On Friday, August 26th @ 6:30PM, DJ Surface Tension speaks with punk vocalist Keith Morris of legendary Southern California punk band, Circle Jerks. Together with fellow long standing SoCal pop-punk band, Descendants, Circle Jerks play The UC Theatre in Berkeley on Thursday, August 25th & Friday, August 26th!
Circle Jerks emerged from the punk underbelly of LA’s South Bay in 1979. After serving as a co-founder and lead vocalist of Black Flag during the recording of its essential Nervous Breakdown EP, Keith Morris joined forces with former Redd Kross guitarist Greg Hetson to form what would become Circle Jerks.
Unlike much of the unapologetic hardcore that seeped through the cracks of American suburbia, the music of the Circle Jerks was thoughtfully steadfast, yet relentless and ferocious in nature. Bringing together a potent, articulate rhythm section with earnest yet oftentimes derisive lyrics and themes, the band was thereafter heralded as a leader of the pack – and a force to be reckoned with.
Plowing forward with a relentless, tooth-cutting work ethic and a rousing stage presence, the band would soon find itself headlining shows at LA’s 5,000-capacity Olympic Auditorium and emblazoned in cult video classics like Decline of Western Civilization, Repo Man, New Wave Theatre, and The Slog Movie.
Over the decades, Circle Jerks would release six studio albums, including the acclaimed Group Sex (1980) Wild in the Streets (1982), Golden Shower of Hits (1983), Wonderful (1985), and IV (1987), where they would become a major headliner during the alternative music explosion of the 80’s and 90’s. Morris and Hetson remain the only consistent members since the band’s creation. Bassist Zander Schloss (The Weirdos, Joe Strummer) has been a member since the 1980’s.
Photo credit: Patricia Carrillo