RockBitch (Sharkpool #3)

Tracy Bosworth (p.a. Delerict recs in Nottingham) did this fanzine called Sharkpool. We exchanged a few letters/mails but then she disappeared. I recall she was studying; later teaching and conducting research at her local university. Her study of gender-relations in the punk-scene has been published in a number of countries and she was hoping to be able to do a PhD into the same subject…

In the issue I got (#3), there’s interviews with ‘The Marshes’, ‘Swingin’ Utters’, ‘Misfits’, ‘RockBitch’, ‘Headchecks’ and ‘Scared Of Chaka’. Plus reviews and some personal writings/guest-columns…

Brob

Firstly, thank you so much for asking me about my fanzine Sharkpool – I’d almost forgotten that I even wrote it! So here’s a little overview about what it was all about…

I grew up in a small village in the middle of England, with no punk-scene remotely nearby, so in those pre-internet days most of my information about music came from fanzines: I used to love it when the big brown envelope containing Maximum Rock’n’Roll used to land on my doorstep and there was something wonderful about disappearing up to my bedroom to read columns written by people in faraway places. I enjoyed the music reviews and interviews too, of course, but it was those columns that really spoke to me. The only A5 zine I had at that time was a copy of Last Exit, a ‘Manic Street Preachers’ FANzine in the true sense of the word, put together by Jaqui and Carrie from ‘Shampoo’ [British pop band of the mid 90s] before they became famous in their own right. I should probably try and sell that now – it might make me some money.

When I was about 19 I moved away to Birmingham to go to university and city-life was a big eye-opener for me. It was a wonderful time – there was a music venue that put a lot of touring American bands on with a degree of stubbornness, given that there were never more than about twenty people at most of the concerts so they must have lost money every time. As I was seeing a wider range of live bands, it felt like a good opportunity to try my hand at the fanzine lark. Plus my degree-course was pretty dossy so I had lots of spare time.

Sharkpool was named after the hangout-space in Australian teen soap-opera Heartbreak High. I can’t really remember much about the programme now but it must have meant something to me at the time… I’m pretty sure I loved it in an entirely un-ironic way, which is probably not the coolest thing to admit to. In terms of my ‘vision’ for what I wanted to create, I knew it would be somewhere for me to write personal stuff primarily, and may be a way to blag talking to some cool bands. I loved the cut and paste aesthetic and enjoyed taking time doing illustrations as much as the actual writing.

Issue One took about six months to put together and looking back at it now, it’s actually a bit rubbish. It’s pretty skinny and my overall impression as I re-read it this week is that I wanted to write important stuff but didn’t really have much to say. My favourite bits aren’t the reviews or the interviews or even my own oh-so-heartfelt musings, but rather the silly filler stuff, like the cartoon about people getting cross if you say you don’t like the X-Files, and the observation that the woman’s leg on ‘NoFX’s S&M Airlines album is disproportionately long. But anyway, warts and all, it did the trick – it got me over the first hurdle and into print. Barely legible print though – I photocopied the first issue in my bedroom, which was a terrible idea because the little copier kept overheating and breaking and I only had a tiny bedroom so the fumes were pretty intoxicating.

Anyway, feedback was quite positive considering it was my first fanzine and I was enjoying the whole thing so set about making issue two. Looking at them both retrospectively, I like issue two a whole lot more than issue one. It had pink staples instead of your standard silver ones and there were Garbage Pail Kids [series of sticker trading-cards] stickers chucked randomly throughout it. It had a crazy cobbled-together article about the Church of Euthanasia, who I had watched on the Jerry Springer show – I’m not sure that ripping off questions and answers from various internet-interviews I found was actually the right thing to do, but I didn’t really think about plagiarism back then, more about just getting their kooky message out to a wider audience. I really wish I had met them in person to interview them.

There are some really solid interviews in there with people I actually did meet – I just re-read my interview with ‘Good Riddance’ about feminism and it has stood the test of time pretty well. There’s a funny/random little bit about going out for dinner with the ‘Dwarves’ and a lovely interview with ‘Gameface’, which established my friendship with those guys for many years to come. I tried to mix things up a little with the interviews and made every effort to ask people questions which they might not have been asked before. For example, when I interviewed ‘No Use For A Name’, rather than asking them how they got their name, I asked them to make up a fake story to explain their moniker instead. With the band ‘Funbug’ I used the format of the TV Show Blind Date where I pretended that I was the contestant and asked the band-members to answer questions to woo me, using lots of cheesy puns like on the original show. The answers were crass but hilarious.

Also, I think some of my personal writing is better by this time as I had more to say – there’s a piece about getting felt up at a ‘Lagwagon’ gig, which ended up putting into Jen Angel’s zine yearbook – this is still on a par with the birth of my children in terms of the most exciting moments of my life. Other bits of my writing were shonky and inconsequential, rambling on about standing behind Miles Hunt at a gig and deciding not to buy expensive shoes to try and look cool. Most of the zine was pretty vacuous – I got bands to play Pictionary – drawing a picture to represent a band, which I never got the answers to because they were always bands I hadn’t even heard of. It did contain a half-decent cartoon again though, which might actually propose a workable solution to world peace. Possibly.

