ART . STYLE . CULTURE . PHOTOGRAPHY
FRAYED is a free, independent bi-monthly creative arts & culture magazine concerned with the exploration and documentation of expression. Investigating the inspiration behind the art, it provides a canvas for creative people to document their life and work. FRAYED is for those who love creativity in all its forms but long to know how and most importantly - why it exists.
Skaters - 6 -
SNAPPER 52 -
HOWARD MARKS - 24 JOSH WOOD BMX Frayed Magazine #001 EDITORS
Josh Moore Luke Chambers James Ash
Josh Moore Luke Chambers James Ash Adam Dunkerley snapper52
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With a tireless work ethic that has seen SKATERS go from strength to strength in 2013, we look forward to what is set to be an amazing year ahead for the Anglo American Four piece. With their inaugural album ’Manhattan’ to be released in February and the solid backing of Warner Bros. Records, we feel a huge sense of pride that the band looks upon Hull as its second home. We find ourselves in a cold warehouse down Humber Street that has housed Thieving Harry’s for the past twenty four months. We are sat down with a cuppa and witness the band tackle the classic ‘Monkey’s Gone To Heaven’ by Pixies. Watching them pick out sections of the song and repeatedly perform until all are happy to move on is an interesting experience. Noah (drummer) is the perfectionist. With a chunky marker pen in hand, he conducts the band making notes onto an oversized flip chart. It’s at this point that we realise that SKATERS are not only a band that play great music but they are also incredible professionals, perfectionists and a well oiled unit that look and sound great. FRAYED sits down with band members Michael Ian Cummings, Noah Rubin, Dan Burke and Josh Hubbard: What would you guys class as SKATERS’ sound and which genre do you draw the most inspiration from? ‘Fancy punk’ drawing mostly from the late seventies, early eighties post punk movement of America and Britain. What music was each of you listening to around the age of ten? Michael – Led Zeppelin and Nirvana. Josh – I was listening to Phil Collins and the Beautiful South. I went to see Phil at the round and these days he’s drumming for Boy George. Noah – Boyz 11 Men, Brandy and Babyface. Everything that started with the letter B. Dan – Janet Jackson along with something like Guns N’ Roses. How did you guys get together and how was SKATERS born? We all played in previous bands, which we knew each other from. Josh and I (Michael) actually met at a party in Los Angeles and had a conversation about our bands and how things were winding down and we both wanted to start a new one. Then Josh showed up in New York and kicked us into gear. Noah and I had moved there so when Josh showed up, we started booking shows and finishing our first EP. Josh, people know you from your time with The Paddingtons. How soon after did you find yourself in New York? The Paddingtons haven’t finished, they’re just having a sabbatical and I really wanted to carry on working. I’d been in downtown New York between The Paddingtons record’s and had been there on and off for six or seven years. So when I met Michael, something clicked and I knew it was worth moving back for and I was right. Everyone in The Paddingtons are having babies so we’re going to get back together in 2027. What have you guys been up to recently as a band? A lot of touring on both sides of the pond Would you say it’s been more across the UK or America? 2013 has been more UK, with festivals in Europe. What would you say has been the highlight for the band to date? We sold out a venue in New York called the Bowery Ballroom. That was kind of a goal of ours from when we started the band; a distant goal that we have achieved. It was really gratifying. Our festival circuit this year was also extensive and fun. To play Leeds and Reading along with other large festivals at such an early stage of the band’s career was really exciting. The fact we were wanted at those festivals was amazing. What excites you the most looking forward in 2014? Our record ‘Manhatten’ comes out, which is the next landmark and with that will be a bigger and better tour. We find ourselves down Humber Street at Thieving Harry’s so you guys can play a private gig to an invite only crowd of family and friends. How did this gig come about? This is my (Josh) café, which is run by a couple of family friends and my sister. My sister is doing a charity walk for Dove House Hospice so tonight we aim to raise a bit of money for them. So the café is opening its doors and it will be the last event that is held here, as it’s only a temporary home. The café will be moving to its new permanent home on the corner of Humber Street. It will be nice to have a send-off for the venue that has looked after Theiving Harry’s for the past two years. It’s always nice to have my American boys in my hometown.
