D.I. (band)

Last updated
Origin Fullerton, California, U.S.
Years active1981–present
Associated acts
Past members
  • Tim Maag
  • Steve Roberts
  • Rikk Agnew
  • Alfie Agnew
  • John "Bosco" Calabro
  • Mark "The Kid" Cerneka
  • Sean Elliott
  • Ed Caudill
  • Wade Walston
  • Greg Antista
  • Fredric Taccone
  • Hedge
  • Dan Colburn
  • Derek O'Brien
  • John Knight
  • Stevie DRT
  • Steve Guevara
  • Lisa "Lisafer" Pifer
  • Steve Lyen

D.I. is a Southern California punk band featuring ex-Adolescents and Social Distortion drummer Casey Royer on vocals. Royer formed the band with Rikk Agnew (also formerly of Christian Death), after they left the original lineup of Social Distortion.

Punk rock is a rock music genre that emerged in the mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as "proto-punk" music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. They typically produced short, fast-paced songs with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through independent record labels and other informal channels.

The Adolescents are an American punk rock band formed in Fullerton, California in 1980. Part of the hardcore punk movement in southern California in the early 1980s, they were one of the main punk acts to emerge from Orange County, along with their peers in Agent Orange and Social Distortion. Founding bassist Steve Soto was the sole constant member of the band since its inception, with singer Tony Reflex being in the group for all but one album.

Social Distortion American punk rock band

Social Distortion is an American punk rock band formed in 1978 in Fullerton, California. The band currently consists of Mike Ness, Jonny Wickersham, Brent Harding, David Hidalgo Jr. (drums), and David Kalish (keyboards).


Since forming in 1981, D.I. has had many line-up changes over the years and Royer has been the only constant member of the band. The rotating line-up usually consists of former members of the Adolescents and Social Distortion (including brothers Rikk and Alfie Agnew). The band has continued to work, although they have had inactive periods, which include the band going on hiatus between albums. During their years of touring and recording albums, D.I. have never gained a huge mainstream success, but they have influenced many of the mostly formed in the 1990s melodic hardcore punk and punk rock revival bands, including Face to Face, Guttermouth, Jughead's Revenge, [1] The Offspring, and Pennywise. [2] Members of the band also joined up with Daddy X and the Dirtball of the Kottonmouth Kings, to create the punk rock band the X-Pistols, in 2010.

Alfie Agnew

Alfonso F. "Alfie" Agnew, Ph.D is an American mathematician, singer, musician and songwriter. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Agnew is best known for being a member of the punk bands the Adolescents and D.I.. Alfie's brothers Rikk Agnew and Frank Agnew are also former Adolescents guitarists.

Face to Face (punk band) American punk rock band formed in 1991

Face to Face is a punk rock band from Victorville, California, formed in 1991 by front man Trever Keith, bassist Matt Riddle and drummer Rob Kurth. The band rose to fame with their 1995 album Big Choice, featuring the radio hit "Disconnected" which received heavy rotation on KROQ radio in Los Angeles and appeared in the movies Tank Girl and National Lampoon's Senior Trip.

Guttermouth American punk rock band

Guttermouth is an American punk rock band formed in 1988 in Huntington Beach, California and currently recording for Rude Records/Bird Attack Records. They have released nine full-length studio albums and two live albums and have toured extensively, including performances on the Vans Warped Tour. They are infamous for their outrageous lyrics and behavior which are deliberately explicit, offensive and intended to shock, though usually in a humorous and sarcastic manner. This behavior has sometimes resulted in high-profile problems for the band, such as being banned from performing in Canada for eighteen months and leaving the 2004 Warped Tour amidst controversy over their political views and attitudes towards other performers.


