Bellingham is home to a large and active hardcore and punk rock scene, which has allowed many bands and fans to enjoy the music in the area.
Zach Wise, KUGS marketing and development director, said what makes the hardcore and punk scene so alive and active is the sense of community those involved in the scene have.
“Everybody has the same ethos about music or similar notion that music should be seen as something everyone should be able to do,” Wise said. “It’s all about having fun and being able to see your friend’s band play.”
Josh Holland, guitarist of the local band Dog Shredder, said the sense of community isn’t just felt by fans of the genre but also by the bands themselves.
“I was extremely intimidated by the talent of my peers when I first moved here and figured out pretty quickly that we were all on the same team and just wanted to play some good shows,” Holland said, in an email. “That hasn’t really changed much over the years, and I love it.”
Holland not only loves how bands enjoy playing music in the area, but he also appreciates the increasing amount of venues willing to hold shows for hardcore and punk bands, he said.
“Punk and hardcore are not always the most tolerable forms of music for the majority to deal with and having places like Jinx, the Cabin, The Shakedown, Western, the Wild Buffalo and countless living rooms encourages bands by saying, ‘You are welcome here. Please be yourself,’” Holland said.
Punk rock originated in the 1970s with the Ramones and migrated to the United States. It was a simple form of music that counteracted many over-produced rock bands at the time, Wise said. The focus of punk music at that time was to be rebellious and go against societal norms with raw, passionatemusic, Wise said.
Hardcore rock branched off from punk rock when the music become faster, heavier and created a more aggressive and larger presence, Wise said.
“The core of hardcore is focused on the immediacy and the aggression, whereas punk is sort of a nebula thing on its own,” Wise said. “Some people would argue punk doesn’t exist in its original state anymore; it’s just an idea that’s permeated.”
While Wise would like music listeners in the Bellingham community to give hardcore and punk rock a try, he believes Bellingham has plenty of different music scenes for people to enjoy, he said.
“It’s not for everyone, but go to any event in town and see what you like,” Wise said. “Maybe if it’s not punk or hardcore, there is something there for people to like.”