From Punk Rocker To Motivational Speaker: The Surprising Evolution Of Angst

John Joseph of Cro-Mags

Photo: Rick Kern/Getty Images


From Punk Rocker To Motivational Speaker: The Surprising Evolution Of Angst

Perhaps the visceral energy of youth can age into wisdom later in life—here are a few former hardcore legends who have made the transformation

GRAMMYs/Dec 12, 2018 - 02:13 am

If you ever find yourself in New York's East Village in search of a good vegan restaurant, you might make your way into The Organic Grill on 1st Avenue between 7th and St. Marks, order their famous "Triple J" pulled jackfruit sandwich and be halfway done with your organic espresso smoothie before you even realize this is the favorite eatery of Cro-Mags frontman-turned triathlete motivational enthusiast John Joseph. Even then, a copy of Joseph's controversial get-fit vegan book on a stand in the corner of the room or a tip-off from the waiter, who mentions that "the Triple J" is named after Joseph, might be the only giveaway.

Joseph makes his impact and his living these days delivering motivational, mantra-based talks every bit as intense—and probably even more life-changing—as the music he made with underground hardcore heroes, Cro-Mags, who released their seminal album, The Age Of Quarrel, in 1986. This progression from riot inciter to pious inspirer is actually quite a natural one, according to a recent Mel Magazine piece, which points out Joseph is not the only former punk channeling aggressive energy into motivational speaking.

The most obvious—and famous—example is GRAMMY winner Henry Rollins, who fronted Black Flag and Rollins Band, earning a nod for Best Metal Performance for "Liar" for the 37th GRAMMY Awards the same year he won for Best Spoken Word Recording for his reading of Get In The Van: On The Road With Black Flag. Rollins' 1995 performance of "Liar" might have marked a symbolic shift, opening the door for a generation of fiery punks to reignite their voices. Rollins has spoken to audiences all over the world and even campaigned for political causes such as LGBT rights and hunger relief.

Mel Magazine makes mention of several other outspoken hardcore legends who are, as they put it, "on the upper end of 'all ages'," including Rollins' good friend Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi (age 56) and Earth Crisis frontman Karl Buechner (age 47), who has been a strong proponent of animal liberation and veganism throughout his career. For these and so many more, punk has always been an unexpected medium for social discourse.

“Hardcore is still by and large a social experiment,” says Greg Bennick of the band Trial, who has taken stances on feminism, LGBT rights, immigration and veganism in his career. “It’s constantly in a state of transformation and by no means has arrived at a final point or reached a state of total grace. It always has issues and problems that are in need of examination, but what people not involved in hardcore could find — if they looked beyond the screaming and stage dives — is a generally connected group of individuals trying to make something work where nothing existed before.”

The piece also points out contemporaries of Joseph who are leading motivation workshops such as Ray Cappo of Youth of Today and Shelter (who now goes by Raghunath after becoming a celibate monk for six years and eventually a yogi), and Toby Morse of H20, who started a non-profit organization called One Life One Chance to inspire students to make heathy choices and live a drug-free life.

Not all of these powerful calls for change are coming from men, however. Maria Sherman, senior writer at Jezebel, cites Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre and Alice Bag of The Bags as two voices well worth listening to as alternatives to Joseph, even if just as a matter of personal opinion. Either way, the idea that there is actual benefit in these messages is real, although not automatic.

“At the risk of losing all of my street cred, I do believe there’s a way to usher in progressive, punk ideologies into schools, corporations and wellness conferences" says Sherman. "There’s nothing wrong with retired punks teaching their good book of pit politics, but it’s wrong if they’re crossing a line that exploits real, true community work.”

As Mel Magazine writer Jason Diamond sums it up, "As the people who came up in the scene apply [punk's] principles to life coaching, the results show just how varied, positive and destructive hardcore can be."

Report: Musicians More Likely To Struggle With Mental Health & Substance Abuse

Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY


Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

Attention Music Fans: Take The GRAMMY Challenge NOW On KIK And Facebook Messenger

Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/


Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

Seattle's Museum Of Pop Culture To Host Pearl Jam Exhibit

Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs



Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

Getting The Latest Music News Just Got Easier. Introducing: GRAMMY Bot. Find it On KIK and Facebook Messenger 

Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images


Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

Gibson Guitars Names Slash Global Brand Ambassador