What Punk Rock Means To Me

punk rockThe more I saturate myself in punk rock the more I love it, man. It’s definitely one of my favourite genres of rock music, and it has pulled me through so much stuff.

The first punk rock band I ever loved was Good Charlotte. I was entranced by the F-You attitude and the eyeliner, and it was a breath of fresh air compared with the droning slop that’s often played on the radio. Then came my beloved Greenday and the American Idiot album that I could probably quote backwards if I had to, I know that album better than the back of my own hand, and it completely blew me away. And again, I fell more and more in love with punk anarchy. It opened so many doors for me because next came the Ramones, the Distillers, Billy Idol, the Misfits, Aiden, AFI, the Sex Pistols, Yellowcard, the Offspring, and so, so many other amazing bands that just turned my life around.

Punk rock is definitely one of the more passionate genres, because the music speaks directly to and for the listener; it’s your shrink, your best friend, your backbone, and your essence, it’s a way of life. Punk rock is a big screw you to the Man, to anyone telling you how you “should” dress, walk, talk and what you should do and believe in. It’s a stand against human oppression, it’s the purest form of expression, and a cry for liberation from restraining bonds, be they physical or mental.

Are there any real punk rockers left today? Of course! We don’t all sport Mohawks or have two dozen piercings, but we carry the torch in our hearts and minds, and we hold onto its meaning. We’re the ones that don’t quite fit in with the majority, but in the words of Greenday “I wanna be the minority, down with the moral majority.

Recently, I said goodbye to Aiden, one of my favourite punk bands of our generation, and Wil Francis posted a statement online that I thought was just super apt for what I’m trying to get across, and I’d like to share a piece of that with you:

To all the Aiden fans around the world, thank you. Thank you for listening. Thank you for connecting. Thank you for supporting this band and all it’s ups and downs throughout the years.

I said this on stage but feel the need to reiterate it on the page.

Aiden is not its members. It’s not a band or a label, or an entity anymore. Aiden is an idea. It’s an action, a revolution for a broken soul. It’s a reflection of who we are/were/will become in the future. From disenfranchised youth to the leaders of the next generation. I wrote these lyrics and songs for those who might be suffering, for those who may feel the twinge of neglect or abandonment. I wrote it for people struggling in the chains of addiction or under the threat of violence. I write to comfort those in need the same way music comforted me when I was in the midst of a turbulent and heartbreaking adolescence. Music saved my life the same way Aiden may have saved some of yours. So I give these songs to you to keep forever, to pack with you on your journey through this life. To share with your grandkids when you get old for a laugh. Or to keep locked away in your memory forever. Take it. Use it. Do with it as you please. It no longer belongs to me and it’s my pleasure to have provided a number of you with enjoyment over the years.

Punk rock has always meant so much to me. When I attended my first show I thought to myself Finally, a place that I fit in. It didn’t matter what religion I belonged to, or what color my skin was. No one cared that I was from a lower class neighborhood, or what kind of shoes I wore. They didn’t care if I liked sports or belonged to the choir at school. They didn’t care I had a Nirvana shirt on. Those kids welcomed me with open arms and raised fists. We were one, sweaty and screaming.

And I never looked back.

It was always my intention with Aiden to make you feel like you belonged, and to some degree I feel as if I succeeded in that endeavor and had a lot of fun in the process. So thank you all for coming along for the ride.

Well said, Sir.

So that’s what punk rock means to me. It’s not something you can outgrow or leave behind, and when you love it, it’s as much a part of you as the blood pumping through your veins.

It’s a way of life.

About Amanda Winchester

Animal Lover, Artist, Author, Eco Warrior
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