Thursday, April 17, 2008

Flint Portraits: Dissonance

Dissonance at the Rusty Nail

Look, just accept the fact that you cannot relive the experience of seeing Dissonance live in the eighties. But the music made by Flint's seminal hardcore punk band is out there waiting for you. From the Dissonance myspace page:

"From 1982 - 1987 Dissonance grew from humble punk roots to become a viable force in the Midwest underground music scene, developing a respectable and loyal following. Committed to a strong DIY ("Do It Yourself") work ethic and willingness to explore, they combined elements of hardcore with metal, rock, funk and (arguably) even hip-hop. Hosting many nationally-touring bands via their own booking and promotion efforts, they played with groups such as Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, C.O.C, 7 Seconds, D.R.I., Wasted Youth, Die Kreuzen, Toxic Reasons, Crucifucks and Slayer. They toured the country in the summer of 1986 and disbanded in the summer of 1987. The smell, however, has lingered...

"Reuniting for one last swing in December 2005 to honor the memory of their dear friend, supporter and independent record store owner, Doug Earp (Wyatt Earp Records), Dissonance was revitalized just long enough to properly release the band’s entire oeuvre.

"Al Steele, now at the helm of Wyatt Earp Records, and in cooperation with Dissonance, has reissued the band’s previously available material with many bonus goodies in a whomping retrospective as the inaugural release on Earp’s dream, Wyatt Earp Records (the label!)

"The release, a tightly-packed 2 x CD & accompanying 45-minute DVD bonanza featuring re-equalized original recordings; unreleased live recordings; liner notes from renowned author and Flint native, Paul A. Toth; and introduction from Scott Carlson of Repulsion fame; a newly recorded version of The Chosen; live footage at Wild Bill's nightclub (1983); live footage from December 2005's first Earpfest; Paul A. Toth narration of condensed liner notes to slideshow; comments and memories by fellow Flint companions of the period; and Paul A. Toth narration of excerpt from his acclaimed novel, Fizz."

Just head to the Dissonance myspace page for downloads and information on how to purchase the reissue.

Like many of the people you know from Flint, the former band members have scattered far and wide. Andy Turpen (vocals), Jim Holbel (guitar) and Brent Bonet (guitar) now live in Atlanta. Bassist Tanya Narhi is in Ypsilanti. Mike Grossklaus (vocals/guitar) resides in New York City. Matt Olivo (guitar) and Brian Story (guitar/vocals) were last spotted in California. Steve Newlan (guitar) still lives in Flint, and Chris McNichols (guitar) is missing in action.

Sadly, drummer Phill Hines died on Christmas Day in 2006. For a podcast dedicated to Phill (who preferred two L's in his first name), head to Tothword.

The late Phill Hines and Tanya Narhi


  1. Loads of energy, that band. Andy Turpen is a born showman. He fronted a couple of other non-Flint based, more grunge-style bands in the early nineties (Bonehouse was one of 'em with phenomenal drummer/percussionist Peter Pollak + Andy K, Jeff B and others). Dissonance definitely made its mark on the local scene. Glad to see Wyatt Earp lives on...

  2. Chris is in Mt. Pleasant, last I knew.

  3. I also heard that Brent Bonet is now in Denver, not Atlanta.

  4. How can I get a hold of Mile Grossklaus? -Sue Smiley

  5. Sue,

    While i'm not in touch with Mike these days, I bet Tanya is (or at least knows someone who is). Drop me an email at holbel (at) mindspring (dot) com and we'll see if the big guy can be located.


  6. Sue: I have Mike's contact info... contact me at

    ~ Andy

  7. Hey, it's Brent. I lived in Atlanta from 1985 through 2007. I moved to Denver in June of 2007. Defunct podcast:, blog:, and some pics:

    I do have contact with Dave Moore, John McDonald, Mike Grossklaus and Paul Toth.

  8. I saw Dissonance many times (at least it seems that way now) at The Hall, Rusty Nail, etc.) with Black Flag, etc. Big mouth mickeys, stage diving and clove cigs....


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at