Tuesday, October 21, 2008

This Blog is a Blessing, they want to make it a Curse.

I was just informed that this Blog's contents have been subpoenaed in the agonizingly long 2 year Legal Battle to which my every day is haunted by. I've been waiting on news about whether or not "the big day" was happening tomorrow or if I would have to wait even longer still. Apparently they've decided to try to use this Blog to incriminate me and I am almost sad for them. This Blog has been a great soapbox,sounding board,waste disposal unit and most importantly an outlet to which I can experience carthartic release through writing. I've enjoyed the conversations in person with strangers or friends over topics discussed on here. I've really began to see that this blog is not only a place for me to place my emotions out on a string but somewhere where I can bring the best of what we have together and tune in the new generation in hopes that we can get some gears spinning in their heads that they didn't even know were possible. I am bummed that what I'd begun to finally find purpose to will now be stretched,contorted and juxtaposed in a way to possibly be a nail in my coffin.

I will still write and continue what I started, but its hard to look at this interface without feeling like its been soiled by the rotten injustice system thats had its coil around my neck for far too long now.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Truth Hurts. Part One Continued...

PART ONE (continued)

George : The Guy in Blacklisted.

I am really having a difficult time trying to introduce such a person to everyone. He is truly a legend in the making. For such a young age to live as he lived and did what he did is pretty incredible. His insight and vulnerability really shows in these answers. I asked George to be a part of this discussion because I honestly value his opinion beyond most. There was a time when I would make tapes for him to rock out too, and maybe we would enjoy them in my busted white camaro on death rides throughout the knowne world of Philly. I can’t think of what my life or hardcore could would have been like without his presence. His words and actions stand for themselves and this passage is inspiring and exactly what this 50 days and following discussion was meant for.

There seems to be a void in sincerity and concentration in Hardcore if you ask me. I'd like to hear what you'd like to see kids focus on? Where is there too much focus these days?

It seems to be that people within this genre of music struggle with their social identity now more than ever. It seems to be making people in the scene just latch on to the latest thing and trying to ride the wave and remain faceless so they can eventually feel some quick and easy form of acceptance. Which, when/if they get it, they will just abuse and take advantage of. Its sad. If you take a look through out hardcores history, these people were outcasts, they were confused, angry, and didnt fit in so they created their own outlets, their own concerts, their own bands, their own art work, their own record labels to put out their own albums and friends albums. Its was and still can be a very radical thing. I wish more emphasis would be placed on that aspect of this community and more people would stand up and be proud of the ability this community has for change, and what it has done for me and countless others. Acceptance comes through the understanding of oneself. If you are searching for it, but the only true effort you are making to find it begins and ends with just riding a wave and blending in, you are not going to find it. More than likely you are going to blow right by it and not even recognize it time and time again. Because that acceptance must first come from inside of you. Be comfortable in your own skin.

Most people when asked the question on what there is too much focus on, automatically go with "Fashion". Id just like to counter that a little bit. When I first got into hardcore (Which was not so long ago, Only the mid 90s) I could walk down South Street or anywhere in downtown Philadelphia and recognize other hardcore kids, I could tell them apart from everyone else by the way they dressed, bottom line, and it gave me a great comfort, a feeling of community, that aspect to me had a very tribal vibe to it and it was exciting. From there I would recognize them at shows and we would build relationships. Not that all of them dressed the same, but their was an individual yet recognizable style to it, especially to a 13-14 year old kid like I was. Just like in the early 80s there was a certain style. If you look through out Hardcore/Punk culture the fashion element is right there. People constantly blast it as a problem in hardcore but the truth of the matter is anything in life is fashion oriented, there is no way to escape it. Everything from the guy decked out in the latest designer gear to the one with a bone through his nose and wearing a dress. Anytime a human being gets up in the morning and makes a decision on what to put on, they are playing a fashionable role in society. However there is a difference in being fashionable for yourself versus being fashionable to fit in. I think more emphasis should be put on doing it for yourself. Wearing what you want to wear because it is what you feel comfortable in and how you express yourself. But that is just common sense.

