NYC’s Fahrenheit 451 recently teamed up with Dutch label Light The Fuse Records to re-release their “The Thought Of It” EP for the first time ever on 12” vinyl. Originally released on CD in 1996 by SFT Records “F451” was one of the most loved bands in the NYC area (and beyond) from 1995 till the time they originally broke up in June of 2000. We decided to get a bunch of their peers’ thoughts and memories documented and then we also threw in a short interview with singer Armando Bordas, because… oh yeah, they have been playing together again and plan on putting out new music this year! As if that wasn’t enough we also had the band and their label Light The Fuse Records make this a little more interesting by creating a F451 trivia contest with some pretty cool shit to be won by one lucky winner… more on that towards the end of this article! Fahrenheit 451 were undoubtedly an important band in the history of NYHC. They came along at a time where the sound and style of NYHC had already been changing for a few years and they just took that ball and kept running wild with it. Their original songs still stand the test of time some 25 plus years after coming out and the prospect of them releasing brand new tracks this year is a 90’s hardcore kids dream come true. “The Thought Of It” lineup consisted of: Armando Bordas- vocals, Frank Villalona- guitar, Lenny Bednarz- guitar, Kevin Smith- bass, Raymond Greene- drums. Lead photo by: Angela Boatwright. Graphics by: John Franko
MIKE DIJAN- (CROWN OF THORNZ, BREAKDOWN, OUTBURST, COLDFRONT, & MANY MORE…)
In a time that saw a select amount of unique bands define NYHC in the mid-90’s, Fahrenheit 451 was an integral component to our scene, bringing a fresh sound, an urban style with grooves that tapped from hip-hop to rock, boasting Latino flare and attitude. No one sounded like them. On top of sharing the stage with F451 many times, I would go to see them perform any chance I could, as we became friends and I was infatuated with the playing style of their drummer Ray (Raboogie) Greene. Slicing chops and grooves for miles (I would later have the honor of being his bandmate in Breakdown, Laws of Gravity and Lavalette for years to come). F451's style to this day has never been duplicated, which is an attribute of their originality. Mad love and respect to Lenny, Armando, Flaco Frank, Ray and Kevin for being family and a feel good hit to the NYHC scene when it was much needed.
CESAR RAMIREZ- (DISTRICT 9)
One great memory I have with the F451 crew is the show they played with Motorhead. First I got to meet Lemmy… but in not such a good way. He caught Myke (District 9’s singer) and me stealing his Jack Daniel's so after getting kicked out of his dressing room I was kicked out of the show about 3 or 4 times for blazing trees all over the venue. The great thing is that my peeps from F451 kept sneaking me back in. Finally the bouncer asked me how the fuck do you keep getting back in!?!? and he just left me alone after that, haha!
DEAN MILLER- (NO REDEEMING SOCIAL VALUE)
SFT Records released and promoted some talented and unique bands for the time. Each band on the roster brought its own special flavor that complemented each other band’s style. Fahrenheit 451 were one of these special groups. They contributed something with “The Thought Of It” that no other band was able to copy. Their cohesiveness as a unit made them shine and they developed a language of their own. Individually, they are all super nice dudes and great players. As a unit they are a musical force, unmatched. No other band sounded like them, and they translated that perfectly on this EP. They always brought that upbeat, positive energy. They are family.
F451 AT FRANKS WEDDING 2000. L-R: RAY, LENNY, FRANK, KEVIN & ARMANDO
HOWIE ABRAMS- (FORMER LABEL GUY TURNED AUTHOR)
One thing I can say about the Fahrenheit guys with absolute certainty is that whether it was in the studio, or especially at one of their gigs, they smoked A LOT of weed. I mean, they puffed Method Man/Redman amounts of cheeba. It seemed to enhance their creativity, which is great, but I often wondered how they made it home afterward and remembered their home addresses. That said, they were always prompt to recording sessions, as well as their shows. Weed never messed with their work-ethic, and it definitely didn’t negatively affect them live. It was just part of them.
GAVIN VAN VLACK- (BURN, ABSOLUTION & MANY MORE)
Music like this comes at a time when things seem to start stagnating. Boredom becomes a catalyst for creative genius, when the struggle is truly against becoming complacent and docile. This is music born more out of overall street culture than an individual “scene” and pays homage to that while not giving half a fuck about the opinions of where it draws from. That is a necessary ingredient for good art and music. I wish I could add an anecdote but it was the 90’s… and I was drunk!
