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I s s ue 6 // 2012 T he E nd of t he W orl d


Issue 6 // 2012

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Issue 6 // 2012 Photography

Luc Coiffait Styling

Heather Falconer model

Megan & Kathryn @ M+P Illustration

Sarah Ferrari

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Editor’s Letter

afrique boutique

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otw:swiss lips

end of the couture world

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otw:bas Kosters

environmentally exhausted

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otw:math rosen

boyz noize

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otw:jeremy hanson-finger

strnge

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muted

tupacalypse: Hologram concerts

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sons of the unexpected

karin park

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lara jensen

being there

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modern faces

brasstronaut

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the tricks

alternative endings

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scissor sisters

lessons from the apocalypse

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the cribs

end of the world? or just a reboot?

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glasvegas

once upon a film

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friendly fires

five films that will end the world

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ema

the end of the world actually looks quite fierce from where I’m standing

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bravestation

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spindle introducing

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Issue 6 // 2012 Editor in Chief and Creative Director Heather Falconer heather@spindlemagazine.com 07719 528 622 Art Direction and Design Sarah Ferrari sarah@spindlemagazine.com www.sarahferrari.com Deputy Editor Amy Lavelle amy@spindlemagazine.com Canadian Correspondent Thomas Dearnley Davison Fashion Features Writer Charles Marthews Staff Stylist Rickardo Maxwell Contributing Writers Bee Adamic Nadia Attia Rachel Campbell Jack Casey Adam Felman Ian Greenland Freya Hardy Ben Phethean Portis Wasp Woody Whyte Lizi Woolgar Photographers Jean-Luc Brouard www.jeanlucbrouard.com Darren Skene www.darrenskene.com

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Jack Casey Heather Falconer Jean-Luc Brouard Charlie Matthews

Photography (Cover)

Luc Coiffait

Styling (Cover)

Heather Falconer

5 Sarah Ferrari 6 Thomas Dearnley-Davison 7 Amy Lavelle

Illustration (above & opposite)

Claudine O’Sullivan

for more

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publisher. The views expressed in Spindle are of those retrospective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine. The magazine welcomes ideas and new contributors, but can assume no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or illustrations. Spindle is printed and published in the UK 4 times a year.

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Illustrators Naomi Alessandra www.inkbramble.com Nick Alston www.nickalston.co.uk Mike Arnold www.mkrnld.co.uk Adam Batchelor www.adambatchelor.co.uk Alessandro Bonaccorsi www.zuppassion.com Zoë Bryant www.zoebryant.co.uk Anna Bu www.cargocollective.com/ butherightthing Jo Cheung www.jocheung.com Philip Dennis www.philipdennisart.com Kingdom Studio www.cargocollective.com/king_dom Kate Dunstone www.katedunstone.co.uk Natasha Durley www.natashadurley.com Anna Haenko www.illu.annahaenko.de Scott Jessop www.jessopart.com Laura Kennard www.laurakennarddesigns.blogspot.co.uk Avital Manor www.avitalmanor.com Joseph Melhuish www.joemelhuish.tumblr.com Nikki Miles www.nikkimiles.co.uk Scott Nellis www.scottnellis.co.uk Claudine O’Sullivan www.claudineosullivan.com

Alice Panerai www.alicepanerai.blogspot.co.uk Daksheeta Pattni www.cargocollective.com/ daksheetapattni Kiran Patel www.illustratingrain.tumblr.com Pierre-Paul Pariseau www.pierrepaulpariseau.com Tom Radclyffe www.tradclyffe.co.uk Lisa Romero www.paperbullet.com Erica Sharp www.ericasharp.co.uk Ruby Taylor www.ruby-taylor.co.uk Sarah Ushurhe www.krop.com/sarahushurhe Wagdalena Wolan www.magdawolan.pl Web Design Sarah Ferrari www.sarahferrari.com Thanks to all of the interns who helped out with issue 6 Publisher Heather Falconer Sales and Advertising advertising@spindlemagazine.com Submission Email info@spindlemagazine.com Spindle Magazine is printed by Wyndeham Grange Ltd, Butts Road, Southwick, West Sussex, BN42 4EJ © 2012 Spindle What do you think of Spindle? info@spindlemagazine.com


Issue 6 // 2012

Welcome to Issue 6 of Spindle Magazine: The End of the World. The ancient Mayans predicted that the world will come to an abrupt end on December 21st 2012. Shifting earth poles, collision with the planet Nibiru or galactic alignment: these are some of the things that are expected to happen. Or is it simply Science VS Consumerism; an excuse to encourage consumers to go out and lavish their final days in style in an attempt to boost retail sales before Christmas. Either way, it was an excuse for us Spindles to have an issue based around this theme. In this issue, Amy Lavelle discusses the dead rising from the grave with the use of holograms at concerts, and asks a variety of bands from BLAH to BLAH what they think the end will entail; in the film section we discuss cinematic apocalypses, alternate endings and films that will end the world. (Maybe one more example of how we discuss the theme in the issue?) Since the re-launch of Spindle as an online magazine in March we have gone from strength to strength, thus proving the power of the internet and social networking. A sign of the times was illustrated this year when The Dandy went out of print for the first time in 75 and relaunched as a new online comic. This may well be the end of the world as we know it, but it’s also the start of the new one; where creativity drives the economy, bringing to an end the era of celebrity culture as we see brands such as Bench and AllSaints working with emerging artists to promote their product rather than celebrities. This is the new age: of emerging talent and creativity. Hope you enjoy this issue, and see you on the other side.

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OTW

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Issue 6 // 2012 The last time I saw Sam from Swiss Lips, we tried out a shot in a bar that involved a tropical yolk you had to explode. I didn’t understand the rules and squirmed for a solid ten minutes afterwards. Sam looked on endearingly. This time around, I met him backstage at their high profile gig at Koko supporting Bastille. Sam & Co are the hottest new hip-swinging-unawarehipsters on the music scene, and are set to be an infectious new sound in 2013. They also took up residency in a Brick Lane crib in collaboration with VICE for a month. Call it a trashed up Big Brother, or one of those party scenes in an American Pie movie where they drink out of red paper cups. All jokes aside, it was a ‘music first’ for band promotion, where fans could come and party, eat popcorn, witness surprise DJ buddy guests, win some clothes, swig some cider, and have a DVD sleepover with beanbags. So after a nice ginger beer came the mastermind questions for Spindle’s ‘Ones To Watch’...

Hiya Charlie

CD:UK was awesome and things like this are disappearing because of the internet.

So this is a pretty big moment. Here. In the Koko. With 2 bottles of free ginger beer.

**We take a moment of silence to reflect.

Hiya Sam

I know. We’ve just been on a two week tour supporting Bastille, and it’s finished here, and sold out too… so it’s massive! Would you ever collaborate with a big boy rapper, Sam?

I’d fucking love to. My dream is to be best friends with Kanye West. Do you feel that as a band you missed out on Top Of The Pops and CD:UK with Cat Deeley?

Yeah, definitely. I think it’s worrying because it might signal the demise of everything. It might be part of a bigger picture.

So in your new music video ‘In The Water’, there are girls, in the water, swimming around or possibly drowning. How come you guys weren’t having a paddle?

I don’t think the world is ready for slow motion videos of us under water. That’s third album territory. We needed to put a video on, so found footage that worked with the song. You guys have a great look. Has fashion become an interest of yours now that you’re photographed on a

regular basis?

Doing what we do, you become more aware of how you look. We needed a lot of help when we started to tie us in together though, and Heather (sexy stylist) has been amazing. Are you enjoying all this 90s revival thing going on?

Yeahhh I guess so, but it’s a bit shit that no-one can come up with anything new. At this point a band member comes in and exclaims how seedy the dark red wall paint makes the room look, followed by a member of crew who overhears ‘fashion’ and campaigns that his outfit is “all the rage in New York.” I was in the presence of international fashion. Would you like a Swiss Lips song to be used on a runway?

Victoria’s Secret! Or maybe the runway we saw with you, with the one model who was sulking down the runway. We want her to be the face of our music. Or we’d happily advertise Persil. There was then some chat about Utterly Butterly and fish fingers, which somehow related to artists, advertising and possibly runways, but I can’t retrace how this happened… Conversation turned back to touring, where airport security is a right nuisance. I shared a story where

I was mistaken for a terrorist, but Sam bettered me with a tale…

My friend had a big beard and got stopped, and had to empty his bag. All he had in there was a copy of The Catcher In The Rye and a chomp! Security chat evolved into world disaster, which obviously led us to Independence Day.

We’d fucking love a zombie film moment to happen. We’d get lots of snacks and know where to go. Life is relatively safe and relatively boring, so sometimes you just want that one day where a T Rex runs down the street and you have to just deal with it. So does anything fun go on during a tour?

Nick’s got this alter ego called Brown Steel and the other night it went to Black Steel. He threatened to kill Luke, saying, “I cannot wait until the day I can punch you in the face.” He can’t remember saying this. I let the band know that their rider looks surprisingly small. I was expecting sandwiches.

“You need to be headliners until you get your own sandwiches. One day we’ll get sandwiches!” We predict amazing sandwiches for Swiss Lips next year. TASTE THE FUCKING DIFFERENCE! words

Charlie Matthews Illustration

Laura Kennard

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Issue 6 // 2012 Bas Kosters is skittles, fruit pastilles and haribo combined. With a fashion pick’n’mix in mind, he lives where the wild things are, bringing cuddly woodland monsters and crazy colours from the city to light. Everything is illuminated in Bas Kosters Studio, giving you a wonka ticket for unadulterated fun.

OTW

Born in The Netherlands, Bas earned his degree in Fashion Design at AKI Academy of Fine Arts, with a collection called Dumpster Queens. Moving on to Two Teacups and a Frying Pan, this presentation became an over the top Eurovision pop concert, swirling fashion music and performance together. He’s never shy of a project, collaboration, or stretching the boundaries. Like a Blue Peter after-hours challenge, he’s been involved with an ‘Urban Outsiders’ exhibition, made music as colourful as the clothes, created a smiley faced chair for interior design with a difference, and worked with the mega babe BARBIE! With fun at the forefront, there’s also a politicial note teased into the imagination and method behind the collections, showing that Bas has a sense of intelligence in his fantasy world too.

words

Charles Matthews Illustration

Anna Bu

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LOVE, FUCK YEAH! dives head first into the messed up tangents of passions, sweet and tempting but with the poison apple from Snow White. Punk is given pop collagen! 1,2 TREE COLLECTION presents the cuddly monster who comes from the woods, eats letters and numbers, which in turn takes away our ability to speak. Don’t be quick to call him an alphabet anarchist and thief just yet, as this monster wants to show you the lost love of feeling in the light of judging and abrasive activity in the city. This collection lets the clothes do the chatterbox talking, where nature and the city become Facebook friends. Porcupine style shoes and furry knits find a home with relaxed urban silhouettes. UGLY COLLECTION celebrates how personal the word is, how it’s impossible to define and box, and how we’ve all got a touch of ugly about us. And why not!? The collection is phallic, revealing, dirty but downright FUN! All that’s left to do now is book yourself in for a play date with Bas Kosters Studio!


