Looking back

It’s a strange thing, life that is. Things change, sometimes all so suddenly and we’re afraid of changes. Well, isn’t everyone? I’ve spent so much of my life, even though I am relatively young in poverty. I grew up lower-working class and I’ve gotten used to that life, even if at times the hatred and anxiety got the best of me. A month ago I took a rather large step in my life. I passed the seminars and tests that were thrown at me and I’ve passed. I’ve acquired a license to work as a security guard, something my father did as well, years before me. It’s a strange feeling really. I hardly felt anything when I passed, like just any other test in school. Today, I got the job. I’m happy, though I cannot show it. I don’t know why and it’s bothering me. The whole thing is so surreal and I still haven’t gotten it into my head, that maybe all these hard times would come to an end or at least, get a little better. Somehow, it feels too good to be true. This isn’t just any job, it’s a real one and not a student one where you could fuck around and not give two shits if you were fired the next day. You have this responsibility now and your job is to protect people and valuables. I never really thought how that could be dangerous until now. I identify as a punk rocker and I’ll always be that until the day I die. Security guards to me were just a step bellow a cop, someone who abuses their power in any way shape or form that they please and will have great pleasure in fucking up your day.
As a security guard now, I got more respect for others of the same calling now. I still dislike cops, but not all cops are bad, that’s something we learn with age, though my point still stands.
To be completely honest, I’m scared and I’m nervous. Suddenly, I have a lot more responsibility and all people I have to protect. Deep inside I’m afraid I’ll make a mistake, that I won’t act fast enough or won’t know how to act or react at all. I’m afraid of making mistakes. Under normal circumstances, that’d be okay. It’s human after all. Though now, so many other things are on the line and my life can to be in danger. I’m anxious, I don’t feel ready and I have no self-confidence. Living life as an outsider to any society and sub-culture is completely different from this. As I got my uniform, I almost feel a sense of belonging, a sense of pride and respect. I never thought I would feel this way and am still trying to wrap my head around it. I want to understand it better, I want to grow as a person and I’m only limited by my own mind. I only wish this won’t mess up my head and make me lose track of my life, make me lose track of what’s most important to me and strip me of all of my joy; what little I have of it. It’s hard for me to concentrate sometimes, my mind wanders into all different places. Sometimes, time seems to be slowing down, yet it’s moving so fast. I was never good at taking orders and now I’m paid to do so. I don’t want to be controlled and I don’t want to be commanded. Still, this isn’t the army, so I can be glad about that. But it is the most real thing I’ve ever experienced. I’m on my own now and I alone answer for my actions. That would be fine, I’ve done that before, though now there isn’t only my life on the line. I’m not protecting a bank or some big shot celebrity, but even convenient stores get robbed and somebody tries to play the hero.
I just hope that I’ll never have to do that.

I Know You

I think there comes a time in a person’s life where he or she desperately needs to put everything inside them out. I myself turn to writing. Writing is therapy and words can change the world. If not the whole world, then at least ours. To each their own. I myself can relate to this a lot. Henry Rollins has been a very inspiring person on me. His words made me aware of things that were completely ordinary, completely everyday; because I got used to it. But having someone tell them to you, from their own life and you can feel a connection, I must admit, it makes me tremble, it makes the hole in me grow even larger, but it’s the truth and just realizing that I’m not alone, that other’s feel this way, makes it easier to live everyday. Please read this poem and tell me if you feel the same.
~Dante

I know you.
You were too short.
You had bad skin.
You couldn’t talk to them very well.

Words didn’t seem to work, they lied when they came out of your mouth.
You tried so hard to understand them.
You wanted to be part of what was happening.
You saw them having fun, and it seemed like such a mystery, almost magic.
Made you think, that there was something wrong with you.
You’d look in the mirror trying to find it.
You thought that you were ugly, and that everyone was looking at you.
So you learned to be invisible, to look down, to avoid conversation.

The hours, days, weekends, ah the weekend-nights alone.
Where were you?
In the basement, in the attic, in your room, working some job, just to have something to do, just to have a place to put yourself.
Just to have a way to get away from them, a chance to get away from the ones that made you feel so strange and ill at ease inside yourself.

Did you ever get invited to one of their parties?
You sat and wondered if you would go or not, for hours you imagined the scenarios that might transpire.
If they would laugh at you, if you would know what to do.
If you would have the right things on, if they would notice that you came from a different planet.
Did you get all brave in your thoughts, like you were going to be able to go in there and deal with it, and have a great time.
Did you think that you might be… the life of the party?
That all these people were going to talk to you, and that you would find out that you were wrong, that you had a lot of friends, and you weren’t so strange after all.

Did you end up going?
Did they mess with you?
Did they single you out?
Did you find out that you were invited, because they thought you were so weird?

Yeah, I think I know you.
You spent a lot of time full of hate.
A hate that was pure as sunshine, a hate that saw for miles, a hate that kept you up at night, a hate that filled your every waking moment.
A hate that carried you for a long time.

Yes I think I know you.
You couldn’t figure out what they saw in the way they were living.

Home, was not home, your room was home.
A corner was home, a place they weren’t, that was home.

I know you, you’re sensitive, and you hide it, because you fear getting stepped on one more time.
It seems that when you show a part of yourself, that is the least bit vulnerable, someone takes advantage of you, one of them, steps on you.
They mistake kindliness for weakness, but you know the difference, you’ve been the brunt of their weakness for years, and strength is something you know a bit about, because you had to be strong to keep yourself alive.
You know yourself very well now, and you don’t trust people, you know them too well.

You try to find that special person, someone you can be with, someone you can touch, someone you can talk to, someone you won’t feel so strange around, and you have found that they don’t really exist,
You feel closer to people on movie screens.

