If you don’t believe in yourself, who the hell will?

A Q&A with Brian Peterson author of Burning Fight: The Nineties Hardcore Revolution in Ethics, Politics, Spirit, and Sound

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A few years back one of my dear friends, Brian Peterson, put together one of the most important books written that explores and documents the ‘90s hardcore music community. For those of you unfamiliar with the book, it features “commentary from approximately 150 people involved in the nineties hardcore scene as well as oral history articles about straight edge, politics, vegetarianism and interviews with a variety of influential bands” including Avail, Burn, 108, Inside Out, Integrity, Los Crudos, Spitboy, Strife, Texas Is The Reason, and many more. When I was looking through my interview archives this morning, I came across the below, never-before-published mini-interview I did with Brian and thought I’d share it with y’all.

Read the INTERVIEW here.

Screeching Weasel’s Ben Weasel on: Spirituality, Johnny Ramone & Punk Rock Nostalgia Acts

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For my project I spoke to Ben twice, the conversations a few years apart. The first time we spoke was in the early 2000s (so please keep that in mind when reading; people do grow, evolve and change their mind on things) and Ben was a practising Buddhist. By the time we spoke again, he had found a home in Catholicism.

Here’s the first conversation where he talks about all kinds of things like meditation, ego, Johnny Ramone, songwriting, punk rock nostalgia acts, the perils of fame – sharing an instance involving Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, of getting spiritual advice from Operation Ivy’s Jesse Michaels and of good people in punk rock such as Adam Pfahler of Jawbreaker plus why Australia scares him, if there’s a connection between punk and spirituality and, a whole lot more!

Read the full INTERVIEW here.

Another band Conversations With Punx loves!! Peter Pants! (peep the interview/listen to PP! Click link below)
Los Angeles’ Peter Pants: Kicked Out of Bars, David Liebe Hart, Riot Grrrl & AC/DC Love

Another band Conversations With Punx loves!! Peter Pants! (peep the interview/listen to PP! Click link below)

Los Angeles’ Peter Pants: Kicked Out of Bars, David Liebe Hart, Riot Grrrl & AC/DC Love

Conversations With Punx loves WAX WITCHES!

MY NAME IS ALEX WALL and I make music that you might call Brat Punk. I first came to music when I got the Men In Black Soundtrack, that’s when I started liking music. I like the music of Black Flag ’cause it’s energetic raw punk and Thee Oh Sees ’cause they are pretty much the best live band around at the moment.

continued here…/listen to Wax Witches too! :)

Conversations With Punx loves WAX WITCHES!

MY NAME IS ALEX WALL and I make music that you might call Brat Punk. I first came to music when I got the Men In Black Soundtrack, that’s when I started liking music. I like the music of Black Flag ’cause it’s energetic raw punk and Thee Oh Sees ’cause they are pretty much the best live band around at the moment.

continued here…/listen to Wax Witches too! :)

In celebration of love, here are some thoughts on the subject from punk rockers I’ve chatted to over the years (mostly) taken from my
Conversations With Punx project.

“Maintaining a healthy self-image and really loving yourself is something that’s really important to me. People let life get to them too much and they get beaten down by it. They become cynical and jaded. It’s really important for me not to become like that. When I look back and say I want to love myself, it’s not because I’m running from my past, it’s because I’m learning to accept who I am with flaws. It is really hard to do sometimes in life if you weren’t raised that way. I wasn’t raised to speak up about anything or express anything that was upsetting. It was a quiet inner life. Feeling that my life is big and that I love it, is a big accomplishment.” Exene Cervenka, X
“Happiness is freedom. To be free in this life is very hard. You get moments of happiness. When you feel a triumph, that’s happiness and when you have the purity that’s around a little child and that mother-child unconditional love, that’s happiness.” Ari Up, The Slits
“It [love] is real important. It’s one of those things kind of like religion in a way: it fuels you when you don’t have it and it fuels you when you do have it. It’s a really cool thing. I’ve always just been built that way. I’ve always enjoyed having that connection with someone. It’s important to me as a person and the type of person that I am. I really enjoy having someone to pour all of my energies and emotion into. It’s awesome to have the respect from someone else and to have the respect in someone else.” Matt Caughthran, The Bronx
“I always wanted to have that feeling back of being a wide eyed kid looking at the trees, the sky or my mother. It sounds simple but it’s not. Part of the whole quest is to find a place within you that is comfortable and acknowledge that everything is connected. Whatever you feel that brings you closer to that place of pure love or consciousness, that’s what it’s about.” Robert Ehrenbrand, Boysetsfire
“I’m not going to get into all the hippie dippy shit but I love the animals and nature. My house – where I’ve moved from – if you walk out the door and turn right you go towards all the bars where all the bands play. Everyone jokes, “Tim always turns left towards the river. When everyone else goes out to go to shows he’s got a twelve pack of beer and is headed to the river.” [Laughs] That’s where I fall asleep.” Tim Barry, Avail
For more: Conversations With Bianca
Art by Jhonny Russell

In celebration of love, here are some thoughts on the subject from punk rockers I’ve chatted to over the years (mostly) taken from my

Conversations With Punx project.

