WWE's CM Punk Talks Straight Edge, Hardcore Kids, Favorite Bands, and More
|Courtesy of World Wrestling Entertainment|
|WWE superstar and straight edge icon CM Punk|
CM Punk is one disciplined cat. As his athletic physique indicates, the World Wrestling Entertainment superstar hits the gym with regimented fervor. And as his above quote implies, he's vehemently straight edge. Nary any drugs or alcohol have ever been ingested by the 31-year-old professional wrestler (who's participating in this Sunday's WrestleMania 26 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale).
Like those kids in your high school who listened to Minor Threat and drew "sXe" on their arms with magic marker, CM Punk is a long-time aficionado of punk and hardcore music and a fervent devotee to the straight edge lifestyle. Popularized by such old school punk bands and musicians as State of Alert, Ian MacKaye, and Stalag 13, the practice includes abstaining from drugs, alcohol, smoking, and (depending on who you ask) even sex.
It's become a big trademark of CM Punk's WWE character, since -- as any wrestling fan will tell you -- reality often times makes for awesome soap opera drama. He's been taking it to the extreme over most of the past year, becoming something of a fanatic about being anti-drug, pompously preaching to wrestling fans about their weak wills and becoming the cult-like of the "Straight Edge Society."
CM Punk dropped the pontification for a few minutes, however, to speak with New Times recently about the popularity of straight edge, his favorite bands, and his match with Rey Mysterio this Sunday at WrestleMania 26.
New Times: Do you have a lot of fans amongst punk and hardcore fans because of your straight edge lifestyle and character?
CM Punk: I think I do. I think everybody loves wrestling [and] it doesn't really matter what music you listen to. There's definitely hardcore kids who pay attention to what I'm doing.
NT: Straight edge was extremely popular back in the 80s with Minor Threat and then again in the 90s. Do you think the straight edge lifestyle has diminished?
CM: No, I don't think it has. Because I think people that are true to it still are straight edge. I think just like everything it's a cycle. It boomed in the '80s when it started, it kinda died out and got big again '80s again with the [Youth Crew] movement, and then it kinda died out yet again. And Earth Crisis brought it back in the '90s, and it kinda died out again. And now you've got bands like Ceremony and Have Heart. It's a cycle. I definitely don't think it's not as prevalent in mainstream, but the scene has always been there and it's always gonna be.
NT: Still listen to a lot of punk and hardcore?
NT: What have you been listening to lately?
CM: I will never ever stop listening to Rancid, H2O, Bouncing Souls. I'm kind of a stubborn old straight edge guy, and it takes me awhile to get into some of the new straight edge bands, like Ceremony or Have Heart. But I've got so many friends that are in bands involved in the scene and they keep me up to date on stuff, it just takes me a little while to pay attention to them and listen to what they're telling me to listen to.
NT: Are there any songs in particular that inspire you?
CM: Too many to name, honestly. I definitely use my iPod as motivation in the gym though, to get me through the hours of cardio and lifting and all that other stuff. Definitely always listening to music.
NT: What are your top five bands of all time?
CM: Oh my god! Top five bands of all time? (whistles) That's a big deal. This is knee-jerk list, definitely nothing that's concrete and it'll probably change the instant I hang up the phone with you. In no particular order: The Clash, Misfits, Faith No More, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Minor Threat.