Saturday, December 14, 2013

Interview with Billy Alletzhauser about Zines

This is a zine.

Questions in bold.
 Answers by Billy Alletzhauser

Billy, I got some questions for you for THWART concerning you and zines... HIDEOUS HORROR #1 from 1985-- almost 30 years ago! That makes you one of the oldest zinesters still publishing... What got you started making zines?

Some of the members of Sluggo went to my school, Julian Bevan had one called Poison Briggs and that's probably what inspired me

Older Pic of Billy with Hiders:The Band
What was the zine scene like in the 80's? That was before my time.

Dude, everybody had zines back then. Mostly music and skating zines. It was just something to do, I'm not even sure why we did them... Just copying someone else I guess

Was it a 'golden age' for zines maybe?

Probably, I never really researched ' the history of fanzines ' or anything but they were certainly popular in the mid-eighties. You wouldn't be grabbing Rolling Stone to find out about the new Agnostic Front album or where a newly discovered skate spot was.

Sounds like it was in the 90's during my stint with Neus Subjex... Are you going thru a resurgence or reassertion now, or have you done irregular stuff continuously since 85?

Call it resurgence. Once I remembered how fun and easy it was I dived back in. Been digging through the archives, I'll have to show you some favorites!

What’s the difference between then and now doing zines?

Well, for me it was more innocent then but what started the new ones was using it as a self-promo thing for the band but that innocence and desire to reach out, connect, promote your friends was buried just below the surface and came welling back up. There's also the technical difference, no need for scotch tape and glue unless you're going full retro! Much easier now.

You are referencing HIDERS: THE ZINE... of which let me know that you knew... That really impressed the shit out of me. Are you planning more with that? What’s your future plans for zines? More Hiders?

I don't want to wear out the idea but I do want to use some kind of zine idea in place of / along with the usual poster. I like a bit of utilitarianism in there, there’s just so much useless crap in the world I want to stay committed to the notion that a promo item can serve a multi - purpose. I'm not sure; the next one may double as a calendar, a bookmark, a UFO manual? Since I've done two in two different styles I'm thinking that always changing could be the constant.

Something I continually ask myself, but have yet to answer comfortably, is why zines? As easy as it is and/or be ones, what's the use? What's the allure? Is it an expressive 'fuck yeah' celebrating Inconvenience?
I really need to do another photo shoot of Hiders. Update these old pics.

I think anything printed for the sheer sake of printing/making it is cool. (like our convo about blogs v zines) I think the limitations are what make it cool. As much as the internet and blogs democratize they also de-value just by the intangibility and ease of its essence. Who is going to collect a limited edition mp3 download single? No one, because it doesn't exist. Its copy is exactly the same as the original. If you took five minutes to write about some band in a blog, who cares... but if you took all weekend to write about a band, design it, print it, staple it, carry it around, mail it, give it away from your hand to someone else’s.... I guess if there's magic, that's where it happens.

Doing a blog makes me feel guilty and You have lots of validity behind your statements. What's your future plans for zines?

I'm tossing around ideas but haven't settled on one yet; it may be next year as the hiders book more shows. One idea is to do something hi-res kind of modeled after OMNI or maybe a reboot of Hideous Horror or some type of comic. I also like what they used to do in Punk Magazine and old creams where they would do a narrative comic book style but take real pictures, usually something ridiculous with band members acting out the narrative. As I type that idea I'm getting more into it!