Which album gave you a sense of belonging and allowed you to be yourself when you were a kid?
I always talk about Green Day, because Dookie was the first album that I went to buy on my own. I think because I got bullied in school there was something I really appreciated about punk culture. It allowed me to feel unified with something that was separate from my community at school. Even though I didn’t have a lot of punk friends or I didn’t go to punk shows – because when I was 13, my mother would never have allowed me to leave the house and go downtown to see a punk show – just having the album in my hands and reading the lyrics and listening to the music made me feel like I was a punk, feel like a Green Day fan, feel like I was part of a union that was separate from my situation. That’s really carried through into my music and my dream and my message. But what’s been so great is social media. Unlike when I was a kid, my fans now have a way to get to know each other and be connected through social media so that the culture can grow.
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