Video games ate up most of my time as a youngster. I couldn't get into much music, and didn't see the point in obsessing over it - I was getting a much more satisfactory fill from video games. Then one day, while watching a demo of some snowboarding game, I heard a clip of something that grabbed me immediately - it was "Don't Leave Me" by blink. I couldn't get enough of it, and wanted to hear more. I played that clip over and over mainly for the music until I bought a copy of Enema of the State. As I listened to it from start to finish, I thought, 'This is what I wanna listen to, and this is the music I wanna play for the rest of my life.' I was hooked. All the money I saved up went to buying the rest of what I could find by blink - their previous releases, and even some CD singles from the Enema-era; the liner notes also led me to other punk bands as well. While all this was going on, I still had that craving to play guitar; somehow I convinced my aunt to buy me one. After middle school one day, she picked me up and we browsed some pawn shops 'til we came across a decent-looking electric guitar and amp. I came home with 'em and taught myself how to play blink182. Enema was my gateway drug to greater things, my gateway drug to where I am now. I'll always have a softspot for it. Instead of being a music-obsessed punk dork, I could've been a videogame obsessed dork. This stuff saved me from that equally tragic life. Whew. (also, my obsession with blink led me to an early incarnation of this site; after visiting for a while, I finally decided to register, becoming a music-obsessed punk dork lurking a webzine and its forums, along with a cluster of fellow music-obsessed punk geeks on here - yay)
Reading the thankyou section of blink-182 album liner notes (and reading old interviews) led me to Propagandhi. Around the time I finally looked into ‘em, Today’s Empires, Tomorrow’s Ashes was their latest release. It was a day or two after 9/11 and I thought that album title was pretty crazy to see, and I remember killing some time in the local Hastings, reading a few ‘zines , undecided on whether I should buy the CD. Then I came across some reviews for it, all praising the record, so I thought, ‘What the hell? Why not?’ As soon as I got home, I played it and was blown away by what I was hearing and reading. I’ll admit, I was a little freaked out at first because it was all so radical and new to hear, but over time, it made sense to me and I was drawn to it, more so than I thought I’d be. It was through all those Propagandhi records that I developed a political/social consciousness, and was introduced to activists such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Ward Churchill, and bell hooks (amongst others) and movements such as AIM, and from there, over time, developed a serious interest in feminism and Native American issues (amongst other things). So while other teens were out doing teen things, I was staying in reading up on COINTELPRO, Emma Goldman and Native issues, thanks to these Canucks. Heh.
In 2008, after experiencing multiple eargasms from Sink or Swim and The Senor and The Queen EP, I was absolutely excited for Gaslight’s follow-up release, at the same time I was a little unsure on whether or not they’d be able to top those previous records. Then when The ’59 Sound leaked two months in advance, I couldn’t wait – I downloaded the leak, eager to hear what was supposed to be in store in August. And that shit hit me like no other album had in so long, it was like being born again – a musical baptism that revived me. I was hooked instantly within the first few seconds of the first track and it just got better and better as the record moved along. They surpassed my expectations (and killed all previous doubt I had) and all I wanted to do that whole summer was drive around, listening to that album over and over, while telling the whole world about this band and this album. And I did spend the bulk of that summer driving around, listening to it, being moved again and again. And I’m glad the world finally caught onto these guys. They deserve all that good stuff and everyone deserves to hear all the good stuff they create – it’s a win-win situation.