Product X (It’s Not Just Boys Fun #1)

The person that introcuced me to this zine and its editor (Elena Stöhr) was probably Lieve Goemaere of Ugly Duckling zine. Elena might have contacted me for distribution. She was still a teen then, if I remember well. The young woman (from the Köln/Trier-area) started studying languages & philosophy, and later took up gender-studies. Her first issue (editorial dated June 1999) had interviews with ‘Absence’ (Ita), ‘Unison’ (Yug), ‘Product X’ (Hol), ‘Reinforce’, ‘Esteem’ & ‘Purpose’ (all 3 from the US); an article about what’s wrong with Nike, thoughts about death-penalty, women in developing countries & in Auschwitz, fascism, columns, reviews, diary-entrees, etc. #2 (which got out in 2000) was subtitled the Anarchist Black Cross tribute issue; there was info on life in prison/death-sentenced prisoners and contained interviews with bands (‘Boycot’, ‘Strength Approach’, etc.), thoughts/columns, etc. It evolved from a SxE HC zine to a more personal and political zine.

I only know about the next issues through the www… #3 (Some Wounds Never Heal) got out after about 4 years. She wrote about it: “I never wanted it to be read but I decided that its release is important for me so… It’s mostly about the tumor in my breast, surgery and the effects this had (and still has) on my life. The rest is an old Stockholm-travel diary from 2002.”. #4 (Silence = Death) – almost a hundred pages – was about rape/sexual abuse (writings from primarily women-identified rape) and includes a diversity of (horrible and painful) stories of survivors of sexual assault, poems, lyrics and columns.

Later she also did Rote Tränen (red tears): a small (per)zine, very delicate and personal; with poems, fiction, personal stories, photos and wonderful collages – personal writings and poems (German & English). Read more about that in an interview with Elena by Elke Zobl.

She also helped out with the label annex mailorder/distribution founded by Nikita Lavrinenko of the band ‘Yage’ (Nova recs) for a while, (helped) organise(d) shows/tours (Paper and Iron Booking) from time to time, wrote columns for the (defunct) DIY punk/HC e-fanzine Enough and various other zines, etc.

‘Product X’ was an SxE band (from Tilburg) with Ries Doms (drums; later ‘Reaching Forward’), Marcel Groenewegen (bass), Merlyn Janssen (vocals) & Matthijs Verberkmoes (guitar). In 1995/6 they self-released their True Persistence tape; Commitment recs did 2 EPs: Hometeam (98) & Who Makes The Heroes… (99). Ries & Marcel also did a zine: Arm’s Length.

 

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