“Maintaining a healthy self-image and really loving yourself is something that’s really important to me. People let life get to them too much and they get beaten down by it. They become cynical and jaded. It’s really important for me not to become like that. When I look back and say I want to love myself, it’s not because I’m running from my past, it’s because I’m learning to accept who I am with flaws. It is really hard to do sometimes in life if you weren’t raised that way. I wasn’t raised to speak up about anything or express anything that was upsetting. It was a quiet inner life. Feeling that my life is big and that I love it, is a big accomplishment.” Exene Cervenka, X

“Happiness is freedom. To be free in this life is very hard. You get moments of happiness. When you feel a triumph, that’s happiness and when you have the purity that’s around a little child and that mother-child unconditional love, that’s happiness.” Ari Up, The Slits

“It [love] is real important. It’s one of those things kind of like religion in a way: it fuels you when you don’t have it and it fuels you when you do have it. It’s a really cool thing. I’ve always just been built that way. I’ve always enjoyed having that connection with someone. It’s important to me as a person and the type of person that I am. I really enjoy having someone to pour all of my energies and emotion into. It’s awesome to have the respect from someone else and to have the respect in someone else.” Matt Caughthran, The Bronx

“I always wanted to have that feeling back of being a wide eyed kid looking at the trees, the sky or my mother. It sounds simple but it’s not. Part of the whole quest is to find a place within you that is comfortable and acknowledge that everything is connected. Whatever you feel that brings you closer to that place of pure love or consciousness, that’s what it’s about.” Robert Ehrenbrand, Boysetsfire

“I’m not going to get into all the hippie dippy shit but I love the animals and nature. My house – where I’ve moved from – if you walk out the door and turn right you go towards all the bars where all the bands play. Everyone jokes, “Tim always turns left towards the river. When everyone else goes out to go to shows he’s got a twelve pack of beer and is headed to the river.” [Laughs] That’s where I fall asleep.” Tim Barry, Avail

For more: Conversations With Bianca

Art by Jhonny Russell

Conversations With Punx #7 ‘Gratitude’ preview:

BRAD WARNER: When someone asked the guitarist from The Cramps – Poison Ivy – if she had some advice for girls wanting to play the guitar she said: Give up, don’t even try. That comes to mind. There are things in the so-called spiritual world and religion that are worthwhile. You shouldn’t just reject everything straightaway just because it seems religious. It’s more to the point of just staying true to you. A lot of the problem is that people just fall into the same patterns, like how the punk rock way of dressing became just a uniform in the same way that everybody else has to have Louis Vuitton bags or whatever the trend is. When everyone in the punk scene has to have a leather jacket, exactly the right leather jacket, it kind of loses its meaning at that point.

Brad photo by Svetlana Dekic.
For more info go to: Conversations With Bianca

Conversations With Punx #7 ‘Gratitude’ preview:

BRAD WARNER: When someone asked the guitarist from The Cramps – Poison Ivy – if she had some advice for girls wanting to play the guitar she said: Give up, don’t even try. That comes to mind. There are things in the so-called spiritual world and religion that are worthwhile. You shouldn’t just reject everything straightaway just because it seems religious. It’s more to the point of just staying true to you. A lot of the problem is that people just fall into the same patterns, like how the punk rock way of dressing became just a uniform in the same way that everybody else has to have Louis Vuitton bags or whatever the trend is. When everyone in the punk scene has to have a leather jacket, exactly the right leather jacket, it kind of loses its meaning at that point.

Brad photo by Svetlana Dekic.

For more info go to: Conversations With Bianca

Conversations With Punx #7 ‘Gratitude’ preview:

BEN WEASEL: …I had a little revelation when I came home from Baltimore and I knew a door was closing. I knew that it didn’t have anything to do with me in a sense. For years I sat around and had these ideas, almost these revenge fantasies about how I leave music and I’ll make a big announcement and I’ll walk off into the sunset and tell everyone to fuck off! That is like my happiest fantasy [laughs]. That’s not what this was though; a door was closing and one of the things I realised is that, even though this part of my life is pretty much over, it’s not necessarily completely over. I don’t have to close the door completely. I don’t have to go anywhere. I can continue to work with and ideally mentor young bands, which I enjoy doing, and if one day an opportunity comes up to play a set, I’ll go do that. If an opportunity comes up and I can tape some of my songs I have, then sure, assuming I have the time. It’s not a matter of leaving it behind, it’s about leaving behind my attachments to all that. You don’t have to leave music or the scene behind you just leave your attachments to it. Once you do that ironically, you’ll enjoy it more.

