CONTENTS Volume 8 Number 7 Issue 68 10 14 56 58 59 60
Editor’s Letter Sleeping tight won’t save you! Of The Month Need a movie for date night? Watch one of these and we guarantee the person will never talk to you again. Poster Art: Skinner This guy’s gonna kick your ass if you don’t like his art. ION the Web We talk to Colin Geddes, the man behind TIFF’s excellent Midnight Madness program. Horoscopes More weird movie recommendations... in horoscope form! Comics
CULTURE 16 22 24
Matt Furie My Pet Monster, on drugs. Kaput Oozing his way to an art gallery near you. Jean “Turf One” Labourdette Freaks and Geeks.
Where Eagles Dare This month’s fashion editorial is shot by Javier Lovera and styled by Toyo Tsuchiya.
The Human Centipede The director’s name is Tom Six. More like Tom Sick... amirite?
MUSIC 40 46 48 50 54
Salem They’re dark, attractive and mysterious. They’ve made one of the best albums of the year and they’re on our cover. Grinderman Killing you loudly, with their song. Black Wizard They’ll put a spell on you. Insane Clown Posse Are you down with the clown? Album Reviews
WHERE TO FIND US WEB www.ionmagazine.ca FACEBOOK www.facebook.com/ionmagazine TWITTER @ionmagazine TUMBLR www.ionmagazine.tumblr.com ISSUU www.issuu.com/ionmagazine I
Publisher/Fashion Director Vanessa Leigh email@example.com Editor in Chief Creative Director Art Director Music Editor Fashion Editor Office Manager
Michael Mann firstname.lastname@example.org Danny Fazio email@example.com Tyler Quarles firstname.lastname@example.org Trevor Risk email@example.com Toyo Tsuchiya firstname.lastname@example.org Natasha Neale email@example.com
Copy Editors Editorial Interns
Steven Evans, Marisa Chandler Zia Hirji, Sinead Keane, Alysa Lechner
Nojan Aminosharei, David Bertrand, Alysa Lechner, Ashlyn Behrndt, Chad Buchholz, Sinead Keane, Kevvy Mental, Jeremy McAnulty, Jules Moore, Cameron Reed, Ian Urbanski
Photographers and Artists
Toby Marie Bannister, James Clapham, Tyson Fast, Nikki Igol, Jenny Kanavaros, Mitchell Kaufman, John Klukas, Grace Lee, Javier Lovera, Natalina Percival, Daniel Pitout, Wendy Rorong, Jeremy Williams, Sandra Yang
ABOUT OUR COVER SALEM SHOT EXCLUSIVELY FOR ION MAGAZINE On the cover this issue are John Holland, Heather Marlatt and Jack Donoghue from Salem. Salem are a zeitgeist. Two years ago, when people started sharing mp3s by this mysterious band from Michigan-cum-Illinois-cum-New York, the music world took notice. Their music was so visceral that the listener had no choice but to make an assessment: Do I like this? The sound was orchestral and electronic, harsh but melodic, moody but with elements of pop. It was something that you felt. The media, from the New York Times to NME, tried to pin them to a myriad of genres, ultimately deciding that a new one needed to be created: Witch House. Salem call it Drag, but it doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s about the experience. After releasing a stream of limited-run EPs and 7” records, Salem have finally released their highly anticipated first full-length King Night. We talked to them about how their approach to music and their lives have changed on the path to becoming one of the first truly original bands of the 21st century. King Night is out now on IAMSOUND Records. [www.s4lem.com]
ION is printed 10 times a year by the ION Publishing Group. No parts of ION Magazine may be reproduced in any form by any means without prior written consent from the publisher. ION welcomes submissions but accepts no responsibility for the return of unsolicited materials. All content © Copyright ION Magazine 2010 Hey PR people, publicists, brand managers and label friends, send us stuff. High-resolution jpegs are nifty and all, but they’re no substitute for the real thing. Clothing, liquor, PS3s, CDs, vinyl, Blu-rays, video games, and an iPad can be sent to the address below. #303, 505 Hamilton Street. Vancouver, BC, Canada. V6B 2R1 Office 604.696.9466 Fax: 604.696.9411 firstname.lastname@example.org www.ionmagazine.ca | @ionmagazine www.facebook.com/ionmagazine | www.issuu.com/ionmagazine Advertising enquiries can be directed to email@example.com
Cover Photography: Jeremy Williams, Photo Assistant: John Klukas, Styling: Nikki Igol, Hair and Makeup: Jenny Kanavaros, TRESemmé Hair Care, judyinc.com, using Dermalogica Skincare. Salem is wearing John: pants with leather patching - Neil Bartlett. Heather: shirt - vintage. Jack: outfit - musician’s own.
© 2010 NEW ERA CAP CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
TRISTAN EATON, ARTIST & TOY DESIGNER
CONTRIBUTORS Illustrator [James Clapham]
Writer [Kevvy Mental]
Photographer [Javier Lovera]
Writer [Cameron Reed]
James Clapham did the illustrations for the Insane Clown Posse interview. He was born and raised in the dirty streets of Birkenhead and thought he’d moved up in the world by moving to Cambridge to study illustration. After triumphantly returning back to Birkenhead with his degree and becoming the most infamous barista the town has ever seen... he quit to concentrate on what’s important in his life: coffee, boxing, crap films and drawing. Anyway, everyone get on his website and start giving him big pay commissions.
Kevvy Mental (aka Kevin James Maher) interviewed Insane Clown Posse for us. Kevvy is a tool... as in he can be used for many a job. He is the singer of the world’s first PUKE RAWK band, Fake Shark-Real Zombie!, as well as a producer (Recent credits include two Fan Death records, a Hot Hot Heat remix and a Louise Burns country record). He also did programming on industrial-dream pop band Birthday Massacre’s newest joint), composed a film score (Sarah Slean’s newest film Last Flowers), and now is a contributor for ION Magazine. He’s a former cover boy for ION. He’s known for having in his possession thousands of copies of the magazine. Unfortunately, they’re all of the same issue.
Javier Lovera shot the fashion editorial in this issue. Javier was born and raised in Colombia and has spent the last few years in the U.S. and Canada. A well-published and award-winning photographer in fashion, beauty, and advertising, Javier has a photographic style influenced by his passion for films and graphic design. His aesthetic is often recognized by his unique ability to reveal compelling narratives in imagery. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife and beagle.
Cameron Reed interviewed Salem for this issue. He’s a musician that performs under the name Babe Rainbow and has an EP out on Warp Records. He’s the co-director of a cultural festival, Music Waste, and an annual outdoor concert, The Victory Square Block Party. He was also an executive producer of a Leo Award-nominated comedy web-series, Mental Beast. Cam’s also balding and consequently owns a lot of hats.
[www.myspace.com/fakesharkrealzombie] [www.myspace.com/kevvymental] Photo: Lindsay Smith
[www.cameronreed.com] [www.jlyphoto.com] Photo: Ryan Walter Wagner
© 2010 NEW ERA CAP CO., INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
masON graNger, spOkeN wOrd pOet
Michael Mann “Untitled” by Toby Marie Bannister
The last few Halloween editor’s letters have tackled topics like the very real time I experimented with cannibalism, the very real time I waterboarded my friends for a laugh and the very real time I was getting disturbing prank calls from a psychopathic killer (turned out the calls were coming from inside my house). To change things up a bit, this year I will tell you the very fake story about the time I was eaten alive by parasites in my sleep. Imagine the terror of discovering you’re sharing your bed with bugs—gross looking bloodsuckers too. A ladybug’s ear they ain’t. You probably can’t imagine because I’m quite confident I’m the first person in Canada to have experienced bed bugs first hand. But, mark my words, they’re coming for you next! I went through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression twice before I hit acceptance. And when I hit acceptance after catching one of the
parasites, things just got worse. You tell someone and ask for help, but initially no one will believe you. Desperate pleas will be met with brutal skepticism. “There are bugs that only you can see, feasting on your flesh? Sure thing, crazy guy,” is the typical response you’ll get. But once the frightening truth gets out there, your friends and neighbours will be terrified of you. Get ready for a life of solitude, my friend. Expect to be vilified by your landlord too. In their eyes, the only way you could have got them is if you were hanging out in a heroin den or had a prostitute over. Once they confirm your apartment is infected, you’ve been marked for life—like an itchy scarlet letter. No landlord will ever rent to you again. Sorry, but that’s the truth. You’re going to have to start saving and buy a place – or live on the street, like me. They’re impossible to find because they’re tiny
and only come out at night. They can hide in a tiny crack in the wall, under your mattress or even in the spine of a magazine! The internet won’t kill print. Bed bugs will! I’ve heard these little buggers are hiding in movies theatres. Yes, that’s right. Go to see a movie and you might bring bed bugs into your dwelling and then you’re screwed. If bed bugs keep spreading, I predict that by the year 2015, we’ll all live in a state of permanent quarantine and never leave our apartments again. Rich or poor. Black or white. None of that will matter anymore in the future. It will all come down to this: those who have the bug and those who don’t. Well, why don’t we just gas them, you say, or perhaps construct a bed bug-killing neutron bomb? The problem is they’re pretty much impossible to kill and they can live for two
years without food. Two years! Kate Moss said nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. I would like to see if her opinion changed after two years with no food whatsoever. Here’s the most horrific part. Bed bugs have an anesthetic in their saliva, so you don’t feel it when they bite. Furthermore, a lot of people don’t react to the bites. Let me break that down for you: they could literally be eating you right now and you wouldn’t be aware of it. OoooOOOoo! I’m not mad, I tell ya! If you see me, now homeless and itching myself in tattered rags at the bus stop, I’ll happily tell you my story of how invisible bugs are crawling on my skin. You won’t even need to prompt me. I’ll walk right up to you and start ranting. I suspect the government’s to blame.
