The Rocks Off 100: D.R.I's Kurt Brecht, Thrash Zone Supervisor
Who? Kurt Brecht is the iron-lunged front man of D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles), the ridiculously speedy hardcore punk band that got its start bashing out tunes inside his parents' house in Houston back in 1982. After shattering the sound barrier with the 18-minute, 22-song Dirty Rotten EP the same year, D.R.I. pulled up stakes and headed off to San Francisco, where the group became patron saints of skateboarders everywhere by welding together the more aggressive elements of hardcore and metal into a blistering new sound known as crossover thrash.
Brecht, right, with Pasadena Napalm Division
These days, D.R.I. continues to incite wild circle pits and gnarly backside fakies the world over. The band just finished a tour with fellow crossover legends Suicidal Tendencies and kicks off a string of dates featuring its classic '80s lineup this Friday at Scout Bar.
Now back in Houston full-time, Brecht keeps busy pulling double duty as the front man for Pasadena Napalm Division, the local thrash supergroup also featuring members of deadhorse. Their debut album is scheduled to drop in a matter of weeks.
Home Base: When he's not on tour, Brecht lives and works in the Spring Branch area of Houston.
Why Do You Stay in Houston? Thirty years after beating feet to the Bay Area, Brecht calls Houston home once again for reasons familiar to any local.
"Houston has a cheap cost of living and good work opportunity," the singer says. "Both important for a struggling musician. San Francisco is expensive and jobs are harder to come by."
Music Scene Pet Peeve: It's no surprise that a musician who cut his teeth in the early-'80s hardcore scene still nurses a certain resentment toward authority when it comes to the trials of making music professionally.
"I don't feel our government supports bands enough as a form of the arts," Brecht says. "But, they mostly stay out of our way, so that is OK."