Krishnacore is a subgenre of hardcore punk which draws inspiration from the Hare Krishna tradition (formally known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness). Although some hardcore punk bands had already made references to Krishna Consciousness in the 1980s, the subgenre was established in the early 1990s by the bands Shelter and 108.[1][2] The name is a portmanteau of "Krishna" and "hardcore".

Academic Colin Helb described krishnacore as "a subculture of a subculture of a subculture."[3] The subgenre has been met with surprise by some observers due to the reputed contradictions between punk rock and Krishna Consciousness.[3][4][5]

Precedents (1980s)

John Joseph Gwar B-Q 2015
John Joseph of the Cro-Mags in 2015

Punk rock and Hinduism have converged occasionally since the early days of the genre. Singer Poly Styrene of the English band X-Ray Spex joined ISKON following the breakup of her band in 1980.[6] On the New York hardcore punk scene, the main influence on some musicians to embrace ISKON was the Washington D.C.'s hardcore band Bad Brains which, despite being Rastas, "grafted fervent spirituality onto an otherwise nihilistic and antitranscendental genre."[4] One of the first members of its scene to adopt Krishna Consciousness was John Joseph of the Cro-Mags.[7] New York bands Antidote and Cause for Alarm were among the first that began to explore Krishna Consciousness in both their creative and personal lives,[8][9][note 1] but the most prominent example was the Cro-Mags' debut album The Age of Quarrel (1986), whose title is a translation for the Hindu concept of Kali Yuga that is taught in Hare Krishna philosophy.[2]

Music journalist Eric Caruncho has noted that the Filipino band The Wuds performed Krishna-influenced punk as early as 1986.[12][13]


The band Shelter was formed in 1991, which is credited as the inventor of krishnacore.[14] Shelter consisted of two ex-members of Youth of Today, vocalist Ray Cappo and guitarist John Porcelly, who had become Krishna devotees.[14]

The genre is also strongly associated with Equal Vision Records, which was formed by Shelter members to promote the Krishna movement.[15] Other early acts within the genre include 108, Refuse to Fall and Prema.[2]


Although the Hare Krishna movement and many straight edgers shared the principles of refraining from drug use, vegetarianism and condemnation of illicit sex, the former also provided a transcendental and philosophical framework wherein lay these commitments.[16] Academic Mike Dines states that krishnacore bands were "conscious of its own history and aesthetic." He highlights "the importance of the devotional doctrine of bhakti-yoga within this relationship; a doctrine that was to inform further the move from straightedge punk to Hare Krishna monk.’[17]

Dines therefore brings together rasa and the idea of Nada-Brahma to highlight the ‘unique fusion of Western popular music and the Eastern-based Indian spirituality (and lifestyle) of the Vaishnavas.’[18] In turning the punk aesthetic towards the devotional and, in particular, the transcendental vibration of the holy name, Krishnacore became a site of expression for bhakti-yoga. Moreover, Dines states that ‘what provides validity to the connecting of Krishnacore and Indian aesthetics lies in the placement of those band members and associates who were involved in the scene.’[19] He concludes, ‘Ray Cappo, Robert Fish and Vic Dicara were not mere spectators of the Hare Krishna movement, but were indeed devotees themselves, reading and studying scripture, attending lectures and practicing the lifestyle of the devotee.’[19]

The difference between krishnacore and bands such as Cro-Mags or Cause for Alarm, which previously made some connections between the Hare Krishna movement and the hardcore scene, was that the service to Krishna had become the sole objective of krishnacore.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Both Antidote and Cause for Alarm released their debut recordings in 1983.[10] In interviews, the frontmen of Antidote (Louie Rivera)[10] and Cause for Alarm (Keith Burkhardt)[11] both cite John Joseph of the Cro-Mags as the person who introduced them to Krishna Consciousness. Rivera said, "People lose track of what an influence that guy Johnny Joseph was at the time. He would be walking around trying to spread the word of the Bhagavad Gita and Krishna consciousness."[10]