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OTW

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Issue 6 // 2012

Toronto’s Math Rosen is a composer of genre-bending music for dancefloors and film scores. Confused? Don’t be.

‘I always say storytelling is the most important thing for me’, says Math. ‘ So much electronic music is built specifically for the dancefloor, but the music that interests me is the kind that bridges that world with the world of emotions and ideas, making you dance but also making you think and feel. Music for your brain, your heart, and your butt.’ Math grew up in Ottawa and started making music when his older brother brought home a computer program called Scream Tracker. ‘Trackers are these DIY music making platforms that hacker-types would use to create soundtracks for 3D animation demos. We both started making music that way, sampling sounds around the house with a Radio Shack microphone. One of my earliest tracks was made largely from the sounds of zipping and unzipping the fly on my pants. Way ahead of its time.’ But growing up in Ottawa did have its limitations: ‘people say it’s a small town disguised as a city, I think that’s a good way to put it. There’s a vibrant arts scene there, but it gets restless and people tend to move

to bigger markets.’ Eventually, Math moved to Toronto. ‘I’ve found this city inspiring since I was a kid. It’s love, I can’t explain it. It just looks and feels and moves and smells like a great city should.’ Dancefloors or film scores – which does he prefer? ‘I like it when the line between those two becomes fuzzy. I’ve done a few film scores that eventually made their way into my club shows… I think film music has an emotional energy that’s unique to the process, because it’s the spirit of the filmmaker being filtered through me like a Vulcan mind-meld. I love bringing that fusion of visions into a live music context.’ Up next, Math has two new singles coming out this autumn and is in the process of scoring a web-series, ‘Dick Sibblies, PI‘ (‘It follows the misadventures of an extremely lazy private detective.’) Math says the challenge is ‘remaining unique and honest…trends have been coming and going at an alarming rate in the past few years. It’s a challenge just to keep up with the times without becoming fixated on the latest fad. You have to be able to mind your surroundings and ignore them at the same time.’

words

Thomas Dearnley-Davison Illustration

Jo Cheung

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Issue 6 // 2012

OTW

“I wrote my first book on green and purple construction paper for my father’s birthday when I was three. It was called The Case of the Big Bam. It featured stories about animate trucks that enjoyed going to the market, pigs eating apples quickly, and hikers being frightened of a cave that went “bam.” I wrote some letters backwards and spelled “were” “wrrrr.””

From such inauspicious beginnings, Jeremy Hanson-Finger has gone on to become one of the big hitters in the Toronto literary scene. Hailing from Victoria, British Columbia, Jeremy moved east to attend university in Ottawa before finally settling in Toronto. He’s something of a literary renaissance man, making a living as an editor by day, working on his own novel by night, while also finding the time to launch and co-edit his own literary magazine. ‘We strongly believe that established Canadian literary magazines ignore the humorous and satirical tradition in Canadian literature, and we want to provide an outlet for writers who aren’t afraid to be funny and serious at the same time to publish their work.’ So Dragnet Magazine was born and is going strong, having just published its fifth issue. But launching a magazine and trying to make it as a fiction writer isn’t exactly easy:

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‘It seems more difficult than ever to make a living solely as a writer. And when you do any sort of job to support yourself that requires mental exertion you often don’t have a whole lot of brain energy left for being creative.’ When he does find time to write, Jeremy describes his novel as ‘an inversion of the typical detective novel in that rather than being from the point of view of a professional detective, it is from the points of view of several characters who have encountered an amateur detective. It is more about the amateur detective’s character and how and why she investigates than the murder that spurred the investigation.’ Dragnet’s future faces similar challenges to any other magazine - but Jeremy is upbeat: ‘Dragnet collectively are a little bummed we didn’t get a Canada Council grant this year, but there’s always next year. Over the course of the year we will be looking into other revenue sources, and working on increasing our exposure outside of the Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal literary communities.’ As for his creative future, Jeremy tells me ‘after I finish my novel, whenever that is, I want to embrace my plotless predilections and just work on a series of moments and see where they take me’ Dragnet can be viewed at dragnetmag.net

words

Thomas Dearnley-Davison Illustration

Nick Alston


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Issue 6 // 2012 Photography

Luc Coiffait Styling

Heather Falconer Models

Megan & Kathryn @ M+P Illustration

Naomi Alessandra

Shirt: Jayne Pierson Jewellery: Bjorg

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opposite page left

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opposite page right

Jumper: Gundrun and Gudren Trousers: American Apparel Neckpiece: James Hock Dress: Lucy Liu

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Shirt: Jayne Pierson Jewellery: Bjorg

Shorts: American Apparel Arm Pieces: James Hock White Jacket: ???? Black blouse: ????


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left

Jewellery: Maria Piana right

Dresses: Alice Palmer

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Issue 6 // 2012 Jumper: Beyond Retro Shirt: Agi & Sam

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Issue 6 // 2012

Photography

Robyn Mondesir-Clarke

Styling

Model

Rickardo Mattocks-Maxwell

above

Blazer: Beyond Retro Polo shirt: Peter Bailey Trousers: Agi & Sam

PHOTOGRAPy ASSISTANT

Hype D

Haseeb @ Amck & Romney @ D1

above

Shirt: Beyond Retro Trousers: Peter Bailey

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Issue 6 // 2012

above

Sleeveless Jacket: Agi & Sam Shirt: Beyond Retro Shorts: Agi & Sam

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above

Shirt: The Plateu Jumper: Beyond Retro Trousers: Peter Bailey


Issue 6 // 2012 Shirts: The Plateu Trousers: Topman Belt: Ozwald Boateng

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Issue 6 // 2012

Milliner and costume designer Lara Jensen, only graduated in 2008 and has already worked with some of the biggest names in fashion- Lady Gaga, Peaches and Karl Lagerfeld, to name but a few. Her recent collaboration with Israeli designer Inbar Spector led her to create a collection of decadent and otherworldly face jewellery reminiscent of glittering gimp masks; ‘I like the ones with the stones covering the mouth’ she says ‘They’re like muzzles. The statement is stronger. They go from being passive to aggressive’. 26

You can tell from a glance at Lara’s outfit – giant, fluffy, neon pink bolero, leopardprint dress, lace patterned tights - this girl loves a spectacle. Certainly ‘spectacle’ is never far from her mind, or her work. It’s in the way she moves, and in the way she talks. When she speaks, she speaks very deliberately, like she is tasting each word as she pronounces it. When she’s excited about something, or placing emphasis on a phrase, she opens her eyes so wide that the coloured parts become islands surrounded by white; an effect made even more striking by those heavily pencilled eyes and eyebrows, which look like they might have been painted on with Mr. Geppetto’s detail brush. She is doll-like, nimble and exquisite. Her gaze: penetrating.


Issue 6 // 2012 Words

Freya Hardy Illustration

Alics Panerai

How are you?

I’m really good. Busy. Excited… I’ve been doing press days, interviews, sending things out to various people. It sounds as if your time is being squeezed somewhat.

Sometimes I have a couple of days at a more relaxed pace but most of the time I’m working between 10 and 18 hour days. It really depends on what’s happening. Sometimes they [commissions] all come at once. What happens when someone like Lady Gaga requests a piece?

Usually you get a rough idea of a theme, a couple of times I’ve been asked just to make what I like, which is lovely.

So you like to be given an open brief?

It can be more daunting in a way… my brain is like this vast universe, and I think ‘Gosh, what could I do with a piece of string?’ So it can be even more pressure if you get an open brief but usually it’s not the case. Usually you get a theme or a colour at least. In Gaga’s case I normally submit around nine designs. I might have a day, a couple of days to draw them, and then I send them off. If anybody likes them at the other end then I get told and then I make the pieces. She’s a lovely client. There’s such flexibility in the things I can design and make that she’d be willing to wear. She’s not a dictator – it’s a collaborative relationship. If it’s advertising then the criteria becomes much more fixed and it’s more of a closed brief. It depends on the client.

You strike me as a natural collaborator, would you say that?

Yeah, definitely. I love working with other people on stuff. I get excited about other people’s ideas and I think sometimes two brains can be better than one. I was one of those kids at school who was… I’m very much, is it a ‘praise oriented’ person? Working with other people is a privilege I think.

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Issue 6 // 2012

You recently collaborated, very successfully, with Inbar Spector; how did that come about?

I had started noticing, and apparently she’d started noticing, that whenever an outfit was pulled for a shoot… her pieces would end up matched with mine. I would open up a page in a magazine, or I’d be sent a PDF by a stylist and it would say, ‘Dress by Inbar Spector, headdress by Lara Jensen.’ It happened quite a few times, and I’d sent a piece to a good friend and stylist, Hope Von Joel, who was styling a show. I was looking through all the outfits that had been picked for the shoot, and every time I got something out and asked, ‘Who’s this by?’ she’d say ‘That’s Inbar’. So that night I began thinking, ‘I quite like Inbar’s work, maybe one day we should work together.’ The next day I got an email through from Inbar that said, ‘Hi Lara, I’ve noticed that our work has been out together a lot recently, would you like to consider working with me for the next show?’ And of course, because I’d already been sat there thinking that that would be a very good idea, I said yes. It seemed very, very natural.

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Your work is quite dark, why do you think that is?

