I spent today listening to music for a straight 5 hours and it got me thinking…
How many people listen to punk rock nowadays? How many people here on HE, for that matter, listen to punk rock? And when I say listen, I don’t only mean casually, I mean still on a regular basis. And before I get started, I’m not one of those obnoxious punk rockers who feels the need to weed out the “true” believers from the “posers” by vomiting my knowledge of what “real punk rock” is all up in your face. No dick-sizing here! Besides, music is music and everybody is free to enjoy what gets them excited.
That being said, I grew up with a long dossier of punk bands to listen to thanks to my brothers who introduced me to the genre when I was young. It always has been, and will continue to be, one of the most important things in my life. I find a lot of the themes in punk music to be very positive, uplifting and in favor of positive change for our future. This is probably the main reason I am so drawn to it.
Somewhere in my train of thought, I started wondering how many people out there feel the same way. I’m sure there are many still, but I can’t help but feel a change in it’s popularity today. Obviously, punk moved in to a more mainstream light in the 90’s and early 2000’s and many were turned on to the genre, but I also feel as though most who used to enjoy it at one point moved on to other genres of music and left it behind. People’s tastes change, I get that. I am a musician myself and I always keep an open mind. I definitely get expanding your horizons. I listen to music regardless of genre, but I have to say, nothing hits the spot quite like punk rock. I don’t think I could ever leave it at the bottom of CD collection in favor of something else.
I wonder how many people still get energized listening to punk rock. I go to local punk shows in my city when I can and I am aware that there is still a following of people who support it (nothing quite matches the feeling of stepping in to the pit in a crowded room). You do see a lot of older guys at the shows though, so I sometimes wonder about the younger generations. I mean, I’m still young. I’m only 21 myself. Anybody here on HE, say, under 18 who has a passion for punk? I’d be curious to know.
Not to be the kind of guy who name drops, but I am genuinely curious if anybody here listens to similar stuff. Here’s some of my favorites:
Bad Religion, Pennywise, The Descendents, Millencolin, Rise Against, NoFX, Lagwagon, Good Riddance, Authority Zero, Goldfinger, Black Flag, Flogging Molly, Refused, Less Than Jake, Bouncing Souls, Dead Kennedys, Rancid, Face to Face, Strung Out, Fugazi, Fucked Up, The Mad Caddies, Social Distortion, Minor Threat, No Use For a Name, Operation Ivy, blink-182, The Ataris, Gob, Chixdiggit!, Screeching Weasel, 88 Fingers Louie, Dropkick Murphys, U.S. Bombs, No Fun At All, Anti-Flag, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes…. (have to force myself to stop there!)
So, thoughts? Does punk have a place in your life? What did you grow up with? Any memories from shows you’ve been to in the past? Maybe you’re not a punk, that’s cool too. What do you like listening to and why?
@theskafish, ah, i don’t know how i didn’t see your Tim comment before! that’s so cool! Hahahha i’d brag about that to anyone and everyone. you’re practically famous ;D
Rise Against are releasing a new record just with everything that didn’t make the other records and i’m SO pumped. Like, you have no idea. Kid in a candy store every time they release a new teaser about it hahah https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yBw4A3F_MyQ#at=13
… but every concert-goer was super bogan. Except for the guy wearing a Doctor Who t-shirt. that guy, i’m gonna marry. mark mah werds
Well somehow in the past few hours after listening to a whole heap of stuff I’ve found myself continuously listening to blink-182. I’m so confused, maybe the whole metal & prog thing was figmental and I just like any music that isn’t rap or pop. But then again – there’s some rap and pop that I like as well.
Ya know, this thread has like totally killed my defined music taste of nearly two solid years. (yeah that’s not very long but still.) Well I suppose I can re-word that as “this thread has allowed me to realise my true musical tastes” sticking with the general HE tone haha.
I hope I don’t soon *realise* that I was born for Nicki Minaj or something terrible like that!
@theskafish, do americans not say bogan?
star wars is mah jam. Grew up on dat shit. Star Wars and Indiana Jones.
@SFHardy, Watch out for the Bieber kid, he might be next! Haha :S
Hey man, blink is rad! Most people give them a hard time for being a pop punk band, but I absolutely love them. I’ll always love the Dude Ranch album (perfect album for the summertime & skateboarding), but even there new stuff is exceptionally well written. They are not the best musicians (Travis, the drummer is pretty killer, if a bit self centered), but their songwriting is where they really shine. I remember hearing their live album “The Mark, Tom and Travis Show” for the first time when I was 11. I had never heard so much swearing compacted into a single 45 minutes disk in my life. Now, I’m not proud to announce it, but I’m pretty sure I absorbed all of the jokes and all of the banter to the point that it is like a second language!
@theskafish, Yes indeed! Immediately after reading your post I had it buffering in another window.
