Thunder Issue 16

*NOTE: Due to a mis-count, Simon Marshall’s issue wold have been Thunder Issue 15, not 13 as it is written. Sorry about that!

This interview, when it happened, could not have had me any more nervous.

Chris Walter, who is known as a writer of Punk Rock fiction and nonfiction, is someone I really respect.

As always in my mind though, I jumped to worst case scenario. (I call it my case of the ‘What Ifs?’)

What if I stumbled over my words so bad, I couldn’t get a sentence out; let alone an interview?

What if I had a really bad panic attack and had to leave? (It’s happened before.)

Or; an extreme What If:  What If Chris Walter was really snooty?

As usual, my worry blows thing way out of proportion. Chris was fantastic to interview, and it was great to meet a fellow writer.

*Note: I did this interview in two part. Asking some questions during the Q&A, and later on one on one.

During Q&A:

KW: I was wondering; I was told that you started out by writing a zine. What was your zine like? What was it about?

CW: In 1982, I was trying to hack it together on a borrowed typewriter and you know, my friend asked me ‘What are yo doing?’ And I told him, ‘I’m going to write a fan zine.’ And he said ‘What are you going to call it?’ and I said I’m going to call it ‘Pages Of Rage.’ So he said, ‘Oh, o.k.’ I thought for sure he was going to tell I was an idiot and that it was never going to work, because that’s what he generally used to tell me. But he didn’t discourage me for it, so we actually got it together. You know, we misspelled, mistyped, and we took it down to the library and collated the thing. I was surprised when we actually sold it all for a dollar a copy. You couldn’t do that nowadays, because alot of stuff is paid for by the advertising. The first few issues were really crappy photocopy jobs, but an overachiever friend of mine, he had it printed in a place in town that used offset printing, and we started doing runs of a thousand, distributing them all over North America. And I was surprised at the success we were getting. But then we realized it was alot like real work. And that was kind of a problem. So we stopped doing it. (Laughs in room.)

 

KW: How do you pick the bands you write about?

CW: I thought I’d pick bands maybe I knew personally. And bands I listen to. And SNFU, Personality Crisis, and DayGlo Abortions certainly fit those catrgories. I also wanted to cover Canadian bands first, but I’m not going to limit mysef to them. Personally, I’m running out of bands that fit the criteria, so my next book might be about a British or American band. But I wanted to cover the Canadian stuff that was important to me first.

 

During One On One:

KW: How do you get started when you start a story or subject? Do you start on paper, on a computer?….

CW: On a computer. I used to write stuff by hand before I had a computer, but that’s the hard way to do it. You know, I revise and edit so much, it’s carpal tunnel material.

KW: How do you pick a subject for a book that you’re working on?

CW: I try to go with what’s currently happening in the scene, and who’s active and put out a new album. I just listen around and see who’s doing what. You do stories around them, not some band that broke up 10 years ago. You know what I mean right? Isn’t that what you do?

KW: What made you want to write about SNFU?

CW: They’ve been around for 30 years, influenced people all over the world, hell I’ve known two of the members for 30 years so it made perfect sense to do it.

 

KW: What makes you want to write about Punk in Canada?

CW: I’ll write about Punk anywhere, but Canada is where I live. My next book might not be about a Canadian Punk band, but I wrote aboutte bands that were important to me first.

KW: I know you just completed a project, but I have to ask. Do you anything for a next book in mind?

CW: I have a few ideas. A few bands I’m considering. But I won’t say who they are until it’s finalized.

KW: You write fiction and nonfiction. Is there one genre you perfer?

CW: They’re both so different. Like fiction is great because you can explore your creativity. But I also like writing nonficition. It’s rewarding to do music biographies because you learn so much about the bands you like. It’s a learning process.

KW:Did you think that when you started writing it would ever come to this point?

CW: No. I had no idea. I was writing because I had nothing better to do. But I knew I had to do something because I felt like I was wasting my life.

