Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Posted by Andrew Jacobs |

When and how did you get into hardcore music?

I got into hardcore in the summer of '94. My first show was Undertow at Magic Studios in Bellevue, Washington.

When and how did you become involved in photography?

I've always been into photography and graphic design. I used to set up all my pens and paper and play ad exec. My mom gave me her Pentax camera when I was in 7th or 8th grade. I took pictures of friends sk8ing and the sky. Took a photo class in high school and I was hooked. Spent most of my senior year in the dark room or in the video editing room with my friend Mylissa.

What was the very first show that you photographed?

That I don't know. It was probably some high school band at a youth center or gym. My first memory of wanting to impress a band with my pics was Jollymon and Shine, both love rock bands (pre-grunge) from Oregon.

As a photographer, who/what are some of your influences and why?

I guess over the years, I've tried not to have any influences. That's not to say that I don't appreciate some art history. I'm quite obsessed with Marcel Duchamp and Eadweard Muybridge. Those are things that I learned in art school that made my heart skip a beat and my eyes light up. I'm not sure what was driving me pre-art school.

That's not to say that I don't appreciate a ton of current photographers' work. There is a photographer that did the CVLT Nation Seven Stories feature before me. Markus Shaffer and I loved his pictures. I'm going to use some in the All About Friends Forever compilation booklet, along with other photographers including Justin Borucki (who had pics in the first compilation). I've always loved Justin's work, and he has always been a photographer that I've traded with and featured in my zines throughout the years. Not to mention the fact that he's a swell guy and I'm stoked that I've know him all these years.

Discuss your '90s zines Point Furthest From The Middle and Hardcore Maniacs as well as any other zines that you've done.

Those two are the only ones that I've done. I started PFFTM in the summer of '94. Might as well say that summer changed my life. I worked at Kinko's and I was a Straight Edge kid. Why wouldn't I do a zine? I taught myself all the computer stuff there but still did a ton of cut and paste.

Hardcore Maniacs started because I had way too many pictures from going to hardcore shows almost every weekend. The all ages scene back then had to fight way harder for shows and I think that is why there was so many of them. Nowadays, it's pretty easy. The Vera Project in Seattle paved the way for that to happen! I did both zines until '98. The OG All About Friends compilation was issue #5 of my photozine Hardcore Maniacs.

I never really did the zines to make money and when I did make money, it was usually spent on t-shirts or other people's zines. I just wanted to be a part of it all. Support it all!

Being as how you come from the paper zine world, what were your initial thoughts when zines started to go digital and what are your thoughts on digital zines now?

I still love print! I always will. With blogs and whatnot, it's too easy now. There is a lot more crap to dig through to find the good stuff. I'm not saying that my zine wasn't crap but there weren't 500 other zines that looked like Tumblr layout #52. There was a little more artistic expression in the paper age. Also, I'm not a web designer. I hate coding! Give me a printer, scissors and glue any day!

Do you think that paper zines are still viable in the digital age of the 21st century? Why or why not?

Yes and no. It's kinda like the vinyl and mp3. Most people I know (and we could just be old fogies) like to have both. CDs are pretty much dead but everyone loves the feel of a record in their hands. A good zine could be pretty awesome printed but it is going to have to be some next level stuff that can only be viewed on paper. In other words, the view on the internet just can't do it justice. And vice versa! Use each medium for their best traits and you win.

Discuss All About Friends, your 1997 hardcore compilation.

It dawned on me one day while living at the Aurora Family House in Seattle with my roomates Jake Snider, Dan Dean and Naomi Knapp that I could actually put out my own CD. Jake had a recording studio in our basement and was in State Route 522. Dan Dean (his pic is on the cover of the OG comp) was in Nineiron Spitfire and Screwjack. From friends of friends of friends and the zines, I had contact with bands that I loved from all over the United States. So I threw it all out there just to see if anyone would want to do it! Everyone did and they all made it very special by doing awesome covers or giving me unreleased tracks at the time. It was such a fun process getting everything together.