Early history (1981–1986)

D.I. was formed in 1981 after the Adolescents' first break-up. The band's name initially stood for "Drug Ideology", but now, the initials no longer have any meaning. [3] Their original line-up consisted of Casey Royer on vocals, Tim Maag on guitar, Fredric Taccone on bass guitar, and Derek O'Brien on drums. The band combined the Orange County hardcore punk sound with a decidedly surf and new wave style on their debut self-titled EP. The EP featured five songs, including "Richard Hung Himself" (originally written by Steve Roberts while he played for the Adolescents, recorded with the Adolescents and later re-recorded with D.I.), "Venus De Milo", "Reagan der Führer", "Purgatory", and "Guns". This EP was later reissued as Team Goon with extra tracks including versions of Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part II" and Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge". [4]

Orange County, California County in California, United States

Orange County is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,010,232, making it the third-most populous county in California, the sixth-most populous in the United States, and more populous than 21 U.S. states. Its county seat is Santa Ana. It is the second most densely populated county in the state, behind San Francisco County. The county's four largest cities by population, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, and Huntington Beach, each have a population exceeding 200,000. Several of Orange County's cities are on the Pacific Ocean western coast, including Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente.

Surf music is a subgenre of rock music associated with surf culture, particularly as found in Southern California. It was especially popular from 1962 to 1964 in two major forms. The first is instrumental surf, distinguished by reverb-drenched electric guitars played to evoke the sound of crashing waves, largely pioneered by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones. The second is vocal surf, which took elements of the original surf sound and added vocal harmonies, a movement led by the Beach Boys.

New wave is a genre of pop-oriented rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from traditional blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

The band's first studio album Ancient Artifacts was a more straight ahead Orange County-sounding album that included a new version of "Purgatory" from the EP. Not long after the release of Ancient Artifacts, D.I. returned to the studio to record their second album Horse Bites Dog Cries , which was not released until 1986 (although the album itself has copyright date of 1985). This is generally considered their best studio album. [5] [6]

<i>Ancient Artifacts</i> 1985 studio album by D.I.

Ancient Artifacts is D.I.'s first full-length studio album, which was released in 1985. "Hang Ten in East Berlin" and "Spiritual Law" were later re-recorded on the band's second album, Horse Bites Dog Cries, which was released in 1986. "O.C. Life" was later covered by Zebrahead, which was a bonus track for the Orange County OST and The Offspring as a bonus track for their Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace album. O.C. Life was originally written by Rikk Agnew of the Adolescents and appeared on his solo album All By Myself in 1982.

<i>Horse Bites Dog Cries</i> 1986 studio album by D.I.

Horse Bites Dog Cries is the second studio album by the American punk rock band D.I.. It was originally released in 1986, on the label Reject. The album was recorded at Casbah Studios in Fullerton, California in 1985 with Chaz Ramirez. Due to a typo on the album itself, many fans believe that it was released in 1985, but this appears to be false because its release was delayed until 1986 to avoid confusion with the band's then-current album Ancient Artifacts. Horse Bites Dog Cries was the final album featuring the Agnew brothers and drummer John Knight.

Two more albums and hiatus (1987–1992)

Before recording sessions for their next album commenced, guitarist Rikk Agnew left D.I. in 1987 to pursue his career with the Adolescents, who released two more albums ( Brats in Battalions , and Balboa Fun*Zone ) before breaking-up again. Agnew was replaced in D.I. by Hedge on bass guitar. Alfie Agnew played guitar, and Bosco was switched from bass to second guitar. Eventually Mark "The Kid" Cerneka replaced Alfie. The resulting album, What Good Is Grief to a God? (1988), was a commercial failure. After the 1988 US tour, "The Kid" left and was replaced by Sean Elliot. In 1989, D.I. released their next album Tragedy Again . [7]

Rikk Agnew guitarist

Richard Francis "Rikk" Agnew, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and visual artist.

<i>Brats in Battalions</i> 1987 studio album by the Adolescents

Brats in Battalions is the second studio album by the American punk rock band the Adolescents, released in August 1987 on SOS Records, the band's independent record label. It followed a reunion of the band after a five-year breakup, and subsequent lineup changes which saw drummer Casey Royer and original guitarist Frank Agnew replaced, respectively, by Sandy Hanson of the Mechanics and by Agnew's younger brother, Alfie Agnew. Brats in Battalions explores several styles of punk rock and features new recordings of all three songs from 1981's Welcome to Reality EP, as well as cover versions of the traditional folk song "The House of the Rising Sun" and the Stooges' "I Got a Right". Singer Tony Brandenburg left the band after this album, and the Adolescents recorded one more album without him, 1988's Balboa Fun*Zone, before breaking up for another 12 years.

