Even at 43 years old, and having got into a plethora of other things and taken on a lifetime of influences, I still consider myself a hardcore kid at heart. It gave me independence at a really young age - going to shows at 13/14, travelling the country by coach at 15, networking with other kids, then leaving home at 16 - promoting shows, forming bands, putting out records, booking tours and so on. And I think that's how it was for every kid - you had to get involved, it fosters engagement. There's not much difference I don't think between the hardcore kids in Britain in the 80s and all the UK youth cultures that proceeding them: we were consuming imported records, imported clothes and then using that as a springboard to starting bands and creating our own scene: no different to the blues kids 30 years previous or the mods the next decade. I was stoked to see hardcore kids on the pages of The Bag I'm In with all the other British youth tribes - felt like a validation.
In a roundabout way, I became the singer for [Norwegian rock & roll band] Turbonegro through hardcore. The chaps in the band are the same age, and grew up with the same influences - music, skating and so on, despite them being in Norway. I first heard them in the mid 90s; a very studious time culturally - ‘post hardcore’ was all the rage - every record came housed in brown paper with wordy song titles and hand stamped fonts, everyone was listening to jazz and furrowing their brow. Turbo just came through like the party wreckers - too dumb to be smart and too smart to be dumb. I felt a lot of kinship. Once we met when they reformed the first time in the early 00s, they became good friends and I ended up working with them as their UK press officer. We stayed in touch, and somehow it seemed like a good idea for me to try out for their re-resurrection. That was about five years ago now.