I have had this in my Draft folder for a while now. Well I am just going to put it out there. I wanted to go through and reword some stuff and clean it up but I think it needs to get put out there. So sorry if it seems a little rough around the edges.
This is going to be a long one folks. I have so much to say, a lot of things I am seeing happen in the underground country/american “scene” I have seen happen before.
Let me start at the beginning. I spent my youth as a Punk Rocker.I started listening to punk rock music in around 93, I was like 13 or some shit. I had a subscription to Thrasher Magazine, I would buy any punk rock band they interviewed or that had an ad in the magazine. From that point I just got more and more into punk rock, learned about homemade zines and really started getting into the actual punk rock “scene.” From that point on music has been a huge part of my life. My life path has always been outlined by music. I started discovering a lot of local bands from my area of PA, Aus-Rotten and Anti-Flag were both bands that I got to see a ton from 94(when I got my drivers license) until 96(when I moved to CA.) Going from a small town in PA where I was considered a freak by most for being a Punk Rocker to living in CA where no one even gave me a second look was quite a change. I was suddenly able to see bands play every weekend instead of only every few months. I was able to meet so many other punks I finally had people to hang out with that were into the same music as me. At first I was all wide eyed and amazed at everything I was seeing. But the longer I was in the punk “scene” in a big city, the more I started seeing the internal drama happening. Punks not liking other punks because they weren’t “real” enough. Bands hating other bands because they were too popular. Punks hating the poseurs who just got into the punk “scene.” This always confused me, even as a 17 year old. I knew that when I first learned about punk, I dressed as a typical 90’s skater. I went to these small back yard shows in PA and was treated as an equal, everyone was there to see the bands. No one was judging me because of how I dressed or because I was just learning about punk rock. This whole internal battles killed the punk rock “scene” to me. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying Punk Rock is dead. I just mean that it changed, when people stopped enjoying the music and decided to fight about it, they were slowly killing it. Every time I go to watch some old punk rock videos on youtube the comment section is always a battlefield of negative comments. People are still fighting over what is cool and what isn’t . It really makes me sad. Why not just enjoy the music, if you don’t like a band don’t listen to them. It doesn’t mean you have to go and tell everyone they suck or start an argument with everyone that likes that band.
Flash to the present… Here I am 15 years later, all grown up with a wife and kids. I still listen to a lot of punk but mostly I listen to what I call Underground Country or Americana. There are lots of names for it Alt-Country, Cow Punk, Po Dunk, the list goes on and on. It is, just as punk rock was, a small “scene.” But it is growing, that makes me happy. I would like to see bands be able to make some actual money from the music. But I guess is is making a lot of people angry, like really fucking angry. I am seeing fans, bands, and labels talking shit about each other. People calling others poseurs for just getting into the music. People getting mad about new labels that are going to support the underground “scene.” People pissed off at bloggers and podcasters for not writing or playing the right stuff. This all sounds so familiar… Oh yeah, I just wrote about all thing happening to the punk rock scene. See, a good many of us that are listening to this style of music are old punk rockers and if you aren’t you got a short description in the above paragraph. We should know better, it was us that killed the punk rock “scene” by fighting with each other instead of just enjoying the music. We really should know better. Hell I even hear people saying that the new people, bands and labels getting into the “scene” are going to destroy it because it is going to get too big like punk rock. Getting big isn’t what killed punk rock, look back and think. There always needs to be new fans, bands and labels to keep a music “scene” moving forward, if not it will die. When you write music, you want people to hear it. So why do people think they have to hate a band that has too many fans. “That band is a sellout” is what I hear all the time. They didn’t change to become more popular. Fans came to them to hear their sound. Which is exactly what you want when you start making music. Not every band is going to fit your taste and and that is ok. Instead of taking time out of your life to bash a band you don’t like why not post a video of a band you do like. Help good bands get more fans. That is what I want to do.