Gorilla Biscuits are an American hardcore punk band from New York City, New York, United States, formed in 1986. The band currently consists of Anthony "Civ" Civarelli, Walter Schreifels, Arthur Smilios and Luke Abbey, and is signed to Revelation Records. Gorilla Biscuits are part of the New York hardcore scene.
Gorilla Biscuits was formed by Smilios and Civ after meeting in high school in Long Island, New York. The band released their self-titled debut album as a 7" in 1988. Gorilla Biscuits released their second album Start Today in 1989. Start Today gave Gorilla Biscuits underground popularity. They are considered one of the most seminal youth crew bands.
Gorilla Biscuits were formed when Arthur Smilios and Nick Drysdale met Anthony "Civ" Civarelli while they were both attending the same high school in Long Island, New York. All three were fans of the band Agnostic Front, and started going to hardcore shows at CBGB on weekends. There they met people like Ray Cappo and John Porcelly of the band Youth of Today.
Smilios sought to form a hardcore band and asked Civ to act as vocalist. However Civ was not interested in singing, and had to face the floor or wall during early gigs due to nerves. Members of the band Token Entry arranged a gig for the still unnamed band , but needed a name to give it to the promoter. A popular drug in the area at that time was quaaludes, which people called "ape shit," or "gorilla biscuits" due to the pill's large size. Eventually the name evolved into Gorilla Biscuits, and though it was initially only meant to be temporary, they have continued to use it.
The band made a number of low-fi demo tapes which were sold at a dollar store. Their first official T-shirts were blue with an image of a gorilla riding a skateboard and were made using black magic markers and an ink blotter.
Revelation Records featured the early Gorilla Biscuits song "Better Than You" on one of their compilations, and later released the eponymously titled Gorilla Biscuits 7-inch EP in 1988, which later became a hardcore hit. The band toured the United States and Europe twice. In 1989, the band released their first full-length album, Start Today, which became the biggest selling ever for Revelation Records, and was also the first album that the label issued on CD, alongside its vinyl and cassette versions, as part of the routine production. The band started writing material for a second LP which they never recorded, and eventually disbanded around the year 1992. Some of the members went on to play in a follow-up band, CIV. Besides singing for CIV, Civ now owns a tattoo studio on Long Island. Walter went on to form the post-hardcore band Quicksand. He then wrote the songs for and helped produce CIV's first album.
Gorilla Biscuits re-united for one show in October 1997 at CBGB to benefit the family of then recently deceased Warzone singer Raybeez, and played another show at CBGB on August 14, 2005 as a benefit towards the club's legal costs, and again on September 3, 2006.