No Kids Who Like Punk?

Local four-man band Pierce the Veil finished their third U.S. tour last week opening for Chiodos, the Michigan band that last month had the number-one record on Billboard's Top Rock Album and Top Alternative Album charts. This week, Pierce the Veil is on a two-week tour of Europe set up for them by the Agency Group Ltd., the L.A. booking company that handles the White Stripes, Nickelback, and 500 other nationally recognized artists.

PTV sold out their last two main-room shows at Soma. (Switchfoot and As I Lay Dying are the only locals that have bigger Soma draws.) But PTV singer/guitarist/songwriter Vic Fuentes says he never seriously thought about getting a gig at the Casbah or any other local over-21 venue.

"I know their demographic [is different]," says Fuentes. "A lot of our people couldn't get in [because they're under 21]. The two scenes are very separated."

PTV's success is an example of how wide the chasm is between what appeals to the local teen crowd and the music tastes of SD's over-21 crowd.

"I think a lot of bands in our genre are content knowing they aren't necessarily radio bands. Kids find out about you on the Internet or MySpace. Bands don't even have their own website, they use MySpace.... We don't get approached a lot by over-21 clubs."

Soma owner/operator Len Paul acknowledges rock's latest generation gap.

"Punk is now for people over 40. There are virtually no kids who like punk. Punk is completely dead.... The new generation of kids 13 to 18 are trying to claim their own scene.... This music now is not like screamo used to be. I call it hard-edged indie metal with an emotional edge."

Yet, Paul says his post-screamo kids have the same ethics as the punks of the '80s.

"Many are politically conscious, vegan, antiwar, straight-edge -- the same way with early punk. But punk today has nothing to do with that; punk now is all about sex and drugs. It seems like 100 percent of the punk crowd now wants to be the Sid Vicious/isn't-it-cool-to-live-on-the-street-and-never-wash crowd."

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