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Maximum Rocknroll, The Media, Your Options

The Media (capital M) is a roughly bi-weekly testament to the value of independent media ...

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You'll be free to rock again soon, man.

MRR Radio #1453 • 5/18/15

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By popular demand, we present our reviewers' Top Tens from the current issue of Maximum Rocknroll! Here are ...

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Create to Destroy! Radstorm Collective


May 13th, 2015 by

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The Radstorm Collective is doing solid DIY punk stuff in Halifax, Nova Scotia, so I interviewed them just for you…

What is Radstorm?
Radstorm is an amalgamation of two collectives that operate in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Radstorm is a dry all-ages venue/jam space/screen printing studio. It is membership based and if you are under the age of 19 you get into shows for free. The “Rad” comes from the first attempt at having an all ages venue/jam space which was called Sadrad (the venue was above a radiator shop). The “Storm” comes from Inkstorm, which is a screen-printing collective. So Radstrom is made up of a group of dedicated punks/weirdos who share a common goal of creating an inclusive and posi space.

Radstorm_radstrom

How many people are involved? What do you mean by “collective”?
The number of people involved varies but there is a core group that goes to the meetings, takes on tasks and makes shit happen. Collective means a group of people that share a mutual goal of creating an alternative space that is inclusive and accessible.

Why is DIY and all ages an important aspect of a punk space?
DIY is important because it gives you the power to take control of your own life through direct action. Don’t have an art degree fuck it draw your own album art. You arenít a classically trained guitarist fuck it start a punk band etc. etc. DIY is the reason why Radstorm is a reality. We didn’t have a space that the community needed so we took the initiative and did it ourselves. All ages is important to me because in my experience without the youth punk scenes just dry up and get stale with the same voices and opinions. It can be tough for younger kids to become involved in punk because in some instances punk is no different than other social circles. There is a hierarchy of the old guard of established punks who criticized the less experienced kids. It’s like they forget that they once rocked a patch that they today would not get caught dead wearing.

Are there a lot of bar shows in Halifax?
Halifax has more bars per capita than any other city in Canada or even North America. So there are of course many bar shows. One of my motivations for getting involved in this collective is to try and steer away from having the majority of shows at bars. Bars are not conducive with what I consider to be punk which include DIY ethics and all ages shows.

Do you have young punks?
What has been inspiring for me is the shows that Radstorm has put on so far have brought out a younger crowd of kids. My hope is that we are able to promote more and more shows that the younger kids want to be involved with. More all ages shows obviously will cultivate younger punks. We recently had a show that was all high school kids so it was nice to see that younger crowd.

Radstorm_punk_time_is_dead_

Do punks age in place in Halifax or fade away?
It is easy for punks to get fed up or tired of the scene out here. Halifax is really far away and it takes effort to get bands out here and it takes effort to make it to festivals in other cities. So older punks may tend to leave the city.

What “scene” supports Radstorm? Crusty? Raw? Bike punks? PC? D-beat? A mix?
Radstorm is inclusive to all except for the fascist, transphobic, racist, etc. The support comes from people of all walks of life, punk or not. Since it is a dry space a lot of the drunk punks donít come around.

What’s the practice space like?
The practice space is a small room off the main room and has been sound proofed so jamming can happen for a wider range of times. It is stocked with the basics that are needed such as a full drum kit, guitars and amps. We also have recording equipment available.

What bands use your space?
So far bands that jam here have close ties with the space. Members with bands, close friends, etc. Mostly bands that would fly the punk flag.

Tell us about your screen printing set up.
The screen-printing set up has been refurbished since moving into the new space. We recently acquired a new washout booth to clean screens. We have a separate room that has our light table and dark box. Over all I think most people are happy with the set up.

Is your space modeled after another space?
Not so much modeled after another space, we just work with the space and materials that we have. That being said, if someone comes into the space and has some ideas on how to improve the set up then we will gladly hear them out.

Are there any other spaces like this in Halifax?
As far as other spaces that offer up the ability to put on shows, rent out a jam space, do screen-printing and have other workshops I think Radstorm is unique in Halifax.

Radstorm_first_show_flyer

What was your first show?
The first show was made up of all local bands and of people that make up a good portion of the members of the collectives. The lineup was 4 LOM, who has one of the founding members of the original Sadrad venue George on guitar (shout-outs to George) —4 LOM plays a fast and pissed style that has influences of powerviolence and anarcho punk. Also on the bill was Half Read, a band that got started from a band lottery that was put on at a Sadrad show. A bunch of people had put their names into a draw then bands were started by randomly pulling names. I think Half Read might be the only band that persevered out of that and is still active. Lastly was Eekum Seekum, a local queercore band and the longest-running band on the bill.

