conversations with bianca

Punks On Love

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

“Music symbolizes happiness. It’s not happiness inherently. When something moves you it is a simile and it says: this is what joy is like, this is what love is like and all these great things—where you’re moved to the point where you can barely contain yourself and you just want to hug yourself.” Ben Weasel, Screeching Weasel/The Riverdales

“Spirituality and love go hand in hand. It’s the same thing to me. Love is the foundation of all life. If we didn’t have that attraction and feeling, I don’t think there’d be anything.” Craig Fairbaugh, Mercy Killers

“Love god, love people, live in the moment and leave nothing behind.” Dan Jones, Ante Up/God So Loved The World

“Love. That’s something I forever and forever crave for. I am so a junkie for that. Music too. I get a natural high sometimes just hanging out, being around people and people smiling and having fun.” Efrem Schulz, Death By Stereo

“I don’t require my children to prove that they love me. I believe they do and it doesn’t really matter to the rest of the world whether they do or not. I am very motivated to do things that continue to nurture their love for me and I don’t expect anything from them—it is unconditional love. This is one example of something that doesn’t require science. It is faith and it applies to family and friends and interpersonal relationships in general. You could study it and theorize about it scientifically, but I think that is a fruitless pursuit of science because loving relationships come in such a variety that it is almost impossible to measure meaningfully.” Greg Graffin, Bad Religion

“Trust yourself. Whatever you’re doing, whatever you want to do, there comes a time when you have to ask yourself, why am I doing this? When you get to that point you have to do it for yourself, money, ambition and aspirations aside. You have to do it for the love of doing it. It’s where I am right now and I’m going to do my best.” Jason Cruz, Strung Out

“I believe that human love is a whole hell of a lot more important to spiritual development than I gave it credit for while I was living a monk-oriented lifestyle. Without human love, including romantic and erotic love – I notice that a lot of seekers tend to become obsessed with thoughts and words and ideas and become dried up a bit, wrinkled and twisted a bit.” Vic DiCara, 108

“Until you learn to love God you’re not going to be truly able to love other people. The ultimate reality is you learn to love God then you see God inside everybody else’s heart. Once you realise that we’re all coming from the same place you can truly have compassion for other people and try to help them.” Porcell, Shelter/Youth of Today

“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

“It [love] is really important. When it’s there you can take it for granted easily but you really, really notice when it’s not there, once you’ve had love and it’s not there. When you’ve experienced something so deep and special and then the thought of it being gone kills you, I think that… it’s easier if you haven’t really felt that for somebody. For me, I have that. I’m married and I’m very happy and I couldn’t imagine not being with her. Before I met her I had no idea.” Mike Herrera, MxPx/Tumbledown

“I’m equally inspired by love and boredom and I’ve been a dramatic person all my life.” Brontez Purnell, The Younger Lovers

“Oh love is everything, it’s the motivating force. To me it means embracing fearlessness. The most important part of it, is knowing that it’s not about really being scared of what you might lose or what you’re almost on the verge of having; it’s this fearless acceptance of this is where I am and I’m really enjoying this moment or I’m not enjoying this moment but I’m here.” Lisa Kekaula, The Bellrays

Dedicated to the best person I’ve ever known:

I hope your day is filled with LOVE!

*Art: Jhonny Russell


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