(After that we exchanged good-byes, as Chris had to go.)

You can get Chris’s books here in Hamilton,Ontario, Canada at Crash Landing Punk and Music store or at Hammer City Records.

Or to get an idea of his books, hit up punkbooks.com

SOME BANDS TO WATCH:

Frankie and Jimmy.

Even though they are a duo, this pair kicks some major musical a*s. (They make as much noise as a band.)

They’re unique, as they aim to blend Punk and Classic Blues with guitar, a harmonica, and a voice that won’t be forgotten soon.

They have a free download. Their rendition of ‘Maggie Campbell Blues’ available on Bandcamp.com.

frankieandjimmy.bandcamp.com.

Dismantle.

A band I have yet to see, (and I look forward to when I do), Dismantle sounds like Hamilton. I know you probably ask how, but just go with me on this.  They’re Punk, they’re gritty, they’re great. And their 2 free downloads are available at:

dismantle.bandcamp.com

Spanner.

They’re from the U.K, but Spanner have been making waves in my scene. Quite a few people talk up this Ska-Punk band, and for good reason. Their music covers everything border patrols to the government and other important issues, all set to awesome music. They have a 13 track album up free at: rebeltimerecords.bandcamp.com

SOME UPCOMING SHOWS/ EVENTS:

As it’s the 3rd Tuesday of the month, the Lyric Theatre will be hosting it’s monthly Youth Poetry Slam and Open Mic. Not to mention it’s workshop with the featured poet. (This month it’s Lisa Slater.) Things kick off at 6pm for the workshop, 7pm for the poetry. Admission is $2 for 18 and under, $5 for 19 and over.

Janice Lee and The Free Rads play the Artword Artbar on January 18th with Lorimer Longhaul, Jon The Bassit and more. The event is Pay What You Can, and gets started at 8pm. I don’t know if it’s All-Ages or not.

Panzerfaust, Unbowed, Erimha, and Necrodios play the Doors Pub January 18th. It’s $12 at the door, $8 for advance tickets. (Advance tickets can be purchased at Dr. Disc or at Hammer City Records.) This event is 19+, and starts at 8pm.

In response to recent crimes that have taken place in the city, this months Slamfest (we’re at number 19. Awesome!) will have an anti-violence theme. I’m always a big advocate for Slamfest, but I especially encourage attending this one. Slamfest starts at 3pm, admission is $6, and this show is All-Ages.

This issue I would like to thank:

Chris Walter, for agreeing to be interviewed
Suzanne Kirkwood and Chris Crash for helping to get me this interview
My Mom and Dad
My Friends
Anyone who reads this zine
The City Of Hamilton

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Hamilton Poetry Nights At The Lyric Theatre.

I find Hamilton an intriguing place.

It’s full of places to explore, people to meet, and a lot of stuff to do.

One of the latest things to do are poetry nights at the Lyric Theatre.

Consisting of 4 portions (a workshop, an Open Mic for all ages, a Slam portion for 22 years and under, and a reading from a feature author), these evenings have captivated me since I heard about them last month.

I actually went to last month’s edition, and I loved it. I haven’t read my poetry aloud since high school, so it was great to get back to it. The crowd was receptive, and my anxiety was made things worse in my head than they actually were.

If anyone is interested in attending, the event takes place the third Tuesday of every month at the Lyric Theatre. Start time is 6pm for the workshop, 7pm for the Open Mic and Slam. It’s $2 for everyone 18 and under to compete, and $5 for everyone 19 and over. (For rules and things like that, the site is: burlingtonslam.wordpress.com)

Good luck to everyone who comes out and reads!

 

 

One Year Of Thunder.

*Note: This article contains mild sarcasm and my awful jokes.

**Note: The list below contains thank-yous. Aside from my family, the order was as people came into my mind. I did not include last names or anything that people might consider private. They know who they are, and what they have done to help.

It was a dark and stormy night…. (I actually don’t remember the weather.)

