YAZ 11 - Welcome

Alright mate, címon in and make yourself at home. Mind your head.... oh, and watch the step as well. Sorry, shouldíve warned you about that. And mind the dog. Get down shep.

Well, itís been a bit of a bastard this one, and that leads in quite nicely to the usual whingeathon that opens proceedings.

Really has been ups and downs. Started off as normal. Then I realised that because of the delay with getting the last issue out due to the CD, I had a shitload of stuff. Loads of interviews and whatever. Iíd planned on doing a feature on Nottingham bands, but thatís sort of temporarily postponed, because I already had a lot of interviews that wouldíve got pushed back further. But thereíll be features on quite a few soon methinks. Then I realised 52 pages wasnít going to be enough. So it went to 56. That ran out quickly, so it went to 72. Finally I settled on 80. And that still doesnít account for anything like all the gigs Iíve seen in that time. The reviews in here are just a selection of the gigs. Yeah, I know thatís a relief to you. Trust me, thatís a shitload of work in doing 80 pages. Donít expect it next time. Though of course it might happen. Who knows. I donít. And I think Iíve probably been a bit of a right wanker in places in here, and showing a bit too much attitude and ego. Iíd also planned on this one going back to being free after asking people to pay 3 quid for the last issue with the CD. But Iím afraid thereís absolutely no way that I can afford to print up an 80page zine and give it away. Not a chance in hell.

I mean, one reason is the cost of printing. And also the cost of putting the thing together in the first place. By that I mean the cost of buying the stuff that gets reviewed. Yíknow, when I started this zine, I didnít want to be seen to take freebies. Didnít want to be seen to be freeloading on something. But, well, if this thing is to continue, then it needs the content. That means reviews. And if I donít get stuff, then I have to buy it. I canít afford to keep buying the stuff I have and that little problem could well lead to the end of the zine. I get highly pissed off that some labels and companies and whatever get selective. They send maybe one review album in five that they release. Or promise to send something then never do. Or they want to know why you donít want to interview X. I mean, this may seem like a begging letter now but it ainít. If I donít get sent something, then unless itís something I really want to buy, it ainít going to get reviewed. I think I do fair reviews. Theyíre pretty detailed, no 2 line crap. I think I deserve review material. But some donít. Some labels have steadfastly refused to even acknowledge the copies of the zines that Iíve sent them. Ah well fuck it. Like I said, I didnít set this thing off to get freebies. But if itís to continue, well I canít really afford to keep buying. I know that means shit to the labels and companies. They donít actually give a fuck if this zine disappears. I make no difference to them. The only time I make a difference is when they want to know if Iíll do an interview with one of their bands, so that theyíre seen to be doing their job. At least seen to be doing it by the band. Sorry, thatís just the way it is. If they disagree with that, well prove it. Tell me to my face that what I do matters. Nah, thought not.

The thesis has struggled onwards towards some kind of conclusion, whether I like it or not, be it good or bad, in September. So next time Iíll be on about that. Count on it. Work contract got renewed until the end of the year, so at least things will continue till then. Course thereís the worry that I may have to get a real job then, which I fear will spell the end of the zine irrespective of whether I get enough material to be able to afford to continue with it. So then, at the same time that youíre thinking you donít know how or if the zine can carry on like this, youíre also thinking, well, Iíd like to make a living from this. Not get rich, just be able to make a living doing this sort of thing. Set up a label maybe, promote gigs, make money off the writing. But of course, that would mean dealing with even more of the bullshit attitudes that exist that I was referring to a minute ago. The ones that get you down and make you think of jacking it in. Life, itís a great paradox ainít it?

Then, during the making of this, I reached the grand old age of 29. Weird time. Suddenly I realise that Iíve lived 10 years more than my brother did, and itís been as long since he died as it was we were alive together. Iím over half the age the old man was when he died. Theyíre kind of sobering thoughts. You suddenly start thinking what have you done in life. What have you achieved. 30 next year. And thereís like this feeling that society dictates that suddenly I should be getting mature. Growing out of this stuff. Calming down. And itís just not like that. Iím getting more into it. Sure, I can expect the hair to start thinning even more, though I donít want it to. I wanna keep my long hair, even if people think I look stupid. The half hearted attempts at dieting or toning up get ever less fruitful. You feel even more like an old man at gigs, and that maybe you shouldnít actually be here, and should leave it to the youngsters. And you also think, "fuck all that, itís what I want to do." You do think it would be nice to find someone again that actually cared about you and liked you for who you are. Then you look round and realise that any of the people that you want to do that for you are either with boyfriends, moving in with boyfriends or getting bleeding married. And so it feels lonely, which in itís turn feeds on those other fears and realisations. It feels like a lot of things and opportunities in life are disappearing.

Now, this may all read as totally self indulgent whining. Yeah, I know, you donít expect anything different of me. But thereís a point to it somewhere. I wish Iíd started this thing earlier in my life. I wish Iíd got more involved with music and maybe forged something in it. I wish Iíd told some people how great they were, or how gorgeous they were or are instead of worrying about their reaction, whether theyíd vomit or hit me. I wish Iíd kind of gone with what I loved instead of what I was maybe seen to be good at and was considered sensible. I mean, I enjoy the work I do now. I just donít know if it will be there for me as much as I want it to be. If it isnít, then I maybe get forced into something that I donít really want, the knock on effect of which is losing something I enjoy and helps motivate me, IE this zine. Itís a reason why I do whinge in this zine. Itís meant to say, "hey, if thereís something you mean to do, then do it." If youíve ever thought, "should I start a zine". Yes, you should. Or, "should I start a band." Yes, you should. "Should I tell that person how I feel." Yes, you should. Do what you want. Follow it through. Life is amazing even when itís shit and feels like itís dragging you through the gutter. And you only get one stab at it. And if youíre not careful, you reach a point where suddenly you started wondering what they Hell youíve done with it and achieved. And then you end up writing stuff like this. And you think, "fuck, Iíve turned into Dave." And that mate, is something you really donít want to do.

Enjoy your stay. Then get out there and do what you want. Meanwhile Iíll try and think of something else to whinge about next time. Donít hold yer breath though, itíll probably be the same old shit.

Cheers, Dave August Ď99.