Visual Vitriol

September 2nd, 2011

I was in the last place you’d expect to find a book celebrating the street art of Punk and Hardcore music, Barnes & Noble, but as I stood among the latest bestsellers and self-help tomes I found myself enthralled by Visual Vitriol:  The Street Art and Subcultures of the Punk and Hardcore Generation. The book looks at the history and folklore of punk and hardcore music through the art inspired by it.  To David Ensminger, the book’s author and a Professor of English and Humanities at Lee College outside of Houston, TX, Visual Vitriol is “a way to trace the social discourse of punk:  it examines the ways punks talk about themselves.”

Ensminger’s introduction to punk came courtesy of his older brother, and it’s these moments of discovery he celebrates in Visual Vitriol.  As he began to play in punk bands, create his own hand-drawn xeroxed gig flyers, and later edit fanzines, he realized that this Do-It-Yourself (DIY) artistic community was indeed an urban folk art movement.  As he writes,

“By examining flyers we can map out the punk landscape.  They are not mere advertisements.  They are mini-histories compressed onto yellowing, flimsy paper.  Sometimes they are the only means by which we can document the existence of short-lived bands or sites.  I imagine them as archival mile markers and assertive mementos, a way to witness the social milieu from which they arose.”

While I was never a direct participant in the punk or hardcore community, I’ve always appreciated the genre for its DIY aesthetic.  The pure visceral reaction one gets from a punk song is strong, and it’s a reaction that seems to form lasting bonds between those who feel it, no matter how disparate their backgrounds.  I got that same reaction looking through Visual Vitriol, and it made me want to not only talk to David about it, but to share it with you as well.

Figment News:  First of all, congratulations on having put together one hell of an interesting book.  What inspired “Visual Vitriol”?

David Ensminger:  Thank you. At the very end of the 1990s, I became heavily focused on punk gig flyers, which I collected since the mid-1980s, while growing up in Rockford, IL, about 70 miles west of Chicago, where my brother attended the Art Institute. He exposed me to punk rock from about 1980 onwards, regularly brought me copies of fanzines, records, and clip art and encouraged me to make my own art, music, and writing. He was the genesis of DIY in my life, along with my father, who was very hands-on: he carved wooden figures, like ducks and Santa Claus figures, using tools inherited from my grandfather. Now, my father paints watercolors as well. Plus, my family has a long history of collecting objects: my father collects coins, my sister collected spoons, and I collected comic books, until I traded them all for punk records.

Over a decade ago, the book Fucked-Up and Photocopied surfaced, and I was mesmerized by the variety and history of the punk posters they published in this glossy, coffee table style art book. I had already amassed a hundred or so, many made by myself for bands I drummed for since the late 1980s, so I immediately sought out as many as possible from around the globe, to present in a more close-to-the-ground approach – bring the posters to the public. I proposed a massive flyer exhibit to the Lawndale Art Center here in Houston, which is an alternative art space with a longtime connection to punk (bands like Black Flag played one of their former spaces), and I collected material from around the globe. People like Andrea Manges in Italy, Scotti from Au Go Go Records in Australia, Randy “Biscuit” Turner of the Big Boys in Austin, TX, and many other people, including Suck Zoo Han in South Korea and others in Japan, England, and Canada provided with me with an intense array of gig flyers. That event, complete with my band Magnetic IV playing the opening, set-off my decade-long involvement to highlight, preserve, and promote punk flyers as one of the most vivid forms of democratic, instant, vernacular, Do-It-Yourself art of my generation.

FN:  The book traces the history of punk through concert flyers and posters.  Do you think the imagery these bands used was as important as the music in establishing punk rock as a musical and cultural force?

David:  Well, I would say that all the material culture of punk, like gig flyers, graffiti, stencils, clothing, fanzines, and music worked in tandem to produce the culture’s sense of identity. The flyers propelled and witnessed the movement, providing a documentary backbone that offers information about the punk era in a microcosm. They reveal the economics of the underground (from the cost of printing a flyer to the cost of a show), the visual aesthetics of a generation (from cut’n’paste guerrilla style to utilitarian blandness), the psycho-geography of scenes (the location of the clubs, the warnings to concert goers), and the fuzzy ideologies of the community (expressed in handwritten rants and the graphic fare).

We traded them, or used them as paper stock, writing on the back of them, for they were supplied as ‘gifts’ from mail-order record companies, shipped along with records and T-shirts. BYO Records would send them with a handwritten note from Becca, one the employees. Years later, I purchased her fanzine collection on eBay. My mentor Daniel Wojcik at the University of Oregon, a former Los Angeles punk, has letters written from Mike Muir of Suicidal Tendencies on the back of flyers he received in the mail as youth. They were the traded ephemera of our generation, along with bootleg cassettes and cheap fanzines, but they were also part of the mail-art movement, often by accident.

As a teenager, I ordered “classic” late-1970’s flyers, like The Damned’s first gig in LA, and the first gig of the Dead Kennedys, through the business of Dirk Dirksen, an infamous show promoter, who offered them for purchase on heavy archival stock. So, flyers offered me a history lesson as well. They mapped out the visual aesthetics of the earlier era in ways I could understand, graphics-wise. They were art tools kits, forming a template for my own forays into flyer construction and dissemination.

FN:  You talk about creating posters and flyers for your own punk bands.  Do you have any formal art training or were you one of the many DIY artists who produced this form of urban folk art?

David:  I did not attend any art classes as a student, neither in high school nor in college, except for history courses. However, I did take an Industrial Arts class, which allowed me to explore various outlets, including typesetting, photography, screen-printing T-shirts, making buttons, and other media. Our female teacher allowed us to explore the campus and equipment, so my friends and I immediately started making buttons celebrating bands like The Descendents, DIY T-shirts using our own art, and typesetting the text for my punk band’s demo cassette.

