Although I live a drug free life; the label, Straight Edge, fell off my back years ago. No particular reason other than the simple outgrowing of it. I like the idea of Straight Edge, and technically I am still a part of it, but the aesthetic of it and the life of it never went hand in hand for me. As you will see below, it isn't necessary to look the part.
The rules of Straight Edge fluctuate for some and are very concrete for others. This makes sense being that it was never meant to be a movement. Whether you're basic, straightforward Straight Edger, a fair weather Straight Edger or a purist, there is a basic root in common.
Front man of the former band, Minor Threat, wrote a song called Straight Edge which spoke to the avoidance of drugs and manipulative sex. The former front man, Ian MacKaye is currently part of The Evens, and owns his own record label, Dischord Records.
Photographer Raymond McCrea Jones, doesn't stray far from the music as he titles his 2007 book, Out of Step. Out of Step is no doubt reference to a Minor Threat song and album of the same name. The book features every day people, (whatever that means) who live Straight Edge.
I found it enjoyable to see that Johnny of Johnny Cupcakes appears in this book. A man who loves cupcakes is a friend indeed.
Sporting white X.
The illustrious Straight Edge tattoos are impressive but they cause me anxiety. A permanent statement of Straight Edge is risky. It is either a true example of hardcore, or it is an example of in-the-moment intensity: in other words, a really stupid idea. All nervousness aside, I do like the public outcry. The qualification is that I can appreciate the aesthetic of it as long it is not a statement of judgement; an attempt to foist personal values onto someone else, or a display of bumpersticker socio-politics.
Photography Credit: ©Raymond McCrea Jones
Out of Step: Faces of Straight Edge - Trailer
I purchased mine last week. To view more photos, to purchase the book and to learn more about Raymond McCrea Jones, visit the website, here.