EXPIRE ISSUE ONE / PUNK / HARDCORE / LIFE / ART / DIY / ZERO POUNDS
JUSTIN PEARSON LIFE IN LITERATURE
++++++++++++++++++ Carry The Weight Eagulls Anne Stuff You Will Hate
Bossk Exclusive Interview After Four Years Away
CONTENTS PAGE 5 - THE YEAR OF THE DEVIL We think metal is going to dominate this year. Find out which bands you need to know about PAGE 7 - EAGULLS TERMS AND CONDITIONS We speak to Goldy from Eagulls about adjusting to bigger things PAGE 9 - CARRY THE WEIGHT RECORDS Pat Hassan explains life co-running CTW Records and gives some advice anyone thinking of starting a label PAGE 11 - DREAM PUNX An Interview with Portland’s finest shoegaze PAGE 17 - TOM ARCHER We interview Sheffield based photographer Tom Archer about his influences and recent awards PAGE 21 - BILLY WERNER A look at Billy Werner’s career in punk PAGE 22 - BOSSK Bossk are back after a very long time PAGE 23 - STUFF YOU WILL HATE Sgt. D Tell us about when hardcore kids started listening to The Smiths and Morrissey in the 90s PAGE 25 - HIPSTER HISTORY A look at the original hipsters of the 1940s PAGE 27 - ALTERNATIVE FESTIVALS We show you some festivals that should be on your radar. Catering to a variety of tastes PAGE 29 - JUSTIN PEARSON Justin Pearson tells us about his life in literature PAGE 31 - BOOK REVIEWS Matt Jordan Reviews some books for us PAGE 33 - MUSIC REVIEWS Josh Turner reviews the new Ceremony album and the new Slices album PAGE 38 - THE RECORDS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE Alex Fitzpatrick of Holy Roar Records tells us about the records that changed his life
hallå April 2012
Hello and welcome to the first ever issue of Expire. Within these pages you will mainly find information associated with hardcore, a subgenre of punk that dates back to the late 1970s. If you are unfamiliar with this term, its probably best to start from the beginning. Click on the wikipedia app on your iphone (or other similar piece of technology) and search for the following terms: ‘Minor Threat’, ‘Black Flag’, ‘Bad Brains’, ‘Dead Kennedys’, ‘Straight Edge’ and go anywhere it takes you from there. In this particular issue we have an interview with Justin Pearson, a character from San Diego who has been involved in hardcore since the early 90s. Justin has recently released two books of biographical work and has also played a reunion tour with his first ‘big’ band, Swing Kids. We also have an exclusive interview with Bossk after four years of being away they have decided to start playing shows and record again. Reissues of their EPs .1 and .2 are due out in the near future. You won’t find pages upon pages of reviews that don’t describe the bands in here. We’re keeping things short and focused. Thankyou for picking this up and thankyou again if you carry on reading it. Once you’re done with it, pass it on to a friend and tell them to do the same. For making this issue possible I would like to thank Matthew Kay, Pat Hassan, Alex Fitzpatrick, Sgt D, Josh Turner, James Edwards, Deadbeat, Kathryn Reaney and Matthew Jordan expirelife.com @expirexlife firstname.lastname@example.org This publication was created and edited by Ben Goulder
THE YEAR OF THE D E V I L 2011 was the year of faux American accents, youth crew and pretending to be from Boston. If this has left a stale taste in your mouth and another kid shouting ‘bust it’ makes you want to slice your ears off with a rusty knife so you might be lucky enough to be deaf and get tetanus; it’s time to jock some metal. 2012 will be the year metal dominates hardcore. Here are some of the bands we think you need to check out. ANGUISH Weed soaked riffs by ex-members of Closure. You’re too high to mosh; you can only slowly nod your head to the drowsy, Iron Age worship of Anguish. They have a demo coming out through Hemlock 13 and split coming out in the near future with Forsaken.
NO REALITY The best thing to come out of Birmingham since Sabbath and Cadbury chocolate. The split with Crossbreaker had more of a ‘The Sleeping Eye’ era Iron Age influence, but the tracks on the new 7’’ coming out via TDON are full of ridiculous solos and theatrics. The hardcore influence is virtually not there anymore, this is pure psychedelic metal.
FORSAKEN You listened to Wardogs right? If not, buy a shirt off eBay and pretend like you know. Forsaken is the new project by Wardogs frontman Joe Latham. You can expect heavy crossover NYHC influence of similar ilk to that of Leeway. Demo out soon through Purgatory Records.
WAYFARER Southern Rise Saxons Wayfarer are possibly one of the greatest things in UK hardcore at the moment. They take influence from the clevo sound of the nineties as well as weird, obscure history. They even did a 7’’ picture disc called Letumus Cathari about the catholic crusade against the Cathars in France during the 12th century. Check out their discography at Carry The Weight Records.
MOLOCH Heavy heavy heavy heavy heavy sludge from Nottingham. The only way to describe Moloch is slow, heavy and evil. With the average song ranging at around six minutes, Moloch have a huge discography , most of which is available from vocalist Chris Braddock’s label Feast of Tentacles. Word on the street is they have a new release planned coming out through Baltimore’s A389.
IRON WITCH The whiskey soaked, scouse bastard children of Eye Hate God. Iron Witch have released an EP entitled ‘Single Malt’ through Witch Hunter Records and have a 7’’ due out in 2012 through TDON Records. Check them out if you are a fan of riffs.
EAGULLS TERMS AND CONDITIONS
“Hew Mam, we playin’ with Fucked Up tonight”
“it might go into them putting records out or having funds to fall back on when they don’t make guarantees, they might spend it on coke and shit clothes”
With his olive green coat, faded jeans, steel toe capped boots and gradually receding hairline, Goldy looks more like
a farmer than a guitarist whose band has successfully managed to dominate the mainstream world of NME twaddle whilst maintaining the support from the punk scene that honed them. “It’s made no difference apart from the amount of emails we get from shit promoters or people who make music videos” he says, although he does believe it’s something good to show the parents, “it’s something they can relate to ‘cos they used to get it when they were kids. It sort of justifies what you’re doing to them as opposed to saying “hew Mam, we playin’ with Fucked Up tonight’”. Eagulls formed in the summer of 2010 in the city of Leeds, although none of them are from Leeds with Goldy being from Durham and the rest coming from towns across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Since forming they have released a demo tape entitled Songs of Prey, a 7’’ single through Not Even Records and a split 7’’ with Mazes via Italian Beach Babes Records. With things moving so fast they decided it was best to find themselves a manager. “We want to concentrate on writing new songs so it seemed logical. It’s not like our manager wears a flash suit and drives a sports car, he looks like badly drawn boy and lives in a bedsit, he’s at most of our gigs getting pissed with us”. The main reason they decided to hire a manager was to filter the good promoters from the ‘shitehawks’. “There are great promoters who do it for selfless reasons and do not expect to financially profit from it, they’ll make the effort to cook you some nice food and hang out with you. If only there were more of them in the world. Some promoters put on several gigs every week therefore it become almost a job so understandably they take a profit from it, it might go into them putting records out or having funds to fall back on when they don’t make bands guarantees, they might spend it on coke and shit clothes. If the gig has been promoted well, we are paid our guarantee, been fed and watered and if applicable put up for the night then we are generally happy”. Before forming Eagulls, all the members were somehow involved in the hardcore punk scene. Most prominently with Goldy playing in Hordes and fellow guitarist Liam Matthews playing in Fast Point. But they haven’t quite turned their back on hardcore yet, “the amount of gigs Fast Point and Hordes were playing, we were inevitably at more hardcore shows or whatever; but now most of our spare time and cash is taken up keeping Eagulls going. It’s just how it is. We still go round Leeds basement gigs or get over to Sheffield gigs when we can. There are still plenty of bands we’re into; we just don’t have an active role in it at the moment”. Although with that being said they don’t plan on returning to bands from their past as rumors about a Hordes reunion began to circulate. “No, we talk about it now and again when we are wrecked but none of us have the time and I doubt anyone aside from our mates would be bothered about coming to see us anyway”. “The one thing I do find annoying is that we have to lug our own cabs and drum kit about most of the time since a lot of bands we play with don’t play with those set ups”, he says on the twee sounds of bands Eagulls have encountered recently, “but if we wanna be loud that’s our problem” . 8
