When Green Day and The Offspring became huge in the mid 90's, both bands were sort of my gateway bands to punk and hardcore. Well, they could have been, if I had shown a little more commitment and had been a little less influenced by my friends and classmates back then. That could have been sort of a cool introduction to my hardcore CV. However, I took a teeny tiny detour of about 4-5 years during which I listened to all kinds of (in hindsight mostly crappy) music. Some bands I still like, most of them are best kept under a cloak of silence, haha.
The band that re-ignited everything for me was Rage Against The Machine. In 2000 I was at a huge festival in Germany and I caught their set more or less by chance. I was there to see a lot of other bands and a buddy and I just went to the main stage because there was nothing interesting going on at the other stages. When I heard the music and saw Zack going wild on the stage and pouring out so much energy, I was hooked immediately. All of a sudden I didn't really know why I'd wanted to see all these other bands. I think I bought Battle Of Los Angeles, which had just come out, the day after I was home from the festival. And from there everything unraveled. Never mind it took me a few more years to find out Zach had also been in one of the best hardcore bands ever and only close to 17 years to finally pick up something by RATM on vinyl.