ADAM BLAKE- (H20, SHELTER)
“…and then Lenny seductively unzipped my dickies and said “Let me show you how bad I wanna be on the bill at your Tramps show”.
TODD HAMILTON- (DISTRICT 9)
I first met all the Fahrenheit 451 guys in the early 90's during a time when several of them were playing in Without A Cause and Close Call. Around 1994 both bands had made significant lineup changes and the songwriting was evolving in a way that you basically had two new bands… Close Call became District 9 and Without A Cause became Fahrenheit 451. Both bands were family to each other. We hung out at each other's practices and houses. We shared members (I'm counting 5 who have now played in both F451 and D9… even more than that when you consider Close Call and Without A Cause), Puerto Rican Myke did a verse on "No More Promises" and Armando did the additional vocals on District 9’s "Addicts" and we supported each other's efforts. I was at a lot of Fahrenheit practices and got to see a pretty good number of their songs as they were being written. They were doing something that was a little bit different during a time when "doing something a little different" was becoming the norm and not every band pulled it off. But they stood out. The stuff they were writing wasn't trying to be anything other than an honest representation of what came naturally to them. They pushed certain boundaries, but knew how and when to stay in their lane. That resulted in some really great songs that got people hyped, especially in a live setting. There's plenty of evidence of that on YouTube, but I suggest actually seeing them live if you have the opportunity.
WARREN LEE- (PITCHFORK HARDWEAR, F451 GUITAR TECH)
A breath of fresh air when they hit the scene. Fahrenheit 451’s sound is unique, heavy and innovative. Their live performances were one of the most energetic displays of a fun time to be had as upcoming performers in the NYHC scene. “The Thought Of It” was able to capture the band's energy when recording. Fierce and passionate about the music that they played, this album is just a sample of what they bought to the table during their short lived career. I was lucky enough to experience this first hand as I toured with them early in my career as a touring guitar technician. Every night was the same pace and passion being put into the show from each and every member of that band. What a classic record to re-release.
WILL GOMEZ- (LOSS BECOMES, JOHNNY CAGE IS A FAKE)
Back in the late 90’s my very first hardcore band Blackout opened up for Fahrenheit 451 at Mullaly Skate Park in the Bronx. I knew very little about the NY hardcore scene and seeing a band like F451 for the very first time with no knowledge of what was to come was jaw dropping! The crowd went absolutely nuts with people moshing, stage diving, and falling on to concrete. It was the most outrageous and glorious first show a young teenager like myself could ever experience. They are NYHC legends if you ask me.
EDDIE MEDINA- (POWERHOUSE)
Man what can I say about the Fahrenheit fellas. I mean we met up with them in ‘98 doing a tour with Maximum Penalty and Powerhouse from CT to DC mid-winter for a like a week. And also got to see them in Cali on their tour with H2O and Vision. My memory is hazy about the tour but they are the best dudes. Lots of shenanigans. Great musicians and great personalities. We are glad to call them friends to this day and glad they are doing their thing again. Can’t wait to share the stage with them again hopefully in the near future before we need walkers. Fahrenheit 451 rules!
F451 PERFORMING LIVE ON WNYU'S "CRUCIAL CHAOS" RADIO SHOW 1995
PAUL DELANEY (BLACK ANVIL, KILL YOUR IDOLS, NONE MORE BLACK)
Fahrenheit 451 was always a very unique band to me. If I had to compare, they were like, if early Hot Water Music was from NYC. I still have the Without A Cause demo, (to which F451 was born from the ashes of). Another band, that in the time had something slightly different to offer than what hardcore could potentially limit you to. So it’s no shock the evolution continued. In a time where everything surrounding them in NYC was quite menacing, that was quick to start getting one dimensional and stale. They, (as well as Crown Of Thornz in my opinion) were the bands that had more to offer and were still an active part of the scene. Anyone normal would’ve started a new band and went the other way fast haha.
The days of SFT Records were rich and rather important for the 90’s as a breath of fresh air. From Vision Of Disorder to No Redeeming Social Value, it showed a bit of diversity. I’m sure what I got out of F451’s music and approach to songwriting was the furthest thing from what their inspirations and influences actually were, but they’ll always stand out to me as one of the “different”, most important bands and are so open to interpretation when it comes to dissecting their process. I’ve always chose the path less traveled/more obscure route as it was always more interesting/challenging with everything in life, especially music.
