The signs are there, the coming years we’ll see the return of oldschool ethics in the hardcore scene. After the ego centered first decade of the 21st century not only the 90′s hardcore sound is making a comeback due to bands like Incendiary and Foundation, good old scene politics seem to be reappearing as well for better or worse.
Let’s look at some signs of the times:
- We’ve had the controversy surrounding a Dutch former nazi who organised a straight edge fest. Bands finding out about his past. Discussions on Facebook and eventually the cancellation of the fest.
- There was the discussion on Asice.net about a certain band charging 12 euros (no kidding!) for their merch.
- And what about the drummer of Deafhaven who once wore a Hate Forest shirt (a nazi-band) and got shit for it when playing in Germany.
- People who think Defeater shouldn’t play Fluff Fest because they might have a patriotic message.
- One of the recent examples of course is German band Fallbrawl who got dropped by the organisers of a Swedish HC fest because of their new video which features some strippers.
- And Dutch band Karel Anker en de Joden take sides for the fish in the world in their song against Pescetarianism called Kapitein Iglo (Moordenaar) which translates as Captain Iglo (Murderer).
Now let’s try and predict where this is going.
It shouldn’t be too long before a new religion tries to break some ground in the hardcore scene, reaching for troubled teenagers who are searching for their identity. Maybe Ray Cappo will do a new band centered around a yoga/zen kind of thing or all those bad Christian metalcore bands will once again start spreading the Gospel on small shows? Or will the 21st century see hardcore bands founded upon their beliefs in Allah taking over?
Facebook will be the main center of new anti-actions. Scene girls will rally against American Apparel and other fashion brands. Bands will boycott shirt manufacturers who still produce in third world sweatshops. Kids will stop wearing Vans because no matter how cool they are, they’re not all vegan.
For a real return of hardcore ethics there should also be a really militant faction. Since hardline and those straight edge gangs in Utah are from the past it’s time for a new group of eco warriors to claim their part in hardcore history. An anti-nuclear plants group could do well in Japan, but they have first to decide if they’re continuing to kill whales or not.
As for Europe, hardcore activists should fare well on this continent. Maybe the Belgian scene will get caught by the virus of separatism that’s spreading amongst a part of its inhabitants. The Dutch of course have their own Reagan in Rutte. Greece, Spain and Italy have a large youth unemployment rate which basically means there’s a whole generation with enough time on their hands to steal some instruments, squat a place and start rehearsing.
If there ever is the ‘right’ time to bring ethics back in hardcore I’d say it’s now. So bring your wooden crate to a show and start a discussion.