Part one of looking at the hardcore community around the world. -an overview of its history to come but i just wanted to share these two videos of lead singers. (you tube any interview of josh scogin from the chariot, dan smith from the listener, google interviews with la dispute)
“its a part of a dialogue”
he shouts freedom from a stage. and celebrates The lead singer of thursday would have bands play in his basement because he believed in the scene. The lead singer of the chariot and his two most known bands have been known to have public bbqs before the show to amass and breed community. Growing up, the man who i felt had the most influence in our community socially was a man who layed bass in a few bands, worked in the local music shop and at one of the main bars. He had house shows all the time when pubs wouldn’t let bands play. He was and is the glue that kept a dying scene alive. here’s an interview with him. How did you first get involved in the music community in Canberra? I guess out of sheer boredom of being under 18 in a city like Canberra. I didn’t skate or at that time play sport, so there really wasn’t anything to do, but find out any gig of any type that was happening and go and hang out. It was a pretty good time, because every friday there would be at least one youth centre worth going to a short bus ride away. It just took me some time to work out what bands were a joke and which were the ones I really enjoyed. Who were big influences on you in that time? What kept that community going? / what killed it? Pete and the Brisk dudes, they put heaps of effort into making sure cool bands that would normally skip canberra came and played. They worked real hard for us, and when they left there was a pretty big hole for a while before other people stepped up and took over. At the time I didn’t realize how much time and effort the dudes put in. What was cool was that the majority of people who came to the shows were all mates, and when there wasn’t a show we all hung out and partied together. There wasn’t to many people you only saw at shows. I guess it was just a thing of that age group, but it was a cool thing. What kills it is lack of venues, it’s a real struggle, but it’s the same in every city, you just have to keep looking. The dream would be a Government funded venue for all ages in the city, but the chances for that are zero to none. Describe the hardcore community in Canberra when you were 16, compare it to now? I’m not sure I can. I was attending shows, but wasn’t aware of anything going on outside each show. the fact that a lot of hardcore bands would play with bands of different genres might have added to this haha. The thing that kills me now, is that we can have amazing touring bands from around the world come and play to 50 or so people, then have a big band show up and have a thousand kids come along. I think kids are missing out on some amazing music because they aren’t willing to go and see bands that aren’t huge. It’s great to see a band like Parkway Drive kill it on a huge stage infront of thousands of people, but my favorite shows of all time have been bands playing in cramped rooms with crappy PA’s, because the vibe was right, and I hate that kids are missing out on this. As you have played in a few bands, from a band perspective what makes a healthy scene? It takes a few people who don’t give a crap about making money who are happy to put in a lot of their own time and effort. From booking shows and running venues to postering and giving touring bands a place to sleep, you need people who are willing to give up their time and space to make things happen for everyone. With the massive distances between cities it’s very hard for a smaller band to break even after taking in things like van hire and petrol without even thinking about paying for accommodation. All band Ive played in have been very lucky, and have had people willing to give us couches to sleep on, book our shows and play those shows with us, all the while asking for nothing in return. I think a lot of people who aren’t in bands don’t realize how much stress touring can be, it’s not just a holiday where you get to play some shows, it’s often months of work and late nights to make things right. As you have worked in music stores and venues, from that perspective a “business” perspective what makes a good scene/ how can businesses support scenes better? How would that help both scene and business? It’s hard from a business’s point of view. Bills and staff have to be paid. Unless you can set up something like 924 Gilman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/924_Gilman_Street) there’s always going to be a dollar sign over anything you try to do. I don’t have time for anyone who is looking to make money off music. But in the end that’s what it comes down to. Venues don’t care about hardcore, or any other type of music, it’s just what’s going to make people come and drink. If you took out the music scene of Canberra completely how would that effect young social lives/ do you think the music community supports young peoples life goals/life meaning/ keeping them alive? It would remove a major outlet for young/not so young kids. Also having no shows to go to leads to more random hanging out/underage drink/random trouble making. I think so far a life goals/meanings, kids take what they need from a local scene and no more, some might be able to build from the skills they learn during their time attending shows, be it musical/photography/running events or what have you. For some people, it’s nothing more than seeing some bands and hanging out, and while I wish this wasn’t the case, who am to tell people what to do. I would really like to see more issues being talked about at shows, for me human and animal rights being the major one. There was a time when a few kids I lived with would run a vegan bakestall at shows we would run, with all money raised gong to the RSPCA or Sea Sheppard, but things like that take a lot of work. I guess I would like to see kids at shows showing more interest in real world issues than merch designs haha What does community mean to you? Having a group of people of different ages/races/genders that can relate to each other, and who understand each others love of things that other people might view as strange or childish. What does the music community mean to you? Everything? I don’t know. I know for a fact that even if I wasn’t playing in bands, I would have something to do with music, even if it was postering for shows or making a zine. Are there negative parts of community that have taught you a lot by going through them? There’s negative sides to everything, you take the good with the bad. If you love something enough you will shrug off the crap and keep working at it. What have you put into the music community to keep it going? What ever I can. What do touring bands love about Canberras music community? That people really appreciate bands making the time to come here and not skip over us. There’s always been dudes here that have been keen to help out bands with shows, working their asses off to find venues, and bands are thankful for that. What have you seen in Sydney or Melbourne’s music scene that you think Canberra could learn from? Not a thing, other than more people should start more bands. Canberra will always be better. How can we let visions like this to speak to a community founded around rescue and love?