I have lived in Arizona for the majority of my life, and I’ve been a fan and supporter of Arizona’s local music scene since I was thirteen. Arizona has produced several successful musicians over the years, but there are also dozens of talented artists that fall short of finding success, despite the fact that they inspire and influence many future musicians from across the state. There are many artists from Arizona that have become legendary figures in the local music scene, and even though they never achieved the notoriety that they deserved, they remain a strong presence in the scene. Many of these artists influence new generations of musicians, and had a lasting impact on Arizona’s local music scene. Unfortunately, a large portion of these legendary artists gradually become forgotten, due to the fact that they were active before the days of the Internet, and their music was only released in physical formats. Arizona’s local music scene impacted me very strongly, and I was inspired by local bands so much, that I decided to follow a career in music.


My first concert was when I was just thirteen years old, at an underground venue called The Bunker. The show featured four local bands. Lustmustard opened the show, followed by School Girls Rule (who had just moved to Phoenix from Portland after rumors had started claiming that Phoenix would likely become the next Seattle), Mandingo (which featured students from the high school that I was planning to attend), and the headlining act, The Generiks (my older half brother Brent was roommates with The Generiks lead singer, so I had mainly attended the event to support them). I watched each local band take the stage and felt an onslaught of emotions flood through me as they each performed their set. By the end of the night, I was confident that I wanted to be a part of Arizona’s local music scene, and as I got older that feeling only grew much more intense.


After the show I became a huge fan of the local scene, and mainly supported a handful of bands at that time. I would go to every show featuring The Generiks because I had purchased the bands cassette at my first show and really liked their style. I also would go to see my older half brother, Brent, perform with his band Dr. Divine every chance I had. I really idolized Brent at that time in my life, and strived to learn guitar in order to someday be in a band and make music like him. I also frequently supported the band, SD and Friends, because my friend Bill was friends with the band and I was impressed with their lead vocalist and drummer. I didn’t realize that the late, great Chester Bennington was the lead vocalist for SD and Friends until 2016. In 2010, I ran into Chester at a house party and we both talked for hours about the local scene and his time with SD and Friends. Six years later, I realized that Chester was the vocalist for Linkin Park, which really confused me. I’m not sure why Chester didn’t bring that up in our conversation in 2010, and he unfortunately passed before I ever had the chance to ask him. The other band that I supported back in the early 90’s was Mandingo. Mandingo practiced in the garage of a house that was located in my neighborhood, so I had listened to the band practice for years. I had also met all three band members in the past, and I wanted to support them because they had a good style and they were what I considered the cool band on my block.


Over the next two years, I practiced guitar in the hopes of finding a group of musicians to start a band with. Several local artists started to gain national exposure, including The Meat Puppets, Gin Blossoms, The Refreshments, Flotsam and Jetson and Phunk Junkeez. Other local bands became hometown heroes, and developed a powerful following. The Generiks, Mandingo, and the industrial metal band, November 17th (Commonly referred to as N-17) would usually bring in hundreds, sometimes thousands of fans. I think most people assumed that those bands would eventually get signed and have very successful careers, but it never happened.


In the late 90’s, my band Dirty Laundry had developed a strong fan base, and I was lucky enough to perform with touring acts that I admired like Sublime, Link 80, Against All Authority, and Guttermouth. However, I think I was just as excited to be performing with the local bands that I had admired when I was younger. Dirty Laundry played several shows with The Generiks and Mandingo, and I became friends with the members of the band, as well as several other bands. Unfortunately, I started to notice bands breaking up. Bands like H8 Incorporated, Beats the Hell Out of Me, SD and Friends, Strongbox, Lustmustard, and Ernie’s Rubber Ducky all split up. It was upsetting because it became nearly impossible to find those bands music available in any stores. All of a sudden, those bands that had shaped and influence me in so many ways became nothing but fond memories, and it was impossible for me to share their music with my friends unless I had a physical recording of the band.


I was exposed to even more local music after starting Bad Stain Fanzine with my friend Mike in 1997, and started reviewing shows and releases from local artists. As Bad Stain Records became more popular, I began receiving several demo’s from local bands every week, and I soon realized that Arizona has an assortment of talented musicians.


