As a 14-year-old Atascadero High School student, Hayley Thomas sported an oversize leather jacket and subsisted on a steady diet of The Clash and The Ramones.
What stuck with me the most more than the music itself, which is fun and exciting and empowering is that (punk) allows you to pursue things in your own life your own way, recalled Thomas, who fully embraced that message of doing it yourself and having respect for yourself and believing in yourself.
The same indomitable spirit defines the Central Coast punk quintet Magazine Dirty.
Magazine Dirty marks the release of its eponymous album Saturday with a concert at SLO Brewing Co. in San Luis Obispo. The playbill includes two other local acts, alt-country combo American Dirt and garage-rock band King Walrus & the Magicians.
Also in store for Magazine Dirty is a more intimate concert July 27 at The Sanitarium in San Luis Obispo.
According to Thomas, who plays lead guitar in Magazine Dirty, the band taps into the roots of punk rock.
We all share this desire to bring a very 70s glammy punk sort of feel with the aggressive and frenetic energy of ahardcore 80s punk style, Thomas explained . Our style has definitely evolved to be kind of unique.
Country and punk
Created in 2011, Magazine Dirty is the brainchild of guitarist Reid Cain, better known locally as the frontman of country band Red Eye Junction.
Cain discovered punk music as a seventh-grader when a friend handed him a cassette tape of Crasss 1978 album, The Feeding of the Five Thousand.
It was the gateway drug, he recalled.
Although he found a home in country music, Cain longed to return to his punk roots.
At Camozzis Saloon in Atascadero, he ran into bassist Greg Cherry, who also expressed interest.
I said, Cool, lets start a punk band. It was as simple as (that), said Cain, who quickly recruited Dirty Curtis Campbell as lead singer and Chad Nichol as drummer.
Thomas, Cains fiancé and Red Eye Junction bandmate, took a little more convincing.
I didnt just want to be a girl in the band, she explained, although she eventually realized the importance having a female member. You bring this whole energy that changes the band from just being a sausage fest. Its more accessible.
All five band members have strong ties to the Central Coast business and music communities.
Cain is the owner of Dr. Cains Comics and Games in San Luis Obispo, while Cherry co-owns 3INK Screenprinting in Morro Bay. Campbell is a stylist at Faces & Ala Mode Salon & Spa in San Luis Obispo. Nichol is a registered nurse at Atascadero State Hospital, and Thomas, a freelance writer, is the editor-in-chief of North County Life and Swap! Zine.
Onstage, however, their alter-egos come out to play.
Curtis is the explosive heartthrob, Thomas explained, while Cain channels the manic energy of Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong, Cherry maintains a stoic Zen-like calm and Nichol provides a steady beat.
Her own alternate persona, Manstomper, is a fierce femme fatale whose domineering presence belies her slight height.
Thomas, who shares writing duties with Cain, Campbell and Cherry, said each member brings something different to the table.
Whereas her songs have an intellectual bent and Campbells match his onstage swagger, Greg is very poetic, she said, capable of a high-energy party anthem (Teenage Lobotomy) or a grim social commentary (Punks and Pushers).
Cain prefers songs that are subtly political yet approachable.
When I write songs, I talk about things we can all relate too, he said, such as watching ones heroes grow old. In his song Faded, he muses that All the best are dead/ All the good are faded/Glory days are at an end and they wont be back again.
As for Nichol? I just play the drums, he said.
Its been great. Its been fun, Nichol said. Thats what Im all about having a good time on stage and making sure everybody has a good time out in the audience.
Fans of all ages
According to Thomas, Magazine Dirty enjoys a wide-ranging fan base from gray-haired grandparents to our biggest fan in the world, a 15-year San Miguel resident with a homemade Magazine Dirty patch and a red Mohawk styled by Campbell himself.
Thats whats so cool about Magazine Dirty: Its all-inclusive, she said. And if you want to get involved, we want to have you.
The band earned at least one more fan in April when it opened for Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine at SLO Brewing Co.
That was probably one of our shining moments. We were so excited, recalled Thomas, who was especially thrilled to meet one of Biafras roadies, an older man with a British accent.
When he shook my hand, I was like, Holy (crap), its Pete the Roadie, Thomas said. Hes been chronicled in punk rock lore and legend since the late 70s.
Although Pete the Roadie apparently suffered an upset stomach earlier that night, he told Thomas after the show that Magazine Dirty had restored him back to health and made him human again. He had the biggest smile on his face.
My 16-year-old self and my 26-year-old self were just freaking out, she said with a laugh.
Reach Sarah Linn at 781-7907. Stay updated by following @shelikestowatch on Twitter.