Kids still get a hardcore voice

San Diego teens pick up where their big brothers' bands left off

Though San Diego is where their hardcore heart is, Greg Cerwonka (far right) and Take Offense have “toured the U.S. a million times.”
  • Though San Diego is where their hardcore heart is, Greg Cerwonka (far right) and Take Offense have “toured the U.S. a million times.”

Take Offense lead guitarist Greg Cerwonka says playing at Saturday’s hardcore five-band mosh-fest is just part of the circle of punk-rock life.

“When we were younger we would see older bands we looked up to,” Cerwonka explains. “This guy Tim Gonzales had this band Amenity. When we were 14 and 15 he told us to get out there and tour when you’re young because it gets harder when you get older.”

"Relight"

...by Born Blind

...by Born Blind

Take Offense took it to heart. Since they launched 11 years ago they have “toured the U.S. a million times. We’ve toured Mexico and Canada. We just got back from our fifth tour of Europe.”

Zak Prescott spearheads the Lemon Grove Punks support group and is organizing Saturday’s show at Lion’s Den Tattoo in Lemon Grove, which also features Instinct, Born Blind, Natural Enemies, and Stay Away (in which Prescott is the lead singer).

“The guys in Instinct are 16 and 17 years old and the drummer in Born Blind is 61...and this is a [vinyl] record-release party for Instinct and for Stay Away. How many times do you see that happening?”

Instinct lead singer David Orozco says both records were recorded at Golden Ghetto studios in Chula Vista.

“The guys in Instinct are 16 and 17 years old and the drummer in Born Blind is 61."

“The guys in Instinct are 16 and 17 years old and the drummer in Born Blind is 61."

“We’re all from Lemon Grove,” says Orozco, 17. “The scene was really healthy when they had shows at the Lemon Grove rec center called the Equinox. It was always packed. Then that ended around two years ago when someone got a bloody nose.”

Orozco says the scene now thrives at the Industry in Chula Vista, which is run by a Methodist minister. “They don’t impose ideas. You can be who you are.”

Regrouping after 15 years is Born Blind. “We used to record with Facedown Records here in San Diego and Solid State out of Seattle,” says guitarist Nate Jarrell. “We used to play a lot with bands like No Innocent Victim, Agnostic Front, and Sick of It All at the old Soma and the Ché. This little scene they built reminds me of the old days. It’s good to see kids still get a voice.”

“There is zero money in it,” says Take Offense’s Cerwonka. “As a hardcore band you have to fight tooth and nail. But hardcore is worldwide. In every city in the U.S. there is a hardcore show happening somewhere. We never set out to motivate these kids. But if they see what we’re doing and say, ‘I want to do that,’ then that works for me.”

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