Carry The Weight is a record label based in Kent. Pat Hassan, one half of the label tells us a bit of history and some advice In the midst of summer 2009 a friend and I decided to start a DIY Hardcore Punk label called Carry The Weight. At the time, Dead and Gone Records from Sheffield; which was a huge influence and guide to a younger me when I first got into the scene, was beginning to wind down and soon announced it was going to be ending as other family commitments were priority - fair enough. But at this point in the UK, there wasn’t really anything else that I felt could replace the potential vacuum resulting from the end of D&G. So that’s why we created CTW; to put out the bands we wanted to hear and to give a platform to genres of hardcore bands that didn’t seem to fit in with what other labels were doing at the time in the UK. I wanted to hear stuff like the Cro-Mags, Scholastic Deth, SSD, Culture, Judge, Right Brigade and so on. But if you want to see more of something, or a change, then it’s you who has to do something about it and not just wait around comPat (far left) on tour with Never Again in 2010 plaining for it to happen. In 2010, Ian D&G and CTW collaborated to put out the last D&G release from our close friends in Cold Snap: the ‘Bad Moon Rising’ 7”. But as well as putting out a number of bands comprised of good friends from all over the place, CTW was also the perfect way to release mine and Tomas’ own band at the time during its early stages; Never Again. Because the band was relatively prolific with releases, CTW allowed us to be in control of what came out and when, how the record looked and so forth, rather than relying on other people to get everything together. I highly recommend this attitude and mind-set to anyone, playing in a hardcore band or otherwise, that wants to be proactive and give it 100%. Now CTW was and is not about making money. We will leave that to the big-shots. This label is about giving back to a scene that has had a huge hand in developing our perspectives and who we have come to be as people, while at the same time helping bands we think are cool get their message out, or just some old fashion healthy aggression. But if I was going to give any advice to someone starting a similar thing, it would be to be smart about your releases and your reasons for doing them. You are most likely in the same position as Tomas and I: not able to afford throwing money at making records as often as we like, due to other life commitments which come first. So I would say make sure you have a plan as to how many you are realistically going to shift, how many you will have to trade for releases that no one has ever heard of, how many will sit in your bedroom for years to come and so forth. Although it might not be ‘punx maaan’, but being efficient and organised is really the key; not to selling records and making bucks, but for making your efforts count for something in the long run and productively developing your hardcore scene, no matter how big or small. Give your best shot or don’t do it at all. Talking in terms of what I have gained from doing Carry The Weight, they are numerous. I would say the most important thing would be countless new friends. People have shown their support all over the UK, Europe, the US, and even places as far away as Japan. This still blows my mind, and makes me feel extremely lucky to have participated in Hardcore Punk for my part.
Dream Punx Anne are a band from Portland, Oregon that formed in 2010. Their music can be described in a loose term as shoegaze. During the latter end of the 2011 they released an LP entitled ‘Dream Punx’ on Baltimore’s A389 Records, ran by Dom Romeo of Pulling Teeth fame. The LP is a collection of their early demos and mixtapes along with a few new songs. I spoke to frontman David (centre left in the image) about all things Anne related. To anyone that doesn’t know the band can you give us a brief history and introduce the members and who does what etc?
Mainly Brent and I have a history involved in more traditional hardcore, though everyone in the band is or was involved with underground music, I find it hard to relate to people on a musical level who dont get the punk aesthetic.
We started in the winter of 2010. The band started with Brent and I. The current line up is Myself - vocals and guitar, Brent - synth, Adam - bass, and Jared - drums. Brent and I had played together previously, I knew Adam and Jared from just around town. I had recorded other bands they are currently in and previously were in.
I’ve seen that you’ve been recording recently, what releases do you have planned and when can we expect them to see the light of day?
What bands would you say have influenced your sound the most?
We have a few releases in the works, neither of which have been announced so I probably shouldnt say anything!
It’s hard for me to say, obviously the band lines up with various aesthetics. Though my personal interest in many bands people liken us to is actually rather low. I am interested in strong rock song writers, whether thats Tom Petty or Joy Division it does not really matter to me. While writing new songs I tend to disconnect and not listen to much music, at least music that relates to what we are doing. These days I just listen to RnB.
Any plans to come over to europe/the uk anytime soon? We would love to, I am sure once we get something sorted out for who is handling our international booking we will get over there.
You have recently released ‘Dream Punx’ on A389, how did that come about and what is it like to be the black sheep in a label that mainly releases heavy hardcore? Dom from A389 really enjoyed our mixtape. We were exchanging emails and he wanted to do a release, it sort of morphed into ‘Dream Punx’. He has been great, and we enjoy being the black sheep. We all came up in punk, and are still connected to it in many different ways. I really like the aspect of floating around the punk subcultures and not playing punk music, it makes what we do more subversive. Music-sub cultures can be so self serving, I love just doing whatever we want, having whoever we want put it out. Do any of you have a history of playing in hardcore bands or being involved in the hardcore scene in the past?
Cinema preview MAKE YOUR OWN MIND UP Into the Abyss (12A) Friday 30 March Dir. Werner Herzog | 2011 | Germany / Canada 1hr 47mins Herzog’s latest documentary focuses on the bleak yet fascinating subject of capital punishment, following the moving story of Michael Perry and Jason Burkett, two young men who were found guilty of three murders. Unravelling the crime and trial from different viewpoints, Herzog’s masterful exploration of life on Death Row shows the devastating effects on all involved. Winner of the Grierson Award for Best Documentary at this year’s London Film Festival. This is not a Film (cert tbc) Friday 30 March Dir. Mojtaba Mirtahmasb, Jafar Panahi | 2010 | Iran 1hr 25mins | Subtitled This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a lastminute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside, The Circle) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence - six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking - Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight and reflecting on the meaning of filmmaking. Tiny Furniture (cert tbc) Friday 30 March Dir. Lena Dunham | 2010 | USA 1hr 38mins | Cast: Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham 22-year-old Aura returns home to her artist mother’s loft with the following - a useless film theory degree, 357 hits on her Youtube page, a boyfriend who’s left her to find himself, a dying hamster, and her tail between her legs. Luckily, her train-wreck childhood best friend never left home, the restaurant down the block is hiring, and ill-advised romantic possibilities lurk around every corner. Surrounded on all sides by what she could become, Aura tries to figure out who she is.
Bonsai (15) Friday 30 March Dir. Cristian Jiminez | 2011 | Chile / Argentina 1hr 36mins | Cast: Diego Noguera, Nathalia Galgani | Subtitled Julio applies for a job typing up the manuscript of Gazmuri’s novel. Ashamed to admit he did not get the job to his lover, Julio decides to make believe he is transcribing Gazmuri’s novel, which he is actually writing himself. In need of a plot, Julio turns to the romance he had 8 years earlier with Emilia when both were studying literature in Valdivia. Based on the bestselling novella by Alejandro Zambra. Headhunters (cert tbc) Friday 6 April Dir. Morten Tyldum | 2011 | Norway / Germany 1hr 38mins | Cast: Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau | Subtitled Roger is a man who has it all - he is Norway’s most successful headhunter, he’s married to beautiful Diana and they own a magnificent villa. To maintain his extravagant lifestyle he steals art on the side. At a gallery opening, Roger sees an opportunity waiting to be taken, and starts planning his biggest hit ever. He soon runs into trouble – let the headhunt begin… Based on the bestselling book by Jo Nesbø. La Grande Illusion (U) Friday 6 April Dir. Jean Renoir | 1937 | France 1hr 54mins | Cast: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay Subtitled 75th anniversary digital restoration of one of the greatest pacifist films of all time and one of the most important of the twentieth century. Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion is as pertinent now as it ever was. During World War I, two FreWnch airmen are shot down while taking surveillance photographs in German territory. They discover their fellow prisoners are digging an escape tunnel, and they agree to help.
