L’époque incite fortement à fantasmer les années 80. Cependant, le début de cette décennie était loin d’être le paradis pour les fans de rock et surtout de hard rock (genre encore marginal et mal aimé) en France. Les choses ont commencé à évoluer grâce entre autres à l’émission radio Wango Tango de Francis Zégut et à l’apparition de magazines tels que Metal Attack et Enfer Magazine. Rëquiëm est un fanzine réalisé en parallèle d’un travail universitaire sur les fanzines metal français et un hommage au mythique Enfer. Sixtine Audebert a retrouvé les principaux instigateurs qui racontent la création et les débuts épiques du magazine. Pour l’occasion, quelques albums d’époque (CINDERELLA, EXODUS, DOKKEN, ANTHRAX…) sont chroniqués et quelques anciens lecteurs (dont moi_même) se livrent dans la rubrique courrier et proposent leur top 5 sur la période Enfer (1983-1987.) En bonus, vous retrouverez quelques publicités à l’époque alléchantes de lieux parisiens tels que L’Indien ou Juke Box ! Un flashback métallique vers une époque où tout restait encore à faire et surtout vers un magazine qui aura ouvert grand les portes du temple hard rock à beaucoup d’entre nous. Petit mais costaud, Rëquiëm vous donnera en plus une féroce envie de ressortir vos vinyles d’époque ! /Laurent C.
Confessions of an Ex-Zine Editor (Pre-Order)
Alison’s first zine in 11 years!
32 pages. A4 size. Colour cover. Fake fur heart on back cover for pre-orders. Ships January 2023.
‘Confessions…’ tells the story of what happened after Alison published the 38th and final issue her previous zine, Bubblegum Slut’, in 2011.
It’s a perzine about Zines, Drugs, and Forsaking Rock ‘n’ Roll, It’s split into three acts.
ACT ONE is about why Alison stopped writing, and what she did when she didn’t write zines. There’s a banishing spell, some Adult Pleasant Activities, and the first of two bingo games.
ACT TWO is about rediscovering zines and music. It’s about finding out that making stuff and telling stories is magical and healing. It features Delilah Bon, Of Herbs and Altars, Die Booth, and another bingo game.
ACT THREE is a surreal reviews section, which seeks to find out what happened while Alison was away. It features contributions from two former Bubblegum Slut writers, Sexy Dave and Bison, plus cameos from several artists who were regulars in the Bubblegum demos column, Images show front cover, contents page, and inside back cover.
Every item you see on the back cover symbolises something you’ll find in the zine. The key to the numbers will be printed inside.
Miguel Basetta (Mental Beat ‘zine/Temporal Sluts)
Band interviews can be pretty boring when all they can talk about is how their new album is better than their previous one. On the other hand, people who play in bands and who have other rock’n’roll activities are rarely boring. Miguel Basetta tells us about running a printed ‘zine in 2014, his love for punk rock and Morrissey, and gives us the latest news about his band TEMPORAL SLUTS.
When did you first get into rock’n’roll/punk, etc.? First records you bought? First show you attended? First rock shirt you wore?
When I was 7 or 8 years old, I asked my mother for a d.i.y Labyrinth mardi gras masquerade costume, so I dressed up just like David Bowie in that movie: cloak, walking stick and big hair: the wig was taken from a Jem and the Holograms’ costume! I always liked rock’n’roll iconography and rock’n’roll weirdness.
I think that the first rock tape I got was Europe, The Final Countdown, then Iron Maiden, Live After Death, Guns n’ Roses, Use Your Illusion II (Christmas gift from my aunt!) and the Ramones, Loco Live. First time I saw the Ramones live on t.v, they blew me away, and my life changed for good.
Of course, the first rock t-shirts I wore were a d.i.y Guns N’ Roses’ one and a Ramones’ one, bought in a shop called Transex.
Why have you decided to start a paper fanzine? Have you thought about doing it online, or not at all?
More than ten years go, I used to do a paper fanzine called Oriental Beat. It was about my so called punk rock life: going to shows, buying records and everyday shit. It had no pictures, but tons of words only. Last issue was out around 2006.
A few years later, I started Mental Beat (yes, I love Hanoi Rocks!) because I still like d.i.y publishing and going to shows, buying records and everyday shit. But Mental Beat is totally different from Oriental Beat. First of all, I think that artwork is as meaningful as words. I couldn’t do Mental Beat without Alessandro Cavallini, my right hand man: he’s a professional graphic designer and he’s not as involved in punk rock as I am, so he has a different perspective on doing paper zines.
