I graduated high school back in 2004. Throughout Elementary School and Middle School, it was impossibly uncool to like Punk music. Sure most kids like Green Day or Blink 182... but it wasn't until 2001 when groups like Simple Plan and Good Charlotte came out and made the music marketable. I was always dancing the line between marketable punk and local underground bands.
In my small circle of friends we all had the same albums that basically defined our high school experience:
New Found Glory
Blink 182: Take Off Your Pants and Jacket
Catch 22: Keasby Nights
Reel Big Fish: Turn the Radio Off
Rancid: And out come the wolves
Thursday: Full Collapse
Dashboard Confessional: Places We Have Come To Fear the Most
Further Seems Forever: Moon is Down
MxPx: Life in General
Relient K: Anatomy of Tongue-in-cheek
The Ataris: Blue Skies, Broken Hearts... Next 12 exits
When I was a freshmen I met Nick and Matt Howard. They invited me to join their band Mad Cow with drummer AJ Wood. We never wrote any original songs but learned a few songs to cover. We played a total of 3 shows before eventually breaking up. Meanwhile another group of friends formed a band called Butterface. They also lasted a few months and a few shows before breaking up.
Matt, Nick and I formed another band the following year called Off the Wall. We had a group of original songs and played a few shows, eventually we also broke up and I moved on to the acoustic Saint Mort stuff.
11th grade was the year that changed it all. My friends Brian and Clark had formed a ska band called the One Timers. They were playing a show at a local bar called Harry Kats. I attended the show and brought into the world of local music. Meeting some of the legends of our music scene, specifically Aynn and Tokyo Rose. The show was thrown by a kid named Jeff Shropshire. I tracked down his email address and asked him if he ever needed help with shows he could contact me for anything (clean up, etc). Shrop instead asked if I wanted to run a record label with him.
I don't think I could have ever guessed that with just one email, I'd be meeting my best friend. Shrop and I's record label was short lived. We met a few new local bands but didn't talk much. Shrop would enter and exit my life the next two years (as would Matt Howard).
That's the funny thing about life though. I graduated high school convinced the friends I had were going to be my friends for life. It wasn't until my 2nd year of college that I met the people who would be my best friends. They were the people there for me as I moved away, they are the people that text and call me everyday and they're the people I can't wait to see again when Christmas rolls around.
To quote one of the greatest ... I guess this is growing up