A Cat in Paris (cert tbc) Friday 6 April Dir. Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol | 2010 | France / Netherlands 1hr 20mins | Cast: Dominique Blanc, Bruno Salomone, Jean Benguigui | Subtitled Dino is a cat who leads a double life. By day, he lives with Zoe, a little girl whose mother, Jeanne, is a police officer. By night, he works with Nico, a burglar with a big heart. One day, Dino brings Zoe a valuable bracelet. Jeanne’s colleague notices the bracelet is part of a jewellery collection that has been stolen. Zoe decides to follow Dino and accidentally discovers that her nanny is part of the gangsters’ team…
burying his dreams of a literary breakthrough. He feels content serving people as an honourable shoe-shiner. Then fate suddenly throws in his path an underage immigrant refugee from Africa. At the same time, his wife is taken seriously ill. Armed with nothing but his innate optimism, it’s time for Marcel to polish his shoes and reveal his teeth. Babycall (15) Friday 13 April Dir. Pal Sletaune | 2011 | Norway / Germany 1hr 36mins | Cast: Noomi Rapace, Kristoffer Joner, Vetle Ovenild Werring | Subtitled Anna and her son Anders are under the witness protection programme following a difficult relationship with Anders’ father. Anna becomes overprotective of her son and buys a baby monitor to keep track of him. Soon, strange noises from other apartments appear on the monitor, and Anna overhears what might be the murder of a child. Meanwhile, Anders’ mysterious new friend starts visiting at odd hours, claiming that he has keys for all the doors in the building…
Delicacy (12A) Friday 13 April Dir. David Foenikos, Stephanie Foenikos | 2011 | France 1hr 49mins | Cast: Audrey Tautou, Francois Damiens, Bruno Todeschini | Subtitled Nathalie has a wonderful life and the perfect marriage. But when her husband dies in an accident, it brings her world crashing down. For the next few years, she focuses on work, setting aside her emotions. After a spontaneous and inexplicable kiss with her co-worker Markus, the two embark on an emotional journey; one that raises all kinds of questions. Delicacy is a story of rebirth and the singularity of love.
Marley (15) Friday 20 April Dir. Kevin Macdonald | 2012 | USA / UK 2hrs 25mins Bob Marley’s universal appeal, impact on music history and role as a social and political prophet is both unique and unparalleled. Marley is the definitive life story of the musician, revolutionary, and legend, from his early days to his rise to international superstardom. Made with the support of the Marley family, the film features rare footage, incredible performances and revelatory interviews. From Academy Award-winning director, Kevin Macdonald.
Mozart’s Sister (12A) Friday 13 April Dir. René Féret | 2010 | France 2hrs | Cast: Marie Féret, Marc Barbé, Delphine Chuillot | Subtitled A speculative account of the life of Maria Anna “Nannerl” Mozart, five years older than Wolfgang and a musical prodigy in her own right. Originally the featured performer, she must make way for Wolfgang as their father parades them in front of the royal courts of Europe. Approaching marriageable age and now forbidden to play the violin or compose, Nannerl bristles at the limitations imposed on her gender. But a friendship with the son and daughter of Louis XV offers hope. Le Havre (PG) Friday 13 April Dir. Aki Kaurismäki | 2011 | Finland / France 1hr 33mins | Cast: Andre Wilms, Kati Outinen, Jean-Pierre Darroussin | Subtitled Marcel Marx, a former author and a well-known Bohemian, has retreated into voluntary exile in Le Havre,
Iron Sky (cert tbc) Friday 20 April Dir. Timo Vuorensola | 2012 | Finland / Germany 1hr 33mins | Cast: Udo Kier, Julia Dietze, Kym Jackson | Part subtitled In the last moments of World War II, a secret Nazi space programme evaded destruction by fleeing to the Dark Side of the Moon. During 70 years of utter secrecy, the Nazis constructed a gigantic space fortress and an armada of flying saucers. When an American astronaut lands a little too close to the secret Nazi base, the Moon Führer decides the glorious moment for retaking the Earth has arrived. A dark science fiction comedy from the creators of Star Wreck.
Tom Archer TOM ARCHER IS A PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN SHEFFIELD. IN 2011 HE WON THE LONDON FESTIVAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD FOR STUDENT STREET PHOTOGRAPHY. HE HAS ALSO PLAYED GUITAR IN A FAIR FEW PUNK AND HARDCORE BANDS INCLUDING SPORTS DAY AND COLD ONES. Firstly could you explain the genre of photography that you do and any influences that you have? I guess my work mainly falls under the category of street photography, mainly focusing on observing and creating surveys of British life. My main influences in terms of photographers include Paul Graham, Ed Templeton, Simon Roberts, Ed Ruscha, Meyerowitz, Winogrand, John MacLean….the list is endless really. Street photography is particularly voyeuristic, how do you go about taking your photos so the subject stays natural? I’m just a wanderer really. I walk the streets, poking around people’s properties but never really staying in the same place for a long time. I guess that’s just due to the environment in which I work in. The suburbs are never The ham sandwich incident... going to be rammed with opportunities so there’s always the need to wander to try to find the photograph. It’s all about speed and timing though, especially if you think you’re going to get noticed. I’m not so bothered about the “getting caught” bit, it’s just shit when your moment’s gone. I got screamed at and chased by a woman in Castle Market once, that was pretty intense. She was eating a ham sandwich at the time, most of which got sprayed over me... Only once have I been questioned whilst on the streets, I took a photograph of a woman in her window and this guy, some kind of neighbourhood watch warrior, stopped his car and politely said “what the fuck are you taking photographs of!!??” I said “ I’m studying architecture and interested in the science behind double glazing windows” and he was completely fine and apologised profusely. Moron. How did you first get in to photography and how long have you been in to it? I think I got bought a Canon Compact camera when I was about 15, so 7 years ago, and used to take it with me to gigs. That’s all I really shot, I just did it for a hobby, bumming bands that I thought were cool and being that annoying knob head everyone hates at gigs. I used to open the shutter for ages to create light trails and used to think I was the shit! Suppose you gotta start somewhere….