I believe more emphasis should be put on younger kids. The whole "Each one teach one" vibe. If you are only involved in hardcore to climb some social ladder, sleep with unbalanced/confused people or to try to make some monetary gain, young kids are going to see that and think it is ok and do it themselves. Whether they stick with doing that is up to them at the price of their own free will, but everyone is impressionable one time or another. Letting that happen further removes this community from the basic fundamentals and destroys the capabilities it possesses.

Lastly I think more emphasis should be placed on the way people with in the scene get treated/treat each other. Whether it be directly or indirectly. I will call this the trilogy. Countless times I have been on tour and have heard people use words like "Faggot", "Nigger" etc etc, with little to no understanding of the weight some of those words hold. "Faggot" and "Nigger" are so blatantly obvious on why NOT to use them and the fact that I even have to explain that disturbs me greatly and makes me wonder why some people are even part of this community. Homophophia and Racism are obviously two things that can NOT be tolerated, its that simple. The third of this trilogy is the way we treat women. Is it necessary to call them sluts, cunts, bitches and whores? Do you have a mother? A sister? Do you struggle with your masculinity and self that much that you have to degrade a woman to make yourself feel good? It is 2008, I mean really? We have an African american leading the polls as our future President. Even if he loses, We will have a female Vice President, second in command in leading our country. A human is a human, No matter what their sexual preference may be, the color of their skin or gender. I think the sooner people in this community realize that, the better off we will all be.

The line that hits home for me from you has always been, "I've put my life on a shelf while everyone else around has found happiness and wealth". Is there a point where you will decide that this shelved life will need to be unearthed from the years of dust? Could your happiness be found outside of what you're doing right now? Could your wealth metaphorically be your experience in what you're doing today?

I go back and forth daily. I am 26 years old. All of my belongings are in boxes in my ex girlfriends living room while I tour. The truth is, I dont know how to find happiness. Personally, I have never been a particularly happy person. But I would like to be/find it. I want a job. I want normalcy. I question if that will bring me what it is I need to be happy. Ive spent far too long living outside the grid and traveling. Blacklisted is not a big band. We barely manage. It always comes back to the issue of "Experience". Something I have learned with that is, all of the experience I have found in blacklisted, whether it be meeting new people, traveling places, Europe, Japan, Australia, etc etc. That experience and $ 1.50 could barely get me a cup of coffee in any major city. The point is this, Ive traveled to places that my financial upbringing would never afford me. And for that I am lucky. That is about all I have. I have traveled/toured so heavily, I lost most of my friends I had at home, varying from them finding families to them just writing me off as thinking I am better than everyone because now I am "worldly". There were two worlds I was familiar with throughout my life. The first was my relationship with loved ones. The second was hardcore. Somehow hardcore/blacklisted has managed to ween itself in as the major thing in my life and it pushed out a lot of the first. In a way that has made me out of touch, like a man without a country, I am still as confused as ever. If that makes sense.

As time moves on certain customs of our culture are dying out. Which custom would you like to see get a rebirth in 09? If only for aesthetics, what do you miss most of all when you walk up to a show to when the first note of the first band hits?

Im not sure if it is a rebirth of customs I would want to see. I want to see people get involved. Get educated. Its easy to say "Yea I love hardcore." Then list bad brains/black flag/cro mags as bands you listen to. It is easy to say you love those bands. So did the hundreds of kids that would go see them when they played. The key thing I miss ties in with that. "Why" do "you" love those bands? That is what I miss, people knowing "Why" they are involved and why they love the things in this community that they do. Be proud of who you are and the things you care about. I dont see that as much anymore. Be well versed in the things you take pride in.

Honestly are there days where you wonder why you get on stage? As if these kids are just there for the moment or do you have a purpose to driving yourself 3 feet into the dirt each year so you can be out in front of the world the way that you are?

