Hardcore punk has long been thought of as a boy’s club. It is a genre that prides itself on being loud, aggressive and overtly masculine.
However, one new band from Hattiesburg is trying to break that stereotype. Baghead is a hardcore punk band composed of friends Zach Burton, Sarah Krock, Hampton Martin and Brianna Wells. Burton, Krock and Martin attend Pearl River Community College, and Wells is a student in the Department of Theatre at The University of Southern Mississippi.
The band’s music harkens back to the early days of hardcore, drawing influence from genre pioneers Minor Threat and DYS and modern bands from the Midwest like Noose and Raw Nerve. The band is the first band that Krock and Wells have ever played in, and it is their first experience playing their instruments in the band, bass and drums respectively.
The band readily acknowledges they are an anomaly in their genre. “Girls in bands around here have always been somewhat (of) a novelty, and I hope that in some way Baghead can help to change how people view female musicians,” Krock said.
Wells echoed her bandmate’s sentiments. “I hope my presence in the hardcore scene encourages others who aren’t white males to join in,” Wells said. “(Participating in hardcore) is lots of fun. I encourage everyone to go to at least a couple of shows in their life. Something like your assigned sex and skin color shouldn’t stop you from having just as much fun as the boys.”
The band played their first show just two weeks after they formed, and they completely stole the show. Following a hodgepodge of noise acts, eclectic rappers and an indie rock band, Baghead’s high-octane brand of danceable punk was well received. Few veteran bands could have hoped to capture the raw energy that the band put forth as they whipped a lifeless crowd into a dancing frenzy. Krock and Wells could have easily been mistaken for seasoned musicians as the band rushed through its short seven-minute set.
The band was caught off guard by their warm reception. “(The show was) completely wild,” Martin said. “I knew the show was either going to be a bust or packed. Luckily, it was packed. The reception was amazing.”
“The bigger surprise was how many people kept telling us how great we were after we played our set,” Wells said.
While the ultimate goal with Baghead for Martin is to have fun and be punk, he admits that there are a lot of things that the band wants to accomplish.
Playing as many shows as possible, touring and putting out physical releases are all things that the band hopes to accomplish, as they work around their busy school schedules.
Baghead recently recorded a demo of two songs that can be heard at bagheadms.bandcamp.com and on their Facebook page.