Youth of Today









The Youth of Today Judge Too Quickly

The original title to this outburst was The Youth of Today, but I felt like putting two band names together in chronological order that shared a common member. I think the term they use when someone does that is "fuckin' stupid ass." That is the reason why the title does not really fit with my outburst.

I heard a guy who doesn't even listen to hardcore/punk rock/ska music tell me the other day that Rancid are sell-outs because his "punk rock" friend told him that. This is ridiculous! Rancid are not sell-outs!!! In my opinion a sell-out is someone who changes for the wrong reasons, which doesn't include growing or expanding your music, going back to your roots, or making money doing something you love.

Rancid did not sell-out. When they play they do it out of love, not out of greed. 'And Out Come the Wolves' is not an anthematic hardcore album like the Rancid Self-Titled album, but that does not mean they sold out. When I bought Rancid S/T I didn't take it out of my CD player for a month. When I bought 'And Out Come the Wolves' I listened to it for a day or so and filed it away in the archives until some girl said listen to 'Time Bomb,' it is a ska tune. Sure enough, after pulling it out of the archives and giving it another listen, this time not expecting a great hardcore album, I listened to it and said this is a pretty damn good album. 'And Out Come the Wolves' is going back to Tim and Matt's ska-punk roots. Those roots being Op Ivy. Anyone who says Rancid are sell-outs obviously doesn't know Tim Armstrong's history. Rancid made some money doing something they love and kept Tim alive in the process, and people want to call them sell-outs!!! If a friend of mine is killing himself and I can do something to help save his life, I hope that no one calls me a sell-out. Every day I go to work and hate what I do, but I make enough money to live in Manhattan, go to shows, and drink beer when I want, yet I am the only one calling me a sell-out. Neither I, nor Rancid are role models, therefore, no one should judge how we choose to live our lives. If you do choose to judge someone else, they are not sell-outs if they stand up for what they believe in wholeheartedly, or save a friends live in the process.

A lot of kids are getting into bands like Rancid and H2O now. When I go to shows I hear people saying these kids coming out to shows today with Rancid T-shirts never knew about bands like Reagan Youth, Cro-Mags, Angry Samoans, MDC, Day Glow Abortions or for that matter recent bands like Outcrowd that have ex-members in H2O. Most of the kids today probably listened to Rancid before they listened to Op Ivy, and probably don't know what Rancid and Big Rig have in common. That is all right though. In ten years when I am 36 years old and at a CB's Sunday matinee I will hear some 26 year old kid say, "look at that kid with the 'Popular Band' shirt on, I bet he doesn't even know who the 'Home Wreckers' were." If the kids getting into the hardcore/punk rock/ska scene today don't learn the roots on their own that is O.K. If you know the roots of the music, take the time to tell them. They have got to start somewhere.

I grew up listening to AC-DC, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Neil Young, LL Cool J, and Run DMC. A couple months before I moved to NYC in 1989 I got hold of GWAR's 'Hell-o' album and loved it. This was years before Beavis and Butt-head. When I moved to NYC I dragged some friends to a GWAR Halloween show at the Rapp Art Center and confirmed my love of hardcore/punk rock/ska music.

I missed the whole 80's NYHC scene, but with time I learned the roots, the history, and the music I missed. I also learned every one has a place in their heart for hardcore/punk rock/ska music, it is that just not everyone has found it yet. Bands like Rancid, H2O, and The Bosstones are helping the masses find that love. When you see that kid who doesn't know what the hardcore scene is about, tell him! That was me nine years ago burning for knowledge. A person doesn't need to go to school to learn or be a teacher to teach.

Sudden Death Publications (c) 2003