Recently there have been many days why I wonder why I get on stage and I hate myself for it. I feel like a complete failure. I wonder if when I am done in blacklisted will I ever go to another hardcore show again. Ive felt the feelings of everything I have always hated about the fraudulent factor of hardcore. I never wanted to be put in the position of feeling like that but the fact is, I am a human. There is good and bad. The spell Ive been involved in recently however only feels bad. Many people will just write this off and say "then dont fucking do it anymore", but it is not that simple for me. I have a lot of regrets regarding blacklisted. I dont know if I spoke up as much as I should have. Lyrically I dont know if I said anything important to others. I wrote about myself. It was a very selfish process. I wish I would have been more selfless with it, addressing issues that were important to me and in turn helping others, instead of addressing George Hirsch solely as a person. I wasted years writing records about my personal life, exercising my own demons and I am not sure if it helped anyone, myself included. I often regret putting myself out there in front of the world, even on the small scale that I have. I never wanted to be "known" or talked about and everything else that comes with fronting a band, but I made my decision. Hopefully through everything I have done some people have felt better about themselves and their lives, that is all I can really ask/hope for.

Today I'd say the Edge is dull. I'd say its nothing more then a bath towel to keep the kids dry til they "grow up" and want to be more like everyone else. Would you say we've homogenized the edge to the point that the "rebel" factor has completely died out?

Straight Edge is a tricky part of this community. Every era of it holds a different weight and ideal. Ian Mackayes edge, Ray and Porcells edge, Karl from Earth Crisis's edge... Etc Etc. As tricky as finding your place in straight edge may seem when looking back on the past. It is actually simple. Straight Edge is a choice you make for yourself. No more no less. You do what you feel is right and what makes you feel comfortable. As long as that is in mind and the main reason for doing it, it will never die out. And if it is your choice to stop being straight edge, so be it. Its all choice that is the key word. I think people put too much emphasis on the edge as a label put on a group of people, when in reality it is a personal decision.

I want you to name 5 bands that mean nothing to anyone the way they mean to you and why.

Music means different things to everybody for different reasons. Any band I listen to I listen to with my own purposes. I have my own feelings towards the music, lyrics, artwork. That all weighs in on the band. With that said I couldnt just pick 5.

At the end of the day when you're sitting on your porch with your lemonade and your grandkids are asking about your life, what do you share with them about your time in hardcore?

I hope I share with them, not my "time" in hardcore, but the things I have learned while involved in hardcore. Morals, Ethics, Ideals, Etc Etc. Things that will help them become better people. Things that will help them question aspects of life in order to make their lives more happy and suitable/comfortable for them. Hopefully they can build on that and be a better people than me, a happier person than me, a more loving person than me. Hopefully that will make the small dent they put in the world a better place.

I need the roster of the super hardcore band. Give them a name and tell me what they would sound like?

My super hardcore band is simple, It would be Madball via "Set it Off" era, But with their current drummer/ Ex Cro Mags & Bad Brains drummer Mackie Jayson playing drums instead of Will Shepler(Though he is great on that record.) Arguably that band that era with Mackie could be the best band ever.

What is the most fundamentally important aspect of hardcore that you see drifting away? How do we fix it?

Speaking up. Saying what you feel/what is on YOUR mind. So many times as a community we stand by and dont get involved or take action in what we feel is right. I think that needs to be fixed. You need to let others know where you stand and why it is you stand there. Im not talking about going on a message board and saying "this band sucks", That means nothing. That is weak. Im talking about standing on your own to feet and letting people know who you are, why you feel the way you feel. Being angry and trying to fix things.There is a strength in standing strong. There is an individuality to it, a sense of pride. I just wish more people would stand up and get involved.

And now the counter to that, what is the latest element to hardcore that you find to be an insult to all you love and dear and when does it end?

I find message boards/the internet as a whole to be an insult on hardcore. I miss the chase of hardcore. Finding records that were hard to find and listening to them front to back, reading the liner notes etc etc. Now you download something and it is so expendable you listen to a few songs and delete it, There is no heart in it. You immediately write it off. It doesnt even have time to develop in your mind and heart and you are already on some message board, giving heartless reasons as to why it is not good and why the band sucks and the people in the band are any slew of names you can make up on the spot. Its pathetic. Hardcore is not some expendable thing. Music period is not some expendable thing you just use up and throw away. Music in its purest form has the power to change, to make people feel different emotions, ranging from Love to hate and everything in between, Its a powerful thing. To treat it as some throw away thing like you would a napkin or old newspaper just shows how hollow some people are.