ION THE PRIZE THE DARK The prize this month is an art print by the dark. If you read this magazine on a semi-regular basis, the work of the dark (aka Devitt Brown) should be no stranger to you as he’s one of our favourite artists. We were thrilled to show this work back in August at his show, A Structure Asunder and now is your chance to own one of four terrific screenprints. To enter just, “Like” us on Facebook. We’ll be doing the giveaway on there in late in October. To enter visit [www.facebook.com/ionmagazine]
ION THE STREET BAND IT! Photography: Tyson Fast | Stylist: Toyo Tsuchiya | Hair and Makeup: Grace Lee for TRESemmĂŠ Hair Care/Plutino Group | Hair and Makeup Assistant: Wendy Rorong | Models: Anna and Josefine from Elmer Olsen Models
Cerritellii from Aldo  Twist Scarf Headband from American Apparel
OF THE MONTH [DVD] House [Blu-ray] Grindhouse [Blu-Ray] Hatchet [DVD] Splice
 DVD—House This is one of those instances where we wish we could embed the trailer for this movie in
 Blu-Ray—Hatchet Remember when horror movies all revolved around unstoppable killing machines like
the magazine. House is one of the weirdest cultural products Japan has ever produced and the printed word
Freddy and Jason? Slasher films were great but after the umpteenth sequel they got a little stale and it was
doesn’t really do it justice. House was made in 1977 and is directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi and hasn’t been
time for something new. Well, we’re getting sick of torture movies so it’s time to bring Slasher films back
available on home video in North America until the folks at Criterion unearthed this obscure gem. It’s a tale
and no, we’re not talking about the remakes of Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street (okay, Rob
of six schoolgirls who go visit a haunted house in the countryside that’s kind of like Pee Wee’s Playhouse,
Zombie’s Halloween remake was excellent, but still). Let’s have some new boogeymen and that’s where
except instead of the furniture talking to you, it eats you. Ridiculous, psychedelic and awesome, House will
Hatchet comes in. It’s a fun and violent romp about a deformed psychopath who lives in a Louisiana swamp
quickly become your favourite avant-garde Japanese horror comedy.
and goes by the name Victor Crowley. Director Adam Green (no, not the guy from the Moldy Peaches)
 Blu-ray—Grindhouse We like to give our readers credit so we’ll just assume you’ve seen Robert
made something new and scary with this one so reach for Hatchet instead of a remake next time you’re in
Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. However, we’re not going to give you that
the video store.
much credit as you did not go see these two movies when they screened back-to-back in theatres under the
 DVD—Splice Here’s a fantastic Canadian mad scientist movie by Vincenzo Natali, director of Cube. Adrien
Grindhouse banner. Nobody did! Grindhouse proved that asking people to sit still for three hours on order to
Brody and Sarah Polly are two gene-splicing rockstars. They’ve successfully spliced animal DNA to create
have the funnest moviegoing experience of their lives is asking way too much. Grindhouse tanked miserably
weird slug-like animal hybrids that could change the world as we know it. But like any splicemaster
at the box office and we were afraid we’d never get to see it again as it was intended. Fortunately, three
extraordinaire, they’ve gotta press their luck and attempt to combine human and animal DNA... never a good
years later you can finally watch the movies back-to-back again with all the fun ads and the fake trailers for
idea. They end up creating a creature named Dren (nerd backwards) that’s adorable but deadly—she has the
Thanksgiving, Don’t, Werewolf Women of the S.S. and Machete (which was recently adapted into a feature
tail of a scorpion. As Dren develops rapidly the two scientists struggle with what to do with the beast and try
length film). If all this awesomeness is too long for you to watch in one sitting, rip it and watch it on your
to address the moral implications of cloning and stem cell research while they’re at it. Splice also features
iPhone on the bus or something.
one of the most awkward “walked in on” moments you’ve ever seen.
[DVD] S&Man [VHS] Trash Humpers [Hotel] The Waldorf Hotel [Too Awesome For Print ] FME 
 DVD—S&Man The Toronto International Film Festival has come and gone. Some movies will go on to have suc-
 Hotel—The Waldorf Hotel Our creative director, Danny Fazio, is involved with the renovation of The Waldorf
cessful theatrical releases and maybe even win a few awards. However, most of the movies will just play a few more
Hotel in Vancouver and this place is going to rule when it’s done. The 63-year-old space is being converted
festivals and never be seen again. This is a real tragedy because there are a lot of brilliant movies that never find the
into a multi-room concept hotel that will include two restaurants, a tiki bar, a hair salon, a gift shop, a
audience they deserve. S&Man is one of those movies. It played TIFF four years ago and has been in movie purgatory
nightclub, a live music venue and a recording studio. The opening party will be on Halloween. Check them
ever since. It’s a documentary about horror movies and why we get a thrill out of watching people die. To explore this
out online for more info as it becomes available.
idea, director JT Petty talks to some very demented underground horror filmmakers—who are all making movies with
[www.waldorfhotel.com] [www.facebook.com/waldorfhotel] [@waldorfhotel]
uncomfortably realistic onscreen kills. If you like to watch people die as much as I do, you’re in luck because S&Man
 Too Awesome For Print— FME
is finally getting a DVD release. This movie has haunted me for four years. It’s one of the smartest horror movies ever
Our music editor and art director got whisked away to a special place where they put cheese and gravy
made. Watch it and I guarantee you’ll never forget it. —Michael Mann
on fries and worship Roch Voisine. Go to www.ionmagazine.ca and enjoy a whimsical piece about FME
 VHS—Trash Humpers We should probably say there’s a very good chance you’ll hate this movie. In Harmony Korine’s
(Festival De Musique Émergente) and read about Corn Nut fights, the Nordiques and falling asleep on the
latest, there’s no story and it is literally about people who hump trash for close to 80 minutes. They wear old people
Melvins. The festival itself was smile-inducing and refreshing, the people were hospitable and jovial (except
masks, they scream a lot and they dance a bit... but mostly they hump bags of trash. Trash Humpers also looks like
for the woman who yelled at us for speaking English, although that could have been about the Corn Nuts),
it was shot on degraded VHS tapes and edited with a VCR. Also, don’t ask us to explain what the point of this movie
but the food was Quebecois and rural—possibly the worst combination in our country. The next festival
is either, cuz we have no idea. If you’re able to accept all of that, then there’s probably something wrong with you
better be in Whitehorse or Frobisher Bay (or “Iqaluit”) because we’d rather eat frozen whale slabs. We
and you’ll enjoy this audacious and hilarious movie. We recommend being anachronistic and purchasing a VHS
promise the read will have very little about Sonia Benezra, although as we learned from Quebec television,
recording that has been individually vandalized by Harmony Korine himself from the Trash Humpers website. [www.
she’s still got some serious gams.
Super Furie Animals Words: Alysa Lechner
Matt Furie’s artwork is probably the closest you’ll ever come to taking a stroll through Sesame Street. Well, perhaps a more accurate description would be a stroll through Sesame Street after hot-boxing Oscar’s trashcan, because after visiting Matt’s psychedelic monster metropolis, anywhere else looks like Pleasantville in comparison. His vibrantly coloured pencil drawings are a feast for the eyes, depicting creatures far and beyond the outskirts of anyone’s imagination. Where else are you going to find scooter-riding Falcors, werewolf families and
intergalactic snakes under one roof? Matt also draws a hilarious comic, titled Boy’s Club, which follows the lives of four young, lazy and irreverent monsters. Having just wrapped up his most recent show, Animal Style, at Giant Robot New York. Matt took the time to speak to us on Halloween costumes, night terrors, and what inspires his otherworldly critters. Is your relationship with monsters any different now than it was when you were younger?