Absolutely excellent and just so inspiring! It was incredible to see so many of my punk rock influences all brought together in one video. Sort of mind blowing actually, but once you realize how connected all these people are it starts to make sense. That’s what I love about punk rock and the community. People are are equal. There’s no musician hierarchy, no one walking around like their shit doesn’t stink, you know?
This was hands down the best punk rock documentary I have seen though. It also helped that Southern California is where the majority of my favorite punk bands originated. It touched on so many important things. I especially liked how Pennywise and other bands talked about how helpful the surf and skate videos were in getting their music out there. It was such a different time and when you think about it, it really is amazing that a California punk band can become huge in Australia without the internet! Crazy stuff.
The timing couldn’t have been better for me to watch One Nine Nine Four. I’m at a point where progress with my own music and writing is starting to explode. I’m so deeply involved in it, watching this video only heightened my motivation even more! It made me reflect on my roots in punk rock and realize how much I had missed using the building blocks of punk in my writing. I’m actually preparing to record my first full length album in a couple months, and after watching the doc, I added three new tracks to the lineup. And yup, you better believe they’re straight up punk rock songs.
Under 18 (female) punk here! I grew up on The Ramones and Green Day and Blink. Dookie is still one of my favorite albums. Last month I went to see Authority Zero, which was super fun. Earlier this year I went to see Desaparecidos and Joyce Manor. Desaparecidos is definitely a political punk band, which I know rubs some people the wrong way, but I like their sound and message and they’re really tight live. And man, nothing like the feeling of stepping in the pit.
@divinediscretion, How was Authority Zero? I’m glad they’re still together. I love those guys! They’ve never had the chance to seem them myself, but love their first two albums. I haven’t heard much past their fourth live album, which I have to say right now was just awesome! All acoustic and had so many alternate versions of their songs. They took their fastest punk song and turned in into a freakin’ jazz song! Amazing!
I do remember hearing a new song (well, it was new at the time anyways) a while back and it took me by surprise that it sounded like a straight up pop song! I always thought Authority Zero had their sound nailed down pretty damn good so I couldn’t see any good reason to sound more generic, but who knows, maybe that one song was just the bad egg of their new record?
@punker96 They were amazing! To be honest, I expected them to be more poppy but they stuck to their punker (is that a word?) stuff. I know what you mean, I have mixed feelings about the poppy stuff, too. The new record is more mainstream for sure, but I don’t think it’s necessarily bad. I think they were best circa Andiamo, but I’ll still probably listen to whatever they put out. It wasn’t the biggest turnout as there’s not much of a punk scene around where I live but they definitely still go hard. Really talented dudes, high energy, lots of fun. Definitely see them if you get the chance!
@francina, haha, no, Americans don’t say bogan. In fact, the first I’d heard of it was here:
then when I typed “bogan” into Google, this came up:
I’m still not sure what a bogan is, they appear to be some kind of person stuck in the late ’80s-early ’90s?
@punker96, Oh no you absorbed their jokes? I’ve got a few of their live tracks and all they do in between songs is say stuff like
“You don’t love me… You just love my doggy style!”
“I LOVE YOUR DOGGY STYLE!!!”
Well I never really knew about the “most people give them [Blink 182] a hard time”, but that must be the so called “real punk fans”, right? I think I know what you mean because I know that “real metal fans” give emo/most modern bands/screamo a really hard time hahah. One of my favourite bands is Bullet For My Valentine and tonnes of people give them a hard time because they say it isn’t real heavy/thrash metal. Personally I prefer them to Metallica, and Metallica is one of the “Big Four” of thrash :P Well I even have some songs my My Chemical Romance and everyone hates them!
@theskafish, You know what I just realized? I got a notification on my profile from you asking what I thought of One Nine Nine Four, but your post doesn’t show up in the forums for some reason. So now I just look like a crazy dude replying to a question that was never asked.
@motorik, I don’t know… I don’t really know what a redneck is either haha. Lost in translation!
@theskafish a bogan is pretty much just some guy with a long greasy hair who still lives at home with his mum who doesn’t really see the light of day very much and when he does it’s in gumboots (wellingtons/rainboots/idk what you guys call them) and a wifebeater (singlet). They also smell and are dirty. :)
I don’t really know how to describe it… anything i write just sounds mean. It’s one of those things that are part of the culture so it’s not as bad. HALP ME OWT HERE SOMEONE
@spaceghost, Social Distortion have made a reappearance in my life again also.
You guys might get a kick out of Jay Reatard, since a lot of these bands are newer.
My desire to make punk rock music is still there. But one thing I’ve noticed about myself is that I’m trying to distance myself away from feelings like politics, nihilism, despair, anger, and frustration, which, as it were, inspire a lot of punk rock songs, and even some artists’ whole careers. It doesn’t work for me though, when I’m in a dark place, I can’t create, I just feel unmotivated and generally lousy. I’m trying to see life as magical again instead of me-against-the-world because it gets me down, but still love the energy and feeling punk brings to the table.
