John Joseph (Cro-Mags) on No F'n R Podcast

By Robb Flynn


You have to listen to this podcast.

Probably the most intense conversation I’ve ever had, and certainly the most intense podcast I’ve done to date.

Man…where to start… this dude has lived 10 men’s lives.

From growing up on the gritty streets of 1970s New York, getting tossed around foster homes, going in and out of jail, dealing drugs at 14, his life in the Navy, his life as a celibate Monk(!?), his life in one of my favorite hardcore bands of all-time Cro-Mags, his life as a raging drug addict, ultimately getting sober, becoming a Iron Man competing athlete, long time vegan, author of three books “Evolution of a Cro-Magnon“, “Meat is for Pussies“, and “The PMA Effect”... this dude’s life could/should be a movie.

I first met John at Irving Plaza when Machine Head played there on the Supercharger tour, he stopped by soundcheck just to say hi. I’m not even sure if he stayed for the whole show, but he was nice, and he was honored that Machine Head had covered Cro-Mags “Hard Times“ about seven years earlier.  We talked for a little while and then I had to get ready for the show in New York City. 

I was honored he just dropped in unannounced.

We ran into each other a few more times on festivals, and most recently at the now-closed PlayStation theater in New York when his version of Cro-Mags were opening for Hatebreed.

We stayed in touch on and off chatting on Instagram DM, and I enjoy his no-holds-barred Instagram page.

But if his Instagram page is no-holds-barred, the intensity of this man in a conversation is quite frankly jaw-dropping. 

This dude does not give a fuck.

The fact that he’s even still alive after the life he lived, is kinda mind blowing. I’ve known some tough motherfuckers in my life, dudes that lived to fight, especially in my 20s running around the streets of Oakland, we were hanging out with some rough cats. But nothing prepared for stories like the ones John Joseph had.

At one point during the interview we began talking about his sexual abuse he suffered at a foster home, I knew about it from his book, and what an incredibly brave and courageous thing that it was for him to talk about so openly and in terrifying detail. We started talking about my own experiences of sexual abuse, and at one point I think both of us were pretty emotional and welled-up from it all.

The podcast then went all over the place, his intense devotion to veganism, his work/exercise ethic, and ended on in incredibly high note. When the podcast was finished and we hung up, I laid down and meditated.

What had happened was just so fucking intense.  

And yet, as life often does when it throws you one of the most amazing conversations you’ve ever had, I felt more alive than I had in a while.

I will remember this conversation for the rest of my life.

This dude is one inspiring motherfucker, super positive, and yet with just enough "crazy" in him you have no choice but to love his fearless, warts-n-all spirit. 

I hope you enjoy this episode of the No Fuckin’ Regrets podcast, because it lived up to the title in every way imaginable.




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