This is a fan site for the 1990s Richmond, Virginia punk band the (Young) Pioneers. I was a teenager at the time, and first saw them with popular local bands like Avail, Inquisition and Action Patrol. But the Pioneers would also play with more left field acts, and through going to their shows, I got to know bands like Karp, Modest Mouse, Men's Recovery Project and The VSS.
The (Young) Pioneers existed from roughly 1994-'99, and were lead by singer/guitarist Adam Nathanson, formerly of the hardcore bands Born Against and Life's Blood. Their longest-running lineup featured bassist Marty Key, who later played with Ted Leo and now runs the record store Steady Sounds, and drummer Brooks Headley, formerly of Universal Order of Armageddon and now a lauded pastry chef in NYC.
Their sound was rootsy punk: a distorted take on rock 'n' roll, early Bob Dylan and the Civil Rights-era soul of Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions. They were a definite precursor the early 2000s folk-punk movement, made most popular by Against Me! and This Bike is a Pipe Bomb.
The Pioneers' lyrics combined tales of lumpen Richmond with allusions to 20th century rebel politics: Black Panthers, Zapatistas, Carlos the Jackyl... The band's aesthetic fit the bill, using photocopiers to marry iconic black power and punk imagery with leftist political propaganda. I consider their album and poster art to be the apotheosis of the photocopier manipulation that defined 1990s punk scene through zines like Cometbus and clip art loving bands like Nathanson's old group Born Against.
I made this site to share and preserve the incredible imagery created by one of my all-time favorite bands. These pictures are all from my personal collection, and I was inspired to share them after checking out RVA80SHC.tumblr.com and rereading "Banned in DC," a photobook documenting the early '80s DC hardcore scene. If you have any (Young) Pioneers art that you don't see here, please email me. You can contact me through ChrisLTerry.com. My name is Chris Terry and I am a writer living in Chicago. I am also seeking (Young) Pioneers MP3s to stream on this site - I have most of their music on vinyl.