Tag Archives: Donna Ramone

Razorcake 108, featuring Amyl And The Sniffers, Steve Ignorant of Crass, No Love, and One Punk’s Guide to Free Jazz

Razorcake 108

Cover design by Eric Baskauskas
Cover photo by Dan Monick


Amyl And The Sniffers: Interview by Todd Taylor

Amyl And The Sniffers—live or on record—are like getting struck by lightning. You may not know what just happened, you may lose a shoe from the impact, but you won’t soon forget them.

A stark and brilliant contrast, a little bit out of nowhere, Melbourne’s Amyl And The Sniffers play the type of punk that’s primitive, sharp, and uncomplicated but incredibly effective. If you want difficult literature set to music, or music that needs to be explained, look elsewhere. If you crave live wire, chew toy-simple contemporary punk and want to sing along to songs about stolen bicycles, lost love, munchies, and self-empowerment, their songs will make your ears glow blue and your eyes to spring out of their sockets.

Due to their Australian pedigree, I hear a through-line of Cosmic Psychos, Bits Of Shit, Ooga Boogas, and early Eddy Current Suppression Ring with one important difference. This band-gang is fronted and led by a woman, Amy. There are more than just common punk weather patterns when Amy sings, “I’m not a loser.” As the backups kick in, The Sniffers form a united front and refrain, “She’s not a loser!” It’s 2019 and it sucks that Australia’s history of wonderful punk music has largely been bereft of strong female musicians. (Thankfully, this is changing.) What you hear and see of Amyl And The Sniffers is directly from their brains and fingers out into the world without the capitalism-calculated gloss and predatory slime of the music industry. Self-representation makes all the difference in the world.

Turning gutters into butter and lightning into electrifying music, say hello to Amyl And The Sniffers. They’re folks you can trust. –Todd Taylor

Steve Ignorant: Interview by Nardwuar the Human Serviette

Crass. What a band and the quintessential anarcho punk music collective. Over forty years after their formation and they still elicit strong reactions, ranging from unfettered and well-deserved fandom (gauged by the number of tattoos and butt flaps worldwide and my worn-out copy of Penis Envy), to the entire spectrum of critical appreciation as one of England’s most important bands and on down to outright dismissal as “unlistenable noise.” In comparison, their musicianship made the Sex Pistols sound like ELO and, to me, that’s a thing of absolute beauty.

There’s something to be said of a band that, for a time, sold more records than AC/DC, was being monitored by Margaret Thatcher (previously classified documents were released in 2014), and bypassed roadies in favor of giving out homemade sandwiches and tea to folks who helped lug their gear at shows. Crass lived their slogans of anti-capitalism by attempting to control the price of their records on their own record label by putting “Pay no more than…” on the cover, opted to play community halls and non-conventional places instead of established clubs, and paid fanzines out of their earnings while shunning—and deliberately fucking with—the national media.

A young Nardwuar first discovered Crass while listening to the Flex Your Head punk show on CiTR in Vancouver years ago. Crass made him smile. They had short songs. The seed was planted. Thanks go out to Melanie Kaye for connecting the dots between Crass singer Steve Ignorant and Nardwuar and getting them in touch. Since Steve has never been to Vancouver, he called into Nardwuar’s radio show and patiently answered over an hour’s worth of questions.

I think Nardwuar puts it best when considering the band: “Everything has been done before, but there will never be another Crass.” –Todd Taylor




No Love
: Interview by Vincent Chung

For the past two decades, the punk windfall in Raleigh, N.C. catalyzed a hotbed of activity: house shows everywhere, an explosion of punker imports, and lots and lots of bands. A few of those acts garnered recognition outside this cluster of sleepy college basketball towns: Double Negative, Whatever Brains, ISS, and Davidians.

No Love is a story about five divergent personalities and a cat. All of the band’s players have lingered around this prolific punk scene for awhile, enough to warrant some veteran hype upon No Love’s advent. Singer Elizabeth Lynch cut her teeth promoting events and DJing at local clubs. Guitarist Daniel Lupton founded and operates Sorry State Records—a punk-minded record store and label that is a central hub of the scene’s infrastructure. Guitarist and Elizabeth’s husband, Seth Beard, was in Logic Problem and works at the aforementioned Sorry State. Chris is in the local staple indie-noise duo Naked Naps. Osamu was in Antibubbles. Tobio is the muse.

Hype isn’t always a blessing. No Love took time to find its voice, and, for a while, carried the stigma of the perpetual opener for all the good punk shows. Once traction started sticking, the band immediately took off—its five brains firing on all pistons. Five years later, all this culminates on their debut LP, Choke On It, a relentlessly potent jolt of hardcore that careens manically without wasting riffs. With a glut of ideas, the band takes lots of chances, but never loses a sense of fury. –Vincent Chung


One Punk’s Guide to Free Jazz
by Mike Faloon

Emerging at the dawn of twentieth century, no one knows exactly who started jazz or precisely when it started. But all paths lead to African-Americans, specifically black Creoles, living in Jim Crow New Orleans. Using rhythms and melodies from Africa and the Caribbean, they drew on ragtime, blues, marches, work songs, spirituals, and waltzes.

As with any great leap forward, particularly one emanating within an oppressed and ostracized community, jazz met with resistance from the outset. Opponents spewed racist and classist arguments, decrying the music’s “bad taste” and claiming this African-American art form posed a threat to “middle class” (nay, white) values. Meanwhile, a number of white musicians formed their own bands, co-opting the sounds of their African-American contemporaries. Some went a step further and had the audacity to claim credit for creating jazz.

But as we’d later see with rock’n’roll, punk, and hip hop, the gatekeepers didn’t wield all the power. Jazz spread rapidly: Chicago, New York, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and countless cities in between. Across the decades, attempts to denigrate jazz and its creators persisted (and persist), but over time a jazz cannon emerged. Jelly Roll Morton. Louis Armstrong. Duke Ellington. Billie Holiday. Charlie Parker. Miles Davis. John Coltrane. These iconic figures and many others faced countless obstacles as they defined and refined America’s greatest artistic contribution to world culture.

And they’re just the start of the story. Jazz has evolved in many directions since. I would argue the most compelling of these subgenres is free jazz. Most renderings of jazz history give short shrift, if any consideration at all, to free jazz. Most read like a history of punk that skips from the Sex Pistols to Nirvana and ends with Green Day. Much of the best punk exists beyond the common narrative. The same holds true for jazz. –Mike Faloon

Donna Ramone samples the roasted goat. (instagram)

Jim Ruland knows that if our guts have shit for brains, then our brains can have shit tons of guts. (instagram, website, twitter)

Kiyoshi Nakazawa ain’t willing to pay extra. (instagram, website)

Ben Snakepit is still big in the funny pages. (instagram, website)

MariNaomi will have whatever you’re having. (instagram, website)

Rev. Nørb and the pee marinated bell-bottoms. (website)

Designated Dale reflects on the finest films of 1979 and doesn’t smash a single pumpkin.

Art Fuentes resists the orange nightmare. (instagram)

Bianca dusts off her cargo shorts and remembers what friends are for.

