Pornography for Cowards

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We’re live with the pornographyforcowards show. A new weekly show, every whenever the fuck we want.

THIS IS A TRIAL, IF pornographyforcowards FAIL, THEY WILL BE SENT TO THE SLAUGHTER. 

Last night we did a test session on CollassalSquid.Net’s online radio station. A three hour plus test, I should add. It went well! Now that we know that it’s possible we’re going to go back to the drawing board and hopefully return in a couple of weeks with a much slicker format.

We’re often asked for reviews or shares by new bands but seeing as the zine is so sporadic now it feels like a radio show is the best way forward. Expect chat, new bands, classic punk goodness, and hopefully some sessions/interviews in the future.

Tune in, drop out.

Hey everyone,
 I’m moving house on Saturday and would clear some space than drag the merch box with me so I’m selling the latest issue for £1 plus postage. Lovely stuff.
Interviews with The Smith Street Band, Blake Schwarzenbach (of Jawbreaker and Jets To Brazil), Wade etc. Tour diaries, reviews and all that. We’ve also got contributions by Bandit The Panther, Katie Malco and WOLF MASK.

 Store.

Hey everyone,

 I’m moving house on Saturday and would clear some space than drag the merch box with me so I’m selling the latest issue for £1 plus postage. Lovely stuff.

Interviews with The Smith Street Band, Blake Schwarzenbach (of Jawbreaker and Jets To Brazil), Wade etc. Tour diaries, reviews and all that. We’ve also got contributions by Bandit The Panther, Katie Malco and WOLF MASK.

