The Oi! Scouts Bio:
The Oi! Scouts started in the fall of 1995 when 15 year old punk fans Gabe Zander and Matthew Merix meet after attending the same local shows in northern NJ. Influenced by small town groups as well as those from the '77 and '82 U.K scene they started practicing with vocalist, Roger Decker and drummer, Jay Vanderwende. With Gabe originally on guitar and Matt on bass, the band started practicing and wrote at a very prolific pace resulting in a full set of originals.
They played their first show July 4th, 1996 and had an OVERWHELMING response. Many memorable songs were written during this time and the band was asked to do two songs for a split e.p with Oi! Band Squiggy on Squigtone records. The Oi! Scouts contributed "Another Battle" and "Police Harassment." The release INSTANTLY sold out and the band started to play out of town shows at now legendary venues like Coney Island High, The Pipeline, and The Cove while gaining attention from promotors, fans, and bands alike.
They were asked to do their first e.p on up and coming label Charged Records started by Jake from The Casualties. Directly after recording 4 tracks, singer Bernard announced he would be leaving. The band tried different singers and went through multiple lineup changes after the release of the e.p. and took a break from practicing and playing shows. The former label released an album consisting of all the bands studio material and some live tracks initially entitled "Collection" without the knowledge or agreement from every member. It was later renamed "Boots for the Beatdown" and although it went on to become the bands most important releases, and has been added to many top 100 punk albums lists, it remains a bit of contention between some members and labels.
Gabe and Matt remained a constant though and continued playing many out of state shows. The band then teamed up with their south Jersey counterparts Blind Society for a another split release which sold tremendously. March 2000 was the last time the band recorded new tracks. These recordings resulted in one of the bands most played songs "Bleeding Hearts" and the still unreleased "Propaganda." It also ushered in a more melodic traditional OI! Rock n' Roll sound. Do to band tensions and the changing of the scene, the band parted ways soon after and didn't speak for over 12 years. Through social media and word of mouth, legions of new fans started to discover the Oi! Scouts.
The band is currently home rehearsing and recording new material and will be playing the Los angeles Punk Invasion in July, alongside many of their American and U.K. Heroes.