By Kat Hamilton
My mother tells me I have a phoenix complex. Once a year, I dismantle my life and start anew. Sometimes there’s a good reason, but the result is always the same. I move out of some apartment, or maybe to a new city. I quit a job, end a relationship, I tear it all apart, and see if I still know myself.
I think I’ve always been intrigued by change. I often associate routine with dying slowly. When I was a kid, I was attracted to chaos. My sister and I were always trying to think of the most ridiculous, unorthodox activity to fill our day. One summer we had Christmas in July. We built a fire, toasted our egg nog, and exchanged presents made of scavenged household objects. Sure, you could attribute this behavior to the doldrums of suburbia, but looking back, I was never content with doing the same thing I did the day before.
Punk rock appeals to me for similar reasons. Punk rock invites chaos into your life. A mosh pit is essentially a challenge to lose oneself in change. You can stand back and guarantee your own safety, but you will never truly lose yourself if you do. Or you can relinquish your control. Suddenly you are at the mercy of whose fist flies where. You no longer control the outcome.
Whenever I shake whatever routines I’ve fallen into, I get to live many different lives. If I’m couch surfing, I live the life of whoever I’m staying with. I frequent their coffee shop, hustle their commute, and cook in their kitchen. It’s exhilarating to step into their shoes knowing that next week, it’ll be someone else’s. Jobs can operate the same for me. For the past year, I was managing a coffee shop - now I’m teaching voice lessons and feeding a lizard in Manhattan. My phoenix complex gives me the freedom to try on different lives.
My lifestyle is not without its faults. I have trouble building meaningful romantic relationships. It’s scary to me to imagine that kind of commitment to one person if I can’t commit to being one person. Income is also an issue. I’m always able to feed myself but what if I want to have an experience that is contingent on money? It’s tough to say, “I can spend this much,” when my point of reference is always changing. I’m about to film a music video for my solo single. It’s scares me that I don’t know where that money may come from. It can also be overwhelming not to have a home base. I just moved out of an apartment with the two greatest roommates on the planet and I miss that security. Knowing that no matter where my day takes me, I’ve got one that thing waiting for me. That “ahhh.. I’m home” feeling.
These downsides aren’t enough for me to have my life be routinized. There’s a big part of me that never feels at home anywhere. My band is one of the only things that gives me that “home” feeling no matter what, leaving the rest of my life up to interpretation based on my needs. I don’t write this to make you feel sorry for me. I feel really lucky that I love being everywhere and nowhere. I have a support system of people who understand that need to do this sometimes. I worry that maybe I let life escape me by always looking for the next escape, but at the crux of the matter, I have this invaluable freedom and the knowledge that I’m never stuck anywhere. If I ever feel like I no longer love what I’m doing, I’ll have the inner strength to change that. Inner strength is totally sexy.
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.
"My senior year in high school, my music teacher told me I didn’t have what it takes to have a music career."
Today, on the blog: Kat Hamilton talks about what it means to "make it," and how striving for such a goal can affect the path to get there.
Music means a great deal to us (obviously), so we at Punk Out selected a few songs that had an impact on us this past year. It was a great year for new music, so here are some of our favorites.
Do you remember back when you were a kid and you had to write a letter to your future self? Not many of us do, but Kat Hamilton does. In fact, she still keeps the letter she wrote to herself in her pocket. Here's how things have gone for Hamilton in the years since penning that letter.
Many of us run away from chaos. The idea of disorder can be overwhelming and revolting. However, for many artists, chaos is the catalyst for artistic inspiration. This is the case for Kat Hamilton, who feeds off of chaos in every aspect of her life: from fronting a punk band to searching for her future love.
Building a scene is not easy. Our own Kat Hamilton knows this first hand. She has been working to build up the queer music scene in New York City for years now. Recently she was involved with the planning of the inaugural NYC Freak Out Fest. In this blog, Hamilton shares what she learned.
With Labor Day fast approaching, and the inevitable end of Summer arriving soon after, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the amazing albums that were released in the summer of 2005. Turns out June - September 2005 were a good couple months for music. Check out some of our favorites and let us know which albums that recently turned 10 that you still love!
Thanks to Mr. Dan Savage, the idea of "it's get better" has made it to the mainstream. And while we hope that things do get better for all queer people, sometimes, as Kat Hamilton explains, the universe does not cooperate. But is this a bad thing? Or is this just all apart of the plan?
With all this talk surrounding queer and female representation (or lack there of) at music festivals, our own Kat Hamilton goes through 24 queer-friendly bands she'd love to see at Warped Tour one day.
Do you want to be labeled "selfish"? You know, it might not be that bad of a thing. Kat Hamilton took a look at how she's become more selfish with age...and she's completely okay with it. There's a time and a place for everything. Is now the right time for you to be selfish?
A few years ago, I scribbled down the lyrics to a song that is now my band’s most popular. I wanted to write a pop song that could represent my sexuality, but also be universally applicable. The day I wrote the chorus to “Kiss Me,” I was on my way to catch a Megabus to NYC. It’s funny how many nights I spent trying to find the words, and then just like that, they came at the most inconvenient time.