Origin: Alexandria, Virginia
Genre: Hardcore punk, post-hardcore
Years active: 1981–1990, 2009–present
Robert Lee Davidson
Still Screaming (1983) Dischord Records
This Side Up (1985) Dischord Records
Banging the Drum (1986) Dischord Records
No More Censorship (1988) RAS Records
Fumble (1993) Dischord Records
Still Screaming/This Side Up (1995) Dischord Records
Fumble + Banging the Drum (1995) Dischord Records
Live at Van Hall (1988) Konkurrent Records
Your Choice Live Series Vol.10 (1990) Your Choice Records
Live at the Black Cat (1998) Torque Records
Complete Control Recording Sessions (2011) SideOneDummy Records
“Walking by Myself” b/w “Choke Word” (1986) Jungle Hop Records
“Mardi Gras” b/w “Land Torn Down” (1990) DSI Records
Bouncing Babies (1984) Fountain of Youth Records – “Ultra Violence/Screaming”
Flipside Vinyl Fanzine (1984) Gasatanka/Enigma Records – “Fight”
Another Shot for Bracken (1986) Positive Force Records – “Green Eyed Lady”
F.R. 5 (1986) Fetal Records – “Solidarity”
Viva Umkhonto! (1987) Mordam/Konkurrel Records – “Feel Like That”
State of the Union (1989) Dischord Records – “Ameri-dub”
It’s Your Choice (1991) Your Choice Records – “A No Money Down” (live)
20 Years of Dischord (2003) Dischord Records – “Fight/American Justice” and “Search for Employment”
Scream is a hardcore punk band from Bailey’s Crossroads, Virginia active from 1981 to 1990. In 2009 the band reunited, and as of January 2012 were on tour in Europe.
Scream was formed in Northern Virginia in 1981 by singer Peter Stahl, his brother Franz Stahl on guitar, bassist Skeeter Thompson and drummer Kent Stax. They are considered one of the benchmark bands in the history of the Washington, D.C. hardcore music movement. Along with bands such as Minor Threat and Government Issue, Scream ultimately merged the attributes of the movement, which were blinding speed, heavy political and social connotations in the lyrics, unpretentiousness of attitude, and shunning of commercialism. Their music is faithful to the roots of rock, but spun itself into other genres by employing sounds that predate the raunchiness of grunge, while saluting reggae and speed metal. Scream hated the classification of bands into certain types and considered what they played as simply ‘music.’ Recording their music in the basement of the now legendary Inner Ear Studios in Arlington, Virginia, Scream became the first band on the Dischord label to release a whole album, Still Screaming, as opposed to singles or 12 inch EPs. Like the hardcore band Bad Brains, they could play clearly at breakneck speed, but also played mid-tempo songs like “American Justice” and “Hygiene,” which were metal-tinged reggae.
For their second album Scream added another guitarist to their line-up, Robert Lee “Harley” Davidson, to thicken up the sound in the studio and in their live performances. In turn this eventually led to a powerful dual-lead guitar style, with complex guitar tracking, a more powerful live sound and an over-all crunchier sound for their third album. For a few compilation efforts and some live shows they added a keyboard player, Bobby Madden, who was a colleague of Davidson’s from the same metal scene.
After the third album Banging the Drum, Kent Stax left the band for personal reasons and was replaced by local drummer Dave Grohl, who then played on Scream’s 4th album No More Censorship. The band then toured Europe; with their May 4, 1990 show in Alzey, Germany being released by Tobby Holzinger as Your Choice Live Series Vol.10. Scream then recorded their fifth and final studio album Fumble, (which was much later released in 1993 on Dischord Records) and then called it quits in late 1990. Pete and Franz moved to North Hollywood and started rock band Wool, while Grohl joined the Seattle grunge band Nirvana. In 1997, Franz Stahl joined Dave Grohl’s newly formed group, the commercially successful Foo Fighters, for a two year stint. During this time Pete Stahl worked as a road manager for both the Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, while continuing to record albums with several bands, including the Earthlings? and Goatsnake. Skeeter Thompson remained in the D.C. area and continued to work in bands, including playing one gig at the Brickskeller in the spring of 1994 as Scream with keyboardist Robert Hunter, as did Kent Stax with the Skinhead/Oi! -tinged bands: the Suspects, United 121, Spitfires United, and Alleged Bricks. Stax has also committed himself to a family life. Davidson continued in the band Angelstorm, (in Huntsville, Alabama), from 1993–1995 and created the new bands Orangahead, Festival of Fools, (with Madden in 1998) and two different bands both named God Is Dead, (one in D.C. and one in Huntsville, Alabama) from 2002-2005.
To coincide with the belated release of the album Fumble, the Stahl/Stahl/Thompson/Grohl lineup of Scream toured North America in the summer of 1993.
The Stahl/Stahl/Davidson/Thompson/Stax lineup of Scream played a one-off reunion show at the Black Cat nightclub in Washington, DC on December 28, 1996. (Grohl joined the band on drums for the song “No More Censorship.”) This performance was released as Live at the Black Cat in 1998 on Torque Records.
The original line-up of the band played a reunion show on December 20, 2009, once again at the Black Cat.
An ad hoc lineup consisting of Pete Stahl (vocals), Dave Grohl (electric guitar), Skeeter Thompson (bass) and Kent Stax (drums) performed “Choke Word” and two Bad Brains covers at the 9:30 Club’s 30th anniversary bash on May 31, 2010.