Jon Bunch (Sense Field, Further Seems Forever) and Brad Lehmann (Maylene & The Sons of Disaster) joined forces this year to form War Generation, who will see their debut album Start Somewhere Never Surrender released tomorrow, September 3, via Rise Records.
Bunch wrote the following track by track to help get you more familiar with the upcoming album.
“Do It Yourself”
I’ve yet to meet anyone who likes to be told what to do, except for maybe my friends that have joined the Army or that have gone to prison. I am also conscious of the fact that telling anyone what to do in a song can be considered pretentious, which certainly isn’t my intention. With that being said, I was thinking of what the DIY ethic means to me, and how it helps me in my everyday life. When I feel immobilized, helpless, useless or hopeless and I can’t seem to do anything right, I say to myself, “Fuck it, you’ve got to try even if you look like a dumbass and fail.” Live and learn. Unless it’s Lemmy or Joe Strummer (RIP), you shouldn’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Building the courage to do things yourself is cool. Making things happen rules. Waiting blows. Create as much as you can with what little you have. Always try. Do it now.
Back in ‘83 my friends and I thought “Rise Above” from Black flag was an anthem written for us. We believed in it. “Rise Above” taught me that being a punk-rock kid did not give me the license to be an asshole. Violence at shows ruined many a good time. Anyone who says violence is what’s missing from today’s punk rock is a dummy and most likely wouldn’t have lasted a day back then. In a lot of ways punk rock helped, but also hurt a lot of kids. Most kids made it through, many didn’t. For a lot of us, it was all we had.
Let’s talk about hard drugs, shall we? The good Lord knows I’ve done my fair share. Sometimes to mask the ugliness I felt inside, sometimes to cut loose and try to feel better. Either way, I can’t recall a time they ever did me any good. At one point when I was doing hard drugs by myself, I realized I was no longer partying, and partying happens to be my favorite thing in the world. So there came a time when I had to reevaluate my approach to the art of total self- annihilation. Like Richard Ashcroft sang, “The drugs don’t work, they just make it worse.”
This was written to remind you that our voice matters. When I say, “This war isn’t over,” it is to remind us to keep fighting for what we believe in. Life goes by fast. The things we say and do matter. The love we give will come back to us. It’s cool to speak your mind from your heart. Doing evil shit to people is weak. Hating on people is lame. Showing love to people is bomb. Do it as much as you can before you die.
I wake up battling dark thoughts and negative shit. I want my friends and family to be happy and healthy. I want that for myself, too. Sometimes you’ve got to fight for that shit though. It’s a mental battle. I’ve got to dig down deep to find happiness and strength. We all have it in us. Every day is a new day to try. Every moment is a new moment to start.
This song is written as a thank-you to all the hardcore punk bands I grew up listening to. I love and appreciate what they’ve done so much. The people and music from that time helped me through some serious dark times. Back in the early ‘80s most people hated punk rock and thought it was mindless garbage. We got a lot of shit for listening to it. People tend to be afraid of what they don’t understand, and most people didn’t understand that the hardcore punk community had and still has some of the smartest, most creative and most loving people in the world. I learned the importance of thoughtfulness, empathy, caring and love through its music.
This is a song about judging people. We are all people of power. No one is any more or any less important than anyone else. In my experience, the more I judge or hate on people, the more I become just like them. It seems to me to be the result of some natural law to teach us how to become more understanding of each other. Either way, as long as we have a heart to feel, a mind to think and air in our lungs, we can still give some light back to the world.
“Scratch To Survive”
If you’re in a band and need some really good back-up vocal ideas, listen to Misfits and Naked Raygun. When I was 16-17 singing in my hardcore band Reason To Believe, I admit that I lifted as much as I could from them vocally, especially the back-up vocals. This is an attempt to write a Naked Raygun tune. It is a shout out to all old-school hardcore trying as hard as they can to build lives for themselves and their families.
“Done And Gone”
They say you can’t run from your problems. It’s certainly possible to weed out the things that are bringing you down, but sometimes that isn’t easy. This song is about moving on from the things in life that are bringing you down.
This song is about the battles we all face in everyday life. We all want our lives to be meaningful. Everyone has to overcome obstacles and the battles seem never ending. Sometimes, it’s hard to find strength and to keep fighting. This is the only life we’ve got. Keep battling.