It actually hasn’t really changed that much between then and now. In fact, last night I was watching a DVD of an old cartoon I used to watch called The Flight of Dragons—it’s like a made-for-TV movie and John Ritter was one of the voices— and I realized that a lot of the dragons’ faces and their characters as well as a wolf character and other different characters kind of influenced me, I guess. Subconsciously? Yeah, I guess subconsciously, because a lot of those
characters ended up looking like the ones that I draw now. Your comic, Boy’s Club, is hilarious. Has anyone in your life inspired the unique humour of the characters? Um, yeah. I guess not specifically any one person, but a lot of the jokes in there are actually—like fart humour and barfing—a lot of it is kind of based on true stories. And yeah, for that book I thought it would be funny just to make their apartment or wherever they’re living just kind of mysterious and basically keep it limited to just these four characters. But I’m gonna have a new issue coming out and there’s actually a new character introduced in that named Bird Dog, he’s like the pizza delivery guy. Your colour choice is so aesthetically pleasing. Do you mind talking a bit about your relationship with colour? Yeah. I limit my materials to coloured pencils and markers and stuff like that. So I think naturally it just looks bright, or maybe like a children’s book illustration. I think when you’re doing weird creatures and monsters, colour takes it to this other place. There’s a ton of familiar characters seen in your drawings. For example, Freddie Krueger, Alf, Big Bird, etc… That being said, how does television culture influence your work? When I was a kid I used to watch a shitload of television all the time. And I think it’s also a way that I can relate to people, you know? I can’t really talk about sports. I’m not very good at that. It’s just something that’s cultural. There are a lot of cultural signifiers, like everybody knows Freddie and Big Bird and they’re also things that I was into as a kid. I tend to go back to things that I was into as a kid when I draw because I just kind of enter that mind-frame when I sit down to draw. I don’t know whether it’s consciously or subconsciously but I just try to tap into that kid part of my brain. The awesomeness and hilarity of your drawings sometimes masks serious issues, like the birds who have unknowingly eaten all the plastic. Or in
Boy’s Club when Pepe dreams of frolicking in the forest and wakes up only to ask what’s on the nature channel. What do you make of that kind of tension? My perspective with plastic is kind of hard because I really love packaged foods and toys, DVDs and stuff like that so I think there’s a lot of really cool, positive things that come from it. But then there’s a lot of stuff that’s bad because of the overproduction of plastic. So there’s a balance to my perspective on that. I think it comes out in the way that I draw. I’m always kind of thinking about the days “long ago.” There’s just a lot more distractions these days whether it’s TVs or cellphones or iPads, just so many distractions, especially for kids. I think it’s hard to appreciate bugs and nature when we have all these crazy distractions, you know? It’s just a little bit disturbing. I mean, maybe it’s just half in my head and half-based on what I see in the news and stuff like that, but I just feel like an impending doom… Your creatures are so otherworldly it’s hard to imagine what inspires you to bring them to life. Dare I ask? I draw a lot of monsters eating little frog guys which comes from, basically, life eating another life, fear of being eaten. I read this book on Maurice Sendak, who wrote Where The Wild Things Are. He was explaining how a lot of his stories come from a childhood fear he had of being eaten. That was some suppressed fear he had. So I thought that was interesting. I also know somebody that has night terrors. So at a certain part during the night there’s a chemical that’s released in your brain that’s supposed to put you into a sleep-induced coma. But for him that doesn’t exist, so he actually hallucinates all kinds of animals and crazy creatures. He’ll actually describe them to me so I’ll use that as a reference point. A part of him really believes in this other dimension and that he’s actually seeing behind the surface of reality. Do you believe in that? I don’t know. I like to keep an open mind about that kind of stuff. I’ve been
watching a lot of X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries lately... Do you ever dabble in creative realms outside of your artwork? I kind of have a side project called Beef Mouth that I’ve only performed a handful of times. It’s a music project where it’s basically just me with an acoustic guitar and this weird way of singing. It’s our Halloween issue so I have to ask, what are you dressing up as this year? I’m actually going back to this strip in LA, I think it’s Melrose or something like that. But there are these hilarious outfits that these chochy guys wear, like jeans with these weird tattoo prints on them and little diamond studs and shirts with tribal designs. It’s kind of hard to explain but it’s a certain kind of style. Like a Guido? Jersey Shore? Kind of, yeah yeah! It’s like LA’s version of Jersey Shore. I’m going to try and get together a Jersey Shore-style outfit with the necklaces and stuff like that. Are you going to get a spray tan? I’m kind of tanned already just from being in the sun but a spray tan would be pretty hilarious. What about your monsters? Do they celebrate Halloween? What would they dress up as? I guess they’d just dress up as other monsters. Not humans? Mmmmmm, nah. [www.mattfurie.com]
Ridin’ on the Freak Train Words: Ashlyn Behrndt
I meet to talk freaks n’ creeps with Kaput, a visual artist who lives and works in the most ghoulish neighbourhood of them all: the Downtown Eastside. As we sit, I see dark clouds heading our way from the north and an eerie fall wind blows as we shake hands. Immediately one can picture his illustrations stapled to the side of an abandoned funhouse, impenetrable oozy monster eyes watching your every move, as you swiftly try to escape their glare. Sitting across from what appears to be a subdued gentleman quietly sipping his tea, he is quick to point out that Kaput spells Tupac backwards, but with a “K.” We both have a laugh and my preconceived ideas of a haunted artist disintegrate immediately. Rather, I’m across from a vivacious individual, who shares everything from old ghost stories, to the ins and outs of sharpie illustration.
Kaput’s art can be seen graffiti’d about town—wacky colour schemes, with a traditional old school New York subway twist. It has also seeped its way onto clothing for Megadestroyer, skateboards for Skate All Cities and flyers for the Rad Times parties in Vancouver. Let’s just say if there were some kind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde versatility award in the art world, Kaput would win claws down. Looking at his work, it’s clear he’s influenced by Mad Magazine as well as Ren and Stimpy. However he tells me that childhood memories and his friends—the weirdos closest to him—are a major source of inspiration for the gross dudes with boogers and drool dribbling about. Next to fall victim to his maze-like slimy sharpie aesthetics? Animals and girls, I’m told. Being that he draws from people closest to him I can’t help but think one thing: ex-girlfriends, beware!
Kaput assures me that he’s merely a “strange guy who is funny sometimes” and that his work, “is not really supposed to be dark. When I draw, I look at it and laugh.” But because this is our Halloween issue, I asked Kaput if he believes in ghosts before we parted ways. He reveals that when he was younger his grandma used to tell ghost stories and that she saw ghost-like figures come out of the fog when walking the streets of London. Though slightly skeptical, Kaput tells me he must believe in them because grandmothers do not tell lies. [www.kaputupakyiswacky.blogspot.com]
CULTURE Jean Labourdette
GEEK LOVE Words: Alysa Lechner
On my father’s bedside table is an old wooden box that contains an enormous ring he’s kept ever since he was a young boy. The ring is metal and is so large that it could easily wrap around a healthy cucumber. Inscribed on the face of the ring are the initials, JP, which stands for Johann Petursson, a 7’7’’ Icelandic “giant” who once toured with sideshows in the Sixties. Petursson has long since died, but the ring still invokes haunting, wistful thoughts of freaks, geeks, bearded-ladies and lobster-boys, or, to use a simpler catchall term, carnies. The carnie life seems like a vortex of sorts, riddled with disproportion, cross-species and rather unsightly facial hair. Some acts are disappointing gimmicks that provide cheap laughs, while others are brutally horrifying. Even though these traveling sideshows are to some extent endangered, artist Jean Labourdette (aka Turf One) has taken on the responsibility of preserving the original enchantment of carnival freaks through his art, using antiques and found objects as the foundation of his pieces. Growing up as a young graffiti artist in Paris, Jean began to develop a personal connection with the surfaces he was painting on. “I owe to graffiti the deep love I have of old things and the playful relationship that I establish with them when using them to create pieces. As a kid I used to go into abandoned houses and old factories and paint there, free-styling life-size characters on the spot that would interact with the architecture of the space. What I do today is a direct extension of this… I have much more fun picking an old cabinet and creating a piece from it as an answer to its own unique specificities than
