Voices From the World o’ Punk

What has the Orange County punk-rock movement meant? Here are some reflections from musicians who have had 10 years to think about it.

‘I was an angry kid, and punk rock was my vehicle to express it. It sounded like I felt inside.’

--Mike Ness of Social Distortion

‘The only person they ever talked about from Orange County was Jackson Browne. There was no alternative music scene in Orange County. We were the first people brazen enough to pick up instruments without being able to play them, and say we didn’t care.’


--Jim Kaa of the Crowd

‘Super angry. That was my whole performance. I used to go everywhere trying to get jobs. I’d fill out an application, and they’d wad it up and throw it out. Just because you chose to look a different way.

--Mike Roche of T.S.O.L.

‘My mother didn’t like it when I got a tattoo. I said, “Dad’s got a tattoo.” She said, “Dad was in the war.” I said, “Punk rock is a war.” ’

--Casey Royer of D.I.

‘It was definitely about getting attention. You could be just like everybody else, or you could do something that grabbed attention and have some fun with it.’

--Dennis Danell of Social Distortion

‘Punk meant you didn’t stick with convention. You did whatever you wanted to do, and you didn’t try to fit into anybody’s concept of what to do musically or socially. There are people to this day who are punk because of the way they are. It doesn’t mean you have to wear leather and spikes and short hair.’

--Jan Ackermann of the Vandals

‘It’s the cool, new folk music, the music of the people. People equate folk music with nylon-string guitars, but folk music is folk music, and this is it.’

--Chaz Ramirez, record producer for Social Distortion, Adolescents, Flower Leperds and D.I.