“I had to stop buying records. I stopped being a fan of music – I felt that was affecting my individuality and my style”: SSD were hardcore legends, then Al Barile sold his guitar gear to buy a jet ski. Here’s how he found his way back to his Gibson SG

SSD's Al Barile performs live
(Image credit: Philin Phlash)

You’d hardly guess it from the bruising, brutalist fury of SSD’s 1982 landmark debut The Kids Will Have Their Say, but guitarist Al Barile took a lot of inspiration out of the gleeful, flipped hat power-pop riffage of Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen. 

Before forming his cult hardcore crew – whose first release was just made available officially for the first time in 40 years via Trust Records – Barile grew up as a hard rock fan Lynn, Massachusetts, near Boston. He gravitated towards the straight-ahead crunch of AC/DC. He was also a card-carrying member of the Van Halen fan club, but didn’t quite see himself diving into the world of two-handed tapping.

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Gregory Adams

Gregory Adams is a Vancouver-based arts reporter. From metal legends to emerging pop icons to the best of the basement circuit, he’s interviewed musicians across countless genres for nearly two decades, most recently with Guitar World, Bass Player, Revolver, and more – as well as through his independent newsletter, Gut Feeling. This all still blows his mind. He’s a guitar player, generally bouncing hardcore riffs off his ’52 Tele reissue and a dinged-up SG.