Last winter we caught up with Sam Chappell (Bass) and Jake Lucas (Guitar) from Dead! just after they came off stage from the final show of their most recent tour in London. We first wrote about Dead just after they formed in 2012 and it’s fair to say they’ve gone strength to strength ever since, releasing two EPs and touring the country multiple times.
Stream their latest mini album ‘Tu Me Manques’ on the Rocksound Website.In the van we talk about comic books, touring, getting intimate with kangaroos, the Ian Watkins scandal and more - read the full transcription after the jump. [[MORE]] I know this may be common knowledge to a lot of your fans but lets start from the beginning - how did Dead! come about?Jake: Oh Jesus, this is something that’s actually been covered in PFC before, way back when we were a fucking…Chappell: Baby band!Jake: Yeah, a baby band. Basically we were all in south coast / Isle of Wight bands of various genres who all met their demise and we ended up meeting each other at (Southampton) Solent University - well, the four instrumentalists did - and Sam Matlock (guitar) happened to know Alex (vocals) from previous musical endeavours and it all sort of fell together. It’s really weird as there’s such a range of backgrounds within the band, I’m the guitarist in Dead but I used to drum in a metalcore band whilst the others have been involved in indie music, dance stuff…Chappell:  Silly DJ stuff.Jake: Yeah, we’re a not super super group.What’s changed since the last time we spoke?Chappell: Better shows, better songs!Jake: Just two years of hard work really! Just gigging a lot, slogging through to anywhere we’re wanted, we’ve just done a twelve day tour with a band from Bristol who we’re really fucking stoked to be with called Ashestoangels, which seems to be becoming a yearly thing. Chappell:  We got to records a six track mini album with Dan Weller who’s worked with so many of our favourite bands…Jake: It was a bit of a career defining moment, to sit there in this fancy London studio and have it hit you that ‘Wait, FUCK, I’m in studio blah with this guy recording a thing’ and then getting played on Radio 1… it was all a bit surreal. I’m waiting to open my guitar case and see Jeremy Beadle pop out…Chappell: I still haven’t heard us on Radio 1 so I don’t believe that it’s actually happened. I think it’s just Isle of Wight Radio that’s been playing us and…Jake: That has happened!Chappell:  … And they’ve just been pretending that it’s Radio 1 to get the numbers in. Jake: Yeah, It’s Radio 1.23.Come on, you know the Isle of Wight doesn’t have radio technology yet. Jake, you mentioned that you’ve played drums in a metalcore band before - how’d the jump over to guitar happen?Jake: It was a case of my old band ending in a trail of smoke and fire and drama like many young bands do and I was just looking for a complete change really. I’m a bit of a weird kid and drums are cool but unless you’re doing something based on all the strange prog rock time signatures it can become a bit monotonous but with the guitar I can piss around with pedals and the like. Some of the guitar on the new record is pretty out there in terms on tones and stuff.How was recording with Dan?Chappell: It was really good! It was the first time that someone really ripped apart our songs apart and gave us confidence in them. He helped us try new things. We got really fucking drunk whilst recording and he was doing stuff like pouring tequila down Sam’s throat and it resulted in some of our best takes.Jake: I remember one of the guitar songs - Alaska, I think - you can hear lots of bum notes in the background, which was something he wanted, as he was standing behind me and shaking me around whilst I played. He wanted that imperfect vibe. He was the guitarist in Sikth for a long time so he has that background in experimental rock and he’s not afraid to fly in the face of tradition. It’s quite inspiring to work with someone who gets that you want to try something different.Chappell: He has some fucking awesome inspirational quotes like “This chorus, it’s amazing. You can have sex to it!”.Jake: He’s all about vibes. He firmly believes in how a song should make you feel.Tour first EP had a very heavy My Chemical Romance vibe to it, whilst the new material has hints of Letlive. in there - do you think that you’ve started to find a more natural Dead sound now?Chappell: Definitely! I think we all have different ideas about how we should sound but I think we could sum it up as if you took a pop kid to a punk show and then sent him home to use his pop knowledge to write some rock songs…Jake: It’s equal parts the bands we all grew up with and the bands that we’ve experienced whilst we’ve been together like Letlive. and Fake History. Their sound and their stage presence blew our mind and, whilst we haven’t abandoned our influences - at heart we still love a good chorus - we’re not afraid to scream a bit now.Chappell: Balls. We’ve grown balls.Jake: We love music so much, it’s just trying to fit it all into one pot and seeing what happens.Chappell: It’s that classic thing that all bands say, that we’re our own favourite band. We’ve taken what we like from this band, that band, that other band, threw them all together and made a massive fucking explosion.Earlier this year you all lived in the same house - the Deadhau5 - but recently you’ve split yourselves between Southampton and London. How has that affected the band?Chappell: It was hard at first.Jake: It was horrible for the first half of the year whilst we were trying to get to grips with it logistically. When you move to a new city  your poor as shit, you have to find a job and you need to get your feet on the ground but it eventually came together. Now it’s like we have two home towns which is really lucky as there’s the three of us keeping it true down in Southampton whilst the other two are up in London, making friends and pushing the band there. We just played Surya (near Elephant and Castle) and it felt like a second home town show.Chappell: It was cool.Jake: Maybe one of us should live in each city along the south coast. Bagsy not Birmingham.Chappell: THAT’S NOT