Puro Pinche Poetry: Gritos Del Barrio (Edited by Ever Velasquez (instagram) and Eugenia Nicole (instagram)
A selection from:
Untitled

“I live in a BROWN NEIGHBORHOOD
Where I don’t wake up to an alarm like most… instead it’s the sweet call of TAMALES!! CHAMPURRADO!! any day of the week. Uno elote por favor! Con crema y queso fresco. Breakfast a la mano.”
Ever a.k.a. the girl about town

Rhythm Chicken rocks out in his basement. (facebook)

Ollie Mikse
isn’t even with The Evens. (instagram)

Sam Grinberg gives philosophical one-liners. (instagram)

And photos from the lovely and talented:
Dan Monick (instagram, website, twitter)

Chris Boarts Larson (instagram, facebook, website)

Rachel Murray Framingheddu
(instagram, website)

This issue is dedicated to the memories of Pete Shelley and Kat Arthur

The best way to never miss an issue of Razorcake is to get a reasonably priced subscription delivered to your door. Click the link below.

 

Razorcake 106, Punks and Mental Health

Razorcake 106

Razorcake 106, Punks and Mental Health: featuring Miguel Chen, Jonas Cannon, Jes Skolnik, Jamie Rotante, and Haleigh Buck

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Or you can start your Razorcake subscription with this issue.


Cover design by Haleigh Buck

Punks and Mental Health: Interviews by Kurt Morris

“…In late 2016 I threw myself into writing and speaking about my mental health. I began with comments on social media. It grew to me sharing my experiences at storytelling events such as The Moth and in articles for some websites such as The Mighty and Tonic. I’m not sure what caused me to want to share all this, but it’s been very rewarding and gives me purpose and meaning.

I knew there had to be a way to talk about mental wellness through Razorcake. The punk scene is not immune to mental illness. If anything, it seems to attract more people who deal with anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (to name a few).

One of punk’s many strengths is its ability to be straightforward with its thoughts, emotions, and ideas. Thus, it’s not difficult to find bands singing about mental illness. Since its first days in the 1970s, Joey Ramone sang about electroconvulsive therapy in “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment.” Keith Morris yelled about his brain needing some work on Black Flag’s “Fix Me.” But mental illness affects more people in punk than a person who writes lyrics for a band. Those who write comics or zines, put on shows, run record labels, and have their own punk podcast can all suffer from poor mental health. Schizophrenia or an eating disorder don’t care who you are.

Thus, when putting together ideas of whom to interview, I knew I wanted to get a wide range of ethnic, gender, sexual, and racial backgrounds. I also wanted people who are involved in the DIY scene in various ways. So, I interviewed people from all walks of the punk life: writer Jamie Rotante, musician and writer Jes Skolnik, zinester Jonas Cannon, musician Miguel Chen, and comic artist Haleigh Buck. Each of them brings their own stories with mental illness and all spoke with me about their history with their disease and how they’ve dealt with it.

Mental health is a complicated issue with many angles and opinions on it. Please don’t construe what is here as a suggestion on what you should do if you have a mental health issue. You are your own individual—what I and the various interviewees speak about are things that worked for us. Your experience doing the same things may vary.

At the end of the day, though, if there’s any message I want to get across, it’s that there is hope. As you’ll read in these interviews, not everyone has found the one answer about how best to deal with their depression, anxiety, or PTSD. But we’ve all found ways to continue living. I don’t think any of us would deny life is difficult—in fact it’s downright fucking horrible at times. And the bad times sometimes outweigh the good.

But there are people who care and people who love us, whether we believe it or not. There are people who would be sad if we weren’t around. But most importantly, our existence is good because we provide joy and happiness to others and to this world at large. I don’t want to extinguish that in myself, nor do I like to see it extinguished in anyone else.

I’m amazed the number of times I thought things were hopeless but after eating a meal or getting some sleep, I was able to turn things around. So if you’re reading this and feeling overwhelmed, I’d encourage you to go through the steps at this website: youfeellikeshit.com. And if nothing else, if you’re feeling depressed or suicidal and need someone to speak with, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.” —Kurt Morris

Haleigh Buck: Interview by Kurt Morris
“Haleigh Buck was born in New Jersey and has bounced around a lot (she lived out of her van for a while). She now proudly calls Baltimore home. Like many comic artists, she started drawing in elementary school. She did zines in middle and high school, and worked on comics in her early twenties, starting with an anthology of various short comics.

It wasn’t until 2011 she began to get serious about her work, creating entire comics with what she calls “legitimate plots.” Since then she’s created Cretin Comix, Herman the Hot Dog (“The dumbest thing I’ve ever done”), Cryptic Love, and an art zine called .003. She’s also been part of JT Yost’s anthology Bottoms Up, and Atomic Books’ Mutant Funnies. She regularly attends comic fests like Small Press Expo and has an adorable chocolate Lab named Frankenstein.

Haleigh and I spoke about the comic that brought her to my attention, I Feel Weird, in which she recounts experiences with her suicide attempts. We also spoke about finding reasons to live, therapists that lock you in their office in the dark (and ones who talk with you about tacos), the state of mental health care for lower-income Americans, and the stereotypes of women and mental illness.” –Kurt Morris


Miguel Chen
: Interview by Kurt Morris

“Miguel Chen is known by many as the bassist for the Wyoming punk band, Teenage Bottlerocket. What is less known about him is his dedication to yoga and meditation. Miguel is a yoga teacher who also owns two studios in Cheyenne and Laramie called Blossom Yoga.

Recently, he wrote a book with Rod Meade Sperry called I Wanna Be Well. Miguel writes how he dealt with his depression and anxiety through meditation and yoga. The book also gives insight into lessons the reader can try if they want to find peace, as Miguel did. It’s a nice mix of self-help and memoir that’s a quick, fun read, which also manages to give the reader a lot to contemplate.

As Miguel writes about in the book, his sister and mother died while he was in his teens, leaving him with even more to overcome. Miguel and I spoke about the importance of his mom in his life, his experience with medication and therapy, the role of Latino culture in mental illness, and how yoga and meditation became salvation from his mental health issues.” –Kurt Morris


Jonas Cannon:
Interview by Kurt Morris

“Jonas Cannon has been making zines on and off for twenty-five years. Born in Chicago and raised in and around the city, he initially got into zines through friends in high school, but then took a break. In 2010, he visited Quimby’s Bookstore in Chicago and seeing all the zines re-ignited his interest in creating them. Since then, he’s published numerous zines including: Cheer the Eff Up, Fixer Eraser, Srviv (about everyone’s reasons for getting out of bed every morning, which he edited and contributed to), Pops (about radical parenting), and several one-shot zines.

Throughout his writing, Jonas’s zines take a perzine angle that not only explores his daily adventures but also considers issues such as masculinity, anxiety, and depression. This is often done with a mix of fiction, which isn’t surprising, given his love of the genre. In fact, in 2013 he published his debut novel, The Greatest Most Traveling Circus, with Sweet Candy Distro.