I’m not interested in doing a webzine because it wouldn’t be as funny as doing a paper one. A lot of people start webzines because it is free and it is easier, but I think that everything should have a price. And punk rock has always been about wasting money!
You probably read quite a few paper ‘zines through the years, what are (or were) some of your favourite ones?
When I started Oriental Beat I was influenced by Maximum R&R, Hitlist and Sonic Iguana but, most of all, I used to read a lot of Italian fanzines: Gabba Gabba Hey (punk rock, garage punk, pop punk…), abBestia (the guy doing it was in a punk rock band called Fichissimi and he was in love with bands like Jawbreaker and J Church), Nessuno Schema (one of the best Italian zines ever) just to name a few.
Nowadays I read pretty everything. Sometimes I grab a copy of Razorcake or Pork and I’ve just written some stuff for MondoCW (a zine done by the guys from One Chord Wonder Records here in Italy) and City Slang (a hi-energy rock’n’roll zine done by my old bandmate Dario in Seattle. He moved to the U.S a few years ago).
How many copies do you usually print? Why have you decided to use both Italian and English languages in the ‘zine?
I print 200 copies, risographed. Mental Beat #0 is sold out and I have a few copies left of issue number 1. I decided to use both Italian and English for no particular reason. If I interview the Fleshtones, there is no need to translate it: I just write it down. But I must admit it’s harder to write my thoughts and rants in English so, in that case, I go with some Italian words.
Tell us about the ‘zine making process, from choosing what/who will be featured to the day you get the ‘zine from the printers. Mental Beat is not a fanzine in which you’ll find promotional interviews or typical promo reviews, is it self-financed?
Mental Beat is a fanzine, so it is about what I love. When I started doing it, I was totally in love with Prima Donna, Biters and Giuda and I’m still in love with these bands, so I keep writing about them: you’ll find them in every Mental Beat issue, promised!
I like collecting rare stuff, like the New York Dolls feature written by Morrissey when he was a teenager, or the Johnny Thunders crossword puzzle I took from Jeff Dahl’s Sonic Iguana magazine. Mental Beat #1 cover is taken from a Hanoi Rocks tour book!
I like to get good writers involved and all Mental Beat contributors are both good writers and friends of mine: I ask them to write about what they love most.
But the most important thing is that I like doing magazines, that’s my everyday job too, so I know well that a kick-ass artwork is everything. Once again, Alessandro’s graphic work is essential. As far as money is concerned, Mental Beat is self-financed, the print process doesn’t cost that much and, as I’ve already said, punk rock is always about wasting money!
You have joined TEMPORAL SLUTS on guitar. How did that happen? What is the band up to these days? Did you play in other bands before?
Temporal Sluts have been around for more than 20 years and I just joined them one year ago. I used to listen to them when I was a teenager, I had some of their singles recorded on a tape and now I’m playing with them! In the past they toured France and recorded a split with a French band, the T.V Killers, covering each other…
I started playing guitar in an alternative rock band during my high-school years and in 1999 I ended up playing with Willy Wonkas, a punk rock band influenced by early Queers and Dwarves: we did a bunch of records, split singles with the Automatics and the B-Sides from the U.S and one with the Go Faster Nuns from Germany… Since then, I’ve been playing on and off: Teenage Schizoids, the Directors, the Sha-Rellies and now Temporal Sluts: we just recorded some new songs and a full length will be out soon.
Italy is on the international glam map right now with GIUDA. Are you suprised about it? Any other Italian bands people should check out?
No, I’m not surprised because Giuda are one of the best rock’n’roll bands around, they are quite unique. I was at their second show ever and it was a blast. That’s the way it works: you listen to a Giuda song for the first time and you sing along with them right away. They take care of melodies, refrains, riffs, hooks and… image: cover artworks, logos, badges and patches, denim uniforms, the way they take the stage. And now they have an entire army following them. I think that Giuda are just like Turbonegro: European outsiders taking over the world.
I love a lot of bands from my country: the Peawees, the Leeches, the Manges, Midnight Kings, Armed Venus and… Derelitti. Everyone into sleazy rock’n’roll should check Derelitti, they are brilliant.
