New Jersey-based hardcore band Fast Times was around during the mid-90s and my sister Alison was the singer. When I was in elementary school, she would lie to Mom and we’d venture out to see Fanshen, Life’s Halt, Rorschach, and her band play in churches, rundown skate parks, and friends’ basements whole states away (all while making sure I did my homework and was on time for school).
Hardcore for me (and probably everyone who really, really got into it ever) was more than just music. It was about experiencing new and exciting shit. DIY, PMA, deep thoughts, stage dives, circle pits, sing-alongs, photocopied zines, and a beyond-tight-knit community. Hardcore was there for you to fall back on. It was your best friend in high school who ate lunch with you and told you to keep it posi when you were bummed (which was way too often).
Vice: Remember the lyrics for your song “Where Were You”? It went, “Was it at a show, when you did your first dive off the stage, when you were serenaded by Ian McKaye, when that stranger in the pit picked you up off the floor, where were you when you fell in love with hardcore?”
Those are embarrassing to me now. They lacked soul, and that was maybe a fatal flaw of what I wrote as Fast Ali. That song is just so corny, especially when seen through my current cynical viewpoint. We came to hate playing that song, and I came to hate singing it. When I did Fast Times, I didn’t know real problems. I hadn’t experienced crisis. I still love life, but I love it for all it has to offer, including pain and struggle. The “feel good” things need to be balanced out. Pain begets soul and deep creativity. Without it, existence is fanciful but shallow. Our music started to head in that direction… then we broke up. And fucking drummer problems plagued us perpetually.
OK, well, when I was 12, I looked out the window and saw Dr. Chud from the Misfits picking you up for a romantic date in a purple pickup truck. Did you guys french at Blair Witch?
Aw, Mags! Fuck you, little sis! Note to self: no more interviews with Maggie Maggo.
I’m telling Mom!