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Krishnacore is a genre of punk music which draws inspiration from the Hare Krishna tradition (formally known as the International Society for Krishna Consciousness). The name is a portmanteau of "Krishna" and "hardcore". In the western world, the band Shelter is widely viewed as having invented the genre in the early 1990s, when two former members of Youth of Today became Krishna devotees.[1] The genre is also strongly associated with Equal Vision Records, which was formed by Shelter members to promote the Krishna movement.[2] Other acts within the genre include the Cro-Mags and 108.[3]

While most strongly associated with Shelter, the Cro-Mags' first album referenced Hare Krishna beliefs in their 1986 album Age of Quarrel, which is a translation for the Hindu concept of Kali Yuga that is taught in Hare Krishna philosophy; also, some music journalists have noted that the Filipino band The Wuds performed Krishna-influenced punk as early as 1986.[4][5]

What has emerged from Krishnacore, however, is a movement that is conscious of its own history and aesthetic. Writing in The Sacralization of Straightedge Punk: Nada Brahma and the Divine Embodiment of Krishnacore, [6] Mike Dines explores the link between the punk rock aesthetic of bands such as Shelter and 108 and their adherence to bhakti yoga. ‘Existing texts on the similarities between straightedge and the Hare Krishna movement emphasise (amongst others) the shared principles of vegetarianism, the refraining from intoxicants and the disapproval of illicit sex,’ [7] he writes. ‘Although I agree with these writers, I also highlight 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.’ [8]

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.’ [9] 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.’ [10] 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.’ [11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CMJ Network, Inc. (June 2000). CMJ New Music Monthly. CMJ Network, Inc. pp. 47–. ISSN 1074-6978.
  2. ^ Eric James Abbey; Colin Helb (25 March 2014). Hardcore, Punk, and Other Junk: Aggressive Sounds in Contemporary Music. Lexington Books. pp. 153–. ISBN 978-0-7391-7606-1.
  3. ^ Giant Robot. Eric Nakamura. 2002. p. 68.
  4. ^ "We’re Not Out of the Wuds Yet | Inquirer Lifestyle". Retrieved 2014-06-15.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Mike Dines (2014). The Sacralization of Straightedge Punk: Nada Brahma and the Divine Embodiment of Krishnacore. Musicological Annual. Department of Musicology, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. pp. 147–156.
  7. ^ Mike Dines 2014, p. 148
  8. ^ Mike Dines 2014, p. 148
  9. ^ Mike Dines 2014, p. 152
  10. ^ Mike Dines 2014, p. 154
  11. ^ Mike Dines 2014, p. 154