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Create to Destroy! 1984 Printing


April 17th, 2015 by

CreateToDestroyLogo

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!

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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.

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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

CreateToDestroyLogo

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!



MRR Comics & Art Issue Artist Q&A with Heather Benjamin


March 21st, 2015 by

This month’s MRR magazine is the Comics & Art Issue! Throughout March we are highlighting some of the participating artists right here on MRR.com. Today we hear from Heather Benjamin from Providence, Rhode Island.

HeatherBenjamin_art

What are your main publishing projects?
I’ve mostly put out my own zines, but have also made some shirts and prints of my own work as well as done a lot of flyer/poster and record/tape/t-shirt artwork for different bands. I guess the two main things I’ve had published are the Sad Sex book, put out by Desert Island in 2012, which is a paperback collection of the ten issues of my zine Sad Sex which I self-published for several years before the book came out, and Exorcise Book, a collection of about 70 of my drawings published by A Bolha, which is an imprint out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Both those books are sold out now, but I think we might be printing a second edition of Exorcise Book this year.

What are some of your artistic influences?
I love the underground comix of the ’70s, things like Zap, Young Lust, and especially Wimmen’s Comix, pretty much anything put out by Last Gasp. Lately I’ve been really obsessed with the old sappy romance comics from the ’50s/’60s. I am totally obsessed with the artists Virgil Finlay and Leonor Fini. But, of course, probably some of the biggest influences on me in the last few years have been Japanese artists like Suehiro Maruo, Junji Ito, King Terry…I didn’t grow up looking at these artists, I’d never heard of them until just a few years ago, but discovering them after already having started to learn towards some sort of similar content/a similar aesthetic and getting to look into them more has been huge.

Musical influences?
I love old psychedelic Bollywood music, I think that’s been the majority of what I’ve been listening to lately…Soul music forever, X, Merle Haggard, Vom, the Catch A Wave comp…I can’t stop buying Mississippi Records tapes and I just got really heavy into Sheer Mag…

How would you describe your style of drawing?
That’s a tough one, I don’t know. I think they’re pretty self-explanatory. Personal, line-heavy, drippy…

What other punk projects are you involved with?
I’m not in any bands, but the house I live at in Providence now has shows in our basement, so I guess I’ve been sort of involved in that, and have made a couple flyers for the house and other shows in Providence since I’ve moved here…I recently did a shirt for Impalers, from Austin, collaborated with Alex Heir on the record design for Stoic Violence’s Chained release, and drew the tour poster for the Raw Distractions (Tokyo) east coast tour in April, as well as the artwork for the most recent cassette tape release by Virusse, a friend’s solo project here in Providence. But recently, I’ve been just focusing on working more on my own stuff, rather than picking up commission work for other people.

What’s in the future for you as a cartoonist/artist?
Right now I’m just working (really slowly) on a few different zine and book projects, as well as on images for a portfolio of color prints that’s being put out for me. I’m making work for shows, but that feels less important right now than trying to teach myself some new tricks and maybe move into different territory, so there hasn’t been a lot of instant gratification lately, but that’s okay. I also just learned how to animate last year and have only made one animation so far but totally love doing it, so I’m hoping to get some more of that done this year and think about ways of releasing that, maybe a VHS release or something.

Check out more from Heather at heather-benjamin.tumblr.com.

For links and more info about this artist and all of the artists in our Comics & Art Issue, check out the artist bios page.



MRR Comics & Art Issue Artist Q&A with Teodoro Hernández


March 18th, 2015 by

This month’s MRR magazine is the Comics & Art Issue! Throughout March we are highlighting some of the participating artists right here on MRR.com. Today we hear from Teodoro Hernández from Arnedo, Spain.

TeodoroHernandez_art

What are your main publishing projects?
Five comic books released by some Spanish underground publishers. 24 issues of my fanzine. Designs for Voĉo Protesta, DHK, Firmeza 10, Infierno De Cobardes, Destrucción, Rakta, Suicidas, Los Conejos, Ciemo, -Y-, Los Monjo, Las Otras, Irreparables, Sentencia, System Defector, Sida, Subversion, Fracaso, Cisma… All these bands are important to me for many reasons.

What are some comic artists you are influenced by?
I’m not into comics at all, but as the years go by I keep loving Tamayo, Roger and Ja.