  1. ^ Abbey & Helb 2014, p. 142.
  2. ^ a b c d Kuhn, Gabriel (March 2012). ""I'm Not the Flesh" Krishnacore und Straight Edge". Alpine Anarchist (in German). Archived from the original on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b Abbey & Helb 2014, pp. 141-142.
  4. ^ a b Parker, Ben. "Age of Quarrel". n+1. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  5. ^ "Five Bizarre Punk Permutations". Miami New Times. 11 January 2011. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  6. ^ Abbey & Helb 2014, p. 148.
  7. ^ Pike 2017, p. 146-147.
  8. ^ Abbey & Helb 2014, p. 151.
  9. ^ Ambrosch 2018, p. 146.
  10. ^ a b c Wynne, Chris (2018). "Antidote/Cause For Alarm NYHC 1983". Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Interview dengan Keith of CAUSE FOR ALARM". Betterday zine (in Indonesian). No. 26. November 2011. Archived from the original on 13 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  12. ^ Caruncho, Eric (4 August 2013). "We're Not Out of the Wuds Yet". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on 17 August 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  13. ^ Eric S. Caruncho; Benedicto Cabrera; Crucible Gallery; SM Megamall (1995). Bencab's Rock Sessions. The Crucible Workshop. p. 43. In 1995, the rock magazine Spin published an article noting the emergence of Krishnacore bands — hardcore bands whose lyrics preached devotion to Krishna. Now it can be told: the Wuds were there first, 10 years ahead of their time
  14. ^ a b Behrman, Lorne (June 2000). Spiritualized. CMJ New Music Monthly. CMJ Network, Inc. p. 47. ISSN 1074-6978. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  15. ^ Abbey & Helb, p. 153.
  16. ^ Dines 2014, p. 150.
  17. ^ Dines 2014, p. 148.
  18. ^ Dines 2014, p. 152.
  19. ^ a b Dines 2014, p. 154.


  • Ambrosch, Gerfried (15 May 2018). The Poetry of Punk: The Meaning Behind Punk Rock and Hardcore Lyrics. Routledge. ISBN 1351384449.
108 (band)

108 is an American hardcore band founded in 1991. Their music reflects the Hare Krishna faith of the band members. Their name comes from the number of beads on the Japa mala, or mantra counting beads.


18.61 is the fifth studio album by the American hardcore band 108. The album follows 2007's A New Beat from a Dead Heart. The album was the first to be recorded with drummer Michael Justian, formerly of Trap Them and Unearth. 18.61 was released on April 13, 2010, through Deathwish Inc.

Animal rights and punk subculture

Animal rights are closely associated with two ideologies of the punk subculture: anarcho-punk and straight edge. This association dates back to the 1980s and has been expressed in areas that include song lyrics, benefit concerts for animal rights organisations, and militant actions of activists influenced by punk music. Among the latter, Rod Coronado, Peter Daniel Young and members of SHAC are notable. This issue spread into various punk rock and hardcore subgenres, e.g. crust punk, metalcore and grindcore, eventually becoming a distinctive feature of punk culture.

The inculcation of some concepts and practices related to animal rights in the collective consciousness has been substantially pioneered and influenced by the punk movement. This association continues on into the 21st century, as evinced by the prominence of international vegan punk events such as Ieperfest in Belgium, Fluff Fest in Czech Republic, and Verdurada in Brazil.

BYO Records

BYO Records is a Los Angeles, California based independent punk rock record label created by Shawn and Mark Stern, two of the three brothers of the California punk rock band Youth Brigade (the third being Adam Stern who plays bass but does not run BYO).BYO stands for "Better Youth Organization" and aims to promote punk and other alternative youth cultures in a positive light. BYO has released records by 7 Seconds, Agression, and SNFU in the 1980s and Leatherface, Kosher, The Unseen, Throw Rag, Jon Cougar Concentration Camp, Automatic 7 and The Briefs. It also started the BYO Split Series of full-length records shared by bands from other labels, such as Leatherface/Hot Water Music, Swingin' Utters/Youth Brigade, NOFX/Rancid, The Bouncing Souls/Anti-Flag and Alkaline Trio/One Man Army.

Christian punk

Christian punk is a form of Christian music and a subgenre of punk rock with some degree of Christian lyrical content. Much disagreement persists about the boundaries of the subgenre, and the extent that their lyrics are explicitly Christian varies among bands. For example, The Crucified explicitly rejected the classification of "Christian punk" while staying within the Christian music industry.Given the nature of punk and some of its subgenres, such as hardcore punk, many bands have been rejected by the Christian and CCM music industry. Christian punk has been deemed novel in that it "seeks authenticity in two differently organized and orientated cultures: secular punk on the one hand and Evangelical youth culture and CCM on the other".

Some bands generally avoid specific mention of God or Jesus; likewise some bands may specifically reject the CCM label or express disdain for that niche of the music industry. For example, Ninety Pound Wuss vocalist Jeff Suffering said about the breakup of the band in 2000, "...[N]obody wanted to continue playing in [the] "Christian" music industry."It has been noted that, "measured purely by record sales, Christian punk dwarfs all other religious contributions to the genre", with certain individual Christian punk bands outselling the entire market for the next largest religious punk genre, Krishnacore.

Coalesce (band)

Coalesce was a metalcore band formed in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1994. They are considered pioneers of mathcore and were known for its aggressive style of music and reckless live shows. The band broke up in 2010 and has performed two reunion shows since then.

Fed Up!

