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Embracing the Hardcore Scene: A Journey of Passion and Self-Discovery

A Start, Middle, and Still Today

Originally Published: Friday, November 4. 2005
Written by: Drea alexander 

A Lifelong Love Affair with Hardcore: Navigating the Ups and Downs Since 1995

I have been through many ups and downs of the hardcore popularity spin since I have been going to hardcore shows since sometime in 1995. I have seen some great bands and I have seen some terrible bands, but through it all I still love it. I have been kicked, punched, thrown, pushed, and stepped on, but I still keep coming back. Some people might ask why do you do that to yourself? Why? Well, I will tell you why.

The Healing Power of Hardcore: Music That Touches the Soul

I love hardcore. It can brighten my day and bring a smile to my face. When I listen to music and hear the messages, I feel it deep down in my bones.

When I was younger, I listened to a lot of loud, angry, aggressive music. Usually, that means lots of blood, mutilation, and gore, which can be great at times, but I wasn’t that angry of a child. I was pretty positive actually. I always wondered why there weren’t any bands out there that had that same energy but just put it to a positive use instead. Then one day I went to a show and the singer spoke about how we were destroying our environment and how it was up to us to change it. It was great; I picked up a cd and began the process of reading Thank You lists in the cd’s to find new bands to check out. Eventually, I would see a flyer with one of the bands on there, and I would go and have a blast. There was so much energy and aggression, and it felt like a positive thing, instead of the whole “fuck the world” “I hate everything” approach. It was music with a message, and I’m not saying that other forms of music can’t have positive messages, because they can. But there aren’t that many other genres of fast and heavy music that mainly consist of a positive message. I didn’t necessarily agree with everything a band had to say, but I respected their point of view. I felt bonded to these strangers who I would sing along or run around with. It really felt like I had found a place to call my own, and I wasn’t going to let anyone take that away from me.

Breaking Gender Norms: A Personal Evolution within the Hardcore Community

At that point, I was angry that I was a girl. I had wanted to be a boy so badly that I cut my hair into a boy’s style and dressed in huge baggy clothes, which was the dooder style at the time. I skateboarded all the time, beat people up, and destroyed many things. All my friends were boys and I was constantly mistaken for a boy everywhere I went. Eventually a couple of years later, I finally accepted that my gender wasn’t going to change, and I needed to just deal with it and just be myself and accept myself for who I truly was. So I started wearing some slightly more feminine clothing and grew my hair out, and it really made a huge difference. I had never talked to too many people at shows in the boy form because I didn’t want them to think I was a freak for looking so much like a boy. I really think it was the messages of just standing for what you believe in, and being yourself that made me change. I was never truly happy looking like a boy because although all the things I did were male associated, I was a girl and I never forgot.

Claiming My Place: Embracing Identity and Respect in the Hardcore Scene

I was the same person I always had been but I just finally became happy with myself. I still sang along and ran around, and people still respected me for it. Not that they didn’t before, but I really felt the energy of it twice as strong once I had just accepted who I was. I had earned my place and with it came a family that I have grown to love more and more.

At that time, I was one of the 2 or 3 girls that would go to shows, and when a band I liked would come to town, I would tear it up with other boys. In all the years I’ve gone to shows and played in bands, I’ve never had any animosity towards me just for being a girl, but I have seen it happen to others before. Not just girls though, boys too. Any new kid has probably undergone the scrutiny of whether or not you really have earned the right to be here. Some kids might say we (the jaded kids who have been going to shows for a long time) are assholes, and yeah, we pretty much are. It’s all because we are trying to protect our family from turning into a meaningless sold out system.

Guardians of the Scene: Protecting the Hardcore Family from Commercialization

We are scared that all this new publicity for hardcore is going to take away what hardcore is really about. We know that only 1/10 of the new kids that we might see at a bigger show will still stick around after the popularity of it dies out, yet we will still be here picking up the pieces. Don’t get me wrong though, I love new kids, but I want to make sure that you aren’t here just because you think it’s the new cool thing. We want to make sure that our legacies won’t be passed down to people who will just write it off in a couple of years. So I’m sorry if we might seem like jaded assholes, but this is our family we’re trying to protect. It is not called hardcore because it’s nice and pretty to look at, it’s called that because it’s loud and aggressive and in your face. Just be a genuine person who stands up for what you believe in and others will respect you for you.