Well, it doesn’t look it from this angle. (We’re surrounded by examples of Jensen’s work, and she’s right, in this setting – the small front room of her Clapton flat – it doesn’t.) I was a really morbid little kid… My art tutor would always encourage me in my work, I used to produce so much that they could fill all the corridors in the school and I was always fascinated by war. I was obsessed with the First World War. That might be because of all the stories I was told when I was younger. My mum was always telling me about my grandfather’s history and her Scottish history, she was always going on about Culloden and The Massacre of the MacDonald Clan by the Campbells. My grandfather was the chief engineer on a submarine called the HMS Stubborn. In the Second World War it was hit by depth chargers four times and the engines stopped. My grandfather managed to get the engines started again, but the image of being buried alive haunted me. These stories were all quite morbid. I think my work is dominated by the idea of death…Even when I was young and going to parents’ evenings, the corridors would be lined with pictures of these people having drowned in a submarine, or skeletons and layers of mud from the First World War where they would dig down into a trench and find the possessions of people… My parents were like ‘Lara, could you not just draw some flowers? Could we not just come to a parents’ evening when you haven’t drawn someone dead on the wall…’ I mummified a cat, but I didn’t see it as being disrespectful, I saw it as preserving it. It was stuck on the wall in the art department for quite a while, totally encased. I was given it by one of my parents’ friends because I was obsessed with Egyptian mythology.

Our next issue is entitled The End of the World. Imagine there’s an apocalypse, or, perhaps more realistically, a near apocalypse, what would you salvage?

I’d really like a violin. I can’t play the violin but I’ve always thought I could play the violin if someone gave me a violin. I would take a violin and give it someone else to play for me. I think if it was actually an apocalypse I’d take a shot gun. I don’t think that’s really the sort of thing that you want me to say. If it was to do with art and making I’d have to take my glasses. I’d need to be able to see I think. I might want to take a pencil but then again, I know how to make charcoal, so I wouldn’t really need a pencil. (Jensen retreats momentarily into her own world, she is talking to herself again.) What tools would I take? What would I take that’s beautiful? What would I want to say?

I think I’m a bit funny about knowledge and stuff and I’d really like an encyclopaedia to look at all the things that are in it. I think if I was one of the last people alive I would have forgotten a lot of stuff, and the stuff I hadn’t forgotten I may not have understood. Which letter would you choose?

D, for death! No. If you only took one letter you’d spend all your time wondering what was in the other ones and that would drive you mental.


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Headpiece: Helen Kirkbright Dress & Fur Jacket: Nova Chiu Earrings, Necklace & Rings: Maria Piana right

Jumpsiuit: Nova Chiu Earrings & Head Scarf: Stylist’s own

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Issue 6 // 2012 Photography

Helen Kirkbright Styling

Heather Falconer Make Up

Michelle De Cillo Make Up

Yoshi Yamamoto Model

Paula @ ??? Illustration

Alessandro Bonaccorsi

Turban: ShopFloorWhore Earrings & Necklace: Nova Chiu Dress: Martina Spetlova

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Top: Malene Oddershese Back Dress: Jayne Pierson Necklace: Maria Piana Head scarf: Stylist’s own Skirt: Soojin Lee

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Head Scarf: Stylist’s own Acrylic Collar & Earrings: Maria Piana Raffia Shoulder Piece: Jayne Pierson Top & Trousers: Georgina Hardinge Shirt & Shoes: Malene Oddershese Back

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Issue 6 // 2012

Haute couture is often considered as fashion in its purest form; an outlet for designers to display their finest kooky artwork, unconstrained by reality. But then, with a couture piece setting you back at least 10,000 smackaroonies, can this bizarre industry really be taken seriously, let alone be sustained in today’s economic climate? Words

Lizi Woolgar Illustration

Erica Sharpe

In response to the economic turmoil of recession, the termination of the couture industry has been a real concern over the past decade. With high street branches such as Morgan closing down while charging a mere £30 for a dress, it seems unrealistic to think that people will continue to dole out thousands for a garment simply because it’s one-of-a-kind, frivolous and hand-crafted… Right? Wrong. As Coco Chanel herself said, fashion reflects the world we live in. In this case, it is not the recession, but the polarity of wealth evident in today’s society that is translated through fashion. The modern reality of a super-rich elite society provides the perfect niche for couture. There might only be few of them, but boy oh boy, the inexplicable wealth makes up for the dwindling! The demand for haute couture has in fact risen over the last few years, with designers among the likes of Armani and Valentino achieving notable increases in couture sales between 2010 and 2011. What’s more, the recession primarily seems to affect us mere mortals, whereas the super-rich strata remain practically unscathed.

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So couture has got the economy fathomed, but it still has to face the contradictory nature of society today. As one of the most long-standing disputes in the world of fashion, the couture debate endures. In the words of Coco Chanel: ‘A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion’. Hence, such an economically unviable option surely should never be considered fashion. Restricted to such a small part of society, many believe haute couture is wasteful, senseless and, well, just a bit mad. But hey, the resurgence of couture as of late says it all really; the world is mad. Gautier and Cavalli fall among the designers that thrive off the crazy stuff. Couture is a personal project, a slow-burning artform, that can become compulsive, obsessive, even dangerous. Possibly the most inspiring and gifted couture designer of this decade is the late Alexander McQueen; such an all-consuming industry can be pressurising and unsettling. Couture-extraordinaire Galliano witnessed the dark side of creativity, taking his catwalk creations just that one step too far. In a world where we are fascinated by insanity and

pushing boundaries, there is a line to even the wildest of industries that should not be crossed. In a world obsessed with breaking the rules, this fascination may well drive what is considered ‘fashionable’ too far, resulting in an untimely, premature death of the couture industry. We run the risk today of destroying the exclusivity of haute couture. The minority may not be able to uphold it forever. With couture-inspired pieces filtering right down to the High Street, many will go for this more economically-viable option. Some ‘fakes’ are so convincing, the beauty of couture is being detracted from and, dare I say it… tarnished. Haute couture feels like it may well be hedging its bets at the moment, teetering on the brink of self-destruction. If it continues to outrun recession, the ever more realistic ‘fakes’ may make cracks begin to show. The elitist nature is surely heavily detrimental to society, so perhaps we should consider bringing haute couture to a peaceful end. Or perhaps we should fight to keep it alive and celebrate some of the most intricate, finest, three-dimensional artwork on the planet.


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Issue 6 // 2012 Words

Lizi Woolgar Illustration

Tom Radclyffe

As I dig into my Linda McCartney veggie sausages, I find my mind wandering, as it often does, to the McCartney family’s ‘green’ way of living, echoed in the designs of Stella McCartney. What is the place of our environment in the fashion industry? Why in some cases, such as the McCartneys’, has mother nature gifted us with a cluster of extreme environmental ‘do-gooders’, yet we are faced with realms of designers who couldn’t give a monkeys whether their clothing is slowly destroying our planet, so long as it sells? Now this is somewhat of a sweeping statement, but the variety in public attitudes to sustainability is of great interest, particularly in this society of inexplicable petrol prices and hosepipe bans. Society is shouting it loud and clear guys: we are exhausting our environment!

The global fashion industry generates over a trillion dollars per year through unconstrained energy and resource consumption, yet it has been one of the last sectors to accept responsibility and address global warming. Clothing manufacture has resounding impacts, namely straining water supplies and

water contamination from pesticides, with 25% of the world’s pesticides being used to grow cotton. Designer Katharine E Hamnett has witnessed the devastating effects of the cotton industry in Mali and now campaigns for the use of organic cotton which requires much less harmful pesticides. People Tree, the self-proclaimed ‘fairtrade fashion pioneer’ encourages the use of not only organic, but also fairtrade cotton, to help combat the unjust labour rates in many less developed countries. But we too, as consumers, should hold ourselves responsible. In Britain alone, people buy roughly 2 million tonnes of clothing per year and throw away around 1.2 million tonnes, exacerbating the issue. This is due to the ‘fast fashion’ nature of much of the clothing in Britain, where cheap clothing is produced only to be rapidly replaced by new designs. I for one am a sucker for impulsebuying swiftly followed by ‘what was I thinking?!’ disposals. Many designers, such as Howies, have responded by making organic products that will last longer to discourage this waste-making.

The first real environmental nudge to the fashion industry was in 2007, when Beppe Modenese, founder of Milan fashion week, claimed that global warming would require the whole fashion system to change. The response of many fashion houses was to recruit climatologists to advise them which materials they should be using in anticipation of the forthcoming temperature change. That is, so customers would not be too hot, not in consideration of the environmental impacts. Another response was ironically to use yet more energy by making more clothes. Designers such as Missoni and Diane Von Furstenberg united in support of Limited Edition New York, a new clothing line designed to bring attention to politician Al Gore’s Climate Project. Over more recent years, particularly after the 2009 World Climate Conference-3, sustainable fashion has gained recognition and worth. Pioneered by designers and environmentalists, ecofashion appears to be the new fashion, so we can only hope that such a successful industry will now be used as a powerful tool in combatting environmental change. It is almost shameful, however, that fashion has

become so self-indulgent and insatiable that much of society will only live sustainably as a byproduct of the new fashion trend. With high-profile designers such as Stella McCartney and Chinti and Parker flying the ethical flag, eco-conscious initiatives have filtered straight down to the high street. H&M recently launched sustainable collection ‘Conscious’ and Asos features ‘The Green Room’ on their website meaning eco-fashion (without resembling a medieval farmer) is very much affordable. Livia Firth has been making headlines with her Green Carpet Challenge, by taking sustainable style to the major award ceremonies. Celebrities such as Meryl Streep and Lily Cole have accredited this challenge by also sporting ecofriendly or recycled garments. Endorsed by the innovative manufacturing techniques and materials of today, the fashion world is now able to counteract environmental exhaustion whilst maintaining high-fashion merchandise. It seems we have come to a full realisation that not only will the fashion industry affect our environment, but changes in the environment will also, in turn, shape fashion.

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Photography

Philip Andre Styling

Heather Falconer Illustration

Anna Haenko

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Jumpers & Jeans: Jezebel and Toff Necklace: Stylist’s own Shoes: Model’s own

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Top: Quasimi Necklace: Stylist’s own

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Jumper: Jezebel and Toff Sunglasses: Stylist’s own

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Shirt & Shorts: Quasimi Jumper: American Apparel

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Shoes: Model’s own/Underground Sunglasses & Necklace: Stylist’s own


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Jumper & Jacket: Jezebel and Toff

Shoes: Model’s own Sunglasses: Stylist’s own

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Established in 2011 by London based designer Michelle Blary, Strnge describe themselves as “not just a label”. Through experimenting with the structural shape and design of her garments, Blary focuses on the interaction clothes have with the wearer. Her debut showcase Collection 1part 1 was inspired by water in its many different shapes and contexts. A collection containing a myriad of one-size pieces strictly in black, the dark materials identify the pieces as a sculptural matter opposed to a piece of clothing.

