Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Interview with Punk Anthology Writer Jessica Williams

Jessica Williams is a twenty-six-year-old punk from Rock Springs, Wyoming. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism at the University of Nevada and currently works at Big Boss Productions. Read her essay, "Punk Rock Girl in a Redneck Town," in the anthology, Punk Rock Saved My Ass, available April, 2010.

How do you personally define punk?
Punk is an attitude. It isn’t about how you dress, or what you listen to, it is how you act and how you are perceived by the world.

What is NOT punk?
Punk is not about selling out. When I see these bands that claim to be punk rock, yet they are on the radio or MTV, and even my mom knows about them … they are not punk. Punk rock is about being anti-establishment, doing what you want, when you want, and not caring who you hurt in the process, even if it is yourself. It isn’t about doing things to make people like you, or even to make money off of it. Punk rock is NOT tight pants, and Misfits t-shirts. It is NOT Green Day, Avril Lavigne, Paramore or any of those pop “punk” bullshit “bands.” It isn’t a costume, it is a lifestyle, and a hardcore lifestyle at that.

What punk song/band changed your life, and how?
A lot of punk songs/bands have influenced my life in one way or another. Minor Threat showed me it was ok not to follow the crowd and to be myself, even in the punk scene; and Strung Out showed me it was ok to grow up, not be a loser and follow my dreams

What has punk taught you about yourself and your life?
Punk taught me to be myself. It has given me the strength to not give a fuck what others think and to do what I feel is right regardless of the backlash I might receive

What surprised you about the punk scene? 
I suppose when I first got into the scene, the surprising thing was that all the punkers I knew and grew to love just didn’t give a shit about anything or anyone, sometimes including themselves. It was carefree and fun, yet dark and mysterious all at the same time.

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