“I got screamed at and chased by a woman in Castle Market once, that was pretty intense”
What projects do you currently have? At the moment I’m pretty dried up. Once you graduate from a course where there are hardly any jobs available, it’s hard to get motivated. Last year was immense for me, winning the LSP, doing interviews and meeting important people. At the moment I have my eyes set on an opportunity that might become available to me over in the States, so I’ve just been working to save up in case it comes around… I still have thoughts and ideas floating around, that never stops. I want to turn my “Nothing New” project into a survey of British life; there’s no reason why I would stop shooting for that, it’s just kinda hard to find the time when you have to balance it with work and other commitments. I also have a fascination with the modern way of living. The people who have “made it” in life, the people that have the car, the family, live in the house that sits opposite the house that looks exactly the same as their house, in the estate that contains more of the same houses. This concept is one for the future I think, it’s at the foetal stage of my thoughts but hopefully I can do something with it…
“Going on tour with Cold Ones to Spain and Portugal was one of the best times of my life. Having a camera made it even more special” You won the London Street Photography Award for photographs in your “Nothing New” exhibition, what exactly is the concept for Nothing New and how did you get shortlisted for the awards? The concept for “Nothing New” is a focus on the suburban dramas of middle class Sheffield. I tried to photograph the “non moments” of suburbia, I hate the phrase “everyday life” because hundreds of street photographers use that term, but I guess in a way it’s just what I did. I wanted to create a sense of isolation within each photograph and bring in obscure subtleties as well, something I reckon I achieved for the final prints that won the Street Photography comp. In terms of getting short listed, I applied on deadline day on a whim. I think one of my Uni lecturers told me about it so I just submitted some images that I had been working with for my Uni project, got a call about a month later saying I had been shortlisted and the rest is history… What are your views on film vs digital photography? For me it’s mainly for aesthetic reasons, and the fact that I love printing using analogue methods, although that method is limited for me now. I’m not a film freak, I don’t use one specific type of film and I’m not really bothered about the technical side of processing etc, some people could call me un-professional but I’m really not arsed, getting caught up in the technical side of things before you have a solid concept is not what I’m about. I use a rangefinder and probably will do for the rest of my career. The film/digital debate can go on forever, obviously for more commercial jobs using digital has its advantages and if someone chucked a digital M9 my way there would be no way I would turn it down. I work with what I’ve got, I’m not interested in owning shit loads of cameras and having a million lenses, my Voigtlander is enough for me. Has playing in punk and hardcore bands influenced your photography at all? If so, how? Yeah definitely, I first started taking photos at gigs, and being in bands that toured it was the best opportunity to start photographing anything and everything. Going on tour with Cold Ones to Spain and Portugal was one of the best times of my life. Having a camera made it even more special and some of the photographs I took on that tour became the inspiration for my final year project. Without being in bands I wouldn’t have met half the people I know now, wouldn’t have the knowledge I have now and I probably wouldn’t even be doing this interview! You compiled the book “faces” which purely contains passport photos that you found. How did that idea come about and what made you want to pursue it and publish it as a book? Me and my mate have a knack for finding weird stuff, passport photographs being one of the main ones. You go into post offices, and if people don’t like their prints they literally just leave them on the side or in the bin, it’s easy to find them doing it that way. The book is a combination of images found in post offices or on the street, they’ve been collected over a very long period and I just wanted to use them for something. I’d wanted to make the book for a while, but when we got a module that needed us to make a book it became the perfect time to do it. It’s basically a comment on “throw away” society, voyeurism and a lack of responsibility people have for their most important possessions; identity being the main one for this project. The books are all hand made by myself, that’s why there are only about 6 copies… If people really wanted one I’d be happy to get my needle and thread out though! Turn over for some photographs by Tom selected by himself
Billy Werner Few people can say that they were in a band that laid the foundations of a whole genre of music. Billy Werner was in two. With Saetia and later with Hot Cross, two bands that defined the sound of late 90’s screamo; an idol for any skramz revivalist getting nostalgic about a time and place that they weren’t around at. Not many people can say they have an exact replica of themselves on yourscenesucks.com
During the 90’s, being in to hardcore meant you dressed baggy and listened to metal influenced hardcore bands such as Earth Crisis or you wore your clothes tight and listened to the more obscure Gravity Records roster of chaotic, artistic hardcore. When Saetia formed in 1997 they went to both types of shows and thus created a sound which didn’t quite fit with anyone. A sound that was once known as screamo which has now had a 21st century rebranding of skramz. Nowadays Billy has moved on to newer pastures, working at the University of Pennsylvania and creating house music under the pseudonym of Eyefour. As well as hosting bi-monthly club nights as part of Robotique. “Back in 1999 I started getting interested in record digging and DJing I actually DJed a bit during Hot Cross, but I became a lot busier with it after the band ended”. “I sort of always lived in the real world” he says about his touring life. “I held office and education jobs throughout my touring history. At some point you just decide sleeping on floors and justifying every decision you make to legions of people is tiring and you move on with your life”. The touring life is something that Billy doesn’t plan on returning to anytime soon; “I don’t miss 11 hour drives to play to 35 people and make $14. Black Flag inspired us, but that’s where it ended”. Especially as things got bigger with Hot Cross as they began to release stuff with Equal Vision Records. Tours had to be “negotiated” rather than booked and they realized that lifestyle wasn’t for them and who they wanted to be. Hot Cross broke up in 2007, Billy Werner’s ten year lifespan in the world of punk and hardcore was over.
AFTER FOUR YEARS AWAY, BOSSK ARE BACK. TOM BEGLEY EXPLAINS WHAT THE KENT POST-METAL FIVESOME HAVE BEEN UP TO IN THE PAST FEW YEARS AND THE BANDS PLANS FOR THE FUTURE It’s been four years since you split, why are you choosing to get back together now? And how did the idea to get back together happen?
I’ve been touring with bands since the band split, either doing merch or tour managing. I started a new band called The Mire at the end of 2009, but due to my own touring commitments I couldnt do the band as much as I would have liked so I left to focus on touring. Alex, Rob and Nick started a new band called Eddie Falco, and they started playing live at the beginning of this year.
It’s been something that I have been personally thinking about for some time now. It came about with all of us meeting up at Christmas and having the chance to do a live session for the BBC is something we have all dreamed of doing. It felt like the right time, all of us have known each other for over 10 years, so it was a pretty simple process.
You’ve got two shows planned, one in Leeds and one in London, are there any plans to play live after that at all? if not, why not?
To anyone who may have been too young to check out Bossk when they were around, how would you describe your sound?
Right now we are looking at some different options for playing live later in the year, but don’t want to give too much away just yet.
We take influence from a lot of different bands, and when you write songs that don’t stick to conventional lengths then you can fit lots of different dynamics in. Our songs are long epic journeys that are written with the live environment in mind. You have a Maida Vale session coming up, will there be any new material you record with that? Yes there will, we will be recording a brand new track that will be played exclusively on Dan P Carters show a few weeks after we record it. What is the new stuff sounding like and is there going to be any new releases in the pipeline? It’s sounding good so far, we have pretty much all the song worked out now! It’s a progression for us, but still sounds like Bossk. We are using some structure ideas that we had from when we started to write after .2 that were never used. There are more vocals, faster heavier riffs and some cool other parts that are kinda new to our sound.
What have you all been up to post-Bossk, music or work wise? just life and that in general really
SGT D TELLS US ABOUT HIS GREATEST HORRORS, WHEN THE HARDCORE KIDS OF THE 90’S STARTED LISTENING TO THE SMITHS AND MORRISSEY I want to tell you a little story, because it makes me rage inside. It’s about some friends growing up, and all the crucial mosh they tried. Then one day something happened, and it scared the shit out of me: kids started showing up at hardcore shows with pompadours, tight black pants and Creepers. They wrote songs about girls. My mind was blown... WTF was happening?? Where did these prunes come from and how did they end up at hardcore shows?? As I found out, the answer was simple: they were the first wave of hardcore kids to jock Morrissey and The Smiths. The year was around 1993, the place was Seattle. Although Southern California is a long ways away, the scene was so spread out that we were heavily influenced by what happened down there. Especially our most popular band Undertow, who did a split with a very lulzy San Diego band called Struggle (later to become Swing Kids and The Locust) and toured with Unbroken. It was through Undertow that I found out that hardcore kids were jocking the ultimate art band, The Smiths. Fig.1 Undertow pre-Smiths Worship Dyer, but it was considered cool at the time and that’s how most bands dressed. You can imagine my surprise when Undertow suddenly changed their look from standard, early-90s-giant-pants-skater to “introverted 1950s dad.” And more baffling, I saw John wearing SMITHS and MORRISSEY shirts!! WTF! Along with The Cure and Siouxsie, those were the ultimate art bands and art was the enemy!! What happened?! I realized that the “patient zero” of hardcore’s infatuation with The Smiths and Morrissey was Unbroken, originators of the infamous “San Diego look” aka dressing like Johnny Marr in 1983.
