Thursday, September 18, 2008

Zine Questionaire

Someone I knew from back home had some college paper she was writing on fanzines and needed people to answer questions for her. I volunteered to and kinda liked how my answers came out. Aaaaaaand, go:

When did you discover zines?

When I was about 11 or 12 years old, which would make it about 1993 or 1994.

How did you discover them?

Initially, usually from older friends whom I skateboarded with. My parents were a little over protective, so the skate culture that existed outside of the physical act of skateboarding was pretty foreign. They introduced me to punk rock, and while at their house I would look through zines on bands I had never heard of.

Why do you like them?

My reasons for loving them when I was young are about the same as they are now: they report and expose a culture that you can't just turn on the TV or go to a newstand and find. Well, you used to not be able to, now you get a watered down, parent friendly version of punk culture where ever you go. Zines are beyond the underground now. Now that regular society has exploited all of it's classic resources for musical entertainment, it's bringing what was once a big secret into the open, and the proof is in the "punk" hairstyles in extremely upscale salons, to the CBGBs shirts at the mall, to being able to buy shirts with pre-printed tattoos. The underground is in the limelight, and zines are fighting to keep an underground scene alive. Sometimes the challenge in finding truly underground bands in obscure zines from around the world is where the excitement is.

Do you favour zines over regular magazines?

To be honest, I don't read much of either anymore. The accessability of the internet has really rendered zine printing a lost artform - much like creating quality records/CDs. There's alot of esteem in it, but usually half of your reader base will just read it online, rather than put the effort into hunting it out and buying it. Generally speaking though, if I want to read about punk, I want it to be written by a punk. Rolling Stone or Spin (generally) employs outsiders who are just following the trends, because that's what they're paid for. If I'm going to put the time into reading about a band, I want it expressed by a real fan - which is exactly why fanzines were created in the first place.

What magazines do you read?

Usually none. I'll pick up the usual tattoo magazine, but generally it's for the pictures and not the articles. I'll also read just about anything on football.

Have you written for any zines?


( If yes ) How did you come to contribute?

When I was about 13 or 14, two friends and I started our own locally based zine called Incoherent Crap. It was only circulated locally and focused on bands everyone knew in the local scene. It was something I wished someone else was doing at that time, and about stuff that I was familiar with and could relate to. We did that zine for upwards of 3 years I believe before it fizzled out. I kept writing here and there, publishing in other local zines, online when the internet started to explode in the late 90's, and then started my own zine, completely personal/opinion based, called Murder which I only did one issue of.

( If yes ) Have you had any professional training?

Several college level writing courses, and some jobs that entitled some creative writing. But I'm an electrician.

What do you know about the history of zines?

The same history everyone else really knows: when punk started in the 70's, big named music magazines wouldn't publish articles on it (unless it was more of a "look what these crazy kids are doing!" one-off article), so the fans took it to themselves to do it. They wrote and published their own photocopied magazines, and dubed them "fanzines", since they were written by the fans they were writing to. From there it snowballed - people started publishing picture and art zines, writing purely personal stuff, and so on. Now zine has basically become a term for someone writing independently with the intention of publishing independently.

What is your favourite type? (ie: music, art, cooking, diy)

I still stick to punk rock.

What do you look for in them?

Honesty. That's the one thing they should always have, because without that, you're just as bad as the pigs pretending they know the culture in order to sell more newstand copies.

Where is your favourite place to buy them?

Ideally, from the zine maker directly (either by mailorder, or off of a table at a show) because when I do that I know my money is going directly into the pocket of the creator. No middle man, no profit margins, no bullshit. That being said, I've slipped into a stage of complacency and laziness as I get older, and usually opt to just read interviews, essays, etc online, or buy whenever is convenient for me (be it at a show, or picking up the newest MRR at Borders).

Do you collect them?

I used to, religiously. Nowadays, since I'm a packrat they pile up in my bathroom or get boxed up and eventually lost, given away, or recycled during spring cleaning, moves, etc.

What else do you collect?

The usual for an aging punk guy - music (vinyl), tattoos, musical gear, etc.

What do you do with your old zines once you’ve read them?

As above, they float around unread for a few years until it's time they get disposed of in a proper manner. Some though, if there's a particularly inspiring article, interview, picture, etc in it, I'll hold onto it for years and years and years in hopes that one day my kid will find it and find the same inspiration in it that I once did. Then write his own zine about it, only then it will just be a blog. Or whatever blogs will have become by then.

