Today I sat in my local coffee shop with a good friend. In the time we spent together many topics were discussed, however there was one topic in particular that didn’t sit right with me. That topic was music, specifically that of the hardcore variety.
I listen to a variety of genres, but none of them have ever quite matched the passion that was portrayed in the hardcore community. It was both inspiring and genuine. Now, allow me to shock you with a statement I firmly stand by… the state of hardcore in 2012 is utterly disgusting. Yes, you read that right. It is downright disgusting. Every moral that hardcore was built on has been selfishly stripped to the bone, and we are left with nothing but a scene of hypocrites who could not care less for the future of it, and contradict the values it once taught on a daily basis.
The beginnings of hardcore were laid by troubled adolescents trying to find themselves in basements, houses, and any ground that would act as a venue and hold a capacity. It was populated by misfits that were bullied in high school, abused at home, or simply felt out of place in the “normal” society we are all forcefully bred into. These people could escape and find unity at shows, screaming the lyrics to poorly produced songs that were written by someone who shared the same thoughts and feelings as they did. It was never about money, clothes, or being categorised into a certain sub-genre or group.
I’ll be honest, I haven’t felt comfortable at a hardcore show in years. The scene is now populated with bullies, who spend a large amount of their time loitering outside and picking apart anyone they deem as less worthy. What I find most insulting is the fact that the people committing the bullying, were more than likely bullied in high school for being “alternative”, thus they are coming full-circle as part of a scene that was created as an escape from such acts, and promoting superiority where it wasn’t intended to be.
Now onto my next point…
“The punk scene was basically based on English fashion, but we had nothing to do with that. Black Flag and the Circle Jerks were so far from that, we looked like the kids who worked at the gas station or submarine shop” -Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Off!)
“When it began, for those who don’t know, it didn’t matter how you looked or what you wore to a show. Dress codes? Fuck no! We didn’t care about the brand of your jeans and all that shit in your hair.” -Toby Morse (H2O, Hazen Street)
I can’t quite pinpoint when hardcore became so driven by fashion, however I do know that it again goes against the values of what the scene was once about. Henry Rollins, the second vocalist of Black Flag, performed most shows in merely his underwear, not draped to the knees in the latest fashion that has, let’s be honest, been created by a conformist label and acts as nothing but a social status. Supreme, Obey, Stussy, whatever. You’re just as much as a clone as the next guy. In 2005 I lived in a Bane hoody that cost me £15, not a limited edition Supreme hat that costs more than a college fund. If I wanted to attend a fashion show, I would.
Perhaps writing this makes me a hypocrite, but I can’t help but feel it’s about time someone cut the shit, and quite frankly, said it how it is. It’s shameful that we have allowed such moronic human beings to manipulate a scene that was once so pure. Here’s hoping that 2012 is the year hardcore truly returns to its roots.
This is more like the bullshit “hard man hardcore” scene but it still applies to all. Although there’s always an underlying fashionable scene with any genre, most people adhere to it without even realising. I myself am not a massive fan of spending more than £15 on a tee shirt or £50 on a hat so I don’t really go for streetwear. I spend far too long at shows condemning everyone I see for how they are dressed. So I agree with this 100%.
I used to care a great deal about the fashionable side of hardcore and how i perceived it to be ruining the scene, but then i figured well…if people are going to shows and supporting the scene, who the fuck cares?
i would agree that every moral hardcore once stood for can be seen to have somewhat died, but you literally cannot divorce fashion from anything these days. Everything is fashionable, everything is marketable. Hardcore isnt fashionable, its that fashion itself has crept into hardcore and is gutting it from the inside out as fashion does to everything it encounters.
but hardcore has a rich history of moral standpoints for anyone keen enough to delve more than superficially into the scene can find out and appreciate. Granted my favourite kind of hardcore doesnt seem to exist anymore, that of bands like Carry On, Give Up The Ghost, Panic etc.. that punky bridge 9 sound but it does not mean that bands like that cannot exist in the future, in exactly the same way that those who wish to carry a message across in their music are still able to.
Hardcore is a wonderful platform upon which you can stand up and complain about things that matter to you to the backbeat of your favourite music
i would suggest if you really care that much, start a band and fucking complain about it that way instead of sitting around and going “WHEN WILL THIS END” on the tumblr, whos very basis os the idea that information can be glanced over and passed on without a second thought.