What was your show?
Most every show is my show and everybody’s show because I try and support by being there to work the door, go early to set up, stay late to clean up or if I can’t make it I still pay the cover just to help support. I have yet to promote my own show but I very much plan on doing so. If I could have a dream show the bands on the bill would be: Confuse, Defector, Frigora, the Partisans, Disorder and Chaos UK. Or bands like Wretched, Lip Cream, Gauze and Appendix. Current bands that I would like to put on a show for would be: Reconsideration, Beer Belly, the Wankys, Sex Dwarf, Exithippies and Chaos Channel.

Any fests coming up in Halifax?
No fests scheduled as of yet, but in the past Elly has organized and put on Harbour Water Fest so I am hoping now with the new space we will be blessed with another installment of that wonderful event. Bands that have played that in the past have been mostly local/Canadian bands.

Any issues with neighbors, landlord or cops?
Yup just like most and or all venues we have had issues. Radstrom is located in a commercial building that has multiple other units. There is a recording studio downstairs and they have complained about some of the noise which I guess has been disrupting their ability to function.

What are your plans for the future?
Plans for the future are making Radstorm as fucking rad as possible. Getting more touring bands to come through, acquiring more members to the collective and just trying to make the scene here in Halifax as good as possible.

Any last words?
Yeah, the Sadrad collective is going to be putting out a comp tape in the next few months. It will contain material from bands that jam or have played shows at Radstorm. Thanks to MRR for all the shit they have done over the years and thanks to all the Radstorm peps.

How can we help? How can we stay up to date?
You can help by getting out here to play some shows and supporting the Halifax scene.
You can stay up to date by checking the website (as long as it stays up to date — thanks Elly):
diyhalifax.ca
sufferdamage {at} gmail(.)com



Create to Destroy! Pepples Donuts


April 22nd, 2015 by

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Josh Levine is an Oakland staple and a man about town. He has a storied past, from youth spent running amok in the Tenderloin of SF to playing with FLIPPER and the INSAINTS to creating magical organic vegan donuts since 2008, with flavors such as salted caramel (my favorite), lavender, and green tea matcha. I take everyone to Pepples Donut Farm to eat, especially out-of-towners and touring bands. Pepples serves delicious and creative vegan food and you can find their donuts all over the Bay Area (with locations expanding). If you’re into conscious consumerism, avoiding GMOs and being a part of the solution, then you’ll probably dig his joint. Here is Josh of Pepples Donut Farm…

PepplesDonuts_1

Why vegan?
What are you, a pamphlet? Do you not know that eating animal products is bad for you, the animals and the dirt? I thought you were punk. You have to care about dirt. And because that’s how donuts should be — they’re the best clean food for people to eat.

Why doughnuts?
I dunno what doughnuts are, but are you asking me about donuts? Because vegan donuts are my favorite oxymoron. Because vegan donuts are distilled anarchism. It’s because vegan donuts are a pure expression of the connection of the spirit and the body. Just like fuckin’ yoga. My vegan donuts arose out of the fundamental disharmony between the individual’s search for meaning and the meaninglessness of the universe. It’s a part of my quest toward understanding all that is the “I am.” And stuff that’s fried tastes good, everybody agrees on that. Donuts are the vehicle and we are the drivers. Every one of us. Let’s go!

Tell us about your donuts.
They are all organic ingredients and tasty. We really nailed tasty. They are also made with organic fruit and interesting ingredients that add to the good flavor of the donut. We make cake donuts and raised donuts, like jelly donuts or twists and fritters such as apple, banana and kabocha. Yummy vegan donuts.

What would a “Tim Yo” donut taste like?
It would be like a sour apple glaze, maybe kinda salty.

I’d imagine a little bitter too, maybe slightly crunchy like a communist? So, you’re old, did you know Tim Yo?
Know Tim Yo? Well, yes. We were friends…almost. I saw him at shows when he moved here or whatever… He dosed me one time at a party at the New Method warehouse. I’ll never forget that. He was a part of the scene and I knew him for years and years. Later, he dated my bandmate Marion from the INSAINTS. He was always a fair man, had a great sense of humor, and always knew about the cool political stuff I never took the time to learn. One time he called me a hippie at a Gilman Street Project meeting. He said, “Josh, quit talking like a fucking hippie,” and I will never forget the look of disappointment and annoyance on his face that day. I worked on making Gilman Street because I was inspired by his vision and leadership. Good times, but you can read about that in the 924 Gilman book.