I had also started to get a few free records sent to me to review by this point, which was quite intoxicating for a smalltown newbie like me. I remember Doc at Dr Strange recs being very generous and friendly and I am very grateful for that as I was a rubbish person for him to send stuff to really, bearing in mind that I never had any clue how long it would take me to finish a fanzine, so I was never able to put adverts out by a certain date or anything.

By issue three I think I had rally got into my stride. I hand-coloured most of the front-covers with felt-tip pens – which took ages – and this issue had blue staples. I took ridiculous pleasure in stupid little things like that that nobody else probably even noticed. I did quite a few more silly illustrations for this issue, which were a lot of fun – doing the drawings and laying out the pages was a big part of the joy for me.

If I say so myself, there were some pretty cool interviews in issue three – I loved interviewing ‘Rock Bitch’ and finding out all about their sex-commune and why they chose to have sex with audience-members at their shows – that’s a story I still dine out on now, twenty years later. I also really enjoyed interviewing ‘The Marshes’ because I am someone who obsesses over lyrics and so it was a real privilege to have Emil explaining to me what the songs were all about – how many other punk-bands can talk at such depth about H.P. Lovecraft and dish juicy dirt on the band ‘Ignite’?

By this issue I had recruited a few of my friends to write columns for me, my favourite being my best friend Michelle’s musings on the joys of being ‘poo-confident’ around her husband. My own personal bits were about the loneliness of moving to a new city, the ensuing violence I saw take place there, plus a couple of irreverent bits about the brilliance of Sunset Beach and how annoying it is when people alphabetise their record-collections. I still used to get exceptionally nervous when a new issue of my fanzine came out – I was always very worried that people would think it was rubbish – but I think I had fallen into a good groove by this point. This was the first copy of Sharkpool that actually got printed at a proper printing-shop. Lord only knows what they thought of the whole endeavour!

After I finished Sharkpool three, ‘Wolfie Retard’ from ‘Real Overdose’ asked me if I would be interested in doing a split-zine with him and I practically wet myself with excitement at the prospect – he was such a hero of mine and became quite a close friend during that period, so this was a dream come true. I still don’t know why he bestowed this great honour on me in particular as there were far more esteemed British zines out there… Possibly it was just down to our mutual love of Married With Children [American soap].

I headed over to his house in Ipswich for a weekend and we mostly just sat around shyly at the computer because even though we had been emailing for months and months, we’d not met in real life until that point. It was so great to be collaborating with someone, but our work ethic was quite different – Wolfie was very organised and driven and had proper deadlines for his fanzine, whereas I just bumbled along at my own pace until I had enough stuff to fill the pages, but he nagged me and kicked my ass into gear and we got it all done in due course.

Whereas a lot of split-zines are literally divided down the middle, with one person doing the first half and then you flip it upside down and read a different zine for the second half, we decided right from the beginning that this wasn’t what we wanted. Our stuff was all jumbled together in one big crazy muddle, and I think it worked pretty well that way. I think it probably worked well for me that way because even though I’ve never added up the pages, I bet Wolfie ended up doing about two-thirds of the work while I slacked off and just added a few bits and bobs to the mix.

Working together did require a certain amount of compromise: Wolfie’s stuff was all done on his little computer whereas mine was still held together with pritt-stick. Also, as Sharkpool had grown it had randomly started a short-lived tradition of having pictures of my friend’s bottoms on the back, but the fab wrap-around cover of me and Wolfie sitting on his sofa means that very sadly fell by the wayside. But nevertheless, the world kept turning.

As far as my parts of the fanzine went, there was the usual mixture of serious stuff and outright nonsense. I wrote about Judy Blume [American writer of children’s and young adult fiction] books and tampons, so I think I was definitely covering the ‘teenage girl’ angle pretty well. I wrote about Married with Children, of course, and every page had a tiny Jack Handey [American humorist] quote at the bottom.

Interviews-wise, I figured that foreign bands who were over in England touring were probably doing interviews most nights – I was aware that they probably didn’t want to answer the same questions again and again, so I sometimes opted for a silly approach. As a pre-teen I had been a big fan of the British pop magazine Smash Hits, whose journalists were never very serious with their ‘stars’, instead asking them to pull questions out of a biscuit-barrel and things like that, so this was an interview-technique I used with the ‘Lunachicks’, leading to some random conversations about whether they had ever weed in the open air and which TV advert they hated the most.

There was also a fun interview with ‘Sloppy Seconds’, who I still have an enormous soft spot for, and another ‘Gameface’ interview because I love ‘Gameface’ more than I love life itself. Lastly, I interviewed Jen Angel, who is an absolute hero of mine, both in terms of her beautiful, honest writing and also her dynamic way of being at the centre of practically every cool writing project I ever heard about.

