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Straight Edge For Life: Punk Icon Toby Morse On Positivity, Parenting & Plant-Based Living

By February 26, 2024No Comments
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Episode #816



Don’t forget the struggle, the streets, or your roots, and resist selling out—such is the message from today’s guest, Toby Morse.

Toby, the dynamic frontman of the hardcore punk band H2O and host of the One Life One Chance podcast, triumphantly returns for round two (episode 458), ready to dispense a rebellious prescription of Positive Mental Attitude (PMA).

Back in 1988, within Manhattan’s Lower East Side transgressive punk rock scene, Toby drew inspiration from Bad Brains and formed H2O—a band synonymous with the Straight Edge and PMA movements. He found himself embraced by the community, receiving unmistakable tough New York love from those who took him under their wings.

Dedicated to a plant-based lifestyle and a lifelong commitment to abstaining from drugs and alcohol, he actively challenges stereotypes and upholds his self-respect. Toby’s commitment to a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle purposefully defies societal norms prevalent in the realms of musicians and those embracing a heavily tattooed lifestyle.

In his eloquent celebration of individuality, Toby embraces the beauty of uniqueness, paying homage to misfits and championing the cause of the peculiar. His encounters are met with love, compassion, and a lack of judgment, conveying a message of hope for positive change in the younger generation. He continues to maintain a perpetual youthful spirit influenced by abstaining from partying and animal products.

“I pride myself on living the lyrics that I wrote 30 years ago. I’m the same person.”


Our conversation delves into the profound significance of friendship, exploring the art of nurturing meaningful connections and the transformative journey of fatherhood. Toby provides insights into the influential hardcore scene, reflecting on his experiences within the hardcore punk movement and how it played a pivotal role in shaping his perspectives on friendship and community.

We explore living the punk rock ethos and commitment to a non-conformist lifestyle, challenging societal norms, and aligning with his passionate advocacy for animal rights. Throughout our discussion, we underscore the importance of fostering positivity amid the challenges of a hostile world and the heightened acrimony prevalent on social media platforms.

Additionally, we discuss Toby’s fitness regimen, his affinity for cold plunging, and his therapeutic journey. Furthermore, we go into Toby’s pursuit of authenticity in the podcast medium, and more.

For those who prefer a visual experience, the conversation is available on YouTube. As always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

This is an uplifting, insightful, and gratifying conversation. Toby is one of my favorite people. I hope you love this one as much as I did.


Peace + Plants,

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Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music; with additional audio engineering by Cale Curtis and additional music by Moby; Blake Curtis & Dan Drake for video, & editing; graphics by Jessica Miranda & Daniel Solis; portraits by Davy Greenberg, Grayson Wilder & Gizelle Peters; copywriting by Ben Pryor; and theme music by Tyler Piatt, Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.

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