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A Quick Survey: Why Are You Straight Edge?

Originally Published: Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Written by: Yaritza

 Everyone has their reasons for getting into the scene. Usually its all on the same level, sometimes its not. I randomly emailed some people who I saw were involved with straightedge and hardcore. I asked them to answer a question. If your not straightedge, maybe this will help you see things better from ‘our’ side of view. Im not trying to convert you…its just there are scores of people out there who totally go against sXe when they have little or no information about it. I guess if your at this page though, you must be an openminded person. Here is the question I sent out and the responses I got:

When and Why did you get into the StraightEdge/Hardcore scene in the first place?

Name: Clay Gibbins
Age: 24
Location: Saint Paul, MN
How long have you’ve been in the scene: 6 years
Email: [email protected]
I realized what a waste of time effort and money drugs and being drunk was. It can cause too much unnecessary pain. there is no positive side to being artificially intoxicated.

Name: Russ
Age: 25
Location: MA
How long have you’ve been in the scene: Almost 12 years
Email [email protected]
Well i got into HC and punk rock 1st cause it was pretty much the only music skaters in the late 80’s/early 90’s listened to, back when skateboarding was a crime.. Anyway myself and some friends met some kids at the mall that had on some band t-shirts that we knew, they told us about there band and there 1st show so we went. When you start meeting these people you realize they are a lot like you, and your not so different because you don’t wanna play football or do get fucked up. The music helped also because back then it was all about the music and the message. Now its been over 10 years, i find a lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same. I find myself booking shows, running a label, and doing band photography.

Age: 16 Location: Norton,ma
How long have you’ve been in the scene: maybe a little over 2 years
Email: [email protected]
I think is was about half way through 8th grade. All my friends were starting to experiment with things and I was just never into it. The people around me and family members who drank and did drugs, made me realize the effects and and consequences. So from then on I was strictly drug free. In my mind I believed that drugs weren’t for me and that they would interfere with my goals and dreams. So after that, about half way through 8th grade I had started to get into hXc and my friend dave bought this “release” video that introduced us to the whole sXe idea and I thought, “hey there is a whole lot more straight people than i thought, now I have something that I can relate to”. So i started to call my self xXx after that. My first hXc show that introduced me to the scene was Madball and Reach The Sky. Be True To urself and stay clean. Check out my band @

Name: Nick
Age: 17
Location: Tucson,AZ
How long have you’ve been in the scene: about 2 years
Basically, I decided that drugs and alcohol were as waste of time, money and brain cells. I didn’t want to spend my time being sick or not remembering what was done on a high anymore. Then I found the sXe movement where people thought the same way I did. It’s been tough though, most of my straight edge friends graduated or gave up.

Name: MattyO
Age: 19 Location: Jackson, NJ
Email: [email protected]
I wouldn’t say I’m “in the scene”, being as i know only a handful of other sXe’ers..and I’m not really into hardcore..Im a ska and punk fan myself…with the occasional emo (minus the crying). Ive been straight edge my whole life..I’m still pure..never drank, never did drugs, and i can rock out hardcore…So, i guess i am hardcore after all….I don’t know why I’m like i am..but i feel better about myself. It might just be good parenting. I don’t need anything to help me have a good time..just friends.

Name: Jake G
Age: 17
Location: Coventry, CT
Email: [email protected]
I’ve been edge now for 5 years. I’m vegetarian also and i’ve been that way for 6 years. I got into the hardcore scene in eighth grade really by hearing earth crisis for the first time on my friends cd… i couldn’t believe the emotion in it. It was amazing. i started to get other Cd’s of bands that were hardcore and suddenly i was just enveloped in it. It has so much emotion and is more than just music. It is a lifestyle. These’s mean so much more than just drug free… it’s a way to show people who i am.

Name: XAustin Stockin
Age: 20
Location: Naples, FL
Email: [email protected]
How long have you’ve been in the scene: I’ve been in the scene since I was 13 years old.
 I got into it for the camaraderie. The scene seemed like the only place where loyalty was taken seriously. I also love the concept of straightedge. It felt as though it was made for me. I’m still in it for the same reasons today.

Name: Beau Hicks
Age: 21
Location: San Diego, California
How long you’ve been in the scene: about 12 years or (21 years)
Email: Oi SoCal [email protected]
I got into the scene around 1990 when i was 10 yrs old. I got into the scene because i didn’t like the people i was around druggies and drunks. they got on my nerves i wanted to be different than they were. and i had already been in the hardcore scene so i thought i would take it further. i guess you could say I’ve been SxE all my life but I didn’t announce it until that time.

Name: XmikeyX
Age: 14 Location: N.Y.
How long you’ve been in the scene: about almost 6 years now!
I got into the sXe scene when i was about 9 or 10. I got into it because i had always been drug free and everything and i always wished that they had a group or name for it and finally i found out about it and i knew right away it was for me and that i had to label myself!

Name: Steve, Spike, SeXXXy Steve
Age: 18
Location: Northboro Mass
How long have you’ve been in the scene: All my fuckin life! Hell ya!
Email: [email protected]
I’ve been Straight Edge since 8th grade because for all my life I was firmly against drinking and smoking and fucked up shit like that and i finally found a group that advocated anti-drug anti-smoking anti-drinking anti-racism anti-sexism etc.

Well, this wouldn’t be complete without some reasons from girls. Unfortunately no girls I emailed responded. So I guess you’ll just have to deal with my own story..

Name: Yaritza
Age: 16
Location: MASS
How long have you’ve been in the scene: about 4 years.
Email : [email protected]
Well, I’m Puerto Rican…so I was brought up with my brothers and sister always listening to their rap and hip hop. I live in a pretty ‘ghetto’ town as well. When I was in like the 6th grade I started to realize I was getting sick of the music around me. It wasn’t special to me. So in 7th grade I was finally able to find this ‘underground’ music which consisted of Punk/Ska/Emo/Hardcore. I was so happy with it…it took me a while to find where I was happy because no one else just like came up to me and gave me a tape to listen to. I had to look into It myself. I understand and can associate with it. This type of music is definitely right for me, even though I don’t get much support about it at home, I don’t care. They don’t understand me and I don’t want to make them try to. As for the sXe scene, I’ve been drug free for like my life but I’ve only actually took on the label sXe about a year ago to show my lifetime commitment. My anti-drugs: Music, SHOWS, photography, LIFE…just to name a few. True Till Death. Stay Cool, Stay Clean, Live Free.

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