Friday, January 21, 2011

Scratching the Surface: Why I’m still playing in punk bands after all these years

By Brian Polk

· I don’t like it when more than four paying customers show up to watch my band play.

· I’m still impressed by the punk credo: “Learn another chord, start another band.”

· When old friends ask me what I’m doing with my life, I don’t have to come up with anything new to say.

· By playing in two different bands—and subsequently saturating the market by ignoring the concept of supply and demand—I’m staying true to my anti-capitalist roots. (Never making more than $20 a gig also contributes to this end.)

· Since I never bothered learning to play guitar solos, I’m totally against them.

· I accepted a long time ago that “making it” on any kind of level isn’t going to happen, so I might as well play good music.

· Since no one else plays punk anymore, I like to think of myself as unique.

· If I don’t demonstrate that the 20-minute set is not only attainable, but desirable, opening bands might get the idea that it’s okay to go on for an hour.

· I’ve been to shows where the audience just stood around and “appreciated” the band. I couldn’t believe how lame this was.

· I don’t ever want to have too much in common with my parents.

· I never sold out (mainly because no one ever offered me anything to sell out to, but it’s still an accomplishment nonetheless).

· Even though punk is unpopular and everything, it’s still more relevant than anything the hipsters have come up with.

· Since most punks I know are either married, twice divorced, or otherwise undateable, we don’t have to care that punk isn’t attractive to members of the opposite sex.

· Since I’ve amassed an embarrassing amount of knowledge about a single genre of music, I might as well stick with what I know.

· I need something to show for my unyielding commitment to bitterness.

· Yelling out of key doesn’t go well with alt-country, electro, or valium rock, and I’m okay with that.

· Punk is the only music that sounds good through the deafening roar of my tinnitus.

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