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Savage Republic

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NOTE: For sale here: Vinyl and CD
SAVAGE REPUBLIC: 2002 Re-issues of complete studio recordings: Tragic Figures, Ceremonial/Trudge, Jamahiriya, Customs
Live Recordings: Live '81-'83, Live Trek 85-86, Live in Europe, I Married Thurston, Final Performance 1989, Reunion Show 2002

 

Oct 2005:Savage Republic is back!
Latest information is available at http://mobilization.com

After a 1-week reunion in 2002, SAVAGE REPUBLIC officially reformed in October 2005. The band is currently recording a new full length CD and has been performing at select shows internationally.
Savage Republic



Savage Republic
Portland, OR 2002

 

History:

is  a "seminal" Los Angeles Industrial-Art-Punk band from the 1980s. The band began circa 1980 as "Africa Corps" with UCLA art students Bruce Licher, Mark Erskine, Jackson Del Rey ("Jackson Del Rey"), following various preliminary projects (Bridge, Tunnel Tones, Them Rhythm Ants). A tall, charismatic 17 year old "hard core" skin head and Santa Monica High School student Jeff Long also performed with Africa Corps in 1981 and 1982. Jeff Long was a very charismatic figure and also played with the L.A. hard core band Wasted Youth. The band changed its name to Savage Republic in June 1982 when the first album "Tragic Figures" was released. Jackson Del Rey and Jeff Long split lyrical duties on "Tragic Figures". The name was conceived by Mark Erskine in his garage along with other band members, with no particular signifigance beyond just describing the bands overall sound. Coincidentally, 20 years later the term "Savage Republic" would also be used to refer to the Iotola Khomeni's Musulim fundamentalist regiem.

The album featured a hand letterpressed version of a famous AP Wire photo of several Iranian professors being executed in a firing squad at the time the fundamentalists took over the country, around the time of the Iranian U.S. Hostage crisis.

Early recording experiments produced by Bruce Licher for his Independent Project art course were paired with a clean yet industrial, apocalyptic design style via silk screen, and later hand letter-press printing that echoes back to the Futurists. Licher's unique design ethos formed the basis of Savage Republic's image and helped keep the band "out of time and space". (This design style led to a Grammy nomination for later commercial work by Bruce Licher.)

Shop Rag of the Tragic Figures album cover art

Member Changes in a Time of Radical Change

Like so many punk bands in the early 1980s, Savage Republic went through many lineup changes. The following brief description provides a general outline of the bands timeline and member changes.

In 1982, Robert Loveless joined on keyboards for a few months with Jeff Long, then until mid 1983 after Jeff Long quit the band (and all music). In 1983 the band recorded tracks for a second album which was never released. Instead some of the material was used by Jackson Del Rey and Robert Loveless when they left Savage Republic to form 17 Pygmies. Bruce Licher and Mark Erskine continued with Savage Republic.

The new Core Republic

In late 1983, Greg Grunke, Thom Fuhrmann and Ethan Port joined Bruce Licher for the rest of the bands life. This trio continued to work together after Savage Republic dissolved in 1989. This core group recorded the 4 song Trudge instrumental EP in 1984 and 1985 with drummer Mark Erskine.

Robert Loveless joined the band for Ceremonial, and appears on the Live Trek 1985-1986 LP.

Following the 1987 European tour, drummer Mark Erskine left the band and was replaced by Brad Laner (Medicine, Debt of Nature, Electric Company), who contributed his own unique and innovative style to the Jamahiriya and Customs studio recordings and the "I Married Thurston" live tape and the Live in Europe album.

In 1988 Phil Druker also returned to help with Jamahiriya recordings and recorded on Customs during the bands final tour in 1988.

 


Live Trek 1985-1986
Taken from two U.S. tours

The original CD cover of Jamahiriya on oat paper

 

Real Men Play Live

Savage Republic was at its best in front of a crowd--especially an incoherant art-punk throng. The double bass spleen-wrenching assault reinforced by metal percussion (often shooting 20 foot pillars of flame) charged the room with raw savage energy. The layered "monotone" tuned guitars (check out Glenn Branca) float above this chaos singing beautiful and haunting harmonies that shimmer in 3-dimensions throughout the performance space. it was a sound unmatched--out of time and space.
 

 

Notable performances include the Mojave Desert performances with the Minute Men, Sonic Youth, Einsturzende Neubauten and Mark Pauline in the early 1980s (years before Burning Man!) which included high explosives and burning trees.

The live albums document these powerful shows through the various formations of the band. The cleanest recording is the so far unreleased digital multi-track recording of the bands final performance at the Wash in Claremont California on Feb 25, 1989.
This album is due for an October 2002 release.




Live in Europe LP
Recorded on the final European tour
Autumn 1988

 



Final Performance: Feb 25, 1989

 

 

The original Customs LP: invented and recorded in Greece in 1988. The bands equiptment was confiscated by Greek customs authorities during the bands final tour. The band used borrowed instruments found in the Greek studio, including many Greek acoustic instruments.

 

Click here for a list of Post Savage Republic projects





Re-Issues for the 21st Century

The complete Savage Republic back catalog was re-issued by MOBILIZATION Recordings in October 2001.

Studio albums include: Tragic Figures, Trudge, Ceremonial, Jamahiriya and Customs. Live albums include Live Trek, Live in Europe, and the soon to be released Execution of the State by Fire and Ritual

Other live recordings have been officially released over the years by Ethan Port and Savage Republic Tapes.

Once More For The Gipper!

  • Aug 9, 2002 : "SEMINAL" LOS ANGELES ART-PUNK BAND SAVAGE REPUBLIC CONFIRM RARE REUNION APPEARANCE AT THE KNITTING FACTORY IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, NOVEMBER 13, 2002.
    Full Press Release here. Advanced Tickets on sale now!
    • Former IPR label-mates Camper Van Beethoven are also playing a reunion in late August at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles, California.

  • July 23, 2002:ONE MORE TIME FOR THE GIPPER! : Savage Republic one time reunion confirmed for November 10 - 17, 2002
    Savage Republic have agreed to do a one time reunion the week of November 11 - 17th. Shows are currently being booked in California in Claremont, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. A NYC show may also be added. This will be a one time only reunion to promote the re-issue of the bands complete studio works on Mobilization Recordings. Mobilization plans to document this RARE reunion.


    • Nov 11, 2002 - Claremont California, The Press Club
    • Nov 13, 2002 - Los Angeles, Knitting Factory
      with Mike Watt and the Secondmen, the Urinals, the Human Hands
      Advanced tickets available now at http://www.knittingfactory.com
    • Nov 14, 2002 - Portland Oregon, Satyricon
    • Nov. 15, 2002 - San Francisco "Beyond The Pale Sound Series" at DNA
      with Neurosis, the Phantom Limbs, Pleasure Forever*
    • Nov. 16, 2002 - NYC, South Paw
      with The Wharton Tiers Ensemble, Tone, Torch Job
    • Nov. 17, 2002 - Chicago, Double Door


    Members scheduled to play include original members Thom Fuhrmann, Greg Grunke, Bruce Licher, Robert Loveless and Ethan Port.

Back in the Saddle !

  • Oct 1, 2005: Fuhrmann, Grunke and Port continue the tradition.

Click here for a list of Post Savage Republic projects and individual artist links

Savage Republic (Live 1989) "Mobilization"

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