Originally attracted to industrial design, Blary evolved her studies to Fashion Design & Technology at the University of the Arts London. With an experimental nature in regards to design, she feels it a key requirement to renewing ideas and moving forward in order to challenge herself as a designer. With this comes her desire to explore the unexpected. Her broad approach to fashion allows the incorporation of nontextile techniques and unusual materials to be considered within her designs. Blary believes that, “we are in a time where material is so developed that we can make non textile materials weightless and comfortable.” Collection 1part 1 acts as a reflection towards an innovative and fresh approach to design, where the equilibrium between bold and feminine is discovered through carefully thought of choices. Creating attraction and intrigue with her designs, Blary considers the elements a fabric withholds in order to achieve flowing elegance within a powerful structure. In order to find the balance, Blary herself will try on each piece to see how the clothes work around the body as a woman, as well as a consumer.

Collection 1part 1 is a culmination of creating balance with the unbalanced, consisting of round neck cropped and full-length vests, strong angled blazers and attachable collars that are fused together in patent calf-leather, cashmere wools and polyester chiffon. The glossy sphere acrylic bubbles protruding off the fabric shine similarly to the reflection of water. Each sphere placed creating a different situational shape on the body, that fabric alone cannot create. Blary’s selection process with the spheres allow for practicality, accepting the every day nature of the wearer in regards to comfort and movement. Strnge not only provides a label for the consumer to wear, but acts as a protector to the body. Blary successfully combines the regular and the abnormal in order to create juxtaposing garments that cause intrigue in all the right places – just like her acrylic spheres.

Strnge is available to purchase from Primitive London www.primitivelondon.co.uk

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Rachel Campbell Illustration

Claudine O’Sullivan

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Isn’t one of the, much va u n t e d , s i g n s o f t h e a p o c a ly p s e t h e d e a d r i s i n g f r o m t h e i r g r av e s a n d wa l k i n g a m o n g u s ? H e n c e pa r t - t h o u g h a d m i t t e d ly it’s pretty terrifying even without the double whammy of our impending doom- of th e hyste ria su rro u n d i n g th e recent can n i bali stic , 2 8 D ay s L at e r - e s q u e s t o r i e s t h at h av e b e e n s p l a s h e d o v e r t h e pa g e s o f T h e D a i ly M a i l a n d , m o r e w o r r y i n g ly s t i l l , r e p u ta b l e pa p e r s .

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Amy Lavelle Illustration

Pierre-Paul Pariseau

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Issue 6 // 2012

Yup, these are disturbing times indeed. Formerly, it was only Jesus who could raise people from the dead, and Lazarus thanked him for it. Now it would appear that Snoop Dogg has been bestowed with Christ-like abilities after he (some would say ‘cheated’ and used his credit card to) raiseth Tupac from beyond, just in time for him to lord it over the stage at Coachella. Oh now, don’t you fret pets, this isn’t the ‘Tupacalypse,’ to quote Yukon Blonde, nor even ‘Tupac Jesus.’ No, this is merely the latest development in that mystical 3D technology: the holographic concert; a craze that has already swept both the fashion world and the cinematic one. This is why people were once again paying to see Titanic 15 years after it was originally released in the cinema- to immerse themselves in the action and feel like Rose’s sweaty hand pressing against that car window was being raised up in a glorious hi-five to them, the dedicated fans. The wonder of science (and this is where the technical gets slightly fuzzy and is subtly glossed over in favour of snide commentssome of us are working to a word count, after all) has enabled the wealthy and so inclined to flog the memories of the dear departed and resurrect them in holographic form. Nor is this simply a rehash of past events; requiring only voice samples, it is possible to

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put words in their mouths which were never spoken (nor sung or rapped, for that matter) hence Tupac greeting a festival not brought into existence until after his demise. A tad creepy, you say? Ah but for all you naysayers who will argue that watching a 3D Hendrix burn his Fender Stratocaster ‘live’ will still only ever be a clever variation of smoke and mirrors, there are yet more of you willing to pay to watch MJ moonwalk once again – the Jacksons included. As is often the case in the face of such technological developments, there has of course been a clamour of outrage over the ethical implications. (‘Witch! Witch!’ I hear ye villagers cry.) Is this the death knoll for live music? What will this mean for those emerging artists who will have to compete with the greats of both their own time and yesteryear for stage time? Is it ethically viable to resurrect Elvis or just a posthumous indignity on what is now after all a rather long list of ignominies? And why exactly can’t Mariah Carey just play her damn European tour in person? To all of these questions I answer thus: hard to say. Though I will say that when I’m found lifeless on the loo, I like to leave it a good while before I show my face again. Let’s give the King this final dignity, eh?


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“I f a feminist means someone who works a c t i v e ly for women’s decisions in s o c i e t y, then I am a f e m i n i s t.”

My question to Swedish singersongwriter, Karin Park, comes after ten minutes of discussing how she fails to conform to traditional female roles, her perceived lack of decent female musicians currently and how, even after 10 years of working as a musician, she still encounters sound engineers who think she’s incapable of putting up her own equipment. “That would never happen to a man.” Our talk comes ahead of the release of her latest album, Highwire Poetry, on a gloriously sunny day that is entirely at odds with the melancholia that is recurrent in her industrial electropop. But then being raised by deeply religious parents, in a remote Swedish village overshadowed by mountains, amidst miles of dense forest, in a climate that provided 350 days of rain a year, isn’t conducive to making anything remotely cheery. So it’s really no wonder that Park’s main inspiration comes from, “Longing, sadness and frustration.” And that’s not even touching on her education in a Japanese missionary school, cut off from society and pop culture. “I think what I bring to the table is the result of that upbringing.”

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Amy Lavelle Illustration

Sarah Ushurhe

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Much has been made of Being There’s sunny disposition. The anticipation of heat waves, trips to the seaside and girls in short dresses is palpable in their songs. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that they supported the ‘happiest band in Britain’, Noah and the Whale.

Being There genre hop between indie, pop and shoegaze. They met at Manchester University, relocated after to the Big Smoke, and in the past year things have started to kick off. They are releasing their next single with Young and Lost Club, which frontman Sam explains is quite the compliment: “They have an amazing record with picking cool bands before they get big. They’re a great label so we’re very happy they want to work with us”. Sam cites bands from all over the indiesphere as inspirationThe Hold Steady, Pains of Being Pure At Heart and rather surprisingly, The Boss. “I would say Bruce Springsteen was the biggest influence; just the nostalgia and the power of his music”. Their sound is a lot more understated than the Springsteen reference might

suggest though. Single 17 sounds more akin to the Belle & Sebastian school of nostalgia ridden indie-pop mixed with an eye for a killer guitar hook like early Ash.

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Woody Whyte Illustration

Scott Jessop

Supporting label mates Noah and the Whale has been one of the more remarkable moments in the life of the band so far. Sam reflects upon the experience as fun: “Mainly because you’re guaranteed to play to a big audience every night, which isn’t always the case when you’re a small band starting out.” And where does Sam think Being There will be in 5 years time? “At Wembley Stadium, of course. With U2 in support”. Such blue sky thinking seems highly appropriate for a band whose sound displays such innocent, blissed out and unadulterated enjoyment.

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If you’re a pop star, you’d best hide: Modern Faces’ frontman is on a mission. “The music industry is in a bad way man, there’s not much Rock n Roll there - it’s just fucking pop music and it needs a kick up the arse.” He sounds angry about it Pixie Lott must be sick with fear, alas, probably into her Prada handbag.

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Issue 6 // 2012 Modern Faces are being billed, with a host of others, as the start of comeback for ‘guitar music’. They wear their influences on their sleeves (Kasabian, Oasis, Verve) with the ambition and the belief that they can make it up there with them. Lee and the band have already had quite the journey. They’ve earned high profile support slots, including a personal request from their hero Tom Meighan, a sell-out show in their home town and a bizarre feature in The Sun.

Is Lee worried that the same could happen to Modern Faces? “Well obviously when people call you the saviours of Rock n Roll (like NME infamously did with Viva Brother) you take it with a pinch of salt. I think this year it’s different because there are more bands on the scene rather than just the focal point being one band like Viva Brother...It is up to people like Stone Roses and Noel Gallagher who are in a higher position of power to try and help out younger bands.”

But for every guitar band nowadays there is one issue that looms over them: the recent demise of indie has seen a backlash in record sales and a media bias against anyone who dares whisper, ‘I like Oasis’. Although Lee thinks that some of the bands that fell from grace deserved it. Case in point: the band everybody loved to hate, Viva Brother. I ask him how much he cared on a scale of one to ten about them splitting. After some consideration he responses calmly: “Zero. Negative one. I’ve never been interested in whatever they were doing, man. They tried to do the Rock n Roll thing but I think they fucked it up; they went about it the wrong way. It was too manufactured.”

For now, Modern Faces are plotting their success. They’re touring with some festivals planned.

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Woody Whyte Illustration

Daksheeta Pattni

Lee hopes for another big support slot: “Miles Kane would be good,” he adds, in a way that convinces me they probably will. Whether the public are ready for another swaggering lad-rock band just yet is still up for debate.

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British indie pop band The Tricks sound a cross between early Bruce Springsteen, The Strokes and The Clash. The four piece, who met in Hertfordshire, are considered to be one of Johnny Depp’s favourite new bands. Signed to LA based Unison Music, Johnny has very close ties with them and was said to be instrumental in sorting them the deal. They have been recording their debut album in sunny LA, as well as having just finished a tour with 90s band Babybird. I catch up with them to find out how it’s all going. 56


Issue 6 // 2012 You recently finished your tour – how did it all go with supporting Babybird? Which was your favourite city to perform in?

Yeah it was amazing, part of the reason we enjoyed it so much is that we went to places we’d never been before. We really enjoyed performing in Sheffield, we played the O2 Academy then got to hang out a bit… but London’s always good as it was our hometown gig. We got a pretty good reaction everywhere… Doncaster and Oxford.

Babybird were cool, it was funny hanging out with them after each gig and hearing stories about their time back in the 90s. Everyone always goes nuts for that track. What’s the first thing you do when you get to a new city?

