Lake Zebrowski

photo © Megan A. Zebrowski

My music is punk, plain and simple. Not in the form of the immortal “one-two-three-four” shouts uttered by Dee Dee followed by Johnny’s buzzsaw guitar and Tommy’s thunderous drum beats. This is a punk in it’s essence and spirit. I grew up on the music of Black Flag, Reagan Youth, Flipper, and many others and this music changed me as a person. This turbulent noise, always on the edge of destruction,  I called music gave a young, frustrated, alienated, angry teenager a sense of worth and also taught me a couple of things that I took with me as I became an adult. One: the power of independence. Most of the bands I grew up with were not trained professionals; just some kids who wanted to express themselves and let nothing stand in their way. You don’t need a big record label to release your music, to tell you how to sound, what to wear, and how to act when you can create your own and live by your own terms. Greg Ginn’s SST Records and Black Flag’s DIY work ethic was highly influential and helped spread underground music across the country. Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson created Dischord Records and documented the Washington DC scene while they were still just kids. I tried to emulate their independence. I taught myself to record one painful experiment at a time, drawing inspiration sonically from  bands like the Swans and Have a Nice Life, and created an album of music that I wanted to listen to. I hope you’ll appreciate and be inspired by the hard work that was put into creating my music. Why buy someone else’s music when you can make your own?

The second thing punk music taught me was to stand for something. Music is a powerful, thought provoking medium and should never be taken lightly. At a time when radio and MTV was spewing overly produced trash, underground punk  bands created something real; something that young people could connect to; music that said something. As an admitted political junkie I’ve been disturbed by the increasingly totalitarian trends that have been seeping into our democracy as well as the existing racist, oppressive, and elitist cultural elements that still  remain pervasive. Lake De Gaulle is a statement of protest against those trends. I chose the name “De Gaulle” in honor of Charles De Gaulle who called upon the French people to resist the Nazi occupation declaring “Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not and shall not die.” We are living in a strange time in American history. There are people who actively work to suppress voters rights, who blatantly lie, who attack the free press relentlessly in the hope of creating disunity and disbelief in what should be otherwise indisputable facts. I don’t believe this is just merely partisan slander. The very foundations that hold our democracy together are under attack. Resist the falsehoods and get involved. If any of my work encourages anyone to donate to a charity for Syrian refugees or to engage in the political process in any way, then I know it was a success.

We don’t need to be bystanders. We the People is not a cute message laid out at the beginning of a centuries old scrap of antiquated paper; it is a statement of our power. We have power. Now it’s time to wake up and use it.