Ink & Dagger

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Ink & Dagger
OriginPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
GenresEmo, hardcore punk, post-hardcore, punk rock[1]
Years active1995–1999,[2] 2010–2011
Associated actsCut Throat Tactics
MembersDon Devore
Sean Patrick McCabe

Ink & Dagger were a hardcore punk band from Philadelphia that was active in the 1990s. The two permanent members throughout the band's career were guitarist Don Devore and vocalist Sean Patrick McCabe. Other members included Ashli State, Terry Yerves, Ryan McLaughlin, Joshua Brown, Jennifer Layne Park , Dave Wagenschutz, Derek Zglenski, and Eric Wareheim. Band members frequently incorporated references to vampires in their music, painted their faces, and played with fake blood; some members were previously in Crud is a Cult, The Mandela Strike Force and Frail.

On-stage theatrics[edit]

On one occasion, the band vomited on Christmas trees on stage.[3] McCabe was also infamous for egging Hare Krishna devotees and throwing yogurt at Earth Crisis.

The band's first Halloween show in New Brunswick, NJ was one their most notorious shows. In the words of Robby Redcheeks, "Trope built a coffin to carry Jenny Jamz [Jennifer Layne Park] out to into the show; the show was PACKED. So we put Jenny in the coffin outside of the show, me and 3 other dudes carried her in pushing through the crowd. People were like 'WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?!' We were all in Dagger makeup also. We set the coffin down in front of the crowd. Jenny got out wearing a black leather body suit and started reciting the oath she wrote in the Drive This 7”. Reciting, im sorry, more like inciting a riot, she was pushing people and yelling in their faces. I had previously prepared a batch of Dagger blood, (this was actually the first time it was used), a mix of 1 bottle of club soda & 1 red color food dye. We made 4 bottles of it and perched on each side of the band for when Jenny was done; when she reached the end, Dagger had already been building up feedback and noise. She finished, and they started off with the beginning to 'Changeling' (if I remember correctly) . Then BLAM we covered the crowd with blood, and chaos erupted throughout. Needless to say, anyone that was at that show will remember that show forever. Including me." [4]


An example of their influence can be seen on the record The Fine Art of Original Sin which featured several tracks breaking completely from established norms of post-hardcore, incorporating aspects of techno, or drum and bass music.

Initially the band had a post-hardcore sound akin to Swiz and DC-focused rhythms, Ink & Dagger grew to be a popular band in Philadelphia[citation needed]. Additionally, the influences of past emotional hardcore band Frail can still be heard in the yelps and falsettos on Ink & Dagger's 7"s.

Known members[edit]

  • Sean McCabe – vocals, programming
  • Don Devore – guitar, programming
  • Ashli State – bass
  • Terrance Yerves – drums
  • Dallas Bratcher - Guitars
  • Eric Wareheim – bass[5]
  • Jorge Gonzalez – guitar
  • David Wagenschutz – drums
  • Joshua Brown – bass, backing vocals
  • Ryan McLaughlin – drums
  • Jennifer Park – additional vocals
  • Chris Tropea (T-Rope) – lights, roadie
  • Geoff Rickly - vocals

After the group's demise[edit]

In 1999, Ink & Dagger formally announced that they were disbanding. Shortly after recording what was to be the band's final album, singer Sean Patrick McCabe was found dead in a motel room in Indiana in 2000, at age 27; the final and self-titled album was released on Buddyhead Records with a picture of a young Sean in a vampire costume featured in the CD booklet.

Don Devore currently plays in the band Sick Feeling, he has also played in Amazing Baby, The Icarus Line, Lilys and others.

Joshua Brown went on to play in Lenola and Like A Fox, he currently plays bass in The Midnight Sounds.

Terry Yerves is traveling through space and time, he enjoys vegan foods, the ocean and phase alignment.

Microsoft Xbox videogame Amped uses three songs from The Fine Art of Original Sin. In 2005, former drummer Ryan McLaughlin sued Microsoft, claiming that they were used without the band's knowledge; the suit was settled out of court in 2006.[6][7][8]

Reunion with Geoff Rickly (2010–2011)[edit]

In August 2010, Ink & Dagger headlined the 2010 This Is Hardcore festival.[9] Geoff Rickly of Thursday fame sang for this show.[10] All of Ink & Dagger's profits earned from tickets and merchandise at This Is Hardcore benefited Maks Zielanski, a child diagnosed with cancer. Maks is the son of Ed Zielanski who was a member of Crud Is a Cult and Flagman.[11] Ink & Dagger also played a small number of additional shows in Brooklyn,[12] LA and Philadelphia.[13] Rickly's vocals were generally warmly received as a replacement for McCabe. Jon Reiss of New York Press commented, "The band seemed pretty tight and the choice of Rickly for a singer worked about eighty percent of the time. It's impossible to replace a front man so dynamic as McCabe."[12] Ink & Dagger also toured the UK with Rickly in January 2011.[14]