THE SOUTH COAST.Jake: Oh shit… true.Chappell: It’s good. The only difference is the social side of it all. Where we would use to sit in the living room and play on the Xbox instead of practice, now we have to play music when we’re together as we don’t have the time to hang out like that.Jake: Oh yeah, things have become more frantic. Wherever you are you need to post merchandise or fix the van or reply to an email…Chappell: It’s a good franticJake: I wouldn’t change it for the world but it has made it quite difficult to just be in a room as five guys but this tour has helped find that ‘friends’ vibe again. It’s a lot of growing up really, we’ll have to go into the future and see what happens. The world is a small place now with instant messaging and emails which helps. It’s not that difficult.Chappell: But that is the biggest problem really. We’re all really useless at communication. When we lived together we would see each other in the living room and start bouncing ideas around but now someone will text someone else and… they won’t reply or their phone will be broken or…Jake: …they’ll be at their day jobs and they won’t see it before it’s too late but that just comes with being young guys who are, let’s be honest, just shit at life. We’re still learning how to do our own washing let alone run a fucking mercy store and stuff like that.So how come Scott (drums) isn’t on this tour? Chappell: Because he’s a massive sell out… nah he’s at work. You’ve been friends with us for quite a while now so you know all the shit that’s gone down but we had a lot of equipment stolen a while back and it was mostly drum stuff. Scott works in a part of Southampton where you just do not get time off in December and he couldn’t afford to quit his job - he wouldn’t be able to afford his rent and we’ve got recording debts now so…Jake: It sucks because we don’t want to be that band who says ‘I’ve got to go and work, I don’t want to go on tour’ but he is so bummed out that it’s happened. He’s almost allowing us to do this tour though.Chappell: It’s quite noble of him really, turning around and saying ‘Go ahead and do this tour for the good of this band’ and not letting it hold us back. He’s been on the phone to us every day.Jake: It has changed the dynamic of the tour a lot - it’s like missing a limb. To lose that strong, dynamic, two year old relationship with someone like that… when you know where they’re going to go in a song and how they’re going to be in the morning when they’re tired and haven’t showered, it makes all the difference. We’ve got another guy filling in, he’s from a wicked Southampton band called Elements, and don’t get me wrong - Ash is absolutely brilliant - but I miss my bro.
Scott is strong and noble, like the lion.Jake: Yeah exactly!Chappell: Scott’s not a lion!Jake: Scott strong like ox!Chappell: A beautiful ox.Jake: Tonight’s the last night so we’ll back with him tonight.Chappell: I’m just going to jump on his bed! Fuck him getting up at 6.30 tomorrow.Jake: He’ll be ours again.Chappell: I would happily cuddle him right about now.You touched on running the merch stand earlier, now you always talk about receiving a lot of gifts from your fans. How does that make you feel?Chappell: Guilty!Jake: Definitely guilty. Chappell: They’ve already paid to come into the show and buy a tee shirt… don’t get me wrong, it’s all absolutely amazing, but it’s like what can we give back to them? We’ve started giving out Christmas cards to people but…Jake: The problem is when you’re on tour you sleep on a persons floor, you use their showers, their water, their heating, their electricity and although you might leave some merch behind and such, you can never really give back as much as you take. As much as we give ‘the gift of entertainment’ , it’s not enough. Like Chappell was saying it feels incredible but people are making us out to be better than we are. We’re just five humble dudes that want to play loud music. Please don’t ever think that we’re better than you.Chappell: Fuck, you’re better than us.Jake: Exactly! You’re the ones going to shows and supporting music. There’s a lot in this culture of idolising rockstars that’s bullshit.Chappell: It’s quite funny at times. Jake works at a bar so he doesn’t get it anywhere near as much but sometimes we get fans visit us at work and it occasionally gets us in trouble as we’ll be talking to a fan for a while when suddenly the manager will appear and tell us to get back to work. Jake: It can be quite funny.Ok, touching on the fans… shit, that’s a terrible choice of words. Chappell: English motherfucker, do you speak it?With the Ian Watkins scandal going down…Jake: Oh fuck, you’re going there. Well I guess someone had to.You do have a young fan base and as Matlock posted earlier on Facebook (about needing a place to stay with someone over the age of 18), did it make you think about how careful you have to be with your fans nowadays?Jake: Oh yeah, you have to be incredibly careful because of cunts like Ian Watkins who give musicians a bad name by fucking abusing their fan base.Chappell: Our relationship with our fans is purely platonic. I’m going to go off on a tangent and say that it feels like your a godfather and you’re watching this young lad or young lady growing up. There’s a connection, you love them and you want to see them live a wicked life and do well. You don’t even have to know a fans name to want them to do well.Jake: Some of them have really confided some really dark stuff with us. I suffer massively from depression and one of the things I thankful for is being able to help our fans with their own depression. They view us as people of authority and confide in us and being able to help them makes my own existence worthwhile, to know that we’re helping people.Chappell: Music has always been something to get hope from. When you’re a kid you get lost in the tracks of your favourite bands and you listen to it on repeat for days as a form of escapism. I’d like to think that some of our fans can listen to our music and feel the same thing.  