painting on a neutral, mass-produced blank canvas that has no soul of its own. It becomes a ‘dialogue’ between the object and me, and it is this interaction that gives birth to the final piece.” Another skill that graffiti has bestowed on Jean is the mastery of proportions, which comes in handy considering his fondness of “midgets.” Jean is the first to admit his political incorrectness in using the term but reassures that he means nothing but endearment. “As a painter who likes to fuck around with proportions, freaks are a little bit like cartoon characters in the flesh. To me, difference is the most beautiful and compelling thing in the world. My worst nightmare would be to fit the mould imposed by the standards of society. To me, conformity is the monster.” This is an ethos that percolates to the surface of all Jean’s pieces. When he’s not shedding an ethereal light on carnie freaks, common city birds such as sparrows and pigeons take their place as main protagonists in Jean’s homage to the undesirable. “Even though they are not considered noble animals by our standards, they still have that sacred quality to them. Even though they live out of our garbage, struggling to survive in our polluted cities, they still fly through the skies. Even though they may live in nests partially made out of shit, they still rise towards the sun. They are a good metaphor of incarnation, of the life of man. Through all the harshness that our life makes us go through, through all the pain, the scars, our soul grows and evolves in the ever-glowing light of what is sacred within us.” To some, Jean’s paintings and inspirations might seem
remarkably otherworldly, but the way in which the pieces are framed both confirms and reconciles the separation. “I have this obsession of trying to bring my characters to life as much as possible by placing them inside the space that the painting which depicts them is hung in. Cabinets, or small sideshow and cabaret stages become life-size windows opened for the viewer to stare into a different reality. They become doors between two dimensions, between our world and the world created by my imagination.” Only it all seems too real and flawlessly executed to be imagined. This is most likely a result of his personal experience with childhood let-down. “Every summer there was a big fairground, La Foire du Trône, that would set up on the outskirts of the city. I used to make my mom take me when I was little… The artwork on the banners was so cool, so appealing! It really felt like you’d go in there and step right into an actual World of Wonders! And then you’d go in and everything was so obviously fake and disappointing, but you’d still go into the next sideshow over, believing really hard that they would actually show you the Fiji Mermaid—that they’d actually make you step right into a real life dream. To me, those trailers are an ode to imagination.” Jean Labourdette is currently working on new pieces for a solo show at the Jonathan Levine Gallery in New York City this winter. Unlike the posters for the sideshows at La Foire du Trône, this collection won’t disappoint. [www.turfizm.com]
WHERE EAGLES DARE Photography Javier Lovera Creative Direction Danny Fazio and Toyo Tsuchiya Stylist Toyo Tsuchiya Makeup and Hair Sandra Yang, TRESemmé Hair Care/judyinc.com Stylist’s Assistant Mitchell Kaufman Models Leigh Ann, Pete, Justin and Damon from Elmer Olsen Models
Leigh Ann Long Leopard Print Dress – H&M Underlayer Long Black Dress – H&M Felt Hat – American Apparel † Lace Fingerless Gloves – Aldo Necklace – Little Burgundy Damon Vest – Diesel † Long Sleeve Shirt – American Apparel Jeans – H&M † Combat Boots – Aldo Justin Leather Jacket – Diesel † Long Sleeve Shirt – H&M Jeans – Citizen of Humanity † Lace Up Boots – Aldo Pete Hooded Sweater – Bolongaro Trevor Tee Shirt – Diesel † Trousers – Citizens of Humanity Leather Sneakers – Neil Barrett for Palladium
Damon Jacket – American Apparel Justin Leather Jacket – Diesel Leigh Ann Wool Jacket – Bolongaro Trevor Pete Leather and Denim Jacket – Diesel Toque – Aldo
Jean Jacket – Bolangaro Trevor † Tee – Diesel One Piece Jumpsuit – Nikita † Scarf – Aldo Cross Chain – Little Burgundy Combat Boots – Aldo
Damon Long Sweater – Bolongaro Trevor † Jeans – Citizens Of Humanity Acid Wash Hoodie – American Apparel Justin Satin Jacket – American Apparel † Striped Long Sleeve Tee – H&M Chain – Little Burgundy † Toque – Aldo Jeans – Citizens Of Humanity
Damon Jean Jacket – Diesel † Zip Up Hoodie – American Apparel Long Sleeve Tee – American Apparel Jeans – Citizens of Humanity Combat Boots – Aldo Pete Hooded Vest – American Apparel Long Sweater – Bolongaro Trevor † Shirt – Diesel Jeans – Citizens of Humanity † Combat Boots – Aldo Necklace – Little Burgundy Leigh Ann Blouse – H&M. One Piece Jumper – Diesel Bracelets and Necklace – Little Burgundy Gloves – H&M. Boots – Little Burgundy Justin Wool Jacket – Bolongaro Trevor Hoodie – Diesel. Jeans – H&M Combat Boots – Aldo
MOVIES The Human Centipede
MY BUM IS ON YOUR LIPS Words: Michael Mann
Illustration: Tyler Quarles
Tom Six grossed out the entire planet with his film The Human Centipede. Say what you want about it, but that’s not something a lot of films can boast. The movie is driven by a simple but brilliant premise—a mad scientist wants to stitch three people together to make a human centipede. Talk of the film was on everyone’s lips this year, and if you’re brave enough to watch this David Cronenberg-influenced body horror, I guarantee it’ll stay in your head like a twisted radio jingle. Tom Six recently wrapped shooting on the sequel, and it’s slated to be released early in 2011. We chatted with the good-humoured filmmaker from his home in Amsterdam. A lot of people out there probably think you’re a demented guy. Tell me all about what a good guy Tom Six is. I’m just a very regular guy. Happy childhood. Nothing weird about me. Just a normal guy with a huge imagination. Do you have a dog? I have a lovely little dog. It’s a pug. I love animals. So where did the idea for The Human Centipede come from? It was very simple. One day I was watching television with friends and there was a story about a really nasty child molester. I said to my friend, “They should stitch his mouth to the ass of a very fat truck driver as a punishment.” My friends were like, “That’s a horrible idea.” So I thought it could be a great idea for a horror movie because the idea is so universal. Imagine if you put that as a punishment in prison. I think that’s part of the appeal of your film. People don’t want to imagine this and you confront them head-on with it. It’s the most horrible thought there is, I think. So you stand behind the claim that your film is 100% medically accurate? Definitely. It is 100% medically accurate. You could make a human
centipede. I consulted a real surgeon for this and he made operation reports for me. He said I could actually make a human centipede in a hospital. In the film, you see they’re hooked to IVs to get nutrition and fluids. They could live for a long time. Is it true you kept certain aspects of the film a secret from investors? Yep. I’ve made three films in Holland so I worked with the same investors. I told them we were going to make a film about a surgeon who stitches people together. We left out the ass-to-mouth part of it because it’s ridiculous and the film would never be made. Of course, these people aren’t angry with you. No, they saw the end result and they were shocked but they loved it. That was pretty cool. You have to be a little tricky sometimes. You’ve managed to gross out the entire planet. How does that feel? It’s an amazing feeling. They’re making a porno movie out of it. The Human Sexipede! Is a pornographic parody of your movie the ultimate form of flattery? It’s incredible! I really look forward to the completed film. There are pictures of pretty girls sitting in a row and all kinds of other parodies. Movies on YouTube. It’s really cool. What’s been the most entertaining reaction to the film you’ve seen? So many. A very funny one was a guy watching the trailer while eating and then vomiting. On Facebook people were saying I had to be sterilized and that I’m worse than Hitler. People are really afraid of me. Some people won’t even look at me. They think I’m a disgusting pervert. One interesting review of the film I read was by Roger Ebert. He didn’t give it a negative review. He just refused to give it any stars because it “occupies a world where the stars don’t shine.” What were your thoughts on that? Really proud! That’s very cool to see all these films with their ratings. And
then there’s The Human Centipede with no stars. It’s amazing. Do you think Roger Ebert secretly loved the film but was just afraid to admit it? That could be true. Maybe he’ll be the first to buy the DVD and watch it 20 times at home. Let’s talk about the sequel. We just finished shooting it in London and now it’s in post-production. Part two is gonna be pretty crazy. Can you give me any details? It’s 12 people this time. Everything I didn’t show in part one, because I held back the gore, I did put in part two. I always say, part one is My Little Pony compared to part two. It’s pretty disturbing. If someone had a hangup about seeing your film, what would you say to make them go see it? That they’ll have a terrific time watching something that is completely out of this world. It’s something that they will never ever get out of their brain again. It will haunt them forever. The best thing is when people have no clue what they’re going to see. They go in the theatre with their boyfriend or girlfriend and they come out so incredibly fucked up. It’s a great date movie. It is. People don’t celebrate Halloween in Amsterdam. But if they did, what would you dress up as? The head of a centipede with 20 beautiful and naked women behind me. But I must be the head. Let’s be clear about that.
Styling: Nikki Igol | Hair and Make-up: Jenny Kanavaros, TRESemmé Hair Care, judyinc.com, using Dermalogica Skincare | Photography Assistant: John Klukas
DARK KNIGHTS Words: Cameron Reed
Photography: Jeremy Williams
You’re finally releasing a full-length album after a handful of limited run EPs and 7” records. Is releasing an album a momentous thing or is it just another step? Jack: I think it’s exciting. It’s a good step, but I don’t think any of us will feel like we can rest on our laurels or anything. It was just something that had to be done. I’m more excited about making more music and being able to do an all new full-length album. This was wrapping up three years, you know what I mean? Did you enjoy the experience of putting together a full album?
Jack: This album was more like curating a lot of things we had been working with and putting it together to show where we are right now. But if we had started with a blank slate and just came out saying, “This is going to be this album,” that would have been a different thing. If we sat down and made all new songs for a new album I think that’s something that would excite every one of us. John: It would be very different, but we pretty much record all the time. We don’t really think about if they’re going to be on anything specific.
