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Dither: The D.I.Y. Sound – a new film about hardcore and the punk ethic


DIY or “do it yourself”, has been a staple of music most prominently found in the underground scene of early punk-rock and hardcore bands. With DIY, it was always more than just the music, it was about the community and affecting positive social change. Bands were free to be themselves, with no limitations on their views or art. Bands and fans would come together as one collective force, where no one was left out, and everyone could feel free to let their emotions run rampant. Whether you’re talking about a legend like Ian McKaye of Fugazi and Minor Threat fame, to one of hardcore musics most iconic frontmen of today, Jacob Bannon (Converge), the community is as strong as ever, as countless bands continue to emerge from every nook and cranny to have their music and voice be heard by those eager and ready to listen to it.

Luckily for those involved within the DIY community, and even more so, for those unaware – Dither: The DIY Sound is an homage to the DIY community and all the hard work bands and those involved put into it. The film not only honours those who have been apart of it, but will ultimately shed light on those new to this movement. And bringing you this film, are a team of several students from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri, who travelled up and down the East Coast and the Midwest doing interviews with local bands, one of them being Native, as well as Mark Sarich, the founder of the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center (LNAC), which is a non-profit organization that caters to the DIY lifestyle. The team consists of Bret Hoy (Director/Cinematographer), Kaitlyn Manlove (Audio Technician), Ben Clayton (Assistant Camera/Editor), Sam Geneser (Director/Audio Technician), and David Mudd (Animator).


As stated by the students: “Our love and passion for music is what got us all excited about this project, but it’s the message we’re trying to convey has kept us excited, and focused on our goals. The story that we’re trying to tell transcends just the music community. It’s a story about people. For many of you, it’s a story about you.”

A quote by Mr.Sarich that best describes the DIY community:

“From its roots in D.C. as a reaction against the ban of all-ages shows, the DIY movement was started and is continued predominantly by the young – the under 21 set. The music that came out of it was largely unpolished and experimental in the beginning, bands performing in basements or houses – where their age and that of their audience isn’t a factor. To allow the participants total creative control and ability to follow their process at their own pace, they avoided commercial dependency, focusing instead on the reaction of the community around them.”

The movie has been receiving positive reactions from a few early screenings, so my anticipation level has increased ten-fold. I’m stoked to see how this film comes out, and with interviews from Ian McKaye and Jacob Bannon, among others, this is sure to be one hell of a kick ass documentary that looks to capture the essence and culture of the DIY movement.

For those curious about the film, below is a video of the teaser that was recently released, so be sure to check it out! And be sure to head on over to their Facebook to find out if the movie will be playing near you, and how you can acquire a copy for yourself.

Dither: The D.I.Y. Sound Preview from Bret Hoy on Vimeo.