Itís September 24. YAZ 8 Was finished two days ago. Welcome. Let me take some time to explain, whether youíre interested or not, what this page is usually meant to be about. I guess itís the ďwelcome to my ...Ē page. But it turns into a place where I just put a collection of thoughts that evolve through the process of creating a new zine. So now you know. Which allows me to use it to explain the following.
Towards the end of the last issue, I had my first bout of insecurity and uncertainty in doing a zine. Itís been going a year, and anyone who knows me, or can really pretend to know me, will know that for me to go a year without that, is pretty amazing. But anyway, like I said, itís started to surface. Itís probably visible in parts of the last issue. And as I start this one, remembering that this page is a collection of thoughts throughout the preparation lifetime of this zine, itís still there. Well, itís only a matter of days since I actually finished No 8. This may be the last one. I mean, what right do I have to make any ill informed judgement on anybodies album or demo or gig? I donít know anything, I just give an opinion. And increasingly Iím finding that those opinions are condescending and high and mighty seeming. They also donít give any insight into the actual music. And the reviews seem to center round what Iím thinking, which has absolutely no relevence to the music for the most part. But whether I like it or not, it influences what I think of things, and so I think that I should explain that during a review. Even though I donít want to. But if I just write the review, well, in those instances itís simply going to say nothing. But it feels partly that this is just turning into an ego massage exercise. Which isnít what it should be about. I also find myself so often thinking ďthis reminds me of something or someone, but I canít put my finger on whoĒ. And thatís not really a way to review something. Once is ok, but after a while, it just becomes lazy and cliched. Neither is a good review a ďitís shitĒ or ďit rocksĒ. But I donít know how to describe music, I only know how to describe what I think when Iím listening to something. And I just donít know that that is valid.
Same with the interviews. I have no real idea if any of the questions I ask are relevent or even interesting for the bands or the people reading this. I know the questions do tend to go for the same angle each time. What makes a good or interesting question? I want to avoid the bog standard where possible. I mean, whatís the point in every zine asking the same questions? That would almost mean that to find out anything, you only have to read one interview with a band in one zine. But, at the same time, I donít want to be overly intrusive, cos I know I wouldnít want someone Iíve never met before asking me to explain myself or my innermost thoughts and emotions. So why should any zine or journalist, or fan expect it from a band member? But one of the reasons I started doing this zine in the first place, was that I wanted to read about bands that I liked, and to read something that was a little different to what you read in Kerrang! or Metal Hammer, or the NME. Or whatever your poison is. I wanted the interviews to be a bit more informative. I donít know that Iíve achieved that. I still have a real problem with Kerrang! at the moment, which anyone who has read a recent issue of this zine will know about. Iím criticising, but am I any different? I donít know, probably not. Itís a year since I started this. In that time, Iíve put out 8 issues. I donít know how long it takes people to read this thing, 20 mins. Maybe people donít even read it, just glance at it. Thatís fair enough. It may not look like it, but thereís a shitload of work goes into each issue. Yet itís simple. The interviews get made up pretty much on the spot. I may spend 10 minutes before preparing some questions, but thatís it. Like the Far interview this issue. Then you find out youíre interviewing a different person to who the questions were tailored, and so you end up reverting back to your bog standard questions. The boring questions. Itís then just down to what happens at that moment in time. Then itís spend a few hours listening back to everything, cramming to hear and hoping you donít misquote or misunderstand, or misappropriate something as you type the thing up. The reviews well, once Iíve listened to an album or demo enough, they take maybe 20 minutes to do. Get tidied up after, but the general work is done. Gig reviews are similar. I work out what I want to try and get across, if anything, and then just type it. So, the component parts are easy. But the whole, it takes so much time. And thatís with a shite layout. I could sit back and try to do things differently. Try to change the elements that I think are wrong, but itís so easy for me to do what I do, because itís just what comes into my head. Thatís not meant to sound arrogant, just that I do this the easiest way I know how. I always resort in the end to what comes naturally. So the idea of a radical re-think or change of the zine doesnít really come into it, because I know me, and I know that I would soon just slip back into the mode that I use to produce this in the quickest time.
So, at the moment I donít know if it will continue. Hopefully Iíll know more as I progress through this issue. I hope it does, and I guess ultimately at the moment, I think it will. Because I enjoy it, and I like it. Yeah, I know it doesnít sound it from what Iíve just said. I love music, and writing about it is fun, even if I think I do it badly. This zine isnít done, never has been, and never will be done for plaudits or kudos or whatever. Itís done for the love of it. Thatís why up to now itís been free. If it continues that may change as I canít really afford to keep it going like this. Itís also why Iíve done it based on what I buy, as opposed to going looking for people to give me free shit. If people want to send stuff then Iíll gladly accept it. And donít expect me to like it just because it was sent to me. This isnít an exercise in what I can get. Itís about music, and about maybe telling a few people about some stuff that theyíve not heard of before and I think maybe they should. I hope the love of doing it prevails, because at the moment I guess Iím guilty of overestimating itís importance. That means I think I have to do something better each time. Maybe I donít. Maybe I just have to carry on doing it because I enjoy it, even if itís not very good.
Last issue I wrote some stuff where I said life is about compromise. Maybe itís time for me to take my own advice then. Whatís the point of me writing this? To gain sympathy? Nah. I try to make this zine as honest as I can. This is just being honest on my view on things at the moment. Whatís the point in saying this issue is at least being started with me in a great frame of mind about it? It doesnít matter to you one way or the other. But it matters to me.
But just in case you donít want all this shit, maybe I should just say, dude, life is just one great big phat suckle on the nectar of life. And for anyone who tells you other, they no down wit me and da bros in da mutha fuckiní hood. doood. Donít dis life. Life is peachy. Keep it Real. Have a nice day! Please drive through.
Hmm, not really me that.
Albums / Singles
Mini reviews of Singles / EPS