We’re not sure who’s more annoying to listen to, straight edge kids or the people who make fun of them (although they sometimes come up with pretty funny shit). But quickly eclipsing both of these is the growing trend of straight edge kids nearing 30, ditching edge, then turning their lives into a debaucherous shitshow. It’s like spring break in Cancun, but instead of 19-year-old girls screaming and barfing neon, it’s big sweaty dudes with XXX calf tattoos yakking Irish car bombs and yelling an inch from your face to “call your guy” after last call.
I spoke to a gentleman who claimed edge at 14 but recently answered alcohol’s siren call and ditched his edge (he’s now 25). For the last four months he has been surviving on a diet of pizza, candy, and mixed drinks (dudes who break edge hate beer). Over the course of this 45-minute interview he finished an entire bottle of shitty dépanneur wine and became increasingly yelly.
Vice: What do you think about people who break edge late in life?
F:I don’t know if it’s a trend, things go in cycles for sure and scenes kind of adapt to things in different ways. That’s how culture works, it operates in a cycle. I don’t think it’s relevant in music anymore. Some people hold onto it in their 30s and 40s and I respect that, but, what do you get? You can’t get into punk or skating in your 20s. You have to be into it when you’re young enough to take advantage of it, understand it and fully experience it. If your identity is still based on something you were into in your teens or 20s you’ve wasted 20 years of your life. I’m in that right now, I’m having a hard time growing up. I’m practically the same kid I was when I was 14 or 15. I realize being involved in a scene is not going to fulfill me as a person. To have an identity that’s entirely based on something that marginalizes is counter-productive. When you’re 30 or 40, what are you pissed off at? You can’t just be like “fuck the world.”
So, were you a total dickhead towards smokers and drinkers before you broke edge?
I went through a stage where I was pretty bad. I talked a lot of shit. It’s just one more way to say "fuck you" to someone. It’s an excuse to throw the first punch. When you’re searching for an identity it obviously develops in relation to your surroundings. A few of my good friends were straight edge but when I was in high school kids would come in on Monday morning talking about how hammered they got that weekend. They were total airheads about it, just stereotypical jocks and cheerleaders. I would listen to how retarded they sounded and was just like, fuck that person. When you’re an outsider you’re naturally antagonistic toward things and when you see someone perpetuating a stereotype you want to do anything to go against it. Basically, hardcore is to white suburban males what gangster rap is to kids from the projects or whatever. It’s a means to an identity.
How did you break edge?
I took a bunch of Xanax. I was by myself, wigging the fuck out. I took like a handful and I had never taken them before recreationally. I was stupid, I had just spoken to my Dad on the phone who is like the most unpleasant man in the world. Then I just basically blacked out for three hours.
That doesn’t sound very fun. What happened the first night you drank?
One night I just got a bottle of vodka by myself. I didn’t know how much I was drinking so I finished off half. I mixed it with Redbull and chugged it because I wanted to get fucked up. Then I met up with my friends and started getting the spins. We were walking to a bar and I thought I was going to vomit all over my friends. I wasted 40 bucks buying some stupid girl drinks that night, I thought it was a good idea. I didn’t have the money to do that man, I couldn’t eat a real meal for like a week after that. I remember slipping in the bathroom and just crawling across the floor. I was such a mess. I didn’t barf though.
Yeah, I hit on one of my friend’s co-workers that night. I hit on her four times and each time I forgot she had a boyfriend. The guy was even at the bar. Every time I’d go over to her she would just point to her boyfriend and I’d go “ohhhhhh.” At the time I thought it could be a quick fix, maybe doing that would make me feel better. I felt like such a shithead the next day. I wanted to fucking chop off every part of my body. I wanted to acid rub myself.
What’s your favorite drink?
I don’t care, anything I can get fucked up off of. I hate beer. I can’t stomach beer yet. If it’s chuggable, I’ll drink it. I can chug wine and even vodka if I’m drunk enough and it's mixed with something. I love gin. I tried to fight eight dudes one night when I was on gin. They called me an emo fag.
