Hart Seely of Syracuse.com recently conducted an interview with Karl Buechner, lead singer for seminal straight edge band EARTH CRISIS. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Syracuse.com: What turned you on to straight edge?
Karl: I was involved with sports and music. I saw kids from an early age, whom I grew up skateboarding with, get into drugs and alcohol. They started skating less and being less enthusiastic about the things they had been passionate about. It was terrifying to watch people I cared about become drug addicts or alcoholics. ... In essence, I was scared straight.
Syracuse.com: People have called EARTH CRISIS the most famous band from Syracuse that Syracuse doesn't know about. You buy that?
Karl: Well, we've got a lot of loyal fans here. We've played a show at the Lost Horizon this summer. It was incredible. People flew in from different parts of the country to support it. ... It was a really powerful experience for us.
Syracuse.com: This year, straight edge turns 28. Getting old?
Karl: It's incredible for us to see how much it's grown. So far this year, Earth Crisis has toured the states, Canada, 12 countries in Europe, three countries in South America, and we're on our way to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan in January. It's worldwide. And I think, unfortunately, there are more people out there whose lives have been adversely affected by substance addictions, and they are gravitating to straight edge.
Syracuse.com: How did Syracuse affect the movement?
Karl: What happened here defined it for the future.
Syracuse.com: What do you mean?
Karl: When it came to the aggression of the music, and the seriousness of the way that things were taken — a lot of that came right from here.
Syracuse.com: Did people locally understand what was going on?
Karl: No. In fact, we didn't know it could have the influence outside of here that it has had.
Syracuse.com: Did they oppose you?
Karl: Well, we weren't necessarily welcomed into clubs, that's for sure. I mean, the clubs would rather have a metal band, which was going to draw a crowd that's going to drink. They'd make more money. So we were definitely not welcomed in, and we were not welcomed by any major labels, either. I mean, straight edge is still essentially a grassroots movement. Yet we're out there, touring the world. I feel as though we've been locked out, in some ways, but you know what? That's fine. We'll do it ourselves. We always have.
Read the entire interview from Syracuse.com.