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Like Bad Brains, McRad started as an '80s hardcore band that specialized in speed punk and dabbled in metal, reggae, and jazz. As the sport of skateboarding became increasingly popular, they became favorites in the West Coast scene, despite their roots in Philly. In 1982, soon after skater Chuck Treece became sponsored (with the help of Bones Brigade mastermind Stacy Peralta), he formed the hardcore punk group McRad with fellow skater Zeke Zagar. The skate world and the band's thrashing music intersected after Beware Records released the band's first LP, Absence of Sanity, in 1987 and Powell Peralta used a few songs for a soundtrack used in the Savannah Slamma Contest. From there, Peralta invited Treece to do music for the skate videos Ban This, Propaganda, and Public Domain. The last was a street-skate sensation that gave the band major exposure, featuring the songs "Weakness" and "McShred" played over black-and-white footage of teen prodigies Ray Barbee, Steve Saiz, and Eric Sanderson ollieing down staircases and over fire hydrants. With the decline of Treece's professional skate career, the band devolved, and when Bad Brains frontman H.R. left the band in 1989, Treece auditioned; although he didn't get the spot, he did gain a friendship with the band and filled in for drummer Mackie Jayson when he left the Brains a few years later. After three tours, he spent his time in the groups Urge Overkill, Underdog, and the Mosquitoes while working as a session musician and pursuing solo endeavors. In 2007, the band returned with FDR, named after one of Treece's favorite Philadelphia skate locations.