Everyone in the shop is also in a band, says DJ Rose, a tattoo artist and the vocalist for local hardcore act Path of Resistance. Manager Patrick Kitzel owns the independent label Reaper Records. Beau Brady, another artist in the shop, moved to Syracuse from Arizona three years ago, in part because of Syracuse’s hardcore reputation.
They all say that the scene is as strong as ever: No matter their financial woes, the diehards will always come out for shows.
“If there was a stop to most everything else, these shows would still be going on, ‘cause people would be like ‘Well, I’ve got guitars. We’re just gonna have a party,’” says Rose.
The future of the Syracuse scene is anything but certain. There will always be ups and downs in fringe genres, and with its DIY ethic, Syracuse’s hardcore scene is especially susceptible to economic downturns.
But overall, the survival of bands like Election Day suggests that hardcore is a vibrant subculture, as strong as it ever was. Things will never be easy on this scene – and for musicians like Macneil, easy is not the point.
“There’s that underlying hardcore ideal. You don’t do it for the money or the girls or the fame,” Macneil says. “You do it for the love of the music.”
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