Neutral Nation

Rock ‘n’ Roll


Coming soon…

Members of the Historical Archive Committee of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame are researching and documenting the career of these important Ocean State musicians. When work is completed, we will be posting an in-depth biography and complete discography on this page. In the meantime, please enjoy this introduction to their work.

Photo Credit: Zoey Stites

In 1982, bassist Steve Lepper, guitarist Dave Chabot, vocalist Mike “Dexter” Yarworth and drummer Johnny Cote formed the punk band Neutral Nation in the suburbs of Attleboro, Massachusetts. At at the dawn of the hardcore movement, inspired by ’70s punk, the newly emerging DIY scene, and kids starting their own bands they thought, “Why not us?” They exploded onto the Rhode Island scene via a series of shows at The Living Room in Providence appearing with national acts including G.G. Allin and The Minutemen. In 1985, with a new bass player, Tom “T-Buck” Buckland, they released their first record, the 7 song EP Invasion of the Sumo Wrestler and were hailed by College Music Journal as the “Best Unsigned Band” of 1986. Their first album, It’s A Bash, followed in 1987 and it is now nationally recognized as one of the great recordings of hardcore punk. With new drummer Mike “Stumpy” Neckritz on board, the band hit the road touring throughout the Northeast and Canada as headliners and opening for kindred spirits such as The Bad Brains, The Ramones and The Replacements. In 1992 they recorded Don’t Get Hurt and undertook their first West Coast tour where crowds erupted into mosh pits 2000 strong and merch tables were wiped clean, solidifying the band’s position on the national scene. The band continues to perform and record and their 2004 self-titled, career-spanning anthology and the 2010 documentary It’s A Bash: A story about being in a band have introduced new generations to the power and glory of punk.