Do you aim to play at the new venue? We think Noah is going to move in above it and become the barista. So it probably makes sense! That evening, FRAYED enjoyed one of our favourite gigs weâ€™ve experienced in the City. SKATERS are certainly energetic and perform with a level of tightness that would make any Catholic priest weak at the knees! Their album Manhattan is out on the 24th February and their tour, which kicks off on the 26th, is starting and finishing off in New York with a tasty filling of eight UK shows in between. We will see you there! For all SKATERS good time stuff, visit www. skatersnyc.com
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ENDOF LEVEL BADDIE
Endoflevelbaddie is one of the crowning jewels of Hull’s rising music scene. Not only a respected name in his own city, endoflevelbaddie’s music has been heard by millions on Radio 1 and enjoyed by thousands at live venues across the country. We sat down with the one-man party starter at his Hull Studio to find out about the man behind the mask. Interview by Luke Chambers Where did it all start? What were your first musical experiences? When I was about 16, I was asked to drum in a mate’s band; I couldn’t drum at the time so I just bought a drum kit and got a few lessons off my mates. Then I started to dick around with 4-track recorders, a keyboard I bought for like 50 quid or something, a synth and a drum machine. I don’t often talk about it but I churned out tapes full of about 3 or 4 tunes with every take. I would run synths through an effects rack and everything was one take through the 4-track and recorded straight to cassette. The amount of sh*t on there is unreal. What are your fondest memories of those early days? It was just real experimental and off the back of it I got to do Sound Art at Uni. So I took in some of the best of the weird sh*t I had done and they accepted me on to the course. My mates used to lend me all sorts of equipment to record bars and loops. Paddy, from The Last People on Earth leant me this 4-track, which I eventually ended up buying off him and an effects pedal. I used to just dick around for ages. How did you get to a point where you were comfortable, confident and knew what you were doing with all this borrowed equipment? The people who gave me stuff showed me how to use it and I’m pretty good at picking stuff up really; a bit like when I played the drums and the same with using a computer. When I first started using computers there was no internet, no YouTube channels or any of that. I am completely self-taught and that’s my philosophy on most things in music or anything really. If someone shows you a few pointers then lets you run away with it, that’s the best way to approach anything creative I think. Just dive in and have a go. With that being said, do you believe there are certain people with natural musical ability or do you think it is something anybody can achieve? For me, its not musical ability but more of an ability to learn and apply stuff. Figure out what does what, what works and what doesn’t. It’s the same with DJing or anything I have done; it has all been picked up through learning. I think some people are quicker to pick things up and some people learn in different ways. You say it’s a lot through learning but your music creates a reaction and gets people going so surely you must have an ear for it? It has developed and it’s always been really simple. I remember reading an interview with Mr Oizo and he said, “everything I do is based around 3 notes” and I love Mr Oizo’s stuff; its weird, simple and obscure but everything he does is around 3 notes and that is generally how I work. I’m still working towards making things I want to make, such as an orchestral sound or pop music. I want to make people feel something. That’s what I think the real key to music is. To understand how to write music, you need to know how to evoke emotion. I can get people dancing, which I guess is more of a tribal thing but musicality is more about touching people in a different way. So would you like to take your music in a direction where you are touching people in a way that’s more than just having a good time? I’d like to learn a bit more about it rather than just fully go down that path. I think just understanding that certain notes get people wet is important. When I’m DJing, I understand that certain records are all done in a certain key to keep energy levels up. Then you have to go into the other records that are of the same key or a complimentary key to keep the energy at that level. I like happy sounds and dark dirty tones. I write all sorts. From an outside view, people see you as a creative character but to me it almost seems as though you see music in a scientific/mathematical way. I think there is a bit of that; sometimes it’s accidental because I still sort of believe in throwing stuff together and not worrying about it too much until you get something that works. Mix it all up until it tastes great and then think about what works, what doesn’t and what’s clashing. Just playing around with stuff is great for getting the creative juices flowing. When I get that element of an uplifting moment, I’m happy with that because I’ve found it through my own means. I think that’s why people love your music because it isn’t just prescribed pop. It feels very organic. That’s what I miss about 4-track. It was all very thrown together. Even the stuff I did when I was studying Sound Art and playing with loops of records and making them stick in grooves and finding those happy accidents. If I hit a bum note when I was using the 4-track, I either lived with it or started again 5 minutes back. Some of the early stuff was very John Carpenter like, very soundscapey and others were just random happenings. The Sound Art, which was very experimental, still somehow feeds into my music today. Even though I’m not doing any wild, crazy and crackly beats anymore, I think it still gives my music that random feel.
