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Gray Matter

Following drummer Dante Ferrando and guitarist Mark Haggerty’s departure from Iron Cross, the two joined vocalist/guitarist Geoff Turner and bassist Steve Niles in 1983 to form Gray Matter, one of the defining acts of the Revolution Summer era of the D.C. scene. The band melded the driving intensity of early hardcore with highly melodic and skillful songwriting to help shape the post-hardcore sound. Gray Matter made a number of recordings on Dischord before breaking up in the early 1990s, following a hiatus. Beyond being an influential part of the Revolution Summer era, members of Gray Matter made other important contributions to the scene. In 1993, Ferrando opened the Black Cat, a central venue for punk bands that still operates today. During Gray Matter’s hiatus from 1986 to 1990, Haggerty, Niles, and Turner performed in the band Three, which released an album on Dischord. Haggerty was later a member of the Dischord band Severin and Turner worked prolifically as a producer at his recording studio, WGNS.

Drawn from the Paul Bushmiller collection on punk, the Sharon Cheslow Punk Flyers collection and the D.C. punk and indie fanzine collection at Special Collections in Performing Arts at the University of Maryland.

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