This Pic was supplied to me by George himself so he didn't get the Tim Borror Treatment. I am thankful for that. I don't have a backstory to this pic and I like it that way.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dissecting the Great Minds of Our Time aka PART ONE.. the discussion

When I think of a pioneer of what has become a standard in our scene today, I think of Tim Borror. It was through his diligence and perseverance that allowed a lot of bands who influenced the generations before this one to continue to not only play in proper venues but be accepted on good tours and treated like other bands in other genres of the music industry. He is responsible for so many great tours that it’s a bother to list them off. Needless to say at one point or another he’s booked the last 5 of your favorite bands. In fact aside from all this muckity muck about his hardcore accolades, I find it most important that he is the one man who could bring Demons and Wizards to the United States… :P
In all seriousness, I am proud and honored to call Tim a friend. He has an encyclopedic mind of all things hardcore, yet he is still a razor sharp business man that is legitimately the only guy I know who skates so close to the Dark Side but is still at heart a Jedi. Without his patience and willingness to lend an ear, I know I would be quite a few steps behind still, he is a mentor in many ways and has schooled the likes of Robby Redcheeks all the while still being able to be a bad influence to a whole new generation of kids.
His Interview in PART ONE is the beginning of a lengthy discussion series I will be posting on the blog in regards to my treatise “50 Days…” Its time to engage people, who have lived, loved, lost, worked, fought and nearly died for the core. Its time to procure from these tomes of hardcore knowledge some things discussed in “50 days” and ultimately try to use their words as a reference to what is possibly “missing” from today’s hardcore. I don’t know if that is the true depth of what I want to do with these discussions but for now lets run with that philosophy and I will keep posting interviews as they come in.

There seems to be a void in sincerity and concentration in Hardcore if you ask me.
I’d like to hear what you’d like to see kids focus on?

Real music. Music from the heart, music that is different than what’s been played 5 million times before and only re-done by kids copying something that’s already been watered down by the millions of bands that did it before them. Where are new bands breaking trends and starting new ones or being so good that no one can even jump on their band wagon? Into Another, Burn, Quicksand. There hasn’t been a revolution in hardcore like that era since. Even if its a familiar style play it from the heart. Bands that I love and still listen to like the Cro-Mags, Sick of It All, Madball, Terror, Judge, H2O and others while, they may not have been so original musically, they played with such heart and wrote music from their soul that it was original in its own right. I’m not saying there aren’t any bands out there like that today, I just wish they where getting more credit so they’d be more widely paid attention to. The only bands I hear about are myspace buzz bands with no dirt on them that are being developed out of current trends and not from bending rules.

Where is there too much focus these days?

What made you start booking bands?

It was an accident and I figured out that I was good at it. I needed a job, didn’t want to operate in any world other than music. Someone gave me a band, a desk and phone and said book a tour. From there some of my friends in real bands asked me to book them – Vision, Killing Time, Sheer Terror and they introduced me to other bands and pretty soon people knew me as a booking agent.

Do you still have the same motivation to do it now as it was then?

I’m a lucky motherfucker. I get to do the one thing that I’ve loved the most since I was 13 years old. I go to shows and make a living to care for my family from doing so. I’m just as motivated but different things about it motivate me. I like finding new challenges and I love discovering new music that is head and shoulders beyond what the competition is. After 27 years of going to shows every week its all harder but its still great when it works.

Who in your eyes is the #1 band you ever booked and why? Who was the worst?

At any given point I’ve loved and hated everyone of them. I don’t know how to give a good answer to this. The only bands I’d say are the worst are the ones I can’t remember. I’ve had to much fun with most of the rest to really say one was better than another.

Could you ever see yourself truly being happy doing something else?

Fuck yeah. This job is a grind. Its one of those jobs where everything feels like its the most important thing in the world and everything is now now now. Its stressful and 24/7. I’d rather own a fishing pier or a bar. I’m glad I have this career and I’m not giving it up but its not real life sometime and its hard on a person more than you’d think.

