Picture two friends, each resonating from disparate geographical regions but bound by a shared reverence for the relentless energy of the 90s hardcore scene. From this intercontinental camaraderie emerges Remain Sane, an interesting straight-edge project that harmoniously weaves memories of a treasured past into the fabric of the present.
Diving into their creation process, xMilanx reveals a peculiar dynamism that shaped the project. Despite the speedy conception of the demo, stemming from an unforeseen musical rapport between him and xMattiasx, he opted for a concise collection of just four tracks. This decision, as he confided, encapsulates the essence of such a budding venture — a project demonstrating its viability, yet leaving us yearning for more.
In the heart of “Remain Sane” lies a poignant intersection of past and present — a musical odyssey that channels the untamed spirit of 90s hardcore while fearlessly delving into contemporary musings.
The album is a testament to both the joys and challenges of personal evolution, mental resilience, and the shifting landscapes of subcultures. The duo embarks on an introspective journey that navigates the tumultuous waters of nostalgia, self-reflection, and the complexities of the world today, all while staying true to their foundational ethos.
Today, we’re stoked to give you a special track by track commentary by xMilanx, revealing some more details behind each and every song on this powerful EP.
The title of the song is the same as the band name and was written first. It’s about the fact that sometimes it’s very hard to keep a healthy perspective and not fall into skepticism and frustration. Especially in a world that in many ways operates on the principle of fear. And that we should look for ways not to be paralyzed by it.
Because much of what we feel comes primarily from within ourselves, and our inner view influences how we perceive external reality. Fear and anxiety cannot be completely avoided, but it can be worked with and transformed, at least in part, into something that will be our driving force.
Though again, I realize how hard this is and I don’t want to romanticize or minimize it in any way. I am very aware that although I struggle with mental health issues myself, they are not as extensive and severe as many other people’s. The topic of mental health in general, then, is definitely another crucial line in this text.
Including that we often have to take painful steps in looking at ourselves in order to feel better. And with us, those we love.
I’ve noticed that as the punk and HC scene gets older, it tends to look back more and more nostalgically and reminisce about the “good old days”. On the one hand I understand it and it’s actually natural, I started to think the same way myself at some point.
We are all subconsciously looking for the carefree energy we drew on when we were in our 20s and everything seemed great, simple and real.
However, besides the tendency to remember only the good and thus fall for the illusion that one creates for oneself, there is a whole generation that is starting to think like our parents and anything that doesn’t fit into their outlook, they don’t want to accept. The conservatism of thought within hc/punk has always been an extremely interesting topic for me, and as I get older myself (I’m 44) it takes on a purely personal contour for me.
Here again, there is a theme of fear of something we don’t understand and tend not to accept it, thinking that it was all better in our time. We look at the younger generation as the one that hasn’t understood anything, stuck in lives that no longer have the charge they once did and frustrated with much that adulthood brings.
But we completely miss the fact that punk has been around for almost 50 years and that, like everything, it inevitably evolves and transforms. And that it’s not about not changing or not embracing new things. But not to betray yourself.
Then it is very sad to see those who espouse something like subculture or counterculture attacking, for example, LGBTQ+ rights or adoring nationalism, just because they have lost the ability and will to try to understand the context and accept the complexity and colorfulness of this world.
WHO I AM:
When I got into straight edge at the age of 15, I was immediately consumed by the idea. Youthful enthusiasm, enthusiasm, desire to do things my own way.
Many people in my neighborhood at the time (1995) were set up the same way, which is why it was a little sad to see them leave sxe one by one.
Come to think of it, I don’t know what kept me with this way of life until now, but I know that a huge influence was an article Kent McClard wrote for the compilation XXX – Some ideas are poisonous, which he released on Ebullition in the mid 90s.
The choice of bands alone was pretty clearly breaking down the established idea of sxe, and his words just underlined that. In his typically sharp and incisive style, he wrote about how sxe is a poisonous idea and that if you decide to stick with it, you have to prepare yourself for feelings of loneliness.
This was of course a shock to me at first, but then I started to think about things a lot more (that’s what punk rock has always been, is and will be about for me, by the way) and I realised that this is true in many ways and you need to prepare for it. Which later helped me get through some difficult moments.
And although I was also given a lot of courage by lyrics from e.g. Earth Crisis, very soon I was drawing a lot more inspiration from bands that looked at sxe with a more personal perspective and took “just” as part of a complex personal whole. Apart from the bands on Ebullition, it was mainly By The Grace of God who worked with sxe in exactly this way, not afraid to look at many aspects critically and especially through the lens of their own lives.
I too realize that sxe is just one part in the mosaic that makes up ours. However, for me, even after 27 years, it remains a part that is absolutely essential in helping me not to lose my own integrity. And remain sane.