Photos by Danielle Dombrowski

On August 13th, 2016 you hosted a fundraiser show at The Loft in Poughkeepsie for your cause Fightin’ Fibrosis. Was the show a success? Yes August 13th we had a fundraiser that actually turned out to be a memorial for my nephew Kyle. He passed away on May 17th at the age of 20 from cystic fibrosis. The show was a huge success. We raised over $8000 dollars on ticket sales, raffle prizes and t-shirt sales. Aside from that we had a Go Fund Me account going that raised about $19,000. And there were over 200 people at the show. So it was an epic night to celebrate the life of a kid who had been like a son to me and had been coming with us to shows since he was 6 years old. Kyle was hardcore from day 1. When we had his service he was actually wearing the N9C basketball jersey with the devil on the front. He was badass.

This was a big reunion show that saw the return of EYE 2 EYE / INTERNAL WARFARE, BEEFCAKE and your band, NINETY 9 CENTS. What was it like getting everyone back together to play again?  It was pretty incredible. I’ve known all these guys for about 20 years and they’ve all known Kyle since he was a baby. To see the amount of support from all of these guys really defines the meaning of brothers to me. Kenny from Eye 2 Eye reached out to me and told me he wanted to throw a show to raise money to help my sister Meghan and brother in law Adam He said he’d take care of the venue and getting the bands because he had recently done a benefit to help Jimmy Bones who got pretty fucked up after getting hit by a car. I was like “awesome”. He was like why don’t you guys play it. I asked the guys from N9C and they were all amped about it because they all love Meghan and Adam and like I said Kyle since he was a little shit. Just to share the stage with these guys again after none of us had really played in like 11 years was pretty amazing. Tommy Scadurra from beefcake, who I’ve known since I was like 10 came in from Ohio just to do the show. These guys are all my brothers. I’ll never forget what they did for me and my family. I’ll be forever in debt to these dudes. And forever in debt to Tony from skin city. He fulfilled a wish that my nephew had by coming to my sister’s house and doing some special tats for him. I can never repay him for donating his time and talent that night. He has a huge heart and it got pretty emotional for him while he was tattooing him. The one tattoo Kyle got done was Sans Peur on his knuckles. It means “Without Fear” which was fitting for him. He was a warrior and more concerned about how everyone else would be after he was gone than he was with his own health. It was adopted as his motto. We were supposed to get it together but didn’t have the chance. I got it before the show. It was really important to me to have that bond with him.

Tell us about Fightin’ Fibrosis and what the goal is for the cause.  Fightin Fibrosis was the theme I came up with when we found out that my nephew didn’t have too much time left. It started with the Go Fund Me page and then decided to use it for the Memorial/Benefit show. The last handful of shows we did in 2005 we did to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help to find a cure. Kyle was 9 years old at the time. In this case, getting the band back together was to help raise money to offset the financial burden Meghan and Adam had due to Kyle’s illness. They had insurance but it only covered so much so they were getting crushed with medical bills, funeral expenses and personal expenses. I’ll never forget when Kyle went to the doctor a few months before he passed. The first thing he asked the doctor was if he’d make it long enough to be at the show. She told him “No” It absolutely destroyed me.

How can people find out more about Cystic Fibrosis and how to help support those affected?  You can learn more about Cystic Fibrosis by going to CFF.org. CF is a genetic disorder that affects more than 30,000 Americans. It is mostly common among the white population. It does affect other ethnic groups but is less common. Both parents have to be a carrier for the gene and then the child has a 25% chance of having the disease. Cystic fibrosis is a life threatening disease that causes mucous to build up and clog organs in the body, particularly the lungs and pancreas. Life expectancy used to be about 18 years old, but today with the treatments and medication people are living much longer. Kyle was misdiagnosed with asthma for the first 10 years of his life. They didn’t realize he had it until my nephew Colin was born and tested them both for it. Colin also has CF. May is CF Awareness month and they’re are a lot of walks that are organized to raise awareness about the disease. People can also donate to help the cause. It’s such a disgusting disease.

Will Ninety 9 Cents do more than just the one show? Any plans for new music or more shows?  As far as writing any new music I don’t think so. And I honestly don’t know if we will do another show or not. I’m sure if it was for something significant then we would consider it. I know playing that night at the memorial we were really all on a high. And I know the guys miss it. I know I do. It’s something you just don’t forget about. We have all known each other for a long time. And we are all still tight. Whenever we all get together the itch is there. Me personally I’d like to get together to do a show once a year in support of CF.

What else has been keeping you busy these days?  Well, on my days off from work I am taking care of the loves of my life. My 2 beautiful daughters Sasha (7) and Marley (5). In the weeks leading up to the show Sasha wanted to hear all of the songs we were going to play at the show and in the order we were doing them. She even offered to help me write a set list. They are sweethearts. And I am a Lieutenant with the FDNY in Engine Company 8 in Midtown on the East Side. I’ve been doing that for the last 12 years. The guys I work with are my extended family. They helped me through a lot of really tough shit the last year or so.

Anything else you would like to say or put out there?  First off, I want to thank everyone for their help. The outpouring of love, support and generosity for my family was unbelievable. People making meals for my sister, donating their time, supporting the Go Fund Me Account, giving great raffle prizes coming to the show and looking out for us. Orange County was always a great Punk/Hardcore Scene and it was great to see so many people come out to the show to support the scene and this event. I want to thank the bands and the fans for being a part of that night with us. My brothers from N9C – I love you. So many friends to thank, but you all know who you are and I will never forget what you did for me and mine. And lastly, Kyle I love you and I think about you everyday. Save me a spot where the music is always great and your glass is always full. “SANS PEUR” My Dude.