Fed Up! was an American straight edge hardcore and Krishna Conscious band formed by Caine Rose and Jai Nitai Holzman in late 1987 and active until 1989.

Glam punk

Glam punk (sometimes called mock rock) is a term used retrospectively to describe a short lived trend for bands which produced a form of proto-punk that incorporated elements of glam rock, initially in the early to mid-1970s. Acts included New York Dolls and Harlots of 42nd Street.

Hare Krishna in popular culture

Contributions to popular culture involving direct reference to the Hare Krishna mantra, or the Hare Krishna movement include the following.

List of songs about animal rights

Animal rights has been a subject of both popular and independent music since the 1970s. Associated with the environmentalist musical counterculture of the previous decade, animal rights songs of the 1970s were influenced by the passage of animal protection laws and the 1975 book Animal Liberation. Paul McCartney has cited John Lennon's Bungalow Bill, released in 1968, as among the first animal rights songs.Popular themes include anti-whaling (prompted by the Save the Whales movement), opposition to hunting, animal testing and vegetarianism. Bullfighting has been a prominent theme in Spain and some Latin American countries; while folk and pop music have traditionally identified with bullfighting traditions, several ska, rock and punk groups have emerged which oppose them.Anarcho-punk and veganism have a long association dating back to the 1980s. During this period, American hardcore punk and straight edge scenes became increasingly concerned with animal rights, spawning the vegan straight edge and hardline punk ideologies. An increase in Animal Liberation Front activism in the 1990s corresponded with the rise of vegan straight edge and hardline bands. The more peaceful Krishnacore subgenre, which also advocates vegetarianism and animal rights, developed around this time too. The association between punk subculture and animal rights has continued in the 21st century, with vegan punk festivals including Fluff Fest in the Czech Republic and Verdurada in Brazil.

New York hardcore

New York hardcore (NYHC) is hardcore punk music created in New York City, and the subculture and lifestyle associated with that music. New York hardcore grew out of the hardcore scene established in Washington, D.C., by bands such as Bad Brains (which were the first east coast hardcore punk band) and Minor Threat. Initially a local phenomenon of the 1980s and 1990s, New York Hardcore eventually grew to establish an international reputation with little to moderate mainstream popularity, but with a dedicated and enthusiastic underground following, primarily in the US and Europe. With a history spanning over more than 3 decades, many of the early NYHC bands are still in activity to this day; some of them being continuously or almost continuously active since their formation (Sick of It All, Agnostic Front, Nihilistics, Murphy's Law), and also in the form of reunion shows.

Punk ideologies

Punk ideologies are a group of varied social and political beliefs associated with the punk subculture and punk rock. In its original incarnation, the punk subculture originated out of working class angst and the frustrations many youth were feeling about economic inequality and the bourgeois hypocrisy and neglect of working people and their struggles. It was primarily concerned with concepts such as mutual aid, against selling out, egalitarianism, humanitarianism, anti-authoritarianism, anti-consumerism, anti-corporatism, anti-war, decolonization, anti-conservatism, anti-liberal, anti-globalization, anti-gentrification, anti-racism, anti-sexism, gender equality, racial equality, health rights, civil rights, animal rights, disability rights, free-thought and non-conformity. One of its main tenets was a rejection of mainstream, corporate mass culture and its values. It continued to evolve its ideology as the movement spread throughout North America from its origins in England and New York and embrace a range anti-racist and anti-sexist belief systems. Punk ideologies range from left wing views (e.g., NOFX) to right wing beliefs (e.g., No Remorse) or apolitical (e.g., Misfits).

Punk ideologies are usually expressed through punk rock music and lyrics, punk literature such as amateur fanzines, spoken word performances or recordings, punk fashion, or punk visual art. Some punks have participated in direct action, such as protest or demonstration disruption, political violence, ecotage, street barricades, squatting, pirate radio, off-grid energy, graffiti, vandalism and public and business property destruction. Indirect action through counter-propaganda, protests or boycotts. They support and squat in urban and rural collective house's with held group funds in common. Punk fashion was originally an expression of nonconformity, as well as opposition to both mainstream culture and the status quo. Punk fashion often displays aggression, rebellion, and individualism. Some punks wear accessories, clothing or have tattoos that express sociopolitical messages. They stage Punk Rock Food Drives such as D.O.A's Unity for Freedom. Punk visual art also often includes political messages. Many punks wear second-hand clothing, partly as an anti-consumerist statement.

An attitude common in the punk subculture is the opposition to selling out, which refers to abandoning of one's values and/or a change in musical style toward pop (e.g. electropop) and embracing anything in mainstream capitalist culture or more radio-friendly rock (e.g. pop rock) in exchange for wealth, status, or power. Selling out also has the meaning of adopting a more mainstream lifestyle and ideology. The issue of authenticity is important in the punk subculture—the pejorative term poseur is applied to those who try to associate with punk and adopt its stylistic attributes but are deemed not to share or understand the underlying core values or philosophy.