Every place we went to is we’d check into the Travelodge – you can tell a lot about the city about the state of their Travelodge. We’d always try and work out what we wanted to do there, i.e visit local football ground, go get some good grub from a recommended restaurant. Your last single was ‘Remember Me’, you released that on a 7inch. Is that the plan going forwards to continue to do this on vinyl?

We loved the fact we’d released this on 7inch; we love vinyl as we DJ in our spare time and thought it would be a nice thing to sell to our fans. It’s a cool thing to have and it’s limited edition. I think it’s a brilliant thing that more and more artists are doing things in a DIY manner and self-releasing on vinyl, we totally support this. I also read that your 7inch of ‘Remember Me’ sold out in Panda Panda in Japan, what’s the story there?

I know it’s all a bit nuts! We didn’t really know we had a fan base out there – we totally were not aware that they knew of us. But Panda Panda contacted us to ask us to send out some vinyl and they sold out in the first day, then we posted some more and those sold out in a day too. We’d love to go out there and play some gigs. So tell us all about Johnny Depp?

He’s affiliated with the label, as the guy who owns the label is a good friend of Johnny’s. That’s kinda it – he came to one of our gigs in London, it was nuts, but we’re asked this question so often. Words

Bee Adamic Illustration

Joseph Meluish

You say you’re releasing a track a month. When can we expect the debut album to be out?

Well at the moment we’ll be releasing a single a month from May, together with releasing a mini EP at the end of summer. We recorded 15 songs out in LA almost over a year ago, we spent a couple of months out there rehearsing a lot, doing a handful of gigs seeing a bit of LA... it was great. We’re hoping to go back over to LA so we can record five more tracks during the summer, so that we’ve got a constant steam of music. The plan is to get our music out to as many people as possible.

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S o m e w he re , in s ide a l l of u s , i s t h at person we know w e ’ re de s t in e d t o be , if o n ly w e w e re gi v e n t he c h a n c e . S ure , t he w orl d s e e s y ou a s t he 4 0 -y e a r ol d p o s ta l w ork e r w ho s t il l l i v e s w i t h hi s m o t he r a nd s u f f e r s f ro m a n u n f or t u n at e a m ou n t of f l op s w e at, bu t y ou k n o w be t t e r . Y ou k n o w de e p do w n y ou ’ re T o n y, t he c rui s e s hip s inge r w ho c u t s a s w at he t hrough t he s c ore s of m iddl e a ge d w o m e n , m e lt ing he a r t s w i t h a s i ngl e t hru s t of t ho s e g y r at ing p e lv ic m u s c l e s . T o n y, I s e e y ou . 58

Inside my head? Oh darling, I’m fabulous. I roll around on shag carpeting in platform heels, in which goldfish never cease to swim and, under the light of a giant disco ball, I shimmy. I shimmy the night away. Inside, I’m all kinds of filthy arse slappingly gorgeous. So when Babydaddy promises me more energy, more dancing, “more Scissor Sisters,” well inside, I’m all in a tizzy: I just don’t know if I have enough body glitter. With an album that boasts more collaborations than Paris Hilton’s personal life (Azealia Banks, Calvin Harris and Diplo to name but a few) Magic Hour sees Scissor Sisters do what they do best: flamboyant, disco pop in all its chart topping glory. “We wanted to make a really fun album,” Babydaddy explains. “A lot of people, they come back to us for a certain reason.”

The fun translates. Sure it has its moments when it misses the mark (The Secret Life Of Letters is a drag of a ballad), but when they get it right (Baby Come Home and Shady Love are right up there with I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ and Take Your Mama) you forget all that, ‘cause you’re too busy shaking it like a Polaroid picture. Most of all, after their dalliance with dance music over trashy 70s inspired pop with third album Night Work, Magic Hours feels like a true Scissor Sisters album and a return to the ethos of their eponymously titled debut, which remains one of the best selling albums in the UK. “We definitely feel like we’re making a classic Scissor Sisters album, which means we’re going all over the place and hitting all kinds of different songs and we’re not ashamed to be doing any of that.”

with Wal-Mart (ya know, that shop that sells guns?) refusing to stock Scissor Sisters and the band receiving no MTV airplay. They acknowledge it in Best Of Me, singing, “You may not hear this on MTV/No big deal,” and Babydaddy says that it’s something they’ve come to accept. “We’re not exactly the kind of thing that goes on the radio.”

It also means they’re unlikely to be feeling much lovin’ from the mainstream in the US; it’s hardly surprising that a country that had a Mormon running for president would be reserved in the face of an outrageously camp outfit, who are named after a lesbian sex position and flashed clenched buttocks on an album cover. Their relationship has always been a rocky one,

It’s enough to make me want to find out what else is in Ms Matronic’s magic bag…

Still, when they previewed Let’s Have A Kiki on Spotify in certain areas, the US wasn’t one of the countries on the list. Thus it’s with a fitting amount of irony that they were chosen to represent the US with their Olympics show over here. By all accounts, this time round, “We’re putting on a real fun show.”

So sure, let your eyes skim over me when you pass me by; inside, I’m in sequins. words

Amy Lavelle Illustration

Zoë Bryant


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If there’s one thing that becomes immediately obvious while watching The Cribs play to a packed out crowd in Brighton tonight, it’s that the departure of Johnny Marr from the band has done nothing to diminish their sheer, rabble-rousing force. If anything, they’re stronger than ever returning to their original set up of three-man band. “One thing I would say is I definitely don’t see us looking to take on another member again. I think we’ve done that now.” Ryan Jarman explains before the show. “Even during the last album campaign, towards the end I was actually really wanting to go back to the three of us, ‘cause it’s more simple. Especially with me being the guitar player- the only guitar player- it was much more rewarding, ‘cause I don’t have to consider anyone else while I’m playing. So artistically it’s more satisfying for us being a three piece.”

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Amy Lavelle Illustration

Avital Manor

2012 sees the brothers Jarman take to the road once again, following their first stint back in the studio since Marr left, touring on the back of the release of their fifth album, In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull. “This record is also so much more representative of our band than what the last one is and you’re always judged on what your last record is, always, so I want to get this one out to refresh how people view us.” It sees the band make a return to the original ethos of the band in more ways than just keeping the line-up in the family. “The last one took too long… This one was all done live and we made sure it was all three of using the same room and we just recorded everything completely live. There was no down time. The stuff we did with Steve Albini, we did four songs in three days and that was completely mixed. That’s the way it should be- an element of urgency in the studio.” The immediacy of the recording process translates to the album, which is filled with those same gloriously punchy pop hooks that they’re known for, which spark the urgent need to throw yourself freewheeling into the midst of the mass. Or, as in tonight’s crowd’s case, gleefully air punching and crowd-surfing- not always a winning combination, folks.

“When it comes to the sound of the record, I like the fact that it sounds more stripped back. When you’ve just got one guitar, bass and drums there’s a lot of space on the record, it feels like you’ve got a lot of room to breathe. I like that.” The band aren’t averse to more future collaborations per se, mind, as Ross points out. “We never really plan do we… It just happens. It’s a small world and everyone seems to know everyone.” There are some reliable constants, though and one of them is that, ten years and five albums in, The Cribs maintain their status as criminally underrated outsiders as much as ever. Not that this is something that Ryan could give a tiny rat’s arse about of course. “Even when guitar music was in fashion, we were out of fashion…. The mainstream has never ever had any appeal to me and I never listen to any music that exists in it. It just doesn’t excite us.” And with a doggedly staunch following as the band has, who can blame him? At any rate, 2012 marks the beginning of a stonking return to form with a corker of a new album that’s impossible to dismiss. Unless you’re in the mainstream, of course, in which case you’re likely to remain wilfully indifferent.

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I t w a s b a c k in 2 0 0 9 when I firs t s a w G l a s v eg a s , at a t ime when b u y ing a t ic k e t t o see Kings o f L e o n , wh o m t he y were s u p p o r t ing , w a s s t ill v a g u ely a cce p ta ble ( in o t her words, p re S e x On F ire ) . In t he wa k e of J a mes All a n ’ s bre a k d o wn , wi t h a s p at e o f c a ncelle d p erf o rm a nces a n d d o gge d b y r u m o u rs of an im p en d ing bre a k u p, t he ch a nces o f t he b a n d s u r v i v ing t o m a k e a n o t her a lb u m looked doubtful and a gr a cef u l b o w o u t , p r o b a ble .

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At times, somewhere around the split from Columbia and being pelted with bottles at V Festival, it even seemed sensible. Luckily though, this didn’t pan out and they’re now once again back in the studio, recording their third album and, as far as can ever be said of a band for whom the term ‘moody’ is most often attributed, they’re happy to be there, as bassist, Paul Donoghue, confirms. “It’s been great doing it again. The four of us playing in a room is where we probably enjoy ourselves the most.”

We’ve heard rumblings (‘best song Allan’s ever written; ‘so good James almost shat himself’) and there are some big promises to be lived up to. “Everyone has an opinion about the best song James has written and I think there is an even better one than the one Rab was talking about then. James has an incredible talent when writing; he dismisses songs most people would kill for and comes back with something even better. And it was an incredibly hard part of a vocal, really stomach muscle tightening long note that held that almost led to his sphincter malfunction!”


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So far, they seem to be making good on their word, as fans at recent gigs where they’ve been sampling their new material, can attest to. “It makes us very proud that people will actually stop and listen to songs they haven’t heard before; they don’t need to give us their precious time but because they do, we’ll always give as much as we can back to them.” Part of the credit for this return to form (lest we forget, they were once lauded as ‘the most important band’ of their time in Britain) may be due to drummer Jonna Löfgren’s involvement who, though playing with the band since the release of their second album, wasn’t involved at the time of recording, has now become an active part of the creative process. The result is a more collaborative effort that

lends new dimensions to their sound. “It’s so much more easier to work on new songs from the word go. James used to have to give us demos that had all the parts on it and we learned to play what was already there. Although he was always open for us to try our own parts, we usually ended up doing what James had already worked out as he had spent a lot of time on it. This time round we are working a bit differently… The songs are sounding better for it.” The question of whether they’ll resign with a major label or go down the independent route as yet remains unanswered, though Paul hints of future possibilities.

“We’ve met some people already but nothing has been set in stone yet. You’d be best asking this question in a couple of months, things can change very quickly in music.” But one thing looks to be for sure; any resurgence of break up rumours can certainly be dismissed. “I don’t fancy going back to building sites any time soon! We’ll keep doing what we’re doing until it doesn’t feel right any more. I think we still have more to say even past this album we’re currently writing but who knows?”