Jonas and I spoke about his experiences with bipolar disorder, how the zine community has supported him, the importance of zines in helping him with his mental health, and the added struggles the black community has in dealing with mental health.” –Kurt Morris

Jes Skolnik: Interview by Kurt Morris

“Jes Skolnik was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and is a byproduct of hippie parents. Yet, Jes became firmly planted in the punk scene by their early teens. Since then, Jes has been involved in the scene in various aspects, launching the first of many zines at thirteen. Jes had a column in Maximum Rock’n’roll called Modernist Witch and has also written for Pitchfork, The New York Times, and currently serves as an editor for Bandcamp Daily.

Jes played in the bands Population and Split Feet after moving to Chicago in 2005 and is working to create an all-ages venue and community space in Chicago through their organization, Pure Joy Collective. In addition to establishing a venue, Pure Joy works with artists, musicians, and activists via events and educational programs.

Jes and I spoke about sexual assault and how it relates to PTSD and C-PTSD, realizing you don’t want to die, advocating for one’s self, and the relationship between mental illness and being intersex.” —Kurt Morris

Jamie Rotante: Interview by Kurt Morris

“Jamie Rotante is a writer who was born and raised in Yonkers, N.Y. As a kid, she loved reading Archie. After graduating from SUNY Purchase in 2010, she landed a dream job with Archie Comics. She worked her way up from intern to writing a series called Vixens, which spans ten issues and places Betty and Veronica in an all-women biker gang. Jamie currently has other writing projects with Archie in the works, too.

Jamie has also written for Razorcake since 2014. She writes live music reviews and updated intros to interviews on the website. In 2017 she began writing a bi-monthly column for Razorcake titled “One Punk’s Look at Social Anxiety, Neuroticism, and Other Fun Stuff.” She says the most rewarding part of the column is when people who never talk about mental illness tell her, “Hey, I know exactly what you’re saying there.”

Jamie and I spent time chatting about her anxiety, her fear of going to therapy, the importance of a good cry, not wanting to appear weak as a woman with mental health issues, and the power of punk to build community.” –Kurt Morris

Donna Ramone doesn’t want you to put garlic in your vajayjay. (instagram)

Jim Ruland rides the lightning. (instagram, website, twitter)

Lucky Nakazawa pops the trunk. (instagram, website)

Ben Snakepit is on Shellshonic Shag-o-vision and not an island. (instagram, website)

MariNaomi has supportive friends. (instagram, website)

Rev. Nørb learns about his questionable judgment. (website)

Designated Dale is listening and talking.

Art Fuentes learns to forgive. (instagram, twitter)

Puro Pinche Poetry: Gritos Del Barrio (Edited by Ever Velasquez (instagram) and Eugenia Nicole (instagram)

Sisters of the Plains
“We have four lungs
We have four eyes
The songs we have sung
will never die

We have two horns
We have one chance
Our clothes are ripped and torn
And on golden hooves we prance….”

–CJ Miller

Rhythm Chicken got hitched! (facebook)

Hannah’s New Year’s resolution is for more dogs, less boobs.

Martin Wong remembers Steve Soto (RIP). (instagram)

And photos from the lovely and talented:
Dan Monick (instagram, website, twitter)

Chris Boarts Larson (instagram, facebook, website)

This issue is dedicated to the memory of Aretha Franklin and the marriage of The Rhythm Chicken and Mrs. Hen.

The best way to never miss an issue of Razorcake is to get a reasonably priced subscription delivered to your door. Click the link below.

Razorcake 105: Kathleen Hanna, Chris Dodge, MariNoami, Steve Albini

Razorcake 105

Razorcake 105: Kathleen Hanna, Chris Dodge, MariNoami, and Steve Albini

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Or you can start your Razorcake subscription with this issue.


Cover design by Lauren Denitzio
Cover photo by Chynna Monforte


Kathleen Hanna: Interview by Ever Velasquez (instagram) and Todd Taylor
“Let’s look back at the late ’80s. It was largely a grim time for punk. The first two waves had crashed and much of its initial groundbreaking diversity had been washed out. Punk on a national level was definitely out of vogue; very few clambered to participate compared to earlier in the decade. Violence was prevalent, expected.

A strident, explicitly feminist punk band called Bikini Kill formed in 1990 in Olympia, Wash. Confrontational and unrepentant, it brought out the best and worst in punks. Misogyny, sexism, and patriarchy responded with ugly reactionary displays, calling into question if punk was truly an alternative to the worst aspects of mainstream culture. Was this just the same shit with a different haircut? Bikini Kill was a lighthouse and safe harbor, fore-fronting women, making space for those traditionally pushed down and aside (including, but not limited to, circle pits, workplaces, and on the street). At a time when very few bands were having conversations about gender and sexuality, Bikini Kill used a bullhorn.

I’m not one for heroes or icons, but it’s historically accurate to state Bikini Kill was at the center of the riot grrrl movement and served as an important voice in feminism’s third wave. It’s not an overstatement to say riot grrrl saved lives. A large component of Bikini Kill was its singer and literal mouthpiece, Kathleen Hanna.

Near Bikini Kill’s end in 1997, Kathleen began recording a solo record in her bedroom. Julie Ruin is personal work. It’s both interviewer Ever’s and Kathleen’s mom’s favorite—electronic, intimate, sample-heavy—and provides the sonic bridge to Le Tigre, a band whose stock trades on bouncy, feminist rump shakers. Violence at shows plummeted. LGBTQ inclusion—reminiscent of punk’s first wave in L.A.—skyrocketed. I can’t help but think Emma Goldman is smiling from her resting place. Le Tigre had picked the lock. Finally, an inclusive, glittering revolution that was truly danceable.

Le Tigre unfortunately ended due to Kathleen’s health issues. She suffered and almost died from shamefully-undiagnosed-for-too-long Lyme disease. Thankfully, she recovered. Looking to flesh out the unrecorded songs from her solo record, The Julie Ruin was formed in 2010, reuniting Kathleen with Kathi Wilcox of Bikini Kill. Goddamn it, this band is really good. More than that, the music’s relevant.

There are two versions of punk in my book. There’s the contracting punk universe which becomes a dark, cynical, self-parodying, collapsing shell and there’s the expanding universe that reveals subtle new spectrums of light and pervades a sense of infinite possibilities. The Julie Ruin is the latter.

This interview, at its essence, is about the courage to restart several times—through darkness and light, through sickness and health—and continue creating truly meaningful work. Kathleen Hanna is responsible for some of my favorite music. I celebrate her entire catalog and love her voice.” –Todd Taylor

Chris Dodge: Interview by Juan Espinosa (instagram) and Todd Taylor

“Chances are you’re familiar with the name Chris Dodge if you’re at all into powerviolence, hardcore, punk, or thrash. After all, he only founded Slap A Ham Records, the premier powerviolence and hardcore punk record label of the ‘90s. The label released works from movers and shakers such as Man Is The Bastard, Crossed Out, Capitalist Casualties, and Spazz, in which he played bass and sang. Chris has also been invited to play with several of his own favorite hardcore bands including Despise You, Lack Of Interest, and Infest.