But then you get dickheads who abuse that power…Jake: It is something we feel very strongly about. I don’t know if I said it before but we are very down to earth dudes. We were losers at school, and we’re losers now. The only thing that’s changed is we get to be losers on stage now.Chappell: The only two friends we have that aren’t in the band are our house mates. Actually no, one of them’s your (Jake’s) girlfriend…Jake: …and the other’s someone who I work with. Back to the original question, we do have a young fan base and we’re very aware of that but I think it makes us work harder to be good people because there’s so many shit people in both this world and this industry, so many fucking ungrateful crooks and scammers, that if we can fight that then I think we’re doing ok.When fans confide in you do you ever think ‘well this is lovely but… I can’t carry this weight’?Jake: That one is the quintessential rock star connection thing. Being a fan of underground bands that are less larger than life and more approachable  - local heroes, I guess, as opposed to national icons - it does get difficult sometimes. There’s time when you… for example, there’s been some shows on this tour where shit has gone really fucking wrong. We got hit by a truck, we lost two guitars at our first show, we had another replacement drummer pull out, we all got ill and fucked our throats, got pulled over by the police, had shit from the insurance company… we’ve been so down in the dumps about it all that sometimes someone will try to get your attention and you just don’t have the time to stop and chat because you’ve got to be on stage fixing this thing so the show actually happens but I’d like to think that for every person we accidentally disappoint we make it up to them in some way. We never stop trying.Chappell: We get sent messages saying ‘oh, but you don’t talk to people at shows anymore’.Jake: We don’t expect people to want to talk to us.Chappell: It’s awful when it happens but when you go from being the first band on and your only responsibility is getting on stage and plugging in to headlining and all the pressure to put on a good show… it takes time. Everything needs to be working, things need to be fixed, hell we even carry shouldering irons and a toolkit round with us now. Luckily we’ve got our good mate Grahem who’s a gem of a man out with us who has saved the show countless times this tour. Jake: He’s been running around like a blue arse fly fixing amps and monitors, and keep us sane on this tour.Chappell: When we’re all down in the dump he manages to cheer us all up. People will joke but we’re all very emotional dudes but this means everything to us. When things go wrong it hits us hard.Jake: Like a truck!Alright, let’s roll with the truck story then.Chappell: Basically, we were speeding at 90 miles an hour down the motorway and this badass 50,000 foot truck ploughed into us at lightning speed, sending us over the barrier and everyone else was dead so we had to contact a fucking wizard to get our souls back from Davey Jones locker…Jake: Nah but…Chappell: Alright, we did get hit by an 18 wheeler truck and it did cause problems but we had a show to get to so we just picked the pieces of glass out of our skin and out of the window and put it in a box and worried about it later. That night in Leeds we had two people in the van at all times because we had a window out and you could see people looking in and waiting to see what they could steal when we left… it was scary.Jake: It was like vultures around a wounded animal. It was scary, that is never a fun position to be in.Chappell: Jokes on them as all our shit is broken.Jake: It was sorted in the end though. We visited Durham on this tour and the stereotype of Northerners being super friendly is so, so true. We got sent village to village until someone could help us and now we have a solid aluminium plate instead of a window. I think it’s a fair game though as our van is now zombie proof to an extent.Chappell: Only on our side though!Jake: It’s all on the side Chappell and I sit on so we’re safe. And the broken guitars?Jake: My guitar is very, very old and I love it very much but it’s had one hell of a life. It came to me from Seattle in a soft case which is a terrible way for an instrument to travel. It’s 14 years old and I’m 21 so it’s been around for two thirds of my life span. At our last hometown headline show someone politely dumped an alcoholic beverage on it and it’s rusted to fuck. We’ve had problem since then as the electronics keep on cutting out. I’m a bit of a gear geek so once I get home I’ll fix it but it’s meant that I’ve had to do this tour with a back up guitar so there’s that pressure of ‘shit, if the back up goes, I don’t have a back up for the back up!’.Chappell: When we started the band, Sam Matlock and I both bought new instruments to kind of like step it up a notch but we also had no money so we bought the cheapest good instruments we could.Jake: They’ve just suffered for two years living in soft cases. Look after your gear because there’s only so many times they can be wedged up against the sideboards of a van before crap out on you.To be fair I have seen Chappell’s bass being run over by a taxi.Jake: Oh shit yeah! Life will happen to your stuff.Chappell: Run over by a taxi, hit with drum stuff… fair play to Squire, their basses are made like brick shit houses. Jake: It’s still going man.Chappell: The only downside is that it wasn’t good enough to record the mini album so we had to buy another one for that but it’s like any trade - you wouldn’t leave an electric drill out in the rain, you’ve got to look after your tools.Alright let’s talk about comics! What have you been reading lately?Jake: See I’m kind of out of the loop compared to the other guys. Matlock, Scott and Chappell are well into their geekery and I’m much more of a video games guy but this tour I’ve been reading a lot of Marvel: Civil War. I’m going to put it out there and say that I’m against my bandmates here who are all about Marvel - I’m a DC man.Chappell: Woah now, I’m all about Vertigo now.Jake: Fucking Hipster. I don’t even like comic book heroes - I’m all about the villains. I don’t know what that says about my childhood but I’m much more interested in the