Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Antiseen guitarist, founding member Joe Young dead at 54 (updated)

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2014 at 3:27 PM

"Today we lost my friend and partner of 30 years. Thank you for all the years of love and support that you all have given us."

The simple, heartfelt post on Antiseen frontman Jeff Clayton's Facebook page pays tribute to guitarist and founding member Joe Young, who died today at age 54. At press time, cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Along with vocalist Clayton, Young jump-started the Charlotte-based, Southern punk-rock juggernaut that celebrated 30 years of hard rocking reckless abandon and everyman appeal in 2013.

A memorial service for Young will be held at Tremont Music Hall on May 18 at 3 p.m. Anyone wishing to offer condolences should send them to Jeff Young, 5516 Farmbrook Dr., Charlotte, NC 28210. Monetary contributions to the family can be done via the Antiseen Paypal accout at - indicate what the payment is for.

Befitting a group that thrived on noise and distortion, Antiseen derived its name from a distortion of the phrase "anti-scene." It was a shot across the bow to music industry hype and fleeting musical fads as the group merged punk influences The Ramones and The Stooges with Southern rock, the bright propulsion of commercial metal and a borderline-kitsch redneck stance that both embraced and gently kidded Southern blue-collar culture.

With a buzzing grind-core guitar attack, pitched between Motorhead's motorcycle rumble and The Pistols' filth and fury, Young was a chief architect of Antiseen's sound, sharing co-songwriting credits with Clayton on the band's 1988 debut LP, Honour Among Thieves and its 1989 follow-up, Noise For the Sake of Noise. (Songwriting on subsequent releases, numbering over 40 LPs and EPs, is credited to the band.)

Fellow noise-punk populists The Meatmen paid tribute to Young's musical contributions on their Facebook page:
"To say (Young) created a signature sound 30 years ago would be an understatement. That buzz saw wall of grind trademark axe will forever be etched in the cranium of anyone who was a fan of Antiseen's countless platters and live shows."

Formed in 1983, Antiseen was also briefly the backing band for self-destructive punk performance artist GG Allin. With their sarcastic lyrics and confrontational anti-authoritarian stance, the band embarked on a punk career that gradually broadened to include southern blues, R&B boogie and a love of pro wrestling.

Though Antiseen has remained staunchly apolitical, Young ran for state house in 2000 and made a bid for a city council seat in 2001, both times as a Libertarian.

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