PepplesDonuts_4

Hey old man, tell us stories! You were in FLIPPER? Tell us more…
I used to get on stage with FLIPPER in ’78. For a few years I would play bass, do a couple songs. Kind of like being in the band. I roadied for Hüsker Dü once in 1980. Shows were great in the ’70s/early ’80s — sucks for you young kids today, ha ha ha. Then we did a FLIPPER reunion. Basically, I was in a bunch of bands because I play bass. I also played with the INSAINTS, NO ALTERNATIVE, SO WHAT, SUMMERS EVE, FANG, POOR IMPULSE CONTROL and WHAT WENT WRONG. I’m OK at bass, I guess.

Back to Pepples, why is it called a “farm”? Wait, why is it called Pepples?
Because it’s where we “grow all the donuts” so it’s a donut Farm. At first it was Peoples Donuts. Then I got tired of that, there were tons of peoples this, peoples that — so I changed it to Pepples. Fuck branding, right? Anti-marketing! We really are still confusing people. Fuck advertising too, while you are at it. They are donuts not corporate GMO shills. You donut need a name or brand when you have a donut. We are changing the name again soon. Maybe to Paul or Robert.

Do you have a lot of punks working for you? Eating your donuts?
Many punks, famous and nobodies and everybody in between, have worked for me — exes, friends, strangers and punks galore. We even went through a hippie phase.
Great way to lose friends is by having them work for you. Luckily, I have a lot of friends. I have a joke I like to tease punks at the shop with — sometimes I’ll say, “Punks pay double,” and I’ll look at them all serious. They think it’s hilarious when they realize I’m joking. But the donuts have universal appeal, I see all kinds of folks picking up a box at our shops. We donut discriminate.

How did you become a restaurant versus just a mere donut farm?
The Donut Farm is a restaurant so it seemed dumb not to make food. When we started it was me and a buddy cooking brunch, I used to make all the food and roast all the coffee in a wok. It was crazy good times. Somehow we got through the rough patch and now it runs pretty well.

PepplesDonuts_3

Who do you let vend your donuts all over the Bay Area?
They are sold by some cool coffee shops, friends, and at Rainbow Grocery. There is some out-of-date info on our crappy website. We are pretty much at capacity with all that.

Is Pepples still DIY or are you going to sell out soon?
We are DIY all the way. Just people making real stuff for real people to eat. It’s highly unlikely that I will sell out. How much do you have? My two sons will probably keep it going when I’m too old to work the fryer. And if by “sell out” you mean “come out” — I did that years ago.

What are your next plans? I know you recently extended your restaurant hours.
We are trying to figure out what to focus on. We have a new bakery line making muffins, scones, tarts and yam rolls that are all vegan and organic. That and expanding our manufacturing base to add one in a different part of the state. More donut punks! There is a lot going on.

Any last words, Josh?
I am grateful to be asked for an interview, thank you. 2014 was an interesting year for us with business growth, and I am grateful for all of my friends and employees as well as those who have helped me every step of the way from our humble beginnings in the back of Eclair Bakery in Berkeley paying $10 an hour to use the donut fryer until now. Our tremendous successes are only due to all of the people whose love and contributions created them (am I talking like a hippie?).

Also, I want to take a paragraph urge everyone to pay more attention to the sources of your food. There is a good amount of manipulation going on. Green-washing. You think it’s OK, but it’s not the very stuff you think you are avoiding is being shoved down your throat in broad daylight by the corporations that run the food industry. They are really sneaky, so get informed — because the government won’t protect you, and Whole Paycheck won’t protect you. In Europe, most of these toxic foods are banned, but in the USA a battle is being fought on your plate every day. So, eat consciously and remember your dollar is your vote, so donut vote for that crap!



Create to Destroy! 1984 Printing


April 17th, 2015 by

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This interview is with Richard of 1984 Printing who was affected by the recent fire in West Oakland that started in a building attached to their building. Others who live in the AK Press building, also attached to the building where the fire started, were devastated by this harrowing incident in which two people died and massive damage was caused. Approximately 30 people have been relocated at present. I wanted to raise awareness and encourage monetary support as the two DIY businesses severely affected, 1984 Printing and AK Press,  are staples in our Oakland community and our international punk community. Your support is needed!

