It was 2005 and I remember coming home from high school pissed off feeling lost and alone. I think I may have been the only one in my school not into drugs and football, so because of that I didn’t fit in. I couldn’t wait until I got home to sit in my bedroom by myself listening to my favorite bands. I would zone out in the lyrics and instruments and for that moment with my Walkman in my ears I was at rest and peace. The world was full of shit. Reading alternative rock magazines, looking at what new bands were coming out and what the magazines would deem as “rising bands you need to check out”. All the musicians I saw seemed to speak my language and dress how I did… It made me feel less alone.
I couldn’t wait for the weekend because I knew one of those bands would be playing locally and that was a place where I could wear whatever I wanted and be myself with out any persecution.
It’s now the end of 2012 and I can’t believe my eyes. The shows that were once a vacation from the real world now seem to be more of the world I hate than ever. Kids get picked on for what they are wearing at shows, or what bands they are into. Why is this okay? How did we go from having a place where people could be themselves and have fun to a polar opposite of what we built?
If anyone thinks for a second it’s okay to pick on kids with “emo” hair or tight skinny jeans, they need to realize that camo shorts and windbreakers are equally as mainstream and a fashion statement.
Same thing with crew sweatshirts and a winter hat with timberland boots… it’s equivalent to fitted hats and bright colored Osiris kicks. You’re all a fashion statement. And you know what, being one isn’t a problem, at the end of the day it’s what makes you happy.
Bullies have over thrown what we once loved. I can’t tell you how many times I hear about the next big band that’s local and meet the singer or musicians and they are just mean. Look at posts on facebook how degrading they are to people. They get almost 50 plus likes, but why? You’re all sheep and they are herding you and using you. They call you friends, but at the end of the day they will hang out with who ever they can sell their pre-sale tickets to. At the end of the day if you buy that new shirt they put out and buy their music, they’ll call you whatever you want to be called.
The scene isn’t what it was, and maybe it’s because I see it from another side. Maybe because I’m in a band I see what the fans don’t because I’m on the stage rather than in front.
The magazines I used to look up to are nothing but a giant clique. A few months ago I remember seeing a few local bands posted by one major alternative magazine. I was stoked that my home town was represented, but also was confused why they were posted by them. I thought to be posted by a major alternative music magazine you’d have to do something special and meaningful… but I soon found out that was wrong. These bands didn’t do anything mine didn’t do, so why were they being published by such a prestigious news source? Well I found out the person posting the “news” was a local person that was friends with the guys in the bands.
Obviously it’s up to the magazine who they can post about and at the end of the day you can help out whoever… but seriously what does that show kids? What does that show the 15 year olds going home from the bullshit of high school pissed off at the world? It doesn’t show them that with hard work and passion you’ll get your dreams… it shows them it’s who you know. It shows them it’s whose dick you should suck to get that 15 minutes of fame that Andy Warhol talked about.
It bums me out knowing some of those bands I looked at in those magazines as a kid could have just been the editor’s friends, and that another band out there more talented existed and was probably more deserving of that post.
I learned local shows are built the same way. If you’re friends with the promoter they’ll put you on whatever show you really wanted. It’s just a matter of playing the game… it seems it’s all a game.
Maybe it was naive to go into this thinking it wasn’t so bad.
I’ve learned you either need to play the game, or fuck the game. If you just sit in it nothing will happen, so here I am fucking it like the whore it is.
To anyone coming home from high school right now listening to their ipod and looking at that magazine wanting to be in a band know this… be you. Be you even if it means you won’t fit in. Staying true to yourself will be the best. Don’t take anyone’s shit. The scene is full of shit and liars, and awful people, but you can be the change of that. Don’t play their game, don’t fall for their stories and big talk… take their scene and throw it in the trash then make your own music community of true people, and make it how you want it. And never let them take you alive.
Editors note – Jeremy Miller is the vocalist for Syracuse based Punk/Hardcore band ONE LAST SHOT. Check out Jeremy, and his band here: http://www.facebook.com/onelastshot?ref=ts&fref=ts