Born in the warehouse rehearsal rooms of bombed out, pre-hipster Brooklyn, five friends with unmistakable chemistry and a shared vision joined up to form D Generation, now widely regarded as one of the most important and unsung rock n roll bands of the past twenty years. When summing up the 90s rock n roll scene in NYC, Paper magazine lauded them as the only band that mattered.
Before they’d ever been signed, D Gen played sell-out concerts at such seminal New York City venues as CBGB and the Continental. Gear was trashed, bottles broken, authorities called, venues shut down, record execs turned away… but the lucky few hundred who were at these gigs were instant converts. A “scene” was born.
Lorraine Ali described them in Rolling Stone in 1999 as “New York punk that takes the best of the ’70s Street-rat sneers, tight black pants and artfully messed-up hairdos: D Generation are the stuff that popped-up 70s punk was made of…. tailor-made for grimy pinball arcades and Brand X beer-drinking binges.”
D Generation quickly captured the attention of the major labels and signed with EMI in 1994. The band was geared up for its self-titled debut, but corporate changes in the upper levels of EMI left the band out in the cold. After a nasty media “shoot out” in the press (Sex Pistols comparisons ran rampant), the band found itself free of it’s obligation to EMI, and in the middle of an intense bidding war. Luckily, an undeniable reputation as a riveting and unpredictable live act, coupled with lots of exposure and good old fashioned “word of mouth” sealed the deal, and D Generation signed with Columbia Records in 1996 for an unprecedented advance.
D Generation’s Columbia debut, “No Lunch”, was released in 1996. Spin’s Charles Aaron rated the record an 8 out of 10, writing, “D Generation defiantly believe in rock ‘n’roll’s burlesque. They just wanna wrap the dirty city up in (less than) three tumultuous minutes and stuff it in your back pocket”. In addition to giving the record a 4-star review, Rolling Stone writer David Fricke wrote, “There is no better sales pitch for the snot-rock classicism and teenage-warfare spirit of D Generation than [the song] “No Way Out.” Richard Bacchus’ and Danny Sage’s guitars spit bullets, singer Jesse Malin seethes with rabid impatience. Malin, Sage, Bacchus, bassist Howie Pyro and drummer Michael Wildwood embrace the values of aggressive brevity.” Fricke went on to label the song a “stone classic” and fervently predicted more to come from the band.
D Generation toured incessantly, and burnished their continuing reputation as a band not to be missed onstage. They also shared the stage with legendary acts, usually at the headliner’s personal request: They opened for Social Distortion, L7, Green Day, Cheap Trick, The Misfits, and The Offspring, among many others. Most notably, the band also played on the Ramones’ farewell tour and the KISS reunion tour.
D Generation is:
Howie Pyro, Michael Wildwood, Jesse Malin, Danny Sage, and Richard Bacchus