Is there ever a time where you feel like a “fan” and not a mover/shaker?

I feel like a fan all the time. I love music and I love what music can do to people in audience watching a great band and that electricity that goes on. That’s a main reason I’ve never let go of this job. I’d rather be a guy standing in the crowd watching the crowd and the band than the guy talking to promoter about who sells the most tickets.

As time moves on certain customs of our culture are dying out. Which custom would you like to see get a rebirth in 09?

Here’s a tricky answer. I miss the threat of violence and fear. Its tricky because I don’t like hearing that kids get beat up at these shows. That sucks and what is so life changing at a hardcore show that kids need to get beat up, its fucking stupid. That said, I lived more than my share of that culture and lifestyle and there is something that is so great about the adrenaline you can feel at a show when that feeling is in the air. I miss small clubs with good PA’s and stage dives. In 2008 there aren’t any good little dive clubs anymore. Every other place that is around for the most part is to concerned with liability. There are so many reasons why what I grew up in with music will never have a chance to exist anymore. Most of what I miss I see in some kids now and what I miss has mostly only to do with the fact that I’m older now and can’t hang with my friends 5 out of 7 days a week.

If only for aesthetics, what do you miss most of all when you walk up to a show to when the first note of the first band hits?

Anarchy. I miss show anarchy.

I want you to name 5 bands that mean nothing to anyone the way they mean to you and why.

Into Another, Throne of Corruption, Beyond Control, Warzone and Verbal Assault. 3 of those 5 bands are just awesome.

Into Another is one of the most underrated band from any genre’s of music.

Warzone – legit street music.

Verbal Assualt has a record called Trial which I’ve listened to probably more than any other record ever made rivaled only by the cro-mags, murphy’s law, leeway and the bad brains.

Throne of Corruption and Beyond Control – talk about bands that mean something only to me... That was my band and my friends bands, my crew in general. The bands probably sucked but great fucking times where had

At the end of the day when you’re sitting on your porch with your lemonade and your grand kids are asking about your life, what do you share with them about your time in hardcore?

Kids will never see what I saw. Show anarchy is no joke. Going to the troc when you wouldn’t necessarily get thrown out for fighting with the bouncers. Stage diving was an all show every song sport. I’ll also remember the nazi’s. That was no joke either especially in Pennsylvania. You went to a show in the late 80’s and early 90’s, you where going to see some legit Nazi Skinheads. In fact, while I hate racism and nazi skinheads or hate for anyone for any generic reason like race or sexual preference or any stupid reason like that, I miss skinhead culture – somebody bring that shit back! This is a question I could go on for days with answers on. I’ve got a million stories that feel like only me and my friends lived. The great thing about hardcore back then was that there where 1000 other packs of friends who had similar stories too.

I need the roster of the super hardcore band. Give them a name and tell me what they would sound like.

The band would be called GO FUCK YOURSELF! I don’t sweat anyone from bands enough to know who would be in the band but hopefully its some negative dudes with a positive message about living outside the lines. Maybe John Joseph and Freddy Madball could be in this band.

What is the most fundamentally important aspect of hardcore that you see drifting away? How do we fix it?

I was always the kid who cared to much about other people and thought everything could be fixed that was wrong in the world. Hardcore was about screaming for change. Change outside the world but what I really got out of it was change within yourself. I was a total fucking asshole when I was a kid, a lot of what I am today is still a total asshole and hell raiser. On the other hand I’ve got a great family and I’ve pushed myself to be something in life and I’ve accomplished a lot. Even still every day I want to push myself further and I remind myself to try and be a better person and less of an asshole. I remind myself that I was the kid who cared about everything that was wrong with the world and I urge myself to get back in touch with that person and be about making change outside of my own world too. I picked that up from my parents and how I was raised in the beginning but hardcore took over from there and I credit a lot of who I am from that kind of ethic. Scream for change and I hope its not something that hardcore has taking its eye off of. If it is, I don’t know how it can be fixed but bring back skinheads, straight edge kids with x’s on their hands and the hare krisna movement. Bring some culture into the music beyond the fashion and uniformed haircuts and tight pants some of these kids wear now.