At the time, it was all about giant pants, bleached hair, and skate shoes-- just like your favourite New Deal skate video. In retrospect that look is about as dignified as getting fisted by Danny
Although it was bad when Unbroken and Undertow started dressing like British dads, their music was still sweet and moshable so I looked the other way. The much, much more offensive musical crime was Fig.2 Undertow post-Smiths. Note the 1950’s Dad haircut the San Diego screamo scene of the 90s. Everybody called the dumb bands like Swing Kids, The Crimson Curse, and Jenny Piccolo “Spock rockers” because well, they all had the same haircut as Spock. They took Smiths worship to a whole new level, and made me run away screaming from the whole DIY hardcore scene in favour of greener pastures (Merauder, Earth Crisis and Bloodlet). Although the Spock rock scene died out in the early 00s, it’s my understanding that the kids in Boston picked up where they left off. But since I’m not an idiot, I don’t listen to Boston hardcore and really couldn’t tell you about all that. Maybe someone else can explain the Boston “tortured artist” scene of the 00s, and where The Smiths fit in. I’m happy to say that I can’t.
COMA DRE’S VOC ALI ST K E N N Y GABE S HEDS S OME LI GHT ON THE N E W A LBU M, T HE I R SOU N D AN D F U TU R E TOU RS . COMAD R E R E C E N TLY R E LEA S ED MI XTAP E 5 , A C OLLE C TI ON OF ORIGI N AL, U N HE AR D R E C OR D INGS BY THE M SE LVE S AN D OTHE R BA NDS THE Y’R E F R I E N D S W I TH. ALL MONEY RE C E I VE D F R OM THE M I X TA PE WE N T TOW AR D S JAP AN E SE EA RTHQU AK E AN D TSU N AM I R E LI E F . How would you describe the way you sound? And was this sound intentional when you first started? Damn, hah, I’m no good at this question. We are a punk band. And at this point we’ve gotten compared to a bunch of random bands that don’t sound anything like each other…which I think is cool…but yeah, I like the fact that it might be a little hard to pinpoint “our sound” or whatever. Because now, we don’t feel like we need to worry about that; it makes us comfortable with writing new songs. Cause now we can do whatever type of weird shit we want to and hope that people will just be like “oh yeah, that’s a new Comadre song” and not have it be like “what the fuck are they doing now”? And as far as what we envisioned when we first started, I believe one of the first talks as a band, Orchid and Wolves were definitely mentioned. Also, would you find that there is a lack of originality in hardcore in the States? Over here it just seems like bands pick a band from the mid-nineties to copy Sure, yeah. You can say the same thing about bands from over here too. But what I think is more ridiculous than bands copying bands from the mid-nineties, is bands that are copying bands that are currently active at the moment. It’s like, people wanna start a band that sounds like another current band that just got popular, and well, I guess I can’t hate on people getting influenced by something that they think is rad, but at the same time it’s like, come on, that already exists, right now. I’m all about some different shit. You’ve been a band for eight years now. Has your outlook to the band changed over the years? And how do you manage being so active and holding down jobs etc? I believe the outlook has changed. Comadre has never been a full-time band by any means. We have all had jobs outside of the band since we started and still currently do. We never had the idea to do this full-time or quit our jobs to do so, but I could definitely say at the beginning it was more about trying to play as many shows and to tour to as many different places as possible. I think now that
we’ve seen and toured most of where we all wished we could have gone (which is still unbelievable), now we’ve slowed it down. We are currently writing this new fulllength record that we hope to (without sounding cheezy as fuck) start a new chapter in Comadre. And once that is out, we will go from there, slowly (or slower than before, I think). And as far as our jobs go…I think we just got pretty lucky with our particular jobs and bosses who have allowed us to be gone a few months out of the year and still come back to work afterwards. You’ve been over to the UK twice right? The last time was with punch, how did you find the shows compared to the first time you came over? The shows this last time were way better than the first. The first time we went to the UK, with Graf Orlock, we were still a pretty new band. And although we had a real good time, it was just our first tour in Europe and we were still kinda new. So this last time was better just cause we had more people at shows, more people were into it, and we made some good friends who were already living there who came out. And it’s always tight to see familiar faces when you’re so far away from home. Any plans to come over again in 2012? Probably not. I wish I could say yes, but we decided we would not play or plan any tours until this new record is finished. And at this point, it’s probably too late to try to book something in the Summer anyways, which is when we do most of our touring cause of work. But we’ll be back, at some point, with a new full-length. Do you have any details on the new LP at all? When we can expect it to be out etc? No details just yet. We don’t have any rush since we have no tours planed. But it will be out at some point this year. The one thing though, is that we are for sure playing The Fest again in Gainesville, Florida at the end of October… and we definitely talked about maybe having something new for that. We’ll see.
Ironic moustache, five panel cap, fixed gear bicycle. That’s a hipster, right? Well, no, not exactly. You see, the term hipster dates back to the 1940s and refers to connoisseurs of jazz.
The first dictionary to publish the term ‘hipster’ was in 1944 and described it as “For Characters Who Don’t Dig Jive Talk”. The entry for “hipsters” defined them as, “characters who like hot jazz.” In the 1920’s musicians used the word “hep” to describe anyone in the know about the emerging jazz culture. Their fans were known as “hepcats”. The term “hep” itself derives from the African term “hepi” meaning to open one’s eyes. At the time, the lower-class white youth began to frequent African-American communities in search of alternative music and dance. It was in these communities that youth developed their fashion cues, attitudes, drug use, and language. The language and slang at the time was a huge part of the culture. Known as jive talk, it used rhyming similes and acted as a way for hipsters to show off their whit. The hipsters hated the “squares”. The squares were people who lived a traditional, conservative family life. They had security through jobs, politics, family and common social etiquette. The hipsters were bohemians, juvenile delinquents and their world was the complete opposite of the squares.
“A generation of crazy, illuminated hipsters suddenly rising and roaming America, serious, bumming and hitchhiking everywhere, ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way—a vision gleaned from the way we had heard the word “beat” spoken on street corners on Times Square and in the Village, in other cities in the downtown city night of postwar America—beat, meaning down and out but full of intense conviction” says Jack Kerouac Jack Kerouac on the beatnik generation of the late 1940s. Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and John Clellon Holmes spearheaded the beat movement, a more extreme version of the earlier hipster. They travelled and expressed themselves through literature, poetry, music and arts. They were something that even the earlier hipsters did not appreciate with Kerouac saying “We’d even heard old 1910 Daddy Hipsters of the streets speak the word that way, with a melancholy sneers. It never meant juvenile delinquents, it meant characters of a special spirituality who didn’t gang up but were solitary Bartlebies staring out the dead wall window of our civilization...” By the beginning of the 1960s, the hipster began to die out and fade away becoming an endangered species. Reflecting on the time, Norman Meiler said it best, “the hipster is a psychopath, and yet not a psychopath but the negation of the psychopath for he possesses the narcissistic detachment of the philosopher, that absorption in the recessive nuances of one’s own motive which is so alien to the unreasoning drive of the psychopath”.
