Right, sorry the site hasn't been updated much recently. It's mainly been due to losing quite a bit of interest in music and the zine. Whether that will return, well, only time will tell.
I'm going to try and update some new reviews in the next couple of days. Though don't expect anything truly 'zine like or underground. The reviews are going to be "mainstream" music effectively. Let's see, there should be Maiden, A Perfect Circle, Medulla Nocte, Pitchshifter, Apollyon Sun, Brutal Deluxe, Shallow, Stampin' Ground, Organ Vol 13 and maybe a few more.
Sorry it's not more 'zine regulation underground friendly material, but well, frankly a lot of the new stuff is boring the shit out of me. Some of the things I found exciting have grown very old very quickly, and there's a lack of spark and originality in much of what I'm hearing at the moment. Which is one reason there's not many gig reviews. Kind of bored of seeing the same old same old.
I don't know if the zine is going to continue as it has done or even at all. IF it does, it's likely that I'll drop the printed run to a minimum (basically I can't shift them, which means they take up space in my place and money from my wallet to print them that isn't being replaced.) So, it would continue predominantly on-line. If labels, PR etc have a problem with on-line zines only, well sorry.
Sorry to the bands that have been interviewed this year, but who's interview has not yet made it to, well anything really. Little 10, Snub. I'm sure I've done more than that, but maybe I haven't. I will try and do them sometime, maybe as a final hurrah sort of thing to at least be fair to them for being fair to me. I do have a list of interviews that I'd like to do - Tence, Babies Three, new Medulla and Earthtone9 ones, but I'm just utterly utterly (a)pathetic at the moment with respect to doing them, so whether they will ever materialise is anyone's guess. The thought of having to ask bands the same old bollocks questions that they get asked by everyone else and put them and people reading it through the torture of reading absolutely nothing new, and the time it takes to transcribe all that stuff from tape to nothing new, well, it just doesn't appeal at all. The solution of course, is to come up with some original questions. But I'm afraid that originality is just a mythical creature that has never actually visited me. Which is why, though I'd like to, I won't try (cos I wouldn't get anyway), for interviews with Fantomas and A Perfect Circle.
A quick word in your shell like if you donít mind...
This is kind of a YAZ#12 piece, but it's maybe a little more coherent than what I had up here before.
I'm thinking of changing the name of the zine to How To Make Friends and Infuriate People. Some reasons why:
So, youíve read that some people shall we say, ďquestion my rightĒ to have an opinion. In addition to the names Iíve been called there, Iíve also had some other people criticise my attitude and what I do. Unfortunately I wasnít given the permission to print all that. But letís just say that phrases such as "pathetic and childish.", "immature so called zine journalist", "arrogant and must have a huge ego" and who needs to " get from up himself. " have been used.
The thing pretty much all this has in common is that itís from people ďwithin the industry.Ē And itís this issue that Iíd like to try and address here and state my point, and the way this zine operates. The ONLY way this zine will operate. I SHOULDNíT have to do this, and maybe some will think Iím just being as immature as people are saying. Some may say I should just take the criticisms. Fair enough. But I do feel the need to say my piece at the moment.
Firstly, I donít consider myself a journalist. Iíve said it before and I maintain that assertion. Why? Because it strikes me as saying this, ďif you have an opinion and dare to let it be known, then you are no longer a fan of music but a wannabe journalist. As such your opinion is only valid if we, the members of the industry, agree with it. If we donít we are within our right to try and shred you on it.Ē
To me it shouldnít be like that. As a fan of a band or music, you should, you MUST be allowed to have an opinion, and to criticise if you feel it is warranted. To deny that is to insult everybody that buys your or your labels bands records. Itís an insult to everyone that pays the money to attend a gig - not just the ticket, the cost of getting there and back, and any items of merchandise you decide to buy.
Itís like this, just because I type something, doesnít mean Iím a journalist. I mean, I can play a few chords on guitar and a little bass, but would never have the temerity to call myself a musician.
Next, Iíd like to state I do know a little of how the industry works. Over the course of just over 2 years doing the zine, Iíve been told plenty of tales off the record, made some contacts who work or have worked within the industry and have explained how things REALLY work and happen. And itís BECAUSE of this knowledge that I am perhaps more opinionated on the whole thing now and do voice my opinion, and explain what happens. I donít know everything about the industry obviously. Based on what I do know, Iím not sure I wish to understand it all. But, what I do know is this, just because itís how the industry is, DOESNíT mean that I have to agree with it. I donít. I think it stinks to high heaven. I think it should be done differently. And I really want to let people know what really happens. That is why I will state what happens as I put this together. If I think that Iím being hard done by in the way I get treated, Iíll say. Not because Iím trying to be childish, not because Iím sulking at not getting my way. I do it because I consider myself first and foremost a fan of the music, and that the way I get treated is perhaps reflective of the way the rest of the ďfansĒ or ďkidsĒ are really thought of. Iím not going to protect the industry egos or ethics. I mean, itís been quite outstanding how on a number of occassions this issue Iíve been told how ďI was passed this by blahĒ. Amazing that the industry looks after itself. They pass on the bits which are critical, and then lambast you. Iíve never, EVER received a message from a label saying ďthanks for taking the time to do that interview with one of our bands.Ē I have received thanks from bands themselves, to which I am grateful. But not labels. Not PR. Not THE INDUSTRY. I don't have a problem with the majority of bands. But on the other hand, those with massive egos or attitude problems, well I'd like to see them exposed for what they are.
