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The Spirit of DIY:
A global community of artists and
musicians blazing their own paths.
The Spirit of DIY:
A global community of artists and
musicians blazing their own paths.
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The Spirit of DIY:
A global community of artists and
musicians blazing their own paths.

Inspired by the “Do It Yourself” ethos of the Hardcore Punk movement in the late 1970s, there is a thriving global community of musicians, artists, and fans that champion the idea of carving out your own path and not waiting for permission. When the goal is unfiltered creative expression, there is no perfect approach. The only real response is taking matters into your own hands and creating what you want to see. Meet a few of the global faces who are using the spirit of DIY to make things happen in their worlds, and in the process are influencing broader culture as a whole.

Skate Society Soweto
Soweto, South Africa
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Revolback
Sao Paulo, Brazil
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The
Diders
Beijing, China
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Quality
Control HQ
London, Great Britain
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Culture
Abuse
Los Angeles, U.S.A.
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Skate Society Soweto

Soweto, South Africa

Mention the name Soweto and it’s likely to conjure up images of that township’s struggle for civil rights in the apartheid era. But look a little deeper and that same spirit of self-empowerment is being used to promote the message of skateboarding and punk rock. Enter Skate Society Soweto and TCIYF, a skateboard organization and a punk rock band, respectively, each employing DIY tactics to push their mission.

Fronted by Sechaba and Pule, both groups embrace the idea that “If you build it, they will come” to spread their message in a region where skateboarding and punk rock are not the norm. When they couldn’t find an audience in their community, they decided to create one, and are now providing new options through which individuality and counterculture are celebrated in Soweto.

"When we all formed SSS, The essence of it was helping kids."
- sechaba / SSS
"It was just gonna be a whole skateboarding umbrella for everybody that needed anything skate related."
- sechaba / SSS
"If it is being done by the community of a Soweto Township, that thing will be done."
- pule / tciyf
"We skate, and we punk rock the hell out of South Africa."
- pule / tciyf

Revolback

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Growing up in Brazil, Eduardo Andrade (aka Revolback) never had to look far for creative inspiration. The city of São Paulo is a living piece of art, covered in jaw-dropping graffiti and murals. But it was Eduardo’s introduction to the city’s hardcore punk scene that would serve as the catalyst for him to get off the sidelines and begin to create art of his own.

Inspired by the accessibility and inclusivity of the genre, Eduardo’s artwork and music focus on the empowering side of the hardcore music scene. He spends most of his nights pasting that message in the city streets and broadcasting it as the frontman for the HC band, Questions.

"It was when I started to listen to punk and hardcore, that I had insight. Hey, those people are just like me."
- Eduardo Andrade
"They don't have money, they make art, they make hardcore, this is all I love. If they made it, I can also make it."
- Eduardo Andrade

The
Diders

Beijing, China

If their name doesn’t grab your attention, their fast-paced live show will. The Diders are a band with one foot planted in traditional Chinese society and the other firmly grounded in their local DIY punk community.

When watching the band perform live, you’re instantly aware that this is more than just a musical exercise, but also their outlet for self-expression and a conduit to connect with others who feel the same. Given China’s socio-political environment, you would be right to assume that the stakes are high and The Diders have found the perfect environment to embrace and fly the DIY flag.

"No one can escape from traditions."
- Zilu wang

Left to right

Drums: Bob

Bassist: Bo Jin

Vocals / Guitar: Wang Zilu

"We are still Chinese. But punk is our own culture."
- Bo Jin

Quality
Control HQ

London, Great Britain

Quality Control HQ Records have been releasing UK hardcore since 2011 by bands such as Big Cheese, Mere Mortal and Stages in Faith. It’s run by Ola who also plays in bands like Arms Race and Game. While women have always had a presence within her local hardcore community, when Ola didn’t see enough women on stage she decided to pick up a guitar and help change that.

In Ola’s own words: “It’s a music scene where the difference between the audience and the band is nil, and everyone is in the same boat and equally important. A scene where there’s nothing stopping you from just picking up an instrument, finding three other friends, learning some chords, adding some drum beats and screaming, and away you go.”

"There were women puttin' on shows and there were women who were photographers..."
- Ola Herbich
"But there weren't as many women on the stage"
- Ola Herbich
"So I thought I'm just gonna have to pick up a guitar and just learn it, myself."
- Ola Herbich

Culture
Abuse

Los Angeles, U.S.A.

At a glance, California-based Culture Abuse could pass as the quintessential angst-driven punk band, but listen a little closer and you’ll notice lyrics and a live show brimming with encouragement and positivity instead of apathy and anger. That message becomes even more poignant when you realize that frontman and songwriter David Kelling suffers from cerebral palsy, a disability that can make even the most mundane tasks challenging at best.

David and the band embrace the mantra that there is no “right” way to do anything, and are using that mindset to champion a community that embraces diversity and individuality. You can currently find Culture Abuse actively broadcasting their message to the larger culture and using their music, art, and DIY approach to make sense of their world. This is what they do, forever.

Left to right

Guitarists, John Jr and Nick Bruder

Vocals, David Kelling,

Bassist:Shane Pitt

Drummer Hunter Martinez

"Going to punk shows was the first time that I had been around other people with safety pins on shirts that were spray-painted, hair all crazy."
- David Kelling
"You could embrace that you were a freak and be accepted."
- David Kelling
"There's no right way to do anything. If you're an artist in any capacity, nothing should stop you."
- David Kelling<
"DIY is the ultimate fuck you to anyone who says that you can't, becaue you can."
- David Kelling