“Tough is being who you wanna be. Doing what you wanna do. It’s not easy in this day and age.”
“Nothing was off-limits. I’ve always had a love of anything uncompromising, aggressive and abrasive: Sidewinder cassette tapes and sets from pirate radio. Then I realised there’s a tonne of other music out there with the same uncompromising nature, but played on guitars.”
Despite dropping out of school, Bob Vylan made it into university to study music. He got a degree. Then a master’s. Picked up a guitar. And began “making noise”.
“Your challenges will always wait for you. It’s fine to sit and cry, but once the tears pass, you have to stand up and tackle your issues head-on. There is no other option.”
Taking cues from both the punk and grime movements, Bob Vylan prefers to jump between them, going rogue. He still feels like an outsider. But now it’s on his own terms. He mixes elements of different genres, without conforming to their rules. He’s influenced by others, but he’s 100% himself.
WHAT DOES TOUGH MEAN IN 2020?
We asked Bob Vylan what it means to be tough in 2020.