Lost Password


Straight Edge Interview Project: TJ, 24, She/They, Madrid, Spain

Could you share a brief introduction?
Hi! I’m TJ and I’m from Madrid, Spain. I’ve always dreamt about having a band and now that I fulfilled that I’m really trying with my friends to keep the scene alive as we can.

I really hate fascists, cops, racists and antiLGTBQI+ people. I love DIY, Straight Edge and Free Palestine.

Tell us about your interests and passions.
I really love playing with my band Bajo Control, going to hardcore/punk shows, playing bass, reading manga and drawing. My great aspiration is to become a tattoo artist so I’m trying to find my way to succeed in it. My art account is @tdetoro

What’s currently on your playlist? 
Damn, so many bands, but I’m currently trying to find and listen to more bands where women, nb, queers and racialized people play, and if they’re straight edge even better!! So I’ve been more focused on Dregs, Gel, Colisión, Iron Deficiency, Firewalker, Ternura, Punitive Damage, Fuse, Decadencia, Tarántula, no right, Spaced, Uzi, Acuerdo, Uncertainty, Sissyfit, Petrol Girls, World of Pleasure, Power Alone…

How do you define straight edge?
I think Straight Edge is a lot of things. It’s very difficult to explain but I’ll try my best and I’ll try to sum it up as much as I can.

To me, it’s a political statement. It’s trying to change this fucked up world where you need to do drugs to go partying, to socialize, to bear with your shitty jobs, to deal with depression and anxiety, to deal with trauma, etc. It’s trying to make a difference, to show people it’s possible to live like this. To show people who are addicted that you can overcome drugs, that you can quit them and still be happy, socialize and have no need to do them anymore.

It’s to be against a system that wants you to be quiet, alienated, not organized, unmindful, ignorant, weak… It’s to show yourself you’re brave and strong, to believe in yourself, to be proud of who you are and who you’ve become and respect yourself in different ways. And yes, of course you can do drugs and be everything I have just said, not trynna be condescending in any way, it’s the way I feel about myself when I look back.

Straight edge is not being above anybody, it’s not being better than anyone, it’s not being smarter or anything than anyone. It’s to support, understand, respect and help if needed your surroundings. But don’t get me wrong: we cannot be the psychologists of anyone!!!

How important is music to your relationship with straight edge?
Right now, I think that if you don’t do drugs and don’t listen to hardcore music: you’re sober, which is a very cool thing to be proud of, just as much as being sxe. If you’d like to identify as sxe that’s fine by me too. Who am I to tell anyone what they are or not?

What’s your straight edge story?
The first time I heard about straight edge I was like 14 maybe. I thought it was an amazing movement and a very cool way to live your life. By that time I drank like everybody else, so I didn’t think I could ever change my life like that. When I was 16 I started to dig into hardcore bands, some of them with sxe crew, so I started to investigate more. Then I met my best friend who was straight edge with a very difficult past and that make me think about my own life.

I always had problems with alcohol and smoked a lot. I had anxiety and I was kinda depressed and I used to self harm a lot. When I gave up on that I focused on alcohol, tobacco and weed. I think I wouldn’t have realised if my friend had not been there to show me (without knowing it) the reality I was living. My bff and I started dating and I decided it was time to give up smoking and drinking. It’s been more than 6 years now and I have no regrets.

Can you recall a pivotal moment or experience that solidified your commitment to straight edge?
Being aware that I was beginning to have a problem with alcohol, and most of the time to self harm myself anyway possible.

How straight edge influenced your relationships with family, friends, and others?
Well, my friends were a little confused but they were fine with it. I influenced in a good way some of them because they realised they had the same problem with alcohol, weed or other drugs. I guess some people stop calling to hang out to go to a bar or partying at night. Everybody was fine with it until they saw it was really a commitment and I wasn’t going to drink when anybody was watching or if they kept my secret (?) So I lost some “friends” on the way I guess.

Looking back, is there anything about path into and through straight edge that you would do differently?
I would have shutted some people up when they tried to make me drink because they wanted the “old me” back. I would like to have read more about Straight Edge in political related subjects, just to know more from the beginning. But I think I did it well.

True or False: “If you’re not now, you never were”?
I kinda agree, even tho I know people can relapse into their addiction. I think it depends on every person and each case, but sometimes you know when someone was sxe just because they wanted to belong somewhere and I don’t blame them, but I’d be nice if they weren’t total jerks when they’re “out” of it and laugh about being straight edge and its ideals. That shows your inner self being defensive and regretting your choices lol. I could understand and would not blame someone who relapsed and we should embrace anyone who comes from there.

Have you encountered any challenges or misconceptions about being straight edge?
Whenever I’m partying at night and people ask me why am I not drinking. It’s my biggest challenge to stay calm and not saying something hardcore to make people regret their question. YOU SHOULD NOT ASK ANYONE WHY THEY ARE NOT DOING DRUGS out of nowhere, like I don’t even fucking know you and you’re trying to know something that YOU KNOW can be hard, deep and cruel to talk about. IT’S NOT YOUR FUCKING BUSINESS. And of course you should not try to make me try any drug when I tell you about my sobriety. Respect my decision as I respect you doing drugs if that’s what you feel like.

Do you feel that your gender  or age has influenced your experience within the straight edge and hardcore scenes? 
Well, if you’re young it’s difficult that people take you seriously. They think you don’t know what you’re doing, if there’s any deep meaning behind it, if you have some political reasons… They’ll think you’re just following some trend or sth ? And being a woman it’s pretty similar. Everybody tries to infantilize you because of course you never know what you’re doing. They’ll think you are trying to be cool so some dude knows you exist or you can date them because of course we are always seeking for dudes attention. People will always think you’re not real somehow so I just mind my business.

In your view, how inclusive is the straight edge movement, and what steps could be taken to enhance its inclusivity?
I think we have a long way to go. Hardcore is not inclusive enough so sxe isn’t either. We should mention and give more attention to hardcore straight edge bands with queers, women and racialized people. I want all of them to the front. I wanna know their experiences, their way of living, what they have to say… Honestly, we’ve seen enough straight cis men being straight edge. They have enough voice everywhere, es el momento de las disidencias!!!

Have you observed any evolution in the straight edge scene regarding acceptance and diversity?

Well, yeah! We’re taking more space and people are beginning to know about more straight edge bands with more diversity on their crew. As I said we still have a lot to do but we’re slowly making the scene more diverse.

Mother, wife, small business owner.

Share This Post

Like This Post


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    A mininum rating of 0 is required.
    Please give a rating.
    Thanks for submitting your rating!

    Thanks for submitting your comment!

    Related Posts


    Straight Edge News