All in all, the split-zine came out pretty well and I was happily moving on to issue five of Sharkpool, but this only ever got partway done. I got as far as knowing precisely what was going to be in on each page, but unfortunately it fell foul to the biggest-scupperer-of-all-plans-throughout-time: I fell pregnant! At first I optimistically thought I could squeeze a final issue out before the baby arrived, but I never was all that good at working to deadlines, so it is still sitting in my attic in a half-completed state all these years later.

Even though I wasn’t especially young (26), I was still the first of my group of friends to have a baby and we moved away from the city and back to my little hometown to raise our family. I knew I was going to find it difficult to adjust to this new direction that everything was taking if I tried to hold on to the lifestyle that I had had up to this point, so I made quite a conscious decision to gracefully let go of the fanzine, staying in touch with music, going to gigs, writing to people, and instead chose to throw myself into my new family life instead. And thus, postnatal depression was avoided and I was very happy with my life.

In time, new things came along for me to obsess over: for a few years I was very into belly-dancing and making up choreographies and costumes and stuff like that fulfilled that creative side of me, while my jobs always seemed to require me to write newsletters or leaflets, so I can’t say that I ever really missed Sharkpool after it got tucked away.

Facebook also came along and ticked the social box for me and even gave me somewhere to start doing a bit of personal writing again. For a brief period of time a few years ago I even started a blog, which was in essence just a new space for me to write personal stuff that would have been put into my fanzine years before. I even resurrected one of the pieces that I had written for Sharkpool-Five-That-Never-Was, so it was nice to finally give that a bit of an airing. The blog is still out there in the world if anyone is interested in having a read. I’d still be doing that blog now if I hadn’t decided to retrain as a primary school teacher, but teaching is pretty full on so I have less time for writing now unfortunately. This past December I used facebook as a vehicle to do quite an extensive amount of writing about weird Christmas traditions around the world, focusing on bizarre European folk customs and stuff like that. So it’s not punk-related at all but I do still like to do some creative writing stuff from time to time when the whim takes me.

So that’s pretty much the sum history of me and my little fanzine. I’m so grateful for having this opportunity to reminisce and look back on Sharkpool and what it meant to me. My favourite thing about the whole thing was that it enabled me to make a shedload of new friends. A few of those were in bands that I stayed in touch with, or other zinesters, but mostly it was people who just read the fanzine and connected with it in some way and wrote to me. It was so exciting getting envelopes through the post with pound coins in them when people wanted a new issue and it enabled me to develop such a fabulous network of penpals, most of whom were like me – not especially cool or living anywhere with a scene as such, just sitting in their room writing letters to like-minded folks living miles away.

Thinking back to this period has also prompted me to grab a box of old zines out of my attic, and flicking back through them has been a real blast. My favourites were always the ones that had less about music and more just personal musings. My particular favourites were Real Overdose, Fucktooth, Simba my friend Nic’s fanzine Miles Away and a little zine from England called Jungle Jim – Simon who made that seemed to take more pride in the way his fanzine looked than any other I encountered – it was like a little work of art, with cut-out sections and stickers and envelopes and fold outs… it was truly beautiful! And that really is just the tip of the iceberg – there were so, so many fanzines that I loved and I was very proud to be creating something alongside them.

So Brob, thanks for the indulgent trip down memory-lane. If anybody wants to read my short little blog, you can find it at packingdreams.wordpress.com. It’s not an enormous read – there’s only about 5 or 6 articles but I guess it’s like a little mini bonus edition of Sharkpool or something.

Tracy Bosworth

I’m choosing to re-publish the RockBitch interview not just because of the controversy but also because they’re thought-provoking. Not really a hardcore(punk) band but definitely worth a mention. These women were playing metal and were known for performing naked, and incorporating sexual acts & pagan rituals into their performances. They were vocal about female sexuality & (radical) feminist issues, and admired sexual politics icons such as Annie Sprinkle e.g.

Brob

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Posted in 1998, UK zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

H.H.H. (Chaos Kreator #1)

This was a hardcore/punk fanzine done by Siebe Douma (Harlingen, The Netherlands). Before that he did 2 issues of another one entitled Total Insanity. He also distributed some tapes (demos and live) under the name Extend Youth tapes.

Can’t remember if Dieme sent it for review or as a trade, or if it was true another Dutch mate. I also don’t know if there was more than this first issue. Besides this interview with ‘H.H.H.’, he also presented bands such as ‘Laitz’ (Ned), ‘Noise Boys’ (Ger), ‘WarFare’ (UK), ‘Vellocet’ (Ger), ‘Sherwood’ (Fra), ‘Pissed Boys’ (Ger), ‘HeimatLos’ (Fra) & ‘Negazione’ (Ita).

‘H.H.H.’ (Harina de Huesos Humanos = human bone flour) was a hardcore band from Banyoles (Catalonia/Spain) with Marc (guitar) & his brother ‘Koki’ (drums), and Alex (vocals/bass). At the time they had a demo out (Sin Identidad!!! = no identity) and they were planning a split-LP with ‘Anti-Dogmatikss’ (but I think that never happened)… That year (1986) they were featured on the compilation-LP We Don’t Need Nuclear Force and released their Intelectual Punk EP. Later they also appeared on Nabate’s (pro-feminist/anti-sexist) compilation-LP Exclusion.