Musical influences?
If I think just in music terms, the band that blows my head up is early Discharge. If I think of the first punk bands that I listened to when I was a teen, and which keep causing me shivers, I have to say Eskorbuto. But really I feel more captured by idealistic, inept and raw old bands, like Anti-Dogmatikss, Último Gobierno, Tortura Sistematika, Potas, Mierda, Xenofobia, MELI, Imagen, Bastardos Sin Nombre, Ataque Frontal, Bombanfall, EU’s Arse, Atavistic, Active Minds, Disaster, Doom, Crass, Rondos, Desperate Bicycles, early Crow… When I listen to their music I imagine the members of these bands practicing, playing live, releasing the records for themselves… Or even going to demos and taking part in anti-establishment activities. Maybe some of them were in punk just for the music but I’m sure not all of them. The music that I love is more than aesthetic, it’s a desperate cry, it’s a deep wish for destroying this society.

How would you describe your style of drawing?
Simplistic.

What other punk projects are you involved with?
I like to think that Realidad is not just a band but an anarchist organization where three individuals are sharing their life; this is my main local project now. Aside for that, I play from a distance with Ciemo, Otan, Irreparables and Violent Shitt. I run very slowly the tape label Alta Intensidaz. I make a fanzine called Eskupe Al Alkalde/Fanzine Miguel. And I try to fight the system every day.

What’s in the future for you as a cartoonist/artist?
Keeping my fanzine alive and finishing a book for a local publisher.

Check out more from Teodoro at www.altaintensidaz.com.

For links and more info about this artist and all of the artists in our Comics & Art Issue, check out the artist bios page.



MRR Comics & Art Issue Artist Q&A with Luca Retraite


March 16th, 2015 by

This month’s MRR magazine is the Comics & Art Issue! Throughout March we are highlighting some of the participating artists right here on MRR.com. Today we hear from Luca Retraite from Strasbourg, France.

LucaRetraite _art

What are your main publishing projects?
I have a comic called Poupy out. It’s a split comic with Pierre Ferrero’s Isaac Neutron. It’s the story of a dog and its master. They live in a strange world and are a bit cruel to each other. Still available at Arbitraire Editions. Poupy is now published in each issue of La Corde. I am also part of a collective called Psoriasis, we put a big zine out every year. I draw gig posters and record covers for the bands I play in. I still like to put out my own Xeroxed zines, but I haven’t had so much time to do it these last few months… Oh and there’s a split zine with Fabio Viscogliosi coming out soon, printed by my friend Pierre at Gargarismes Editions. It’s called Belvederes. It’s a collection of weird landscapes.

What are some of your artistic influences?
It’s really hard to sort out a few influences, there are so many. Here are a few names in no particular order: Mattt Konture, Pakito Bolino, Mark Beyer, Kamagurka and Seele, JM Bertoyas, Robert Crumb, Pascal Doury and Bruno Richard, Rory Hayes, Herge, Mike Diana, Fabio Viscogliosi, Moebius, Jean Pleyers, Carl Barks, Ivan Brunetti…

Musical influences?
NTM, Brainbombs, Flipper, No Trend, Serge Gainsbourg, Wu Tang Clan, Suicide, Zero Kama, Missing Foundation, Burzum, the Seeds, les Olivensteins, Spacemen 3, E.A.R., Esplendor Geometrico, Rhys Chatham, DNA, Mars, Captain Beefheart, DAF, Stooges, NEU!, Les Rallizes Denudes, Swans, Throbbing Gristle, Jesus and Mary Chain, la Grande Triple Alliance Internationale de L’est… I’ll stop here, it could go on endlessly. I also listen to more and more hip-hop and traditional music (mostly from Maghreb, but also from Turkey, Bali, Thailand, Iran, Iraq…).

How would you describe your style of drawing?
I never thought about this before… let’s say I try to draw dirty stuff in the cleanest way possible.

What other punk projects are you involved with?
I play music in a few bands, it’s as important for me as drawing. I currently play in Sida, Ventre De Biche, Charnier, the John Merricks, Ass, Au Bout De Mon Sang, Motif Python… I also book shows, mostly in a basement we’re not supposed to book shows in.

What’s in the future for you as a cartoonist/artist?
My friend Thierry (Charnier, Année Zéro, la Course à la Mort…) recorded Ventre de Biche, one of my solo projects, this summer. It’s gonna come out as a LP with a book of drawings to look at while listening to the record. I’m also working on a special Poupy issue (inspired by a legendary French comic for kids called Pif Poche—this will not be for kids at all) and slowly preparing two exhibitions in Strasbourg and Paris. If you’re curious, you can go check stuff here: maisonderetraite.bandcamp.com and maisonderetraite.tumblr.com.

Merci, bisous.

For links and more info about this artist and all of the artists in our Comics & Art Issue, check out the artist bios page.