John Finn of Legitimate Reason, Stepping Razor
Stacey Finney guest interviews John Finn of the bands Legitimate Reason and Stepping Razor. John was born in the lower Northeast section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania known as Feltonville, eventually moving to the Mayfair section of the city. John spent his formative years playing ball on his street with the other local kids and protecting their playground turf. John talks about the discipline and respect he gained as a result of his Catholic School education and the positive influence it had on him personally. John discusses his experiences as a kid diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and how the nuns handled his active behavior by tying him to a chair with an electrical cord as a means to keep him seated. He was consequently labeled early on as Beelzebub by his former nuns and even given his own private classroom in which his daily lessons were delivered one-on-one. John discusses the early influences that led him into the Philly hardcore music scene and how he became involved in his bands, Legitimate Reason and Stepping Razor, in addition to some of the escapades that ensued during his tenures in these bands. Both of John’s bands opened for the likes of the Cro Mags and Government Issue as well as some other well known groups which are mentioned in the interview. John talks very comically about his ongoing conflicts with the band Circle of Shit and how they eventually became friends. He also shares some other follies, such as when he and friends “kidnapped” a metalhead coworker to keep him safe during a fight that broke out at a house party. Some of John’s interactions with skinheads and his anti-racist views are brought up, providing valuable perspective on those volatile times in the Philadelphia HC punk scene.
Audio note: Please forgive the low and rather poor sound quality of this interview.