Posted in 1986, Dutch zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lieve ‘Ugly Duckling’ (90s Choice #6)

Fida from Kluang, Johor (Malaysia) did this straight-edge feminist zine. She wrote a lot about women’s rights, scene-politics and socio-political issues, also did interviews with bands and fanzine-editors from all over the world. And she also ran a distro, and did Red Salad Blue Day newsletter…

Never got to see an issue personally but it was suggested by people who used to correspnd with her. A few issues are downloadable from the internet. Some contents? #4 (1997): columns, (zine)reviews, interviews with the people of Out Of Step zine, Sufferage zine, Positive Thing zine; and local bands such as ‘Basic Rights’, ‘Never Ending Threats’, ’76 Seconds’, ‘The Muck’, ‘Psycho Duke’ & ‘B.I.C.’. #6 (1998): columns, loads of zine- and some music-reviews, interviews with Lieve of Ugly Duckling zine, ‘Infront’ (Ger), ‘Enslaved Chaos’ (Mal), ‘Second Combat’ (Mal), a few scene-reports, etc. My friend Tijs S., who used to do Who U R zine, was interviewed for #7…

Nowadays Fida lives in France; “becoming someone else”…

Lieve of Ugly Duckling zine, at that time a young woman from the Vort’n Vis (H8000) scene that studied ethics/moral science at my city’s university, is interviewed here…

 

Posted in 1998, Asian zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Satanic Malfunctions (Resist #5)

Resist’s editor Pascal Mariën was from the (Belgian) Kempen area (Laakdal/Tessenderlo) and I met him at gigs there. He also set up shows himself (@ Phoenix in Westerlo and @ Den Bogaard in Geel). We started exchanging zines from ’87 on; I have #4, 5 & 7. Pascal also distributed (live and demo) tapes.

His zines were part in Dutch, part in English. #4 (1986-87): compact interviews with ‘Ka-Tsetnik’ (Bel), ‘Butcher’ (Fra), ‘The Rest Of The Boys’ (Ger), ‘Hate Crew’ (Bel), ‘Leben Und Leben Lassen’ (Den), ‘Mellakka’ (Fin), ‘Bobs’ of ‘S.A.S.’ (UK) & ‘The Brains Of Humans’ (Swi); brief scene-reports from the Yugoslavian province Vojvodina and Spain, ads and some odd bits. #5 (1988): a written self-portrait, brief talks with ‘Deformed’ (UK), ‘Bristles D.C.’ (Swe), Deformed tapes (Hol), ‘Seven Minutes Of Nausea’ (Aus), ‘Dawn Of Liberty’ (Bel), ‘Anti-Dogmatikss’ (Spa), ‘Scoundrels’ (Hol), ‘Heavy Hell’ (Swe), ‘D.T.A.L.’ (Swe), Classified Protest (UK), ‘Satanic Malfunctions’ (UK) & ‘Disorder’ (UK); scene-report from Friesland, etc. #7 (1988): interviews with ‘Kazjurol’ (Swe), ‘Sound Pollution’ (Gre), ‘Total Mosh Project’ (Ger), ‘Changing Systems’ (Hol) & ‘Destitution’ (Ger); and a local scene-report.

Most interviews are rather short so I’m chosing to reprint something from one of the bands I know/value… ‘Satanic Malfunctions’ (from Sarborough, UK) was the band Ade Crawford formed after ‘S.A.S.’ split up. At the time of the interview the band was Ade (drums/vocals) and Stu(art) Duchart (guitar/vocals). I’d gotten to know them from the compilation-7″ Splitting Headache On A Sunday Afternoon! (out on Loony Tunes recs)… Later Ade played in ‘Oi Polloi’ for a while; nowadays he’s in ‘Anti-System’ with his partner Yaga.

Posted in 1988, Belgian zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Analena (Beatless #3)

Beatless was the zine done by Ivan Jakič (from Zagreb, Croatia). Never seen (let alone read) it until I found this bit here and Ivan was kind enough to inform me about it. Apparently he was in several bands and nowadays he’s the guitarist/vocalist of the band ‘Ponor’.

