Neon Christ: A brief history of ‘1984’


Back in May, I had the privilege of hanging out after hours at Wuxtry Records’ Atlanta shop to interview Randy DuTeau, Jimmy Demer, Danny Lankford, and William DuVall of Neon Christ for this documentary film, directed by Nicol Eltzroth Rosendorf.

We talked about the formation of the group and their history together amid Atlanta’s early ‘80s hardcore scene, and the all-analog remastering process that yielded NX’s recently released discography LP, 1984 (Southern Lord/DVL Records).

If you weren’t able to track down a copy of the Record Store Day red vinyl edition of Neon Christ’s 1984 LP, no worries. A second press is set to arrive in September, pressed on black and coke-bottle clear vinyl. Both versions are available for pre-order at the Southern Lord Recordings store.

If you weren’t able to track down a copy of the Record Store Day red vinyl edition of Neon Christ’s 1984 LP, no worries. A second press is on the way, pressed on black and coke-bottle clear vinyl. Both are up for pre-order at the Southern Lord Recordings store.

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Neon Christ, GG King, and Upchuck play The Star Bar parking lot June 12—Record Store Day

On June 12, as the Record Store Day shopping frenzy winds down in Little Five Points, head over to the the parking lot behind the Star Bar (437 Moreland Ave NE), where Neon Christ, GG King, and Upchuck are playing a free show from 6-8 p.m.

Atlanta’s hardcore luminaries Neon Christ were founded by Alice in Chains singer William DuVall in 1984. Back then DuVall played guitar alongside vocalist Randy DuTeau, bass player Danny Lankford, and drummer Jimmy Demer. “Our first practices were in Little Five Points, just steps from where we’ll play June 12,” DuVall says. “We played festivals here in ’84 and ’85. My record collection as a teenager came almost entirely from Wax N Facts. We didn’t even consider playing anywhere else.”

DuVall also did a brief stint playing in Santa Cruz, California’s seminal hardcore group Bl’ast! between 1986 and ’87.

Neon Christ’s members are reuniting to play live for the first time since February 8, 2008, when they took the stage together at The Treehouse in Lawrenceville. The show is also a victory lap on the heels of releasing the 1984 discography LP as a Record Store Day exclusive via Southern Lord and DuVall’s DVL imprint.

For this show, NX will tear through its earliest thrash and hardcore songs such as “Parental Suppression,” “Bad Influence,” “Ashes to Ashes,” and more. This is the material from their original two 7-inch releases, culled together and remastered for 1984—much of which the band stopped playing that same year. Before splitting up in 1986, NX’s had evolved and channeled its energy into longer, heavier, and slower songs. On June 12, though, the group is going full-on high-energy.


Press play on the new video for the group’s theme song, “Neon Christ.”

Before the show, NX will be at Criminal Records from 5-6 p.m. for a meet-and-greet, and to sign copies of 1984. “We wanted to do a quick in-store appearance for Record Store Day, but Covid restrictions would keep us from doing a proper punk rock show,” says Demer. “So we decided to make it outdoors, and all ages, and free. And instead of doing a couple of songs, we’ll play a full set.”

Music behind the Star Bar starts promptly at 6 p.m. Each band is playing a tight 30-minute set with an even tighter changeover between sets. “If all goes as planned, Neon Christ will play at 7:30 p.m. and end 26 minutes later,” Demer says. “Don’t blink, you’ll miss it.”

Don’t dick around and miss this one. After the Treehouse show in 2008 the group said it was the last time NX would play live. So 13 years later, this is a rare treat, and it could be your last chance to see them on stage. “We’ve only played two or three times since we broke up in 1986,” Demer says. “This one feels like a homecoming. It’s full circle, back to Little Five Points.”

This show also marks the first time that GG King has played live since the crushing new LP Remain Intact arrived in March via Total Punk. Press play below.


Upchuck photo by Caitlin Fitch.

And check out Upchuck’s self-titled EP from January 2020, too. It’s a scorcher.



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Neon Christ enlist their kids to play younger versions of themselves in a new video for their classic theme song

Neon Christ playing the Little 5 Points Fest, October 6, 1984 (on Seminole Ave. behind what is now Junkman’s Daughter). Photo by Chuck Gill.

Here’s a blast from the past to keep to your PMA going strong. The members of Neon Christ, Atlanta’s staple hardcore outfit circa 1984 through ‘86—vocalist Randy DuTeau, guitar player William DuVall, bass player Danny Lankford, and drummer Jimmy Demer—tapped their kids to play the younger versions of themselves in a new video for the group’s classic theme song.

As Demer explains, “I had this idea that we should make a video for the song ‘Parental Suppression,’ and have our kids play us. I brought it to the rest of the guys, and everyone was into the idea, but then nothing happened. Later, William came to me and said ‘hey, let’s do this, but for ‘Neon Christ’ instead.”

The song “Neon Christ” originally appeared on the group’s 10-song Parental Suppression 7-inch EP. And, after all, it is one of the catchiest songs on the record.

When Neon Christ was a functioning band, DuVall performed using his childhood nickname Kip. Since 2006, DuVall has sung and played guitar with the band Alice in Chains. In 2019, he released an album of solo acoustic songs, titled One Alone via his DVL Records imprint.

On the audio side, DuVall took Neon Christ’s original tapes to Nashville-based studio Welcome to 1979 to be remastered for an upcoming DVL/Southern Lord discography LP, titled 1984. The record compiles all of the material from Neon Christ’s Parental Suppression EP and the A Seven Inch Two Times double 7-inch originally released in 1990, and is set to arrive June 12—Record Store Day 2021.

In the meantime, check out the video for “Neon Christ,” directed by Atlanta-based filmmaker Nick Rosendorf.

Stay tuned for more Neon Christ news coming soon!

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