South Bay punk band Pennywise named itself after the clown-guised demon from Stephen King's story "It." But the band members weren't trying to garb themselves in commonplace horror-rock trappings.
"It's more of a metaphor," said Jim Lindberg, the group's singer. "The clown in the book would turn into whatever scared you the most. In order to eventually kill the entity that was Pennywise, they had to confront their fears.
"A lot of the hate in people is based in fear and jealousy," said Lindberg, who, with bassist Jason Thirsk, also writes most of Pennywise's lyrics, which stress maintaining a positive attitude over the nihilism that typifies the punk genre.
"For us, (the Pennywise character) was a great metaphor for the band: here's a band that's loud and scary and full of what sounds like venom, but it's bringing you a change, something to bring yourself up, instead of something loud and scary, and that's all it is."