This was the first ‘Analena’ interview ever. That was a Croatian (based in Zagreb) HC (screamo) band that I got to know through my friend Fré Danneels and because Miran Rusjan (formerly ‘Man In The Shadow’ and 13.Brat zine), from Slovenia, joined them later on. In the beginning the band consisted of ‘Six’ Danijel Sikora (bass), ‘Mijo’ Miodrag Gladović (guitar/vocals), ‘Zet’ Dubravko Dragojević (drums) and a woman named Irena (vocals). The interview was done when Ana Franjić (vocals/bass) was not in the band yet. The band’s first recordings with Ana were for a tape (99-07-14) and a 7″ (Arhythmetics) in February 2000…

Brob

We wanted to do a different zine that covers a wide range of topics. From different kinds of music, to art, literature, etc. We only did 3 issues. The first one came out in the late 96 and the last one in 98. There were interviews, columns, reviews, art, comics, but from different people with different tastes. Can’t remember everything but I know we did interviews with regional bands (‘Analena’, ‘Peach Pit,’ ‘The Mad Men’, ‘ZOCH’, ‘Five Minutes To Steve’) & international bands (‘Braid’, ‘Integrity’, ‘Ignite’,…), printed some original comics (by Zoja Bajbutović, Ivan Molnar), ran columns on various subjects either by ourselves or by guest-columnists, printed original poetry, photos from various shows…

Ivan Jakič

[Translation below; thanks Ivan Jakič]

Interview conducted in Opatovina park in Zagreb; present: ‘Mijo’, ‘Six’, Marin [co-editor of Beatless fanzine], Ivan, some kind of dog (probably a dalmatian), sky, darkness, bushes and a trusty old Panasonic recorder. Altogether, it was quite an unusual day…

I: Check, check two. There, it’s recording. OK, ‘Six’, please introduce the band…

S: ‘Zet’ – drums, ‘Mijo’ – guitar and vocals, and me. I know where you’re heading with this question… We used to have a singer, her name was Irena. I mean, her name is still Irena but she’s not a singer in our band anymore.

I: Why’s that?

S: Let’s just say there are personal differences. I wouldn’t go into details at the moment.

I: Maybe some other singer in the future? Is it also going to be female singer?

M: Of course, we’re going for commercial success. 🙂

S: Are you gonna answer that?

M: Nope. I’m a bit embarrassed…

S: Well, I don’t know… We kind of wanted to have a female singer in a first place but in the end, it’s not necessary. If we don’t find anyone, probably ‘Mijo’ will continue to sing.

I: How good of a singer are you?

M: Me? I sing like Ian MacKaye…

I: How did the band got together? I know that ‘Six’ and ‘Zet’ are playing in ‘Ha Det Bra’, so how did you find ‘Mijo’?

M: Well, ‘Six’, Pavle and me were pasting posters for the ‘Shades Apart’ show around town, and I said that I was writing some songs at home and I would like to actualize them with a band or something and ‘Six’ said “Yeah, we should do a band together!”. And that was it.

I: And that was it. How many shows you played so far?

S: Five.

I: And, as I heard, you had a fantastic, almost legendary show in Sarajevo, right? In front of a sold-out crowd?

S: Who told you that?

I: I’m just kidding. I know it was in a small venue and it was overcrowded.

S: Yeah, there was, like, hundred people in a venue that looks full when there are 20 people inside.

I: Apparently, they wrote something like “Thank you ‘Analena’.” graffiti somewhere in town the next day?

M: And I even broke my guitar…

S: But, yeah, it was really extraordinary.

M: Unforgettable show…

S: The crowd in Sarajevo is completely next-level. Probably because they lack of underground shows so they really appreciate when bands visit their town.

I: How was the show in Varaždin?

S: Which one? We played there twice.

I: The one with Paruzija.

S: Oh, that was our second show ever…

I: Kutina was first?

S: Yeah, Kutina was first. I don’t know, we were not really satisfied with the sound but…

I: I’m asking because that was the first time I saw you live and I was pleasantly surprised.

S: I don’t know, I can’t really say anything in our name. I can tell you about other bands or maybe the audience. I really liked the ‘Request Denied’ show, there you go.

I: So, what would you say, what is the type of music you’re playing? Some kind of noisy emo?

MA: Metal. I think ‘Analena’ would look great written as a metal logo. 😊

I: And where did the name come from? Sounds really cool.

S: You really think it sounds cool?

I: Yeah, sounds great…

S: Because most of the people said it sounds silly and that remind them of ‘Anathema’, or ‘Amalka’, or chrysanthemum, or like, Ana and Lena and so on… The name ‘Analena’ means fire in Sanskrit. I found it in Bhagavad Gita and really liked it. And it has 3 A’s so you can circle them all… 🙂

M: You can also circle the E.

I: As I said, I really like it. It sounds very, how can I say…

S: Emo?

I: Yeah, I guess it sounds emo. 😊 Should I ask you about your influences? There are probably too many to mention…

S: I’m influenced by ‘Ha Det Bra’.

M: Me too.

S: The ‘Ha Det Bra’ bass-player [himself: Danijel Sikora] is my real influence. 🙂

M: But honestly, when we had our first rehearsal, I was quite nervous to play with guys from ‘Ha Det Bra’.

I: So, when is the 4-way CD coming out?

S: It should be out by the end of May.

I: How satisfied are you with the recordings? I heard the rough mix and it sounds a bit bassy.

M: Yeah, it should be bassy. Just write down that it sounds great.

I: OK, it sounds great. 🙂

S: To be honest, I’ve listened to our recordings so many times that I got sick of them. But I really like to listen to the other 3 bands on the CD. I also liked them as people, and the whole idea of sharing the CD with them.

MA: Where did the 4-way split CD idea came from, anyway?

