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Straight Edge Interview Project: Salem, 28, Boise

Meet Salem Weaver: a barber, a graphic designer, and a former addict. Salem’s life is a compelling blend of creative passion and personal evolution. Their story isn’t just about haircuts or design; it’s about the power of music and the straight edge to redefine and uplift. In this candid interview, Salem shares their straight edge story, a recent commitment that’s much more than a label—it’s a life-saving transformation. They reflect on the scene’s inclusivity, the impact of their choices on relationships, and the broader significance of being straight edge.

Tell us about yourself! 

I’m a barber by trade, I do some graphic design on the side as more of a fun hobby. My business/personal barber page on Instagram is @razorxwitch.

What are you listening to these days? 

Harms way has been a huge favorite for like 5 years now, of course, I listen to the Hardlore podcast, lately, I’ve been loving Being as an Ocean. And then the classics, black flag, minority threat, earth crisis. Love Gods Hate and Twitching tongues, knocked loose, counterparts, dying wish. So many bands too many to list.

What’s your straight edge story?

I claimed edge fairly recently, October 20, 2022. I had been an addict for a really long time got sober in mid-October, at the time I was dating someone who was edge, and I’d heard about it through bands and music. After going back and listening to those bands and reaching out to straight edge friends I decided that was a commitment I wanted to make to myself.

How do you define straight edge? 

For me, it’s all about bettering and elevating yourself for yourself. Abstaining from things that do more harm than good. I don’t think I’ll ever break edge because I think it’s saved my life. The commitment to myself aspect has been what keeps me going.

True or False: “If you’re not now, you never were”? 

False. So false. I think if you decide to make that commitment to yourself at any point you are allowed to claim as you please.

Over the past decade or so individuals in recovery have stumbled upon straight edge, and it has really spoken to them.  Do you feel that the straight edge community has been, and should be welcoming to those in recovery?    

Absolutely. It’s so much better than like AA or NA. There’s no commitment to a higher power or whatever it’s about you. It’s about being a better you. Being clear and able to elevate your own mind and body.

Have you ever felt that your gender has influenced your experience in the straight edge and/or hardcore scene?

I don’t think so I’ve definitely been on and out of my local scene and I’ve always been welcomed. But Boise has a pretty small community so we kind of have to be welcoming and accepting.

Do you feel that the straight edge movement/scene is inclusive? 

I think for the most part it’s inclusive, I’ve definitely had a couple of negative experiences with people who are pretentious about being edge but that has been pretty far and few between.

Has being straight edge had an impact on your relationships?

It made an impact on friendships for a while. I wasn’t invited or included in social situations because I wasn’t drinking or doing drugs and I think some of my friends were afraid I wouldn’t approve. It’s definitely made me more picky when it comes to partners. I don’t necessarily care if they are straight edge or not but I’d prefer to be with someone who is also sober at least.

There’s an ongoing debate on whether one can be straight edge without being a part of the music scene, what’s your thoughts on this?

I’m not one to gatekeep. If people want to claim edge let ‘em

 

 

Mother, wife, small business owner. www.justbuttons.org

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