VAUGHN LEWIS- (MANAGER FOR MOST OF YOUR FAVORITE HARDCORE AND METAL BANDS)
Lots of great Fahrenheit stories. These guys were friends first, then one of the first bands I ever managed. Some of the stories I can't tell. One thing that always struck me was that I had never in my life seen a handful of individuals smoke as much weed as these guys even though only 4 of them smoked. I put them on a show with Murphy's Law at 7 Willow Street in Port Chester, NY. For me it's always a big deal when I put bands I work with together on the same show. Even though these guys knew each other they had never played a big show together. Does the pairing make sense? Will they get along? Will someone get mad at me because they don't like the other band? All things I obsess about. Right away it was a party, everyone was having fun, everything was all good. Then at one point Jimmy from Murphy's Law comes up to me smiling and says "wow these guys smoke A TON OF WEED". I busted out laughing… some high praise coming from Jimmy.
JAY REASON- (VOICE OF REASON, THE DISTANCE)
Summer of 1997, my first band Voice Of Reason opened day one of an insane hardcore fest at the Tune Inn in New Haven, CT. Vision Of Disorder was headlining alongside F451 and other heavy hitters. It was extremely hot that day and the venue was packed. I had gotten to know Armando and the F451 guys from their frequent trips to play CT and always looked forward to our smoking sessions. After our set, we met up and got the smoke session started. I’ll spare the details, but this was the first time I was exposed to a few different substances rolled into a blunt, hahaha! Armando and I have maintained our friendship over the years and I am really excited to see this release on vinyl.
MARK SCONDOTTO- (SHUTDOWN)
I think I first heard “Fragments Of Reality” on the Crucial Chaos radio show and was immediately hooked before I even met them and was able to call them friends. Their sound was completely refreshing and unique to me, combining post hardcore influences like Burn and Fugazi mixed with some bouncy hip-hop style beats and catchy hardcore hooks for a more raw urban sound that to me became their own. Fast forward about a year later and we were lucky enough to link up through SFT Records as label mates and became lifelong friends. I always thought of Frank , Lenny, Ray , and Kev back then as some of the best musicians in our beloved NYHC scene. Fahrenheit 451 to me was NYHC with flavor! Armando had a way of grabbing the crowd and his lyrics always flowed so naturally as they were easy to remember and sing along to at shows which I did a lot of. I'm so excited to see this re-release because I have always felt they were way ahead of their time and I think this will give the new breed a chance to really appreciate them and give them the credit they deserve! Love these guys so much and am so happy we got to play the weekend of shows in NYC with them in 2021! Long live Fahrenheit 451 and go pick up this classic!
MATT RIGA- (VISION)
My memories of these guys are great! We were on the road together for just a short time, but the friendships still remain (thanks to Facebook). Great bunch of guys, great musicians… my favorite song being “For”. Watching them play that always filled me with such energy. The mean backing vocals, hard guitars and bass, solid drums and funky-raw lyrics make me wanna kick holes in things every time I hear it! We had a lot of fun hanging out and playing shows together. Memories that will last a lifetime!
F451 REUNION SHOW @ CBGB's 2005. PHOTO BY: CARL GUNHOUSE
GARY MUTTLEY- (BILLY CLUB SANDWICH)
How do you describe Fahrenheit 451 to someone who's never heard them? Think of a Venn diagram (Google it). You've got circles with post hardcore (Burn, Quicksand), melodic punk rock (H2O, Fugazi), 90's alt rock (Smashing Pumpkins, Faith No More), old school hardcore punk (Bad Brains), a little bit of hip hop, a little bit of old school metal. F451 is at the center of that diagram. F451 stood out on their own merits but could easily blend in on different bills; their standard setlist could certainly hold its own with their varied 1990's contemporaries like Bulldoze, H2O, Warzone, Orange 9mm, Madball, Life Of Agony, Indecision or Candiria. Back in the days before You Tube, Spotify and Facebook, when talking to your friends meant calling the home phone or meeting up to hang at CBGB’s, Coney Island High, Wetlands or the Bond Street Cafe. Meanwhile you could drop the band in the middle of a 2022 bill and songs like "No More Promises" and "Afraid" will still connect with a new listener. The world changed, we changed, but the music is timeless.
MARTIN GONZALEZ- (BILLY CLUB SANDWICH)
Knowing these guys as friends first before musicians has been an experience all by itself and listening to F451’s music has given me the most positive look in life. They may not know it till NOW but their music has healed me in the darkest moments of my life. TILL THIS DAY! Their music has continued to inspire me to be a better person, a better man, a better brother and father. That's my personal experience with F451 that I am sharing.
