About us


                Poverty-Stricken, a now three-piece punk/hardcore/ska/screamo band, resides in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, just south of the Canadian border. Right now the lineup of PS is T. Khrist on the 666 string and lead vocals, Jay*Stricken on Bass and backup screams, Jizack. Fucking. Hipster. on Drum Kit, and the less important shouting. Right now we are working on a lot of new material and hoping to get some REAL recording done once we finish fucking around in my basement. I’m getting off the point now, what I’m really here to tell you is that PS hasn’t always been this ultra-hip lineup you see before you. There was a time…where we plugged microphones into Sixty-Watt crate amps…yikes. Anyways….

            Our story begins even before the idea of Poverty-Stricken was found burning deep in the loins of Taylor and I. It all began in June of 2003 when I (MR. JFH) bought a 5- piece drum set with generic hats and crash for $190 from Taylor’s cousin because he threw his school laptop off the cafeteria roof and had to pay $1,200. Tay had been playing guitar for about a year and we set my drum kit up in my house and he brought over his sixty-watt squire amp and we…well…we didn’t jam…we just realized we couldn’t play anything. So we just started fucking around and trying to learn some misfit’s songs and what not. (Without vocals of course) Then we decided to actually start a band. We dubbed ourselves <<Lung Cheese>> but it was still just Taylor and I and we couldn’t do much. Then one day we were skateboarding at a church down by the library with Nick Marsh, Mike Libertoski, Chris Shannon, and Bertram Miller. Taylor and I started talking about playing music and starting a band and shit and we all decided to make a band together. Mike and Chris were already in a band at the time called <<Bush Meat>> but they said they would join regardless.
            So within the next couple days Taylor and I brought all of our stuff or should I say what little we had, over to Nick’s garage. The band we were hoping to create was going to be a Hardcore Ska band. The Lineup would be Taylor – Guitar and vocals, Nick  - Guitar and vocals, Mike – bass, Bertram – Trumpet, Jack  - Drums and vocals, and Chris – Other Drums and Percussion. That practice we really didn’t do anything and the next day Mike was going to have to live with him mom a little out of town so he and Chris quit. So that Left, Taylor, Nick, Biza Crack (Bertram), and I. Soon after we actually started to write some stuff and we completed out first song titled “Ode to the Government”, which has been dead for quite some time. That was August 2003.

            In September we decided to look for a bassist. There was this kid we knew, Nathan Cushman, and he said that he would come and jam with us. So we all met at Nick’s house and jammed for a while, then Tay and B had to go home. After they left Nick’s mom went and got us some tacos from Taco Bell. Bertram, Nick, and I took all of the soft-shelled tacos right away and Nathan wanted soft shell. Well there were only hard shells left and there was no fucking way we were giving up our tacos. So he got all pissed off and said he was just going to scoop the meat out of the middle and eat the meat. We told him that he couldn’t and he flipped out, threw his taco down, got on his bike, and started to ride away, we asked if he was going to come back the next day and he replied “I’m never coming back.” There we go losing another member after the first practice with them, I guess there is nothing like a mans scorn for hard-shell tacos. (Oh yea Nathan still won’t admit that the tacos are the reason he quit. Yea right, I was there and I saw the fury in his eyes.)

After Nathan, I was talking to my friend and distant cousin, Justin online and I told him that we were looking for a bass player and he said that he would do it. Now I knew that he had played guitar a little, but I had never heard of him playing bass so I asked him “Do you play bass?”

He replied, “Well…I have one.” That was definitely good enough for us. So Justin brought his bass (actually it was his uncles) over to Nick’s and we messed around with Ode to the Government for a few weeks and tried learning some songs. After a little while we wrote our two original songs entitled “Hoch Die anarchy” (which really sucks because that translation is WRONG. It is supposed to mean Long Live Anarchy, but it actually says “Highly The Anarchy” ha-ha the song should have actually been called “Sehnen sich PhasenAnarchie”) but we eventually scrapped the name and renamed the song “When I Was an Anarchist”. We actually still occasionally play this song. Anyway, a few weeks after this Justin stopped coming to practice more and more until he quit coming all together. Come to find out later that he was actually hospitalized because his appendix had exploded inside of his body while he was sitting at home and he had to be rushed to the hospital, where he lived for around three months. Ha-ha. After he stopped coming to practice we pretty much lost contact with him for a while. Pretty much because we didn’t know what the fuck had happened to him.