1984Printing_IMG_2528

What do you need the most of right now?
Mainly financial support for us and all the other tenants here. We have never asked for help before and feel pretty uncomfortable about doing so now, but we do need it. Since the fire, people have been amazing. From the moment the fire was out everybody’s community has responded as needed and as able. From punching holes in the floor to drain the water to keeping the building secure to food and coffee or just emotional support. It has continued since with clean up and roof repair. Now we need monetary support and ideas, as well. The City of Oakland red tagged the building, and we are navigating the process to continue to keep what we think is a safe building open for AK Press and 1984 Printing, as well as the many artists that have work space here and the tenants that call this building home.

How can local punks and the community here in the Bay Area help?
Look for support funds to help with and if you know somebody displaced please reach out personally. Many of us have various levels of emotional trauma depending where they were during the fire and how they are dealing with it. Many may need a place to stay. There are various benefit shows being organized as well. Please come out, celebrate and help.

How can the rest of us support you through this nightmarish time?
Order a book from AK Press. Let us print a zine or book for you when we get up and running. Buy art from artists that were in the building. I feel like a broken record about money, but a lot of us are from the DIY and/or punk scene so we handle this shit as well as we can- that said, we do not have any extra resources at our disposal. AK Press and 1984 were built on hard work and community support so we just need a lot of that.

1984Printing_IMG_2522

Peanut and Honey, survivors

So, in a condensed version, what the hell happened?
At 3 a.m. Saturday morning of March 21st, there was a fire that started in the building in back of ours. A neighbor saw the smoke and called the fire department. That unit became engulfed in fire, killing the two residents and spread to the roof. It then spread to our building. Smoke detectors immediately went off inside our building (we have 180 through out the building). My wife Amy was at the shop working and heard alarms in the press room. It had filled with smoke from the unit behind us. She evacuated with the rest of our building tenants. No one was hurt in our building. The fire burned four units and through to the roof. The fire was directly above our press room and the back half of AK press. We both sustained massive water damage. 1984 lost every piece of paper and every printed job in the press room. Amazingly our equipment seems OK. But, we’ve been too busy to get going again right now. AK Press lost a lot especially in the back half of their space. The rest of their building has smoke damage to varying degrees. They are still sorting through it all. The four hardest hit were the units upstairs areas that are total losses. One unit (David and Jen’s) is completely burned from floor to ceiling. Michele’s sustained both smoke fire and water damage. The fire stopped at her unit but 2/3 of it looked destroyed. Another unit is a total loss. It was burned from the loft up but destroyed everything inside. And Jason’s unit didn’t have any fire damage but smoke and water from the sides and directly above destroyed everything he had.

What did you lose? (Sorry to ask such a traumatizing question.)
We lost many printed jobs that were waiting for bindery, numerous pallets of paper waiting to be printed on, Amy’s main computer (but not her backup!) and our copier is down. We are still assessing damages and dealing with lots of lost time and distractions. We don’t live in the space so we still have a place to live. People upstairs in our building lost everything and two died in the building in back, so that is keeping all our losses and hardships in perspective.

1984Printing_IMG_2523

What are you glad made it through the fire?
Amy, my wife and partner, and our little dogs, Peanut and Honey. Business-wise, our four-color press is the most important thing and it made it through the fire.

What are your next steps right now, right this second?
We are working with our landlord to keep our building open at this moment. I’m on the phone trying to secure a bridge loan for him to help with the Red Cross payments and initial repairs. The live-in tenants are at the Red Cross at this moment learning about medium to long-term options and help that is available to them.

Where do you hope to be in a few months?
Same place and hopefully back to full production.

What was your last completed project?
Social Justice Journal. They just moved into the building this month! Stefania was amazing after the fire with hugs and offers to help as well as helping to push water out.

What were you working on at the time of the blaze?
Specious Species Issue 7, Found Paper Journal from Rowan Morrison and Louder the Room, the Darker the Scream for Timeless Infinite Light. We were working on all of them at the same time.

Why is is so important for you to print?
I have always loved the power of the small press. From the beginning, with political pamphlets to spread radical ideas, to posters and full-color art books that continue that tradition. This is also our project. Amy and I did shows, toured with bands and did lots of other work in different communities but this is all ours. We have created an amazing shop with hard work, a lot of awesome customers and caring friends.