As the nineties ended and we entered the new millennium, even more iconic bands split up, and I was devastated when the bands that inspired me the most faded away. My brother Brent and his band Dr. Divine had called it quits, and a few of the members started a new band called Great Chefs of the West. The Generiks threw in the towel, and their lead vocalist retired from the music scene. The remaining members formed the pop punk band, The Liars Club and the post hardcore emotronic band, Blame it on the Letter. Mandingo also split up, and the lead vocalist Mike Upsahl and drummer Shane Addington formed a new group called Stereotyperider, along with members of Adam’s Alcoholics. Shane moved from drums to guitar when he joined Stereotyperider, and also started a side project called The Liverrotchies and took the role of frontman for the group, playing guitar and performing lead vocals. Other bands like Plinko, Kongo Shock, and Sam the Butcher retired from the scene, and even D-I-X, Subject Mad and Corrupt Citizen called it quits.


It felt like I was often haunted by the ghosts of the talented local scene at times. I would want to show a friend a song from a local artist, but I didn’t always have the ability to do so. I had collected hundreds of releases from local bands, but there were dozens of releases from local artists that I did not have, and I didn’t have any way to obtain any the music. It really upset me, and I felt that it was unfair that so many amazing local bands would eventually be forgotten.


By the mid 2000’s, Dirty Laundry broke up and I started a new pop punk band called Numbers On Napkins. I played bass and was co-vocalist for NoN, and the band became my most successful project to date. In addition to forming NoN, I started playing bass for a screamo, post hardcore, metal band called, Forever Falling.


As the years passed, I played with hundreds of local artists, and bands like Jimmy Eat World, The Format, and Authority Zero became iconic figures in the local music scene. I saw bands like Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Lydia, Against The Majority (ATM), Greeley Estates, A Stiletto Formal, The Dames, Speed 63, Two Dimes, Blessthefall, Job for a Cowboy, and a variety of other bands become fairly successful. I wanted to do something special for the local scene, so I started the Arizona Ska Punk Awards. I started the awards as a way to show appreciation to the various bands, musicians, venues, writers, promoters, record labels, and other valuable staples in the local scene. The first Arizona Ska Punk Awards Ceremony was in 2003, and I continued to put together the annual event every year until the final ceremony in 2010. I ended the awards when I started to see friction forming within the scene, and bands started to become competitive with each other. My goal was to unite and strengthen the local music community, not divide and weaken it, so I put a stop to the awards.


In 2013, I decided to take a break from music to focus all of my time and energy on being a good father and husband. I had sacrificed a lot of time with my daughter when they were young, and didn’t want to miss another second, so I announced that I was going on hiatus for an undetermined amount of time. Over the next few years, I had virtually no presence in the local music scene. I stopped booking bands and closed my booking agency, Laundromat Productions, I quit playing in bands, I quit engineering and producing artists, and I didn’t even attend any local concerts or events. I continued to run Bad Stain Records, although I did not sign any new bands, stopped all advertising and promotions, and quit using social media. The only time that I had a small amount of interaction with the local scene was when I worked as a bouncer and the few times that I performed live acoustic solo performances. Between 2013 and 2018 I only performed six acoustic impromptu solo shows at small intimate venues. In the fall and winter, between 2014 and 2015, I worked as the door man and bouncer at Donna Jeans Libations. I only worked on hip hop nights, when local rappers would perform. I decided to end the long break from the scene in late 2017, when I produced an album for the local band, Johnny Laundromat and The Drycleaners. I had recently been divorced, and my daughter Nova was nearly 14, and I felt as though I could slowly return to the scene.


I soon learned that I had missed a lot during my hiatus. I had also been fairly inactive within the scene for two years prior to announcing my hiatus, and I had a lot of catching up to do. Nova was very helpful during that time, and they introduced me to new venues like The Van Buren and The Press Room, and new local artists like Mega Ran, Playboy Manbaby, Dollskin, The Maine, Good Boy Daisy and more. I even discovered that my friend and former Mandingo and Stereotyperider frontman, Mike Upsahl, had strategically helped his daughter Taylor achieve a solid presence in Arizona’s local scene. Taylor Upsahl had become known professionally as simply UPSAHL, and her popularity continued to grow as she collaborated on songs with Mike Shinoda, The Dreamers, Two Feet and more.