S: Well, first ‘Paruzija’ and ‘Five Minutes To Steve’ were planning to do a split. At that same time, ‘FNC Diverzant’ were planning to do a split with ‘Razlog Za’. But it turned out that ‘F.M.T.S.’ were staying behind with their songs and recordings so the ‘Paruzija’ guys approached ‘Ha Det Bra’ for a split. But I said it will take us even longer to record than ‘F.M.T.S.’ and then suggested that ‘Analena’ would record songs in time. At that moment, we thought that the Czech company that produced vinyl records is no longer in business (which turned out not being the case) so we opted for split-CD. I the meantime, ‘F.M.T.S.’ finished their recordings and ‘FNC Diverzant’ came with their songs, and what was supposed to be a split-CD became 4-way CD. Which turned out cool, since this way we can probably sell more CDs. [That CD, Tribute To Our Parents, was released in 1998 by the Croatian label Anubis recs & Earwing recs.]

I: I think you should have released a 7” by yourself. That would be great.

S: There will be time for that.

M: We already got some offers, you know…

I: From Dirty Old Town?

MA: Carrot Productions?

M: We’re gonna keep it a secret for now…

I: There aren’t too many bands in Croatia playing that kind of music. What do you think, why’s that?

S: I wouldn’t know. We listen to a lot of music which you may consider emo. Even some metal…

I: There is one of your songs that really reminds me of ‘Metroschifter’. Does that make sense?

S: You may say so…

I: And one sounds a lot like ‘Girls Against Boys’.

S: Well, that is a compliment.

I: So, when do you think you’ll have a record-release show?

S: I was hoping by the end of June.

MA: Since the record is coming out for Anubis recs, who will distribute it?

S: I think Dallas recs (Croatian major label) are distributing Anubis releases through the stores.

I & MA: Woohoooo! You’re gonna be famous! 🙂

I: ‘Mijo’, did you play in any band before ‘Analena’?

M: I’m originally from Zadar and I had a band there called ‘Kiks’ where I sang. I bought my first electric guitar when I started playing with ‘Analena’. Before that I only had an acoustic at home.

I: Well, considering that, you’re doing really well.

M: I think ‘Kiks’ was actually quite good. Although we didn’t play many shows. Mostly local ones and one in Rijeka.

I: I’m afraid I never heard of the band before.

M: We even had an interview in Demonica Substrata (local fanzine).

MA: Which issue?

M: First.

MA: Haven’t read that one.

M: You know, it was kind of a high school type of a band but it was good.

MA: At that time Demonica was also high school type of fanzine and later turned into Nomad. 🙂 (Same editor who did the fanzine later started mainstream magazine Nomad.)

M: There you go. One moment I’m in a high-school band and the next I’m playing with professionals from ‘Ha Det Bra’. (laughs) Even the ‘Ha Det Bra’ website has info saying something like “The drummer and bassist are doing a new band called ‘Analena’ and they are really good.”.

S: By the way, since you mentioned ‘H.D.B.’ website, we recently received five out of five stars from NET magazine for our website.

MA: What is the address?

S: Damn, you’re asking too much. It’s hosted on GeoCities and the address is three miles long. 😊

I: What are your band plans for the future?

S: We’re waiting for the CD to come out and then we’ll play shows around Croatia and Slovenia to promote it. Maybe Hungary, Italy also…

I: Just out of curiosity, you two guys are straight-edge, right? I know that ‘Zet’ isn’t.

S: Basically yes, but this band is definitely not about that.

M: But all three of us are vegetarians.

I: Who is writing the lyrics?

S: Well, Irena used to write the lyrics in Croatian but since she’s not in the band anymore, we changed all the lyrics and from now on they’ll be in English.

M: Both ‘Six’ and I wrote the lyrics. They are kind of personal nature.

I: Cool. Anything else you wanted to say in the end?

S: Thanks for the interview. it was our first interview as ‘Analena’.

M: This was my first interview ever. When I was in ‘Kiks’, I never wanted to give interviews.

S: I like the Beatless column on guns.

I & MA: Cool! 🙂

S: I would really like to try playing paintball. 🙂

Posted in 1998, Eastern-European zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

M.S.T. (Hemorroids #1)

Hemorroids was a zine from France done by 2 guys (Christophe Chojna & Stéphane Ll.) from just across the border (Valenciennes/Lille, France). Stéphane was friends with the guys from ‘Scraps’ and visited gigs in Belgium from time to time. He was also running a distro/tape-label (later named Kalimero) and went on to do a radio-show – Écrasons La Vermine (Crush The Vermin) – on the local ‘free’ radio-station Radio Campus Lille. Also ‘Scraps’ vocalist David Dutriaux had a show there: Raw Power. Even though this was in France, a lot of us in Flanders could also listen to it… In the early 90s Christophe Chojna became the vocalist for ‘Behind The Smile’, a HC band from Valenciennes.

