know about a new/upcoming vinyl release you’re excited about, send us a message on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll look into it. Enjoy your weekend, don’t blow too much money on spinny discs. See ya next week!
*Wanna catch up on all of our Record Radar posts? Yype “Record Radar” in the search bar at the top of the page!
Dallas, TX, Sloth Fist are a 5 piece punk / rock ‘n’ roll band that combine the melodic sense of Descendents and Teenage Bottlerocket with the fierceness of bands like Motorhead and Turbonegro. The result is an eclectic mix of songs that will satisfy anyone who likes their music hard and heavy, but still catchy with hooks galore.