But about a year ago at night, I created a zine after some friends and family members encouraged me to. (I had been writing show reviews under the Notes section of my Fa*eb*ok account for some time, and they thought it would awesome to have some paper content. Especially those without a Fa*eb*ok account.)

I worked on the zine alone. It was handwritten.  I always made a quick cover from marker or pen. I always got copies done at the library. And my first interview was my brother.

Thunder, (the zine in discussion), has changed a lot.

I now type whatever part I write, because it looks a lot tidier. I work with a partner, and we take fan submissions so I’m no longer working on the zine alone. I have WAY more cover options. (Some people could argue the new covers are better, but I don’t think anyone understood my artistic vision. I mean, I did it in PEN and in a hurry. I am so creative and avant garde.)

The machine I was most thankful for this year was a printer of my own. It’s expensive at times, but great when it’s cold out and I can print at home.

By far, the most surprising thing I experienced this past year was the interviews. How many people wanted an interview; and continue to. How people said yes when I asked. (I even requested to attend the S.C.E.N.E Festival as Media and was accepted! But I got sick the night before and had to sadly cancel all my interviews.)

I met alot of fantastic people this year, and discovered more about the people and city I admire.

That’s why I want to take this time and say thank you. Below is a list of people who have been awesome to me this year. Whether they read the zine, offered praise and encouragement, visited this site, provided a soundtrack, or were an awesome family member/ friend/ reader/, I owe them EVERYTHING. The zine would not exist, I would not have readers, and I would not have motivation. So thank you to:

My Mom and Dad

My brother

My maternal Grandmother

Nathaniel

Sue and Crash

Craig and Leah

Glen and Jody

The members of Adelleda

The members of Web Society

The members of Rackula

The members of NOT

Erik and Nina

The members of The Rebel Arms

The members of Skullians

The members of Slender Loris

The members of Wiggler!?! And The Tiny Humans

The members of Gag Order

Cyndi

The members of Nanochrist

The member of Born Wrong

The members of Bourbon DK

The members of The Nailheads

The members of The Safety Collective

Rebel Time Records

Schizophrenic Records

Jenn

The members of Gatling

The members of The Pre-Nods

The members of At What Cost

Shonagh

Hailey

The members of Nothing Helper

Kelsey

Isabella

Mike

Molly

Bobby

Laura

Rodrigo

All my readers. The ones I never see. The ones who surf this site, and the ones who pick up a zine.

 

Thank you everyone. I look forward to a new year of writing, interviews, photography, exploring this great country, and meeting cool people.

If I’ve forgotten anyone, sorry!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thunder Issue 10. Part 2.

After interviewing Murray Acton, I asked drummer Blind Mark if he would like to be interviewed, as it was getting close to show time. He kindly agreed, and I fired away the questions.

KW: What made you want to join the DayGlo Abortions?

BM: A few years ago, they had a tour lined up. And Bonehead couldn’t get across the border. I knew these guys from years before, from my own bands. So they said ‘We’re going on this U.S tour. Wanna go?’ I was the only unemployed drummer in town, and I had nothing going on, so of course I went.

KW: How would you describe the sound of the DayGlo Abortions?

BM: I started listening to Punk Rock when I was a kid because I had older brothers. I loved the Dead Milkmen and the Dead Kennedys. I liked s*it that was funny. And the DayGlos were the funniest. It’s the Frank Zappa of Punk Rock. It’s f**kin’ hilarious. Every time you throw on an album, you’re laughing your head off. It’s offensive, it’s clever, but it’s also got a groove to it. They’re talking about the grossest stuff ever, but it could make your grandma smile.

KW: Some people think the band is ‘controversial.’ If we moved past that, what do you think the band is trying convey?

BM: I don’t think there is any message to convey. Except maybe having fun and making people happy at shows.

We were watching the Yo*tu*e videos of Montreal and Ottawa, and we saw all these people just singing along. The crowd was singing the lyrics louder than Murray. It was great.