The self-described “cave dweller” currently fronts the band To The Point, is co-founder of beer snobs Trappist, and collaborated with Olav and Paul Van Den Berg of Seein’ Red/Lärm fame. We lured Chris out of his cave and into our podcast station with the promise of beer (which we fully delivered) to discuss his past achievements and current obsessions.” —Juan Espinosa

MariNaomi: Interview by Todd Taylor

“Cartoonist MariNaomi creates full worlds on the page, which is no easy feat. Largely working in autobiography and memoir, Mari employs emotionally honest storytelling and clean line work to tackle both the weighty (death, family, spirituality, misogyny, racism), and the everyday (crushes, work, food, clothes, friends) with a through-line of engaging readers as part of the conversation. Reading her work, I always feel I’m in capable hands. Her power is increased because she’s very careful with what she does and doesn’t present on the page. It’s a deceptively simple presentation.

Those of us who create know that simplicity is rarely simple. I’ve zoomed through Mari’s graphic novels Dragon’s Breath and Turning Japanese, but instead of her themes and characters evaporating quickly like cleaning fluid swiped on a pane of glass, they stuck with me in almost invisible and smoky ways. Much like smells trigger deeply embedded memories, Mari’s personal work is resonant, intersectional art of what it’s like to be human. She’s not only developed an enviable crisp craft on the page, it’s masterfully imbued with large doses of heart and humor.

My memory is total shit, so I thought it’d be fun to reintroduce younger versions of Mari to her 2018 self by researching what she’d said in the past. It turned into an unintentional episode of This Is Your Life.” –Todd Taylor

Nardwuar The Human Serviette (website) vs. Steve Albini (website)
Nardwuar: Why didn’t you like MDC? I’m just curious.
Steve: They were stupid and bad.”

Tony Kinman Obituary by David Ensminger

Donna Ramone thinks borders are bullshit. (Instagram)

Jim Ruland attempts to fulfill the dreams of a ghost. (instagram, website, twitter)

Lucky Nakazawa ain’t a free bird . (instagram, website)

Ben Snakepit is Satan’s copilot with a basket full of feminine hygiene products and clean water. (instagram, website)

MariNaomi has the jitters. (instagram, website)

Rev. Nørb leers behind the green door. (website)

Designated Dale somehow connects the invention of chocolate chip cookies with the Ramones.

Art Fuentes gives kudos to Sumos. (instagram, twitter)

Puro Pinche Poetry: Gritos Del Barrio (Edited by Ever Velasquez (instagram) and Eugenia Nicole (instagram)

Tremors
“To be a survivor is to be an earthquake.
Ergo there will be aftershocks.
Ergo there will be small tremors.
Ergo you are fault lines. You are fault. You are blame. You are lines.
You are borders. You are multiple boundaries. You are cones and
roped-off areas.
Ergo there are plates, hard embedded places shifting inside at all
times, even when you’re not aware, they are slowly chipping away at
something that at any moment, for no apparent reason, will quake.”

–Meliza Banales, aka Missy Fuego

Rhythm Chicken is spotting punk shirts in the wild. (facebook)

Jennifer Whiteford is keeping it simple; less is more.

And photos from the lovely and talented:
Dan Monick (website, twitter)

Chris Boarts Larson (facebook, website)

This issue is dedicated to the memories of Steve Soto (Adolescents), Tony Kinman (Dils), Nick Knox (Cramps), and Mike Ventura (Black Jax)

The best way to never miss an issue of Razorcake is to get a reasonably priced subscription delivered to your door. Click the link below.

Razorcake 104, featuring Caves, Kitten Forever, The Elected Officials, and One Punk’s Movie Guide

Razorcake 104

Razorcake 104, featuring Caves, Kitten Forever, The Elected Officials, and One Punk’s Movie Guide

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Cover illustration + screenprint by Calimucho
Cover photo by Nicole C. Kibert Basler

Caves: Interview by Kayla Greet (instagram)

“I visited Ireland for the first time a few years ago. My friends there took me all along the Northern coast and it was one of the most gorgeous sights—lush greens, waves chopping at cliffs, rainbows stretching across the skyline. In Ballintoy Harbour I came across this opening in the coastline: a serene cave all to myself. As I walked farther in and my eyes adjusted to the darkness, so much beauty was revealed in the stillness of this cavern. There had just been a heavy downpour and the streams were sending ripples of sound throughout. I realized I was reaching an unsafe distance from the beach outside so I just stood there and took in the experience.

Caves can be scary symbols of isolation and cutting one’s self off from the outside world. They can be echo chambers where you find yourself circling and becoming disoriented. But they can also be incubators of safety until something’s strong enough to emerge, or until a storm passes. That reverberated noise can be layered upon to create wonderful melodies.

Fittingly, Caves from Bristol, U.K. does all of that in spades. This duo takes metaphorical wounds and hibernates them, creatively nursing them to health until they’re ready to strike out on their own. Their songs have an intrinsic tenderness to them, while at the same time flexing their strength in various stages of healing. This pair would sound totally amazing in an actual cave, but I’m just as happy hearing them blaring through my speakers.

Having been lucky enough to see them stateside once, I quickly fell in love with their multi-layer harmonies and the dual male and female vocals. On record and in person, the drums come through strong and powerfully, while distorted, fuzzy bass, and sharp guitar leads perk my ears up. For being only a two piece on record, the sound is incredibly full. They’ve been compared to Lemuria, Discount, and RVIVR (just so happens that Lou is their current tour bassist), as well as gigged with Leatherface, Muncie Girls, Shit Present, and made some Fest appearances. If your interests are anywhere near that ballpark of sounds, Caves is a home run.” –Kayla Greet

Kitten Forever: Interview by John Ensley

“Kitten Forever has been playing their riot grrrl-inspired punk rock since 2006. Switching instruments and lead vocal duties adds to their exuberant live show, while highlighting their musical compatibility and mutual admiration. The Twin Cities trio deliver pop hooks screamed through a distorted telephone microphone, accentuated by stomp beats and bouncy riffs. Crunchy bass lines and frenetic drumming create a chaotic harmony of simple yet dynamic explosions that make you want to dance, yell, slam, and laugh. From basement shows to national tours and festivals, the band is focused on having fun while creating an inclusive atmosphere where rock, art, and feminism can merge.