This first issue contained interviews with French bands ‘Les Gnomes’, ‘Sherwood’, ‘Verdun’ and info on the ‘Dirty Scums’ & ‘No Numbers’ from Belgium. I didn’t get to see the following editions but saw an announcement for #3 (‘B.G.K’, ‘K.G.B.’, ‘Les Cadavres’, etc.).

Brob

Initially the zine was called BK Zine, a product purely from Valenciennes. Three persons were doing that: Chojna, Didier Renard (who later founded the band ‘Lost Generation’) and a guy named Hervé Collet (disappeared). They quickly scrambled; to tell the truth I don’t remember if they released a single issue…

Regarding Hemorroids: we did some real interviews (La Souris Déglinguée …) and some concert-reviews, but otherwise many things were done through the mail… We did 3 issues (87-88).

Stéphane Ll.

Hemorroids started in ‘86 when I split with then friends Didier and Hervé. Our zine was to be named Skandal; it ended as two fanzines, BK Zine (one issue was published as far as I know) and Hemorroids. The first issue of Hemorroids was in fact made with fellow university-mate ‘Bis’ (Jean-Paul), who quicly disappeared from the ‘scene’. Stéphane then joined and we published the 2nd and 3rd issues together.

Christophe Chojna

HC/thrash band ‘M.S.T.’ (Maladies Sexuellement Transmissibles = sexually transmitted diseases) was the band (from Paris) that a correspondent of mine and fellow-zinester (M-Extäz) Jeannot (Jean Chaperon) drummed for (he was also in ‘Razzle Dazzle’). When I got to know them, the others in the band were vocalist ‘Mickey Maouss’ Micaël Pichet, guitarists ‘Bouss’ Boussad Lacheb & Christophe ‘Teuf/Töf” (ex ‘Les Gnomes’ & ‘Sherwood’, R.I.P.), and bassist Amédée ‘Bu’. In February ’89 I set up a small tour (Belgium/The Netherlands/Germany) for them and their mates of ‘Smegmatics’. At the time of this interview they had done 2 tapes (a self-titled one, and Too Much Warhead, Too Much War). When they toured they had just recorded their album P.U.C. and had a 7″ (Scrunch!) out.

[Translation below]

M.S.T. [1986-87] is a band consisting of: ‘Crazy’ = vocals, ‘Fayot’ = guitar, Amédée = bass, Jeannot = drums.

HEMORROIDS: First off: why ‘M.S.T.’?

M.S.T.: We are a infectious band, musically and with our ideas, and we hope to become as underrated and famous as them… [M.S.T. = S.T.D.]

HEMORROIDS: Yeah, but to you, what does it stand for, ‘M.S.T.’?

M.S.T.: “Moi Sur Toi” [Me On You], “Merde Sur Tous” [Shit On All], “Mouvement des Skaters Trash” [Trash Skaters Movement], “Marijuana-Salad-Tomato”, “Mourir Sans Travailler” [Die Without Working], “Monory Suce Toubon” [“Monory sucks Toubon” (politicians)], etc.

HEMORROIDS: By the way, why did ‘Doctor Destroy’ leave the band?

M.S.T.: ‘Dr. Destroy’ [Gilles Gourgand; the band’s first bassist] left at the time when our former singer began to stir shit up, he didn’t come to rehearsals anymore and even became a nationalist. The group was no longer moving on, so ‘Dr. Destroy’ preferred to leave.

HEMORROIDS: What is your state of mind at the moment?

M.S.T.: Our state of mind is the same as it was in the beginning. We are and will remain libertarians, we fight a personal struggle what seems to us like a good fight… We’re humans, so we’re different, and our ideas, our means and our ways are too. We make our ideas known through a zine, radio, through music, a distribution-network; everyone lives their ideas in a personal way, such as vegetarianism, not drinking alcohol, graffiti, etc.

HEMORROIDS: What are the themes of your songs?

M.S.T.: Each song has a different theme. And often the title is enough to know what the main theme is. We have songs about: life in the suburbs, street kids, the poor, the rich, son of a bitch, son of immigrant and still a child, a song on the army, military/executionist service, disciplinary camps, the military, war; there is also a song dedicated to William Normand, Loïc Lefèvre, Malik Oussekine, Abdel Benyahia [young people killed by the police] – called ‘Mort Aux Vaches’ [“death to the motherfuckers”], it’s the story of cops that are easily triggered, the killers in power that form our police, and also on war, animals and vivisection, on news and media, big labels, those that rip off Rock’n’Roll, and others …

HEMORROIDS: Do you have particular issues?

M.S.T.: No, we don’t have any particular problem that is so important that we want to talk about it in a zine; we can eat when hungry, we sleep in a warm space and we escape the daily grind by making music. Our problems are everybody’s problems, that is to say the problems that correspond to today’s society and that are inseparable of it nowadays, like cops, beatings, censorship, injustices, and TV, corrupted with fascist propaganda.