Will you keep printing?
Yes! Send us your jobs!

Do you want to say anything?
Thank you to our friends and community. Please get smoke detectors and thanks for this opportunity. MRR and Tim have played such a huge part in my life. I’m always grateful and amazed to be a a part of it!

Thank you, Amelia!

Help out 1984 Printng at gofundme.com/1984printing



Create to Destroy! Dark Raids distro


April 8th, 2015 by

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This interview is with Mitchell from Dark Raids distro and label. I met him and the rest of Dark Raids at a show in Oakland last year. I was blown away by his band MUTANT ITCH and I am always impressed when I browse their distro table at shows or web store, so I thought I’d interview him for the punx. Here’s Mitchell, straight outta Fresno…

What’s going on in Fresno, California right now? Do you get a lot of touring bands? Is there even a scene there? What the fuck is Fresno? Why should we check it out?
Fresno doesn’t actually have a whole lot going on. Our punk scene is quite small and desolate even though there are a fair amount of shows that happen regularly. Oddly enough, we actually get a lot of random touring bands because of the labels and collectives that bring them. Normally whenever there is a punk tour going on there is either going to be a show in Fresno or Bakersfield (which is about two hours south of Fresno) and that’s pretty cool because shows are a lot more accessible that way as we don’t have to drive to LA or the Bay.

Dark_Raids02

DARK RAIDS TEAM

But we also have a shit ton of really lame indie shows that happen about twice a week. We’re friends with the people who book the shows and bring the bands because we operate within the same DIY music scene but none of those shows are too exciting for punks. Dark Raids was booking a fair amount of shows for a while, about 6–7 months ago but recently we’ve been heavily focusing on label releases, screen printing and taking care of things within our own personal lives. At the moment two of my bands mates run a small booking/art collective called Screaming Vomit and they recently put together a “Drunk & Disorderly” Fest which was a two part show then we, Dark Raids added a morning show (started at noon, haha) with BI-MARKS. The fest ended up being three shows in one day and its was full of drunken shenanigans. FUMIGADOS, AUSENCIA, SSYNDROM, CLASS SYSTEM, and, RED TAPE all played and it was a great fucking night. Some of the most fun I’ve had in Fresno in a long time and it was refreshing to see that many punks in my home town.

The scene in Fresno used to be thriving about 7 or 8 years ago. There were always new faces and younger kids that would come out to shows. In recent times the scene has dwindled down to the handful of punks you still see today. The few of us that there are, are all very tight-knit and most of us see each other as family — shit we’ve known each other long enough! Ha! So I guess that is one good things about Fresno, but I wish there were a few more punks hanging around and supporting shows. Fresno is surprisingly a very large city and is located in the middle of California surrounded by farmers and citrus trees. Fresno is a cool place to check out if you have never been, its city layout is pretty rad and to tell the honest true I always thought people from Fresno were a special sub-species of human. Kinda like if we drank contaminated water from Tromaville or something. Haha! So come check it out and say Hi when you do!

DarkRaids_MutantItch

Fresno, Troma County, USA. You’re in MUTANT ITCH…tell us about MUTANT ITCH.
Well, MUTANT ITCH started in January of 2014. We basically wanted to make a band that was total Japanese Noise core like GAI or DUST NOISE but then we started playing more of a bouncy, noise drenched Pogo punk style which I think we are all very happy with. We just recorded with Mike Kriebel in Los Angeles and we plan to release a new tape in March and we hope to have a 7″ out by the end of the year… Stay tuned!!

Tell us about Dark Raids. Where’d the name come from? Why start a distro? Is Dark Raids also a label?
I have loved records since I was a young punk, I remember my grandmother helping me buy my first record when I was eleven years old. Since that day I had always had a passion for collecting punk records and as I got older I kept the hobby I acquired when I was younger. So about three years ago I started staying more up to date as you would say on current punk releases and all of my friends were getting into the same bands as I was at the time. So when I would buy a copy of a record I would email and ask to buy multiple copies which I would then, sell to my friends. A month or so passes and I end up coming up with an idea to create a zine that would be released with demos or comps of bands or whatever really, I was mainly just brainstorming at this period in time. So eventually I didn’t really keep consistent with the zine and it some what got forgotten about. But I ended up going with the idea of releasing a tape and that’s when the idea occurred to me that I should start a label/distro. At that point I reached out to a really good friend and band mate, Phil and my girlfriend Kelsey to help me materialize my idea and that is when everything came together. It’s hard to say exactly where the name Dark Raids came from, but I mainly got the influence from the way some Japanese Metal punk songs have very Omnibus titles and sound kind of mythical and creeping. After going over countless SDS songs in my mind, I came up with Dark Raids and it stuck. As a label so far we have done three releases and we are currently working on our next three that are scheduled to come out right around the beginning March…