Heather: It would be nice to do another album with more focus on making songs, so that the whole album was its own piece and it wasn’t a mix of all these songs we already made. We didn’t get to sit down for a few months and just work in the studio and concentrate on making this comprehensive project, you know? So has this process of curating an album made you think about your approach in the future? Jack: I think we’ll have more freedom. We have enough songs right now—enough to put out a new album—but I think we needed to put out these older songs and have a complete sample of where we are coming from and where we are going for our first full-length. And then, after that, we really are free to do whatever we want. This first full-length, I think it’s in some ways sentimental to me. It’s really nice; I think it came together. It’s fucking sick. But after this album, it’s like, we’ve paid our dues. And now we can take it in whatever direction we want. How is it sentimental? Do you feel the album reflects changes in your life over the last few years? John: We were always making music. All the time, wherever we were, no matter what. So, I think it goes without saying, that it has. Jack: On a personal level, my life has changed so much from when some of those songs were written. I mean, I was listening to the album the other day and… it just represents a pretty long period of time and, like, me. Like getting to know someone who I really care about. And close relationships with people and things changing and everything. It means a lot to me. How about changes in the way you write? Heather: I think we’re better at composition now than when we first started. When we re-recorded a few of the songs we made them fit better without newer songs. Jack: I like the really old songs but the songs that we’re writing now are more developed or more complex. John: There’s not that clear of a definition between old songs and new songs. Some songs we wrote three years ago and some songs two years and some songs one year ago and
some songs one month ago and yeah, we’re going to feel a different way no matter what. Jack: I’ll forget about songs and then listen to them and become re-excited about them because I haven’t listened to it in two years. It’s not like I listen to any of our songs like, “What the fuck were we thinking?” You are a very visual band as well. Your artwork and videos are just as powerful as the music. Do you guys work in any other mediums? John: Yeah, we do drawings and photography and painting and watercolours or even just creating things out of sticks or branches, you know, all kinds of sculptures. Do you pull much inspiration from art outside of music? Jack: I feel, maybe like, cocks. Did you say “cocks”? Jack: Yeah, cocks... and I like surveillance camera footage. Heather: Yeah, we’re not the kind of people that go to art openings and be like, “Oh, I got so inspired by that.” [laughing] You know? We aren’t really that involved in any one scene. If we get inspired it’s more from everyday life. So it’s more about experiences. Jack: Yeah, definitely. I get really inspired when I’m in nature, or even in the city, and there’s a lot of fog. Or when there’s nice light and I’m driving around. When the light is blurred, or right at the edge, I get to a place where I’m inspired. In those moments, my mind will be in a place, or imagery will come into my head, where I’m open to thinking about things that would make me more inspired to make music. All of your vocal styles are so different. How do you decide who sings? Jack: If you think of us as instruments and not as performers, it’s more about what instrument would best complete this song. Other than the rapping your lyrics are essentially indecipherable. Is writing lyrics more of a cathartic practice for you? Is there any meaning to them? Jack: It’s like I was saying, if we consider ourselves more instruments than traditional performers it’s not about us. When I’m rapping I don’t want it to sound like myself, I don’t
want to listen to myself rapping so I change my voice because that’s how I want it to sound. To me, it’s not about me. It’s about what we’re saying to us, it’s not about what we’re saying to you. Is it not important that people know what you’re singing about? Jack: I feel like if people read the things we’re writing... it’s not like we’re fucked up and don’t write nice or beautiful lyrics. It’s just like everything else we put out, it’s very strong. If feel like if people read them they’d be like, “That’s really nice.” It’s just not about that. The feel of what we’re saying is getting across without... John: Saying it... audible... with words. Jack: It’s been going on too long, where people are trying to tell you a story. That’s something that could make me pull away. I think that what we’re doing is more true to life in the sense that it’s not trying to hammer out a cute way of depicting something. We’re describing the situation but leaving it vague. As things are. [www.s4lem.com]
Heather: dress- Topshop | Jack: outfit - musicianâ€™s own | John: Black ants with leather patching Neil Bartlett.
MURDER, HE WROTE
Words: Jules Moore
Illustration: Natalina Percival
Warren Ellis, as it turns out, is two very different creatures: one is a ferocious warlock who throws high-kicks while performing voodoo on his violin; the other is a soft-spoken gentleman who is as thoughtful as he is thoughtprovoking (can you guess which of the two I interviewed?). The Australian composer and multi-instrumentalist first emerged in 1992 with his band Dirty Three. In 1995, he joined Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, thus sparking one of the most prolific partnerships since Siegfried & Roy. Together, Warren and Nick composed soundtracks for 2005’s The Proposition, 2007’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and 2009’s The Road. Their most recent project, along with Jim Sclavunos and Martyn Casey, is a band they call Grinderman. Similar to The Bad Seeds, Grinderman are Cohenesque poets of post-punk, filled with the spirit of gothic country and blues. With their second album, aptly titled Grinderman 2, they are proving true the great Eighties adage: Better an old Demon than a new God. Starting with your first album with The Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads, your relationship with Nick Cave has taken on a kind of mystical form. Regardless of project, you seem to share the same mood, live inside the same myth. Where do you suppose that kind of coherence comes from? We both enjoy that aspect of working together. And as long as it continues, we’ll continue. It’s a funny thing among musicians, you know, there’s not much talking that goes on about that stuff. I guess you just find out one day, when you’re not working with each other, that it’s no longer working. Some things don’t have to be made concrete to understand them. Like any substantial relationship. Any relationship. Whether it’s a lover, friend, or whatever, it should make you go into places that force you to be inquisitive. You just sort of know if it’s going somewhere, intrinsically. So, how did you organize a band like Grinderman while keeping good relationships with your bandmates in The Dirty Three and The Bad Seeds? Did any hurt feelings come up as a result of being left out? I guess we’re all a bit older now and we’ve been doing it for a while. I think anybody that’s making music, seriously, realizes that you have to do different
things to keep interested. Fortunately I work with a bunch of people who realize that each project needs downtime as well as up time. None of the bands I’ve played in have been able to maintain themselves 12 months a year without burning out. Or maybe it just has to do with age. So you think you’ve got the balance down? Well, once a group gets established there’s a kind of shape to it. You make a record, tour, promote and then you break. This cycle gets established and if you can do releases in between, then you can get a record out every year and that’s great. Traditional murder ballads flourished within the lower, “dirtier” classes, often from the point of view of the murderer. There’s still a sense of that in Grinderman. Something’s in there! [laughs] The idea with Grinderman is that we go out looking for something that feels like nothing we’ve done before. It’s really about trying to open up and look for something. It’s a search. New worlds. We do these sessions for like five days where we just start banging away. We get everything on tape, from the really inspired to the absolute biggest pile of crap that you’ve ever heard in your life. Then we kind of sit back and pick through it ruthlessly for certain bits of moments. And we keep flicking and generally come away with a load of stuff, in this case with something like three CDs’ worth, and from there we decide together. When did you know you were finished with this one? When we felt excited. And when that passes we think about doing the next thing. But you’ve got to have that period of excitement. I have to feel like it’s going somewhere, even if it isn’t apparent to the people listening. Especially when it’s the only thing that makes your life kind of complete. Do you feel that nowadays you’re working with the music industry or against it? Well, it’s just changing so much. It’s ludicrous for me to try and keep up. I mean, I was never in sync with it anyway, and these days it’s just a force unto itself, spiraling out of control with its own domain on the Internet and whatever. Hopefully I can continue to make a living
in there because I don’t know what else I’d do. And I enjoy it along with the other things I get involved with. I know the climate’s changing and there are enough people scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do with it. Adding myself to that confusion doesn’t help anything. Do you still go to shows? Concerts? Yeah! I mean these are still for me—the places where things will only happen that one way, that one time. You see a real interaction. The last thing I saw was The Stooges. I mean Iggy Pop is not even human. It was extraordinary. I saw Lou Reed do Metal Machine and that was unbelievable, too. How about new music? My big problem is finding any new music. Knowing where to go because there’s just so much coming out and I don’t even know where to look. And there’s a lot of music that kind of affected me and formed me and I find myself still going back there because I know they’ll take me back to a place. Like what sorts of things have inspired you most consistently? If I put on a Howling Wolf album or Neil Young’s On the Beach or some Dylan or Cohen. So, do you… Or Bitches Brew by Mile Davis—a new world opened when I heard that. Nina Simone, too. What about… Or John Coltrane’s Interstellar Space—if you go there, there should be no coming back. You know, YouTube is so amazing because you see this stuff you’d never see in a lifetime, like Charlie Parker playing live. And it still blows my mind like it did the first time. I mean, what was life changing about them then is still life-changing. When I feel like I’m lacking the uh, mojo [laughs], I look back at that stuff, and I see that we all have a long way to go. [www.grinderman.com]
MUSIC BLACK WIZARD
THE NEW BLACK Words: Sinead Keane
Photography: Daniel Pitout
Members of Vancouver’s heavy metal quartet Black Wizard used to play onstage in makeup and fishnet stockings. It’s hard to imagine the two long-haired, tattooed rockers sitting across from me in eyeliner and lipstick, but then again they also played in a Hives tribute band back in high school. Both guitarist, Adam Grant and drummer Eugene Parkomenko do, however, strongly deny ever wearing The Hives’ trademark black and white suits. But during their short musical career (all four are in their early 20s), these guys have experimented in all kinds of genres and looks. “I played in Onslaught with Johnny de Courcy [Black Wizard guitarist and lead singer] and Kyle Fee [Black Wizard bass player] before we formed this group,” explains Eugene. “We would do this whole Metallica/Slayer sort of thing. We had an electric chair, we had Jesus on a cross that we burned and we had a big skull that sprayed fire through its eyes.” Also worthy of mention are the infamous hardcore groupies, the Onsluts—a crew of teenage girls from Port Moody, BC, who would stand front row at Onslaught shows and rub themselves down with blood. But with Black Wizard, these theatrics are not needed—it’s all about the music. Their debut album, released last January after months of blood, sweat and tears, is a seven-track collection of old-school metal. It didn’t happen overnight however—the record was recorded during the summer of ‘09 and it took the band a few months to get their act together and get the record out there. “It was tough,” admits Adam. “We came into the studio unprepared—a lot of the lyrics were written last minute and stuff. But we were really stoked with it at the end.” Though feedback has been good, the band are far more concerned with their fans’ reaction than that of the critics. Eugene explains: “I think we are way better live. I think our sound is harder to capture on record.” Since headbanging their way onto the BC metal scene two years ago, the band have garnered quite the reputation for their live show. According to Adam, this is due to a combination of their long-term friendship and lots and lots of
drugs and alcohol. In fact, this very interview was conducted over a pitcher of beer as means of making a Saturday evening hangover that little bit easier. “The testament to a good band is whether they are having a good time onstage. We go out there and enjoy it—dancing and drinking. If the energy is there, everyone has a good time.” What could potentially be a publicist’s nightmare (if they had one) is that these guys do not shy away from vocalizing their love of a hardcore metal lifestyle—jamming, booze and pills. Check out their fucked up track, “Mountain Bitch,” written while on MDMA and “lots of it,” says Adam. At present, the band manage themselves and they get together a few times a week to jam, write songs and book shows. Does the pressure of doing everything together get to them? “Kind of,” says Adam. “In all of our interviews in the past, they have published how we fight all the time and I don’t want to give off that vibe.” From speaking to the band, you get a feeling that while they may tear one another apart like only old friends can do, at the end of the day, Black Wizard are a family—albeit a rather fucked up family. At the moment, they are pretty stoked with the way things are going for them between shows. This doesn’t stop them from poking fun at one another at every possible opportunity. Eugene is off to Russia, where he moved from at age 11 with a razor short haircut and a fetish for breakdancing, “That’s Europe for ya,” he explains. “When we were kids, we used to give him such a hard time about it,” says Adam. “They weren’t nice about it either—that’s why I had to learn fast. I lied to Adam when I said I played drums and I started learning,” laughs Eugene. “I just wanted to be cool.” [www.myspace.com/blackwizardcom]
MUSIC INSANE CLOWN POSSE
SEND IN THE CLOWNS Words: Kevvy Mental
Illustration: James Clapham
For most people, the mere mention of clowns conjures up images of early birthday parties, Tim Curry or Red Skelton. For others it means MLC, or rather, Mad Clown Love. It’s a lifestyle with millions of devoted fans willing to do what a pair of Juggalos command at the drop of a hatchet. Recently, I was able to catch up with Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope of the Insane Clown Posse and question them on the topics of hip-hop, Juggalos and Faygo Soda. Why are you banned from Canada? Violent J: Well, we can’t get across the border because of our criminal records! It’s a very stale thing in our lives because we very badly want to come, you know what I’m saying? I know, I had tickets to see you when I was 16 and you never made it. Violent J: Oh yeah? Yeah, I was a sad little Juggalo. Still am. Violent J: Damn. We’ll get there eventually. It’s arguable, but I would say that you are the biggest underground band in the world. I mean, you played Woodstock (99) with virtually no video or radio play. Violent J: Awwww, that’s awesome. That’s the shit. Man, yeah, that’s a fresh-ass statement. Outside of the Juggalo world, do you care how you’re perceived? Are you affected by haters? Violent J: Sometimes. I mean, it’s easy to say, “Fuck ‘em, we don’t care.” But sometimes it’s stunning. Sometimes when we do something that I think is so cool and it gets so hated [laughs]...