You seem to be travelling a lot to see bands. What were your last trips?
Travelling all around Europe to see punk rock bands is a good chance to visit cities otherwise I’d never go to. For example, a few years ago my girlfriend and I ended up in Ris-Orangis for a Biters show… There was nothing to see, but – surprise! – the venue, Le Plan, is in rue Rory Gallagher! Or when we ended up in Essen, Deutschland, for a Prima Donna gig: that’s metalhead capital city! I didn’t know that Kreator are from there.
Last trips we did were Zurich to see the Supersuckers (cause their latest European tour didn’t touch Italy) and Lausanne for Morrissey, but he cancelled the show!
Since you’re talking about it, you’re a MORRISSEY fan. When and how did you get into his music?
First time I got in touch with the Smiths and Morrissey was through abBestia, one of the fanzines I used to read when I was a teenager: there was the Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body? quote on the back cover.
Then a friend of mine who was into goth music gave me a tape of Rank and I started listen to the Smiths, but I’ve never been a huge fan untill I saw Morrissey playing live: he blew me away, just like the Ramones. It was a show at Villa Arconati in Bollate, close to Milan, and he played Human Being, my favourite New York Dolls’ song! Morrissey solo is something totally different from the Smiths.
Some albums you couldn’t live without:
Ramones, Loco Live: as I’ve already said, the first time I saw them it was on tv, and it was a show from the Loco Live tour. I love a lot of bands: Hanoi Rocks, the Dictators, Guns n’ Roses, Dead Boys, New York Dolls, the Heartbreakers, D-Generation, the Cramps, the Boys… And talking about most recent bands, the Crazy Squeeze, Prima Donna, Biters, Giuda… But the Ramones changed my life. When in doubt: listen to the Ramones.
Last rock’n’roll biography/book you’ve read?
A biography of Ritmo Tribale, an Italian rock band born in the 80s and pretty well-known in the 90s. Their singer, Edda, is an interesting guy: half hare-krishna, half junky. And I’ve just finished a semi-fiction novel about an 80s goth band in Pavia, a small city close to Milan. Pretty funny reading, hey suburbia!
Last rock’n’roll movie/documentary you’ve watched?
Filmage, the story of Descendents/All.
What are your next projects with the ‘zine, band… ?
In the next months I will put out four photo issues of Mental Beat. It will feature punk rock pictures shot by friends of mine. We’ll start with Ale Formenti, he was Willy Wonkas’ singer and he’s a talented photographer.
As already told, Temporal Sluts just recorded a bunch of new songs for a seven inch single and a full length; we are planning some shows outside Italy for 2015. Meanwhile, next weekend we’ll be the opening band for the Saints here in Milan and Bologna.
Last but not least, I’m working hard on a book about an Italian punk rock band, the most important one to me, but my wettest dream is writing a biography of the Escovedo family: Pete Escovedo, Coke Escovedo, Sheila E., Mario Escovedo (the Dragons), Javier Escovedo (the Zeros), Alejandro Escovedo (the Nuns/Rank&File/True Believers)…
Gabba gabba hey!
Mental Beat #1 Fanzine (Spring 2014)
Issue 0 was cool, Issue 1 is even cooler! Printed in black and blue on white paper, Mental Beat offers us an interesting mix of old and new rock’n’roll in both English and Italian: Interview with The FLESHTONES, Zig Zag Magazine ( the first rock magazine in the UK), and Mike Hudson (about Johnny Thunders’ death), articles about The NEW YORK DOLLS by Morrissey (from Scottish fanzine The Next Big Thing), ANTI-PASTI and Krishnacore band SHELTER (wish I could read Italian foir this one!), a few record reviews and old RAMONES posters, plus a Johnny Thunders crossword puzzle that taken from Sonic Iguana magazine. A quick read when you can’t read the parts in Italian, but an excellent, and great looking fanzine!/Laurent C.
Every Day Is Like Sunday Megazine #5
Monsieur Nasty Samy tell us about his “Dirty Black Summer” (the movies he watched, the records he bought, etc. during Summer 2012) in this special issue which is actually the last one… But you know the man, he always has tons of ideas and projects going on.
A colourful horror magazine-like cover and 74 cool looking black & white, cut & paste pages should be enough to entertain you for a while. Horror movies, comic books and rock’n’roll biographies (there’s a long review of Johnny Ramone’s “Commando”) are still more than welcome and the music you’ll find in here ranges from punk rock to thrash metal (names like OVERKILL, KREATOR, SODOM or FORBIDDEN definitely don’t belong to the past in these pages!)