So where do you think your sound is at right now? I think I have found my sound although it’s always changing and developing depending on what I’m into or inspired by at a certain time. I think when I put out a tune now, you can tell it’s an endoflevelbaddie tune; I don’t think it could be confused with anything else. What 3 qualities do you think an endoflevelbaddie tune has? Firstly, a three note bassline! Secondly, good drum programming. Being a drummer initially helped when moving to computers as I could program beats that I couldn’t possibly play. Oh yeah, and catchy samples! You are predominantly a live performer and your live act has really developed over the last year with the additions of Player 1, Eyesaw and Beat ‘em up. Tell us about your live act and what makes it so special. I think in terms of putting out tunes and singles, we don’t do that as I write now for a dance floor. For me personally, a lot of my tunes take a structure that wouldn’t have the same effect on a CD as they would on a dance floor. I try and find that balance but I have more fun playing live and more fun writing music for a live audience. In terms of the live show, I was quite happy on my own and enjoyed the glory initially because I could try out tunes and nothing was really expected of me; I just appreciated the fact my tunes were getting an audience. I have been mates with Eyesaw for a while and we have done some nights together like Home Sweet Home. Luckily, he really got the music visually and knows what I want even when I don’t ask him. He’s amazing at what he does. It was a real step up as people can only watch me standing with my arms up for so long but the visuals give something else to look at: the colours, shapes and lights. It all adds to the show and he is getting better and better. Then Stew Baxter at The Warren got in touch saying there was an MC down at The Warren and suggested I get in touch and do a versus thing with him. He rapped over my set, we started a real good friendship and now he’s part of the live show. He’s the front man and the face of endoflevelbaddie. As much as the mask is the logo, he is the face. He is amazing at getting the crowd going, hyping it up, getting strangers who have never even f*cking heard of us diving around. Beat ‘em up was the product of a chance conversation and said he fancied drumming for us. I knew he was sh*t hot and it is great to have him on board. We are still in the infancy of merging the live drums with the live set but the people who have seen it so far have really enjoyed it.
Would you agree that the pinnacle of your career so far was when you performed live on Radio One? I don’t know. In terms of my personal best moment, it was Reading and Leeds Festival. Reading in particular. It was still when I was pretty much on my own and it was insane. Ten people turned into 100 people and 100 people turned into 1,000 people. It just spiraled out of control; the people who came down with me couldn’t believe it. To get 1,000 people raving was just the biggest buzz for me. Radio One offered the most potential and don’t get me wrong, I was pleased and honoured to represent Hull as a headliner on Radio One. I loved both but the feeling I got from Reading was incredible. Anybody would assume that Radio One was your biggest moment but it makes sense that you enjoyed the live crowd of Reading more. That’s what endoflevelbaddie is all about. Well, Radio one was at The Adelphi and I love playing The Adelphi but my mates couldn’t watch because apparently it was sold out. Unfortunately, it turned out they were letting anyone in on the night, which was a shame as I could have had it rammed out with people. They were all at home listening to me on the radio instead, which was still incredible. What advice would you give to the younger producers out there? I think everyone has a sound and it takes time to find it. Definitely. I think these days it’s made a lot easier, which I’m not sure is a good or a bad thing. With breakthrough producers at 15/ 16, I’m like, “f*cking hell”. I’m not at all dissing anyone of that age who is making banging tunes but I think being able to go on YouTube and find out how to create this bass line, that drum beat and how to master it to make it sound big is a bit easy. I know people who play proper instruments complain about computers making music ‘easy’ but I think it shouldn’t be a hard thing to do. Mastering an instrument may be but being able to get some ideas together and express yourself in some way should not be a hard thing. I’m not slagging these YouTube tutorials because I sometimes use them; I’m still learning. I would say limit yourself as everything is so accessible these days with sample packs, soft synths and plug ins. For me, just learning with the little I had was the best thing. Just crack on; even if it’s a sh*t computer. Whatever you’ve got, just hammer it!