What releases have you done so far?
So far we have done three cassette releases. The first was unreleased material of Kelsey’s and I’s old band SOYA. We made that tape as a way to get Dark Raids going. We only made seventy copies and we mainly gave it to people who supported the band while it was current and gave copies to friends who run labels and distros in order to help spread the word of our new label we started. After that we released a demo for a local Fresno hardcore band called WALLFLOWER, which was great because they are rad people who play an awesome mixture of NEGATIVE APPROACH meets BIKINI KILL (just close your eyes and try to imagine it). Our most current release was the split we did for RADIATION and Canada’s KAITEN, which was pretty rad because it was a screened printed envelope that included a cassette and buttons so we just refereed to it as a “Punk Pack,” haha. So far that was our favorite release, it was a blast working with all of those dudes through out the release and then having our bands play together as we promoted it in Los Angeles was fucking great! We had a blast!

Dark_Raids01

Who do you use to do cassettes releases?
The first release we did we just purchased blank tapes and dubbed all of them our selves. The second and third release we did we went through a professional duplication company which was a little on the pricey side but the quality was unmatched to anything I could reproduce dubbing tapes in my room.

What type of thought goes into the packaging? How important do you think packaging and aesthetics are for your releases?
I would have to say we put a lot of thought into our releases, we like to try and add something special to every project so that each release is a unique document of the band. When we started getting more serious about our label we had plans to incorporate screen printing in the aesthetics of the packaging. Kelsey was taking a class on it in college and it just sort of worked it self out. Kelsey does all of our screen printing and she does an awesome job making all the releases look unique and with a total DIY ethic. Phil and I try to lend a hand when we can but in retrospect we are still learning the craft. I have always been a fan of extravagant packaging because to me it truly shows you how much time and effort the band/label had put into their release and that is something I can undoubtedly respect. I like to think the packaging is an important part of Dark Raids, but I mainly hope the listener digs the music within it. I think packaging is overall important but personally I’m fine with getting a tape with a regular xerox insert but for our label endeavors we like to add a little something extra.

You have quite a selection in your Distro. How do you find out about new bands? Do you do a lot of trades?
Why, thank you! We mainly find out about new bands from attending shows, and we keep an eye out for what other labels around California are releasing. Plus hearing what some of our friends are listening too/what they would recommend is always cool. Mainly we find out about bands from seeing them live then talking with them after the gig and checking out distro tables. Sometimes I’ll come across a bandcamp and find some cool tunes that way as well. We actually don’t do a whole a lot of trades but have done some in the past and are always open to it.

Is it hard to get international releases?
I wouldn’t necessarily say it is difficult to get international releases due to the help of internet communication which is awesome because it helps to bring the worlds’ punk communities together. But I would say it is quite expensive to buy international releases due to very high shipping charges. But majorly that doesn’t stop me from buying certain releases when they come out.

DarkRaids_StarkMoon

I know you distro in person at shows. Why do you use a Storenvy for your online distro? Have you tried other sites? Do they take a cut of your profits?
We started using a Storenvy for our online distro about two years ago and it was great and free! Recently when Storenvy issued a slight policy change and they started charging for sales. We had initially decided to use a Storenvy because they were the only store host I knew of that didn’t charge and did not limit you on how many items could be uploaded to your site at once. So the site use to work great but now the charges are a bummer because it charges us more which basically raises the price of everything on the store slightly.

Who mostly orders from your distro?
Hmmm, we mainly get orders from all over California, Arizona and Texas. Though we do get a hand full of orders from Canada and we have this one person from Finland that buys demos quite regularly. Which is pretty rad because I never thought someone in Europe would be interested in browsing our store

How can we stay up to date on your distro?
We have a blogspot that we sometimes update and our Storenevy that always has new products added to it, but the best way to stay current on what were up to is come to a show were we are tabling at.