<i>Balboa Fun*Zone</i> 1988 studio album by the Adolescents

Balboa Fun*Zone is the third studio album by the American punk rock band the Adolescents, released in 1988 on Triple X Records. Titled after the Balboa Fun Zone amusement area of Balboa Peninsula, Newport Beach, it is the band's only album recorded without singer Tony Brandenburg, who had left the group the prior year. Electing not to replace him, guitarist Rikk Agnew and bassist Steve Soto alternated lead vocals on Balboa Fun*Zone. The album also features the return of original Adolescents guitarist Frank Agnew, who had been absent from their prior album, 1987's Brats in Battalions. Balboa Fun*Zone is also the final Adolescents studio album to include Rikk Agnew and drummer Sandy Hanson. The band broke up in April 1989, reuniting in later years with different lineups.

Return and more line-up changes (1993–2010)

A live album, Live at a Dive, was released in 1993. After Stevie DRT left the band, original drummer John Knight rejoined, and their fifth album State of Shock was released the following year. [8] Chris Roboson and Steve Lyen joined and continued playing from 1995 to 1997. The band lost their record label soon afterwards. After two years of strictly playing live shows, and original guitarist Tim Maag replacing Roboson, D.I. headed back into the studio around 1997 to record what would be their follow-up to State of Shock and shopped the tracks around to labels without finding a taker.

<i>State of Shock</i> (D.I. album) 1994 studio album by D.I.

State of Shock is D.I.'s fifth full-length studio album, which was released in 1994. The album marked their first release with original drummer John Knight since 1986's Horse Bites Dog Cries.

Numerous line-up changes went on before they solidified their current line-up, consisting of Royer, Chckn (guitars), Clinton (guitars), Eddie Tatar (bass) and Joey Tatar (drums). Royer remained the only constant member of the band. D.I. continued touring for years and released their first original album in eight years, titled Caseyology , in 2002. Caseyology was followed up five years later by On the Western Front (2007) released on the Suburban Noize label, [9] with all music and lyrics written by Royer and Tatar. In 2009, the band released the tracks "Potbelly", "D.I.", "The Dehumanizers", and "Embrace The Kill – Shut the Fuck Up and Listen!!!" through PB Records. [10]

Recent activities (2011–present)

In March 2011, Casey Royer was arrested for child abuse, child endangerment and overdosing on heroin in the presence of his 12-year-old son. [11] The child abuse and child endangerment charges were dropped, but he was sentenced to a 90-day jail term and placed on probation for three years for the substance abuse misdemeanor. [12] After this, Royer got clean and sober, and D.I. returned to touring and playing live shows.

In 2012, the band released a new 7" EP, United We Slam through Hand Grenade Records. [10]


