Photo of a dedicated hardcore punk band
First I’m gonna write few words about myself regarding DIY hardcore punk and what it means to me so you can get some picture about what I stand for and what is my attitude concerning DIY hc/punk. I’m in the late 30’s and I’ve been active for quite a while in Do It Yourself hardcore punk network, since the 90’s. First, I was more just an observer and supporter of the hc/punk scene, I bought the records and zines, went to some shows, played in some bands that no one had ever heard of because most of my early bands never played any shows. Later in late 90’s and early 2000’s I started to be more involved with the whole process of creating the hardcore punk network, I started to do a zine, always played in few bands at once, started small distro, released some tapes, started to write and correspond with hc/punx from all over the world and so on. I don’t mean to brag but I even played in some bands out of Croatia because I always wanted to share my passion about hc/punk with my friends from all over the place, not just sticking to one city or country. Hey, even now (and for the past six years) I play in a band that is consisted of people from Serbia and Croatia. What I wanted to say is that from the start I’ve become more involved with creating local and international DIY hc/punk network, I’ve pretty much dedicated most of my time, passion and energy into hc/punk. So, once when you’re in it for the life you start to look on the rest of the world with different eyes and you are of course strongly connected to DIY hc/punk philosophy, way of living or call it whatever you want. That said, I take all these stuff very seriously and I will always defend my ground and my dedication to stay DIY, underground and noncommercial hardcore punk! That said I can smell the bullshit in hc/punk when I see it. And let me tell you this, there’s so much bullshit these days in DIY hc/punk, maybe more than ever before.
That rock band with bad tattoos
These days it’s not even problem with major labels, bigger bands or some other outside enemies, the line is drawn pretty clearly these days who’s part of DIY and who’s not. But, the problem as I see it are some people who are also part of DIY hc/punk network, some of them book shows, some put out records, some are in the “cool” bands and what connect them all is probably the fact that they are all full of shit. Let me explain this. I’ve been playing in hc/punk bands for twenty fucking years. Bands where I’ve played are countless and they were are all and still are pretty much DIY. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need anyone to think of me as some old and important scenester, I never cared about that bullshit. But, it also doesn’t give anyone right to treat me like an inferior being just because me and my bands are from Croatia and Serbia and not from some western European country or USA. In last few years, booking the tours started to be a big pain in the ass. And I still talk about DIY tours without some big guarantees and you know, if you decide to do a show for us in your fucking living room, we will come and play. I know that there are a lot of bands touring these days, sometimes few bands from different parts of the world are touring at the same time and want to play the same places etc. I know all of these problems, I did my part of touring and I’m also getting emails from lots of bands from everywhere asking me to help them with shows in Croatia or other ex-Yugoslavian countries. But still, even if you don’t want to do a show for some band (and no one is forcing you to do it), why it’s so hard to say that you can’t do it!?! Why some people are making promises that they will do a show and then few days before the tour (or during the tour) they tell you some lame excuse why there will be no show!?! That is just fucking irresponsible and it is costing bands on tour a lot, not just money wise but it is quite demoralizing when something like that happens just before or during the tour. If you can’t find a one single place for a DIY show in a big European city then don’t fucking do it at all! This scenario didn’t happen to us once or twice. Sadly it became a common thing on every tour that I toured with my bands in last few years. There are even worse assholes that the example I just wrote about. There are active people in DIY hc/punk with some “scene” reputation that just don’t want to help you with a show even though you know they have all the abilities to do it, you know that they are doing shows in some place on a regular basis but somehow when we ask for a show there is always some (false) reason why these important scenesters can’t do a show. I can’t help but feel that if we were some more known hype hc/punk (but still you know so DIY) and if we were from some popular country (you know, those countries where DIY punx are growing on the trees) it would be a totally different and a positive answer. There is something fucking wrong with this picture and we don’t fucking buy your bullshit anymore!
These guys, so dedicated to the cause... of waiting...
Some people from The Truth and Rules did bunch of shows in Serbia and Croatia and helped lots of touring bands with shows and places to stay and I don’t think they ever cared from where these bands are coming from or how trendy they are at the moment in a “mega positive but you know so radical DIY hc/punk scene” (I’m not mocking here those who are really in it for life but those who think they know all the answers and who established themselves as some big scene personalities). But, you know, if you really don’t want us to play your shitty town (for whatever lame reason), it’s OK, there are so many other places, towns, villages, communes and people who are not utter assholes and who will welcome us as normal human beings as we are. And as I’ve said before, we’re not picky either, we’ll play anywhere, your backyard, roof or whatever (and don’t get me start with bands who don’t play in squats anymore) and we will continue to tour and play to destroy any place we come to. Also, this is not some whining but a warning to those who tried to sell us their bullshit lies and to those who thought that we weren’t cool enough to play in their towns, don’t cry when we call you out on your bullshit because we know who you are and we can see through your fucking lies. And it’s not about pretending to have some ideals and wearing them as an etiquette, it’s about having real ideals and sticking to those ideals and not blindly following every new scene trend that pops out every month. And if you are pretending that this problem doesn’t exist and that everything is nice and peachy in the hc/punk these days, kick yourself in the ass and reevaluate your attitude once more.
We don’t fucking buy it!
I am The Snake
A pretty bad photo of Left To Starve, The Truth and 2/3 of Eaglehaslanded dudes near the Kombinat club in Zemun, New Belgrade, Serbia. (Rites of) Spring 2017.