The Expire Alternative FED UP OF GOING TO FESTIVALS AND SEEING TEENAGERS GO WAPPY ON KETAMINE FOR A WEEKEND? HATE THE MUSIC? HATE THE BIG MONEY SPONSORS AND CAPITALISM TAKING OVER THE WORLD? WEâ€™VE COMPILED A FEW FESTIVALS FROM OFF THE BEATEN TRACK THAT YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT IF YOUR LIFE REQUIRES A REFRESHING DOSE OF VARIETY.
Fluff Fest Run by the punks, for the punks. Fluff fest resides in the Czech Republic and features the best in world DIY punk, hardcore, screamo and noise. The three day weekender has been running since the year 2000. You can expect other treats such as zine distros, vegan barbeques and cheap euro beer. Where: Rokycany, Czech Republic When: 20 - 22 July 2012
Twin Peaks Fest Now in its 20th year, the Twin Peaks fest is dedicated to the works of David Lynch, and in particular Twin Peaks. You can take tours of the set, meet cast members and indulge yourself in to numerous screenings of Twin Peaks as well as movies by Lynch. Where: Northbend, Washington, USA When: 3 - 5 August 2012
Cannabis Cup A festival ran by High Times magazine for connoisseurs of the green. The Cannabis Cup takes place in Amsterdam. The event allows judges from around the world to sample and vote for their favorite marijuana varieties. The winner gets the Cannabis Cup. Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands When: 18 - 22 November 2012
Guide To Festivals The Gathering of the Juggalos Do you like wearing clown make-up? Do you like the music of Insane Clown Posse? The answers to these questions are yes, then The Gathering is definitely the festival for you. You can expect drugs, fast food, drugs, naked people, drugs the entire Psychopathic Records roster. Did I mention drugs? Where: Cave In Rock, Illinois, USA When: 8 - 12 August 2012
Burning Man Burning Man is the ultimate art festival located in the desert of Nevada. The festival runs for a week and is based on radical self-expression and self-reliance. If you do go, donâ€™t take your money. Using cash transactions with other attendees at the festival is banned. Where: Black Rock Desert, Nevada, USA When: 27 August - 3 September
Tewkesbury Medieval Festival You donâ€™t have a mobile phone, or the internet, or a television, or even electricity. Instead you have witches, demons and battle re-enactments. The medieval times are better than any other times. Fact. Listen to black metal on your way there. Where: Tewkesbury, UK When: 14 - 15 July 2012
MAYBE IT’S BECAUSE WE’RE ALL SO INCOMPLETE
JUSTIN PEARSON IS BEST KNOWN FOR HIS WORK IN MUSIC WITH SWING KIDS, THE LOCUST, SOME GIRLS AND RETOX AS WELL AS RUNNING THE RECORD LABEL 31G RECORDS. IN 2011 HE BROUGHT OUT HIS FIRST PIECE OF WRITING, “THE GRAVEYARD OF THE AROUSAL INDUSTRY” FOLLOWED BY “HOW TO LOSE FRIENDS AND IRRITATE PEOPLE”. BOTH PIECES ARE BIOGRAPHICAL AND SHOW AN INSIGHT IN TO THE LIFE OF PEARSON.
What made you originally want to release a book? I saw that you had written tour journals in the past but writing a book must be a lot more strenuous time wise and motivation wise? I honestly had no idea I could pull it off. I was writing here and there, mainly just tour blogs and things of that nature. Keep in mind; I have no proper writing education what so ever. But I shared one particular blog with a friend of mine, who has done a lot of film and he suggested I write a book. I wrote it off, but figured I could use the down time travelling from show to show on tour and started writing short stories about things and incidents in my life. Over time, I had ended up with quite a few stories and sort of placed them in chronological order, which is what became my book. Your writing style particularly in ‘from the graveyard...’ is short and frantic, has anyone influenced your writing in particular and how do you think it differs at all to the lyrics you write? I’m not sure I have writing influences, but more so, just over all influences. I think my writing style tends to be like some of the music I write, where it’s fairly short bursts, a bit absurd at times, and depending on how you look at it, fairly annoying. As far as writers who have influenced me, there is the obvious Burroughs, Alan Ginsburg beat style text that I really dig. So maybe some of that influenced me. But to be honest, I still shy away from considering myself a writer at times. I mean, I have never studied and where I am aware that I have developed a bit with my writing skills from my first book to my second, I still have a lot to learn about technique. It can be said for the lyrics I write. But even with that, there are a slew of other aspects that come into play when you consider placing words to music. How To Lose Friends And Irritate People focuses on your time spent with two different dj duos, is there any particular reason why you chose to write about this over anything else that was happening in your life at the time?
Blue Note 2011
Well my first book covers the first 30 something years of my life. Obviously I left out tons of stuff that I could write about. But the second book is more specific, and maybe more focused, as it is in chronological order pertaining to the two books and the stories in them. However, the second book looks at something specific, which is the world of DJ culture, and more so my position in music and how I perceive things, based on actual bands and then onto things like integrity, and dignity. I guess my writing is somewhat compartmentalized. For instance, I am starting a new book that documents every Three One G release, and I am starting to interview artists from all the bands. So in my mind, it is something on it’s own, just like the previous two books I published.
Swing Kids, performing under the moniker Blue Note recently did a euro tour last year, how did the tour come about and how did you find it as a whole playing songs you wrote 15 years ago? Well Swing Kids did a benefit reunion show a couple years back with Unbroken, Festival Of Dead Deer, and a few other bands. But after the show, I was not comfortable going on as Swing Kids. I think that there were a few issues I was having a hard time with. One, that Eric Allen was no longer with us. But also, since Swing Kids were a functioning band, we all evolved, as well as music, so it was not as punctual as it could have been, recreating what we had done in the past. So when the idea of playing more, and doing the European tour as well as some US dates, I wanted to alter the overall idea of the band, and make it relevant, or update it I guess you could say. So we changed the name and added a second guitar player, which is what the band had originally done just before we had initially split up. The added musicianship, as well as the way we had all become as musicians made the band, or project more relevant to me. Any plans for Blue Note record or shows in the future? If something permits itself and is feasible, we would love to do more. Things have come up here and there, but the band is spread out over four cities, which makes rehearsal a bit difficult not to mention financially practical.
