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July 11, 2012

Music Issue 2012: A different direction

A 14-year-old Louisville girl’s unorthodox love of local hardcore

“Straight Edge. Hardcore and Pop Punk lover. Hardcore is my life and I will carry the name. Also, I’m 14.”

This is how Hannah Brousseau introduces herself online: freshman at Collegiate, Lakeside swimmer and hardcore enthusiast. While her friends jam out to British boy band One Direction, Hannah has a drastically different musical taste, namely local hardcore and pop-punk.

The 14-year-old with bright blue eyes and a quick giggle is not your typical hardcore fan, lacking the usual piercings, tattoos and driver’s license. “Besides me, the youngest people you really see at shows are the 16-, 17-year-olds who can drive themselves,” Hannah explains. “I have to have my parents give me a ride, which is really weird, especially when my mom insists on coming in and staying for the show. She doesn’t like music as much as I do, especially not hardcore, so she’ll sit in the corner reading a book and watch people mosh.”

Despite numerous obstacles, from transportation to age limits at concerts, Hannah remains undeterred in her enthusiasm for hardcore and pop-punk music. She is drawn to the genre’s positive, empowering messages, naming Late Ones, Vaderbomb, Written Off, and Another Mistake among her local favorites.

“I really enjoy pop-punk because it’s very uplifting,” she says. “Even if it may not be the happiest song, at the end it’s always like, ‘It’s OK. It’s going to get better.’ Hardcore tells you that you should be strong and do what you want to do.”

Hannah’s discovery of the local scene was accidental. A study hall spent messing around on YouTube led her to videos by local band Late Ones. Surprised by how much she enjoyed the music, Hannah “knew (she) had to find more.” Further investigations led her to Facebook and eventually to Louisville Hardcore, an online forum she now uses to find new bands and to learn about upcoming concerts.

Because of her age, Hannah often finds herself having to convince people of her genuine love of hardcore. Parents aside, the bands’ other fans were reluctant to accept the teenager into their midst. However, Hannah says her consistent dedication has proven this is more than a passing juvenile fad.

“I realized this weekend when I went to a show that people were getting a lot nicer to me and more receptive,“ she says. “The first couple times I went, I was just standing by myself in the corner. Now we actually talk.”

Hannah remains optimistic that she may still convert some of her mall-going, boy-band-listening friends to the local scene she loves. But for now, she’s undeterred by her atypical tastes. “I’m pretty independent,” she explains with a shrug. “I’d rather be at home listening to an album, moshing around my room, than at the mall or Googling pictures of One Direction like my friends.”

The budding guitarist also hopes to get involved with the local scene herself. “Louisville is a really DIY city,” she says. “We have a lot of original places here, and that really is conducive to a hardcore and pop-punk scene. You have people who are inspired to do stuff on their own, and not to just sit back and let other people do it. I think that’s why we have a really good scene. For a long time, especially in the ’80s, we had an unbelievably good scene. Now it’s up to the next generation.”