Nick Mango

Apr 3, 2010

Underneath the Principleless Terrain

Since Jan. 2009, when I won the Unorthodox test press, my life has been full of the highest of highs, and the absolute lowest of lows. The lows, the death of my grandfather, and the loss of a major part of my salary because of the economy. Then the highs, the starting of Limited Pressing, moving in with Tom, meeting my current girlfriend, and finally, finding and winning this 7". I've struggled with obtaining this record for more than 10 years. And right now, you're going to hear the story of why this completely obscure piece of LI history, means more to me than any record on the face of this earth.

Back in 97/98 I was part of a group of kids that skated on LI. One of the members of this group was a kid named Matt. He had a copy of one of our skate videos called Unknown 2. In that video there was a section with a song called "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" by a band named Motive. But not the Motive most people know. The Motive most people know is a metal hardcore band with a singer name Atif. The Motive that sang Wolf in Sheep's Clothing had Atif on bass, and a guy named Al Carter singing. They were also a vegan straight edge band. I loved the original Motive lineup. They played the exact type of music I was into back then. Matt always talked about how bad he wanted to find the 7" that this song came from. Henry Quindara, another member of our skate group, edited that video and ripped the song from his copy. But he lost the cover and lyric sheet. Matt wanted a complete release of this record. Unfortunately for him, that record is one of the rarest releases to ever came out of LI. The story goes Bitter Sweet Records made like 500 of those, Motive sold 50, and the rest did a disappearing act. There's definitely some controversy over what actually happened. The label was extremely short lived and I think backed by a major. So when they decided to call it quits they could have easily taken their 450 copies and lit them on fire. Either way, anyone from LI that collects vinyl can agree that this is the hardest record to find.

So about a year passes after I learned of Matt's desire to find this record that I come across a girl in the Midwest somewhere that has the 7", and wants to trade. Now I wanted this record bad, but I also knew how bad Matt wanted it. So after I struck a deal with this girl, I made the decision that I was not going to keep it. I was going to give it to Matt for his birthday. Here's what I haven't told you. During the years that Matt and I were friends, I really slowed down on skating. I was pretty beat up already, and it just seemed like every other month I was hurting myself. I also just got my first job drawing for a woodworking company and I couldn't screw that up. So I skated once or twice a week. And the only reason I did was because of the younger guys like Matt, Joe Miller, and Joey G. These guys kept me going. And while back then I had a pretty big head, I still recognized that if it wasn't for them, I would have called it a career. Even when I think about it now, I know for sure that they gave me at least 2 solid years of motivation. I owe the late 90s to those guys. No doubt about it. So long story short, I gave the record to Matt for his birthday. He was happy. I was happy. We spent one Sunday ripping that record and the H2O demo to a CD. I still have that CD. Everything was great.

You didn't think that was the end of the post did you? It takes me 10 years to find another one and here it is? Nah, we're not even close. See after I gave Matt the record I didn't feel like I needed one of my own. I had the record. I had it in my hand and I chose to give it to him. Therefore that insane desire to find that record and possess it was gone. That was true until one Sunday morning. Wait....let me go back a day for a second. So it's the day before that Sunday and Matt, Alexis...I think she was there, and I, went to a show in eastport to see a band called Maybe Tomorrow. That night they had their new demo and Matt said to me, hey let's listen to this demo. I said NOOOOOOOOOOOO. See there was a rule back then about listening to the band the day of the show. You don't do it. Why? Cause bad shit happens. This is the only dumb superstition I take seriously. I take it WAY serious. And so did Matt and all the dudes back then. You don't fuck with the show gods. Well Matt fucked with the show gods. And I stood nowhere near him during the show for fear that we would both get hit in the face by a flying mic stand and/or doc martin. But everything went fine. We left with all our teeth and the night ended with a meal at the California diner. Now for Sunday. Sometimes on Sunday I would go to Matt's if I had some new records and we'd check them out, and maybe watch a skate video. So it's about 11:30am and my phone rings and it's Alexis. She says the following, "Don't go to Matt's house. It's on fire." WHHAAATTT!!???? FIRE??!!!! Yes fire. My best buddy's house was no more. I felt so bad for his parents cause they're really the nicest people on the planet. Heated blanket on the front stoop for the cat shorted and started the fire. Most of what they owned was lost. So what happened to Matt's records? Melted. Every single record and sleeve was torched. Except for one....Motive - Underneath the Principleless Terrain. It was in the record player. What luck! Seems amazing right? The only record spared was the Motive 7". The sleeve is gone, but the record survived. Not to get into too much sappy shit, but after that day things were never the same between Matt and I. Soon I stopped skating. All the bands I loved from the 90s called it quits. I lost touch with so many friends. I became a career man. Going out every once and blue moon to show skaters around the island. Never really going to shows. But I still kept up with collecting records.