KW: What do you think of the Hamilton Punk scene?

BM: This will be my first show playing in Hamilton. One of my good buddies though, that I’ve been playing with for over 20 years in bands, he grew up in Grimsby. So he basically got me into the Forgotten Rebels, Teenage Head, and all that stuff. Hamilton had one of the oldest Punk scenes in Canada, pretty much. I don’t know what they’re up to these days because I’m from Out West.

I grew up Edmonton actually. And Calgary had Beyond Possession, Winnipeg had the Stretch Marks, Vancouver had Death Sentence, D.O.A. Hamilton has Teenage Head, Forgotten Rebels. That’s how I think of every city. By the bands that originate from there.

KW: How long have you been playing music?

BM: I’ve played the drums for 25 years. I’ve played in bands for 20. I started playing in bands when I was about 16.

KW: What keeps you interested in it all years?

BM: When I growing up, I was a blind kid. I wasn’t good at sports and s**t. Then my brother took me to a Punk show when I was about 11 years old, and I just wanted to play the drums. I heard how fast the drummer was rockin’ it. It was beyond comprehension. It was like they were going hundreds of miles an hour. So that’s what I did.

KW: You guys are playing a very intimate show here in Crash Landing’s basement. But you’ve played bigger places. Is there a kind of venue you prefer to play?

BM: All-Ages are fun to play. Because you get the kids and they’re the up-and-comers. You gotta keep playing for kids, you know? Get them to spread the word around. But, the bar shows are fun. And house parties. I pretty much just like to play, no matter where it is. I’d probably be bummed out if I had to play a stadium. Because bar shows and house parties are, like you say, more intimate. It’s where you can actually talk to the people you know? And you can have a beer with everyone.

KW: In your opinion, has Punk Rock changed for better or for worse since you started playing it?

BM: It’s gotten pretty commercial over the past 15 years. But, the underground is still the underground. So all the stuff we listen to still gets played. Every city has their underground Punk scene. No matter how much the commercial s**t tries to invade.

 

This issue thanks to:

Crash and Suzanne for help getting the interview. Encouragement. Holding basement shows. And for carrying the paper version of Thunder.

Murray Acton and Blind Mark for their time, patience, and kindness. You really did make one of this Punk Rocker’s dreams come true, no bull.

The DayGlo Abortions as a whole. The show kicked a*s!!

Nathaniel. For always encouraging and believing.

How I Fell Into The Role Of ‘The Writer.’

Writing is something I seem to do automatically these days. I sit down at the family computer, think shortly about what would fit, and it comes spilling out. It would seem I have found my niche.

I’ve been writing for a long time. Back when I was 10, it was a poor attempt at a book. (I am still interested in writing books, but it is definitely something to be approached slowly.)

When I became a teenager, I went more in the direction of song-writing and poetry. And I still had the stories bouncing around my mind.

Some stuff went well, some didn’t. The poetry got displayed in an art exhibit. Some of my songs went on to be perfromed at Open Mics when I was still involved in that. And the stories are complete in my mind, not in print.

When I started attending Punk shows, I took in alot. At first, I was happy to just be a fan and attend. But then, I noticed that everybody had a role. And I felt like I needed to do something. So back in 2009, I started taking notes at shows. That led to a crappy little zine that I showed to only my family.

It felt good that I had accomplished something. But I wasn’t sure about my next step.

As a bit of time went on, I got on to Facebook. And I noticed the Notes section.

On Valentines Day 2011, I wrote my first piece. It was about the rather selfish history of the day.

I began giving my opinion on politics and social matters, but I wanted to mix things up a little. And at the time, I had the feeling once again that I wanted a ‘role’ in the Hamilton Punk scene.

That led to me paying even more attention at Punk shows, and writing about my experience when I got home.

If you cut to the present, I write on here and Facebook, I have a zine with my friend, and I write for Monkeybiz.ca.

It’s great, because I used to feel like my writing would never be out where people would see it.