scarecrow or the joker or venom. I love villains man, they’re the best.How can you not love the Joker after the Death Of The Family arc?Jake: Exactly! I recently re-read The Killing Joke and played the Arkham games lately. I just love everything about that universe as I’m a bit of a nihilist, anything that’s dark is good.Chappell: There’s some fucking awesome stuff coming out. Have you read Bedlam?Jake: Yes! Chappell: It’s fucking awesome! I cannot even put it into words.Jake: There’s also the classics like Tank Girl…Chappell: Tank Girl is basically who we all want to be. We all wish we Tank Girl.Jake: We all wish we were punk enough to get away with being like that and that attractive.So you want to fuck kangaroos?Chappell: FUCK!Jake: Fuck it, I’m up for that. Put that in print, I stand by my convictions. I stand by my statement as a kangaroo fucker.Chappell: Oh shi…Jake: YOU KNOW WHAT WE MEANT DEVON!Transmetropolitan, yes or no?Chappell: I haven’t read that yet.If you like Tank Girl you’ll like this. Set in the future, very gritty, all about gonzo journalism.Chappell: I’m liking the sound of this. I know it’s fucking geeky but there’s nothing better than piling in the van after a mental gig and reading Deadpool. Jake: Oh shit how could we forget Deadpool?Chappell: Deadpool is just crazy. Have you read the one where Deadpool kills all the presidents? Jake: When they were all zombies!Chappell: That was so cool.Jake: The best comic arc I ever read was Cable & Deadpool when he was going through his messiah phase and building a haven for all the geniuses. That arc taught me that comics can actually be deep. I was very naive and I saw this guys reading and thought ‘these are just colour pictures’ but I’ve been converted so I take everything bad I ever said about comics back.Chappell: There’s some fucking good stuff coming out.Jake: I just wish that hollywood would leave them all alone. If you’re going to do it, do it well. Chappell: Leave Marvel and DC alone!Alright, saying that - what would you rather have, another Batman film or a Dark Justice League film?Chappell: Tough one.Jake: When Superman gets involved you know there’s no way he can lose. He’s virtually unstoppable so it doesn’t really interest me. Although I said that I’m heavily DC I’ve had my Batman film craze sated. I can accept that now. I want a dark Spiderman film where Venom just eats brains and shit. I want an 18+ horrible, dark Spiderman film. It’ll never happen so I might have to write it.Or a decent Punisher fim.Chappell: Fuck it, I just want a Civil War film! How fucking good would that be? Jake: Why would you make three films out of the Hobit when you could take such a rich story as Civil War?Chappell: You’d need the entire world of actors to take part in it but the money it would make! Or they could do the Civil War films and then bring out a TV series dedicating one episode per character and showing the action through their eyes. Jake: That could be cool.Chappell: Sod it, I’m on it. I’m leaving Dead, I’m going to write this script.Jake: One thing about living in a shitty punk house is that we don’t even have a TV. I haven’t even seen an episode of Walking Dead yet.Chappell: I saw one episode of that and thought it was really good. I don’t know how it is now but I saw an episode where everything went to shit and they crashed their airplane and suddenly…Jake: Samuel L Jackson came out all pissed off?Chappell: Yes, Samuel L Jackson bought out his A game. I’m a big fan of graphic novels and their TV adaptation becoming more popular because it’s such an art form that deserves to be recognised. I’m just waiting for decent comic book to video game crossovers to come out now, Marvel vs DC is not enough. Give me an RPG, something I can get lost in for hours.Would you ever do a Dead comic, like MCR did with the Killjoys?Jake: I don’t know, I think it’d feel like we were ripping them off somewhat. If we did it completely our own way then yeah, but otherwise…Chappell: I’d like to but then again I like doing the artwork side of it all, I’m the graphics guy of the band. One day I want to write a comic. I’m always writing down ideas but it’s just the time factor. Jake: You never know, things have changed so much in the last two years that it could happen. Never say no.Chappell: It might happen.Jake: We do have a lot of fun with it all. Our new mini album is concept based so why couldn’t we take it one step further and put it into written form?Chappell: It’d be cool but I wouldn’t do it as Dead - it’d be under a different name.Jake: That’s true, I hate it when people use their fame to push other things. It’s like ‘I’m guy from this band, you should all read my other comic’ when it’s the worst comic in the world and it’ll sell just because it’s this guy from that band,Chappell: I could be like Jared Leto and jump from job to job to job.Jake: Success to success to success. I don’t know, the latest track sounds like Angels & Airwaves meets U2.Chappell: Oh shit, that’s two bands you don’t want to sound like. That’s terrible. We’re doing that think again, ragging on bands everyone likes.Jake: To be honest, if U2 tried to book us I reckon we’d play the first gig and just be like ‘nah’.Chappell: We’d use so much delay. Delay everything forever!Jake: The thing is that we wouldn’t translate to a stage like that. We like small, sweaty, shit hole venues. We always say that even if we were stadium size we’d book smaller shows on purpose. You cannot be small, sold out shows. The noise, the chaos, the intimacy of it all.Chappell: If we ever play the O2 Arena or Wembley I’d like to build a tiny room on stage so everyone is still looking in on us playing this tiny stage.Jake: What’s the opposite of claustrophobia? I think I’d get a bit gobsmacked by the amount of people there. I wouldn’t ever want to get used to it, It’d feel horrible getting used to playing to 70,000 people.So, why should people listen to you?Jake: We’re a bunch of crazy, energetic bastards who are breaking phones and bank balances to make this happen. I think that’s got to be worth three minutes of your time. At worse it’s car crash television, laugh at everything going wrong.

