Guilty of being misquoted: Confessions of a "Straight Edge Dude"

Recently, an article was posted that portrayed both myself and the record label I own, No Sleep Records, in a very poor way. This was due to a miscommunication/misunderstanding from the writer as to what the piece would be about. On top of that, the article was edited poorly and contained numerous errors due to a lack of factchecking. From what I understood, the article was to be a list of 10 straight-edge bands that I personally enjoyed. Since I was putting together a personal list in essentially random order, I decided to pick bands outside of what you'd see on a cliche “Best Of” list. The bands in question were:

1. Minor Threat
2. Refused
3. Throwdown
4. Good Clean Fun
5. I Hate You
6. Have Heart
7. Champion
8. Prayer For Cleansing
10. xFIlesx

I'm nearly 29, but like many of my friends and contemporaries, I didn't get really into music until my teenage years. Because of that I was unfortunately not a participant in the “heyday” of the ’80s/early-’90s straight-edge hardcore movement, even though that music has played a huge role in my life as I identify as vegan and straight edge. With that in mind, I decided to pick bands who either had an impact on me while I was growing up or bands who put out albums that I enjoyed with members that were straight edge. Again, I was under the impression that the list I was putting together was a personal list and not a “Best Of” list. When the article was posted, it was clear to me the writer hadn't been properly conveyed the content to me as the title was “Top 10 Straight Edge Bands of All Time, According to a Straight Edge Dude” —clearly, only one of the bands I had listed, Minor Threat, would ever be associated with a “Top 10 of All Time” list.

A true “Top 10 All-Time Straight-Edge Bands” list would be, in my opinion:

1. Minor Threat
2. Judge
3. Gorilla Biscuits
4. Youth of Today
5. Earth Crisis
6.. No For An Answer
7. Chain Of Strength
8. Mouthpiece
9. Unbroken
10. Bold

All of these bands in my opinion were the building blocks for what would become the straight-edge movement that exists today. Every band in this list i have listened to countless times; i have seen the majority of them play (whether on tour or at a reunion show); I have released music from members of these bands on No Sleep Records; and I have even done some work for a few of these bands in my graphic design career.

On top of the article being not what we thought it was going to be, there were countless misquotes, grammatical errors, absolutely no factchecking nor editing done to the feature when it was posted, which in return has caused lots of negative feedback for both the label and myself. While I understand the criticism against the article, it's sad that an article that is clearly sloppily done on all accounts can cause such a “bullying” effect towards someone, when upon reading it, you can tell that something just isn't right.

The reason I bring this up is this is something that happens countless times with the “press” for our bands as well as our friends' bands and labels. When you are doing an interview with someone, whether on the phone or in person, you trust that the person on the other end will put the piece together in a proper form, in the correct context and do their proper factchecking along the way. Sadly, the majority of the time this is not done properly and can paint the subject of the article in a very poor light simply because the writer didn't do their job.

This purpose of this blog post is not to slander a publication or gain back “scene points” (if that's even still a term), but to make you aware that we are all real people, not just talking heads or “band dudes” and “label dudes” like the press will sometimes portray us as. Do not trust in everything you read; if something seems weird or it may read as a joke, trust in the fact that the piece in question is likely not a proper representation of the person/company in question. (Of course, five percent of the time, the interview subject in question just sucks.)

Thank you for your consideration.