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Exploring Brisbane’s Hardcore Music Scene: A Perspective on Straight Edge 2007

Originally Published: Thursday, May 31, 2007
Written by: Jack

Getting Onboard with xSisterhoodx

So, I first read the post on xSisterhoodx’s boards asking for some writers early this month. I was interested. I mean, how often are you given a chance to write for a website, let alone a website with members aplenty?

If you’re like me, not often. So I jumped aboard the SS xSisterhoodx. Immediately, without thought of anything to write. Oops.

And so I had to think of all the possible things I could write on. Shall it be about how my local scene is becoming more and more based on scene points? Or how many scene kids do I hate? Or, as I like to call them, Shit Edge kids. Or maybe even how the militant Vegans, so keen on protecting animals, should stop buying soy products that taste like bacon or sausages? It was all up there for me to throw about and try. But, in the end, I decided on just one Straight Edge kid and his magical adventure through the trials, tribulations, and hardships of the monotonously teenage life without drinking, smoking, snorting, injecting, swallowing, or anything else. He wasn’t available, so I decided to write about Me and my experience in Brisbane with its kids.

Embracing the Straight Edge Lifestyle Exploring Brisbane’s Hardcore Music Scene: A Perspective on Straight Edge

I’ve lived the Edge lifestyle for as long as I can remember, and I’ve done it through people telling me I should drink, how can I hate it if I haven’t experienced it, and how can I have fun without getting drunk, stoned or high? Believe me, I get fucked up, but not as you do. I live it, love it, and am proud of myself for it. I’ve lived without alcohol and drugs in my life for all my life. But, I only began calling myself Straight Edge 2 years ago. And I’m not alone. There are plenty of Straight Edge kids about Brisbane, most of who only called themselves Edge recently. Just as Hardcore only really became cool recently. Coincidence? But, how many of them are actually living this lifestyle because they’re proud to live poison-free? And how many are simply looking for a way to fit in, score some scene points, or just, dare I say it, be cool? I decided to ask around, via the magic of Myspace, and see what some locals thought of Brisbane’s scene and Brisbane’s Edge kids.

An Insight into xStickermanx’s Commitment

When thinking of Straight Edge in Brisbane, there’s a man that stands out in front of many others in his fight against alcohol, and his courage and pride in Straight Edge is beyond question. xStickermanx is the vocalist for a Brisbane Straight Edge act named Lionheartxxx. Edge for 9 and a half years, he takes the band and his pledge to himself very seriously. Living poison-free all his life, he took the Edge pledge way back in 1998, before many of today’s kids even knew there was such a thing as hardcore music. Believing you can’t be Edge from birth, his views are a breath of fresh air when all I hear is kids saying this and that and not actually standing for what Straight Edge believes in.

I asked xStickermanx what he thought of Brisbane’s hardcore music scene, considering that he has been a part of it for longer than I’d been in school. He told me that “Brisbane’s scene was really good a few years back; it was very much like a family.” But with the loss of venues, “Brisbane suffers”. Having only really gotten into hardcore after I turned 18, I had never had to worry about being too young for a show. 18+ shows have always been my favorite. No having to listen to kids whine about school, and usually pretty good venues. But not so for xStickermanx, who says that “I don’t really like 18+ shows, but they are still necessary.” But as much as I like them, and he doesn’t, they still get almost no coverage. “The last few 18+ shows I have been to in Brisbane have had very poor support, especially considering that a few of them had interstate touring bands playing.”

xStickermanx tells of how he is “unimpressed with the lack of heart that kids display for hardcore and Straight Edge.” As I’ve seen it, there are a lot of kids who walk around and talk shit about Straight Edge, as many kids go and claim Edge and then tattoo themselves. I frown a little when these kids spent the time, money and effort to show to the world their pride in Straight Edge, only to break Edge six months later. xStickermanx and I both agree that “they don’t really have the heart” to stay Straight Edge. Though xStickermanx has a positive outlook on kids and Edge, “for the 3 or 4 months or how ever long it was, they did stay away from the damaging substances”. But “it would be good though, if more kids held onto it for longer.” But in the end, xStickermanx and I can both agree and hope for only one thing, “There was a stage when hardcore wasn’t cool, it’s time will come again, and we’ll see a lot of the “scene” kids drop off.”

The Influence of “Scene Kids

But possibly the biggest draw of Brisbane’s scene is its kids. The scene kids indeed. The All Ages warriors who come to support the bands and music they love. But, it seems that these kids are more “scene kids” than fan kids. “Now that hardcore is cool, kids seem to go to shows more to be seen than for the music.” xStickermanx’s view vindicates what I’ve been saying to myself for as long as I’ve been a part of this. You see a lot of kids running around, “enough ‘hardcore’ kids to fill a hall 3 times over, but, you will never see them at shows.” These posers “are good for 2 things. And that’s bringing money to shows, and buying merch.” With the money they pay to enter going to promoters’ who put these shows on and the money they pay for merch going to struggling bands, it’s almost ok to see them there. But, in the long run, “They’re happier to sit there and wear an I Killed The Prom Queen or Parkway Drive shirt, and look the part, but can’t be bothered going to a show to support local bands, which in most cases kick the ass of the band on the shirt they are wearing.”

A Shoutout to Lionheartxxx

I’d like to thank xStickermanx for his input. Without it, it would have just been some cynical kid writing about something he had very little view on. So, with that in mind, I really should plug Lionheartxxx.

A fucking great band, standing behind all three XXXs and standing for what we believe in. Love these boys. Cheers xStickermanx.

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