Last winter we caught up with Sam Chappell (Bass) and Jake Lucas (Guitar) from Dead! just after they came off stage from the final show of their most recent tour in London. We first wrote about Dead just after they formed in 2012 and it’s fair to say they’ve gone strength to strength ever since, releasing two EPs and touring the country multiple times.

Stream their latest mini album ‘Tu Me Manques’ on the Rocksound Website.

In the van we talk about comic books, touring, getting intimate with kangaroos, the Ian Watkins scandal and more - read the full transcription after the jump.

Read More

One hour until our DEAD! interview goes live. It’s a good ‘un.

Our friends in Dead are streaming their new mini album on Rock Sound right now! We’ll be putting an interview with them later this week - stay tuned, it’s one for rock fans and comic fans alike.


FFO: My Chemical Romance, LetLive. , Taking Back Sunday

Our friends in Dead are streaming their new mini album on Rock Sound right now! We’ll be putting an interview with them later this week - stay tuned, it’s one for rock fans and comic fans alike.

FFO: My Chemical Romance, LetLive. , Taking Back Sunday

Re: Little music fanzines making a big noise

A fantastic piece by Stephen Ackroyd (Editor of DIY) on the nature of magazines and fanzines, big and small.
————————————————————————————

stephenackroyd:

There’s a piece in the Observer this morning about free music magazines, which a few weeks back I gave a couple of quotes about DIY for. That’s great - I’ve never really felt the medium was especially underground, but there’s a wider audience that will hear about titles that are away from the established old guard. As I’m constantly reminded, you have to build the brand. You can’t complain when somebody wants to cover the world you exist in. And (bar the title - fanzines(?) - whoever wrote that I’d love to have a chat to…) it’s generally a nice piece that I believe genuinely comes from a good place.

However, there’s one line that doesn’t describe the DIY I know. Not the quotes from my peers, obviously - they’re wise and sage people who know their stuff and speak sense - but one almost throw away aside doesn’t represent the publication my team and I work day in day out at putting together.

Now - and bear with me here - I love ‘zines more than most. Hell, I started a publication named after a bis song - how couldn’t I? They’re almost always brave, honest and inventive, often look brilliant and are born with a passion that it’s impossible not to admire. However, I think there is  a difference between a ‘zine and magazine, and certainly what we (and in my eyes, some of the others mentioned) produce is a magazine. If I was to give it up tomorrow, another editor would be appointed to take my place - and most likely it wouldn’t be me anointing my own successor. While current reviews editor Emma and I founded DIY, it isn’t just ours anymore. It’s a title that will continue until the day it can no longer afford to, with or without us. We have a central London office we turn up to before ten in the morning and leave after six at night. The last thing I did on Friday was work on a presentation for a media partnership with a major festival. We have to think about brands as well as brands, and square that circle as best we can.

Obviously we have a lot of ‘zine ethics going on beneath the surface (if it all came tumbling down you can be sure we’d be using our DIY callings the next month to put out something, in whatever way we could), but we do not see ourselves as in any way different in outlook, execution or ambition to our long established newsstand siblings. We just don’t charge - mostly because the distribution model looked a ball ache and the cross over would have been a nightmare for the long established website our print edition grew from. In 2011 when we started printing words and pictures on dead trees a free model simply made the most sense.

But that’s all in a word. You can argue that one until the cows come home, and really it doesn’t matter one jot. There are pure blood ‘zines that would put any traditional ‘magazine’ to shame. Both are brilliant and as time goes the line will become increasingly blurred. No. It’s this line which doesn’t describe DIY.

Indeed, though most of these magazines’ websites look good, most don’t bother with extra online content, and those that do – Fly, DIY and Crack – have nowhere near as much as mainstream publications.

With the greatest of respect, no. That’s just not right.

DIY’s website isn’t a poor relation of our print magazine, or our DIY Weekly tablet publication either. It’s sat at the top table. It has to be - for the first nine years it was the only thing we did. To suggest it doesn’t go toe to toe for copy with ‘mainstream’ publications’ online offerings is both ludicrously wrong and (almost certainly unintentionally, I concede) a flat out insult to those who have edited our online arm down the years.

From Emma, Karis and a cast of often under credited, brilliant people who sparked us in the early days, through to Viki (the true engine of DIY to this day; one of the best in the industry who constantly makes me look like a ham-fisted idiot in comparison), to current incumbent and all star blog boy superhero Jamie - none of them should look at their traditional peers and deserve to be told they’d come up short. Everyone who has worked in the DIY bunker has literally given their lives to the cause - slaving every hour they can and over thinking in those they can’t. They’ve, to a woman and man, given more than I could or should have ever asked. Each of them has grown up as part of our publication’s rich and tumultuous tradition of never, ever saying a major publishing house’s money is a reason we shouldn’t match or better them. We always have, and we’re damn proud of it.

