1994 was a big year for me. I was 20 years old and after 5 years of being involved in DIY punk in Connecticut with my fanzine Adversity and my bands Deformed Conscience and Sasquatch, I was on the road doing tours. In the spring of that year, I helped organize a US tour for Dirt and Hellkrusher from the UK and in the early summer Deformed Conscience toured all of the US and recorded our split LP with Excrement Of War. I was planning a three month trip to Europe that fall and had plans to move to thriving punk metropolis of Minneapolis in early ’95. But a project I worked on in the late summer of that year would grow into the most active and turbulent parts of my life for the next several years.
1995 was equally busy year for me, after returning from Europe I stuck to the plan and moved to Minneapolis. I was eager to start new band but still had those SOF songs rolling around in my head and got thinking that would be the best thing I could do to make SOF a real band and go on the road. After not much convincing, Jay packed up and headed up to Minneapolis. It was amazing timing that the same day Jay arrived in Minneapolis, one of my best friends from Connecticut (who had been living in Arizona for a brief time) also arrived at my door. Bracken Lejeune and I had known each other since our school days and were like brothers, so it was natural to get him involved in State Of Fear as our second guitarist. I have been jamming with Shane from Code 13 since I got to Minneapolis on drums , so the line up was complete.
Once Fred joined us, we kept this line up for the next year and half until we split up. The first thing we did with this line up was record our second ep “Wallow in Squalor” on Profane Existence and had the vinyl released two weeks after recording (thanks to Dan at PE) in time for our second tour with Fleas and Lice (which also brought us back to eastern US and Montreal ). In the winter 1996 we left the frigid tundra of Minnesota to do a tour of Mexico. That tour was difficult in many ways (financial, mechanical, language barriers etc.) but the guys from Regeneracion took good care of us and it is an experience I will never forget. In the summer of 1996 we did another eastern US/Canada tour, this time as three piece without Jay (tensions were already starting to bubble up). Jay met us out in Boston though so we could record again with our old and trusted engineer Bill T. Miller. This would be our LP “The Tables Will Turn”. Unfortunately we could not finish the recording and mix with Bill because I had blown out my voice after doing both mine and Jay’s parts for the whole tour (I’m sure the copious amounts of tobacco and alcohol didn’t help either). That sounds hard to conceive, considering the style of vocals I was doing, but trust me, there was nothing there, ha ha. A few months later we found a studio in Minneapolis where we finished the recording and mixed the record.
They say that time heals or maybe we just missed the madness of State Of Fear but in early 2001 we decided to do a reunion. Jon Hurt become our drummer for this tour and his enthusiasm breathed a new life into the band. Another reason for the tour was that we had never toured the western US before and felt it was something we wanted to do. We were joined by our Seattle friends Shitlist (led by another childhood friend of Brocken and I, Joe Rizzi). We has some amazing gigs on that tour and some great experiences with old and new friends on the road.
The last gigs SOF did was a one of reunion in Minneapolis in 2004 and the Pointless Fest in Philadelphia in 2005. Since then we’ve turned down several “reunion” gigs. While tempting, is hasn’t felt right living in the past and overall we would rather focus on what we’re currently inspired to do. SOF was one of the best experiences in my life. I got to met many good friends, travel to amazing places and be part of something much bigger than ourselves. Thanks to all who supported us back then and to those who remember us today. This is just my version and recollections. There are so many more stories from those days.
John Krupa, 2022