I met up with Kitten Forever in their south Minneapolis headquarters where they graciously provided insight into their friendship and band. During our chat, we discussed politics, pop music, and dumpster diving for musical equipment.” –John Ensley


The Elected Officials:
Interview by Dave Ensminger
“The Elected Officials are a brash, potent, hectic, and fervent anarcho-political force with members culled from over a dozen previous bands, straddling Texas and New Mexico. Their typical targets are not just the machinations and madness of greedy, toxic corporations, consumer society, and not-so-hallow religion—they also focus on everyday DIY efforts to rebuild the future based on both resistance and participation, by encouraging talk but lionizing action even more. In doing so, they’ve also tapped into modern media with energy and focus, creating videos not just of band life and their products, but broader issues, including Native American social justice and beyond. In Trumpian times, when sides have been polarized, moods darkened, and lurking violence potentially possible around every comment and glare, the band harnesses discontent, hooks some humor to it, and places it into a global vision of people struggling for change, like an actual thousand points of light emitting a soundtrack of punk that extends well beyond borders and fears. It is the sound of empowerment unfolding.” –Dave Ensminger

One Punk’s Movie Guide by Mike Plante
“I owe everything to movies. Film festival work pays the bills and making a film is fun. But punk rock movies taught me about the world and let me know I wasn’t insane. To be fair, cinema has always been proud of its rebellion, but you connect most to what was around you as a kid. I wish something like the guide below was around then, but if you want something that doesn’t exist, you have to create it. I tried to keep this relatively easy to find the films (in our sad, sad age of no video stores besides the odd, lucky holdout). Many of the films are available for streaming, rent, or sale online. Some are just underground enough to pop up for free in places. And don’t get rid of your DVD and Blu-Ray players.

I wanted to make an overview that’s a fun mix for any generational fan of punk. If you’re old and creaky like me, you know most of the golden oldies, but there are always one or two great discoveries that slipped through, ready to finally check out. This is a compilation of films that don’t have punk music, but a punk ethos. I tried to fill it with lesser-known gems you might not have seen that will either reestablish or uphold your faith.

And if you’re younger and know there must be a huge archive of cool shit from the past to check out, this is a great diving board. I generally stayed away from concert films. Those are pretty easy to find if you’re searching for a band you like. I tried to stick with movie-movies and documentaries.” –Mike Plante

Donna Ramone ain’t guilty of being white, and she’s only served nearly thirty-five years to life. (instagram)

Jim Ruland pulls you into a cab with Bob De Niro and doesn’t clean the seats. (instagram, website, twitter)

MariNaomi is looking for that doggie collar in the window. (instagram, website)

Ben Snakepit gets into non-reptilian costumes. (instagram, website)

Art Fuentes knows that our teachers can let us down. (instagram, twitter)

Rev. Nørb reflects on the fact that progress isn’t always progressive. (website)

Lucky Nakazawa definitely isn’t serving sea lion for dinner. (instagram, website)

Michelle Cruz Gonzales thinks Dystopia is more than just a band. (website, twitter)

Puro Pinche Poetry: Gritos Del Barrio (Edited by Ever Velasquez (instagram) and Eugenia Nicole (instagram)

Negrita Cucurumbé

“If there was one important virtue I learned from my abuelo, though, it was to appreciate the luxury of traveling. Two years ago, I embarked on a backpacking trip throughout Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala. I sunbathed on the beaches of Oaxaca and went snorkeling in shark ray alley and the coral gardens of Caye Caulker in Belize. The sun loved my caramel skin and I loved it back. I even burned and turned a nice crispy brown soon after. The sun melted so much of that stigma I held onto as a child and young adult as La Morena. When I hear my grandmother’s voice call me Morena now, I love it. I love the way the r rolls off her tongue and how her face brightens up with a toothless smile as she pulls me in for a tight hug: “Ayyy mi Morena.” Most of my tias and tios who used to call me Morena, Morenasa and Morenita, are dead now, and it makes me sad knowing that I can’t hear their voices calling out my name. La Morena.” –Eugenia Nicole

Rhythm Chicken will forever be serving up big bowls of weird. (facebook)

Designated Dale wasn’t the designated driver when the T. Rex hit the Moon.

Jeff Schroeck explains the lack of motor-loving themed Ergs! songs. (twitter)

And photos from the lovely and talented:
Rachel Murray Framingheddu (instagram, website)

Chris Boarts Larson (instagram, facebook, website)

This issue is dedicated to the memories of Beth Zafranovic and Julia “Jules” Keskin-Lanfeld

The best way to never miss an issue of Razorcake is to get a reasonably priced subscription delivered to your door. Click the link below.

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Razorcake 103, featuring ONSIND, City Mouse, Pony Sweat, and One Punk’s Guide to the Ramones

Razorcake 103, featuring Onsind, City Mouse, Pony Sweat, and One Punk’s Guide to the Ramones

Razorcake 103, featuring ONSIND, City Mouse, Pony Sweat, and One Punk’s Guide to the Ramones

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Or you can start your Razorcake subscription with this issue.
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Cover illustration + layout by Marcos Siref
Cover photo by Nathan Stephens-Griffin

Onsind: Interview by David Littlefair

“Acoustic two-piece One Night Stand In North Dakota have been a fixture of the U.K.’s underground and DIY punk scene for over a decade. The band hails from Pity Me, a little ex-mining village in the Durham suburbs in the North East of England, with new album We Wilt, We Bloom issued by Specialist Subject in the U.K. and Salinas in the U.S.

They’ve played the “leftfield” stage at Glastonbury, hand-picked by Billy Bragg—and they kind of sound a bit like Billy Bragg—but with more hooks, more frantic guitar shred, and Pit Yakker accents. They used to share a label with AJJ, which is a good music launching point, too.

Both are members of Martha—the queer pop punk five-piece that also includes Nathan’s sister Naomi and former label buddy JC as songwriters. Where Martha are much better known, having sold out shows around the U.K. and been issued as a centerfold poster in U.K. rock mag Kerrang! ONSIND remain a smaller prospect; touring the U.K. with just two people and their guitars.

ONSIND have carried themes of social justice through several albums and EPs. The songs go straight for the throat in terms of vividly showing how illness or poverty can blight lives. Yet, lyrically the songs aren’t just about transmitting a sociology textbook to chords, or fitting a Jacobin article to a melody. The tunes are couched in stories of real experience. They are full of beautiful anecdotes and moments described with painter-eyed clarity: taking the belongings from a home of a person hospitalized with mental illness; listening to an old relative at a funeral hold forth on their political convictions; watching the leaves fall from a houseplant season to season and ruminating on mortality. ONSIND are brave enough to look at some of the darkest parts of modern life in the eye, but they’re also brave enough to make something beautiful, funny, and profound from those same dark parts.

I caught up with the band in Nathan’s offices where he works as an academic at Durham University. We talked about how a person can cope with the wilting and blooming periods of life and about how DIY has changed since ONSIND first picked up a pair of guitars.” –David Littlefair


City Mouse
: Interview by Emma Johnson

“City Mouse made me fall in love with melodic, sing-along punk rock again. They reminded me that, even though I’m well into adulthood, I can still be struck by a song the same way I was when I was a teenager. I can still experience that sudden realization that I’m not alone in the world, that other people are feeling the way I’m feeling, and it’s fucking okay. This is a band that has been honing the art of soulful, heart-on-sleeves punk since 2001, just bouncing around the country from their current home base of Lansing, Michigan, playing shows everywhere, working their butts off and not making a big deal about it, even though that level of perseverance and commitment to making rad music seems like a big deal to me.