Moving on to the beginning of November 2003. The Lineup now was Taylor, Nick, Bertram and I. We were looking around for a bass player and we realized that this girl we knew, Stephanie Frost was now playing the bass. So we decided to give her a shot. She attended a few practices and learned what Justin wrote for “When I Was an Anarchist”. She stopped coming to practice after about a month, which wasn’t really a surprise to any of us because we were getting pretty used to this sort of thing. It certainly doesn’t mean that we were happy about it though.
            When it got to be December it was very cold in Nick’s garage and we didn’t want my drums to warp so we decided that we would move the equipment back to my basement and practice there. Before we actually moved anything though Taylor and I went to Nicks when he wasn’t home and started to play some stuff. Then we just decided to write what would become the basis for our 3rd song, Later to be known as “Economic Depletion”. Also that day, we decided to write a really long intro for no particular reason. I think we got it all the up to 2 minutes if not more, ha-ha. Well we finally moved all of the stuff into my basement. Our long time friend and Taylor’s Neighbor, Scott Savoie, started coming over and playing some guitar with us. Scott wrote a song with us entitled “152” which seemed to be one of our best songs yet. Bertram was kind of inactive in the band now since we weren’t really using the trumpet at all anymore, and Nick was coming over a little less since we moved into my house. Taylor, Nick and I had been talking about recording a demo for a while and decided that we were going to do it soon. Taylor and I of course wanted to use the new stuff we were writing with Scott to be on the demo, but Nick couldn’t play the stuff at the time. We thought it would be stupid if we had to do the recordings of the stuff Taylor, Nick and, I played and then have to bring in Scott to record the stuff that he wrote. Then we wouldn’t be able to play the stuff for people when the band played, since Scott wasn’t in the band. So in the end we ended up dropping Nick and picking up Scott. After that Taylor, Scott, and I played all of the old songs except Ode to the Government, and we also learned a few songs by Anti-Flag and the Ramones. We never ended up recording the demo during January like we had planned.

It was just Scott, Taylor, and I practicing in my basement until June when we finally decided to record a demo. We ended up using a little tiny boom box with a built in microphone to do the recordings that were nothing more than CloseToNo-Quality rough recordings. We barely distributed the tapes to anyone. The only people I know that have a tape are Justin, Alyssa, and there is a copy of the tape in my basement. A week or so after that Bertram rejoined the band. He was now playing the bass. We continued to play steadily for a couple months we did have a little dry spell but we picked back up and kept going. The next Christmas Scott got a 4-track analog recorder. We said that we were finally going to make a demo that would be worth listening too. We started recording some tracks, but Bertram was pretty busy doing stuff around this time so we don’t have any recordings with him. He spent a lot of time in Canada and couldn’t make it to very many practices so we pretty much stopped trying to get him to come to practice. He was also a little mad that Scott and Taylor laid the bass tracks on the songs and we didn’t wait for him to come and record them. By February of 2005 Bertram wasn’t playing with us at all anymore. We never did finish recording the demo.

We kind of stopped practicing for a while…actually it was longer than a while. We pretty much didn’t practice from February to June. The only time we did practice during that time was just when Taylor and I were sitting at my house bored and decided to play for a little while. Around June Justin and I started to hang out again. He told me about how he had started to play bass a little bit again. He also told me that he had ordered a new OLP Music Man 5-string bass. We decided that he could rejoin and play with us again. When Justin re-joined we relearned the stuff that we used to play, with the exception of a few songs. At this time Scott was getting into playing with some other people so he started coming to practice less and less. After a while he stopped coming all-together. Scott officially quit the band in July of 2005. Now it was just Taylor, Justin, and I, and that is how it has remained. We are still just a three piece, although we have learned a lot more songs and written a lot more material.

Now on to the ex-members, this is the section of the history that is where the people in the above section have ended up. Well…besides us. Enjoy.

Mike and Chris were in a band called Bush Meat before they joined up with us so of course after they left the band they kept playing with Bush Meat. Eventually some shit went down with Bush Meat and they kicked out their lead guitarist, and their bassist decided to leave with him. So Chris and Mike formed a new band called “The Dirty Merchants” with some April girl they met playing bass and singing. They still continue to practice and play shows.

I don’t really know what is going on with Nathan right now, and I really don’t give a fuck. I have a story that I forgot to tell in the above section. When Justin was in the hospital he left his uncle’s old bass in Nick’s bedroom and one day Nathan was at Nick’s house and he broke Justin’s bass. He stopped right through the pick guard. Justin found out and flipped, he went and stole Nathan’s bass and was going to hold it for ransom, but Nathan came and stole it back from Justin’s house.