Punk rock has always been viewed somewhat negatively through the eyes of mainstream society. With today’s commercialization of the genre, however, what most consider to be “punk” is certainly much safer than before. Although no longer considered a threat to society, as it has been many times throughout history, the underground Punk Rock Community continues to stay relevant around the world in many huge ways. PunkAid is one of them.
Created by Mike Virus, former lead singer for legendary street punk band, The Virus, Punk Aid made its first release in 2012, in response to punks in Indonesia having their hair shaved and clothes burned by police. Taking in submissions from all over the world, Punk Aid released an album featuring 72 bands, and all profits were given to Movement Records in Indonesia. All non-homophobic, non-racist submissions were featured, whether the group was known or not, and all bands did so with no intention other than to support their fellow punks on the other side of the globe. The money raised was used for Movement Records to be able to provide the 5-disc compilation to their community for free.
In 2013, Mike announced plans to release a second Punk Aid Compilation, this time benefiting the families of the Boston Marathon Bombing victims and the victims of the tornadoes that hit Oklahoma City a month after the bombing. “Punk Aid: Boston/OKC Strong” received a total of 117 submissions this time around, and featured many bigger and smaller bands, this time including UK legends, The Adicts. 100% of the thousands of dollars raised by the compilation went straight to the The Oklahoma City Tornado Recovery Fund within weeks.
Now it is 2014, and Punk Aid is coming back with a brand new compilation, this time benefiting an entirely new population: Animals. “Punk Aid 3: For the Animals” was announced earlier this year. Proceeds this time around will benefit NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles), a kill-free pet adoption center aiming to reduce the amount of animals killed in pet shelters due to overcrowding. To add to the excitement this year, there will also be a Punk Aid benefit show expected to be taking place sometime in September or October (location tba).
Although punk rock may not be the same threat to society as it was once known to be, the punks certainly continue to stay relevant, proven here by Mike Virus and his refusing to let lack of media attention stop him from standing up and fighting for change, in the true punk rock spirit. Check out Punk Aid 3: For the Animals, available September 1st, and the previous two editions by clicking on the link below, and don’t forget to support the animals!
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