DatesMembers & prominent instrumentsReleases
  • "Guns", "Venus De Milo" and "Purgatory from D.I. (1983)
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Steve Roberts – guitars
  • Fredric Taccone – bass
  • Rikk Agnew – drums, keyboards
  • "Richard Hung Himself", "Reagan der Führer" from D.I. (1983)
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Rikk Agnew – guitars, drums
  • Alfie Agnew – guitars
  • Tim Maag – guitars
  • Derek O'Brien – drums
  • Wade Walston – bass
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Rikk Agnew – guitars
  • Alfie Agnew – guitars
  • John "Bosco" Calabro – bass
  • John Knight – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Rikk Agnew – guitars
  • Alfie Agnew – guitars
  • John "Bosco" Calabro – bass
  • Stevie DRT – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • John "Bosco" Calabro – guitars
  • Mark "The Kid" Cerneka – guitars
  • Hedge – bass
  • Stevie DRT – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Sean Elliot – guitars, vocals
  • John "Bosco" Calabro – guitars, vocals
  • Hedge – Bass
  • Stevie DRT – Drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Sean Elliot – guitars, vocals
  • Alfie Agnew – guitars, vocals
  • Dan Colburn – bass
  • Stevie DRT – drums
  • Live at a Dive (1993)
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Michael Calabro – guitars
  • Fredric Taccone – bass
  • John Knight – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Chris Roboson – guitars
  • Tim Maag – guitars
  • Fredric Taccone – bass
  • Steve Lyen – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Michael Calabro – guitars
  • Fredric Taccone – bass
  • John Knight – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Chckn – guitars, vocals
  • Fredric Taccone – bass
  • John Knight – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Sean Elliot – guitars
  • Chckn – guitars, vocals
  • Fredric Taccone – bass
  • John Knight – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Chckn – guitars
  • Fredric Taccone – bass
  • John Knight – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Chckn – guitars
  • Sean Elliott – guitars
  • Lisa "Lisafer" Pifer – bass
  • Steve Guevara aka: "Steve Gee" – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Chckn – guitars
  • Clinton Calton
  • Eddie Tater – bass
  • Steve Gee – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Chckn – guitars – vocals
  • Clinton Calton – guitars
  • Eddie Tater – bass
  • Joey Tater – drums
  • Casey Royer – vocals
  • Clinton Calton – guitars
  • Eddie Tatar – bass
  • Joey Tatar – drums
  • United We Slam (2012)


D.I. (band)


Studio releases

1985 Ancient Artifacts Debut album.
1986 Horse Bites Dog Cries Contains material from Ancient Artifacts .
1988 What Good Is Grief to a God? Contains a re-recording of "Johnny's Got a Problem".
1989 Tragedy Again First D.I. album not featuring re-recordings of any song from their previous albums.
1994 State of Shock Also re-released with Demo EP Bonus Tracks recorded 1996–97.
2002 Caseyology First studio album since 1994; also features re-recordings of original songs and features live tracks on some versions.
2007 On the Western Front Second D.I. album featuring only one re-recording of a song from their previous albums.

EP, compilation and live albums

1983 D.I. EP; re-released in 1987 as Team Goon with four bonus tracks.
1987Rat Music for Rat People, Vol. 3Compilation (CD Presents, 1987)
1993Live at a DiveLive
1999 Short Music for Short People Compilation including various other bands.
2003Best of D.I.Compilation
2004Redefining Scenes 2Compilation including various other bands.
2012United We SlamEP containing 4 new original songs, the first to be released on the band's own label Hand Grenade Records.

Related Research Articles

<i>Adolescents</i> (album) 1981 studio album by the Adolescents

Adolescents, also known as The Blue Album due to its cover design, is the debut studio album by American punk rock band the Adolescents, released in April 1981 on Frontier Records. Recorded after guitarist Rikk Agnew and drummer Casey Royer joined the band, it features several songs written for their prior group, the Detours, including "Kids of the Black Hole" and "Amoeba", which became two of the Adolescents' most well-known songs. Adolescents was one of the first hardcore punk albums to be widely distributed throughout the United States, and became one of the best-selling California hardcore albums of its time. The band never toured in support of it, and broke up four months after its release. The Blue Album lineup of Agnew, Royer, guitarist Frank Agnew, bassist Steve Soto and singer Tony Brandenburg reunited several times in subsequent years, but only for brief periods.

<i>Return to the Black Hole</i> 1997 live album by the Adolescents

Return to the Black Hole is a live album by the American punk rock band the Adolescents, released in September 1997 on Amsterdamned Records. It was recorded in December 1989 during a reunion performance by the band's 1980–81 lineup.

Francis Thomas "Frank" Agnew is an American guitarist and songwriter, best known for being a member of punk rock band the Adolescents. Frank's brothers Rikk Agnew and Alfie Agnew, as well as his son Frank Agnew Jr., are also former Adolescents guitarists.