TOM SHEEHAN- (INDECISON & AXE TO GRIND PODCAST)
My memories of Fahrenheit 451 go back to the very beginning, oddly enough. Indecision used to practice at Fastlane Studios in Flatbush, Brooklyn (RIP Mike Ferrara). We were friendly with the Without A Cause dudes and one day they invited us over to their practice after we were done. Little did we know, we were witnessing something super important. We were there for Armando’s “tryout” for the yet to be named F451. I thought it was a huge change vocally from Without A Cause but I thought it was great from the start. We played some shows together over the years and “The Thought Of It” remains some of my favorite songs from that era. I got to see them destroy at some of the biggest NYHC shows of the 90’s. Glad to still call these dudes my friends and I look forward to seeing them play again in 2023.
F451 @ THE LOWDOWN, MOUNT VERNON, NY 1995
CHAKA MALIK- (BURN, ORANGE 9MM)
Fahrenheit added a dope new flavor to the mix taking what was a newer wave of hardcore at the time and making it feel true to their ethnic roots (in my opinion), groovy, and to my mind fun! Orange9mm took them out towards the end of our touring and it was dope to have another New York band with inner city flavor giving audiences something dope!
LOU MEDINA- (CURRENT F451 DRUMMER, BREAKDOWN, COLD FRONT)
Around the first part of ‘96 I believe Fahrenheit was in between drummers. This was right before Ray Greene started playing with them. Vaughn Lewis
approached me and asked if I would be interested in trying out for the band. I thought they were a really good band but was already playing in Cold Front and Breakdown and didn’t want to commit to a
third band. We’ve been friends ever since those days so when Lenny asked if I would come on board in the spring of ‘21, I of course said yes. It’s funny how things work out, even if it’s 25 years
down the line. We’re having a blast and I’m glad to be a part of the band. They’re a great bunch of guys…even Lenny.
CARL GUNHOUSE- (PHOTOGRAPHER)
In the mid 90’s, there was a segment of NYHC that was influenced by the progressive elements of the later Revelations Records catalog. At the time, it was important for a band to sound new and different. Fahrenheit 451 was very much of that world. They obviously covered Burn but performing live there was a joy often lacking in the more earnest bands they referenced. But mostly, when I think of Fahrenheit 451, I think of people who were always very nice to a random suburban kid from New Jersey.
JEROEN NOTENBOOM- (LIGHT THE FUSE RECORDS)
I grew up as a hardcore kid in the mid-90’s. In this period the amount of new releases was huge and through things like tape trading, reviews and thank lists, I tried to check out as much
as possible. However, since there was so much new stuff and old bands I had to find out about I missed out on a lot. Around 2006 I started to play in the band New Morality and those younger kids were
listening to a band I didn't hear before since they
were not on my scope at all. Bands like Fahrenheit 451, Fit of Anger, Kalel, Life's Blood, Absolution, Cold Front. I loved it! Around that time their singer asked me to join Light The Fuse Records with the small distro I was running. We did some cool releases for some Dutch bands, however after a while I was the last one left running the label and distro. There were hardly any new Dutch bands that I wanted to release so everything went quiet. The love for hardcore however never went away as I kept buying records etc. When I was playing some music at home, I wanted to put on Fahrenheit 451. However, I had sold their CD and I saw there was no vinyl version. And I wanted it on vinyl. Well, hardcore has always been a DIY thing, so before I knew it I was in touch with Fahrenheit to arrange it. Now it has been released, I'm damn proud of what we did together and
I'm happy that everyone that's into this band can put that record on their turntable now!
INTERVIEW WITH ARMANDO BORDAS FEBRUARY, 2023
F451 @ LE POISSON ROUGE, NYC 2021. PHOTO BY: MICHELLE MENNONA
IE: Yo Mando! What brought about this new Light The Fuse Records re-issue of The Thought Of It?
Armando: Jeroen, who runs the label, initially reached out to Lenny on Facebook. He’s a fan of the band and a lover of vinyl. His label was basically out of commission since 2007. He wanted to relaunch his label with the vinyl release of “The Thought Of It” which had never been released on vinyl. It’s funny because he’s based in the Netherlands and has never met us or seen us live. It goes to show the reach of hardcore and even our small band. Just when you think that people have forgotten, something like this comes along and breathes new life into something so important in your life and that means so much.
IE: What "new" things should people who are interested in buying the reissue expect and what kind of work or effort went in to this project?