What would you say is the biggest misconception about you or your fans? Violent J: That we’re racist. Asinine shit that people say to try to hurt, you know what I mean? Also, that we make 10 million dollars in a year. [Laughs] Do you really want to fight that? Violent J: That’s the thing! Part of it’s cool, you know what I’m saying? I feel like, who the fuck wouldn’t be a wicked clown for 10 million a year? And if they knew how little money we make, I think it would show that we have more passion for what we do, you know, because there is no 10 million a year, or even a tenth of that. Do you think the reason that you don’t make as much money as people think is because of your production costs? Violent J: Absolutely, because we push everything to the limit. Everything! If there’s money left over we spend it. Even if it’s something small, like confetti guns. Or new costumes for the clowns. Back in 1997, you released the song “What is a Juggalo” on your Great Milenko record. You define Juggalos in a lot of different ways... How would you define one today? Violent J: Same way, you know? There is no real definition of a Juggalo, that’s what makes it so crazy and special. We’ve met Juggalos of all walks of life and not even a majority of them are the same. A lot of kids relate to bands in a die-hard fashion—like your fans—because they can identify with a singer’s lyrics. But you guys tend to talk about The Dark Carnival and things like that… Violent J: I think it’s the other stuff... rapping about instead of having things, we rap about not having things. And I think we appreciate things that real people appreciate.... if we could explain it, other people would be
able to figure it out and they’d be doing the same thing. I really believe this, and I don’t care if it sounds corny. I believe there’s a lot of genuine, real magic behind it all, man. Because if it was something a college professor could easily pinpoint in one essay—why Juggalos are who they are and this is why they’re attracted to the music—I think other bands would apply the same thing. I think it’s a lot of genuine unknown to the whole thing. Because it’s definitely unknown to us because some of the things we release, don’t work. How did Gallagher and Tom Green do at the Gathering of the Juggalos this year? Violent J: Awesome. That’s the other thing, man. If we had Juggalos totally pegged, we’d make the lineup exactly what they want, but some times we’re wrong, man. We thought Tila Tequila would work. Here you got this chick who’s obviously an internet sensation. We figured Juggalos would like the hot chick up there rapping about fucking the DJ. Every year we try to figure it out, we try to book a lineup we think is gonna turn it out, and sometimes one or two artists might not get it. Do you think the artists know what they’re in-store for as far as the types of crowds? Violent J: I think most do, but a good deal of them don’t. We try to go around and talk to people before they go on. We have a documentary out called “Family Underground,” which is about the Gathering. We started sending that to everybody that was booked. Hoping that at least their agents or somebody in their camp would watch it and tell them. Do you think that your kids will carry on the Juggalo tradition? Violent J: It’s up to them. [Laughs]
They come out on stage with you sometimes, right? Violent J: The first time I ever brought my son on stage, he was on the side—my girlfriend was holding him—and it was the first time he had ever seen our show, and he was crying throughout. I thought, “Awww man, this is terrible. It’s scaring the hell out of him.” Then, at the end of the show, he came running out there, and he got on my shoulders and started throwing Faygo and it turned out, he was crying because he wanted to get out there! The Gathering has become one of the biggest festivals for music in the world. Do you find that because of this, mainstream America is more willing to embrace you? Violent J: I don’t think mainstream America is embracing us at all. They’re making fun of us... In what way would you say they’re embracing us? I figured they’d at least be trying to send some money your way for endorsements. Violent J: Never been offered anything in our lives. Not even from Faygo. Why? Violent J: Well, they say that they’re a family product and they’re not made for throwing on people. They don’t wanna fuck with us because of the language in our music and the way we use Faygo. You gotta get Barack Obama to become a Juggalo. Violent J: [Laughs] He might be! You never know who’s a Juggalo and where they are. There are Hollywood directors that are Juggalos. Like who?! Violent J: The director of Be Cool. He called us and said he’s a Juggalo, asked us to send him a bunch of stuff. And he placed it in the movie. And then there’s another movie coming out with Ben Stiller, which isn’t out yet, but the main character in it is wearing an ICP shirt. Same story. The director told us he was a Juggalo. It’s like a secret society! You’ve helped a lot of rappers that were once very popular find fame again via the Gathering, such as Coolio, Spice 1 and Tone Loc. Why help resurrect their careers? Violent J: Because I don’t believe in fads and I don’t believe in styles. We believe that if somebody was fresh once, that they stay fresh... forever... first of all, thank you for noticing that. Of course. Violent J: We try to do that. Like Vanilla Ice, for example. It’s funny how the world laughs at Vanilla Ice, but it was the world that was buying all that shit. Now they laugh at him when they need to be laughing at themselves.
Do you pay much attention to popular culture, like what videos and singles are big right now? Violent J: I try to. But like, the MTV Music Awards? When Taylor Swift was singing that song to Kanye West... that was just fucking ridiculous. That was so fucking dumb I felt like throwing up. She wrote a fucking song and she’s singing it to him.... because he ran on stage during her award acceptance? Like that was some traumatic, horrible thing that happened in her life. It was like she was molested. I’m sure he ran up there, drunk, during her award. A year later, we have to all sit here and listen to her sing a song to a grown ass man… about how he’s still acceptable... he’s still okay, he’s one of the good ones? Fuck MTV for putting this on. Fuck everybody involved for us having to sit there and watch this bullshit... as they take nothing and try to make it something. It’s pathetic, man. There are so many other artists that could have taken that slot and brought the house down. But, instead we gotta listen to that. It seems like knowledge of Juagglo culture has gotten bigger now than it ever has been. The Gathering being in its 11th year is an indication of that. Violent J: Yeah! That’s the interesting thing. You go to any of the concerts and it seems like most of the people in the crowd are like from 17 to 25. And, some Juggalos end up landing in important positions. Like, look at you, you’re a writer! You said yourself you were a Juggalo. Fuck yeah. Violent J: And now here you are doing a story about ICP! That’s awesome! That’s why this is gonna last forever, because even if somebody outgrows it they had those two or three or maybe four years where they had a good time being a Juggalo. Apparently on your latest tours, there have been traveling scientists showing up outside your shows and showing how magnets work. Violent J: I think that is fucked up! And listen, if it wasn’t illegal, I’d straight up beat their asses. [Laughs] No, straight up! We know how the fuck magnets work! What are you doing out there insulting our fans like that? The song is so innocent! What it’s saying is to appreciate everyday things in our life, man. It’s by Juggalos for Juggalos! That’s why it’s soft. Sometimes when we’re talking to Juggalos, it’s like talking to your best friend. Not everything we say has got to be violent and wicked. You wanna speak to Shaggy? Shaggy’s there? I’ll talk to Shaggy!