After the complete release was lost, the desire was back. Maybe subconsciously it was me trying to get my friend back. Or just the good old days. Either way though I became a man on a mission. And for 10 years this mission was a total fucking bust. I tried everything I could to get a copy of this thing. I even tried making a cash deal with some dude off myspace who, in his profile, said he practiced Satanism annnddddd looked like he could have ousted Lou Ferrigno for the role of the hulk. Not only that! But when I told the dude, "I'll send you 50 bucks through paypal right now, just give me your address." he replied with, "I don't have paypal. Last year I made the decision to live off the grid." FUUCCKK this guy was a psycho. But I still pursued him until he stopped replying to me. After that I found one other person from the UK with the record. He said it was his prized possession and would never sell it. Jesus christ a kid from the UK said he'd never sell this record. I'm totally screwed. Enter my new best friend Brian Meehan. It was March 24th and I had just come back to work from eating lunch at my place. Usually when I come back I check a few different sites before I settle in for the afternoon. Limited Pressing, Get Clicky, and the LIHC board. This particular day there was a thread about some vinyl that was put up on ebay. The title of the thread said, "EBAY tripface,motive,vod,supertouch" Now usually when I see something like that I'm excited because I love all those bands. But I also have all their stuff. So usually, I get excited for nothing. I click the ebay link and see at the top the Exit Tripface 7" on clear, then VOD Still on blue, two really rare items. Then I get to the 3rd item. Motive 1st 7". I look to the left and see the cover. My whole body just froze in my chair. I couldn't even click it. I saw the cover and just couldn't move. I immediately emailed Tom and then called him haha. I couldn't even wait for his reply. Then I went back to the auction and did something I NEVER, EVER, do. I bid on it. See I don't give a shit about how much it's going to cost. I just wanted it, and I wanted it ASAP. After I bid, I messaged Brian and offered him a fair price to take it down. He wanted to leave it up, which I respect. In the end, I paid exactly what I offered him. 46 bucks plus 4 for shipping. It's really funny how good I am at predicting what things will go for. Even a record like this which I've never seen on ebay. I just knew 50 was a fair price. Even back when I was talking to the satan dude, I offered him 50 as well.

SO HERE IT IS! Motive - Underneath the Principleless Terrain. The most important record I've ever owned....twice. It represents the end of my childhood.

I tell you, when I got this thing I felt so satisfied. I really did. I threw it on the turntable right away. Read the lyric sheet, which I hadn't done in forever. It's hard to understand Al when he sang and I really didn't remember the words. Having the insert is so incredible.
So the question now is what is my #1 want? Obviously my goal is to get every wreck-age and exit release. But there isn't just one that I want more than another. I mean can you make a test press as your #1 want? if I could it would be Silent Majority - Life as a Spectator. I don't know, for some reason I feel like I'm done collecting records. I know it sounds stupid cause there's just so much more to get. But it's true. I feel like I'm going to keep buying, but not because I'm a collector, but because they're there, and I need to buy them. Damn that's pretty fucked up.

Motive - Underneath the Principleless Terrain


  1. Great story!

    The ending reminds me of the way I felt when I got the Pitchfork 7". Like you achieved something great and nothing else could ever compare.

    But yeah, of course you can have a test press as your number one want. Now, get on with finding it!

  2. i cant believe you were able to get this record! aweosme

  3. ok so being a long time fan and friend of this band i thought i would post how awesome it is to see someone so excited about this record. This brought back a lot of great memories for me. Al is no more he passed away a few years back but he wouldve liked to read something like this...bravo. your next goal should be to find the demo, sorry not selling mine.

  4. Luckily I've had the demo since it came out. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it!

  5. As the former guitarist of Motive, this story was great to read! When this 7" was released, I was on tour with Tripface filling in on bass. SO I never even had a copy for myself until years later. I was flipping through an old friends 7" collection and found it and insisted that he HAD to sell it me as I played on it and I even didnt have one! I think we sold all of the copies we had at some pwac show and other 900 or so were "destroyed" as bittersweet once told me. RIP AL CARTER

  6. Thanks Ryan, this is exactly what I've heard. "Destroyed". With many air quotes.