Yeah.
I think I know you.
You spend a lot of time daydreaming and people have made comment to that effect, telling you that you’re ‘self involved’, and self centered, but they don’t know do they?
About the long night shifts alone.
About the years of keeping yourself company, all the nights you wrapped your arms around yourself, so you can imagine someone holding you.
The hours of indecision, self doubt. The intense depression, the blinding hate, the rage that made you stagger. The devastation of rejection.

Well, maybe they do know.
But if they do, they sure do a good job of hiding it.
It astounds you how they can be so smooth, how they seem to pass through life, as if life itself is some divine gift, and it infuriates you to watch yourself with your apparent skill in finding every way possible to screw it up.

For you, life is a long trip, terrifying and wonderful.
Birds sing to you at night, the rain and the sun, the changing seasons are true friends. Solitude is a hard-won ally, faithful and patient.

Yeah…

I think I know you.

-Henry Rollins, “Black Coffee Blues”
(1992) 

Punk rock 101 – Lesson #1

Punk rock 101 – Lesson #1

Hello there fellow punkrockers (or anyone who relates to this music). This lesson will not be genre specific, nor you will have to follow every word of it. It will just serve as a guide. Where should we begin?

Anyone who wants to start out playing punkrock (or anything related) will ask themselves: “What do I need to have or know to start playing?” Well the answer is – you don’t need a thing. First off find out what your role would be in your dream band, maybe it’s singing, maybe it’s drums, guitar, piano, kazoo, … whatever. Todays lesson will be focusing on a basic punkrock trio band (guitar, bass guitar, drums). By punkrock trio you are probably thinking of Green Day or something simmilar, but that doesn’t matter (also Green Day hasn’t been a trio since like 10 years ago). Lets start shall we.

Guitar
Most people think they just need to have the gear everybody else or their idols use. But that is not the case here. For example, many people believe that hollowbody guitars are definately not a punk instrument, but Tim from Rancid can prove you otherwise. He has been rocking hollowbody Gretsch guitars since the early 90’s and now the company even has a model named after him. Stratocasters (we will be referring to them as strats) were also meant to be softer instruments, but they have been used since the early beginnings of punkrock ( ex. Billie Joe from Green Day, Tom Delonge from Blink-182, Mathias and Erik from Millencolin, ..). It doesn’t really matter what kind of shape, color or type of guitar it is, as long as it’s accesible and feels good to you, it is the perfect instrument to play punkrock.

Lets just quickly go through some typical guitar models and comment a bit on them.

Les Pauls

Any rockers typical instrument. These guitars are ready to play this type of music any day of the week. Since they are popular and are available in any price range, this could be the guitar for you. Smaller scale neck is a good plus for any beginner, but the weight might turn you off, so you might want to try it before you buy it (that goes for every instrument, have someone who knows about guitars try it first)

Stratocasters

Typically used for softer genres, they have also been a big part of the punkrock scene. Players are usually turned off by the twangy sound of single coil pickups (more on pickups in the future), but with some slight modding, you can easily fit in a humbucker that will drive your strat crazy! You might also want to check some strat styled guitars such as Ibanez, Jackson, ESP,… but those guitars might look a little too “metal” for you.

SG’s

Ever heard about AC/DC? This guitar has been the main instrument of Angus Young (guitar player of AC/DC) since the beginning. Designed by Gibson (same as the Les Paul), it is a guitar that will be ready to play right from the start.

So here you have it. A quick basic guide to buying your first punkrock guitar. Don’t worry, anything is good for your first guitar, as long as it keeps you comming back to it. In the next part we will be looking at bass guitars and drums. If you have any questions that you would like them answered in the next lesson, please leave them below.

~chargerbandit

Is music dead?

We’re in the year 2013 and to a lot of people, music is dead. But is it really? Most people (including me) when saying that music is dead are referring that the music they like isn’t in the mainstream anymore. But does that matter at all? We still have our old CD’s and Vinyl’s of course and we listen to them day in and day out. To us it will always be that way. But why is it important for a new band to start being mainstream? To create a new movement I would say. To start something new or to revive something long forgotten, something that’s been pushed underground by the current success of pop music, dubstep and other varieties. What a lot of people don’t realize is that this had happened before many times over. The hippies lost and punk rock came to life. Glam rock sneaked it’s way in and soon the most manliest thing you could do is to steal your girlfriends make up kit. With the success of grunge, that was destroyed. So it continued to about the end of ’99 when everything stopped. All the good bands broke up for various reasons or went on long breaks and once returned, never got their popularity and success back. What I’m trying to say though, is that every generation had what I like to call Heroes. In the 70’s there were Sex pistols and the Ramones. Then came others like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and so on. Every generation had its own type. Sadly Kurt Cobain died in ’94 and Layne Staley in 2002.
It’s 2013 and I don’t see anyone making a difference anymore. Sure we have huge punk rock concerts, but they’re not in the mainstream. There isn’t a movement anymore. The people who saved us with their music and their words are gone. There are no more rockstars today. No more Heroes. Just veterans in their own art, and by the time we grow up, they’ll already be dead. How many people wished that they’d be born a few years earlier and get to fully enjoy the music that was going on back then? A lot. Me included. But over the years I changed my mind. We’ll always have their music and yes, we feel cheated that we will never see them live ever again.
But this time, it’s our turn. We know what we have to do and we should do it. Make music that would touch people’s harts. Make it as raw as you can, let it all out and don’t hold back. You can’t let people stop you. Everyone has the right to an opinion of their own, just as how I have the right to tell you to go fuck yourself. I won’t accept cute songs. I won’t accept songs about my girlfriend/boyfriend. I won’t accept songs about money and bitches and whatever the hell else turns you on.
There are no rockstars today. Only musicians. But who can make that change and prove me wrong?

~Dante