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Amy Lavelle Illustration

Scott Nellis

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I ’ ve b e e n s i t t i n g on this question for some time n ow, d e s p e r a t e l y hoping that at some point (preferably before deadline) enlightenment wo u l d h i t l i ke lightning from the h e ave n s a b ove . Ye t a l a s , n o m a t t e r h ow hard I ponder it, I’m no closer to an a n s we r t o t h i s , m o s t infernal of riddles. So I’m turning it ove r t o yo u , r e a d e r of this article.

It’s a question I didn’t overly concern myself with until I interviewed them at Bestival ’11. Casually opening the conversation as I settled into my seat on the top floor of their red, double decker bus, before I started hitting them with the real zingers, I asked if they were dressing up this year (the theme, if you can cast your mind back, being pop stars, rock stars and divas).

“Rizla came forward to us and said would you fancy curating a night when you get to choose all the artists and we’ll pay for it and we said yeah! Simple as that really,” Jack explains. “We’re all avid fans of dance music, so for us to share a stage with heroes of ours is an honour.” And despite the early hour (mid afternoonish) they’ve already got people dancing.

The answer from Ed: “Um, no.”

Nor are they content to remain behind the scenes as, later that evening, Ed will make it out on stage with Lone, as part of his ongoing collaboration, “I had already agreed to sing on one of his tracks already and it’s kind of sped up the process,“ before all three Fires perform their own set.

“Although I believe the theme is rock or pop star,” Jack mused, “so we could walk free on a technicality. “ “Stars though,” Ed pointed out. “Stars? Bollocks!” “We could just be badly dressed rock stars. There you go!” “A leather waistcoat and nothing else would be great tomorrow.” “Dingle hanging out!” Modesty aside, it thus occurred to me: how the devil do Friendly Fires remain so chronically underrated? Let’s examine their star credentials, shall we? For starters, we’re sat backstage at the RizLab stage where they’ve been asked to curate their own bill: ‘The Past, Present and Future of Dance Music.’

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Amy Lavelle Illustration

King Dom

Then there’s their second album, Pala, which Ed describes as, “Overtly bright and sheeny and more pop,” which has recently been released to critical acclaim.” “I think we’ve just booked our third night at Brixton and that’s selling really well, so for it to have that effect on a live level is much greater than anything I’d have expected.” “I think it has a dance floor energy.” Jack expands. ”As most of our music does, but we also wanted to push the pop end of it even further.”

And let’s not forget the distinctly rock starish bed downstairs, covered in a zebra print duvet that surely, if you t’were peel it back, would reveal the imprints of recently deflowered and vacated groupies and possibly their knickers, optimistically inscribed with phone numbers and left behind as keepsakes, no? “It was as much of a surprise to us as you. I’m guessing there’s a mattress under that duvet. Bed of snakes or something…” Finally (and this is the real clincher), there’s Hurting’s spot on Lauren Conrad’s work out playlist. Don’t ask me how I know that; it’s better not to. Surely, if nothing else, all this suggests they should be striding into the limelight, grabbing Rhianna by the balls and producing her next album? Yet, despite a reputation as purveyors of the most danceable of alternative dance pop, Friendly Fires remain bopping away on the fringes of our consciousness, perennially tipped as the next big thing, yet seemingly overshadowed by their peers. I’m stumped. I hereby hand it over to you.

“We were very conscious of everything being very concise and within a three and a half minute pop song structure. I think if it goes on for longer than that you have to question how good the song is,” Ed adds.

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Issue 6 // 2012 Before Erika M. Anderson became E.M.A. (future pin up of angsty teens), she was front woman of drone folk band, Gowns, whom you may or may not have heard of. If you haven’t, you could probably be forgiven since they ‘selfdestructed’ back in 2010 after just the one album and I’m not entirely sure their live shows, driven by a frenzied chaos that became a trademark, ever made it out of the US underground scene to this side of the pond. That kind of destructive energy can really take its toll on a girl. Exactly how much of one becomes evident when listening to Anderson’s debut album under new moniker EMA, Past Life, Martyred Saints, which could essentially be described as a break up album. (Did I mention Gowns’ Ezra Buchla is also Anderson’s former boyfriend?)

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Amy Lavelle

Illustration

Kate Dunstone

As EMA, Anderson’s sound isn’t worlds apart from what she created with Gowns, suggesting that she was the driving force behind the band. Noise-folk melodies are overlaid with torrid outpourings, more essays than songs- Anderson doesn’t go in for the standard verse/chorus/ verse set up: “That’s just how

I write. I don’t know why, I love choruses in songs but I never write them!.” P.L.M.S. lays bare and gives a disturbing insight into Anderson’s headspace in the aftermath of Gowns’ break down. “Love so much so real so fucked it’s 5150/ But I’m just 22 and I don’t mind dyin/ What does failure taste like?” (California). She alternatively drawls, rasps and croons lyrics that are disquietingly and uncomfortably candid. “I like to push things to the edge of discomfort and I like to say things that are taboo to say… In this age, people are like, ‘Oh well, we get to know you now.’ And I’m just like, you can know the record.” Nor has the live performance lost any of that driving frenetic energy. “I definitely want to do really specific thing with sound on a record and I like to micromanage every single second of it. But live it’s so much more about energy and experience. It’s a lot more raw, it’s a lot more punk rock.” However, when I ask her about her Pitchfork review that labelled her as ‘scarred’, I get a gentle admonishment. “Everyone always asks me about that: ‘Oh what about your Pitchfork review,’ and it’s like, what about our dialogue? I don’t want to be portrayed as a victim, but I feel like even making that record takes strength and took a lot of thought and a lot of will, so I don’t think it’ s quite accurate to be portrayed as… ‘Cause that’s an active record.”

And she has a point. The album may be dark, but it’s not depressing and, ultimately, it’s both triumphant and uplifting; if for no other reason than she came out the other end and isn’t just hibernating under her duvet, licking her wounds and working her way through mammoth tubs of Ben & Jerry’s. Crucially, it’s the differences between her two incarnations that stand out. 2011 was a busy year for her with early and immediate success: featuring in Rolling Stone and winning Yahoo’s title of ‘Most Blogged About Artist.’ Meeting her for this chat, our interview is delayed as she’s already backed up with her intense, pre gig press schedule and, when I arrive, she’s in the middle of filming a video. Even now, two hours before she’s due to on stage, people are already milling around in anticipation and she has to politely ask two men who descend on our table if they wouldn’t mind sharing someone else’s while we do this interview. (She maintains enough anonymity for now though, that they clearly have no idea who she is as they noisily blow her off; an amusing and interesting contrast.) All in all, as EMA, Anderson is: “Just a little more open, or a little less defeated. That’s not only in writing ,that’s going through everything: touring and releasing; being open to press or talking to press, ‘cause Gowns didn’t do that so much. It’s more a holistic change.” Most importantly: “Hopefully it’s going to be a little less self destructive.”

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Toronto four-piece Bravestation have been getting rave reviews since the release of their crowdsource funded debut LP Giants and Dreamers earlier this year. Their ‘quirky tribal pop’ sound is truly unique; but what exactly is it? I caught up with Bravestation’s Derek Wilson to find out more.

Your sound is very unique: tell us about your musical influences and how your sound developed.

Thank you. We’re inspired by so many different bands and eras. Modern acts that have influenced our sound include Wild Beasts, Yeasayer, The Killers and Foals. However, you can trace some of our ethos back to bands like Joy Division, Interpol, The Doors and Roxy Music.

This band has constantly evolved. We began playing New Wave/Post-Punk with more of an aggressive edge. Recently, we’ve shifted into a more psychedelic and experimental pop realm. We try to evoke an emotional reaction for ourselves and the listener through creating intricate and melodic atmospherics vs. playing really loud and aggressive. What other media informs your writing process?

Music videos, film and interesting artwork all inform our writing process on a subconscious level. You use all of these different mediums to represent your music from a visual aesthetic perspective, so they definitely inform each other. I think it’s that combination of fiction and reality that motivate our lyrics and influence us to create a unique world within each song. It’s such a fun and challenging process to shape and paint an aural picture with your own imagined sounds, thoughts and words.

What makes your latest album different from your previous work? What new things have you found or discarded this time round?

Giants & Dreamers is more ethereal than our previous EPs, both of which had more of a brooding New Wave/ Post-Punk tone to them. Our self-proclaimed tribal pop genre descriptor also caught on with the new album, so that was cool! We definitely mixed in more electronic elements including drums and synths to achieve a more experimental and expansive pop sound this time around. We also didn’t limit ourselves with respect to layering instrumentation and pushing effects. What’s next for the band?

We’ve been writing and demoing new song ideas and have been sharing them with each other via the Internet for collective sculpting before we embark on recording them later this year. We’re hoping to release some new songs early in 2013. Giants and Dreamers is available for download now!

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Music videos, film and interesting artwork all inform our writing process on a subconscious level.

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Thomas Dearnley-Davison Illustration

Lisa Romero

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Ever since being seduced by Brasstronaut‘s jazz/pop/ indie/deathpocalypsetronica stylings at Brighton’s Great Escape Festival in 2010, we’ve been eagerly following this Vancouver-based seven piece, intrigued to see where their unique charms would take them next. I caught up with Brasstronaut’s Edo Van Breemen and started off by asking how their unique sound developed: “Our first release, Old World Lies EP, was essentially an acoustic four-piece (drums, bass, piano/vocals, & trumpet), our second, Mt. Chimera was a much more expansive and composed project, adding guitar, clarinet, and strings, but still written as a four-piece, and finally after officially adding Tariq (guitar) and Sam (EWI/ clarinet) we wrote this last one as a fully collaborating six-member band.”

