Finding Aid for the Max Ward Collection of Powerviolence Material LSC.2345

Finding aid prepared by Kuhelika Ghosh, 2017.
UCLA Library Special Collections
Online finding aid last updated 2018 16 January.
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Business Number: 310-825-4988
Fax Number: 310-206-1864

Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
Title: Max Ward Collection of Powerviolence Material
Creator: Ward, Max
Identifier/Call Number: LSC.2345
Physical Description: 5.6 linear feet (10 boxes, 2 flat oversize boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1990s-early 2000s
Abstract: The collection documents the emergence of the Powerviolence music scene, a little known subgenre of hardcore punk, which was primarily active in the 1990s through the early 2000s. Materials consists of original fliers, posters, handbills, correspondence, photographs, stickers, zines, and patches collected by San Francisco Bay Area drummer, Max Ward.
Physical Location: Stored off-site. All requests to access special collections material must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.
Language of Material: Materials are primarily in English, some materials in Japanese.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research. All requests to access special collections materials must be made in advance using the request button located on this page.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Property rights to the objects belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. All other rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Johnson Rare Books & Archives, 2017.


UCLA Catalog Record ID: 9982292043606533 

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Max Ward Collection of Powerviolence Material (Collection 2345). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

Processing Information

Processed by Kuhelika Ghosh under the supervision of Courtney Dean in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), 2017.
Collections are processed to a variety of levels depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived user interest and research value, availability of staff and resources, and competing priorities. Library Special Collections provides a standard level of preservation and access for all collections and, when time and resources permit, conducts more intensive processing. These materials have been arranged and described according to national and local standards and best practices.
We are committed to providing ethical, inclusive, and anti-racist description of the materials we steward, and to remediating existing description of our materials that contains language that may be offensive or cause harm. We invite you to submit feedback about how our collections are described, and how they could be described more accurately, by filling out the form located on our website: Report Problematic Content and Description in UCLA's Library Collections and Archives. 


Powerviolence is a subgenre of hardcore punk known for dissonant, fast, and short songs with constant tempo changes. It emerged in the early 1990s, primarily on the West Coast of the United States, with bands like Man is the Bastard, Spazz, and Capitalist Casualties. Some trace the origins of powerviolence back to late 1980s hardcore bands such as Siege and SSD. Many of the leading powerviolence bands had dissolved by the early 2000s but some some continue to tour.
Max Ward, sometimes known as Hirax Max, was a San Francisco Bay Area drummer who played in the bands Spazz, Plutocracy, Capitalist Casualties, What Happens Next?, Bombs of Death, and Scholastic Deth[sic]. He was a major influence in the powerviolence scene. Ward was also the founder of 625 Thrashcore Records, which booked tours and released records for local, national, and international powerviolence bands. He produced the zine Mosh of Ass and contributed to the zine Maximumrocknroll. As of 2017, Ward is a professor of History at Middlebury College in Vermont.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of materials collected by drummer Max Ward related to the powerviolence scene from the 1990s to early 2000s. Includes original fliers, posters, handbills, correspondence, photographs, stickers, zines and patches, documenting the emergence of the scene in the San Francisco Bay Area through to when Ward moved to Japan in the early 2000s.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:
  • Series 1: Correspondence, photographs, and zines, 1990s-early 2000s
  • Series 2: Fliers and stickers, 1990s-early 2000s
Original order of materials was maintained.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Punk culture -- California -- 20th century
Hardcore (Music)
Ward, Max -- Archives

box 1

Series 1: Correspondence, photographs and zines 1990s-early 2000s

Scope and Content

Contains over 400 pieces of correspondence to Max Ward, much of which is written on the back of fliers, including notes from Tony Foresta of the band Municipal Waste and Michael Thorn of Inept; band photographs, including Capitalist Casualties live in Japan; and approximately 20 zines including Inhuman Conditions, Scream, Fear No Love, and The Crass Menagerie.
box 2, box 3, box 4, box 5, box 6, box 7, box 8, box 9, box 10, box 11, box 12

Series 2: Fliers and stickers 1990s-early 2000s

Scope and Content

Contains original fliers, posters, handbills, stickers, and patches from powerviolence bands in the 1990s. Some of the bands represented include Crossed Out, Capitalist Casualties, Plutocracy, Dystopia, Spazz, and others booked by Ward or his record label 625 Thrashcore. The majority of fliers are from California but the collection also includes fliers from Japan in both English and Japanese.