I asked City Mouse founder Miski Dee Rodriguez to pick me up at Chicago O’Hare after my flight back from Minneapolis. Not only did she agree, but she took me out to a fancy restaurant, where our meals were on the house thanks to the City Mouse fan running the kitchen. We ate by a big fireplace and talked about music and life.” –Emma Johnson

 

Pony Sweat: Interview by Bianca and Daryl

It’s a pretty universal thing to come home after an exceptionally shitty day at work, turn on your current favorite song, crank it up, and thrash and jump and punch the air until you’re breathless and suddenly much more calm. Now, there’s an aerobics class that basically takes this whole scenario and puts it into a one-hour session, and—bonus—plays some of the music you might already be using when you have that cathartic slam dance for one in your room.

Daryl and I sat down with Pony Sweat founder/instructor Emilia Richeson and instructor CJ Miller to talk about their particular brand of aerobics—a brand that reminds you to be weird and not get too caught up in doing all the moves correctly—and does it all to an eclectic soundtrack that incorporates a broad range of music including Bikini Kill, Prince, Princess Nokia, The Cure, Killing Joke, L7, Madonna, Vacation, and Peaches.

It should be noted that, somehow, these two balls of energy also find the time to make music. CJ plays in the pop punk band dimber, and Emilia is in the post-punk band Object As Subject. Emilia might be a familiar face to those who’ve seen Wreck Of The Zephyr’s video for “The Rolling Over Process” (she plays an out-of-control and ultimately murderous dog) and the Shark Toys video for “Something Something Else.”] —Bianca

One Punk’s Guide to the Ramones by Rev. Nørb

“One summer’s day finally flush with babysitting cash, I took my bike downtown, summoned up my nerve, and gamely tiptoed into the local head shop. Apart from a love of rock’n’roll, I was about as nerdy as it gets and had no interest whatsoever in bongs, clips, or rolling materials—but they had records in there, thus in I went. After a bit of nervous shopping, I made my selection: In my hands I clutched a shiny new copy of Ted Nugent’s Cat Scratch Fever album. I wasn’t that nuts about Ted, but the title track was kind of all right, and I really felt like buying a new album that day, so the Nuge it would be. As I headed towards the counter, some buried prehensile memory suggested I first check to see if the Ramones had any albums there.

And there it was, in all its black, white, and hot pink glory: Rocket to Russia, the album with “Do You Wanna Dance?” on it. In a grainy black-and-white cover photo, the band leaned against a brick wall in leather jackets, ripped jeans, and T-shirts. Sold.” — Rev. Nørb

Donna Ramone weeps for professional wrestling. (Instagram)

Jim Ruland has a spectre haunting Bay Ridge. (instagram, website, twitter)

MariNaomi reflects on the motorized May-December relationship. (instagram, website)

Ben Snakepit offers a guide to the world of Ursula K. Le Guin. (instagram, website)

Art Fuentes is a monkey boy abroad. (instagram, twitter)

Rev. Nørb studies the Descendents or the hero with a thousand farts. (website)

JV McDonough is playing Russian roulette with her immune system.

Puro Pinche Poetry: Gritos Del Barrio (Edited by Ever Velasquez (instagram) and Eugenia Nicole (instagram)

Lifers

“…A feral cat is proud but he is not stupid
A feral cat is always on the lookout for trouble
He doesn’t usually gang up with the other cats
He doesn’t need anyone
He doesn’t bother anybody
A feral cat is a loner
But don’t you forget that he still has to eat…”

—Sean Dunne

Rhythm Chicken celebrates his birthday with a special ‘Tute of ruckus chili. (facebook)

Lucky Nakazawa really shouldn’t anger the kitties, but every dog has its day. (instagram, website)

Designated Dale talks about Stryper and that’s all you really need to know (yellow and black attack!).

And photos from the lovely and talented:

Amina Cruz (instagram)

Dan Monick (instagram, website, twitter)

Chris Boarts Larson (instagram, facebook, website)

This issue is dedicated to the memories of Peter Eichhorn, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Mike Carroll.

The best way to never miss an issue of Razorcake is to get a reasonably priced subscription delivered to your door. Click the link below.

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Razorcake 100th Issue Celebration Reading Podcast

Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading

Razorcake 100th Issue Celebration Reading Podcast

On Fri., Oct. 13, 2017 at Avenue. 50 Studio in Highland Park, Los Angeles, Razorcake celebrated our 100th issue release with a reading and a special performance by PHAG (Phranc and Alice Bag).

Our longtime buddy Seth Swaaley (issue #4, SuperChinchillaRescueMission vocalist) and Armando Perez ran sound and recorded the event for this podcast—Gold Line light rail sounds and all. Thanks to them both.

The reading was hosted by Jim Ruland, and in order of appearance:
Chris Terry
Donna Ramone
Sean Carswell
Jim Ruland
Nicole Macias and Ever Velasquez introduced the Puro Pinche Poets:
Alma Rosa
Cynthia Guardado
Violeta M. Tablilla-Esquivel
PHAG (Alice Bag and Phranc)

Thanks for everyone involved. It was a fantastic evening we’re stoked to share with you.

Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading
Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading
Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading
Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading
Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading
Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading
Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading
Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading
Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading
Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading

“Ink in Water” – An Interview with Lacy Davis and Jim Kettner

If I was some fluff writer who didn’t know shit about comic books, I would probably say something stupid like, “POW! Jim Kettner and Lacy Davis are a dynamic duo who made a comic!” As dynamic as these two are, and as much as they wrote a graphic novel, the sheer number of positive endeavors they both work on (separately and together) is deserving of much more sincere praise.

Ink in Water is the autobiographical story of Lacy struggling with, and overcoming an eating disorder. Written by Lacy and drawn by Kettner, they bring a dark and difficult topic to a medium made for the dark and difficult.

The graphic novel is only part of Lacy’s ongoing drive to bring the gospel of better self-esteem to everyone. As a lifting and nutrition coach, she recently opened a gym in Portland, Ore. called Liberation Barbell, that caters to all of us who dread actual gyms. Both Kett and Lacy have podcasts, including one together, Adult Crash, that deals with all the challenges of becoming an old punk. They also started a Patreon campaign, where anyone can subscribe to get even more podcasts, webcomics, and everything else their positivity produces.

They might be the coolest, most positive people in the whole world.

 

Interview by Donna Ramone

Photos by Lacy Davis and Jim Kettner

Layout by Donna Ramone

 

Donna Ramone: Autobiographical comics are very much their own medium now. Why did you think this was the best medium to tell your story, in particular?

Lacy Davis: I honestly think that both of us have had the desire to write a book for some time. And I think this was a particular circumstance where it’s a heavy topic—to talk about eating disorder stuff is genuinely unfun at times—I feel like having the visuals makes it a bit more palatable for the reader. Also, our publisher was specifically looking for a graphic novel and Kett had a contact at the publishing house. Our publisher exclusively publishes about mental health things. They wanted a graphic novel about a mental health topic and that seemed like the perfect opportunity to do the project we’ve been kicking around ourselves for quite some time.

