Interviews

Beyond: Singer Kevin Egan Discusses the Hardcore Band’s Brief Yet Impactful History

Photo found on GoFundMe

Though Beyond only existed for a very brief time (1988-1989), the band proved to be influential in the course of hardcore history. Based out of Holbrook, a town in Suffolk County, Long Island, the forward-thinking hardcore band melded elements of traditional heavy metal into their songwriting, but never quite coming off as a crossover kind of thing. It was definitely in its own lane.

Beyond released their sole album, No Longer At Ease, in 1989 via Combined Effort Records (Life's Blood, Absolution), and after their dissolution, its members went on to play in Quicksand, 1.6 Band, Inside Out, Handsome, and 108, among many other bands.

What Awaits Us, A Beyond Story is a forthcoming documentary on the New York's group driven by vocalist Kevin Egan, so it was perfect timing to chat with the musician about the project.

When did the idea for the documentary first come up, and was there some kind of catalyst behind the project? Also, were there other specific docs that partly inspired the idea? 

We played Rev Fest in 2017 and I brought my friend’s camera with me. The plan was to just film our set. Then, the more we hung out, the more the camera came out. I then asked people like [Gorilla Biscuits guitarists] Walter Schreifels and Alex Brown if they’d talk on camera about Beyond, since they were both crucial figures in getting our name out there back in the CB’s days. When I got home, I liked what I saw, so I kept the momentum going. 

I don’t know if there were other docs that inspired me. Movies in general inspire me. Movies are stories and this is a chance to tell a story. It’s probably the one story I can tell from start to finish that has the most colorful cast of characters. 

Was everyone who played in Beyond behind the project from the start, or did certain people have to be convinced?

Tom [Capone] , Vic [DiCara], and Larry [Gorman] were there when I first started filming during Rev Fest, so they knew something was happening. I wasn’t sure how Alan [Cage] would respond. I hadn’t spoken with him in a good 15 years, but he responded immediately and with enthusiasm. The original drummer, Dom [Baiocco], and bass player, Lance {jaeger], are still close friends of mine, so it was easy to get them involved. I’m very lucky in the sense that I have access such talented people. 

Photo: David Rabenold

You’ve gone on to play in several bands, and done solo work, throughout the years since Beyond. In all that time, how often do people ask you about the band? I find that the people who do know Beyond, love you guys and No Longer At Ease in a big way.

People never stopped mentioning Beyond. Ever. I used to joke that I was like Leonard Nimoy who couldn’t escape Spock. I always loved Beyond and was proud of what we did, but I was doing other things at that time. I never imagined I’d be singing those songs again. Now that I am though, I’m really enjoying it. They’re still very challenging to play, which is what I love about this band. The music. 

Was there any point in the many years since Beyond broke up where you thought to yourself that you guys might have broken up prematurely? It seems like with the talent and all of the influences you were all picking up on, the band’s next phase could have been an exciting one.

People used to tell me all the time, “You could’ve been the biggest band!” What can you do? You can’t change the past. We were 19 years old. 

We still did amazing things, though, just not together. I still hear the connection between all our bands when I listen to Inside Out, Quicksand, 108, or 1.6 Band. There’s something that’s specifically Holbrook in all those bands. We get into it in the documentary. 

So in a way, Beyond did continue. It was just spread out. 

Photo: Boiling Point Zine

Since there’s a few musicians from the NYHC scene breaking it down in the trailer for the doc, I wanted to ask you, how would you describe Beyond’s sound? 

I’d say, it’s a little Minor Threat, a little Iron Maiden. We combined hardcore with metal, but not thrash metal like everyone else in the '80s. We loved Iron Maiden. And you can hear it. There’s also a little mid-'80s DC in there. Maybe Dag Nasty specifically. 

And like I said, there’s a whole lot of Holbrook in our sound. We went to a school with some of the most talented musicians on Long Island. Mike Yanicelli (1.6 Band) influenced Tom’s sound because he played in a band called Third Planet with Tom before Beyond. Vic, who taught himself to play guitar like a month, was heavily influenced by Tom’s playing. Then there were all the amazing musicians we saw in school every day. 

So I guess you can say there was a musical explosion happening that influenced us greatly. Like I said, very lucky.

Beyond at Rev Fest 2017 IPhoto found on Beyond's Facebook page)

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Head to the What Awaits Us, A Beyond Story GoFundMe page to help Kevin with the costly post-production fees he needs to complete the film.

Tagged: 1.6 band, beyond, handsome, quicksand

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