If there was a permanent zine library opened would you use it?

I'd support it, but probably rarely use it.

Is there one main person who you could say is responsible for introducing you to zines/ punk/ hardcore/ diy, etc?

I wouldn't say there's one main person. Plenty of old friends, bands, and zines who kept feeding my thirst for the obscure. Zines like Maximum RnR, HeartattaCk, Profane Existence got my wheels turning on finding new bands and learning about the "punk life". Then reading others like Cometbus and I'm Johnny And I Don't Give A Fuck made me realize you can take that punk lifestyle outside of the show venue and apply it to real life. Zines like that kept me continually inspired and pushed that "against the grain" mentality I had since a young age, and still have to this day. And whether or not it was those authors intention of creating something so inspiring and insightful, it really kept me going on that path when I would have just slipped into a coma of normalcy like everyone I went to high school with. In hindsight, I guess it's sometimes the most unintended actions that make the biggest impact.

Tell me something inspiring that has happened to you.

I think I just did.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Stole this from Stephen O'Malley's blog. I thought it was hilarious.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

26th Birthday

Tomorrow is my birthday, but this weekend was my birthday party. I must say it was a good one.

Didn't really do much Friday other than work and run errands. Saturday afternoon was spent running more errands and looking for a new car for Krista. Saturday night we got Wolfes BBQ catering and had a bunch of people over for food and drinks.

In hindsight, it was kind of a monumental thing, because I don't think we had ever had that many people over at our house at one time. We've always been low on good friends in Denver, but Saturday we packed a wholloping 9 people (not including Krista and I) into our spacious house. Having a party that people showed up to and enjoyed themselves at was incredibly refreshing and it was probably one of moments in the last 6 years where Denver had felt the most homey.

After eating, we went bowling. Some more people came, we played a few games, and I drank everything that was handed to me. This later proved to be slightly poor judgement when a full stomach mixture of BBQ tofu, cupcakes, an assortment of beer, and Jim Beam was hastily evacuating my body in several violent hurls. This was followed by about 10 more minutes of trying to sneeze vomit out of my sinuses.

I don't remember cleaning up after myself or getting to bed, but I was able to and proceeded to keep Krista up for hours with voluminous, drunken snoring in what proved to be an impregnably deep sleep.

But, like clockwork, I woke up at 8:00 am unable to fall back to sleep. Much to my cohorts of Saturday nights bowling eventual surprise, I awoke refreshed and hangover free; further cementing the fact that I am impervious to hangovers.

Sunday morning I had my first practice with the new band I will be playing drums for until next summer. The band is called Cadillacula, fronted my old friend Chris Watts, whom I solely worked with while tattooing for the first 2 years at American Tattoo. It's a horror punk band who pretty much wears their onemain influence on their sleeve. I have no problem with this - I love the Misfits. I've been wanting to play in a punk band again for awhile. While I didn't really want to be the drummer, I have to take what I can get, and I'd rather it not be ideal so in a year when I potentially move out of Denver, I won't have a hard time walking away from it.

Practice was followed by enjoying my birthday present from Krista: tickets to the home opener game for the Broncos. We were in the nosebleed section, but had a good view of the field. Everyone was pumped about the game, not only because it was the first home game, but it was against the Chargers who have stolen the divisional title from us for a few years running, not to mention their pretty boy bitch of a QB got caught on camera talking shit to Jay Cutler (whom is my long lost twin brother).

Let me preface: Krista and I generally try to go to at least one pre season game per year, and then about 2 regular season games, give or take money and ticket availability. We have a tendancy to end up at the nail biters, and this one was no different. The Broncos took an early lead, dominating the first half. They let the Chargers catch up, and eventually take a 38-31 lead in the final 5 minutes of the 4th quarter. The Broncos were able to sneak in for a touchdown, and then, showing balls the size of watermelons, with only 25 seconds left in the game, Shanahan decides to go for the 2 point conversion rather than kicking a field goal and going to overtime.

You probably could have heard a pin drop when that ball left Cutlers hand. Maybe the adrenaline rushing through me made me temporarily go deaf, but I could swear the 76,000 people in attendence all shut up at once. Cutler connected to Eddie Royal, making the score 39-38 and winning the game. I nearly had a heart attack and Krista cried. I hate the Chargers and it was awesome to see the Broncos beat them after last season, even if it was a bit of a messy win.

Good birthday.

Also, I bought this shirt outside the stadium: