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“I’m a geezer,” says John “Stabb” Schroeder, as he braces for the release this month of Older, Louder, More Cynical, a memoir chronicling his days with local ’80s punk icons Government Issue. Schroeder recently finished participating in the Experience Music Project, a documentary on underground music from ’79 to ’85 for the Music Museum in Bellevue, Wash., which is currently under construction. He also figures prominently in Cynthia Connolly’s collection of “Banned in D.C.” photos from the same period, which are currently hanging as historic artifacts in San Francisco’s Aquarius Records, through Jan. 31.
Hesitantly claiming his seat among the elder statesmen of the influential harDCore scene, Schroeder says he’s beginning to feel like a relic. As if to prove himself wrong, he’ll be taking his current band, Betty Blue, into the studio next month to record the follow-up to its 1996 debut, Men in Belted Sweaters. With more than a hint of promise, Schroeder describes the trio’s new material as “Iggy and the Stooges riding a steamroller over the Barenaked Ladies.” But he admits that people are more interested in his punk-rock past; and with the new book, he’s following Henry Rollins’ lead in dealing with that conundrum.
“Henry and I grew up slam-dancing together, but my book’s a little different,” says Schroeder, comparing Older, Louder, More Cynical to Rollins’ Black Flag memoir Get in the Van. “When you sit down to write a few hundred pages about your past, you can only have so much self-hate.”—Colin Bane