And now the counter to that, what is the latest element to hardcore that you find to be an insult to all you love and dear and when does it end?

There is no way to answer this question without it making me sound old. I think the the thing that bums me out the most is that kids seem to start bands now with the reality in mind that they think they will get big as a band. What happened to just starting a band to hang with your friends and to yell about some shit? Your band sucks and you won’t get big, try enjoying each others company and hang out. I really do hate that about bands now. Everyone has the music business figured out or at least they think they do and its allowing for everything to be so watered down. I’m insulted by that for sure.

You were instrumental in many great tours which lead to so many people seeing bands that would have otherwise stayed unnoticed. What tours are you most proud of being associated in creating and what bands do you pat yourself on the back for helping and why?

I wouldn’t pin this on any one moment. I have very proud moments about being involved with music every month and I have since I was a kid. I love discovering the music and then helping that music get discovered on a broader level.

This is the pic that comes up when you google image search Tim Borror. It does not do my friend's devilishly handsome good looks and statuesque physique justice. I can only say that its the best I can come up with right now. So in advance- Sorry Tim...

Monday, October 13, 2008

50 days of Contemplating the infestation.

As I am now working on more shows in the area, I’ve officially come to the conclusion that things in hardcore are at an all time low in many key places that are aesthetically pleasing and others which are fundamental to the strength and sanctity of our scene.
This new world of ours has been overrun with a locust mentality. They swarm and infest each sector of our shows. They don’t have the time to take in all the warm aesthetics and old traditions. They gorge themselves on what is most accessible and move along in packs to the next available source of food. There we are stuck ravaged and barren.
It’s a beautiful somber analogy and one I am fully prepared to back up in this entry.
I’ve come to see many of these bands as people who in their lust for popularity chose to get in front of a crowd of their peers and put on a show in hopes of gaining that star status that we never really were supposed to have in our lil world of “kids are the bands, bands are the kids”. There are far too many bands that take good hardcore kids out of the scene and turn them into overnight scene celebs. I watch them go from eager and hungry 1 year til showing up with their obligatory accessory girlfriend in tow, more then likely in time to just play their set and suck the dick of only those will help them to the next level. It’s a game that will lead to dead hopes and burnout and the inevitable end of an otherwise promising hardcore kid’s ‘hardcore’ life. This is a story being played every day in a scene in every nook and cranny on this planet. We were the underground where what matters most was involvement in a community where there was an honest exchange of ideas throughout the culture. For better or worse there was something to be said for the diversity in its simple ability to make so many in a room so close you had no choice but to accept the person next to you as your peer.
These things have been replaced by a homogenized youth wearing all the same uniform, all so carefree in their mainstream diseased ideals about how things really are and how our scene is not a bastion of hope for alternative ideas but the dumping ground of their immature grasp for something more then their cul-de-sac grown life has given thus far. I am not here to give you stories about when things were real; I am not here to be the sketchy guy that you have no relation to. Its sad to see a room of full of kids who went the lights go out and the bands goes on, they don’t go off, they text people who aren’t at the show throughout the set. Its so foreign to watch people in the midst of what was once an outlet of aggression turn into a sequence of events that seem almost choreographed and so neatly organized it has none of the energy and chaos that made each show so unreal and alive. There is only death of anarchy and inspired aggression and the sound of emptiness in the heart of each song these days. Songs about things that mean nothing to the people on stage, sung by an insecure guy who wants to be loved for reasons he can’t explain. The silly things they say, that they wear, that they associate and integrate into our world. It’s a wonder there is anything left when they take their 2 years and move onto something fruitless like Doom metal or just being a “bar” person. It’s a wonder what attracts them in the first place.
When I came to hardcore I was disillusioned, super aggressive and an angry long hair. Hardcore gave me what I needed to be balanced in my unstable quest for temporary stability. I had a place that accepted me under that umbrella and showed me a world that is malleable and ready for anyone who is willing to fight and persevere, the chance to place their hands upon it and mold it into what they think the core should be. It’s that same amazing parameter that allows these new kids to come in and fuck the old ways up. It’s theirs now, but what are they leaving us with when their ADHD wears out and they’ve found something else to waste their time and money on?