Yes, it’s a labour of love, but it’s also our profession. A couple of us might have started as hobbyists in our late teens, but that was a long time ago and certainly isn’t the case now. If you’re trying to tell me our news editor Sarah or art director Louise wouldn’t be a prized asset to a Bauer or IPC, then I’ll see you outside in five minutes, ‘mate’. Any magazine in the world would be lucky to have any one of my team, past or present. When the deadline has arrived they’ve never once let me down, however ridiculous my mad ideas and outlandish demands have become.

And that describes the rest of our online peers (who honestly, are more relevant that some print titles these days) too. Are you going to tell me any of them are poorer websites than some of the newsstand print titles? Really?! From where I sit they’re usually able to be better targeted and more generous with their copy. Rarely would I call them less professional, either. That’s no taint on the established names - the lack of red tape is a god send - but not one of them should be seen as a small endeavour. Every one of the poor bastards that dared start something with bigger ambitions than a blog beholden to their own whims and motivation will say the same. In their opinion, they’ve no intention of being anything but the most ambitious title full stop. Their big ideas will plague their dreams until they make them reality. Aiming for the stars would be far, far too low. Egos may occasionally bristle between titles, sure. No doubt we all have different ideas of what a good magazine - be it in print, online or somewhere inbetween - should be (as we should). Regardless, they deserve as much if not more respect for what they achieve, day in, day out.

The full quote I gave to the piece explains it best. In print, it’s shortened.

‘We’ve never been ones for being lo-fi for the sake of it – we’re a bedroom blog started in skipped uni lectures.’ – Stephen Ackroyd, editor

But completely unedited (so excuse the clunky structure)

‘The mag was the natural progression of what we’d done online for nearly a decade. We’ve never been ones for being lo-fi for the sake of it - we’re a bedroom blog started in skipped Uni lectures that aimed high and grew into a fully fledged music magazine printing 40,000 copies a month and distributing copies nationwide (and beyond). We aim to be big, colourful and brash rather than overly worried about being cool, niche or pretentious. Bad jokes and a belief that personalities are what makes bands great, rather than standoffish appreciation, sit at the centre of everything we do. We cover big acts and small acts, major label and underground buzz bands - we’re simply looking for things that will make our readers excited about music.’

Little? It’s all about perspective. I think we’re positively huge.

In DIY We Trust (Or Why The Major Labels Should Be Taking Note)

I went to Brighton yesterday, and just like any other trip to Brighton I take, it involved a highly anticipated visited to the Punker Bunker. As part of my haul I picked up a couple of LPs with screen printed sleeves. Well, they looked cool and were only £5 each. It turns out that they both sound pretty good too but that’s not the point of this post.

I imagine that we’ve got a good amount of Brand New fans following us on here. You may remember that they recently re-released The Devil And God… after years of it being ebay gold. And let’s be honest - it was disappointing. A £20+ price tag, thin sleeve, a sticker over the art and a general air of ‘Print it up, put it out, job done’. There was no care involved. It was fine to fill a hole in the collection but otherwise it was a little sub par.

And then you get this - a split LP put out by a bunch of DIY punks which, in terms of effort, blows it out of the water. Granted my copy is a little tatty but what can I say, it’s an old record that’s probably gone from distro to distro before ending up at the bunker. Let’s look at this in list form:

- The sleeve is a three colour screen print with a spray painted background.
- The centre labels are hand stamped.
- The sleeve itself is a Reggie And The Full Effect sleeve turned inside out and printed upon.

Pretty fuckin’ DIY right? To me it feels so good. It was clearly done on a budget but if a handful of punks can make this with a thin wallet and a little elbow grease then it surely puts the fat cats at big record labels to shame with their half arsed and overpriced efforts. I’m not saying that a classic reissue like TDAG… should be approached the same way BUT it definitely deserves some time, some care, and some thought put into it.

Heck, it’s not like they need to worry about it not selling out at all and not making a bucket load off of it, right?

Demand quality. Don’t settle for less.

EDIT: I’ve just been told that the Brand New re-release wasn’t on a major. Fair enough. Saying that, it still stands as an example of a lesser quality re-issue which could have been done so much better (especially with a release you know will sell by the shed loads from day one)

Respecting The Artist: Pens and Plectrums

Making money from art is tough. That is a universal truth. For many it’s tougher now than it ever was before. I understand this and knowing that many of our followers are cut from the same DIY cloth, I think you understand this to. Now I’ve been making zines, recording shitty punk music, running a small DIY label and designing stuff for a few years now and lately I’ve seen trend that’s got me a little worried.