Violent J: Alright, here he is, be good man. Shaggy! Dude, I’m really sorry, I didn’t know you were there, I talked to J for like 45 minutes! Shaggy 2 Dope: Aw, it’s all good man. We were just doing our thing up here. The state of hip-hop. What do you think? Better now or worse? Shaggy 2 Dope: It’s making more noise than it used to back in the day. I think it’s actually cool that somehow rap has made it so far that it’s just considered normal pop music. It’s true. It’s really infiltrated American culture. Shaggy 2 Dope: No doubt! Everybody back in the day is like, “Awww, it ain’t gonna last.” You know what I’m saying? Well, obviously it has. I think I liked it back in the day more... just because, you could hear something and know where somebody was from. You would hear some West Coast shit where it’s just like thicker bass lines, it’s not so much about the drums… that’s some West Coast shit. You know, you hear some heavy 808 type shit with mad snares and hi-hats, so you know that’s some down South booty shit. Nowadays, everybody works with each other so much, you don’t know where it’s from. Chuck D was saying that typically the harder music comes from the suburbs and the smoother music comes from the inner city, where it was more dangerous. Do you find this to be true? Shaggy 2 Dope: Not at all [Laughs]. I mean, I was gonna say N.W.A. was pretty fucking angry. But if you really look at it, Compton is a suburb of L.A. I think maybe he meant like the G-funk shit, you know what I mean? It’s pretty relaxed... Shaggy 2 Dope: Yeah, the beats were more laid back, but what they were saying wasn’t. Talkin’ about shootin’ motherfuckers and smokin’ weed? That’s not too relaxed. Well I guess smokin’ weed is, but what do I know, I don’t smoke weed. You don’t smoke weed? Shaggy 2 Dope: Nope. When I was a kid I did a few times, not my thing. I don’t like being high. Just Faygo? Shaggy 2 Dope: Yessir. [www.insaneclownposse.com]
MUSIC REVIEWS 1
Blonde Redhead [Penny Sparkle] El Gunicho [Pop Negro] No Age [Everything In Between] OMD [History of Modern]
 Blonde Redhead Penny Sparkle 4AD I got my first Blonde Redhead album a decade ago. That being said, it defies my cynical nature to admit that I actually like the album they just put out. Penny Sparkle is the band’s eighth release including a soundtrack album for the documentary The Dungeon Masters that’s also slated for a 2010 release. I really think this Penny Sparkle record is great for anybody that grew up following music in the Nineties and hopefully everybody else too. It tends to be underrated how influential this band was during that decade. As we approach the end of another, Blonde Redhead brought us an album that ignores the existence of Amnesiac and Think Tank. With shoegaze still stuck on the brain this trio, consisting of twin brothers and a Japanese female, seem to pick-up where everybody else left off (by left off, I mean they got too distracted by the electronic movement). Blonde Redhead has still allowed their music to evolve, but instead of just trying to get the digital era wasted and bang it, they prefer to slow-dance with it, while maintaining their lust for melody, guitar, and overall experimentation. These folks are true veterans of the game. Broken Social Scene’s probably jacking-off to this shit right now. —Jeremy McAnulty  El Gunicho Pop Negro XL This shit is smoother than a glass Cadillac driving through a wax factory and Pop Negro comes across as a more classic, more soulful, more complete effort than 2008’s Alegranza. Pablo Díaz-Reixa did well to find more isolated sounds for this effort,
conjuring a sound that could be labeled latin-electronic-chamberpop. I can’t understand a word this guy’s saying, but I’ve probably listened to this record seven times already and enjoyed each one. Get this record, dance your ass off and learn a little Spanish. —Jeremy McAnulty  No Age Everything In Between Sub Pop There’s less rub here and less obtuse melodic shifts simply for the sake of being difficult. The production is cleaned up just enough and you can make out the lyrics now, where there are lyrics. Where there aren’t any lyrics there’s enough ‘sonic texture’ to keep things interesting and the tracking of two vocal-less songs back-to-back seems acceptable. Lead single “Glitter” is probably the best song the band has ever recorded, but that’s only because “Dusted” is an instrumental and you’re not allowed to call an instrumental song by a band with a singer their best. For anyone who misses old No Age, there’s “Fever Dreaming.” It’s 3:50 long and it distills all of the best parts of everything they’ve done up to this point into that time frame. The last song is called “Chem Trails” and it’s a dude-duet between Randy Randall and Dean Spunt, but if you drink enough and close your eyes you can pretend that you’re actually listening to Calvin Johnson trading lines with a sedated Tony Cadena in front of a J. Mascis-led My Bloody Valentine. Everything In Between is the band’s best album, delivering on everything hinted at by last year’s Losing Feeling EP and making me feel bad for saying
I didn’t really “give a shit about No Age” to a friend a couple weeks ago. —Chad Buchholz  OMD History of Modern 2 Bright Antenna No matter how good of an actor Freddie Prinze Jr. is, the Eighties teen movies of John Hughes feel a certain way and can never be topped. The music of the Eighties is also like that. For the last 10 years producers and artists have attempted to mimic the sound but never jumped in the deep end of the pool like they should have. They either chose gated snares or analog synths, but never both (No Doubt’s offensive cover of Talk Talk comes to mind). It’s probably too late and has been attempted too many times for anyone to step in and make it right. OMD or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are back and there were three ways in which they could have returned. 1. Use the aforementioned classic gear and production techniques and make a classic OMD album, putting contemporary copycats in their place. 2. Go full future on the production and make a record that rivals anything by Cut Copy. 3. Make a blushingly bad flop record that sounds like your grandpappy trying to show you about octave features on a Micro Korg. The retards chose door number three, just like retarded Andy chose Blaine instead of Ducky. I wanted this record to be like “Enola Gay.” Instead, it’s just gay. —Trevor Risk
Robyn [Body Talk Pt 2] Telekinesis [Parallel Seismic] The Walkmen [Lisbon] Weezer [Hurley]
 Robyn Body Talk Pt 2 Interscope It’s been 13 years since North America had its first flirtation with Robyn, when her debut Robyn is Here hit platinum thanks to “Show Me Love.” Then Britney and Christina catapulted past her into superstardom, and Robyn lost half a decade trying to catch up. It wasn’t until she created her own label, Konichiwa Records, and released 2005’s Robyn that she became everything the American sweetheart she wanted to be is not: clever, provocative, and patently original. This year’s Body Talk album trilogy isn’t just another breath of fresh air from our Swedish dancehall queen; it’s a three-pronged assault on the predictable artifice of pop music. Pt. 1 was an unassailable specimen—a perfectly calculated mix of hit-the-floor dance beats, raw emotion, and Robyn’s brash witticisms. Pt. 2 shows more bravado, and every song goes for broke, which means it loses some of its predecessor’s subtlety. But critical hand wringing aside: it’s still fucking great. In a just world, club-crashing “Love Kills” would be on top of the charts right now. “U Should Know Better” is the brilliant Snoop Dogg collab that will wipe his slate clean of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” and then some. And disco-dance “Hang With Me,” an acoustic track on Pt. 1, has us all a-twitter over what Pt. 3 will hopefully do for heart-tugging, string-accompanied closer “Indestructible.”—Nojan Aminosharei  Telekinesis Parallel Seismic Conspiracies Merge Seattle bands are back! No wait, Seattle guy is back. Well Seattle guy is good at writing songs. Sorry, hyperbole in music reviews can just get the best of you
sometimes. Anyway, Michael Benjamin is a Seattle guy who performs under the moniker Telekinesis and he hasn’t written a bad song yet. His 2009 hit “Coast of Carolina” was a raging indie rock stomp with a timid intro, and will maybe adapt the Seattle idea of loud-quiet-loud (actually a Boston thing if you’ve seen the documentary by the same name) into nervous-scared-punched in the stomach. Telekinesis’ Parallel Seismic Conspiracies, along with Robyn’s Body Talk series and last year’s No Age Losing Feeling record, have built on the idea that album filler is outdated and a record with a single digit amount of singles and nothing else can be a fully realized idea and perhaps make the listener get back to buying full records instead of 99-cent mp3s. —Trevor Risk  The Walkmen Lisbon Fat Possum The Walkmen mean a lot to me. They played the night of my 19th birthday at a now defunct bar in Vancouver on a night I’ll never forget, but barely remember the details of. In the 6.5 years since, The Walkmen and I have had our ups and downs. I remember a sold out crowd yelling every word to “The Rat,” but I also remember them getting staggeringly upstaged by Man Man. I remember listening to Bows + Arrows until the CD stopped working but I also remember listening to A Hundred Miles Off the week it came out and barely since. I remember You & Me coming out and having hope that this band still had something to say. It only took eight minutes into Lisbon to win me back completely. “Juveniles” jangles along and starts the album as well as any opener they’ve written.