LITERATURE Mikhail Bulgatov - The master and the Margarita Bulgakov’s most revered work, ‘The Master and Margarita’ is also the most problematic, both in the conception and the content – although this lends a weighted charm to it. The novel was originally written in various forms up until the author’s death in 1940, and was numerously reformatted in future publications until 1989 when the (what is now) standard copy was published, drawing together all available manuscripts and discrepancies between the different ‘finished’ versions. In 1930s Moscow, the mysterious Woland, Satan himself, has arrived to bring the swollen conceit of Russia to its knees in a flurry of murders, corruption and spat disgust. Intellectuals are spurned, the wealthy are mocked, and the respectable are exposed for hypocritical frauds. Among Woland’s cohort are a number of intimidating figures, and also a talking, vodka drinking, gun toting, hog-sized black cat called Behemoth. Magical realism is a fantastic convention piece, and here, alongside such fiction as ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, it is used to its fullest and richest extent, creating a storyline that is rich in imagination, pushing events far beyond that which is anticipated from a satire. Much like Marlowe’s Faustus (which, as ‘The Master and Margarita’ also does, takes inspiration from the original Goethe tale of damnation and dealings with the Devil), Bulgakov effortlessly switches from bleak spiritual disgrace to the tomfoolery of the slapstick, adding a degree of bi-polarity which accentuates each turn of the attack of Russian bourgeois values. The man known only as the ‘Master’ of which the title speaks is a struggling author frustrated with his own skills who burns his own manuscript, as Bulgakov did himself of his first draft of this novel. As the Master (and his lover, a loving and innocent woman named Margarita) is learned further about, the self-reflexive properties of the novel are more and more brought to light, as the novel the Master is writing becomes the finished book you hold in your hands. The main storyline rises to a crescendo for the Walpurgis Night ball, for which the lovely Margarita is accosted by
Russia’s deceased villains in a sensual conflagration of nightmarish visions and voices thick with the dirt of the grave. The final segment following this scene is peculiar. Entire pages are devoted to the narration of a journey through the night sky, through space and galloping along a moon-dust trail into dawn. It contains little to no content that would match it to the preceding few hundred pages. Having accomplished what was no doubt intended with the novel, Bulgakov casts aside deeper meaning and embraces the animal joy of writing. Meaningless but joyful: a tenet of literature that seems to have been forgotten in a lot of work nowadays when striving to produce something of importance. This review (of sorts) is not to tick through the various ways in which I love this book, or to offer a fresh perspective on it. I think I’m here to illustrate something that galls me about this novel, largely due to the fact that it occupies a large space in my heart: Despite its critical acclaim and various adaptations, ‘The Master and Margarita’ has never captured the English-speaking audience in a significant way. Classic novels such as ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ ‘The Great Gatsby or ‘1984’, or the poetry of Ginsberg or Eliot have all been drawn into slightly popular culture. I’ll go out on a limb and guess most will have a vague grasp of what at least two of those example titles are about. Even more books of this ilk have made their way into popular consciousness - through direct adaptations or references to them in other media. I guess what I’m getting at here is that I’d like ‘The Master and Margarita’ to be able to hold that sort of attention. For a novel so colourful and imaginative, full of strong characterisations (and a talking gunwielding cat, as if you could ever ask for anything more) and landmark scenes, I would like to see this recognised in some small way. I admit this thought is shallow and meaningless – I know this for a fact, and it causes me to question why I am so desperately wanting for this novel to be recognised in wider circles – but it is still one that I just can’t shake. “I can’t stand my own mind.” There’s Ginsberg for you.
REVIEWS Jeff Lemire/Travel Foreman - Animal Man The character of Animal Man has long been a superhero very much removed from the capes and punch effects associated with the more colourful characters associated with comic books. In the late 1980s, Grant Morrison reimagined Animal Man in such a way as to create the best superhero series I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It surpassed genre limitations, breaking apart continuity errors and antiquated antagonist designs with a cool understanding of pity for the multitudes of superheroes that had come before. As Buddy Baker’s consciousness was raised higher and higher, breaking the 4th wall in the process, it culminated in him coming face to face with Grant Morrison, his own creator. For this reason, other writer’s attempts to pick up the character where this left off has proved problematic for the reader (and I can only assume for the writer as well). How do you follow on from such a defining run? The simple answer is that you don’t. Greg Conway’s 6-part limited series ‘The Last Days of Animal Man’ was decidedly dire, as Animal Man was posited in the guise of a standard ink and text superhero that wouldn’t have been out of place 40 years ago in the Golden Age. This latest incarnation however, is an entirely different beast. Recognising the standard set by Grant Morrison, Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman have stepped to one side and brought Animal Man down a significantly different path. Lemire made a name for himself in American indie comics which I enjoyed, and so it was with nervy anticipation that I approached this series. While certain thematic elements remain in place – Buddy’s close bond with his family, his animal right advocacy, and his aversion to violence – the tone is darker, violent and grim. Travel Foreman’s artwork I first found to be slightly static due to the high amounts of detail he gives his creations, and the slight paint effect lent by the colourist. As I read on the art style suited it perfectly, especially for the storyline’s antago-
nists, three creatures known as ‘The Rot’. The art is macabre and tortured in bringing these entities to life, echoing the grotesque body horror best seen in John Carpenter’s 1984 film ‘The Thing’, or in more recent times, video game series ‘Dead Space’. Location is used and reference is made to ‘The Green’ and ‘The Red’, which is where ‘The Rot’ originates from. ‘The Green’ was introduced by Alan Moore in his 1980s ‘Swamp Thing’ comic as a connectable network of all botanical life on Earth, and since then Jamie Delano wrote of ‘The Red’ to complement this idea, ‘The Red’ being the connecting bond of all animal life force on the planet. While Grant Morrison’s writing gave Animal Man’s abilities to draw attributes from animals around him through connecting to the morphogenetic field as a mystical and totemic idea, having Buddy tap into ‘The Red’ to draw his powers from is a complementary source to Morrison’s vision. These colour-named energy lines have been made DC canonical since the critical acclaim of Moore’s ‘Swamp Thing’, and gives Lemire’s Animal Man a sense of placement and cohesion with the universe in which he resides. Lemire and Foreman have here made a fresh take on the Animal Man legacy thanks to its thoughtful writing, sinister overtones and moody aesthetic. ‘The Hunt’, this first story-arc by Jeff Lemire is released in collected form 8th May 2012.
By Matthew Jordan
MUSIC REVIEWS BY JOSH TURNER
Slices - Still Cruising Posing alongside cars for album covers sounds way more ‘lackluster R&B moron’ than ‘caustic Pittsburgh punk band’, but once you fall into the drudge of a Slices record, you quickly recognise the cover art as one great big ironicstatement.jpg - there merely to sort the wheat from the chaff and to pinch back the title of ‘most ridiculous album art’ from those pesky Australians in Total Control. ‘Still Cruising’ follows on from the debilitatingly good ‘Cruising’, a gnarled, gristly pop at writing Wolf Eyes on a Jesus Lizard trip hardcore. Out on Iron Lung records, ‘Still Cruising’ reboots the Medusa / Nightmare Man template of ‘Cruising’, and hip thrusts into selections of the more soberly written Butthole Surfers back catalogue. The band spoke about mimicking some of the guitar sounds from In Utero, which begs the question of how much Albini influence managed to permeate into the ethos behind this new LP. The track ‘Greensleeves’ lords it over most of side A’s efforts with it’s rumbling groove of Pissed Jeans fan friendly noise punk. ‘Why Do You Make Yourself Sad?’ plays like ‘1000 Hurts’ era Shellac dancing down hard on the grave of sacred Deep Wound of Massachusetts. Despite the more obvious lineage, Still Cruising evades neat classification. By refining the lugubrious nature of ‘Cruising’ into this fat-trimmed, needle-pointed punk thumper, Slices have pushed themselves further out to sea. They now have more in common with fellow Pennsylvanians Kim Phuc than ever before, as the Throbbing Gristle elements of 2004’s Do U Like Mud are all but a fond memory. Rock n’ Roll is Still Cruising’s game. Taking more influence from eminent sources rather than the fucking Wanky’s or something. ‘All My Life’ is a borderline footoff-the-gas-pedal 90’s druggy post-hardcore type excursion, just with grizzlier vocals than Walter Schriefels could ever shake a stick at. Do you have the stones to slow-dance to this half-waltzer? Still Cruising is a marked progression, and a natural one at that. Who would begrudge these fellows the chance to write in earnest? The two Mikes, Greg and John have put together a more than confident batch of songs here, talking up the appeal of accessibility and the benefits of leaning on conventionality from time to time.
