The Madness of MusInk Continues This Weekend at OC Fairgrounds

Suicidal Tendencies (Credit: Michelle Alvarez)

What do you get when Blink 182’s Travis Barker and John Reese of SGE (Synergy Global Entertainment) put their heads together and work on a project? You get a kick-ass party with some of the most iconic names in the punk rock world playing JUST FOR YOU. This year’s MUSINK Music Festival and Tattoo Convention is presented by KROQ and it’s about to hit us in the face with the bands we love. This year’s going to be something special. So-much-so, recently John Reese, said MUSINK is going to “bring back the ink and tunes to the OC.” AND it’ll be a glorious spectacle.

That’s the thing about MUSINK, it’s more than just a punk rock show. Yes, it also features great tattoo artists and an unreal car show. What stands out when you walk the grounds of the  OC Fair & Event Center, you’ll come to realize that punk rock is more than a cool sound and an opportunity to raise your middle finger to the man. It’s a lifestyle that speaks to us, it captures us and guides us. Sure, punk came out of the 70’s, but it’s developed to be pure and real music. The music literally makes us laugh, cry, and it can moves us. Punk rock also heals us, it communicates and challenges us to seek truth. Above all, it challenges us to call out those who push their own truth at the expense of others. Bottom line, we struggle together, we struggle with one another; and we struggle to hold on to idealism after we lose our innocence. Music, is our cure-all, and MUSINK, is our medication.  

That all being said, MUSINK brings us back to our roots and catapults us back to the future. Now in its 12th year, this festival is the only gathering of the mind and soul on the planet that incorporates cars, tattoos, punk, rock and hip-hop music. These elements are undoubtedly the essence of SoCal. It’s literally part of the punk lifestyle, and for the punk in us, it’s another State of Mind.  If you’ve lived in SoCal most of your life, you know how much we love our cars. This year you’ll get to see some custom rides including American classics and lowriders in the Low ‘N’ Slow Car Show. Another element of the punk life are the tats. Sure, some people get into them as a form of social acceptance or trying to be part of the too-hip club, but those in the lifestyle see tats as something more than that. For real tattoo enthusiasts, it means to display love and devotion for family and friends, or anything that matter to us; tats memorialize our soul in ink. As a result of this acknowledgement, Barker, with a little help from his friends, adds another aspect of a great time by providing everyone with an opportunity to meet and get inked by some of the tattoo industry’s best!   

Travis Barker (Credit: Michelle Alvarez)

The question I’m sure you’re asking yourself is how did we get here? Here’s the skinny, MUSINK was originally curated by the legendary tattoo artist Kat Von D. Since then, the festival has changed over the years, it landed with Barker in 2014; and he’s taken it to the next level. Barker recently said that “Every year we have more and more fun and this year I’m excited to announce  Suicidal Tendencies, Limp Bizkit, Fear, Hatebreed, Dead Kennedys, and more.” He goes on to say “Super stoked for all the fans to come out for a great time of music, cars, and tattoos.” This year features an insane lineup of punk icons and heroes.

Night One on Friday starts us off with loud music that will make you feel your bones quiver, featuring music by All Hail the Yeti, Bleeding Through, Sick Of it All, Hatebreed, and Suicidal Tendencies.  It’ll be an insane night of music and mayhem.

Night Two on Saturday has a special guest lineup, since Barker’s putting this on, it could be just about anyone. He’ll also do a DJ set between bands. There’s H09909, and closing out the night will be the Fred Durst insanity show, which of course means, Limp Bizkit. Regarding Limp Bizkit, a few fans had a moment to pause regarding this choice as a headliner. Truthfully, the band hasn’t put out anything since 2011. That’s reason # 101 why Barker is becoming the festival Guru he’s has become. In a recent interview, Barker said “Maybe two years ago I heard they were playing a show we were doing in Europe and I went over to the stage to see Limp Bizkit and make no mistake, Limp Bizkit is still one of the greatest live bands ever. I still think they’re a great band, they still have tons of fans and I think their new album is going to be awesome.” Needless to say, there was and is a magic to songs like Nookie, Break Stuff, and Rollin’ that still make their friends scream. Regardless of what anyone “thinks,” Barker gets credit for knowing a legit sound when he hears it. Durst remains at the top of his game, DJ Lethal entrances us with his turn table magic; and Wes Borland is still Wes Borland for God sakes… it doesn’t get any better than that!

Finally as if that isn’t enough, Night Three on Sunday promises to be uber-special. It literally features the who’s who of the punk’s-punk!  Opening will be Riverside’s #1 sons, the ska-core juggernauts known as Voodoo Glow Skulls. Their new singer Efram Schulz is getting his foothold, and the band sounds just as tight as ever.  Then there’s the always entertaining Anti-Flag. Followed by the legendary, Jack Grisham and TSOL. Make sure you take a deep breath before going into the pit for Dead Kennedys, then there’s Fear!  If you’re still breathing, the show headliner are OC punk legends The Vandals. The nucleus of the band is Dave Quackenbush (lead vocals), Joe Escalante (bass), Warren Fitzgerald (guitar) and Josh Freese (drums). Collectively there signature sound has defined a generation, and they continue to electrify crowds everywhere they play.

In the end, the difference between being good at anything in life, and being great at it is the effort you put into it. With Barker and Reese behind the wheel, MUSINK is set to be a juggernaut in the festival scene for years to come.  This duo doesn’t write slogans, they write truths, and the truth is, come rain or shine, MUSINK guarantees to electrify!

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