One Life Crew (OLC) is a straight-edge hardcore band. They originally formed in Cleveland, Ohio in 1994. Though the band has had numerous members, the most notable line-up consisted of "Mean" Steve Murad (vocals), Blaze Tishko (guitar), John "Lockjaw" Tole (bass), and Anthony "Chubby Fresh" Pines (drums). The band formed out of the ashes of Murad's former bands Confront and Mean Streak.
Beginning and Victory Records:
After releasing a series of demo tapes, the band was picked up by Victory Records and released their debut LP Crime Ridden Society on the label. The track "Our Fight", which appears on Crime Ridden Society and proclaims an anti-racism message, was originally performed by Confront. Ironically, OLC has been accused by many as being a racist band, due in no small part to the lyrics of the track "Pure Disgust", which reflect a right-wing stance on immigration issues. OLC, along with Victory, tried to combat their racist image by releasing One Life Crew T-shirts with the lyrics to "Our Fight" printed on the back, and included a post card along with the vinyl version of the album that likened the song to Agnostic Front's "Public Assistance".
The band was dropped from Victory Records after a fight broke out during their set at the 1996 Cleveland Hardcore Festival. Though many claims have been made as to the actual reason OLC was dropped from the label, Victory's stance remains that they do not condone violence. Victory Records had 1,000 post cards printed explaining their decision, and mailed out to their customers. Allegedly, all remaining copies of Crime Ridden Society on cassette, CD, and vinyl were destroyed, making it a very sought-after album in collectors' circles.
Upset with Victory's decision, two prank phone calls made by Chubby Fresh were recorded and subsequently released on the Internet. The calls were placed to members of Victory Records' most popular bands at the time, Earth Crisis and Snapcase.
In 1997, the band released their follow-up LP, entitled American Justice, on Too Damn Hype Records domestically, with Lost and Found Records having European distribution rights. Attempting to capitalize on their anti-PC image, the lyrical content was taken to the next level. Targets of the lyrics included corrupt law enforcement, Princess Diana, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, illegal immigrants, and the unemployed. Aside from One Life Crew's songs, the album also included various skits, rap songs from Cleveland rapper Shady Shade, and four songs from the militant straight-edge band Pitboss 2000. Writing and recording of the album was extremely hectic and disorganized, with several of the songs written and/or played by people other than those who were credited for them. It was produced entirely for shock value, with the intentions of making a "Hardcore N.W.A. album". The band played a few shows regionally to promote the album, then went on hiatus.
After only playing one show in 2001 in Youngstown, Ohio, with Pitboss 2000, the band returned in 2003, with only Steve Murad and Tony Pines remaining as original members. The band played under a half dozen shows, and released a greatest hits CD entitled 9-1-1, which included songs from Crime Ridden Society, American Justice, and a song by Pitboss 2000 ("Sell Out"). Once more, the band went on hiatus.
With the moderate success of the 2003 reunions, Prophecy Records obtained rights to and re-released the OLC demo tapes on both vinyl and CD. One demo was released under its original title, Reality Check, and the other was a split 7" with North Carolina hardcore band Empire Falls. Around this time, Chubby Fresh formed a second band with the name One Life Crew without any other original members. This, however, quickly fell apart.
In 2008, an album was released under the name of One Life Crew entitled 2KH8, which in actuality was just a demo of Chubby Fresh's other band, Heavyweight featuring Big Tyson, former guitarist of In Cold Blood, after Blaze and Popson left.
In 2009, Double Or Nothing Records announced that they would be releasing an anthology on CD titled It Is What It Is. One Life Crew once again reunited, this time with Murad and Pines being accompanied by Blaze Tishko, and Big Tyson, to the delight of a few fans. The band played two small shows to support the release, one in Cleveland, and the other in Philadelphia.
The show in Philadelphia was met with much controversy, with Anti-Racist Action voicing concerns to the venue about the racial lyrical content of OLC. Rather than risk losing the venue for future events, the promoter, Joe Hardcore, and the band moved the show from the original venue to an undisclosed location within the city. Word of the show was spread via text messaging and emails to avoid any further controversy.
Double or Nothing Records is rumored to be releasing a new One Life Crew album in future. Reportedly, the majority of the material has already been written by the band.
In 2012 and 2013, OLC reunited once again and played East Coast Tsunami Fest each year. They have raised a Facebook page and are currently printing new merchandise. They also headlined the "Summer of Hate" show at The Grog Shop in Cleveland Heights, Ohio back in July 2013.
The band members said they supported Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in the 2012 election.
"Mean" Steve Murad (vocals),
Blaze Tishko (guitar),
Chris Mahmood (guitar),
Tony "Chubby Fresh" Pines (drums),
Aaron Melnick (bass),
John Lockjaw (bass/guitar),
Randy Klammers (bass),
Todd Thosewski (guitar),
Lou Zario (guitar),
Soda Pop (drums),
Big Tyson (guitar)
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license