The Story of a Punk Rock Band: Comrades (NYC)


It all started with a kid who liked punk music. Then he wanted to make his own with his friends.

I guess that’s the story behind a lot of bands, just some friends getting together.

I guess though as the world changed and got darker this was just a source of light and a way to live outside the norms.

I think that’s why Comrades has always been DIY, because we want to make things the way we want them, not the way some one else thinks they should be.

Ah, the punk scene, it’s really just another term for a family, right? I mean that’s how I always felt. I personally wasn’t too into punk music, but I was always into going to my friends punk shows and being a part of something bigger, something could make you feel like you could make a difference. That’s one thing that I’ve found everywhere I go, punk just means a bunch of kids getting together to make music/art/noise/chaos and being all the better for it.

It’s where all of the fringe groups kind of merge into this one big ball of sweaty gross dirty people who can all agree on one thing-we want to do something.

Throughout our travels this has been proven over and over by all the overlapping people we meet who know someone else half way across the country. It’s basically just unity. The local scene in St.Pete Florida has been pretty good about supporting this, we have a free punk show at least once a week and the art scene is only getting bigger and better here.

After years the city has started supporting it too, and now we have a warehouse district that has art and music shows of all sorts. I feel like we’re almost the new NYC, cause the scene up there feels like it’s dying out a little bit, or maybe the better words are in a rebirth.

For example, the Tompkins shows used to be jam packed with sweaty kids to see bands they adored and related to, now barely anyone shows up anymore, but that could be for a mess or reasons I guess we’re just trying to keep our idea of punk alive, and that idea is that if you just be yourself, and put your passion into something, someone out there will listen and the world will probably be a little better for it. You know, just be punk about it. Just don’t care what other people think and be creative and a little (or a lot) crazy and be happy. Help your friends and strangers (soon to be friends). Don’t let hate into your community.

In St. Petersburg at least we definitely live by that idea. Back in the 90s and early 2000s we had a sudden Nazi presence at shows where everyone was just trying to enjoy some sweet bands and generally have fun. The White power kids were more about violence, going so far as to punch someone in the face while his brother was playing on stage. That ended with the band jumping off into the circle pit and beating the ever-loving crap out of these fascist kids.

It was a warzone for a little while, with skins and Nazis fighting randomly in back allies, but we retook our city. And we have kept this city ever since. Cause we’re just a family in the end and if you spread any kind of hate in our community, well that’s the same as hurting our family and home.

Florida in general has a really strong skinhead/SHARP attitude because we stick together. And that’s what it’s about, always having a home where ever you go, because being punk is being part of something larger than yourself. All those random houses and floors that we were welcomed to, it makes me feel like this is one of the only things that real anymore.

Punk is love and love is the opposite of hate, so we oppose hate where ever we go. Go and spread love through art, music… support anything & everything.


I started played acoustic guitar when I was like 14, I fucking loved the punk rock CDs I’d pick up from friends or tapes that people would make, I guess the songs started out because of a lot of teenage drinking in abandoned buildings, ya know the way.

After a few years of doing nothing but drunk covers, I recorded a few songs and threw them up on I think or something, I met a lot of weird, awesome people through that site from far away that played music like minded, and set up a fest in my Lancaster, Pa called Folk The Park, it’s been going on every year since (we just got done with our seventh year of them).

The day after Occupy started, my friend Ellis told me he was going to pick me up with some commies ’cause they needed us there. He had an idea that we needed a cultural revolution as well.

A few months later the cops came in, killed dogs, and destroyed everything we were making in that beautiful community.

I realised that NYC was where I wanted to be so we our camp (Class War Camp; a bunch of anarkids and commies) started sleeping on the streets of the lower east side, playing in parks and pan handling for money.

Even when playing acoustic, I wanted to hear the songs (even more than playing them) electric and thanks to friends and family we have been putting out a new album every year and we don’t plan on stopping, we’re too confused with the future to figure out what’s next, but we’re working on figuring out a USA tour and then trying to get over to UK, so thanks for the support Max, you guys are fucking sick.

Check out Comrades on Bandcamp here and Facebook here.

Posted in Features, Spotlight and tagged , , .


One Comment

What's your opinion?