The brief reunion lead to the creation of a new band called Cut Throat Tactics featuring members of Ink & Dagger, Thursday, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Cut Throat Tactics will begin work on their debut album once all of the members finish work with their primary bands have finished touring.[2]


Studio albums

  • The Fine Art of Original Sin (1998, Initial)
  • Ink & Dagger (2000, Buddyhead)


  • Drive This Seven Inch Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart (1997, Initial)


  • Love Is Dead (1996, Happy Days, Six Feet Under (RE))
  • Drive This Seven Inch Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart (1997, Initial)
  • Experiments In Nocturnal Sound and Energy (1997, Simba, Revelation)
  • Sensation (1999, Music Is My Heroine)


  • Split with The Icarus Line (1999, New American Dream)
  • Split with Le Shok (1999, Initial)


  • For All The Fucked-Up Children Of This World We Give You Ink & Dagger ‎(1998, self-released)

Compilation appearances

Year Song Album Label Format
1997 "Full Circle" CT Mailorder #1 Core Tex Records CD
1997 "Six Feet Under" Second Hand Citizen Records Volume One Second Hand Citizen 7"
1998 "Vampirefastcode Ver. 1.5" Nothing Left #8 CD Sampler Nothing Left Zine CD
1998 "13th Dream" Philly Shreds Schuylkill Records 7"/12"
1998 "The Fine Art Of Original Sin (as Ink And Dagger)" Double Exposure Go-Kart Records, Black Rat Recordings 12"
1998 "The Fine Art Of Original Sin (as Ink And Dagger)" Catalog Sampler Disc Number One Initial Records CD
1998 "Vampire Fast Code" Cooler Than Your Mom Various[15] CD
1998 "Vampire Fast Code" / "Full Circle" (Demo) Magic Weekend Initial Records CD
1998 "The Fine Art Of Original Sin" Initial Extreme Music Sampler CD Initial Records CD
2000 "Actress" Metroschifter - Encapsulated Doghouse Records, I Can't Believe It's A Record Company CD/7"
2000 "The Solo Mission" Liberation Sucks Liberation Records CD
2000 "Fine Art Of Original Sin" Sweet Deal! The Initial & Eulogy Sampler Initial Records, Eulogy Recordings CD
2003 "Shadowtalker/The History in Ecstasy" / "Creatures Like Us" Buddyhead Suicide[16] Buddyhead CD
2004 "Catch the Flashback" Initial Records: Worst Label Ever![17] Initial Records CD
2006 "Omit (Excerpt)" Punk Is Dead Buddyhead DVD
? "Vampire Fast Code Ver. 1.5" Sleigh Bells - Mixtape Self-released CD
? "Mayor Withdrawl" 18:18 Carbon Music, Now Or Never Records 10"
? "Crawler" Silver Five Inch Collection Vol. 1 Extent FanZine CD


  1. ^ "Ink & Dagger bio at".
  2. ^ a b Pettigrew, Jason (July 2011). "Reunited, and it Sounds So Good". Alternative Press. 276 (26): 84. ISSN 1065-1667.
  3. ^ "X Marks the Box". Archived from the original on 2006-03-17. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Paint it Black: making hardcore personal again". Archived from the original on 2008-10-15. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Microsoft hauled into court in piracy case".[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Philadelphia Daily News Dan Gross column: Ink & Dagger suit settled". The Philadelphia Daily News. July 26, 2006.
  8. ^ "Ex-Ink & Dagger sues Microsoft". Philadelphia Daily News. October 26, 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-11-02.
  9. ^ August, Justin (May 31, 2010). "Kid Dynamite, Ink & Dagger, BANE and many more at This Is Hardcore 2010". Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  10. ^ Karan, Tim (June 1, 2010). "Kid Dynamite, Sheer Terror, Ink & Dagger, more to reunite at This Is Hardcore Fest". Alternative Press. Retrieved June 1, 2010.
  11. ^ Gross, Dan (June 2, 2010). "Dan Gross: Kid Dynamite to play at fest". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
  12. ^ a b Reiss, Jon (August 13, 2010). "True Blood Lust: Ink and Dagger at Party Expo in Bushwick". New York Press. Archived from the original on August 17, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  13. ^ "Ink & Dagger played Party Expo w/ Primitive Weapons (pics, video), add Philly show (TONIGHT) + updated LA dates". Brooklyn Vegan. August 13, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  14. ^ Fowler, Aaron (November 1, 2010). "Ink & Dagger (featuring Geoff Rickly of Thursday) announce UK tour". Alternative Press. Retrieved November 2, 2010.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Buddyhead Suicide
  17. ^ Initial Records: Worst Label Ever!

External links[edit]