The Blood and the Sweat: The Story of Sick of It All's Koller Brothers (BOOK COVER REVEAL, EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT)

No Echo is honored to bring you some NYHC-related goodies today. Hitting bookstores this summer, The Blood and the Sweat: The Story of Sick of It All's Koller Brothers is the autobiography of two of the hardcore movement's biggest ambassadors.

Co-written by Lou Koller, Pete Koller, and Howie Abrams (Finding Joseph I: An Oral History of H.R. from Bad BrainsThe ABCs of Metallica), the book's cover art for The Blood and the Sweat: The Story of Sick of It All's Koller Brothers can be seen above and features a photo by Joel Ricard.

The book will feature commentary from family, friends, band-mates past and present, and their peers, including Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer), Kurt Brecht (D.R.I.), Barney Greenway (Napalm Death, Benediction), Iggor Cavalera (Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy), Toby Morse (H2O, Hazen Street) and more.

The foreword for the book was written by Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional, Further Seems Forever), who details two specific encounters with the brothers which altered the manner in which he operates a musician, and as a person. 


In this No Echo exclusive excerpt from The Blood and the Sweat: The Story of Sick of It All's Koller Brothers, Pete and Lou talk about the insane night that eventually led to the For Pete's Sake benefit show at CBGB in 1988:

Pete: We grew up being taught “Don’t worry, the police are good and they're always going to help you,” which brings us to “Injustice System.” We played a show at Streets in New Rochelle, New York. They started having a lot of hardcore shows up there because New York hardcore was getting big. It was Murphy's Law, us, and I forget who else, but we played our set, which went great. The thing about Streets was, the hardcore kids would travel from the Bronx, or other parts of New York City, but then there were these local kids….

Lou: VERY white trash! So, during Murphy's Law's set, all of a sudden a riot breaks out between the locals and the hardcore kids, and fights are going on everywhere: inside the club, outside…. Everybody was involved in this shit—me, my older brother— and we're all just hitting people. Pete had been outside putting his equipment away, not bothering anybody. Out of nowhere, a cop comes running over….

Pete: First, the cop attacked our friend Minus, so Jason Krakdown tells the cops, “Hey, c'mon, that's my friend,” and then they go after him. I turned around and saw everyone getting beat up by the police and asked, “Hey, what's going on?” Then a cop swung at me. I ducked, and he swung again, so I ducked again. He was mad that I wasn't getting hit, so then someone grabbed me from behind and flipped me over onto the ground.

They’re all trying to cuff me. One guy is pulling me to the right; the other guy is pulling me to the left. So then this one cop, the one who wound up pressing all these charges against me, grabs me and puts his fingers in my mouth to try to pull and break my jaw, so I bit his fingers really fucking hard! I was arrested for that.

Lou: They took Pete for three days. They wouldn't let us see him, so we went and got a lawyer and they wouldn't let the lawyer see him either. My parents weren't allowed to see him; nobody was allowed to call him—it was all illegal. They did this to everybody who wasn't from New Rochelle. 

Pete: There was one kid standing there with no shirt on and a knife, and the cop was just like, “Go on, get out of here,” simply because he was a local.

Lou: So, we had to go through that and then go through a trial, which they delayed, and in the end, the charges were dropped. I wrote the lyrics to “Injustice System” about that.

Pete: The cop never showed up to any of the hearings…. 

Lou: Because he knew the whole thing was bullshit. 

Pete: We later heard he got six months paid leave, and there was nothing else done to him. They were going to keep Minus longer than the rest of us because they were like, “He doesn't have a father; no one's gonna come and get him,” so my parents drove him home when we were finally able to leave. The cop who I supposedly assaulted said to Jason, “There's no bail for you!” He was acting as if he was the judge. I had all the show money, and I gave it to Jason and said, “Here, now you can get out,” and of course, the cops were pissed at that too. 

Lou: Eventually, all of this crap settled down. The scene even threw a benefit show for Pete at CBGB.

Pete Koller, Howie Abrams, Lou Koller in 2019.

The Blood and the Sweat: The Story of Sick of It All's Koller Brothers will be out this summer via Post Hill Press. The pre-order is live and ready at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tagged: sick of it all