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Thomas Dearnley-Davison Illustration

Zoë Bryant

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Sure enough, their latest LP Mean Sun sees Brasstronaut in epic mode; warm, husky yet sinister vocals and that trademark trumpet are present and correct, with the addition of many more electronic influences and a diverse set of arrangements. It’s filmic for sure, but there are plenty of quieter, low-key moments woven through the grand

battle sequences, creating an album that takes you on a voyage both sonically and emotionally. And with tracks averaging 5+minutes, there’s plenty of bang for your buck. “We had the luxury of taking a really organic, albeit drawn-out, path to Mean Sun; probably the biggest difference, in comparison to the recording process for our previous albums, was that we wrote in a very old but character-rich warehouse space in East Vancouver overlooking the local neighborhood, city sky-line, and harbour, over the course of a balmy summer month.” Sounds like a blissful way to work. And what of the lyrics themselves? Their dark, brooding menace is a real highlight of their work: “I strive as much as possible to convey something visual in my songwriting. Usually the music comes from an abstract mood or emotion, and then needs to be substantiated by an appropriate story, whether in the form of a more straightforward narrative or abstract set of lyrics. I enjoy drawing inspiration from my own experiences as much as I do from history or current events. For example, Francisco is a story about Francisco Pizarro, infamous Spanish conquistador credited with the Guns, Germs, and Steel (Jared Diamond) colonization of South America. After reading the first chapter of that book, this deep and plodding, almost dub bass-line came to me, and the rest of the song was slowly built around that focal point, with the lyrics coming last.” Brasstronaut’s Mean Sun is available now – download a copy and enjoy the ride.


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Humankind’s greatest fear is humankind ceasing to exist. Cinema, as a medium which mirrors its makers’ moods, has been fixated on the end of the world for as long as the cameras have been rolling, and it therefore comes as no surprise that doomsday is a perennial theme on our screens. Certainly, Hollywood can’t stop adapting Richard Matheson’s 1954 novel I Am Legend – The Last Man on Earth (1964), Night of the Living Dead (1968) and The Omega Man (1971) all pre-date Francis Lawrence’s 2007 blockbuster, starring Will Smith – and innumerable other action-packed films have tackled mankind’s last days over the years, such as The Day After Tomorrow, Planet of the Apes, Deep Impact, 2012, 28 Days Later and Armageddon. ‘The End of the World’ is (often literally) the final word in disaster movies. September of last year saw the release of Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia, which told the tale of Earth’s destruction my Melancholia, a giant blue planet hurtling towards it. It is one of a small group of films over the decades which have taken a different approach to our final moments. With this in mind, I present to you three other films that eschew the disaster movie formula.

Last Night (Canada, 1998) directed by Don McKellar, starring Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, Tracy Wright, Callum Keith Rennie, Sarah Polley & David Cronenberg

Don McKellar writes, directs and stars in this tale of the last 6 hours on Earth. The film is an ensemble piece with a difference, the antidote to Love, Actually, Valentines Day et al – following the interconnecting lives of people preparing to meet their maker, crossing off the last few items on life’s ‘to do list’ – whether it be one last Christmas, or sex with a virgin. Last Night is, at heart, a comedy (albeit with a kind of gallows humour), and in making us laugh at and with the people on screen, we see the enormous impact of small kindnesses, and begin to realise the basest of our needs: human interaction. If ever you were seeking motivation to explore an unfulfilled desire or wish, you will find it here. And while you’re at it, pick up the phone and give your mother a call – you’ll want to! Time of the Wolf (France, Austria, Germany, 2003) directed by Michael Haneke, starring Isabelle Hupert, Béatrice Dalle & Patrice Chéreau

Haneke sets his drama in a bleak and unexplained postapocalyptic ‘now’, defined vaguely as either a drought or the contamination of drinking water. A middle-class family flee the city for their country home, only to discover that it has been taken over by another family, who are reluctant to leave it. Anyone who has seen a Haneke film before will be prepared for his stark filmic style, but Time of the Wolf is perhaps the most uncomfortable of all: visceral and unabating in its depiction of the cracks in our veneer of society and civility, of human selfishness and cruelty in times of crisis. The film is made all the more chilling in its statement that, ultimately, mankind will be its own undoing.

On The Beach (US, 1959) directed by Stanley Kramer, starring Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire & Anthony Perkins

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Jack Casey

Illustration

Ruby Taylor

Atomic war is over. The world’s population has been wiped out by radiation. Only Australia is still habitable. Thus, Melbourne is the setting for this drama, as Dwight Towers (Peck), Captain of a US submarine, and Peter Holmes (Perkins), an Australian naval officer, search for remnants of life in America, all the while knowing that it is only a matter of time before Australia, too, is wiped out. And so its residents must prepare their suicide pills, mothers must say goodbye to their children and wait. On The Beach is Cold War fear eternalised on film, and its effect remains potent today. For though the film’s characters are optimistic and hopeful, the narrative crawls with the creeping pace of inevitability.

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You shuffle awkwardly down the line to find your seat, just as the lights drop and the sweet hush of anticipation fills the air. During the adverts, most of your popcorn vanishes like a lost buttery dream. The film begins…

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The film is The Road or I am Legend or even Mad Max (if you live in the 80s). You emerge from the darkness of the theatre, stunned and bleary-eyed; you feel different, new. You just lived through the end of civilisation. The horror of it all is still with you but you know everything will be okay. After all, it’s not real. It’s just a movie. Right? But, what if it was real? What if every apocalyptic movie ever made some how amalgamated into one giant terrifying nightmare, spelling the end of life on earth?


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To be honest, having watched so many films with this theme, I’m pretty much just waiting patiently for it to happen by now. Not that I’m prepared of course; if a huge meteor smashed into the sea, wiping out almost all the world’s population, I’m pretty sure my ‘survival skills’ would have Bear Grills spinning in his watery grave. Fashion a harpoon out of wood? Sure, just let me do my hair first, yeah. Chill out Ghost B G, sheesh. Freudian Bear Grills fantasies aside, what genuinely strikes me about these films is that

they are so much more than just gratuitous horror shows. On a deeper level, these nihilistic visions allow us a vital view outside of the hum drum of our daily lives. The true power of cinema lays in its ability to cast light on concepts either too subtle or too immense for the average mind to speculate upon by itself. In this way, the good old apocalyptic movie does more than thrill us with its disturbing machinations about the death of civilisation: it teaches us about life. We begin to clearly rationalise our own fragility and even acknowledge the perils of human arrogance. This, in turn, unites us; all issues of race, gender and

sexual orientation pale into nothingness when put in the context of humanity’s survival. We’ll be in it together, whether it’s a virus, nuclear explosion or giant octopus that finally finishes us off. So really, if you want to understand and appreciate what it means to be alive, just watch a movie about everyone dying. words

Laura King Illustration

Kiran Patel

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I kicked the TV out years ago. That’s not to say I haven’t streamed the odd episode of ‘Location, Location’ since, but that was (deep voice now) “strictly for the missus”. I’d decided the endless parade of idiots, ‘celebrities’ and celebrity idiots attempting to sing, dance and fight their way into our hearts no longer warranted £140 a year - even if some of them were doing it on ice !! 76

Having long suspected all that reality TV and tabloid culture was making me stupider, it wasn’t until I attempted to run myself over, in an effort to emulate Brian Harvey, that I realised how serious the situation had become. Returning to my first love, cinema, I realised that industry has spent the last decade devouring itself… and we’ve lined up for it. The cinematic landscape is littered with unnecessary sequels, remakes, reboots, re-releases, reinterpretations and ‘re-imaginings’. “Look how much money I imagined.” “Not bad, now see if you can re-imagine some more!” Back in the 70s, a free-falling studio system allowed a generation of driven young filmmakers to seize power, heralding a decade of auteur-driven artistry. Good times for cinema! Jump to the 90s (stopping to watch the Breakfast Club en-route) and Hollywood was once again controlled by media giants, intent on reining in their chaotic studio subsidiaries and standardizing output.


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The result was reliance on remakes and adapted franchises, whose built-in brand awareness could offer predictable profit potential. “Sequelitis” has long existed in the direct-to-video realm (anyone for Friday 13th part VIII ?...no??) but these days, studios position franchise films as tent-pole cinema releases ad nauseam. Five films in, it’s looking like the Final Destination isn’t getting any closer and despite the protagonist’s terminal illness in 2004 hit, Saw, we now have six sequels and talk of a reboot (after a hiatus of just a year!). That’s a Saw film for every day of the week... shit week. July sees the reboot of Spiderman, just 5 years after part three disappointed.

Meanwhile, Disney are systematically re-releasing their back-catalogue in 3D in the wake of Avatar. Itself a “reimagining” of Dances with Pocahontas in Fern Gully, Avatar used super-special technology to print more 3-dimensional money than any film before.... ever! It started a 3D revolution. At least effort went into it. Shark Night 3D, less so. Higher ticket prices = more cash for the studios = more hack-job 3D conversions for us. It’s hard not to be cynical of a system that operates so cynically. Meanwhile, East-Asian cinema is brimming with edgy, creative film-makers pushing the envelope and challenging audiences. Unfortunately their films aren’t in “American”, so we get spoon-fed the sanitized Western remakes.

Bird? Plane? Original concept? ...None of the above. Superman flies again in 2013.

If the forthcoming Oldboy comes close to the original’s power, I’ll eat my lunch.

Attention spans may be getting shorter but they’ll never be short enough for the modern studio exec.

Such lazy output suggests at best an overly cautious system, too insecure to back originality, at worst one beholden only to profit, contemptuous of audience expectations.

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“Attention spans may be getting shorter but they’ll never be short enough for the modern studio exec.”

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I’m not a movie snob by any stretch. It needn’t be French or black-and-white, or about the existential implications of elbows, but I don’t feel any film’s quality suffers from crediting the audience with intelligence. That’s not something big studios are renowned for. In 1980, Mad Max was re-dubbed for American audiences whose heads would surely have exploded if confronted with an Australian accent. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) is a remarkable film by another Aussie director, Andrew Dominik. No doubt the studio fought him on that title (“Why not just Jesse Vs. Bob or Cowboy Vs. Alien - we could make Bob from Mars!!”), as well as the 3hr runtime, meditative pace, and lack of pyrotechnics. They had dollar signs in their eyes when the script ensnared Brad Pitt, but the finished article was not what they expected. Dominik refused to compromise his vision, resulting in a stunningly beautiful, mature piece of work. The studio shelved it for nearly two years before its criminally overlooked, limited release.


Issue 6 // 2012 Such works can never compete with popular culture behemoths, but a little more studio and public support for films of originality, flair and intelligence would surely open the doors for a better overall class of product. Even “popcorn movies” could do with a little more artistry and a lot more smarts. Unfortunately, we still turn out in droves to watch sequels to films, which didn’t merit their original success. The second Transformers made over $800 million, despite widespread derision. Criticisms of non-existent characterization and numbing bombast accompanied condemnation of its questionable stereotyping. Director and producers promised a wholly different approach for no.3...They lied. To their credit they did drop the racist robots. That one crossed the $1billion mark.