Armando: A local photographer/videographer friend re-shot the original painting which really made the front cover so much more vibrant than the original. We had Orlando Arce from Stillsuit do the new layout. He worked on the UrbanStyles book and is an awesome artist. It’s funny that we were both doing our thing around the same time, (in fact, we played our first show at CB’s with Stillsuit… peep the layout for the flyer) yet we never crossed paths much or played shows together after, even though sonically we were similar I think. Since he’s worked on the release we’ve become buds. It was remastered by Jeroen’s boy in the Brecht, Belgium at High Lake Hill Studios. They did an exceptional job. The one glaring difference sound wise is how much crisper everything sounds on vinyl. I know I’m late to the game. There are certain sounds that I hear on the vinyl that I don’t remember hearing until now. I think overall this12” re-issue looks and sounds so much better than the original CD release. Definitely grab this if you’re a vinyl-head and a fan of the band.
IE: Where was the photo on the back cover taken and can you tell us any backstories about that day?
Armando: The back photo was for a photo shoot we did for a magazine called Fridge back in 1998, on the Williamsburg Bridge. It was taken by the great Angela Boatwright. I met up with Angela at her apartment before the shoot to talk about what we were doing for the day. She busted out some slides of so many great artists and bands she had shot. I had known her from shows and the occasional LES night time run-ins, but it was nice to chill and shoot the shit with her about music, especially old school metal. She was and continues to be an awesome person and photographer. Google her for a musical history lesson. The one funny thing I remember was Frank constantly taking his jacket on and off trying to model and look “cool” for the “photo shoot”. You can see he’s giving that wannabe, aloof, look away model vibe. Ha!
IE: Who drew the front cover and was there any tie in with the artwork and the title "The Thought Of It"?
Armando: It was painted by a guy named Scott Trerretola from Long Island. I was introduced to him by Kent and Dean from No Redeeming Social Value. He tattooed those guys and I subsequently went to him to get tattooed as well. I believe he still tattoos on Long Island. He was a cool dude and I thought he could possibly paint something sweet for the cover. I don’t remember if we had the title by then but I’m sure I just told him to come up with something cool. I’m sure he used those colors because of the fire association with the band name. I love the connection between the EP cover, the demo artwork and the Japan LP version of it (which he painted as well). I feel like it tells a story if you look at the progression. I’m sure the title was independent of the artwork and was probably concocted on the 8th blunt of a cipher.
F451 @ LE POISSON ROUGE, NYC 2021. PHOTO BY: MICHELLE MENNONA
IE: F451 played a few shows over the last year and now there is talk about a 2 song EP in the works for 2023. Can you give us any info about the future of the band?
Armando: We’re just taking it day by day, but there is a plan to write and put out a 2 song 7” as well as keep playing shows whenever possible. We’ve been floating the idea of trying to get overseas since we never got to do that. We’ve got a new drummer, Lou Medina (Breakdown, Cold Front) who’s an old friend and a beast behind the kit. He really has breathed new life into this old horse. To be honest, I’m just happy to still have these dudes in my life for over 25 years… still making music and having fun as my dear friends.
IE: Obviously from this piece you and I worked on together there is a lot of love still for F451. What is the one thing from this band's history that makes you the proudest or the thing that you will always look back on and have fond memories?
Armando: The fact that there’s still love. We were a mere blip in the history of NYHC and yet someone wants to put our music out 25 years later and people still care about us enough today to see us play and buy our music… it’s more than I could’ve ever imagined and I’m grateful.
FAHRENHEIT 451 "THE THOUGHT OF IT" TRIVIA CONTEST!
You made it this far! Now it is time to test your Fahrenheit 451 trivia knowledge and there is a payoff to 1 lucky winner with some F451 swag which is shown below. If you know the answers to the questions below get in touch with us! If there are multiple people tied with the most correct answers those names will be put into a hat and 1 winner will be drawn at random. Up for grabs are a test press of "The Thought Of It" on Light The Fuse Records, the CD discography, 2 shirts, 2 stickers and 2 buttons. Contest ends March 1st, 2023.
1. What band first took F451 across the country on tour?
2. How many drummers has F451 had past and present?
3. When asked in an interview in the mid-90’s which NYHC luminary claimed that F451 was the only band that could compete with him in the smoking weed department?
4. What state did F451 break down on their first national tour?
Please submit your replies to InEffectHC@aol.com OR @InEffectHC on Instagram
BUY F451'S "THE THOUGHT OF IT" ON 12" VINYL THROUGH LIGHT THE FUSE BY CLICKING BELOW