Go Punk Yourself!

The North Side Kings mix mob stereotypes with hard-core rock. Got a problem?

Of all the odd places the tour took the band's old-country hard-core, Boise, Idaho, and Fargo, North Dakota, stick out most to Marianino.

"I think a lot of these kids who came don't even know what punk or hard-core is. All they know is Disturbed," he says. "That's like a cheesy metal band. It's like kids would say What do think about the guy from Drowning Pool dying?' and I'm like Who the fuck is Drowning Pool?' I never even heard of them, y'know?"

Travel at least has made Marianino appreciate the diverse scene in Arizona. "There's a lot of bands blowing up around here. I saw Bionic Jive, Authority Zero, N17, all their names on a wall of a club in Omaha, Nebraska -- the Ranch Bowl! Holy shit. All these bands have played there.

"There's a lot of good bands here, and they're all supportive of one another, unlike it was years ago, when rival bands would take down your posters if you got on a national show they wanted. . . . There's enough of a diverse scene here now; everybody comes from somewhere else and that's brought a lot of different types of music here.

"There's a ton of really good punk bands in Arizona," Marianino excitedly continues. This is a punk town. The band recently contributed the track "Home of the Brave" to local enthusiasts AZPunk.com's first compilation, released in local record stores last month.

Too bad these wannabe crooks can't get in on more of the action.

"We play around town, on average, once a month," says Marianino. "With Boston's being closed, we're blackballed from half the clubs in town. Too many fights break out at our shows. Nita's Hideaway was cool when we played with Soulfly because it was outdoors with a lot of Port-o-Sans. But we can't play there on our own because kids break the toilets when we play. I'm like, How is that my fault?'"

At least Marianino has a better handle on locating food he craves.

"Joe at Guido's Deli on Shea and Scottsdale gets us special shit like Medagli D'Ora coffee. And Albertsons, they hate me there. You know that commercial, It's Your Store'? Well, I go there wondering how come my store doesn't have Polly-O ricotta and mozzarella. They finally got Tasty Cakes. That was a fight and a half. Wise potato chips. I haven't gotten that far with Albertsons yet. I'm still mad about the Tasty Cakes. But I got them to carry Taylor Ham and their pork roll. I break their balls once a month."

As for moving other product, the new North Side Kings CD is doing pretty well without special orders, aided by listening stations in every Zia's Record Exchange. Overseas, it's doing even better, as it's licensed to Gangstyle Records, the same label that distributes veteran Queens hard-core staples Murphy's Law. In January, North Side Kings embarks on another month of tour dates with Soulfly, this time in Europe, where Marianino contends the fans think the mob shtick is just fine, thank you.

"We just did a phone interview with (Scandinavian publication) Artshock. They got the lyrics and everything," he says. "This one guy who talked like Arnold Schwarzenegger, said, You guys are very hard-core. Too many bands are PC today, but you guys are nuts. You don't care what people think.'"

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