Riding home from a Gravemaker show in Tacoma the other night, Paul DC and I had some great chats. We swapped stories about when we were kids, we talked about the stupid things we did and the troubles we got into, and we shared different experiences about growing up in a mid 90’s hardcore scene.
I kind of wish we had a tape recorder rolling, because I think alot of great stories and thoughts came out of that half-hour car ride.
We talked about how hardcore now, is something that is so easy to get into and to be a part of with this modern communication age of the internet and smart-phones… We talked about how, when we stumbled into this scene there weren’t message boards, or band Myspaces, or even cell-phones. If you wanted to find out about new bands you would comb through distro lists, highlighting in VERY or LUMBERJACK, descriptions of bands that you might want to check out. Or you would buy a CD based on the fact that the singer of a band you liked wore their shirt in the layout of their record.
If you got the record and you hated it? Too bad, either you would force yourself to like it, or you could try to sell it to a second hand store for about five percent of what you paid for it.
Another problem for seekers of the core was there were certain records that you, as a hxc kid had absolutely no access to. If you wanted to listen to the Antidote record in 1994, you couldn’t go to iTunes or Soulseek and download it, and you couldn’t buy it on Ebay. Either you paid big bucks for the 7″ you were lucky enough to come across in a record store, or you had a friend dub you a copy, of their copy, of someone else’s copy.
I’m not trying to be one of those “I walked 30 miles to school, uphill, both ways” kind of guys… I’m just saying, things are alot easier now than they were even five years ago. There were many before me, that had it even harder. I, for example, have never had to book a tour by writing letters and licking postage stamps. I was lucky enough to be able to make contacts through Yahoo and AOL hardcore chatrooms to book the first Champion West Coast tour. Still, by the time Champion broke up four years ago, we had never toured with a GPS.
The point of this all, is that this is a new era for hardcore, but getting involved and taking ownership of your scene is just as important today as it was when Brotherhood wrote the lyrics to “Get Involved”.
There are lots of advantages to hardcore being so accessible and easy to navigate, but there are also disadvantages when kids take hardcore for granted. This isn’t just another style of music. It’s a community and a lifestyle. The fact that hardcore is easier to get into, shouldn’t cheapen what this is about.
I guess this Blog is my effort to make sure I am not taking it for granted, and an opportunity to share some experiences with anyone who cares to listen… Seekers of the core.