PORTLAND, Ore. — Vivid Nightmare frontman Liam Flaherty is unsure whether his 15 years participating in his local hardcore scene served to his benefit or utter destruction, sources close to the reflective musician confirmed.
“Everything I have — and all my lifelong friends — are a direct result of my commitment to the scene,” said Flaherty, from the couch of a former bandmate with whom he is living until he can find a new job. “Without hardcore, I would be just another cog in the corporate wheel, with a necktie slowly hanging me like a noose everyday. But, I don’t know… sometimes, I want more than just a hardcore family. Really, healthcare wouldn’t be all that bad.”
Mark Rail, Flaherty’s former bandmate supporting him temporarily, admitted he often worries about Flaherty’s undying loyalty to hardcore.
“Liam has been down as long as I’ve known him. It’s clear he’s not going anywhere — a true lifer,” said Rail. “But the other day, I saw in my search history that he Googled, ‘Am I too old to go to college?’ I thought that was really sad.”
During a recent performance with Vivid Nightmare, Flaherty reflected on his fifteenth consecutive year as a part of Philadelphia hardcore.
“As long as I can remember, I’ve been different from my peers,” he began before his last song of the night. “The aggressive music and look were just an outward expression of a feeling I had inside. I guess that’s why I didn’t get asked to hang out by most people, or go out on a lot of dates… or get hired at places I applied to.”
Anticipating a celebration of individuality, the crowd cheered as Flaherty struggled not to buckle under the weight of regret.
“I guess I should’ve taken that accounting job my dad offered me… or learned a trade, instead of going broke touring all the time,” said Flaherty, catching his breath with sweat pouring down his brow. “I mean, each and every set brings me relief and release… but maybe my life wouldn’t need that if I’d just stayed in school. I’m almost 30 now.”
At press time, Flaherty was being pummelled in the parking lot by a rival crew.