Ceremony - Zoo
How does a band begin to tackle the stigma of signing to a larger label after years of honing their craft and treading water at a celebrated house of hardcore? The options are limited - and the risk of alienation runs high. Assuming you play a special strain of guitar music with a semblance of originality at it’s core, and you’re protective of that, you only really have a choice of two paths. You can follow the guiding light of the pioneering Hüsker Dü who, after their ascension to Warner Bros, refused to use the platform to write hook-heavy pop songs for 50’s throwback America, and instead ploughed headlong into recording an album that smacked of early Dü flavours and a lack of compromise. Alternatively, you could stick two fingers up to the boardroom with one hand, use the other to seat a producer of Albini type rawness, and lay to wax a record more jarring, bolshy and inward than what came before it - à la ‘In Utero.’ Whilst the transition from Bridge 9 records to Matador is by no means an SST to Capitol sized pole vault, for North California’s greatest punk export of the last half a decade Ceremony, it should be viewed in much the same manner. Matador records is of sorts the prom king at the independent ball, married to big billing acts such as Pavement, Sonic Youth, Guided by Voices, Interpol and others. For a label that concerns itself with the screeds of alternative sounding rock and squirming post-hardcore, Matador’s coupling with Ceremony births notions of either a bigger label trying to euthanize a pure punk band’s violent nature, or perhaps a label with deep rooted hardcore affili-
ations wanting to reinvest in the root reason why we’re all here in the first place; punk rock. Sub Pop wielded a similar tactic by adding the noisy Pissed Jeans of Pennsylvania to their No Age / Fleet Foxes tasting roster. Ross Farrar - Ceremony’s unhinged Jack Kelly type frontman - once stated his intent to write a record “that’s like the Pixies or something,” which seemed like more of a reality this time round now that the dust has settled on the quantum jump from Still Nothing Moves You to 2010’s Rohnert Park, where Black Flag bred with Infest noise gave way spectacularly to quasi-garage meanderings and burst of ‘Punk Rock 101.’ Zoo uncoils with the first single ‘Hysteria’, a two and a half minute early Saccharine Trust style romp that unfurls to the sounds of Farrar’s customary poetic wondering (How will we survive / we continue to ask / no one ever does / no one ever does). It’s anti-anthemic by way of it’s driven guitar and driven Social Distortion vocal hook, clever enough to know that it’s not revolutionary, confident enough to swing it’s dick anyway. In the wake of Ryan ‘Toast’ Mattos’ departure, the approach to guitar has undergone an overhaul. New Draftee Andy Nelson plays strong / weak element to the tested talents of Anthony Anzaldo, together they create a strong British via Wire and Gang of Four vibe apparent on say ‘Repeating The Circle’ or ‘Ordinary People.’ The band’s partiality for Wire stretches further than their Covers EP recording of Pink Flag, as Zoo plays around with sped up ‘Feeling Called Love’ reminiscent guitar lines throughout. Zoo’s wild ambition and sure of itself nature rarely holds up proceedings, yet the four minute diatribe of ‘Brace Yourself’ suffers under it’s 240 seconds of tethered energy, with the final freak out not sounding built up enough to truly raise an apex around the album’s spine.
The shortest track Zoo has to offer would have been one of the longest had it been featured on Violence Violence - clocking in at a hasty 1:37 - ‘World Blue’ crunches into life with a Bob Mould-like stop start guitar line as Farrar leaves behind his instantly identifiable caterwaul of albums past to channel the influence of Panic demo era Keith Morris. World Blue’s urgency is the closest thing to a Rohnert Park relic you’re likely to find on Zoo, signalling the band’s intent for a clean break into ambivalent post punk and beyond. Ceremony are still playing off a quarter-century of music history, yet Zoo finds them gradating away from the cheap guitars and broken noses of This Is Boston, Not L.A. into territories better associated with The Fall or Magazine. To assume the band have laid to rest thoughts of writing more tracks of Living Hell, Nail ilk would be half right, but the overriding thought should not be of heaviness lost, but of re-inventiveness gained. The weighty coffin nail of ‘Nosebleed,’ with it’s sparse, harsher-than-Pixies rumble and thoughtful bassline, acts as a giant sleeper cloistered between the peppy to-and-fro of Ordinary People / Community Service - working in much the same way as The Doldrums or Into The Wayside pt II did for Rohnert Park. As a band, Ceremony refuse to carry any creative dead weight, shedding skin after every touring cycle to colour themselves anew. After five years of chewing on those Greg Ginn licks and throwing vocal hysterics of Danny Spira proportions, the constant evolution has led them to where they are now - refined, concentrated, matured. Zoo is not a heavier album, that’s agiven, neither is it an insistence on playing how they’ve always played. Ceremony went neither Candy Apple Grey nor In Utero, opting rather to remove themselves from the fork in the road and to swan-dive into murkier, untested waters. The results are substantially interesting.
The Real World: Football Football matches are one of the biggest social gatherings in the UK. It’s only when you sit back and take stock of it all, the behaviour at the game is more interesting than the action on the pitch. 22 demi gods and primamaddonas take to the pitch. Coaching staff who believe their job is more important than that of Sarkozy and Merkel take their place on the bench. All in front of thousands upon thousands of punters holed up in plastic chairs. Football, it’s a funny old game. A few weeks ago I was at an un-named Premier League ground watching a team who have struggled at home the past few months. Frustration was high in the stands, and it was telling. Middle age men’s arms were flailing about and their Bovril’s were flying through the air. Cries of “Get rid of it!” echoed throughout the stand. “Man on!”, “Switch on!” and “Concentrate!” are some of my favourite shouts, fans thinking that barking instructions will get their team places. John from the Nags Head Sunday league team telling players who have trained for years professionally how to play, logic doesn’t prevail sometimes. Psychologists claim this behaviour is mass hysteria, the comfort and security of your atmosphere influencing your behaviour. Case study number two being; add loud music and flashing lights and you have people clambering about on the dance floor, pogoing up and down. Big crowds excite people. It also makes middle aged men think they’re ex-footballers turned professional coaches. By James Edwards
THE RECORDS THAT MADE ME
Holy Roar head honcho and Pariso axeman Alex Fitzptrick tells us about the records that changed his life 1. SOUNDGARDEN - SUPERUNKNOWN I’ve been listening to this record since I was 10 years old when I stole it out of my uncles car. It has stayed with me ever since. This has everything. The solos rule, the choruses are huge, they defy genres - they are simply a great metal/hard rock band. Literally the best. Cant wait for them to play Download. This band basically got me into rock music.
2. KORN - LIFE IS PEACHY The most raw guitars, I still cant comprehend what they are playing half the time. The production is perfect. This band changed everything for me - I was into White Zombie, Fear Factory and stuff already, but this had an emotional layer missing in those bands. Obviously him crying about mummy looks stupid now, but at the time it was almost too hard to listen to.
3. SLIPKNOT - SLIPKNOT My generation’s version of Kiss. Insane energy, insane vibe, best riffs, this band have made me want to punch my friends for like 13 years now or something crazy. Every aspect of this band was perfect at this stage. I don’t care if anyone thinks it’s a joke - theatricality in music is awesome it’s entertainment.
4. NEUROSIS - THROUGH SILVER IN BLOOD Bought this on a whim when I was 14 or 15 due to a Kerrang review. This blew everything open to me - it was tribal, intense, the vocals were inhuman, songs lasted 12 minutes but didn’t ever get boring. Live videos from this time are just incredible - search out the one of them playing ‘Locust Star’ at ozzfest....Let’s be honest - no Isis or Cult of Luna record comes close to this.
5. PRODIGY - MUSIC FOR THE JILTED GENERATION This basically introduced electronic music to me when I was 10 or 11. I haven’t stopped loving electronic music since - it has so much energy and passion. There is such a ‘silent message’ behind this record it is untrue. This has as much balls, if not more, than most rock bands.
6. BOTCH - ANTHOLOGY OF DEAD ENDS The catchiest tech-hardcore ever. This again showed me a new level of artistry and intensity. His voice is unbeatable, the riffs sound simple but are so hard - no one has nailed it like Botch did at the end of their career. No one. Botch opened the door to so much technical music for me, yet showed me that you can be technical and stick in your head or be catchy. Honourable mentions - Hatebreed ‘Satisfaction is the death of desire’, Vision of Disorder - ‘Imprint’, Nasum - ‘Human 2.0’