“Angela Surf City” begins innocuously enough until it launches into a perfect sequel to “The Rat,” and as a second track no less. The dynamics within and between songs are as good as they have ever been. Needless to say, Lisbon is sure to be a very memorable album for me. —Ian Urbanski  Weezer Hurley Epitaph This review should be 3,000 words long, but since we only have a limited amount of space we’re going to just reveal several facts about Weezer’s new album Hurley. 1. Weezer (like Green Day) have really had two careers and have two sets of fans. 2. They name check Audioslave in the second lyric on the album. 3. The bonus tracks on Hurley include their song for the American World Cup soccer team, their song for the children’s programme Yo Gabba Gabba! (maybe the best song on the album), and a cover of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.” 4. “Where’s My Sex” was an attempt to lyrically appeal to fans of the Pinkerton track “Tired of Sex” but ends up being the worst song they’ve ever made. 5. They’re attempting to catch their Generation X fans with a tour entitled Blinkerton where they perform back to back nights where the first night is the entire blue album and the next is the entire Pinkerton record. 6. The album is entitled Hurley because the cover is a photo of actor Jorge Garcia aka Hurley from Lost and includes absolutely no text. 7. Weezer have made the most interesting album of the year. -Trevor Risk
Skinner describes his art as an “apocalyptic mythological narration, parallel to literal reality with an overwhelming illustrative and psychedelic intention bordering on the psychotic.” We here at ION just call is awesome. The fantasybased illustrations are heavy with detail and clearly influenced by metal. Was he one of those metal kids at the back of class in high school who used
to doodle on their desks? “Of course I was, now give me your fuckin’ lunch money,” he says. Skinner loves Halloween, really hates cops and his favourite monster is “the beast with two backs.” [www.theartofskinner.com]
ION THE WEB @MMADNESSTIFF Colin Geddes is the International Programmer for the Toronto International Film Festival. Part of his job is selecting films for the Midnight Madness portion of the festival and updating the Midnight Madness Twitter account. If you made a horror, kung fu or just plain weird movie in the last 13 years, chances are you sent it to Colin and prayed that he liked it. We had a chance to talk to this extremely busy and influential man before the start of the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. I’m sure there are a lot of people who would love to have your job. How did you end up where you are today? It’s not a path I set out to pursue. I moved from outside Kingston to Toronto for college; I went to school for graphic design. I made the mistake of, on the first week of school, standing in line for the very first year of Midnight Madness. That was back in 1988 and every year I saw more and more films at the festival. At the end of university I started to publish a Xeroxed fanzine which specialized in interviews and reviews of Hong Kong films—this was before John Woo and Jackie Chan had entered the North American lexicon. As a result of doing that, I caught the attention of the film festival, as I was documenting an area of world cinema that no one else was paying attention to. I ended up getting a press pass and made myself known on the festival scene as someone who knew and was passionate about world cinema. In 1997, I was asked to be a co-programmer of Midnight Madness. And then the following year I was given the program. I literally fell into it. I had no idea that standing in line for Hellraiser 2 in 1988 would somehow land me this job.
point. Michael Moore was in the audience and hopped on stage to do an impromptu Q&A. I’m in the lobby being screamed at by all the executives from the studio. It was horrible. There was no way to repair the projector. I was able to save the day by doing a Q&A. Borat threatened to lynch me and demanded one of my testicles. It was an overnight sensation.
How do you go about selecting films for Midnight Madness? It starts as soon as the film festival is over. The process of tracking and hunting films is ongoing. There’s already a number of films that I am aware of that are in pre-production now that are going to be ready for me to watch after the festival. For Midnight Madness, I’m looking for fun, exciting films that are usually not part of festival sensibilities. Many people are daunted by the nature of the Toronto International Film Festival: it’s Hollywood or high-art cinema and people don’t know how to access that. Midnight Madness is where all these worlds collide. It’s fun, silly, gory, action-packed cinema. I look for a film that is going to keep the audience’s attention for the next two hours at midnight. I might do that with a horror film, a thriller, a black comedy or a documentary about some strange and peculiar subject. The misconception is that it’s all horror. We had the world premiere of Borat. So it’s stuff that’s really off the wall.
Is there a movie you see as being the quintessential Midnight Madness films? I’d say Peter Jackson’s Dead Alive. It’s a splatstick zombie comedy. It’s so outrageous and so much fun.
Tell me about that Borat premiere. It was crazy. It was the hottest ticket of the film festival. For the red carpet, Borat made an appearance in a donkey cart, but the donkey was in the cart and it was being drawn by his sisters. Sasha Baron Cohen came on stage, gave me a kiss on both cheeks then grabbed my balls. It was a very important diplomatic occasion, of course. The film starts and 20 minutes into the screening, the projector breaks. Everything hit the fan at that
What are some other films of note that have had their first screening at Midnight Madness? It’s been a jumping off point for a lot of new genres and filmmakers. Piranha 3D’s director Alex Aja got his start at Midnight Madness with his horror film High Tension. Eli Roth got his start with Cabin Fever and Hostel. No one had heard of Eli Roth then. Peter Jackson got his start at Midnight Madness with Dead Alive. Ong Bak starring Tony Jaa, that launched the career of Thailand’s first international superstar.
What’s a movie you’ve programmed for Midnight Madness that you feel has been criminally overlooked? It’s a film called Heaven that was directed by Scott Reynolds. It was picked up by Miramax then dumped on video. They tried to make it look like an erotic thriller but it’s a really smart, sharp film. I’ll find the DVD in discount bins for $4 at Blockbuster and buy it for friends for Christmas. It’s about a clairvoyant, transvestite stripper. Is there any movie you’ve overlooked and, in hindsight, regret not screening? Oh yeah, The Ring. I’d liked it but felt that it was too culturally specific. Then last year I passed on Paranormal Activity. I don’t have any regret over that. It’s not a film that excited me. This is the secret of the film. You’re in a room right now? When you’re off the phone with me, stare at a door for 90 minutes. Something’s gonna happen! Any minute now! The couple are boring and their dialogue is so banal and empty. It didn’t work for me. [@mmadnesstiff]
HOROSCOPES THIS MONTH: David Bertrand David Bertrand is co-owner of Montreal’s newest psychotronic film screening room, Blue Sunshine, where he and cohort Kier-La “Cinemuerte” Janisse project wild and obscure music docs, trash films and hard-to-find independent cinema three nights a week. [www.blue-sunshine.com]
LIBRA: Chickenhawk (1994) The law is not on your side this month, you perv. Much like the creepy men of NAMBLA, beneath that calm, calculated, perhaps even charming exterior is a slew of perverse desires to lure away young children and do terrible things to them. I hope you go to prison. SCORPIO: Rolling Thunder (1977) It’s time we enter the Kill Zone. While you were fighting for your country, your spouse was out boppin’ the sheriff. And now some hillbilly goons want to rob you, murder your family, and shove your hand in the garburator. But at least your new hook-stinger hand looks cool! SAGITTARIUS: The Dunwich Horror (1970) Halfhuman half-beast? Sounds like you, Sagittarius. Dean Stockwell is a mysterious warlock whose Mom was impregnated by one of Lovecraft’s Old Ones. Like him, you’ll soon face a small town’s wrath for your sickly wizardry. My fateful prediction for you? Burning alive and falling from a cliff. CAPRICORN: The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) Always pushing the limits and striving for higher peaks, you’re never content until you’ve gone too
far, Capricorn. It’s this reckless endangerment that will cost you your family and friends and bring to life a sickening creation in the shape of Christopher Lee, hell-bent on your destruction. Nice one, bud.
pledge of allegiance to a Satanic Ernest Borgnine would condemn you to such a hideous fate—melting into goo under the Devil’s super-powered acid rain and facing William Shatner’s thespian tongue!
AQUARIUS: Panic in Needle Park (1971) The hippy dream of frivolous drug use and a life off the grid—we all know where that’ll get you, Aquarius. A needle in your arm on a downward trip to oblivion. Bleak nihilism is the spirit of the Seventies, so be like Al Pacino and Kitty Winn and drop out for good, won’t you? Thanks!
TAURUS: Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo (2009) The heart-wrenching tale of Oklahoma state prisoners dukin’ it out on bucking broncos, for one empty day of glory at America’s only “behind-the-walls” rodeo. This is the best you can hope for this month, Taurus. Incarcerated, abused and gouged by a bullhorn.
PISCES: Phantasm (1979) You’ve always been caught between opposing forces, Pisces. Why not opposing dimensions? Like that dimension where Angus Scrimm takes dead people, squashes them into little dwarves and sends them in canisters through a space gate to another planet to be used as slaves! You, Pisces, are like one of those dwarves. ARIES: The Devil’s Rain (1975) As the sign of the Devil, Aries, your fate was always destined for tremendous highs and hideous lows. But I bet you didn’t suspect that your
GEMINI: The Thing With Two Heads (1972) In the end, Gemini, you’re nothing but a white bigot trapped in a soul brother’s body; a two-headed freak on the run from the Law, with your fat ass strapped to a dirtbike and ready to crash n’ burn. You’re one head too many, Gemini, so pull out the scalpel and let’s start cuttin’.
further, Cancer. Say you killed the most popular girl in school and to protect you, your dear ol’ mom sealed you inside the walls of your house? You’d be just like Bad Ronald—the creepy freak spyin’ through the drywall. LEO: Hells Angels on Wheels (1967) Ridin’, fuckin’, drinkin’, fightin’—it’s a helluva life, Leo, but it won’t end smoothly. You’re a meatheaded lout, and the price for such stubborn testiculations is either jail time, or spontaneously combusting on your motorcycle and burning to death, like Adam Roarke in this awesome Jack Nicholson biker flick. VIRGO: Born Innocent (1974) Born innocent? I don’t fucking think so, Virgo. I’ll tell you what happens to juvenile delinquents who think they can bend the world to their own set of rules—they get locked in a detention centre like poor, young Linda Blair and raped with a plunger. I’m sorry, it’s for your own good.
CANCER: Bad Ronald (1974) You’re a loner. You hide inside your self-made shell. Now let’s take that one step
DINOSAUR COMICS BY RYAN NORTH
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