I think of these locusts the most when I watch the actions of their bands. They come out of nowhere and onto myspace. Within a year they’ve already done a Europe tour before they can actually draw a good crowd in their hometown. They jump into full time status so they can break up after realizing 6 months of touring for $150 a night at most is not the big life they dreamed of. They are no longer seen or heard from. What they leave in wake is a thousand kids pretending like they actually cared about the band or its insipid words somehow made a profound difference in their lives. It’s all so contrived and played out, I know the words sound more like a madlib filled out then from their own mouths.
5 years ago Punishment who had sold X amount of records, done plenty of U.S tours were turned down for opening for 100 Demons who asked Avocado Booking to bring us over. They said we weren’t big enough. Avocado is now the number one culprit of bringing these untried bands over to Europe tours and JUICING them of whatever cash they can from these hype machines. Selling them a world of bullshit and providing them nothing but financial headache. Its an interesting change in business practice by them, and it only hurts the bands who are out there hoping to continue their reign of success (terror? :P) only to be fiscally screwed to near bankruptcy. I find it so unrealistic for someone to ever “build” their bands up the way that we had to. Sure there is unsure moments when we do something that we may feel not up to but we never were as green as some of these bands are today. This GPS world has left everyone with a laptop and google maps and no way to figure things out if they go wrong.
I could write 10 blog entries a day about how we used to get the address for shows from flyers and just FIND the place by the process of elimination. Get a map and make it fucking happen. There are many things that are gone from the world of bands of yesterday due to the LOCUST/EXPRESS system today. Every band has a merch selection that rivals large touring acts. Everyone has merch printed by credit. Its so unlike the way things used to be. Bands printing demos by hand, spreading the word not by myspace but by going to other shows and NETWORKING, like making actual friendships. There was so much more human interaction that I am not surprised that there is just silence between songs these days. There is no one really friends at these shows now. I can tell you that have such an overwhelming respect for people today, who at the time in which we were both going to shows we had nothing but that in common. There is a bond of a familiar face, one who’s seen what I seen, been where I been. Yet I love the new kids energy but they have this ability to approach what they don’t know with disdain and fear and almost indignation.
In our new computer driven- knowledge-at our fingertips world, these kids can’t fuck with the notion that there is shit out there they haven’t heard of, don’t know about or can’t comprehend. So they are apprehensive and disrespectful (in my opinion) it’s why they never bother looking passed their own hands for something. They don’t want invest the time, the energy, the love like we did. The idea being that because their interaction has been automated by credit card purchases online, Itunes and massive filesharing that they know what they need to know, but they haven’t crafted that weird obsession because it’s a just click away and two seconds to turn off and move on. Its not hours spent with your eyes peeled to the band names in the tape bin hoping to see something familiar or something you’ve heard of while you thumb records between bands at the distro table. That small piece of the missing hardcore aesthetic is the reason why I have the walls of the floor lined with tables from the best labels at This Is Hardcore Fest. So the curious can partake in something that I view as crucial to the hardcore experience can still live on in this generation. Maybe some of these kids who never did it before or who rarely have the chance to touch the music they have on their ipods will be ignited to do more then walk away when the rest of their friends do in 2 years.

It’s a shame really. I’ve spent a lot of this blog downing the new generation but its only because I see that they have not caught on, they’ve ran so fast over everything its like they’ve skipped reading the hardcore books I have and just downloaded the cliff notes in PDF. It’s a world of difference yet the parallels remain if you look hard enough. The generations before them may have invested more time and effort but that has only shown that for all the interaction something made them leave. I can’t speak for them because I am still here. I want to be able to awake a piece of what made us want this more, what interaction we had developed the will to push harder then our peers, to outshine our contemporaries, to not be satisfied with our interaction so we went deeper and took on more responsibility in each kid I see at the shows today.

