No Hardcore Dancing In The Living Room

Shredded by state lines
Press my face up against the glass
With both eyelids shut and
Baby, this won’t get any easier

I remember laughing out loud, worried that I was laughing incessantly – coming across like more of a flirt than someone who was just a little bit nervous as I fumbled around the microphone extension of my white, iPod Classic.  “Test. Test.” I tapped the microphone as if it would give me any reassurance as to whether or not this thing was actually recording. “November 12, 2006…” They told me I’d be interviewing Craigery, and instead, sent me what most music journalists would consider two nobody’s.

Matt and Brad leaned against the back wall of Salt Lake’s Great SaltAir music venue, giving me a cold shoulder and avoiding eye contact as if to say I was just another fan with a press pass.  But, I wasn’t and I was determined to let them know that between the fierce echo of another hardcore band warming up on the far away stage of this twice burned down venue.

“Is it true you wrote No Hardcore Dancing In The Living Room about a party on Locust Avenue in Provo, Utah?”  

I could tell I started strong when the bassist peered past his lit cigarette, through the swoop of his disheveled bangs and thought for only a brief moment before the idea seemed to strike them both at the same time that I might actually be a long lost friend from a time before they were made popular.

As if being noticed by that cute boy in class for the very first time, I unraveled the grip I had on my iPod just long enough to wiggle my fingers as I said out loud, “Hello!?”

I stuck my hand out for another handshake as though I hadn’t already shook their hands and introduced myself initially.  “Hi! I was there that night.” I felt that in order to differ myself from their bra-slinging Hot Topic bought fans that I needed to explain further.  “R’s house right? I was standing on a chair when, well, I don’t even know who it was that decided to ride a skateboard from the kitchen into the living room while this guy I was dating at the time, B–, R–, and some other kids were all hardcore dancing in the living room.  Hence, the name right? Anyway, I remember when R– fell back into his own stereo, which then went through the front window. It was a classic moment – listening to The Locusts at a party on Locust Avenue.”

Not sure if they were high as fuck or just completely bored by me, I explained further.  “You were there,” I pointed toward Matt. “And you…”

“You were on Facebook and I had never really been on Facebook before.  I remember you were a total dick to me about it.”

“Sorry,” Brad said as he shuffled his feet over a cigarette, throwing his head back just enough to move his bangs out of his face and give me that look that seemed to say, “So?”

I went on with the interview, asking typical questions about where they grew up and how they met.  I remember being surprised that the core of the band had met as performers in a high school musical.  That sort of thing always gets me – when hardcore bands have an actual legitimate and cultured background – like suddenly you realize that these kids that reek of alcohol and cigarettes come from suburban Michigan where they probably attended private schools and lived in big ass houses with rich parents that didn’t give a fuck what their kids did.  So here they are, in a hardcore band – hiding drug addictions between the adoring screams of 13-year-old girls.

I stopped for a moment; relaxing the direct microphone-to-face stance I had been holding and reminisced again.

“I don’t know which of you all were there.  I was pretty wasted by then. But me, R–, Craig, and some of the Marluka guys all went back to my place after.”  I looked down at my hands as I talked, smiling over a stupid memory of a younger, crazier version of myself. “If you were there, you would’ve remembered I’m sure.  I only had a studio apartment. I had one bed and if I remember right, 7 people slept there that night. I think 5 of them were in my bed alone and as R– tried to snuggle up to me he ended up holding hands with whoever was on the other side of me, completely passed out.  I couldn’t help but laugh. I wiggled my way out of the mess and fell asleep on my kitchen floor because it seemed to be the only place where I could sleep alone. There were bodies everywhere ya know? It was a good night… listening to Glassjaw on my computer and drinking some Blue Moon.  Ya…”