Scream formed in 1979. Drummer Kent Stacks, bassist Skeeter Enoch Thompson and the brothers Pete and Franz Stahl attended school together in Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia, when they began to discover the punk and new wave scene in DC and the provocative power of making music. Like most of the punk bands in DC, they were influenced by the Bad Brains, but their rock and roll sensibilities set them apart. In 1982, they went into Inner Ear Studio with Ian MacKaye and Eddie Janney to record Dischord‘s first full-length album, Still Screaming.
Scream’s newest album, DC Special, will be released in the fall of 2023 on Dischord Records. For this record, the band invited their extensive music community to help create a unique project that weaves the history of music in Washington DC into the story of the band. Recorded by Don Zientara just weeks before his studio was evicted from its longtime location, the record is rich with both the sounds of Inner Ear and those of friends and musicians who influenced Scream and who shaped DC music over the past six decades. DC Special embodies the same sense of community and politics that inspired Scream from the start and is a truly special collection of new music that speaks to the present and also tells the story of DC music, Scream, and the influences that shaped them.
Scream followed this with a second full length album, This Side Up, in 1984. The band toured throughout the US and were one of the first US hardcore bands to tour Europe and the UK. In 1987, they released Banging the Drum, which was recorded at both Southern Studios in London and Inner Ear. In 1988, No More Censorship was released on reggae label RAS records. Scream returned to Dischord to release Fumble in 1993.
They made a few line-up changes along the way, including the addition of their friend Harley Davidson on second guitar, and, when Kent Stacks left the band to start a family, they asked a young local drummer, Dave Grohl, to take over. After a number of years with “the Scream team”, Dave went on to join Nirvana and form The Foo Fighters. In 1996, at a Christmas reunion show, Kent Stacks returned as Scream’s drummer; the show was recorded and released as the CD “Live at the Black Cat.” Over the next few years, everyone branched out in different directions – Franz joined the Foos for a short period and Pete played with Goatsnake and earthlings? The band returned as a unit, with Clint Walsh on second guitar, in 2011 to record the Complete Control Sessions, which was released as an EP on Side One Dummy and was, until now, the band’s most recent release.
DC Special includes contributions from Jerry Busher, Amy Pickering, Mark Cisneros, Dave Grohl, Onam Emmett, Ian MacKaye, Joe Lally, Bob Berberich, John Goetchius, and more voices from Scream’s long time community. Pre-order the LP here.