As usual, you’ll find a couple of interviews as well. This time, French tattoo artist and punk rock connoisseur Jean Se tells us about his work and how Nikki Sixx got him into playing bass among other things. Excellent, long in depth inteview that should make some people regret not being able to read French! American movie producer/director and writer Gred Lamberson is also interviewed. Your chance to learn more about the man and his work. Every Day Is Like Sunday is not only always great to read, it is also probably the only ‘zine in which you will find quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Sylvester Stallone, and Dolph Lundgren! You’ll even get a running/gym playlist!
This special issue can also be bought as a package with the book Allo Mike?! Toujours Dand Le Jazz? (120 pages of discussions -that used to be online as a blog site- about music, movies and life in general. Just look at the cover, and you’ll find out what Sam and Mike might talk about!) This is not only a great idea and a lot of fun to read, the book also opens with a David Lee Roth quote “Just because I’m bitter and cynical does not mean I’m not having a great time”, and has a really cool lay-out! Get entertained!/Laurent C.
Mental Beat #0 Fanzine
#0s paper ‘zines are always exciting, especially when they focus on our favourite music styles, which is definitely the case with this debut issue of MENTAL BEAT: You’ll find an article about the new worldwide glam rock’n’roll top 3 (PRIMA DONNA, BITERS and GIUDA), an interesting interview with Ginger (The WILDHEARTS), a great and moving article about NICK CURRAN by his friend and drummer Tommy Gonzales, some words about JANE’S ADDICTION, reviews of The Best Of Punk Magazine, MANIC STREET PREACHERS’ “Generation Terrorists 20th Anniversary Edition” plus a few other rock’n’roll record reviews, and a long article untitled “Whatever Happened To Iggy’s Jacket?” I wish I could read better! (Half of the ‘zine is in Italian.)
As you probably have guessed by now, these guys have the best taste in rock’n’roll, and I’m looking forward to MENTAL BEAT #1!/Laurent C.
Slime Zine Issue 3
Lots rock’n’roll/punk rock/blues/rockabilly/glam, etc. album reviews, a few book/fanzine reviews and gig/festival reports are only parts of the reason why this professional looking (the lay-out is amazing) zine is cool. Don’t you wish you could speak French now?/Laurent C.http://slime.fr/
Long Gone Loser
This interview was originally published in Slime ‘zine (in French), so here’s a chance for all of you English readers to get intoduced to Damo’s world: Long Gone Loser ‘zine/podcast, his band MUSCLE CAR, his record collection/addiction, etc. Damo has got a lot to say and we won’t complain about it!
So, how did you first get in touch with rock music?
I was kind of lucky, I guess, both my mum and dad were into rock music so it was always around me as I grew up. My mum loves the Beatles, my dad loves The Rolling Stones. So as I grew up, I heard all those songs over and over, along with the likes of AC/DC, Bob Seger, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, etc. and I just grew an appreciation for it and at the time, I didn’t know of any alternatives until I got a little older and discovered things like hard rock, punk and metal.
You’ve run Long Gone Loser, one of the only rock’n’roll ‘zine in Australia. When did you start it? How did that happen? How come there’s not more of them in Australia?
I started Long Gone Loser in 1998. Me and my girlfriend at the time did a zine for a few years called Purple Monkey Dishwasher. It was a “controversial” zine that seemed to be super popular. I dunno why or how but we started the zine as a joke and then it got so popular that the joke kind of got old and we got bored with it. She started writing more erotic stuff and started her own erotic zine and I started my own rock zine cos I was sad that zines I loved, like Moshable, were coming to an end. That zine inspired me completely to start LGL.
I have always loved the whole zine deal. The fact you can write something and someone out there will pay you money to read it, that rules so much. Like people don’t understand the excitement of people buying your art until it’s happening to them. You see, when we started Purple Monkey Dishwasher, we were giving them away cos we had access to a free photocopier. And then one day the owner of this bookstore told me we should start selling them because he thought our writing had value and people should pay to read our stuff. I didn’t know what to say to that so we just agreed and we still managed to shift hundreds of copies. So when I started LGL, I immediately started with 200 copies and sold ‘em for $1 a piece. I was blown away when people were buying them. As time has gone on, the zine has gotten much better looking and a lot bigger and sadly, more and more unpopular due to the fact that zines don’t sell like they used to in Australia which is probably why there aren’t so many zines here. It’s sad to see. I love zines. But if no one’s buying them, you are only wasting money by producing them.
