The Story of NEIN


In 1984, guitarist Clifford and drummer CHRIS CRIM! were fellow students at Platt College, an art college located in San Diego, CA.  Together they came up with an idea for a band with artistic aspirations – not only would this band perform rock/pop/punk music, but they would also incorporate art into the presentation.  This art would manifest itself in paintings, sketches, and video montages utilized onstage during performances.

To realize this vision, they rehearsed two songs and headed into the studio to cut a 45 (for those of you too young to know what a 45 was, it was a mini vinyl disc, a single with one song per side – remember, this was 1984!).  The result was “Upside Down” on the “A” side, a punk take on the old Diana Ross hit from 1980, and an original song called “Who Breaks a Wheel on a Butterfly?” on the “B” side.  The single was recorded at Golden Track Studios in Santee, CA., engineered by Steve Weatherbee, and included guest musician Fernando Allende on percussions.  The cover artwork was created by CHRIS CRIM! and Clifford crafted the graphic design.

In order to complete the band, the duo realized they needed to recruit a full-time bass player in order to promote the band live (Clifford played bass on the 45 in addition to his guitar work).  The band recruited local bassist mikelewismusic to play for the band in late 1984, and after a few rehearsals the band was ready to hit the local venues.

The band debuted for a weekend stint at Jimmy’s Place, a local nightclub in Point Loma, CA, on March 1, 1985:


The band moved into a permanent rehearsal space on Kettner Blvd in Downtown San Diego for the remainder of 1985.  Some pictures from the rehearsal space, which included a nifty stage built and decorated by Chris:

NEIN’s style of rock music could be best described as “power trio”.  Each player feeding off of each other that often resulted in frenetic hard rock similar to The Who (“Situation“), could thrash as hard as punk rockers such as the Dead Kennedys (“Who Breaks a Wheel on a Butterfly?“), possessing the artistic subtlety to pursue songs with pop leanings (“Take that Girl“), and had the acumen to play songs with prog rock aspirations (“Is Anyone Wandering Around to Make it Rain?“).  They were a very versatile band that was completely contemporary.

The band filled out the remainder of the year playing live, culminating in a performance on December 21, 1985 at the Holiday Bowl Parade in Downtown San Diego in front of the Star of India.  This performance included two large murals of crucifix crosses as backdrops behind the band, pieces used to support their original song “Crucified”, one of the themes the band was focused on at the time.

After the Holiday Bowl performance, the band disbanded. While much was accomplished in the short year they were together, the trio all had artistic differences and decided to go their separate ways.


Fast forward 30 years

Clifford established himself as a formidable solo artist and had performed in various bands including the Radical Molesters with mikelewismusic.  Clifford released many albums throughout the years, including “Road Show” in 1987, and “Clifford” in 2004.  Clifford also parlayed his musical passion into a full-time stint as the musical director at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church in San Ysidro, CA.

Chris kept active as a drummer in his various home churches in Poway, CA.  He would occasionally step into the secular world by offering his percussive expertise in various groups in a recording or performance capacity.

mikelewismusic performed in various local bands such as the Radical Molesters (with Clifford), CenterAisle (with Brian Baxter of A New High), and With Intent.  mikelewismusic also released three solo albums titled “mikelewismusic“, “Headin’ North“, and “Live!“.

The band had always kept contact with one another and in 2015 asked themselves “What if?” – what if they got back together?  Could they bring back the formidable energy and expertise required to play NEIN’s music the way it deserved to be played?

In January of 2015 the band got together at Adder Studio in San Diego, CA and found the answer was indeed a resounding YES!  They had 30 years of rust to shake off but it was clear the foundation was still there.  NEIN “2.0” was ALIVE!

Their reunion gig was a short set on April 16 at Winston’s in Ocean Beach.  A powerful set that proved NEIN was back to stay!


The next performance was a triumphant appearance at the San Diego Fair (formerly known as the Del Mar Fair) in Del Mar, CA.


The band played two gigs at local churches (St. Pius Catholic Church in Chula Vista, CA., and Holy Family Catholic Church in Linda Vista, CA.) as part of their “Catholic Charities Tour”.  They ended the triumphant year of 2015 performing at the December Nights celebration at Balboa Park in the heart of San Diego, CA:

NEIN entered the studio in November of 2015 to record “(I Wanna Incite A) Riot” at The Grey Brick Recording Studio in Lemon Grove, CA.  They returned to Grey Brick in May of 2016 to record more songs that culminated in their very first album “N2.0” – a 30 year dream fulfilled!  Eight power-packed songs that are as relevant and powerful today as they were back in 1985!

NEIN will promote N2.0 and will continue to make live appearances around San Diego and beyond!  As of now, NEIN 2.0 has been active longer than their original incarnation from 1984-85!

Stay tuned to this page and our Facebook page for more details!

© 2016 NEIN all rights reserved

Photo Nov 30, 12 24 44 PM (1).jpg

L-R: CHRIS CRIM!, Clifford, mikelewismusic