Because anti-establishment attitudes are such an important part of the punk subculture, a network of independent record labels, venues and distributors has developed. Some punk bands have chosen to break from this independent system and work within the established system of major labels. The do it yourself (DIY) ideal is common in the punk scene, especially in terms of music recording and distribution, concert promotion, and photocopying magazines, posters and flyers. The expression DIY was coined by commentators after the fact.

On religious issues, punk is mostly atheist or skeptic, but some punk bands are theist and have promoted religions or spirituality such as Christianity, Islam, Umbanda, the Rastafari movement, Neo-Paganism, Buddhism, Vedanta or Krishna.

Ray Cappo

Ray Cappo (also known as Raghunath, Ray of Today) is the vocalist for the hardcore punk band Youth of Today, and former vocalist for the bands Reflex From Pain, Shelter, Better Than A Thousand, and the project recording "Pour Water on It". Cappo is originally from Connecticut, and played drums for the Connecticut band Violent Children. Before moving to New York City in the mid-1980s, Cappo and his band Youth of Today had already made a dent on the scene.

Ruin (punk band)

Ruin was a punk band from Philadelphia. Their first live shows and recordings date to 1980, with founders Damon and Glenn Wallis on guitars, Steve Marasco on bass, and J.R. Arters on drums. By 1982, the lineup of Ruin was largely settled: Vosco Thomas Adams on vocals, Cordy Swope on bass, the Wallis brothers on guitars, and Richard Hutchins on drums. Paul Della Pelle became the drummer when Hutchins left the band in 1984. All six members played the so-called ReUnIoN shows in 1996, 1997, 2013, and 2016.

Shelter (band)

Shelter is a Hare Krishna hardcore punk band, formed by Youth of Today vocalist Ray Cappo in 1991. Because of the religious Hindu-oriented messages in its lyrics, Shelter's subgenre has been dubbed by some as krishnacore.

Women in punk rock

Women have made significant contributions to punk rock music and its subculture since its inception in the 1970s. In contrast to the rock music and heavy metal scenes of the 1970s, which were dominated by men, the anarchic, counter-cultural mindset of the punk scene in mid-and-late 1970s encouraged women to participate. This participation played a role in the historical development of punk music, especially in the U.S. and U.K. at that time, and continues to influence and enable future generations. Women have participated in the punk scene as lead singers, instrumentalists, as all-female bands, zine contributors and fashion designers.Rock historian Helen Reddington wrote that the popular image of young punk women musicians as focused on the fashion aspects of the scene (fishnet stockings, spiky blond hair, etc.) was stereotypical. She states that many, if not all women punks were more interested in the ideology and socio-political implications, rather than the fashion. Music historian Caroline Coon contends that before punk, women in rock music were virtually invisible; in contrast, in punk, she argues, "It would be possible to write the whole history of punk music without mentioning any male bands at all – and I think a lot of [people] would find that very surprising."Johnny Rotten wrote that "During the Pistols era, women were out there playing with the men, taking us on in equal terms ... It wasn’t combative, but compatible." Chrissie Hynde echoed similar sentiments when discussing her start in the punk scene, "That was the beauty of the punk thing: [sexual] discrimination didn't exist in that scene." The anti-establishment stance of punk opened the space for women who were treated like outsiders in a male-dominated industry. Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon states, "I think women are natural anarchists, because you're always operating in a male framework." Others take issue with the notion of equal recognition, such as guitarist Viv Albertine, who stated that "the A&R men, the bouncers, the sound mixers, no one took us seriously.. So, no, we got no respect anywhere we went. People just didn't want us around."

Youth crew

Youth crew is a music subculture of hardcore punk attributed to bands who were primarily active during the mid-to late 1980s particularly during the New York hardcore scene of the late eighties. Youth crew is distinguished from other hardcore and punk scenes by its optimism and moralist outlook. The original youth crew bands and fans were predominantly straight edge (abstaining from alcohol and drugs) and vegetarian advocates.

Early musical influences included Minor Threat, Bad Brains, Negative Approach, 7 Seconds, and Black Flag. While some youth crew music is similar to melodic hardcore, other styles can be very thrash metal influenced and also includes breakdowns intended for the hardcore dancing style associated with live performances. Youth of Today was a very thrashy youth crew band, with abrasive vocals and fast songs too short to include a lot of melody (similar to early Agnostic Front, and contrasting with the other big New York City youth crew bands such as Gorilla Biscuits). Later youth crew bands took increasing influence from heavy metal.

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