You see, my main problem is this. The industry is focussed on everything but what really matters. The music. Rather than caring about that, everyone seems engulfed in their ego, throwing their weight as to how youíre supposed to behave. Iíd love to see the fatcats, legal executives, and generally people that hold the power but donít give a damn about the central theme of music, Iíd love to seem them exposed.I hope with all sincerity that the Internet is able to blow the cobwebs out of the whole thing, and that the middlemen that leach are made redundant and useless. I mean, surely a band deserves to earn more than 47p from a CD release? Of course they do. They certainly deserve to earn more than the rest of the ďindustryĒ elements that take a much larger share. Surely the band should come first and foremost in all this. But no, they donít. Because the industry doesnít care. It just cares about what can make it the most money, and if that means the use of immoral tactics, then so be it. You can argue all sorts of ways and discuss all the business and legal ethics and implications that you like, but if you tell me that the band receiving such a measly sum, when others are entitled to much bigger cuts is right, well, I'm afraid I'm always going to tell you that I believe that may be the system, but it's not the best system, not the fair system.
Now, I also realise that itís all very well complaining about it, but bands do have to live with it. To make a success you do have to get in bed with the devil. I wish the bands well and hope that they are able to use it and manipulate it to further their own needs. I may have to abide by some of the industry rules myself if some ideas in the pipeline reach fruitition. In the same way I have to ask for labels to send stuff for me to review. I canít afford to buy it otherwise, so itís either nothing, or have to rely on the generosity of others loaning me stuff. But because you do have to play ball to an extent that doesn't mean I'll agree with it all. I will still retain my voice in it all. It may sound somewhat hypocritical, but you can either play along, whilst still trying to do things your way, or end up doing nothing.
Which finally brings me on to how this zine operates. It is NOT for the purpose of the labels or even the bands. I will NOT give a good review to anyone just because they think that they deserve it. I will only ever give my honest opinion on something. If people canít accept that, well to be honest, tough. As Iíve been told, Iím no-one. The industry survives without me. Labels donít need me. Bands donít need me. So if thatís the case (which it is), donít get so upset at my comments. I mean, theyíre worth nothing arenít they. I do my level best to be honest, to say things as I saw them, to give bands a chance, to listen to the music. And if I love something, Iíll do what I can to help. But if I donít, Iím not going to pretend. That would be immature. That would be wrong of me. This zine is to promote music, to I hope encourage people that thereís so much great and interesting music out there that is not spoonfed to you. Thatís itís purpose. Itís not meant to be an industry pleaser. Itís meant to be about music.
All in all itís been very trying. At the moment I am severly biting my lip and trying not to turn to name calling or dropping down purely to the use of vulgarities. Some people may not believe it, or like to believe it, but this stuff really does mean something to me. Iím doing not to try and further myself, but purely because I love music. Name calling hurts. I wonít pretend it doesnít. Criticism hurts, but you can only ever gain anything from criticism rather than praise. Thatís why I focus on it more. But having an opinion this issue has been hurtful. There have certainly been a number of times where Iíve felt like packing this whole thing in. I donít need the aggrevation that itís caused. But during those moments, Iíve listened to music and itís inspired me to carry on. Iíve also had some much appreciated messages of support from various people, for which I am grateful. And I guess I realise that if I am annoying some people, some industry people, with my opinions then maybe Iím achieving a little bit of what Iím looking for.
I would like to apologise though to those people around me at the moment who are having to listen to some of my real feelings with respect to all this. I am trying extremely hard to show a "mature" front in all this, but it does mean biting the lip on some things I want to say. The thing is this, trust me, if these people are upset about what I've said, they'd hate some of the things I've been told and would really really like to be able to publish about the industry. But it needs someone with the courage to sit down and go on the record about it all. But if someone will do it, rest assured Iíll print it.
Right, well YAZ 11 is now available for a quid. See the contact page for details.
Working on YAZ 12 now. It looks like being another 80 page issue, due hopefully before the end of the year. How does it look? Well, crap as usual, but looks can be deceptive. Though in this case they may not be, who knows, you decide. When you can. But yeah, what's going to be in it? Well, (take a deep breath), so far theres:
Plus loads of other stuff, gig reviews and whatever.
UNIDA in free Nottingham gig
"We're just doing it for the beers"
That's how Unida bassist Scott Reeder introduced the band as they played an unannounced free gig on Saturday 13th November at Nottingham's recently refurbished The Old Angel venue. The American 4 piece were stopping over in Nottingham for the night, enjoying a day off before embarking on the UK leg of their European tour, and were so overwhelmed with the warmth of their welcome, that they asked if they could play a gig ... for beer.
And so following the circus side show performance of Fakir Bone, the band started setting up their gear at midnight, and by 12.45am were starting an hour long set, much to the pleasure of the 70 or so punters who had hung around. Towards the end of the set, vocalist John Garcia explained from the stage the reasons for the impromptu gig. "I want to tell you a little story." he started. "There were 4 American guys and 3 British guys, who'd never met before, but just spoken on the phone ... We've been on tour together in Europe now for 4 weeks. These guys saved this band, and without them, we wouldn't be here." The guys in question were Nottingham based ex-Iron Monkey guitarist Dean (Berry), Blackrock vocalist Shaun (Inger) and soundman Mark (Strickland), who have been helping the band out on the European tour and with whom the band were staying for the night. "It's thanks to those guys, this tour has been our longest, but most enjoyable one ever, because of them and Bill our driver. Thank you so much for the warmth of your hospitality." concluded the vocalist as the band, completed by guitarist Arthur Seay and drummer Mike Cancino finished their set to grins plastered on the faces of the lucky few who witnessed the event.
Full review within the review section. Please credit YAZ zine if you redistribute or reproduce this report
October 20 - YAZ 11 went to the printers on Monday. I hope to pick it up on Frday. 80 pages, that's a quid plus SAE to you guv.
Why YAZ went off line in September.here.
Previous news bits may be found here.