Is it possible to still write good, sincere punk but while believing all is well, and even being happy and optimistic about life?
@spaceghost, Yeah dude! I’ve been on a huge Pennywise kick myself lately, it’s funny that you mention that! Land of the Free was the first Pennywise album I ever heard. I remember when my friend showed me Fuck Authority for the first time. I listened to it full blast on a shitty mp3 player. You know, one of those clip to your belt ones that hold like twenty-five songs? This was back when mp3 was still fairly new keep in mind. The poor audio compression on that thing was just killing the track when I think about it now, but back then, it was probably the most aggressive, hard hitting thing I think I’d ever heard. It was beautiful. I remember that moment. That song made me feel fucking high, like I could do absolutely anything I wanted to and no one could stop me. It was one of those moments where, up until that point, I didn’t fully understand how the energy coming from just one punk rock song could change your entire life.
Speaking of Pennywise, I love Fletcher the guitarist. He’s such an intense dude. Some of the stories you hear about that guy are just crazy. Have you heard of that radio show Loveline? They used to have punk bands as guests on it regularly. There’s audio and security footage from inside the studio when Pennywise was on the show back in 90’s, you can find it on Youtube. Anyways, Flecther gets so drunk during the show that it ends with him barricading the band, the show hosts and himself in the studio threatening to take everybody to “poo-poo town.” And if that’s not enough, the cops show up to arrest him and he starts shouting that he has a live grenade!! You could not get away with that kind of shit on live radio today!
@theskafish, I read your post last night and was thinking about what you said. I understand wanting to live a positive life and trying to avoid all the negativity and shit. I’m totally the same way. I get real depressed when I allow myself to take in too much negative energy. I almost tend to do it without noticing sometimes, which is why I’ve always had to make a conscious effort to look at the bright side and be thankful for what’s great in my life.
When it come to music though, I have to disagree. I think music is an incredibly special form of expression and it can be used as a tool to actually help sort through feelings of despair, anger, frustration, etc, instead of trying to avoid them and act like they don’t exist. For me, it’s sort of like therapy. I can either run from the negativity or I can confront it head on and turn it into art. The great thing about that is, it puts that energy somewhere healthy, instead of manifesting it inside my mind and body. Negative vibes don’t just disappear in to thin air. Without dealing with those emotions, they will just keep coming back. When I write something in to a song, I no longer have to think about it. I’ve said what I had to say in my music and those feeling will remain locked away in that song from that point on. It’s like a breath of fresh air.
Perhaps the greatest part about that method of dealing with negative feelings is, if the negativity ever starts to come back, I now have a song that I can play to help me process that energy. I can play my fucking heart out on that song and I guarantee you that, by the end of it, I’ll be feeling great all over again!
I believe punk rock has this amazing ability to transform negative energy into pure positivity. It’s what I love most about the genre. I certainly do not find that I’m always angry with the world when I listen to punk rock, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. When I go long periods of time without the music I love, I actually have a tendency to start feeling moody, like the world is beating me down. People have this misconception that punk promotes aggression, when really it has more to do with how the individual processes what they take in than the music itself.
Think about someone close to you passing away in your lifetime. You have the power to choose how to interpret that. You can either hate the fact that they were taken away from you and hold on to that pain or you can grieve and eventually accept, allowing yourself to become thankful that they have moved on to a better place. It’s all about how you look at and interpret the experience handed to you in life. That is what shapes your demeanor towards the rest of the world.
And as you said, not all punk rock has to be derived from a negative energy or subject either. I love uplifting punk rock! There are bands out there that have messages ranging from enlightening to just having a good time. It’s not all serious all the time, nor should it be. For example, a hardcore band from the 80’s called Bad Brains wrote a lot of very positive messages in to their music. Also, speaking of Social Distortion @francina, their album Sex Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll has a very uplifting message all throughout. That album always makes me feel pretty damn good (Angels Wings is an exceptionally well written song!)
Bands that have a philosophy that says “you don’t always have to take life so seriously” behind their music like blink-182, Less Than Jake or Andrew W.K. (debatable whether or not he’s a punk, but close enough for me! He definitely has the right attitude!) those bands always get me pumped. There’s an awesome pop-punk band from where I live here in Calgary, Alberta. Chixdiggit! is the name. They are probably one of my favorite pop-punk bands of all time and all they write about are humorous situations like a friendship being split up over a dog or falling in love with your very first piece of shit, used Japanese car.
The one thing I think we can all take away from a little punk rock is that it wants to give you energy that makes you feel 100 feet tall, while at the same time promoting unity and positive reinforcement. Whether that energy originates from a place of discontent or an enjoyment for life, the end result usually leaves you feel empowered, ready to take action. That’s what I love about it anyway.