A not so brief history of No Commercial Value,
Chocking Victim, & Leftover Crack
(In the words of Stza himself)
In 1990, Alec meets the Stza (pronounced "Stizza") at their N.Y.C. public high school. They shared not only a love for punk and ska music, but also an intense hatred of white people and their pathetic milk-drinking, Gap-wearing, R.E.M. listening, 90210 watching culture along with a healthy disdain for authority and the wicked atrocities perpetrated by the U.S. government. Alec played bass and the Stza played guitar and sang, so they decided to join-up and play some music together. Eventually they got a drummer and a female singer who also shared their active political interests and started the punk/ska band No Commercial Value. After a couple of years of primarily playing at ABC No Rio and local squats, Alec ditched out to start the 3rd wave ska crowd-pleasers Agent 99 with ex-Slacker Dunia Best, Jay Nugent (Stubborn All-Stars/Ari Up Slits) and the wicked-best Armenian drummer ever, Ara Babajian.
In the meantime, without a bassist, the Stza, known as Sturgeon at the time, enlisted Sascha Scatter, the bi-curious/bi-polar friend of No Commercial Value's drummer. Of course the next logical step was to kick said drummer out of the band as the additional singer left for the west coast. Sea monkey drummer and local Taco purveyor John Dolan was enlisted and the name Choking Victim was taken from the health department sign that loomed menacingly over John at his job. Three-months and two shows later, John literally hands his drum-sticks to a squatter named Skwert during a Choking Victim practice in Popeye's room at C-squat. A year later, Sascha quits the group after recording the ten songs that would comprise the Crack Rock Steady EP and demo.
At roughly the same time, Alec fucks-up big-time as an accomplice to some scandalous behavior that enrages most of the N.Y. ska scene and Agent 99 breaks-up as a result. So being unloved, dirty, despicable squatters, Choking Victim take Alec under their filthy wing to record and release the Squatter's Paradise 7". After that, Alec is kicked out and brought on is fellow C-squatter Pezent Shayne, who's just learning bass, so after a couple of mediocre shows Shayne is replaced with Alec, who once again shows Choking Victim that his attentions are not with the band, but in the gutter (literally) with the sweet, sweet death our government agencies enable the importation of. He is replaced with the down, but not out, Shayne, whom has become a much more finely tuned and practiced bass machine. Soon the song "Infested" from the Squatter's Paradise 7" is contributed to the first Give Em the Boot comp, and after an overwhelming public response to the track, Tim Armstrong offers Choking Victim a spot on the Hellcat roster. With no other offers on the horizon, and being broke-ass homeless/squatting panhandling bums, Choking Victim realized that this would probably be the only opportunity to ever make a full- length record.
At this point Ezra is aboard as a second guitar player. And finally after years of anticipation, thousands of practices and hundreds of shows, on the very first day of recording- Choking Victim break-up, but not before laying down all the tracks that would become the break-through, smash hit "No Gods/No Managers."
A two-year hiatus ensues involving royalty checks, thousands of 40's of malt liquor and so much crack that on some days there would be a large quantity leftover from the previous evening. That is to say, more crack than you can shake a tooth at (yes, a rotted tooth that fell out of your mouth). So after a life saving move from San Francisco's Tenderloin gutter to the numbing serenity of NW Montana with a borrowed guitar, a four-track recorder & an insomniatic head full of songs, new & old, the singin', strummin' Stza, hungry like the wolf, went on the hunt for a new band. Soon landing Brad Logan on guitar (F-Minus), Alec on bass (straight outta' rehab) A.W.O.L. on drums (Suicidal Tendencies/Beastie Boys) and Mike T. on production (No Gods, Choking Victim) several tracks were recorded including those comprising the "Rock the 40oz" 7" (Bankshot Records) and the track "Crack City Rockers" soon contributed to the Give Em the Boot II compilation.
And again the public demanded more, so once again Tim A. and Mr. Brett dug through their pockets and pooled together whatever balled-up cash and spare-change they could find and offered LEFTOVER CRACK the opportunity to join the Hellcat family. In April 2000, the Stza solidified the LEFTOVER CRACK line-up with Alec on bass and Ara (now with the Slackers) on drums. In May 2000 they started recording their first full-length.
Tuesday, September 11th 2001: the record, "Mediocre Generica," is finally released world-wide and with a giant upside-down American flag in tow, the LEFTOVER CRACK embark on three years of extensive touring of the U.S., U.K., Canada and Europe.
In February of 2003 LEFTOVER CRACK start recording the songs they have been developing for the past three years with Chicago's super-genius, STEVE ALBINI. And over the following winter LEFTOVER CRACK finish two more songs along with some touch-ups (and guest vocals by Anti-Flag and The World/Inferno Friendship Society) to the 12 ALBINI tunes with New Jersey native Jesie Canon. With two weeks of production left, LEFTOVER CRACK is approached by JELLO BIAFRA about signing to Alternative Tentacles, and after a two hour discussion about politics and censorship, the decision is made with the band feeling like they have an organization in their corner that truly believes in the inalienable right to freedom of speech and art. We hope you enjoy Fuck World Trade, as it was a seemingly endless struggle to put together and release.