More Than Music: Active Participation and Keeping Hardcore Alive

Hardcore can only be what you make of it, without people believing in it and supporting it, it would not have the strength and unity it has. Since I was about 12, I’ve done many bands, at first I played guitar, but then I started singing/screaming… which is how I now mainly help to show my support for something I really believe in. I speak out my message in my music and in my banter in between songs. But there is so much more than you can do to help keep alive what you believe in besides that, you can make a zine, start a record label or a band, cook vegan food, or put on shows, etc. You can stand there and be just another face in the crowd, or you can get out there and do something. The point is it’s up to YOU to make this happen.

 

If you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat, you can email me at [email protected]

xdreax

Comments
oh adriana
Written by xdreax on 2006-01-25 17:09:11chicago is your home. come back to your home! xoxo. 
 
thanks to everyone who wrote real comments, they mean a lot.
Written by adriana on 2006-01-06 04:04:57You jaded old kids inspired me to move away to the West Coast. Good job! Regarding Chicago, I’m sad the fireside’s gone: I had many an awkward but ultimately rewarding show-going experience there.
I go to shows…
Written by Guest on 2005-12-13 17:01:09to meet hot/easy sluts!
Written by hxcashlie on 2005-12-13 02:43:07Hardcore and the scene are something that so many of us have tried to keep alive for as long as possible. I want to be able to put on my hardcore cd’s for my kids one day and not have to worry about it being dead. The hardcore family and community are one of the strongest and loyal members in any music. I love it, i live for it, and there are alot of kids who go to shows that dont appreciate it. Your writing is amazing, and i hope hardcore can live on for a very long time!!
🙂
Written by vixley on 2005-12-12 17:48:56Everything u said is perfectly put, enuff said!!!
mosdef
Written by Guest on 2005-12-07 21:09:32that was beautiful writing. it s about having something of your own, feeling diffrent than the masses, thinking for your self,and having a fuckin ball! i ve been moving around and i dont dress hardcore nemore or talk to kidz cuz im so piss’d at posers dissing me. but after skool i do and go to concerts and rock my fuckin heart out. 
Written by xvalkyriex on 2005-11-22 12:25:41“We want to make sure that our legacies won’t be passed down to people who will just write it off in a couple years. So I’m sorry if we might seem like jaded assholes, but this is our family we’re trying to protect.” 
 
couldn’t have worded it any better 
indeed
Written by socialxsanity on 2005-11-21 12:14:13i love the way you wrote that and everything you said was put perfectly. (though im still young) iv been going to hardcore shows for about 3 years now. i also have been kicked, thrown, punched, and stepped on. ill never be able to stop going to shows….honestly, theyre addicting lol. i couldnt have put what you said in any other words….beautiful! 
aggreed
Written by jessixjean on 2005-11-06 03:35:13you basically pin pointed alot of things girls want to do and about alot of stuff. i used to feel awkward when i was younger about being at shows and there was only certain people i felt like they accepted me for who i really was. and that i was comfortable with. but now im just like this is me and im gonna jump around scream my heart out to my favorites bands at shows. and reading this it can helps girls be like yeah i can be comfortable with myself too. and here in vegas the ppl that have been in hardcore forever kinda hate newbees bcuz they dont think they are in it for the heart of the music but for the scene and just getting the name your in the scene or “i go to shows” and thats kinda ridiculous but what can you do. but hopefully everyone can take your advice. hardcore should be for the heart of the music and seeing your heart out to yoru favorite bad.
ditto
Written by Guest on 2005-11-05 11:36:25i think that happens with alot of music. i was talking to this girl at a party and this song was playing and i told her it made me feel funny. she told me she loved me…simply because its hard to find people who actuallu change with music. music can change your whole world in a matter of those 3 min. you feel that shit in your bones and blood and thats a fucking music lover..not a trendy little piece of shit. 
i’ve been listening to hardcore the last year and it has truly changed my life right when i needed it. dealing with horrible breakups, losing friends and death.. hardcore is that positive message ive found refuge in. honestly i could give two shits if im accepted by the hardcore kids here in my town. i’ll still love that music no matter what. 
 
Very much in agreeance
Written by MissMandaDANCES on 2005-11-04 16:07:41I agree with you and stand by everything you say. its good to see girls steppin up and not backing down!!
true
Written by Guest on 2005-11-04 15:55:09i think you said everything i couldnt really get out, and i love it even if ive only been part of it all for 3 years… but i realized this was for me, and even now in a diffrent town than the one i grew up in, i still remain the same, and im the only one in my school who really understands hardcore or anything about the music that everyone claims to love so much
defo
Written by Guest on 2005-11-04 15:54:33omg dood. defenitly. 
xx

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