Jim Kettner: The general topic of eating disorder recovery stuff can be kind of a downer—not that the approach to it cannot be funny and light, or feel like this book is not going to hit you over the head with dark, depressing sadness. It’s the story of someone’s life and its idiosyncrasies. It’s really funny in parts. I honestly think it is a pretty complete story while also dealing with a serious issue. It’s not “After-school Special” style.

Donna: And what are some of the emotional themes covered throughout the book?

Lacy: We talk about the darkest moments of my eating disorder. We talk about addiction, and the trauma of losing someone you love to addiction.

Kett: There are things about relationships and relationship patterns; how they assert themselves and tend to repeat. There are a few different parallels going on in the story. While it primarily deals with Lacy’s eating disorder recovery process, I feel like the other relationships in the book help to mirror that struggle. It’s also a coming-of-age story in a lot of ways, too.

Donna: Coming-of-age? How many years does the story cover?

Lacy: It covers ages twenty-four through, maybe twenty-eight? About four years.

Kett: There’s a little bit of me and Lacy in there at the beginning.

Lacy: Oh yeah!

Kett: There’s probably an abbreviated bit in the first couple of chapters. I knew I was drawing Lacy from when I first met her [laughs]. So that had to have been when you were eighteen, nineteen, something like that?

Lacy: Yeah.

Donna: Then it really covers a formidable time in a person’s life.

Lacy: It’s not a coming-of-age story in the traditional sense about teenagedom.

Kett: Yeah, it’s more punks getting their shit together in their twenties.

Donna: Lacy, did you feel like it was at all difficult for you to express these deep emotions and these really bad times through Jim Kettner, just because he’s your husband, or did it feel complicated, or maybe more cathartic?

Lacy: I have a history about talking about eating disorders very publicly. I have been a blogger, I had a podcast, and talked very publicly about my struggles. So in that sense it wasn’t difficult to be honest. But I take a lot of time really trying to focus on positives every time I tell my story. I always try to leave it on an upswing, if that makes sense.

But for this, because it’s just a longer work, I had to marinate in the sad parts a lot longer than I had typically done and that wasn’t the most awesome. I did not enjoy the process of writing the book [laughs]. I thought it would be no big deal, but it wasn’t really fun—my personal part.

Just for some back story, I wrote it in a notebook. Kett took the notebook and reinterpreted it into something a little more streamlined and we workshopped it together. I have never worked in comics before, so I also had a learning curve that was challenging for me. I wouldn’t say it was harder because Kett drew it. I think it was easier.

Kett: I can see where that level might be weird in some working relationships, but I do think it helps because not only do I think Lacy could trust me more with some of the darker material, we’re just so familiar with each other’s stories that I feel like I have a little bit more personal insight into those moments. It’s felt pretty easy for me to be okay with this. sort of get a quick check on things. It felt really, really collaborative with Lacy and I passing the work back and forth.

Lacy: The book covers a time period—[to Kett] how old was I when we met? Maybe twenty-seven? What I’m trying to say is it covers a time period where we were dating. We were together, Kett was there, so he could recall some of the instances from his perspective, which I think was helpful. And also it’s not like he got something wrong, I felt comfortable saying, “Hey, you got that wrong.” Where if I were working with an artist I wasn’t super close to, maybe I would be more shy about the details.

Donna: And then working through those emotions, together, what would you want a reader to take away—would it be more like a window into your life, or something more relatable? Is it a little bit of both?

Lacy: I hope it’s relatable to some people [laughs]. That’s the goal. It is a window into my life but I don’t tell the story just to hear myself talk. I think people will benefit. I think anyone who struggles with a mental health issue will benefit from reading it. I don’t think it’s specific to someone who has had an eating disorder. I think any kind of cyclical behaviors or thinking that are damaging could make it relatable to the reader.

Kett: Totally.

Lacy: Of course, even just body image issues, or not having a perfect relationship with food, I think most people struggle with body image in some way.

Kett: I’m getting that feedback just from what people have seen of the book so far. From my comics that have posted. But I think it’s a very relatable book because those experiences aren’t that unique. They’ve probably had the experience of having repetitive negative thoughts about themselves.

Lacy: Yeah, and I think the point of the book is that you don’t have to fucking hate yourself if you chose to do what you need to do. To not hate yourself and to not hate your body is actually an act of rebellion, and something that is good for the world and not just yourself. We are taught to treat ourselves like trash, and that’s how people stay compliant with capitalism and the beauty industry and all these things that are not necessarily benefitting anyone expect the most elite and rich. And they’re not even people, they’re corporations. I don’t say that as transparently in the book but yeah, that is the point.

Kett: It is kind of funny just because, Lacy, right now you’re saying very overt political things and the book doesn’t say anything that direct. When we had our original pitch, it was for younger readers. When publisher got back to me, they were like, “Can you make it more punk?” And we were like, “Yeah.”

Lacy: “Sure, why not?”

 

“To not hate yourself and to not hate your body is actually an act of rebellion, and something that is good for the world and not just yourself.”

 

 

 

Donna: So were you approached by New Harbinger as a publisher or did you approach them? Or was it more of a back and forth?

Lacy: We approached a different publisher about this body image public health textbook and we were seemingly close to penning a deal with them. The editor who we were in connection with quit and the editor who took her place was not interested. So the project got laid to rest for a year. Then right around the time we were getting married, someone who Kett had gone to school with who works at New Harbinger contacted him and said that they were looking for a mental health graphic novel and wanted to know if he would be interested in drawing that…

Kett: And then they asked, “Oh, by the way, do you happen to know anyone working on a project like this?” “Lacy and I have a pitch that’s ready to go. Do you wanna see it?”

Lacy: And then the book drastically changed from being more of a teenager textbook to a memoir for adults, but my dream is that teens will read it and get something out of it. It’s got a lot of adult content so it can’t be marketed towards teens, but I think if teens find it, they will get a lot out of it.

Donna: If it ends up in library, a teen is going to get a hold of it, just because comics are really accessible in that way. I picked up adult comics when I was thirteen, I wanna say.

Kett: It’s like YA stuff. When you’re a young person you tend to aim towards content that just a little outside your typical age range.

Lacy: I know when I was a teenager I was reading books aimed towards adults. So I hope the same thing happens. I really like teenagers and I want to help them.

Donna: It’s long. Did you plan for it to be such a long graphic novel? I mean, it’s Blankets long!

Kett: It is Blankets long [laughs].

Lacy: Originally we wanted it to be around two hundred pages. Our publisher originally penned us for 224 pages. Then it became very clear that we were not going to be able to adequately tell the story in 224 pages, so it ballooned to a monster at 270.

Kett: It’s not as bad as Blankets! Blankets is 592 pages But it’s still more of a brick than we thought and that definitely affected our timeline for making the book. Drawing that extra sixty pages was no small feat!

Lacy: Yeah, that sucks. Sorry! [laughs]

Kett: It’s okay. It made the book better.

Donna: Was it a conscious choice to make it in black and white the way you did or was that to trim costs because it’s so large?

Kett: We did originally want it to be a limited color.

Lacy: Like, black, white and red?

