Punch - Meghan

Interview Date: May 19, 2011

Associated band: Punch


This interview originally ran in Future Breed Zine Rainfest 2011 Edition
How are you doing? How have things been lately for PUNCH?n

MEGHAN: I'm good! Really busy, both myself and the band. We've been writing for a new 7\" to come out this summer and recording various smaller projects. We're also getting ready for our summer tour, we're lucky enough to do Europe, U.S. and Canada this summer.

What bands are you most excited to see at Rainfest?n

I'm excited for BLACK BREATH, NAILS, DEVOTION, NOT SORRY, OWEN HART, SOJOURNER, POWER, RUN WITH THE HUNTED, SHOOK ONES, and WEEKEND NACHOS. We'll only be there Sunday so hopefully I'll get to see some of those bands!

There are an absolute ton of festivals nowadays. Do you think having so many big events is a good thing, or can it have a negative effect as well?n

We have played quite a few festivals, both in the U.S. and in Japan and Europe. I think they are positive in that they bring people and ideas together from all over. I think it can add to that feeling that hardcore is a community through which we are all connected. However the bigger venues and crowds definitely set them apart from say a house or small show. There is a possibility for a fest to go either way really- as an example last year we played a 3000 person festival in the Czech Republic (Fluff Fest) which was very peaceful and positive only to have Sound and Fury erupt in a riot 2 days later.

Looking back, what first drew you to the punk scene, and how did you find out about punk in the first place?n

What drew me to the punk scene besides music was the feeling of being more comfortable in my own skin, although that is a difficult thing to accomplish for any adolescent. I just felt like I didn't have to try to be something I wasn't in order to fit in and feel more relaxed. I give all credit to my brother for helping to turn me onto punk when we were younger. This summer he will actually be drumming for PUNCH on our European tour so that is very special for me!

What were your favorite spots for seeing shows when you were just getting into the scene?n

I grew up in the east bay so I usually went to Gilman, the Danville Grange and the Lafayette community center. An early show memory is me and my brother Aaron (DEVOTION/ON) getting dropped off by our dad at Slim's in SF to see LESS THAN JAKE. It felt like such a big deal so it's funny that I now live literally around the corner.

What led you to go from just listening to music to actually writing and playing it? Were you in any bands before PUNCH?n

I was never in a band before Punch. When Keith was starting the band I had gone on short tours with his previous band BEFOREAFTER and had recorded gang vocals with them. That plus singing along at shows made me think, hey maybe I could do this. I first went to practice to 'try out' in September 2006. Next I had to tackle writing lyrics and stage fright *laugh*.

Have you ever been involved in putting on shows, doing a zine, or anything random?n

Actually no. Besides going to shows and now the band for the last few years, going to school has kept me pretty busy. I got my RN last year, maybe when I'm done touring/breaking bones I'll actually start working as a nurse.

I've witnessed some jaw-dropping sexist comments regarding female singers within the punk scene before at shows, something that incredibly bothers me to think that it still exists in a subculture that shouldn't radiate intolerance. As a singer of a hardcore punk band, to what degree do you have to deal with sexism at shows, and how do you address that? [I'm leaving out the online world of sexism since that is a whole 'nother world that I just don't want to open up]n

Luckily at shows, I haven't had to deal with too much direct sexism. I assume the type of people who perpetrate those attitudes wouldn't do so to my face. (That's why the worst of it is yes, on the internet) There was one show in Denton, Texas in 2009 where I felt there was a lot of sexism in the air and ended up where knocking the hat off of some kid because it took all my will power not to sock him. It's very frustrating to feel belittled for your gender in a scene that yes, we like to assume is more tolerating. Rejection of sexism, homophobia, and racism should be a part of what sets hardcore apart from mainstream culture, but we shouldn't assume that those attitudes don't exist and progress can't still be made.

Are you happy with the level of political and social awareness within the punk scene today?n

I feel like it's mixed depending on what shows you go to or the people you encounter in the different subsets of hardcore. There are the extremes of people who are very apathetic and only care about music/records/shoes etc and then you have people who are very active politically. I can admit that I fall somewhere in the middle as a vegan/ feminist who feels like I could be more politically active. I feel like at the least we can all be aware of how our words and actions affect those around us direct or indirectly.

How do you hope PUNCH grows as a band in the months ahead of touring and putting out music?n

I just want to tour as much as possible and continue to write and record more records. As the band has gotten busier I feel like we all have in our personal lives as well so I just hope we can find a good balance. I have happily put tour ahead of everything else and will continue to do so.