Semi Precious Weapons speak out over tragic suicide
Teen suicide has been brought to everyone's attention in the US after University student Tyler Clementi took his life following bullying attacks.
It follows a string of other gay teen deaths in recent months and it has prompted Semi Precious Weapons to share some insight with MTV.
"In every school, there's always the kid who gets it the worst, and I was, for sure, that kid," frontman Justin Tranter said. "Every time you had to get in a line that was boys and girls, it was like my worst nightmare. A lot of kids I know got made fun of for being gay; that was not my issue, I was just called a girl endlessly. I definitely was that kid. And when I went to high school, my first semester in public high school, it actually got very, very violent, to the point where I had to switch schools," he continued. "But luckily, I'm really blessed because my family was so cool that I never really felt bad about it ... [and] I used it as motivation to do something cooler. So instead of just switching schools, I convinced my parents to let me go to the arts high school in the city, and I had to audition and get in, and it was a very nerve-racking experience, because not only did I want to go to an arts school, but I needed to leave the school."
Semi Precious Weapons bass player Cole Whittle also admitted to being both the bully and the bullied.
"I went through a period where I realized what a little a**hole I was, and went around my middle school and actually apologized to a bunch of kids," he said. "And then, in high school, I wouldn't say I was bullied, but being a musician wasn't cool. I went from being a jock and a wrestler to being a musician over a summer. I showed up dressed like Kurt Cobain, and my friends were like, 'What the?' So, it has nothing to do with orientation, it just has to do with 'you don't look exactly like me,' and I think that's terrible.
"And also, bullying is worse now than it's ever been in human history, because now you can be a cowardly bully. ... Making fun of a kid 20 years ago in front of his face was bullying, but now you can sit at home and be an anonymous bully and reach three times the audience with your stupid computer," he continued. "Back in the day, the worst thing you could do was have four people on speakerphone and call some kid a loser, and it's like, 'Aw, that sucks.' But now it's getting to the point where it literally can cripple you. So if anybody has a bully they want to send to me, I'll choke him out, immediately."