In my life I’ve lived a bipolar existence with hardcore, from fighting at some venues and helping others, to booking shows and helping bands on tour. It was a sick duality that pressured me on all ends. God bless being 18 and not knowing how silly I must have looked. But it weathered me for the storm of 2004 when as I took on the shroud of FSU I began to promote as hard as ever. I will eternally give props to Sean Agnew and R5 productions for allowing me to do so. Since then I’ve developed a keen sense of what is most important to the success of our scene, and I’ve dropped many a bad habit. Its hard to maintain order if you live in disorder. Its been through these years that I’ve learned the new kids faces and names, how I watched their bands go from suck and then work their way up into acts that make me proud of our scene. I give it up to Guns Up! for being one of the only bands at the time that I ever got a chance to like before I was friends with them, their music energized me at a time where although my interaction with the core was constant a lot of the new stuff was bouncing off of me. Guns Up was one of the new bands that had me out of the corner and onto the floor for them. Others came but nothing amounted to that first burst of joy the way they had. Everything else up til then was known to me because I was friends with the band and they already ruled. It was good to stand with my fellow hardcore kid and sing along and dance and be reminded of my first church shows. It's one of these weird moments that only hardcore can grant you. You’re 25 and back to thinking of that first time you’ve done something and its because of 5 strangers to you on stage playing music that energizes you to a point where you will react as if you were still 17. Its such a glorious revival.

Back to the hate now… ha.
I can only hope that we have a better future then the present. With our new bands on a constant tour rotation they may never truly develop and build themselves up the way it used to be. By the LP stage these bands have toured so much its not long before the 2nd Lp is recorded and the band breaks up. Its hard to imagine a bunch of early to mid 20’s kids giving up on something at what seems like the rise of their star because of the stress and burden. It comes from eating too much like the gorging locusts that they are. Disenfranchised with the idea of weekend trips and region touring they want the world to fall to their knees within the instant they arrive on the scene. The take no prisoners style touring has fallen to the wayside in the heap of the hordes of Johnny-Come-Lately tour booking agents who all have classy myspace pages and about 6 months at tour experience at most yet are boasting with 20 something bands on each of their rosters. We’ve got more quantity then we ever had quality. It’s a fucked up situation where a band tours for 30 days and 6 are really good shows and the rest are duds or barely breaking even. Yet we still play the game as attendee, promoter, band and booker. It’s a poorly executed dance that screams of going through the motion. Is it avarice? Is it pride that pushes all through it again and again?

I can say that I turn down 5 tours for every 1 show I do. I see now that there are more promoters in the area trying to get their teeth in what we choose not to do. Their venues are weaker; their rep is smaller yet the bands will still come. The kids may even come for a time and as long as the cycle is still spinning we’re all happy but no one is really being served. This is too drawn out; it’s too by the numbers. You could replace any name of anyone involved and the outcome is similar. We’ve been cloned as I’ve come to associate it with. ATTACK OF THE CLONE CORE. More kids with nothing to say, 15 passenger vans full of electronics I can’t afford and a brand spankin new trailer with their parents well invested cash in equipment in tow. Crisscrossing all the small towns, looting and pillaging where they can. Leaving nothing for these kids to go home to worth thinking about. Its all for the moment, for the advancement of their egos and at the cost of all the ideals we had and promise this scene once had for each of us. Intentions are as rotten as the disdain for any remark that places what they’re doing as insincere or contrived. It’s a sad world of locusts feeding off of anything they can. What they leave must be burned so we can plant again.
I shall spend the next few passages talking with friends and hoping to get some of your cobwebs clear so the wheels get in motion. We need a revolution of ideas, a contemplation of our present actions and what we can invest to strengthen our world before its depleted and fit only to be blackened with fire. It’s a world I am dedicated to salvaging, if for nothing else because it gave me freedom from what I was born into, it released my demons and set my feet to a course that was unknown to most of my Frankford contemporaries. My goal is enlighten and awaken the best in each of the kids who read this and want more then the shallow surface interaction. The wasted moment of showing up only to talk through a bands set outside. The cowardice act of confrontation after a show online. It’s all pathetic and a plague that I will fuckin cut it out of each of you if I have to.