CRO-MAGS kingpin Harley Flanagan is back with “Between Wars“, the gripping new music video from their latest opus In The Beginning, available here.
The track lends its name to Between Wars, the independent film starring Flanagan and The Sopranos star Michael Imperioli, due out later this year.
“This song was a lot of fun to work on as it gave me a chance to do something completely different,” says Flanagan about the instrumental track. “I recorded the song with just bass and drums, followed by all the arpeggiated guitar parts, and eventually I added the cellos and did Hungarian-style throat singing. I was inspired to add the cellos when I first heard Carlos “Lamont” Cooper playing in the NYC subway where he plays to make a living. Turns out he’s an ex-gangbanger from NJ who has had a hard life and although we have had very different experiences, we have a lot of things in common; PTSD will do that.”
“Harley’s involvement and performance in Between Wars is organic, natural and necessary. He fit into the role like a glove. The life experience he brings to the project is authentic and true and he made us all raise our games.”
Imperioli and Flanagan sat down with the movie’s director Tom Phillips to discuss the music video, the film, and the importance of music scores and soundtracks. Between Wars takes an intimate look at the struggle of re-entering civilian life post-combat. The film follows veteran Marine Franny Malloy (Shaun Paul Costello) as he struggles with integrating himself back home in NYC after returning from the war in Afghanistan. Battling PTSD and self-destructive behaviors, he finds his only hope in fellow Marine turned PTSD psychologist, Sarge, played by Michael Imperioli. Harley Flanagan plays McManus, an old school Bronx Irish gangster and general madman.
It’s been a few productive years for Flanagan lately, who after forming the CRO-MAGS in 1983, legally asserted his original rights to the band name last year in a well-publicized lawsuit. “In many ways, it is a new beginning and also a tribute to where it all began,” reflects the frontman on the band’s first album in 20 years, In The Beginning.
The history of the CRO-MAGS is integral to the history of Hardcore, it’s evolution from punk and the development of alternative music genres such as hardcore, cross-over, thrash metal, post punk and grunge to name a few. Numerous iconic bands from METALLICA to GREEN DAY, and individuals such as Dave Grohl have credited CRO-MAGS with having had a primal influence on their development.
Born out of the violence and depravity of the Lower East Side of New York in the late 70s and early 80s, the CRO-MAGS was the brain-child of a very young Harley Flanagan (at the time 14 years old) when still playing with THE STIMULATORS. By 1982/83 he wrote and recorded the very first CRO-MAGS demos consisting of four songs that would become the blue print for the seminal 1986 »Age of Quarrel«. He wrote all of the music, played each instrument and sang. Before long he connected with Parris Mayhew and the two started writing music and auditioning band members.
After several line-ups, 5 studio albums (beyond the original demos) and 30 + years of tours around the world, CRO-MAGS remains one of the most iconic hardcore bands with arguably the greatest reach beyond the genre.
Harley Flanagan | bass/vocals
Gabby Abularach | guitars
Rocky George | guitars
Garry “G-Man” Sullivan | drums