Well, it seems like ex-straight edgers have a harder time controlling themselves sometimes.
I had trouble controlling myself at first. It opens up an abyss of indulgence. Now I realize this glorification I had of breaking edge no longer exists. This lifestyle is shitty. You wake up the next day at four in the afternoon and you feel like shit. You’re so hungover you can’t skate, you have shit to do at school, you have responsibilities. I was doing really well my first three years here at school, I had a 3.5 GPA and then it crashed. Whatever romanticized view I had of drinking is gone.
That’s kind of a new feeling for you then right? That morning after regret?
Yeah, it’s bad. People sometimes say when you’re drunk you're the person you really want to be. If that’s the real me, that bums me out. I’ve never thought of myself as a shithead. I’ve always held myself to a higher standard, but maybe it comes across differently. When you say shit to people to start a fight. When I’m drunk I’m basically willing to put my neck out on the line for anything. I don’t pick my battles, I pick every battle.
So why start drinking?
It was nice to be able to go out and not be so uptight, just being nice to people who try to be nice to me. I became genuinely interested in conversations instead of just being bored. Now I’m realizing it's OK if people want to do drugs or drink because its fun, but just know that it doesn’t remedy anything. That void you were trying to fill is still there, you haven’t cured anything. It’s actually worse. I still have mixed feelings about it.
What's your drunk personality like?
Let me tell you about my four drunken personalities. There’s my philosophical side, my smart-ass side, my I-want-to-meet-my-dream-girl side where I talk to every girl in the bar--then there’s the fourth one, when I realize I’m the active ingredient in woman repellent and I get into my manic-depressive side. Not to sound like a hippie--because I fucking hate hippies--but I think my trouble is that I succumb to a combination of my hopeless romanticism and my pathetic-ness. I wake up the next day wanting to off myself.
How’s the girl situation? Are you feeling that magic drunk confidence?
It’s not helping. But do you really want to meet a girl at a bar and feel disgusting the next day? I’m wicked OCD too, and a hypochondriac. The thing about drinking is you wake up with that dirty feeling a lot. I had this fantasy of when I was breaking edge. When I broke it I kind of broke it hard, I was doing a lot of pills. I had this fantasy of hard drugs like Johnny Thunders, heroin and cocaine, that’s fucking rock and roll.
Tell me about your dream girl.
OK, OK, OK, [increasingly wasted] so, my ideal girl. I have like, six characteristics. A.) I really like the girly girl, right? I like when girls are dressed up in skirts. I'm not accustomed to that. I don't want to say girly girl because maybe that’s derogatory, but a girl that gets stoked on getting dressed up. I'm a sucker for a beautiful girl in an Audrey Hepburn kind of way. I like girls that are classy. I also like girls that are assertive. They need to have a really good sense of humor. It's the worst when you say a joke and people just look at you like they don't get it because they're idiots. I love wit and I love puns. Like if you go up to someone and say, "It's very ice to meet you," they probably don't get it and think you just mispronounced "nice." FUCKING HILARIOUS.
Sure dude. So what else do you like?
I like girls who, like, you have a puzzle piece right? And they just fit perfectly. All your shortcomings--she makes up for them. I hate to quote Blink 182, but in that song "Josie" it’s like, “...and I see her pretty face, it takes me away to a better place,” that’s what I want. Also, a pretty face! A lot of times when guys talk about a hot girl they talk about the body. Fuck that, those guys suck. The beauty is in the face, it's all in the face. Am I being inappropriate right now? I'm getting so drunk. I've always been a face guy. So much shit happens in life and in the world. Another trait I like, I don't want to say I'm a momma's boy, but I was raised by my mom. I'm kind of a feminist. I think I'm more in touch with, OK it makes me sound like a fruit, but I relate to girls a lot better than my dude friends…[Trails off in a drunken slur]