When I got interested in the HardCore Punk zine-scene, halfway the 80s, there were hardly any women doing zines, certainly not in Belgium. 2 come to my mind… Durty Skum (done by Kim DS, from the coastal town De Panne) and Silence Is No Reaction (by Veerle Huygh, living in a village near Brussels). Here Kim is interviewed for the second issue (late ’87) of Veerle’s zine…
In my opinion Durty Skum resembled the zines from the early days of punk quite a bit. A “wild lay-out”, as I reviewed it. Bands and socio/political items were quite evenly balanced. Also a lot of letters from readers and some news-bits. Later on I got a bit bored with it ’cause Kim seemed to “stubbornly go on in her same old way”. Perhaps I was to critical towards bands’ attitudes and she was more a ‘fan’…? One thing’s sure: she was very productive (24 issues in 4-5 years).
From the zine-review section in Tilt! #4: >>Everybody knows I disliked the first issues of S Is No R. Her #4 (last issue?) is better. The bands are telling interesting things (i.e they’re well-chosen). The interviewer isn’t idolising anymore.<< I have issues 2 (with ‘Upset Noise’), 3 (‘UK Subs’, ‘Basement Boys’, ‘Creep Insanity’) & 4 (‘Anal Terror, ‘Razende Roeland’) from 1987-88. Veerle also reprinted quite a lot of her correspondence…
Most non-musical subjects dealt with in zines at that time were animal-rights, anti-fascism and anti-miliarism. Nothing about sexism, feminism, gender-roles. Not even in zines done by women, except for the odd mentioning of (drunken) machismo… Attention for the rights of homosexuals was also rather rare.
A long interview with Kim Deschacht of Durty Skum. (She wanted to give me work.) Why an interview with a “normal” punkette instead of one with a band? Well, if you make a zine then you do as much for the punk-scene as a band. And these people are also interesting to interview.
S is no R: Go ahead and introduce yourself?
Kim: For those who do not know yet… I’m Kim, who does the zine Durty Skum, that goes around in the punk-scene for about 3,5 years.
S is no R: When did you start it and how did you get the idea?
Kim: I was young (16 years old). It was a cold winter, I’d stopped going to school and was bored to death. At that time I was quite informed about the English and American punk-scene. I was subscribed to Maximum Rock’n’Roll and the Koekrand [from Amsterdam]. And I knew some Belgian zines here and there. I was quite attracted to the idea of doing a zine. But I didn’t want a zine packed with interviews or to constantly talk about fascism and politics. There was a long preparation before the first issue got together.
S is no R: What is the goal you wanna reach making a zine and what do you enjoy most about it?
Kim: I especially want to reach a large audience. Durty Skum is not just about punk. I particularly want to wake people up from their fuddle, teach them what life has to offer alongside punk. So I do articles on e.g. pedophilia, arms-trafficking, famine, multinationals, drugs, animal suffering, mafia-practices, homosexuality, concentration-camps, etc. etc. I want to be informed on all sorts of things in order to be able to pass on my knowledge through my zine. The best thing about a zine is that you come in contact with lots of people, you sometimes have to be hard to get the information you want. E.g.: from a Belgian arms-manufacturer, the Belgian Coca Cola subsidiary. But the best thing is of course that you get in touch with bands such as ‘G.B.H.’, ‘Chaos U.K.’, ‘Scratch Acid’, etc. during an interview or a great conversation after a gig. And it’s always nice to hear: “Hey, are you Kim of Durty Skum?”.
S is no R: Do you have a lot of collaborators?
Kim: Corinne used to help out a bit with typewriting or getting information or interviews, a member of the band ‘Disgorge’ from De Panne [town on the Belgian coast] also helps well from time to time with typewriting on his computer. There’s some people helping out here and there but for the rest I do everything alone, which is quite difficult. (Ed.: I can totally get into that, readers help us and write something, don’t be lazy, and put soap on the stamps for re-use.)
S is no R: What do you think about the first issue you did nowadays?
Kim: When I coincidentally browse through one, I’m sick with laughter: it was full of spelling-mistakes, had a poor lay-out and the articles weren’t really finished. I was only satisfied when the fourth issue came out. Only then D.S. started to sky-rocket.
S is no R: How do you obtain the documentation and how do you decide what appears in the zine?
Kim: I especially get my documentation from youth info-centres or I write all around trying to get interesting addresses. There’s a lot of research-work involved. I’m very picky towards what will appear in the zine. I always limit myself to 3-4 interviews with bands, two pages ads, for 1-2 pages with letters. So I can fill the other half with articles that appeal to everyone somehow. One also have to keep paying attention what you write; I always write my opinion. Once I caused some commotion when I wrote an article against drugs. I’ve nothing against people smoking, snorting or injecting but they can damn-well keep that dirty stuff to their own. I’ve seen enough people dying becasue of drugs; that’s why I swore to myself never to join in on all of that.
S is no R: What do you do with your free time?
Kim: Mainly research-work for Durty Skum, read books on philosophy, yoga and emotions. Scientific literature fascinates me a great deal, perhaps because it’s my dream to ever become a famous journalist, and that knowledge partly comes from books.
S is no R: What are you punk ideals?
Kim: My beloved authors include George Woodcock, author of The Anarchist Reader; Hunter Thompson, a journalist who described life in Las Vegas, who became famous and notorious for his book Fear and Loathing – on the drug-problem amongst the population; Krishnamurti, I can recommend the book Inner Revolution to people who’re struggling with themselves; Bertrand Russell, who describes human philosophy in an autonomous manner. And for those who like to be brainwashed: they should read Swasbawat…the shortest way to wisdom, by Saswitha, an Indian religion master; my ideal … my punk ideal. Beyond that my ideals stretch from learning to think for yourself, to accept everyone – even the ones you hate, learning to live, not to destroy yourself with drugs or to get bored dead waiting for your social welfare or unemployment-benefits. But live actively, show that you are alive and that you’re someone who wants something different then the vicious circle that we live in, learning to understand people and finding out what more life has to offer – because many people don’t know that.
S is no R: Something else you want to mention?
Kim: That you shouldn’t think that you’re only punk when you wear smelly, ripped-up pants and have a lush soapy mohawk, and get yourself noticed everywhere being stoned or totally drunk; they’re not punks but scum, who use the term ‘Punk’ as a way to get noticed and therefore somehow descredit the right-minded punks with their antisocial behaviour. They’re not all like that but I know many who are. Punk = an opinion, an inner feeling, being your own self; and you definitely don’t need trousers that are cut up with a Gillette blade and thrown in a puddle of mud to look messy for that.
There you go; that was that. Thank you Kim and keep well.