For Fans Of
“Punk’s Not Dead” isn’t a
documentary that’s been put together by a major label in an attempt
to increase Good Charlotte’s (who actually appear in this film) record
sales. It’s actually a well researched and informative documentary that
is the end result of a lot hard work from an American punk rock fan,
Susan Dynner. Covering everything from the rise of punk in the UK in
the 1970’s right through to modern day, MTV celebrities, “Punk’s Not
Dead” is an depth look at how some of your favourite bands came to
The first section of the film
is littered with interviews and opinion pieces from some of the most
long standing figures in the UK and US punk rock scenes. Although it
may come across as a little cliché, Mike Ness’ (Social Distortion)
spiel about growing up as a punk in the 70’s and 80’s may encourage
some younger music fans to research the genre’s roots a little more
and actually appreciate just how lucky they are in this day and age.
While a lot of the interviews
are really interesting I felt that some of the more seasoned punk bands
(particularly the UK groups) could’ve spent more time focusing on the
highlights of that period rather than dwelling on how loathed they were
by society… although the footage of “The Addicts” still touring
in a van with most (if not all) members in their 40’s puts more of a
positive spin on things.
Given that my interest in punk
lies in the whole So Cal explosion of the 90’s, the early footage of
bands like Rancid, Greenday and The Offspring was really cool. It makes
it almost hard to believe that the same bands are who still headlining
stadiums today started off playing in their friend’s lounge room’s,
just like everybody else. A candid interview with Billie Joe Armstrong
(Greenday) was refreshing in its honesty, as he makes a clear point
of never being interested in towing the line and sounding like his peers,
but wanting to focus more on melody and more traditional song writing.
To all the kids out there who
are thinking about starting record labels (legit record labels, not
your fully sick MySpace photography/record label page) I suggest you
pay close attention to what Brett Gurewitz has to say. He started Epitaph
Records as a way of helping out his friend’s bands, nothing more, nothing
less. The fact that his friend’s bands included NoFX, Pennywise and
L7 might be seen as something of a fluke but the point remains the same.
Epitaph was started out of a love for the music, not to
make a quick buck.
is the section featuring Kevin Lyman and the Vans Warped Tour. Much
has been made of just how punk the Warped Tour really is these days,
especially when you’ve got a plethora of pop bands on the lineup, but
his and the artists analysis of how big companies are needed to keep
the tour going at this level should silence any critics (and when I
saw critics I’m referring to the 16 year olds living at home who are
screaming sell out while mum and dad pay for their new shoes).
“Punk’s Not Dead” has done
an admirable job of mixing the old and the new and is definitely worth
watching, whether you’re 40 and still repping a mohawk or your 15 and
you’ve just discovered the genre.