What are the positive and negative things in running a ‘zine? Do you think that people really stopped reading them?
People definitely stopped reading zines. The whole culture has changed. And this is probably not everyone’s view but this is the way I see it: When we were growing up, things were different. And I don’t mean to sound like some whining old guy but there is truth to this. We did grow up in different times. For example, when I started reading zines, there was no internet that I knew of. We did Purple Monkey Dishwasher on an electric typewriter and my zine before Purple Monkey, my mum would print it up at her work photocopier sneakily on her dinner breaks. True story.
Things are different now. The whole culture that kids grow up with now is they don’t even have to go to a record store to buy music anymore… and where did you usually find zines? On the floors, in the record stores (that rhymed… fancy that?). So I do think the majority of people stopped reading them. Maybe it will come full circle and people will get into them again and say FUCK THE KINDLE! I hope so. I am a little scared of what is becoming of the things I grew up with. Technology is good because it allows me to meet people like yourself but it’s also really dangerous and scary too. Sometimes I still think about the way things were and get really broken down about it because I am still a punk at heart and remember how life was for me growing up. Now, everything is convenient and too easy. Why read a zine when you can read someone’s Myspace bulletin or Facebook notes? Why read a zine when you can read your favourite forum or website? Granted, I am guilty of those things but I am still an active believer in the zine and still buy them because I love independent thought. I wish more people did.
I also think people don’t realise the sense of community that is missed out on by NOT being a part of the zine community. For example, the amount of people I have met through doing LGL has been incredible. I have been lucky enough to have travelled the world through the connections made from my magazine. Sitting up for hours in people’s houses hearing their stories about things, all because they bought my zine, liked it and felt inclined to write to me. And that’s another thing, I always loved it when people who had the energy to put pen to paper wrote to me about the zine. I feel that whole community spirit is missing from today. Now, most people who email me about LGL are usually just writing negative shit or slagging me off or saying the zine is pornographic, or whatever. It doesn’t cost anything to be anonymous and negative via email but it costs the price of a stamp and your time to write someone and say something so I was always thrilled by letters from readers.
You met a lot of musicians through the ‘zine. Tell us who are the ones who left a big impression on you. Any disappointment? Some say “we should never meet our idols”…
Well, I have had the chance to meet a lot of “famous” people who I flat out refused to talk to purely because I don’t want to come across like a fanboy. If I have something to talk to them about that may be of interest to them, I would make an effort otherwise I don’t care. For example, I met Perry Farrell by accident and had nothing to say to him except hello. But I met Zach from Rage Against The Machine and we had an awesome chat about straight-edge hardcore cos I am a huge fan of his pre-Rage band, Insideout. I got him to sign the CD and he was stoked cos he had never signed one of those before. He took the time out to chat to me because he could tell I was a genuine dude (even though I’m not a RATM fan).
I also met Jack and Meg White. Both of them were lovely to me. But the thing that made this meeting special was I was backstage at the Big Day Out festival here in Australia and I had some zines with me. I spoke to Meg a little about Detroit rock n roll cos we have a mutual friend. She was stoked that I knew a fair bit about Detroit music and so was happy to talk to me. I didn’t meet Jack until the next morning when I went to the Hilton Hotel to give my mate his Access All Areas pass and Meg pointed me out to Jack and said “that’s the guy who wrote the zine”. Jack then called me over. He then offered his thoughts on LGL and he really liked it. I was happy that he read it. He didn’t have to say anything but he chose to and that meant a lot.
There’s been a lot of people who “GET” what LGL is about. Kim Shattuck from The Muffs gave me an awesome interview as did Eric from the New Bomb Turks. Scott from Fu Manchu, Izzy Stradlin, The Hellacopters, The Datsuns, Manda & The Marbles, Airbourne, Magic Dirt, Lou Barlow (Dinosaur Jr), Lunachicks, Eric Adams from Manowar, etc. all of those people gave great interviews. Henry Rollins was super nice, Chris from Dashboard Confessional was cool, The Dead Kings were super informative, and even the pornstars like Mary Carey and Asia Carrera. Both were super sweet and co-operative. I’d probably put my best experience to my dinner with Mark Arm from Mudhoney. We ate pasta at this place in Adelaide when he was touring with the MC5 / DTK tour. I just put the tape recorder on the table and we started talking about anything and everything. It was really professional. He’s a great guy; very down to earth and genuine.