HEMORROIDS: The question that has become classic: What is Pasqua to you? [Charles Pasqua was the French Interior Minister from 1986 to 1988]

M.S.T.: A primate, completely deprived of the slightest human feeling. An assassin in power, someone with a sexual complex, a fool who thins he’s still fighting the Algerian war [between colonizer France and the Algerian National Liberation Front, in the 50s]; in summary: simply a fascist. The guy isn’t worth to be talked about anymore…

HEMORROIDS: What are for you guys the most important problems, in France and abroad…? How to fix them?

M.S.T.: ‘M.S.T.’ doesn’t own the absolute truth, we only have completely subjective opinions. For us, there’s no problem in France, it’s France that is a problem, France is in decline, politicians are pleasing themselves and problems grow bigger; right, left, and especially the right turn us into the victims and the martyrs of their ravings, about security, the A.N.P.E. [Agence nationale pour l’emploi = National Employment Agency], reforms, security for the French and insecurity of immigrants… As for the foreigners: the biggest problems are the countries at war and those under threat of dictatorship: Chile, Uruguay, Libya, Pakistan, USSR and USA… The remedy, in our opinion: reflecting on the values of human beings, questioning of all our principles, and a maximum of confidence and love amonst mankind.

HEMORROIDS: What holds the future for the world?

M.S.T.: ‘M.S.T.’ is not a medium; in our opinion, to live fully the present, we shouldn’t think about the future, because in the end our future may not be very beautiful.

HEMORROIDS: What are your favorite dishes?

M.S.T.: C.R.S. [Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité = specialized unit within the National Police] marinated in politicians’ fat. And for our singer: only herbs (vegetarian).

HEMORROIDS: Who would you like to be and who not?

M.S.T.: Jeannot would have liked to be nobody and not to be Jeannot. ‘Crazy’ would have liked to be Proudhon [one of the first anarchist thinkers] and not be Michel Sardou [French singer/actor]. ‘Fayot’ would have liked to be Ted Nugent and not be a white guy.

CONTACT: M.S.T. (& M-ËXTAZ INTERNATIONAL PRODUITS) c.o. Jean Chaperon, 3 rue de la pelouse, 93360, NEUILLY-PLAISANCE, FRANCE.

M.S.T. 6-song demo-tape avialable from M-ËXTAZ (15,00 Frs +4,50 Frs postage). M-ËXTAZ 06: Too Much Wars [Too Much Warhead, Too Much War; recorded 86-06-22]

Posted in 1987, French zines | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

DisChord recs (Sold Out #7)

Otto Buj published Sold Out zine (with the help of contributers such as Trent Reeve, Stefan Cieply, Mikey Red). They were from the Windsor area (Ontario, Canada). Otto also put on shows. Their first issues came out in 1987 but I only got to see this #7 (from 1989). Can’t remember who send me this. It looks really professional (with a glossy cover) but unfortunately contains ads I can’t support so I chose not to distribute it (allthough the interviews are more than decent).

Back-issues, as mentioned in the editorial, featured ‘Slapshot’, ‘Fugazi’, ‘Blast’, ‘Soulside’ (#4), ‘Agnostic Front’, ‘All’, ‘Verbal Assault’, ‘Token Entry’ (#5) & ‘Scream’, ‘Underdog’, ‘Swiz’, Martin Sprouse, ‘Half Off’, ‘Final Conflict’ (#6); and a next issue was supposed to have ‘Fire Party’ and more. Also saw a cover of #9 (including ‘Bad Brains’)…

Otto also announced a new publication (Grand Guignol) devoted to contemporary culture. He became a film-maker and established/programmed the Kinotek Film Society (respected showcase that screened rarely-seen foreign and independent films, 1991 to 1997). He curated Representing Cinema and the Art of the Film Poster, an exhibition of rare and original film-posters from his personal collection. In 2004 he completed his first feature-length film: The Eternal Present.

Brob

I started Sold Out fanzine with my friend Otto. I named it after a song by ‘Gang Green’. Otto booked bands in our small city of Windsor. Directly across the river from Detroit, Michigan. I decided to start a fanzine in a way of adding to a Windsor punk scene. The zine would be a way to interview the bands booked to play Windsor and also bands playing Detroit. Otto and I both did the zine’s layout, photos and record-reviews along with a few close friends.The zine started at my family-home. I think we were both 17 at the time. It was later done on a computer when Otto attended university. We stood outside Detroit punk-shows and sold the zine. It was also sold by mailorder, reviewed in Maximim Rock’n’Roll and Flipside and later distributed. I think the zine ran from 1986-1990. I moved away in 1989 and had no involvement in the final couple issues. I now live on the west coast of Canada and Otto still lives in Windsor. I have only seen Otto once or twice since 1989. I understand he’s not on social media. He recently made a film about the early Detroit punk scene and the venue known as the Freezer Theater. This is where many bands played their early shows in Detroit. The film will be released soon.

Trent Reeve

I’m reprinting the interview with DisChord recs’ Ian MacKaye here. People might remember I fell out with him soon after the first European tour ‘Fugazi’ (when we did a show for them with Smurfpunx), because of his/the band’s choice to deal with commercial promoters. But no need to re-hash that here…

Posted in 1989, Canadian zines | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment