William DuVall’s Teenage Hardcore Punk Band Neon Christ Getting ‘1984’ Reissue
Long before his killer harmonies with Jerry Cantrell in Alice in Chains, William DuVall did what many teens do and played in a punk band. And for Record Store Day this year, fans of the AIC co-vocalist will get to hear some of his early work playing in the hardcore punk outfit Neon Christ when their 1984 compilation gets a reissue.
The 14-song set features material written by DuVall during the titular year when he was just 16. Ten of the tracks previously appeared on the Atlanta-based self-titled 7" vinyl EP Neon Christ. The remaining tracks were recorded later that same year.
Neon Christ was actually DuVall's second band after initially playing with Awareness Void of Chaos. He served as the guitarist in the group, with Randy DuTeau handling the vocals. The rest of the band included drummer Jimmy Demer and bassist Danny Lankford. But this was no high school garage band, as Neon Christ actually shared stages with Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks and other acts of note in the punk scene prior to DuVall's eventual exit and the band's dissolution in 1986.
The singer-guitarist eventually left Atlanta to seek his musical future in Los Angeles where he served a brief stint in the hardcore punk band Bl'ast. A series of bands followed until the late '90s when Comes With the Fall became his primary group. The band opened for Cantrell on his solo tour and the relationship with the Alice in Chains singer-guitarist continued to grow over the years until DuVall joined Alice in Chains' revival in 2006.
The Neon Christ deluxe vinyl reissue comes courtesy of Southern Lord Records after the label's Greg Anderson contacted the group about the possibility of reissuing their 1984 studio sessions.
"I had planned to do a proper Neon Christ reissue through my label, DVL Recordings, this year,” says William DuVall. “It must have been the right time because, as soon as I’d made up my mind to do it, Greg from Southern Lord reached out about doing exactly the same thing. I suggested we join forces. I admire what the Southern Lord label has achieved. Suffice it to say, all of us in Neon Christ are extremely honored that there’s any interest at all in what we did so many years ago.”
He adds, “I hadn’t listened to that music in a studio atmosphere since back when it was originally recorded. I was 16 writing those songs. Neon Christ is quintessential youth music from a tumultuous time, both in our own lives and in the world at large. It documents the birth of a new music and culture that would influence everything that came afterward. We loved being a part of that emerging scene. We’re even more proud now of the contributions we and so many of our friends made. The energy and emotions we captured remain timeless.”
Look for Neon Christ's 1984 available on Record Store Day's June 12 drop and digitally through Bandcamp.
Neon Christ, 1984 Teaser
Neon Christ, 1984 Artwork + Track Listing
1. Parental Suppression
2. The Draft Song
4. Bad Influence
5. Neon Christ
6. We Mean Business
8. It's Mine
11. The Knife That Cuts So Deep
12. Ashes To Ashes
13. Blind Patriot
14. The Death They'll Give You