Hiya Weber! Tell me a bit about yourself, who are you? How old? Where do you live and any other fascinating details about your life you may want to share!
I’m just a hardcore kid who wants to see the world and live my life the way I want to, not the way anyone else expects me to. I’m 29 years old and live in Melbourne and all I do is tour with my friend’s bands around the world and live life.
How many years strong I guess would be a great way to start and how’s your edge of late?
I’ve been straightedge since October 1997, so I guess I’m coming up on 12 years edge which I’m really proud of because there’s only a handful of my friends that were straightedge then that are still now. My edge is still strong and is something Ill always hold dear, as it has shaped me into the person I’m happy to be rather than one that escapes their problems or reality of life with mind-altering substances.
Have you always been interested in graphic design and the idea of selling clothing etc?
Not really, I always did graphic design and art at school but wasn’t something I wanted to pursue. About a year ago I was touring a lot but wanted something to fill in my time when I was home so I had a few ideas for some shirts and sent them to my friend who is really good with graphics. He came up with a few designs and I got them printed and people liked them, so I just kept printing more and the label kept selling.
So tell me about the concept with Trust Comes Tough, I guess the name is easy for kids to interpret but what doe’s it mean to you and why that particular statement?
I actually stole it from a song by an old straightedge band called The Promise, the line was “honour isn’t cheap and trust comes tough”. I liked it because over the years I’ve seen so many people claim straightedge and 2 years later are drinking and smoking weed. In the early days I always had faith and trust in people that first claimed edge, but these days I have realised until someone has been solid for sometime I don’t put all my faith in them, I support them but keep in mind that things change and people can be very easily influenced. It’s also just common sense to not trust anyone until you know them!
We all know kids come and go within the hardcore scene. But its one of those re-occurring issues in the straight edge scene, the whole concept is for life, true until death and more often than not we here about kids who fall, what are you opinions on:
a) The for life concept
Is the difference between calling yourself straightedge and just being drug free, if you don’t think it’s a lifetime commitment for you then don’t claim it.
It bums me out but it happens and I’m not going to not be friends with someone anymore just because they decided to drink again. It does suck because over the years of someone being sober you get to know them as that person and sometimes when they go back to drinking they change and you cant spend time with them as the person you know them as, but if they still respect you and what you do then I think there’s no reason to severe a friendship. That said I definitely don’t condone breaking and if you think your not going to make the commitment then your better off saving yourself the embarrassment and just not using the label.
c) Negativity surrounding what should effectively be a positive movement, kids always seem intent on giving straight edge kids a rough time when they first start out, I guess that’s more like an initiation to test there reserve but shouldn’t people be happy for a kid that has decided to abstain and devote themselves to the X?
I agree, I think everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt and shouldn’t be hassled for claiming straightedge, but like I said before just don’t throw all your trust out there right away. Its much better a kid gets into living drug free early and hopefully it sticks with them, if it doesn’t then at least for a few years of their life they gave their body a rest from all the crap society tries to shove down our throats.
I see you gave a justification for why you sell you shirts and about how kids have accused you of making money off of straight edge, fucking numpties, wouldn’t be f’in complaining if you were the only person doing this would they?…Anyway aside from the killer designs and that you obviously have your heart in the right place I think its great and I also think there are far to many kids that bitch and don’t do a god-dam thing to help the hardcore scene it is always about getting involved whether by running labels, selling shirts, providing bands with a place to crash or running a website. What sorts of things can kids do to help there local hardcore scene grow?
It’s always the case, there is always kids who will nit pick at what you do. I don’t really care what people say though. I have been involved in this scene for longer than most of the people regularly going to shows today, so I’ve done my time and know where my heart lies.
As far as getting involved I think kids should research the bands that really made a difference in hardcore, understand the roots of it and that’s its not all about a dress code, mosh move or hairstyle and do a band, record label or promote shows. It’s not hard.
Has TCT been a good experience for you and how would you like to see it develop?
I love doing it and more so than trying to make cash off it I just love seeing people wearing it. I do this because I want to promote a drug free lifestyle. Even if your not straightedge, drugs are dumb and do nothing but ruin your life, if not right away, they will eventually. I just want kids to be able to feel proud of being drug free and feel like they are a part of something that’s positive.
What’s great about the Australian hardcore scene at the moment? Who are the bands and labels that are carving out a name? Have you travelled outside of Australia and checked out any shows? If so how do the scenes compare?
There are definitely few good bands around at the moment. Parkway Drive of course, Carpathian, In Trenches, The War, Cry Murder, Confession etc and obviously a lot more. Plenty of people going to shows and there is a lot of buzz out there and a craving for heavy hardcore bands, but I still feel that not enough kids understand where hardcore came from and what it really means. In Australia the scene is predominantly younger people, which is fine, but most think hardcore is just heavy music with mosh parts, but in fact it is much more than that. It is a lifestyle, a community for people who feel like they don’t fit into society. I know things are different these days, but to me I always feel like I should walk out of a hardcore show inspired or having learnt something.
I have travelled a lot; I’ve been all over Europe, the UK, the US, Canada and a few other places. I am just about to go to Japan and China with Parkway Drive and I have toured Australia countless times. Scenes are much the same everywhere. I think depending on the bands playing depends on the age of their fan-base and vibe of their shows. It’s great though to be involved in something like this and be able to go to the other side of the world and meet people just like you.
What sorts of things are you interested in outside of hardcore? Are you studying or do you work full time? What do you do to relax?
My whole life pretty much revolves around touring and music, I haven’t had a job in a year or so as I’m just too busy to hold one down, but I class what I do as a job, its just different to what “normal” people do I guess. I really want to study either a counselling course to help young offenders or kids that are self destructive as well as a photography course. I guess it sounds weird but I really enjoy scenic photos.
What are you planning for 2009 and did it start off well?
I have toured and have the first 6 months of this year booked with worldwide travelling, I can’t Wait!
Hopes for the future and any final thoughts you want to share?
Just to be happy and always aim to live life on my own terms.
Thank you & take care