The Austerity Program is two people from New York City and their drum machine. Thad Calabrese plays bass and Justin Foley sings and plays guitar.

Thad and Justin began playing music together while attending college in New York City. We were not, at that point, the Austerity Program. Instead, we were called Polonium after what we thought was the heaviest metal on the periodic table. We're rerelease some of that stuff soon. Here's a sneak preview: we listened to a lot of Bolt Thrower.

After school Justin moved up to Hartford, CT while Thad stayed in NYC. This made practicing infrequent and difficult. In 1997, Justin moved back to New York and we began working on new material in earnest. We played our first show in 1998 at Coney Island High. Do not ever try to lie and tell us that you were there, because we personally knew each of the 11 people in the audience. At that point we kept all of our stuff in a big loft in the Bronx. Practices were either freezing cold or swelteringly hot depending upon the time of the year.

After a few years Justin got a house and we relocated to Queens. We practiced in his cramped basement and spent most of our band's golden years building a recording/rehearsal room in his backyard. Details abound on this project up in the "Studio" section above. Abound.

These days, Thad lives in Brooklyn and Justin still lives in Queens. We get together about twice a month to practice. = During the day Thad teaches college. Justin works for a labor union. We are both married to two wonderful women. That's "both", not "each". We've got five wonderful kids between us. You may think that slows us down for being a band, but you'd be wrong. Our pace may be slow but we have no plans to stop, ever.

We used to be on Hydra Head records but then they pretty much stopped releasing anything so we started our own record label with our friends in Nonagon; it's called [ Controlled Burn Records ]. We do not endorse any particular products, but if the people at G. Heileman start making Powermaster again, we can be contacted through e-mail. You can come up to us an yell "Valnott" at a show and we'll smile, but you won't be the first.

Photo by [ Abby Moskowitz ]