November 12th, 1995. I still remember this day as if it were yesterday. I was a 15 year old kid that had been listening to hardcore music for a few years and slowly got into the more underground side of things. When I discovered that there were hardcore, and even straight edge, bands in the small country I lived in I knew I had to see what that was all about. So on November 12th, 1995, I went to see Congress in a town close to the one I grew up in and what I witnessed that night made such an impression on me that I am still here 13 years later. I was nervous and didn't quite know how to behave, as I seemed to have stumbled into this hidden world... But when Congress took the stage my mind was blown. The dudes on stage were the same dudes that were hanging out in the crowd an hour earlier. But they were up there now, stomping and screaming and the kids were screaming right back at them. The room was filled with an incredible energy, passion and urgency. There was an intensity there that I had never felt. No barricades, no bullshit. Just the band, a small stage and the kids. I knew that this was what I had been looking for. From there on, there was no way back for me. I started visiting more and more shows and immersed myself in hardcore and everything that came with it.
Growing older I have realized it is far from perfect. I know I could complain all day and night and become jaded easily because of the things that bother me, or even sicken me, but why would I want that to happen? In a lot of ways hardcore is also what you make of it and I'll never forget what it's given to me.
So what makes it so important to me? It is so important because every now and again it still gives me something that comes close to that feeling I felt on November 12th, 1995. It is so important because I has enabled me to meet like minded individuals, people I can relate to and talk to. Some of them have become my best friends, while others I only see maybe once or twice a year, but whatever, what matters is the connection that is there. It so important because it has shown me that we are so much more than what we've been told we can be. We can do bands, jump in a van and tour the world if we work hard enough to get there. We can do fanzines, put on shows and create something with our bare hands. We can think for ourselves, offer some reason and a strong, independent mind to a world that seems to have lost all sense of reason, a world that doesn't make much sense to me.
"I'll live and I'll die, but I won't be the same."
Bjorn, August '08