I used the Internet to research the local bands that I missed out on during my hiatus, and I was delighted to learn about many artists, and was easily able to access music from the bands. I gradually made my return back into the local music scene by releasing new albums with my band NoN in 2019, and also started attending local concerts and events, supporting new promoters, venues, and artists. As I met new people at various concerts and events, I quickly became frustrated when I was unable to obtain any music or even basic information regarding several local artists that had been a part of the scene prior to the early 2000’s. Even some artists from as late as 2010 had no online presence whatsoever. At that point, I realized that most people would never have the opportunity to listen to dozens of amazing and talented local bands, despite the fact that the bands had been an intricate part of the scene during their lifespan. After discussing the situation with my only child, Nova, I decided that I could use Bad Stain Records to help introduce new generations to the local artists that inspired me. I came up with the idea of creating a new series of albums to release on the label, called The Arizona Local Legends Collection.


In 2020, I decided that I would move forward with The Arizona Local Legends Collection, and came up with the idea of releasing full discography albums from select legendary artists in Arizona that had split up. I decided that each album would be manufactured on cassette style USB flash drives with classic cassette packaging. I decided that each flash drive would contain the entire catalog of music from the band, as well as any rare and/or previously unreleased songs. In addition to the bands music, I planned on including PDF and Jpeg files of song lyrics, recording credits, album information, band member info, band artwork and logo’s, band photography, old flyers, music videos and video footage, band interviews, and a band biography. In early 2020, I decided to make my dream reality, and started creating a list of legendary Arizona artists that had a strong impact on the local scene and inspired and/or influenced other recording artists during their career. After completing the list, I started contacting my friends and various musicians and business owners that I had known in the past. I discussed my list of bands, and added several additional artists to the list after the discussions. I also started looking for contact information for the bands on my list.


In late 2020, after several weeks of having discussions, I eventually came to the conclusion that the first volume of the Arizona Local Legends Collection would be The Generiks, assuming that I could convince the band members to be a part of my idea. I was able to get ahold of the bands former lead vocalist, Phil Click, and I asked him if he would be interested in releasing a Generiks discography on Bad Stain Records. Phil agreed, and sent me music from the band, as well as video footage and some old band photography. After Phil agreed, I attempted to contact the remaining band members, but was unable to reach any of them for several months. Finally, in September of 2021, I was able to reach Jeff Wolford, the bands former guitarist. I explained my idea to Jeff and he agreed to contact the other members and give me an answer as soon as possible. I waited for Jeff to contact me for weeks, hoping that everyone in the band would agree to signing with Bad Stain Records and releasing their album.


Finally, on my 44th birthday, November 17, 2021, Jeff messaged me and informed me that all of the members had accepted my offer. It was one of the greatest presents that I have ever received, and I realized that I would soon be able to release an album from a local band that changed my life, helped shape me as a musician, and gave me a long list of amazing memories. Over the next few months I worked with the band to get all of the material that I required to release their album.


I am extremely happy and excited to add the first artist to the Arizona Local Legends Collection… The Generiks. The Arizona Local Legends Collection Volume One "The Generiks" is scheduled for release in the summer of 2022,, and this amazing series will be a “Throw Back” to the talented and creative local artists that helped contribute to and shape Arizona’s local music scene, as well as inspire and/or influence many local musicians that came after them. In addition, all of the bands music will also be digitally distributed, so that the artists music will be available to download or stream online from over 100 websites, including Spotify, Pandora, and I-Tunes. I hope that new generations will appreciate the opportunity to become familiar with these local legends, and I hope that the individuals that had been fans and supporters of the legendary bands, enjoy the chance to reconnect with the band, and hopefully it will help bring back fond memories of a time that has since long passed. Bad Stain Records will be releasing future volumes of the Arizona Local Legends Collection every year, and if you think of a former local artist that you would like to see added to the list of AZ Local Legends, please nominate the band by emailing Bad Stain Records at BadStain@Yahoo.com and tell us why you feel as though the artist you selected deserves to be an AZ Local Legends Artist.


Cheers,


Chase Stain