Early Quest for Knowledge
I have always had a passion for music, but it wasn’t until High School that I truly started to take time to learn and advance my knowledge of music. I spontaneously joined a Facebook group called Wired Guitarist brought to you by Guitar Porn. This group put me in direct contact with incredible musicians from all over the world.
When I discovered this group, I had never heard of an audio interface, a pre/power amp, microphone placement, a digital audio work space or “DAW”. That was just the tip of the iceberg for me. I was exposed to new music and ideas that I was not particularly fond of. I was opinionated then, and I am now too. If I don’t like the way something sounds, I’m quick to voice it.
This group was predominantly individuals who loved dense heavy guitar tones and shredding. When your view on metal is that Metallica is “almost too much for you”, you are going to feel like you’re in the wrong crowd almost immediately. I had met a number of caring and supporting individuals and was sure to keep them on my friends lists, but ultimately made the decision to leave the group.
I left not because I didn’t feel welcome, or because I was intolerant of other people’s preferences and ideas. I left because I was exhausted from explaining myself musically. Music is all about expressing yourself, putting a piece of you out into the world, and hoping that people relate to it. It’s an exchange of emotion, experiences, and ideas from musician to listener via a song or album. No one should have to defend why they enjoy the music they enjoy. I don’t connect with Metal, so I don’t listen to it. What I did fall in love with musically was Punk Rock.
To me, punk was brand new. It was fast. It was loud. It was angry. It had all the qualities of metal, but I connected with it. I connected with it because the vocals were audible. Punk had a clear message barricaded by a barrage of f-bombs. It was as if that message reached out, grabbed a fist full of my shirt, and threw me to my knees with a tattered American flag in site. The message was that things in America are NOT okay. Politicians are corrupt, religion is a disgusting concept, Pop music sucks, the human condition is more tattered than that flag, and I’m going to make sure EVERYONE knows it.
Punk Induced Subcultures
Counter-culture is such an interesting movement. It challenges all “normal” aspects of life. Originating in the 1960’s (sometimes debated to be the 50’s), Counter-culture is a very progressive left movement. While progressive, it’s not always political. Some ideas that were challenged were the concept of the nuclear family, lack of rights for LGBTQ individuals, the concept of what’s “taboo”. Counter-culture can be considered relative to the term “Shock Rock”.
W.A.S.P was one of the most iconic bands of the 80’s because of their raw and vile subject matter. Their song Animal (Fuck Like a Beast) was written by Blackie Lawless with the intent of being released on their 1984 self titled album. However, Capitol records dropped the track prior to the release of the album because it was “too controversial”. If the track was released on the album, the entire record would have been banned from all major retail chains in the United States. The track was eventually released as a bonus title in a 1998 re-issue of the album.
Punk subculture is most commonly associated with individual freedom and anti-establishment views. However, that’s just the start. Punk subculture is heavily political, but also spreads the entire political spectrum from liberal left to conservative right. Those holding right-wing views in the punk culture often hold neo-nazi views and would be quickly labeled by the left-wing as “Nazi Punks”. This often lead to very driven disputes within the punk community. The right was for everything the left was against. Both groups being punks also means that both groups would take direct action into their own hands. One example of that would be the Dead Kennedy’s.