Angsty, gritty wordplay pulled a lot of us into the genres of punk and metal. The message that you should be an individual, trust your gut and not follow the herd. Those of us that were in the scene in the 70's thru early 90's. Held that message close to us like a homemade patch sewn onto the soul. Being punk rock, being a true headbanger, wasn't about what merch you wore or how you did your hair and makeup. It was about the music and the message that the music was teaching you.
There is an increasing amount of what I think of as sub-genre exclusion. For example, I listen to a lot of thrash and that kid likes a lot of grindcore. So we obviously should have some things in common but because of different styles of clothing or expression, we could end up standing on opposite side of a venue. We could even end up disliking each other for petty reasons. All this behavior does, is split the scene that is already too divided and in need of a revival. The youth these days seem really caught up on merch, labels, and looks. It's my opinion that we - in part - have the industry to blame. We went from feeding our musicians with record sales. To feeding them through concert attendance and merchandise sales.
It's time that we started redirecting the youth to what the scene really is about. It's the message in the music. Be yourself, think for yourself, don't stamp that label on your heart! Yeah we are a community that often looks a certain way, but really does it matter if I have tattoos or piercings? Does it make me more punk rock? Absolutely not. Being a rebel comes from inside. If you're a boat rocking, groundshaker, you don't need to validate yourself with a mohawk. You do need to use your voice and stand by your word. Support the bands you like, through buying their merchandise and going to their shows, but be a unique person among other individuals, celebrate that difference and learn to include people. It's my opinion that doing this will revitalize our scene and bring it back around for future generations to truly appreciate.