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ENDOFLEVELBADDIE ESSENTIALS 1. Novation launch pad 2. Korg Kaoss pad 3. Phono to quarter inch jack adapters 4. Party vest
5. Mask 6. Beyer Dynamic DT-990 Pro Headphones 7. Golden Virginia Tobacco x2 8. ‘Baddie’ trucker hat 9. 1gb iPod Nano old school
Snapper’s art may demand your attention but he never would. He may be a shy and modest character but his art has firmly established him as a cult hero on the local art scene. Interview by Luke Chambers
We sat down with the young artist who is hoping to break ground and set an example for emerging artists. How did you first get into art? It was a way of avoiding schoolwork really. I just doodled and stuff and then I ended up failing school because I wasn’t listening and paying attention. I went straight to college and then to university, which led to becoming a professional I guess. Loads of kids doodle but how did you know you had any talent? Did you get any encouragement? It was something I just developed over time because I wasn’t necessarily good but I learnt to put a message into my art. It was all an act of defiance against my Dad really, because he was into all the traditional fancy drawings and stuff whilst I was doing the cruder imagery. Was your dad an artist himself? Yeah, he is quite a big name in the country. He was all about Leonardo Da Vinci and I was all about Ghost Rider comics, Batman and stuff. What do you think is most important to a piece of art? Is it just about looking cool or is there more depth to be considered? I think it’s all about getting a message across. With stuff like pop art, like Andy Warhol, there’s no point to it; it’s just a picture. He’ll create the image then make up the story later and I’m a bit against that sort of style. What are the general messages you try and convey through your work? I listen to a lot of music like Scroobius Pip and Sage Francis and they get a lot of their personal stories through their work and I do the same; just through a different form really. It’s all about death and loss I guess but I’m quite a cheerful person despite what my art says. Are there any artists out there who have inspired you to be creative? No, not really. Like I said, I’m pretty against the art world. I had a lot of influences growing up and a variety of styles but they all sort of meshed together. Once I had been in the industry a bit, I realized there is quite a lot of bitchiness amongst all the professionals; it was a bit of a weird environment so I try and get out of it and just be my own person. You strike me as the anti art but what’s so good about being an artist in this city? What’s the life like? Its definitely fun in Hull as I make quite a big deal about hiding my identity yet people still recognize me. If I do introduce my name, people know it and it means a lot that people have noticed me in the city. Even though you are anonymous, is it still important to you to receive recognition? I’m trying to. In the grand scheme of things, I’m trying to help Hull. I’ve set up my own publishing group ‘Something Entirely Different’ where we are trying to promote the youth of the city and the students who don’t get all the attention they deserve. So it’s good that I have established a name for myself because it means I can get involved with projects and I can help them in a way that I wouldn’t be able to if I wasn’t recognized in some way. So with that being said, do you have a message to people that are just starting in the art world? Don’t stress at Uni or College if you don’t get the grades you hoped for. Focus on your range of skills and build up a decent body of work- as long as you have a good portfolio and put your heart and soul into your drawings and stuff, you will get far. It’s just having the nerve to do it. I’m not a confident person but if you can appear like you know what you’re talking about, which I have clearly done, you can get places. What is it about Hull that makes it such a special place and a place where creative people can thrive? We’re a City of Culture. The creatives have always known it, and now it’s official. Hull’s great because it’s so small and it’s relatively easy for anyone to make a name for themselves. If I can do it with my sh*tty comics, I think there’s hope for anyone. There’s a lot of talent in this city deserving praise. I’m trying to set an example I guess. firstname.lastname@example.org somethingentirelydifferent.com
I witnessed a Howard Marks’ show over ten years ago, in what was the Picture Play House in Beverley’s Saturday Market. The UK’s oldest serving theatre before it was criminally turned into an airport style duty free store with an excess of bright white blinding paint and staff waiting in the wings to spray you with overpriced perfume. It seems funny looking back at Howard on stage at that very venue with cough mixture in one hand to ease his sore throat and a joint in the other telling his tales from a never ending back catalogue of experiences that always entertain. Howard is one of those rare gems that you find yourself meeting, sitting back and soaking the stories up like a sponge and relaying to family and friends for years. Having a degree from Oxford, Howard Marks was once known as the world’s most intelligent and sophisticated cannabis smuggler. Dealings with MI6 and the IRA were soon to be followed by a 25-year prison sentence handed to Howard at the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Complex Indiana USA. Here he taught English to some of the most infamous gang leaders and individuals, such as Christopher George Latore Wallace, aka The Notorious B.I.G. It is no surprise that he has a best selling autobiography and a box office movie about his life of which has been nothing short of extraordinary, crazy, shameful and inspirational. Knowing all this, we find ourselves sitting down with Howard before his show at Fruit. Red wine, spiced rum and ale to hand, Howard is clearly relaxed and puts us at ease. Scholar, Smuggler, Prisoner and Scribe. How does this new show differ from your previous tours? It differs mainly in the presentation of it. Unlike previous tours as a book reading, this one finds me talking to disembodied voices. Enhanced with audio, I relay conversations with various individuals I had over the years from various dealings and situations. Some of the material is the same from previous’ tours, however it’s been re-worked a lot and finely tuned. It can often depend on how the first half of the show goes; my assessment of the audience can dictate the course and direction of the second half. I may find myself adding a scholarly lecture, which often pulls more laughs than the scripted comedy parts of the show. It begins as always with a short introductory video about my life because I am not arrogant enough to think that everyone there knows who the hell I am and then it is just me talking sh*t for a couple of hours. I still seriously suffer from stage fright every time I go on. Even though it doesn’t sound serious, I’m risking looking like a tw*t in front of a hall of people. I still get frightened and that automatically kicks in the adrenalin; that’s where I get my adrenalin these days. You have in excess of fifty thousand followers and members across your social media sites. How does that compare to a time when you wanted very few to know you and where you were based? Well I guess it must be indicative of being the world’s worst dope dealer. Generally they tend to try their best to remain anonymous.
