By Nikki Hedrick
“It just keeps on getting better,” says Mikey Livid, vocalist and guitarist of Scars and Stripes, “I don’t have any ambitions of being a rock star, but to go up there and have fun is just awesome. That’s the biggest milestone, that I get to play another show.”
The Fort Walton Beach-based punk band started with a dark cloud. Livid, along with brother and bandmate Nicky Nooch, were mourning the loss of their father who passed the same month as their debut show. “The first year was really tough, and it’s strange looking back 10 years because not all the memories are super pleasant.
“Things happen in life, and like five years into the band, it was really this decision that we are going to keep going, that we are going to keep doing this. We’d had something like 12 different members in the band, but it was a decision between my brother and I that we would keep going as Scars and Stripes”
That was the same time guitarist Dustin Wilson officially joined. “It was a really smooth transition,” says Wilson. “Actually joining the band was a kind of easy thing—Oh, you need a guitar player? Well, I know your songs and have seen you play a million times!
“You definitely have to love it. There are not a lot of certificates, commendations or even monetary rewards for what we do. To stick with it this long, there’s no other explanation for it. We do it because we love to.”
When it comes to band milestones, both Wilson and Livid focus on personal moments over tours, albums and shows. “I think, probably, being asked to play my friend’s wedding,” says Wilson. “Someone thought enough of our band and liked us enough that they wanted us to help them celebrate making a commitment to each other. That really meant a lot.”
For Livid, it seems to revolve around a single Queers show booked at Coasters in Downtown Fort Walton Beach, where he met his wife and started a friendship with a childhood idol.
“I really care about punk rock, and it has a done a lot for me. To see that people like Nik Flagstar are keeping the (local) punk scene going, I’m very grateful for that.” Livid calls Fort Walton Beach his home, although he is currently living in Nashville.
Scars and Stripes are celebrating their decade in music at Coasters April 23.
“It’s a way to decompress and let loose a little bit,” says Wilson of the band’s shows. “Some people sit in a hot tub, we get in front of a microphone and yell at people. It’s the way we unwind. And if you want to be a part of that, it’s definitely a come-one come-all kind of thing.”
Scars and Stripes plan to continue playing and releasing music as Livid puts it, “as long as people want to hear us.”
Discover more at scarsandstripes.net.
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