Billy Gwynn sings in New York punk act New Red Scare. Here’s the story on how he got into Punk Rock and how it helped shape his life.
I was a late bloomer getting into punk compared to some of my friends. As a little kid I was really, into hip-hop, R&B, and soul, stuff like that, but rock n roll had not made any significant impact on me yet. I had even met Green Day once when I was about 11 or so and, at the time, my friends were appalled at the lack of interest I had shown with the whole encounter. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why people would be fawning over such spikey, dyed-haired weirdoes.
In high school, I learned just how cool spikey, dyed-haired weirdoes could be! A friend had started bringing me to hardcore shows, and I was in to that. I was really drawn to the political and social awareness of the genre; it seemed like music that actually mattered. But punk was really driven home for me when a friend took me to see The Casualties and Lower Class Brats for the first time. I was absolutely blown away. It was fast, it was raw, it was energetic, it stood for all the things that I thought music should stand for, and it was fuckin’ fun! Everyone was so colorful and accepting and wonderfully individual. After getting into punk is when I really started coming out of my shell, becoming my own man, and realizing that it was not only OK, but KICK ASS to be my loud, strange self.
And then, as I started exploring, I heard Iggy Pop & The Stooges “Raw Power” for the first time… It was probably the closest thing to a religious awakening I’ll ever have. There is not a more entertaining, charismatic, and mesmerizing figure on the planet. That’s when I knew I wanted to not only be a punk rock frontman, but to strive to be the best, craziest, most eccentric person to ever terrorize a stage.
I am never happier than when I am up performing in front of people, and…in our own small way, adding to this mountainous revolution we call punk rock!
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