Ben photo by Marc Gartner.
For more info go to: Conversations With Bianca

Conversations With Punx #7 ‘Gratitude’ preview:

BEN WEASEL: …I had a little revelation when I came home from Baltimore and I knew a door was closing. I knew that it didn’t have anything to do with me in a sense. For years I sat around and had these ideas, almost these revenge fantasies about how I leave music and I’ll make a big announcement and I’ll walk off into the sunset and tell everyone to fuck off! That is like my happiest fantasy [laughs]. That’s not what this was though; a door was closing and one of the things I realised is that, even though this part of my life is pretty much over, it’s not necessarily completely over. I don’t have to close the door completely. I don’t have to go anywhere. I can continue to work with and ideally mentor young bands, which I enjoy doing, and if one day an opportunity comes up to play a set, I’ll go do that. If an opportunity comes up and I can tape some of my songs I have, then sure, assuming I have the time. It’s not a matter of leaving it behind, it’s about leaving behind my attachments to all that. You don’t have to leave music or the scene behind you just leave your attachments to it. Once you do that ironically, you’ll enjoy it more.

Ben photo by Marc Gartner.

For more info go to: Conversations With Bianca

Conversations With Punx #7 ‘Gratitude’ preview:
DUANE PETERS: …Religion is all about fear. Spirituality is all about yourself and tapping into something else that’s bigger than you that’s maybe running the show. Maybe not just one thing but an element of things—you can tap into good shit or you can tap into negative shit.
The word ‘spirituality’ only makes me think ‘hippie’ because of the way I was bought up. In the early punk rock days it was against the law to be spiritual so you never did it. You ran off fear, ego and through battling this that and the other and not dying. You came to the conclusion—if your brain is still working by the time you get to the conclusion—that maybe something else is running the show. Maybe I can tap into some of that. Maybe it’ll help me lighten up. Maybe it’ll help me find something. Maybe it will help me get out of this fear running the show and ego.
COREY PARKS: I’m about nine years off from Duane. He’s a ‘Kennedy era’ kid and I’m more of a Baptist upbringing, the Rapture and a lot of hell, fire and damnation, the devil.
DP: My grandpa was a Baptist minister. There’s all this heavy religion on one side of my family and the other side are cool.
CP: I was born and raised in Southern California in the 70s. My parents were hippies and the only church my mum took us to was self-realisation fellowship, meditation class and the whole concept of there being a power greater than myself. It’s a little bit closer to what I’ve come to believe as an adult. It was a real positive thing. ‘Spirituality’ was a word that I always associated with God not religion that was always too scary and weird to me… like the Revelation, that was all such weird science fiction.
For more info go to: Conversations With Bianca

Conversations With Punx #7 ‘Gratitude’ preview:

DUANE PETERS: …Religion is all about fear. Spirituality is all about yourself and tapping into something else that’s bigger than you that’s maybe running the show. Maybe not just one thing but an element of things—you can tap into good shit or you can tap into negative shit.

The word ‘spirituality’ only makes me think ‘hippie’ because of the way I was bought up. In the early punk rock days it was against the law to be spiritual so you never did it. You ran off fear, ego and through battling this that and the other and not dying. You came to the conclusion—if your brain is still working by the time you get to the conclusion—that maybe something else is running the show. Maybe I can tap into some of that. Maybe it’ll help me lighten up. Maybe it’ll help me find something. Maybe it will help me get out of this fear running the show and ego.

COREY PARKS: I’m about nine years off from Duane. He’s a ‘Kennedy era’ kid and I’m more of a Baptist upbringing, the Rapture and a lot of hell, fire and damnation, the devil.

DP: My grandpa was a Baptist minister. There’s all this heavy religion on one side of my family and the other side are cool.

CP: I was born and raised in Southern California in the 70s. My parents were hippies and the only church my mum took us to was self-realisation fellowship, meditation class and the whole concept of there being a power greater than myself. It’s a little bit closer to what I’ve come to believe as an adult. It was a real positive thing. ‘Spirituality’ was a word that I always associated with God not religion that was always too scary and weird to me… like the Revelation, that was all such weird science fiction.

For more info go to: Conversations With Bianca

Conversations With Punx #7 is done!! 
The issue features: Duane Peters & Corey Parks, Franklin Rhi, Ben Weasel, Russ Rankin, Brad Warner and Lord Ezec (snippets from the chats below). CWP #7 comes in a variety of (200gsm cardboard) covers including purple, blue and green, featuring heart cut-outs in its design and a decorative lace feature. I’ve also handwritten the introduction in every single zine! 
For more info go to: Conversations With Bianca

Conversations With Punx #7 is done!! 

The issue features: Duane Peters & Corey Parks, Franklin Rhi, Ben Weasel, Russ Rankin, Brad Warner and Lord Ezec (snippets from the chats below). CWP #7 comes in a variety of (200gsm cardboard) covers including purple, blue and green, featuring heart cut-outs in its design and a decorative lace feature. I’ve also handwritten the introduction in every single zine! 

For more info go to: Conversations With Bianca