The dynamic between artists and musicians is changing, and not for the better.

Being in a band is expensive. I get that. Gas money, rehearsal costs, gear and gear maintenance - it all adds up. But then again, so is being an artist. There are a lot of similarities between the two - both require years of practice, a commitment to our respective arts, constant hustling to get our names out there and, possibly the biggest one of the lot, the cold hard fact that neither of us can pay our bills in exposure.

So bands, why do you expect artists to work for this fictional currency?

Let’s take Perfect Bullet, the fictional skramz band I just created in my head that, for the sake of this article, has been playing live for nine months and has released one EP and a demo. Perfect Bullet has four members and wants to start making some merchandise. Great! Not many bands get that far. Perfect Bullet approaches Johnny Coffeemug, a local illustration graduate to draw them something for a tee shirt. All is gravy until the line:

"We can’t afford to pay you but we can make sure that it’s linked to your tumblr".

Stop. This is where the problems begin. Johnny can’t pay his rent in tumblr by-lines.  Let’s look at the maths (and I’m going on averages and what seems like a reasonable price here):

Cost to produce a tee: £4.
You want to sell these tees for :£10.
That gives a profit margin of: £6 a tee.

So you print thirty tees:

Cost: £120
Gross takings from these shirts when sold: £300
Of which is profit: £180.

All looks great right? You only have to sell 12 tees to break even. But what about Johnny? He deserves to be paid. Heck, even if it’s only £20 pound, he deserves to be paid. He could spend five hours working at the local Co Op and get paid £31 for that time but fuck it, he likes you guys so he’ll do it for cheap. So lets say the final cost is £140. That’s fourteen tees. It raises a few questions:

If you don’t feel like you can shift 14 shirts, are you really ready to be producing merchandise?
If you worked for 5 hours, wouldn’t you like to be paid?
If there’s four of you, could you all spare £5 to pay Johnny?

Because I’m sure you’d like to be paid for your music.

And that’s where the problem lies in my eyes - we’re all too quick to say ‘Support the scene / Buy the EP / Let’s make the world a fairer place for musicians’ but in all of this a blind eye is being turned to the visual artist. It’s time that both sides of the coin receive the same amount of respect.

I know that this is a very generalized, and some what simplified, article. There will be times when, as an artist or designer, you’ll be approached by a band or label that you really like and you just want to help.  That’s cool!  We’ve all done it. And sometimes the exposure will be worth working for free. But please don”t let it become the norm. Every time someone works for free - a band giving their music away to adverts for example or an artist designing for free - you’re making it a little harder for those trying to make a living from it all.

And at the end of the day, we all want to try and make our respective arts work.

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Agree? Disagree? Let’s start a discussion.












Long Live Southbank!WE’RE GOING TO DONATE THE COVER PRICE OF EVERY COPY OF PFC#7 SOLD BETWEEN NOW AND 18.12.13 TO THE LONG LIVE SOUTH BANK CAMPAIGN. So I was down the south bank last night, killing some time before Touche Amore in Camden, when it struck me just how important the South Bank skate park is. I’ve always appreciated it and enjoyed spending a few minutes watching whatever happens to be going on at the given time but I never really grasped its cultural importance until I saw just how hard people are campaigning for it. Given the proximity between punk, skate culture and DIY ethics it made sense that we put our money were our mouths are and try to raise a little cash for the cause. I doubt it’ll be a game changing amount but every little little helps.So, yeah, if you’ve ever been curious about PFC, now’s the time to pick one up.Spread the word, read the word, support the south bank. BOOM!
Long Live Southbank!

WE’RE GOING TO DONATE THE COVER PRICE OF EVERY COPY OF PFC#7 SOLD BETWEEN NOW AND 18.12.13 TO THE LONG LIVE SOUTH BANK CAMPAIGN. 

So I was down the south bank last night, killing some time before Touche Amore in Camden, when it struck me just how important the South Bank skate park is. I’ve always appreciated it and enjoyed spending a few minutes watching whatever happens to be going on at the given time but I never really grasped its cultural importance until I saw just how hard people are campaigning for it. Given the proximity between punk, skate culture and DIY ethics it made sense that we put our money were our mouths are and try to raise a little cash for the cause. I doubt it’ll be a game changing amount but every little little helps.

So, yeah, if you’ve ever been curious about PFC, now’s the time to pick one up.

Spread the word, read the word, support the south bank. BOOM!