Steve Soto American musician

Steve Soto was an American musician. Soto was a multi-talented instrumentalist, a founding member of California punk rock band Agent Orange in 1979, and a founding member of Adolescents in 1980 performing on bass guitar in both bands. Soto was also a member of Legal Weapon, Joyride, Manic Hispanic and the punk supergroup 22 Jacks. Soto fronted his own band, Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts and he also became a member of Punk Rock Karaoke in 2001.

<i>D.I.</i> (EP) 1983 EP by D.I.

D.I. is the eponymously titled debut EP by the American hardcore punk band D.I., released in 1983 through Revenge Records. It was recorded by the band's early lineup of Casey Royer, Rikk Agnew, Tim Maag, Derek O'Brien, Steve Roberts, and Frederic Taccone. The EP was re-released in 1987 by Triple X Records as Team Goon with four additional tracks: The first three—"Nuclear Funeral", "The Saint", and a cover version of Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part II"—were recorded by the band's mid-1980s lineup of Royer, John Bosco, Steve Garcia, and brothers Rikk and Alfie Agnew, while the fourth—a cover version of Devo's "Uncontrollable Urge"—was recorded by the late-1980s lineup of Royer, Bosco, Steve Drt, Sean Elliott, and Hedge.

<i>OC Confidential</i> 2005 studio album by the Adolescents

OC Confidential is the fourth studio album by the American punk rock band the Adolescents, released in July 2005 on Finger Records. It was their first studio album since 1988, and followed their reunion in 2001 after a twelve-year breakup. The album features founding band members Tony Reflex, Frank Agnew, and Steve Soto, joined by drummer Derek O'Brien. It was the final Adolescents album to include Agnew, and their only studio album with O'Brien.

<i>All by Myself</i> (Rikk Agnew album) 1982 studio album by Rikk Agnew

All by Myself is the debut solo studio album by the American multi-instrumentalist Rikk Agnew. It was originally released in October 1982, on the label Frontier. It was produced by Agnew, and co-produced by the then-Adolescents producer Thom Wilson. Agnew played all the instruments on the album. The band D.I., which Agnew joined in 1983, included cover versions of the songs "O.C. Life", and "Falling Out" from this album for their debut album, Ancient Artifacts, which was released in 1985.

The discography of the Adolescents, a Southern California-based punk rock band, consists of ninestudio albums, three live albums, one compilation album, six EPs, two singles, and one video album.

<i>Welcome to Reality</i> (EP) 1981 EP by the Adolescents

Welcome to Reality is an EP by the American punk rock band the Adolescents, released in October 1981 on Frontier Records. Recorded after guitarist Rikk Agnew left the group, it was their only release recorded with guitarist Steve Roberts. The band broke up in August 1981, and when the EP was released two months later it was not well received. When the Adolescents re-formed five years later, a new lineup re-recorded all three songs from Welcome to Reality for their reunion album, 1987's Brats in Battalions.

<i>Live 1981 & 1986</i> album by Adolescents

Live 1981 & 1986 is a live album by the American punk rock band the Adolescents, released in 1989 on Triple X Records. It consists of live performances recorded during the band's original 1980–81 run and during their 1986 reunion.

<i>Live at the House of Blues</i> (Adolescents album) 2004 live album and concert film by the Adolescents

Live at the House of Blues is a live album and concert film by the American punk rock band the Adolescents, released in February 2004 on Kung Fu Records as part of the label's The Show Must Go Off! series. It marked a reunion of the band after a twelve-year breakup, and features songs from their original 1980–81 run and from their then-upcoming reunion album OC Confidential (2005).

<i>The Complete Demos 1980–1986</i> 2005 compilation album by the Adolescents

The Complete Demos 1980–1986 is a compilation album of demo recordings by the American punk rock band the Adolescents, released in March 2005 on Frontier Records. It includes the band's first three demo tapes, recorded between March and July 1980; one outtake from the recording sessions for their 1981 EP Welcome to Reality; and two songs recorded during their 1986 reunion as demos for their second album, Brats in Battalions (1987). The first eight tracks are the only material recorded by the Adolescents' original lineup, which included guitarist John O'Donovan and drummer Peter Pan. The remaining tracks include their replacements Rikk Agnew and Casey Royer.


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