Ultimately, money talks and it’s the ticket-buying public that must demand more for that money. Drive was one of 2011’s best. Nuanced, atmospheric and emotive, it’s an instant cult classic. Like Dominik’s film, its sparse dialogue credited the audience with intuition to follow its character dynamics. One American lady didn’t. Expecting something more fast and furious from the trailer and feeling duped by the film’s innate intelligence, she’s attempting to sue the distributors. If successful, she’ll probably be awarded twice that film’s box-office revenue. We’re doomed.

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Ian Greenland Illustration

Nikki Miles

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Film’s fascination with fairy tales has never been more evident than in 2012/13, but these modern movies are cut from a darker cloth. When tough times hit us, escapism is a sanity saver and there’s no better place to shut out the real world than in your local cinema - with a nice ‘bedtime story’. The flavour of the year seems to be the classic fairy tale… with a modern twist.

This year, Snow White celebrates 75 years on screen (she’s looking good on it), and so we’re presented with not one, but two movies about her. Tarsem Singh’s Mirror Mirror is the whimsical, flamboyant take on the tale and stars Phil Collins’ daughter, Lily. Snow basically gets taught martial arts by criminal dwarfs, rescues/fights the Prince and sets out to kick some stepmother butt. All this is done, however, with a surprisingly amusing sense of humour.

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Nadia Attia Illustration

Mike Arnold

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Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and The Huntsman turns Snow into a Boudicca-style evil-basher in the shape of Kristen Stewart (Twilight Saga), and she’s been ‘training in the art of war’. You won’t find Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy or any high-pitched, ear-slicing songs in either of these reboots, although, there is a Bollywood-style dance number in the credits for Mirror Mirror.

On the telly the supernatural craze is also going strong with NBC’s ‘sinister’ cop drama Grimm being screened on Watch in the UK, and Once Upon a Time, which airs on Channel 5 here. The latter involves fairy tale characters living double lives in our modern world, in a town called Storybrooke, and ‘for good to win, [heroine] Emma Swan will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell’.

And remember that story about two greedy kids who get locked up in a nice old lady’s gingerbread house? Well in January 2013 they are older, clad in leather jerkins, and are armed and dangerous. Jeremy Renner (soon to be seen as Hawkeye in Marvel’s Avengers Assemble) and Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans) have become bounty hunters of the supernatural kind in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. This title is R-rated in the US, which will likely translate as a 15 here in the UK.

Mirror Mirror aside, it seems that studio execs prefer to roll out the gritty action scenes, empower the girls, and do a lot of warring, rather than pay tribute to the technicolour, Disney-esque incarnations of the past. Would Charles Perrault or the Brothers Grimm be turning in their graves to see what modern minds have done to their carefully collected tales?

Also coming soon for your fantastical enjoyment is Jack The Giant Killer, which was actually slated for a June release and has since been put back to 2013 (an ominous sign). Directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns) and starring Nicholas Hoult (A Single Man, Skins), this spin on the classic beanstalk yarn brings the fight to us: ‘an ancient war is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants’. Scary stuff.

I don’t think so – after all these, stories were pretty dark to begin with. For example, in the original Snow White the evil stepmother is tortured by being forced to wear red-hot iron shoes and made to dance until she falls down dead. Disney certainly didn’t include the shot of Cinderella’s ugly sisters cutting off their own toes to fit into the glass slipper. If films tend to capture a little of the zeitgeist - and taking into consideration all of the aforementioned offerings - it could be said that we’re a grim bunch ourselves; it seems we like a nice bit of bloody violence before our happily ever after.

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It’s 2012; year of the apocalympics.

The year about 63% of people emerge as lizards and piss chem trails into the sky before running off with our hard earned cheddar. They are, however, the least of our worries, because someone, somewhere, is slipping a DVD into a drive, unaware of the horrors that will befall, dragging them kicking and bleeding into the next epoch. And just like the downfall of everything, you won’t be able to peel your eyes away from some. The rest will just peel your eyes for you. Not all of them are new, but all of them have existence-threatening consequences. words

Adam Felman Illustration

Magdalena Wolan

First is Disney Pixar’s Up. I can’t see the heartless 70% of the world surviving the opening 15 minutes, which appear in the form of a wordless montage, set to stirring music, tracking a besotted couple’s marriage. I’ve seen grown Glaswegian men weep a single tear and reassess their lives before three words had been spoken. In short: the film summarises everything that’s great about being alive and, unfortunately for the world, everything that’s gut wrenching, terrifying and real about it too. This will eventually have catastrophic consequences in a world where feelings are slowly being edged out of fashion. Not only will this make everyone die of pure Pixar loveliness, but it will make everyone realise what they’re missing in the process.

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At the other end of the scale, films about porn can be very entertaining, when handled (gulp) with a wink and a smile. When they take it upon themselves to summon all the grimness they can muster, it rarely breeds watchable results. The Serbian film A Serbian Film will finish off the other 30% through a taste invasion. I’m talking about seeing things committed to celluloid you will never be able to un-see; when a sex scene involves an infant, a certain fabric at the seams of society is unravelling, rapidly and quite honestly, this film might be the final nail (and I use that word very carefully) in the coffin. Tommy Wiseau’s legendary masterflop, The Room, is a film so terrible that the questions that arise regarding its authenticity as a hard hitting relationship drama/ funniest film ever made, challenge not only cinematic form, but art as a whole. Is it on purpose? What is funny? What is a film? Who is Tommy Wiseau? Why does his face look like that? And why is this massive crater appearing in front of me, threatening to swallow everything? Is it irony? Is the Earth crying out from sheer awful?

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Little Nicky will take out any hope of an afterlife. Hating on this film (and Adam Sandler in general) is something of a fashion and it’s sort of hackneyed to even bring it up. It’s just too unappealing not to. It’s presentation of a mawkish, badly realised underworld is so risible that it genuinely takes credit away from the concept of an afterlife. So when the world does end, that’s it. I’m setting Adam Sandler on fire way before Tommy Wiseau gets a chance to end everything. I want to take credit for that one. And finally, a film that shows a post-apocalyptic landscape so bleak that humans will set about completely ourselves out of existence just to avoid it: The Road is by a very long shot the bleakest, most joyless experience I’ve had in a cinema. That’s not to say it’s a bad film: it’s masterfully crafted and well acted. It just sucks your life out through your face. That said, when I saw The Road, there was one thing that reminded me everything was going to be okay. During a heart-wrenching, pivotal scene, someone in the auditorium emitted a fart so loud that for a second, amidst the gales of laughter, I forgot that Little Nicky existed. And it made me realise that the probability of the world ending was pretty minimal and I should just get on with my life.


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If I told you the end of the world was nigh, what would you do, and why? I personally would reach for my copy of Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia. ‘What did Kirsten and Charlotte do when they found out another planet was hurtling towards earth at a rate of…’ Oh yeah; they argued, they meandered a little, they went horse riding and then they joined hands underneath a teepee and died. Their last few hours on earth were an absolute hoot, and I really must NOT take advice from those two ever again! 89


Issue 6 // 2012 Like, why so vacant girls? If the world is about to end you do not check out of life and spend your last few hours on a golf course. That’s just sad. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade – obviously. So if you find that #theendoftheworld is trending on Twitter one day, take a short moment approximately 140 characters in length to suck up the hurt and plan yourself one crazy memorable last hurrah! The end of the world actually looks quite fierce from where I’m standing… John Martin’s Tate-exhibited ‘End Of The World’ oilpainting on canvas (commonly known as The Great Day of His Wrath) might well be what a lot of people picture when asked to describe what they think the end of the world will look like. And it’s kind of sexy, no? I don’t know if it’s the delicious use of colour, the kinky little abs blast class being held above a ravine, or the thought of the world coming crashing down on itself. It might even be Swedish singer Loreen’s new single Crying Out Your Name that I’m playing in the background that is driving me into a state of uncontrollable sexual euphoria (and yes there is also a burning desire in me to key an ex’s car – or face) but with all those spikey elements thrown together into such a clusterfuck of heightened emotion and apocalyptic splendour it is hard for me to envisage anything better than departing this mortal coil with one almighty big bang! Not convinced? Well, humour me why don’t you and take a moment to picture Helen Mirren’s Caligula character, Caesonia, dancing up a pregnant storm to Britney’s ‘Till The World Ends’ as oil-painted volcanoes erupt and centuries-old buildings crumble all around you! The end of the world looks pretty amazing from where I’m standing when it’s painted by John Martin.

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Portis Wasp

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Philip Dennis

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It’s not only John Martin’s startling vision of the world quitting itself that tickles at my fancy place; a place that caters to many a flavoured fondant. Photographer David LaChapelle’s pop art collage ‘The Raft of Illusion: Raging Toward Truth II’ is yet another fine example of an unimaginable tragedy - this time played out on sea - that not only thrills me but also leaves me spectacularly thirsty for more. And it’s not like there’s a shortage of Evian to be consumed here either… Commenting on the piece himself, David explained; “We all go through storms in our life and I’m just giving my personal interpretation. Things happen to us, dark times or storms through which we either drown and die, or we rise above, make it to the shore and gain empathy or enlightenment.” Honest words for sure from a man whose creative mind I need to marry one day. But when a 200ft fashion shower from God comes crashing down onto your pleasure cruise and rips the Chanel off your back do you just sit tight with your tits out and try and remind yourself what that Life of Pi guy did? Or do you pray for salvation in the shape of a corrugated cardboard life vest and question where the horse came from and why he’s speaking in German??! The answer is: you do neither. In fact, if you have ANY sense, you’ll ride that Moby Dick of an inconvenience for all its worth and slip ‘n’ slide your way to a heightened state of consciousness! After all, if you’re all going down with the ship you may as well drown yourself in ecstasy. And if you survive? Well, then there’s this kinky little abs blast class next Tuesday above a ravine which we should totally go to. Oh, and bring a loin cloth!


Issue 6 // 2012

91


Issue 6 // 2012

in 92

e l d n pS i g n ci u d o tr photography

Darren Skene


Issue 6 // 2012

93


Spindle Magazine Issue 6  

Spindle Magazine promotes emerging talent across the fields of fashion, art and music. This issue explores the theme of 'The End of the Worl...

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