It would be unprofessional of me to say who was a terrible interview so I’ll make sure I say that the bassist from The Get-Up Kids. He had no sense of humour and the interview sucked so bad I didn’t even run it. The Von Bondies also gave a shit interview and ignored the question about the fight between the singer and Jack White so I ran a huge reproduction of that photo of the dude’s face all punched and bruised up after Jack White pummeled him.
Long Gone Loser is also a podcast now. Can you tell us a bit about it?
I started the Podcast in 2007. I was living in Adelaide, bored, and the magazine was taking forever. I was having trouble scoring interviews and I was battling a severe bout of depression. I hated my job, my girlfriend was cheating on me, things were just shit and I was looking for things to do to take my mind off it all. So a couple people started suggesting that I should do it because of all the stuff I get sent to review. I had never thought about it and had no idea what I was gonna talk about or do but for some reason, it’s worked for me as I can get the music to people a lot quicker rather than they wait several months for a zine. Plus, it’s global which means some kid in Bangladesh can hear music that he probably has no access too. A lot of stuff I play is Australian and as we all know, Aussie music has been ignored for a long time by so many people. There is music outside of AC/DC, Radio Birdman, The Saints and Airbourne… but it seems so many people don’t know this. Or have conveniently forgotten.
If you tune in to the Long Gone Loser Rock Show, you’ll hear me rant on about whatever is happening in music I like or about crap in my life, thoughts n stuff and all mixed in with some of the best music you will ever hear. Cos, like, I only play good shit. I also feature interviews I do which is cool. So if you wanna actually hear these interviews and listen to artists talk about their stuff, you can hear it on the podcast instead of reading something. Podcasts are a great way to discover new music. I have bought so many albums by bands I have heard on podcasts. So good! Oh, and you can listen to them on the train while travelling to work.
Can you introduce your band Muscle Car and tell us what you’ve released so far?
Muscle Car was started in December 1998. It has been a huge rollercoaster of good times and disasters. I have had a good run with this band and have experienced a lot of great things from being in this band. Over the time, the band has released 3 CDs, a 7” vinyl and thankfully, have a few new releases coming out soon. Thank god! It’s taken forever to get back into the swing of things as we had been on a hiatus for a couple years due to not being able to find a drummer that wants to tour overseas. Like I said, a rollercoaster. Sometimes I just want to throw the lot away but then we have a rehearsal and I hear those guitars and everything falls into place and I get all excited again and I forget whatever thought I had that was thinking negatively. I’m the only original member in this band so I can feel negative if I want too cos if something shit has happened in this band, it usually happened to me. HA! All the info and more can be found at http://www.musclecar.net.au
You were on the road with Simon Chainsaw in Europe. How was this experience? Any anecdote to share with us?
That was one of the greatest times in my life. Really. I met so many wonderful people on that tour, including you. The whole tour was a huge experience for me. It was great to see the cities, do things DIY style, hang with the locals and talk music, books, movies, etc. with them. Apart from being robbed in Paris and losing my bag of belongings (which included a rare Hard-Ons t-shirt and my Sonic’s Rendezvous Band shirt that I got from Gary Rasmussen) and being Deported, the whole thing was incredible. Simon’s band were on fire and I got to watch them get better and better as each show went on which I thought was really cool. I got to experience both the good and bad things of that tour and it was all worth it. You learn from these kinds of experiences. You learn how to deal with differing personalities, sleeping on floors, crazy temperatures, etc. and it’s all awesome.
Do you think it’s illegal to want to go to the UK in order to see the Stooges when you’re an Australian citizen?
