The year was 2004, and I was a disaffected fifth grader. Sports sucked (and I sucked at them,) the kids at school sucked, and I preferred to spend most of my free time playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater with my few friends.
Is it any surprise that I got into punk rock?
I distinctly remember coming home one afternoon, heading right to my basement, turning on the TV, flipping between MTV2 and Fuse, and seeing this:
This video (“American Idiot,” by Green Day for the uninitiated) floored me. Everything about it spoke to my angsty 10-year-old being and shook me to the core. The music was loud as fuck, they were running around like maniacs, and they used curse words in their lyrics. It was the tightest thing I’d ever seen. I needed to get that record. So, I asked my parents to take me to F.Y.E to get it. They looked up the band, and the record, and immediately shot me down. Not only did this record have a parental advisory sticker, but it criticized President Bush! No way in hell was I getting my paws on this CD.
Well, long story short, I got the record, quit baseball and basketball, and guitar lessons started up. After guitar was a bust, I picked up the drums, and I’ve been pissing off my neighbors ever since.
Punk rock has brought so much good into my life. It’s shaped my personal ethics and politics, introduced me to some of my best friends, and allowed me to go on the road and play music for people – something I never dreamed possible when I first turned on that TV back in ’04. Now, it’s brought me to Punk Out.
To me, punk is supposed to be a voice for the “voiceless,” whoever that voiceless group might be – women, racial minorities, or LGBTQ people. Of course, that’s not always the case, but I believe that the very ethos of punk allows it to be that voice – provided we start (today!) making small steps in our every day lives. I’ll be the first to admit that “faggot” permeated its way into my vocabulary in high school, but after a friend of mine sat me down and told me how wrong that was, I stopped. That’s all it takes, really. If punk is a voice for the voiceless, than we are a loudspeaker for that voice. Small, individual actions like that will build up, and contribute to such great change.
Editor's Note: The views and opinions expressed on our Artist Corner and Blog are exclusively of the author and do not reflect the views and opinions of Punk Out as an organization.