I thought I was the last person to use blogspot. So, any last words, punk?
Stay punk, support punks, labels, distros and any one else who operates within the DIY scene. Thanks a ton to Amelia for the interview and thanks for putting up with my lagging on getting this to you!



Create to Destroy! Avi Spivak


March 18th, 2015 by

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I met artist/illustrator/cartoonist Avi Spivak when Andy Animal took me hostage one night after the premier of the Lemmy doc…I think I crashed his birthday party in Brooklyn? He was very hospitable and we’ve stayed in touch since. Since then, Avi has continuously caught my eye from his work twice appearing on the cover of MRR to record covers to his own publications. Here is Avi Spivak…

AviSpivak_HBL3cover

How’d you start doing comics?
Sort of out of passion and as a way to communicate ideas and hopefully tell interesting stories. I guess I started out as a fan and I’ve always been interested in drawing so the progression was natural.

Did you grow up reading comics?
Sure, I was lucky enough to have an older brother around who was way into comics so there was always piles of them around the house. When the underground stuff started shoing up I got completely obsessed with it, I would sneak in old issues of Zap and Weirdo to school when most kids would bring in porno mags they stole or found in the woods or something…

What about zines?
Yeah, I read them too. It was a different time then. I would read whatever I could get my hands on. It was a strange time in history before the internet where if you wanted to be into punk you had to make a little effort and zines were a big part of that.

Do you have any zines in the works now? What zines have you done thus far? What about books?
I have a new issue of Human Being Lawnmower in the works, it will be #4. So far I’ve scattered three issues over the last six years or so with a full length comic book, Kicksville Confidential, appearing between issues #2 and 3.

AviSpivak_ACAB

How’d you get involved with submitting to MRR?
The first thing I did was a cover back in like 2010 or something. I was put in touch through the photographer Mark Murrmann, who used to do a column I think. I was happy to be involved because it’s been such a staple in punk for so long. And anytime you can see your work on the newsstand is a pretty big thrill. So I’ve submitted some comics to them over the years and designed some merch.

I really like the MRR buttons you did — I think there were four different designs, I think, sold in a set?
I’m pretty sure there were five of them. They asked for a design and I showed them a bunch of ideas for sketches and they ended up wanting to use all of them.

You did an MRR cover or two, right?
Yeah, two of them. The first one I mentioned which was a drawing of a crazy house party scene with the house getting struck by lightning while strange characters lurk about. The next one was in December of 2012, which was supposed to be the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar, so I put my Mexican friend Omar on the cover for that one in an apocalyptic landscape, of course.

AviSpivak_MRR355

Merm was really set on the world ending, I’m glad she was wrong but it worked out in a great cover for MRR. I saw you did a cover for my buddy ALANA AMRAM & THE ROUGH GEMS, looks tight. Have you done covers for other bands?
Alana is a dear old childhood friend of mine so I was really happy to do her record cover. And I’ve done a bunch others over the years. I’ve learned to say no a little bit more recently though. Most of the time I don’t think cartoons work particularly well as record covers, however there are some notable exceptions.

I agree. What do you do to pay the rent?
Well, aside from the occasional freelance gig or selling artwork I have a part time day job, and as of earlier this year I’ve been operating a small shop with a couple of friends called Rebel Rouser. It’s mostly used records, comics, mags, VHS, paperbacks, etc. All the things I like… I actually think it’s a pretty unique thing in NYC right now. It’s located within an alleyway with a couple of other like-minded but different shops and is able to thrive within the current climate of a rapidly changing city. It’s a little hidden jewel and something you really have to see to believe.

AviSpivak_ramones

Where was the last art show you were featured in?
I have a semi-permanent exhibition at a cafe here in Brooklyn called Otha’s. I had an art show there when they first opened a couple of years ago and have been able to use the space to have shows and feature new work ever since. I’ve had a few different themed shows of drawings there, and am getting another together now for a new series.

Where was the last place you were published?
Probably Ugly Things, whatever their last issue was. It’s been my most steady illustration work the last few years, which I’m happy to say. Like MRR, it was something I was very familiar with before having any involvement and it’s great to be associated with such a fine publication. It also allows me to regularly collaborate with one of my heroes, Cyril Jordan, whose column I illustrate.

How can we stay up to date on what you’re doing?
I have a site that I try to keep fairly up to date at www.avispivak.com, and if you’re in NYC come by Rebel Rouser and say hi. Located in Flea Market Alley, 867 Broadway in Brooklyn.