Discuss All About Friends Forever, your 2012 follow-up (if you will) to the aforementioned All About Friends compilation.

Well, I didn't want to just re-release the first compilation. Tons of people were in new bands and doing awesome things, not to mention all the new friends that I've made over the years! So the idea of a new compilation was born! We had no problem filling the thing up with awesome bands!

How did you go about deciding what bands would be included on both compilations?

Well, for the old one, I just asked everyone that I knew and whoever came back to me with something, I put it on the compilation. The new one was a little harder because I didn't want any old bands. We made the exception for I Wish I and Harvest because they were back together and recording new stuff.

I love the old compilation and my roots are in old hardcore forever but gotta keep this thing going with new things and fresh ideas! Makes the world go round.

How long have you been vegan and why did you decide to become vegan?

I'm actually not vegan anymore but I was vegan for about 12 years. I ran into some health issues and found out that I'm allergic to wheat. At that point in time, I started eating fish. I don't do dairy but I'm not militant about it. If I forget to say no cheese on my tacos, I'll eat it anyway! I still support everything vegan and I'm a super raw food health nut! Yes, I own a food processor, juicer and a dehydrator!

How long have you been Straight Edge and why did you decide to become Straight Edge?

I'm not Straight Edge anymore either. I sold out in 2004. I was Straight Edge because my Dad was an alcoholic. Being Straight Edge helped me learn that I wasn't going to turn into my Dad. I had the will power and the knowledge to make educated decisions about drinking. I no longer needed to be nailed to the X to know that I wasn't a drunken idiot.

I drink on occasion now but rarely get drunk. Mostly because I don't know what to drink. I'm allergic to beer and my mixed drink days were spent with Xs on my hands at all ages shows. I am very proud that I was Edge and it made me the person that I am today! I know that "if you're not now, you never were" and that's fine. I will still promote the Edge to all the kids trying to find themselves in their late teens. It may not be for everyone but it was definitely for me and I have NO REGRETS!!!

How do you feel about Straight Edge hardcore bands reuniting (whether it's short term or long term) when the core members of said bands are no longer Straight Edge?

I love bands getting together for reunion shows or together to continue on and recording. What is kind of annoying is when bands say they are doing a reunion show and then they do 30 of them. It makes me think that they got together to do a show and have fun as a band again, then they made some cash and now they are doing it for the money. I know that everyone deserves to make a living and all but I still believe that if your heart isn't in it, you shouldn't do it. If your heart is in it, just announce that the band is back together and you are going on tour.

I just want everyone to have fun. I don't really care who is Edge and who isn't anymore. I think it's rad that people still are Edge. As far as the ones that aren't anymore, I just hope that they still have that good sense of moderation that they learned when they were.

Discuss your experiences working in record stores.

I only worked at two record stores: Tower Records in Seattle and Ranch Records in Salem, Oregon. Very different experiences.

Tower was great. I met all the members of Mother Love Bone and had my high school
art class made t-shirt signed by everyone except Andrew Wood (R.I.P.).

Ranch was close to my hometown where I grew up, so that was the glamorous job. I got tons of points with kids that I went to school with. It was also nice because there were only 3-4 people that worked there and we could listen to anything that we wanted to and talk shop with people all day long. When River Phoenix died, I was working at Tower and I forced the whole video department to watch his movies all day long, including My Own Private Idaho! It was nice to feel like you were doing what you wanted at work but the pay was always shit!

Feel free to shamelessly plug any of your other musical or non-musical endeavors here.

Well, I want to make sure that everyone preorders their record on our
Kickstarter - http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/793468724/all-about-friends-forever-double-lp-compilation. If we don't make the Kickstarter goal, we will probably have to figure out a different way to put this baby out!

We have so many other goals. I want to put together a book of mid '90s band pics. You can track my scanning adventure on my blog - http://cwphotos.tumblr.com/

And, of course, I still want to put out records and promote my friends, new talent and old!


xjustinx said...

Hahaha wow, a Jollymon reference. I never thought I'd see that here.