Your Biopic movie Mr Nice was a box office hit where Rhys Ifans portrays the role of Howard Marks depicting your life on screen. How was that experience for you? It was a privilege to have a good friend representing me on the big screen; it was very unusual from that point of view. I mean, there is no rulebook about how to play someone in a film when it is someone you know very well. I think if they ever made a film about Rhys then I would be the best person to play him. How much involvement did you have in the movie? None whatsoever apart from occasional questions asked about what lullabies I would sing to my son when I put him to bed. Of course, there would be the odd thing but no creative input. It has been documented that Rhys gets deep into characters he portrays and there was a certain need to get hammered on a number of occasions. Well we certainly got slaughtered a number of times. Rhys wanted to know how to play me properly after a good number of drinks and I was more than happy to oblige. The BBC bought the rights when the book was released. Please tell us more about that. It was the BBC who bought the rights and they simply sat on them for more than ten years. It wasn’t until Kelly Jones of the Stereophonics rallied for the movie to be made after a meeting with Shaun Penn at the Cannes Film Festival. Kelly loaned Shaun the book and the rest is history. The only regret I have is that I sold the rights too early before knowing it was going to be a best seller. What would you change if you could go back to a moment in your life? I wouldn’t change anything. I’m at a very content stage of my life and believe it’s the path my life has taken that’s led me here so wouldn’t want to change anything to alter that. Of course, when I was in prison I wanted to change things but now I wouldn’t change anything. I think it’s impossible to regret if you feel ok and you can only make decisions at the time with the information at hand. You’re sixty eight years old now and I imagine life has slowed down a little in terms of partying. Does is ever become tiresome to live up to a reputation that may have been true twenty or thirty years ago? No, it is the case, I mean sometimes I really don’t want a smoke although some would think I’d lose my street credibility if I didn’t. It can be a little bit wearing at times but I guess it’s not a bad job; it could be a lot worse. For more on Howard’s Tour Dates, Info and Merchandise, visit howardmarks.name
Josh Wood, always out in Hull riding BMX for no reason other than a love for it. To accompany his edit, I asked him a few questions about his time riding BMX. When did you start riding Bmx and why? I started riding mountain bikes with my dad, which turned into buying a jump bike and riding trails. When the local skatepark (BEEF) got built round the corner from my house, a BMX was the next step and it’s been that way for the past 6-7 years. What has it been like riding BMX in Hull for the past 7 years? Hull is class. A lot of the time, the street and skateparks are taken for granted and people don’t realise how good we have it. There’s always new stuff getting built and stuff is being knocked down so it’s always easy to find new stuff to ride. What have you seen change over the years? Not sure really. The scooter is the worst invention ever and their skatepark invasion is universally hated. It would probably be the older riders who I’d look up to who have left the city or stopped riding for various grown up issues. There seemed to be no riders for a while but just recently loads of new kids have appeared and lads who are getting back into it too.
Favourite street place to ride in Hull? My favourite street spot in Hull has to be Myton Bridge; there’s a nice bank and big bouncy wall ride out the top of it. Just one of the places everyone goes when they ride town and there are loads of spots surrounding it. Favourite park to ride in the UK? I’m pretty antisocial when it comes to travelling around the UK. Hyde Park in Leeds, Dev Green in Sheffield. I went to Unit 23 and that was just nuts. Subculture (Hull’s only indoor park) just got a massive extension and is just insane! But my favourite has to be the local, BEEF. Just always a laugh and someone is bound to be out riding. Shout out to Josh Moore for filming my edit and including me in this, Mark at Subculture for building a sick park and all the BEEF crew.
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