Ha! That whole being deported thing was fucked up. Here’s what went down: I flew from Switzerland to London. The customs dude took one look at me and I had a bad feeling. I got to the counter and he asked me a million questions. I answered them all but he wasn’t happy with my answers. I told him the absolute truth about everything. The next thing I know, I’m detained. It took them 10 hours (while I stayed in a holding room watching TV and writing song lyrics) to decide they were sending me home. When they eventually told me, I told them “that’s fine, I’ve missed the gig anyway and that’s the reason I came here”. I just asked them to get me home ASAP. Which they did, on their dime. Nice! When I landed back in Oz, I got a free ticket to see THE CULT perform the Love album in concert. So I guess they wanted to punish me but I still won. If this had happened at any other time in that holiday, I would have been upset but the fact it was right at the end of the trip and the last thing I was going to do before going home, I didn’t mind so much. I was just pissed that I couldn’t see The Stooges and catch up with all my English friends. Oh well, shit happens.
How is living in Australia like? Best things? Worst ones? How is the situation for rock musicians there?
Not to sound like a pretentious asshole but Australia is the fuckin’ coollest place outside of New York City or Tokyo. I love it here and after all the travelling I have done, I still realise how lucky we are here and I am always glad to be home. The weather here is a good mix (except I live in Melbourne and the Winters are damn cold which I hate but it’s nothing like you guys get). We have a huge multicultural population which I am happy with. The rock scene here in Melbourne is awesome with so many bands here. Everyone’s a musician or their brother / sister is. Melbourne is a very artistic city. I love it. The downer to living here is that international tours are a pain and people don’t like touring here cos it’s so far away. For example, to see a band like Overkill in the USA, tickets are under $20. They played here just last week and the tickets were $65. We pay a lot to see international bands and many people I speak to from overseas tell me that Australia is expensive to see international bands. Metallica is $160 a ticket. Local bands are cheap though so that’s cool. You can still see The Hard-Ons live for under $20 which is great for a band that is almost 30 years old and probably deserves to charge more.
How many records do you own? How do you classify them? Why is vinyl so cool? How come buying records can be such an addiction?
Um, how many? All up including LPs, 7”ers and 10”ers, I have around 3000. They’re all classified in alphabetical order cos I am not skilled enough in the realms of High Fidelity to sort them autobiographical (yet). For me, I have always been into records. When I grew up and started buying music, there were no CDs. It was records or tapes and tapes chewed. Plus, I love art so I bought LPs anyway. And when CDs were introduced, they were super expensive so I stuck with records anyway. That’s how it’s always been. It’s not only a habit though; I love everything about vinyl especially the connection between myself and the record. Like the whole physical aspect that I need to change sides of the record and put the needle on it and stuff like that. Instead of throwing iTunes onto shuffle and then letting it go. For me, I think the addiction is the sense of investment. I have invested in a product, a band and my love of music. We all have out crutches.
Some people use drugs, others like alcohol, others collect football cards, others buy comics or action figures, but for me, I buy records. I get so much enjoyment from listening to records. It’s just a great feeling. And you can look at your collection and each record tells a story; there’s a reason you bought each record. Where you bought it, why you bought it, what the songs mean to you, etc. It’s all a part of the experience that I can’t find in downloading digital music. I like to have a physical product and if you stand by your product, you’ll always win in the end. AC/DC have avoided the digital downloads and they still sell records. Proof that people still want something they can look at, hold, play, read the booklets / lyrics, etc.
5 favourite Australian rock albums?
Picking just 5 favourites is a hard task so I just picked 5 that I like a lot cos I have about 50 favourite Aussie rock records.
1. THE HARD-ONS – “Love Is A Battlefield of Broken Hearts”
2. RADIO BIRDMAN – “Radio’s Appear”
3. AC/DC – “Back In Black”
4. POWDER MONKEYS – “Smashed On A Knee”
5. BORED! – “Negative Waves”
What movies have you enjoyed lately? Did you like the Runaways?
I loved The Machine Girl. Japanese crazy gore with hot girls and kung fu violence. Awesome! I don’t see as many films as I’d like to these days which is a shame cos I love movies but I just don’t get the time as I am so busy writing songs or seeing gigs, buying records, blah blah. I am looking forward to seeing Machete.
The Runaways was fun. I like Joan and Cherie but I really wish they let Lita have a say in the making of it as I think Lita was a key figure in that band and should have been a bigger part of it. Still, it was great to see the band paid respect and the music brought to life on the big screen.
Your next projects?
Currently I am working on new Muscle Car material, I am writing a documentary movie on Australian music and am busy writing a book on the life of Long Gone Loser, kinda like an anthology of all the issues collected together for everyone to have and love and it will feature stuff never printed in the magazine and newer stuff since the last issue. So yeah, busy busy busy! Which is good cos being busy rocks.