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Split Lip

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Growing up in a working class family on Indianapolis’ Southside, I always dreamed that there was something more to adolescence than the mind-numbing sense gratification of drugs and alcohol, the false coolness of smoking cigarettes, the comfortable security of apathy towards world events and the ridiculous posturing of cock rock heavy metal bands like Bon Jovi. In 1988 - at fourteen - I stumbled upon what I believed that “something more” to be - straight-edge hardcore. I had already become well versed in thrash metal and old-school West Coast punk rock like the Dead Kennedys. But, when a spiky-haired, leather jacket-wearing friend of mine since elementary school stumbled upon Revelation Records’ New York City Hardcore / The Way It Is compilation, I found my light in the darkness.

I quickly turned a friend of ours onto this exciting new scene. When he answered a classified in Maximum Rock n’ Roll from a kid on the Northside of town looking for straight-edge pen pals, we could not have had any idea what we were starting. The kid who placed the ad was named Steve Dujinske. He was a year or two younger than us and lived in Carmel, a wealthy suburb right above the Circle City. He was forming a straight-edge band with two neighbors of his based around the ideology and music of bands like Pushed Aside, Brotherhood (whose members went on to form Sunny Day Real Estate), and Youth of Today. In the coming years, many kids would hear conflicting versions of how and why the band was named. The real story goes like this…

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