Kett: Yeah, limited with a halftone. And then that ended up being a cost issue, but it’s fine because we already had the title of the book in mind and it pushed me in a direction to go with a more ink washy style.

Lacy: Honestly, I’m so fucking glad it’s in black and white because if it was in color this book would never be done. It took so long to write. We got this book deal in August of 2015, so to think that in October of 2017 we will finally see it, I don’t have the patience for anything longer than that. I didn’t even have patience for that. [laughs] I just had to make it happen.

Donna: I know the both of you are furthering the message of body positivity as part of your lives now. Lacy as a trainer and a podcaster.

Lacy: I am a lifting coach, I teach people how to lift weights. I consider weightlifting a pivotal point in my recovery and my body image self esteem. The way I work is really different from most people in the fitness industry. I don’t have them take on a weight-loss plan or I don’t make people restrict their diet. I teach them how to lift and try to empower them to feel 150% more rad on a daily basis. And I’m opening my own gym that is a gym for people that don’t like—or don’t feel comfortable—in regular gyms. Queer people, trans people, punks, vegans, moms, nerds, anyone who might feel stressed out by the bro vibe at the normal gym. It’s Liberation Barbell and we will be open sometime [editor’s note: it’s open now!Flex Your Heart Radio is a newer podcast. I previously did a podcast called Rise and Resist that was about fitness and feminism, but this podcast is a little more focused on just talking to people who I think are very inspiring about fitness and feminism, but also sometimes about art and writing and all sorts of amazing.

Kett: It’s a little bit more open.

Lacy: When I started lifting weights, I was so all about it. It’s so much of what I thought about, and I talked about fitness constantly. To bring it into my recovery, the more I realized if I was going to be a truly fit and healthy person I need to also give a little attention to my other interests. I felt the need to expand my podcast and what I was doing because if I am spending time making the podcast every week about fitness, then I’m going to be thinking about it constantly, especially because my job is also fitness. I wanted to also think about art and punk and ignore shit and being self-employed and also being aware of capitalism. Things like that. I talked to a wide variety of guests to sort of feed that need.

Kett: We also have big plans coming up for Adult Crash, which is our sort-of-lapsed usual podcast project that hit the skids for a while because we were both so busy.

Lacy: It’s about being a grown-up punk.

Kett: We are planning a new season for that right now and we’re going to be working on that really, really soon. And tying that back into comics, by the time this interview is out we should have launched a Patreon, and we will start having a webcomic constant of more nonfiction, autobio comics from the two of us. We are planning on also making a quarterly zine. We don’t have all the details worked out but we already have a couple stories that we are planning to work on via Adult Crash as a platform, as well are having more guests on that show.

Lacy: The body image stuff is always going to be a topic of conversation for me because it really interests me how we think about ourselves—and why and what we can do about it. I don’t imagine that will ever be a topic that will ever fall away in the work that we’re doing.

Donna: Tell me more about this collaborative comic zine you’re planning on working on.

Kett: We already have multiple other projects that were already in the planning stages while this book was being manufactured. We both attended a really great residency [at a university] last fall where we got started working on it. We thought about re-launching Adult Crash, we wanted to have a little more direction behind it and not have it just came out whenever we had the time to record one.

And everyone seems to be using this Patreon model. Podcasts are using it and also independent cartoonists are doing it. I’m a subscriber to Liz Prince, and Nicole Georges has one. If we’re going to continue collaborating on comics, why shouldn’t they just be linking into our podcast? We’re talking about our lives and talking about being old-ass punks.

Lacy: Basically, Adult Crash is a podcast that Kett and I set up together. Once we launch this Patreon, we will do it regularly: every two weeks. And then also if people want more content, they can sign up for our Patreon and either get weekly or biweekly webcomics, or, I guess at a higher rate of subscription, you could get a paper zine.

Kett: Quarterly, because I think we’re going to record the podcast in seasons and every season of the podcast you’ll have this theme.

Lacy Because we’re both in our thirties, Kett is…

Kett: I’m pushing forty right now.

Lacy: He’s on the plane ride to forty. We own a house, we had a dog who just passed away, we talk about fucking grown up things like taxes and babies and stuff. We just regularly look around and are like, “What the fuuuuuuck?” [laughs]

Kett: “What happened?”

Lacy: “We should make a comic about it as well as a podcast.”

Donna: My sincerest condolences on your dog, Albert.

Lacy: He was the best.

Kett: One of the stories is going to be about Al. Our year with Al.

Donna: That’s really wonderful.

Lacy: It’s such a grown up thing, to be a caretaker for a creature. To be out at a show and be like, “Actually, we can’t go get ice cream after. We’ve got to get home and check on Al.” I’m just not used to those adult concerns, and I love to deconstruct it a little bit in comics form.

Donna: That’s a really good way to describe how comics can also be internally cathartic: you can deconstruct feelings and put them out there.

Kett: I think that’s totally, totally super valid. It’s very therapeutic. Working in nonfiction and working in memoir, like you said, it can be not fun when you’re really having to spend a lot time in some dark periods of your own history, but it can be amazingly cathartic to get that stuff out, get those experiences out in a creative way.

Lacy: Most of the time, you’re just going through your day just doing the things you do without thinking about why you’re doing the things you’re doing. But when you take an instant and describe a scene in comic form, it forces you to ask the question of, “Why did I do that? What does that mean?” I’m trying to forge a picture of my life with lots of thinking and lots of feelings.

“I’m trying to forge a picture of my life with lots of thinking and lots of feelings.”

 

Donna: That’s what comics are there for: “Lots of thinking and lots of feelings.”

Lacy: [laughing] Yeah, that’s true.

 

Buy Ink in Water through Amazon (don’t forget to leave a review) or through Silver Sprocket’s distro.

Consider becoming their patron at Patreon

Check out Lacy’s Podcast Flex Your Heart Radio (about fitness and feminism) and Kettner’s podcast Galatakus (about superhero movies and comics). Their joint podcast, Adult Crash, is just the best. Search for it however you get podcasts.

If you’re in the Portland area, head to Liberation Barbell, and if not visit them online for video workouts.

Their websites are: lacyjdavis.com and kettnerd.com and their instagrams are very entertaining: @lacyjdavis and @xkettnerdx

Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading Fri., Oct. 13, 8 PM, Avenue. 50 Studio, Highland Park

Razorcake 100th issue celebration reading

(click for full size)

Come celebrate Razorcake 100th issue release with a celebration reading!
Fri., Oct. 13, 8 PM, Avenue. 50 Studio, Highland Park

With a special performance by PHAG (Phranc and Alice Bag)

Readings by Razorcake familia
Donna Ramone
Chris Terry
Jim Ruland
Sean Carswell
Puro Pinche Poets: Alma Rosa, Cynthia Guardado, and Violeta M. Tablilla-Esquivel

Hosted by Jim Ruland

Fri., Oct. 13, 8 PM, Avenue. 50 Studio, Highland Park, 131 N Avenue 50, Los Angeles, CA 90042

This event is free.

Flyer by Kiyoshi Nakazawa