My brother, on the other hand, was deeply trained in art and entered college right at the cusp of mail-art, Xerox art, and conceptual art. His friends were sending mail-art to Alaskan fanzines and playing in noise bands, ala Boy Dirt Car, early Sonic Youth and Butthole Surfers, and he sought out punk gigs from the likes of The Cramps and Black Flag, so he melded both worlds. His own painting deeply distressed my family, who believed it was too raw, ugly, and cynical, not at all like his early still drawings that lined my parents’ hallway. My Dad taught him how to draw human figures as a small boy, so to see him absorb punk’s nihilism was a shock.

My brother always encouraged me to make art, in ways that made sense to me. When my sister dropped me off for a weekend in a rough downtrodden section of Chicago, where he lived in a partial basement flat, he immediately gave me some paint and a board and said, make something. Partly, I suppose, he attempted to keep me busy, but I think he genuinely wanted me, even at age 10 or 11, to find some kind of mode of expression. That night, he wanted to roam the city, so I scanned a Chinese book he had lying around the kitchen, chose a character/letter I liked visually, and then we spray-painted it on a T-shirt, so I could be sufficiently “punk” to ride the bus through Cabrini Green, the tough housing project. A handful of years later I made my first flyer for the classic punk band The Adolescents at Rotation Station, a roller skating venue near my high school that hosted terrific punk bands.

So, yes, I learned the naïve, crude, rough’n’ready style not by looking at art books but by flipping through fanzines, listening to my brother, experimenting in class, and mimicking the music that pounded my ears.

FN:  A lot of the art in the book is very crude in nature – either hand-drawn or cut-and-pasted and then Xeroxed.  Was this a direct expression of punk’s DIY culture or simply done of out necessity since many of these bands did not have record deals, promotion, etc.?

David:  The style was part of both traditions – an art ideology and an economics of survival. No doubt, visionaries like Jamie Reid (Sex Pistols) and Winston Smith (Dead Kennedys) understood the impact of ugliness, of the ripped and torn, and the cut and re-assembled. They were keen observers of art history, and later illustrators like Pushead (Septic Death, Metallica) and Shawn Kerri (Germs, Circle Jerks) were skilled and adept, but for punk material they often relied on skulls and corpses, though they could draw anything. Kerri sketched comics for the likes of Hustler, which were lewd, rather than crude. So, yes, punk’s sense of displaying ugly, mutant, and distressful material was part of the core aesthetic in the time of beach wear and soft rock, in the time of Me Generation consumption and the mallification of America. It was also a reaction to the splendor, craft, and naturalness of some of the hippie era styles, which tended to disgust some punks.

On the other hand, copy machines itself offered their aesthetic and economic appeal. Toner was inconsistent, quality itself varied from machine to machine, and many times flyer construction was quick and furtive, especially if a show was only days away. Sure, some entrepreneurs like Dirk Dirksen (Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco) printed offset flyers, in bulk, which tend to look more artful and finely-designed, but a kid in Tulsa often relied on different skill sets, technological options, and materials available, which might have been no more than scissors, stick-on letters, and a pen. A few bands like The Dickies were signed to major labels, but the rest relied upon their own members and fans to spread the word, and more often than not, wheat paste their flyers, sometimes en masse, like Black Flag, across light poles and freeway underpasses. So, flyering became not just about art, but about events as well, the infiltration of contested space and the surveillance of local police and neighbors. Flyers evoked not just more flyers, but lore as well.

FN:  Do you think the digital age has had an impact on the visual style of punk?

David:  Sure, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. It depends if you are a purist, I suppose. Some designers like Russell Etchen may still use old-fashioned means, like cut and paste, but also use a design program for the finished product, melding both worlds. Last night, I ventured to Hot Topic, looking for discount vinyl records, and discovered a small batch of flyers stuck in a display rack. None were designed by hand, but they did the “job.” They promoted, they symbolized, and they spoke to me. Granted, fewer are made and distributed, due to simply being spread virally on social networks, and they tend to look more “gentrified” or like amateur design school, but what I miss most is that hand-made element, the imperfection and shadow-lines, the cut-off portions due to misplacement on the Xerox machine glass, the white-out or rub-out of mistakes, or even handwritten messages, like phone numbers or addresses added after printing. Those vernacular touches are very important to me, just as much as the wear and tear of the flyers exposed in the elements of cityscapes — the torn, solarized, faded, and yellowing process, the fissure.

FN:  For all of punk’s association with white males, you do a great job of shining a light on how diverse the punk culture really is with chapters about the involvement of women as well as the Hispanic and gay communities in helping to define the punk rock ethos.  Why do you think a lot people simply associate punk rock with angry white men, and what are some of the biggest contributions these other groups made to the punk community?

David:  Walter Benjamin once said, “It is more arduous to honor the memory of the nameless than that of the renowned. Historical reconstruction is devoted to the memory of the nameless.” For me, that means preserving the works on paper of myriad anonymous artists that forged this instant art meant to be short-lived. It also means using the flyers to document the participation of women, people of color, and gays (like my brother) and lesbians in the multicultural punk sphere.

I am pained when I see the people I witnessed, experienced, or knew fade from history or between the cracks of the dominant narrative simply because punk historians actually don’t know their history very well or don’t see beyond a pale shade of white. I very close to my sister growing up and spent endless hours listening to her Gun Club, 999, and Iggy Pop records. My first wife and I attended the same punk shows as teenagers, like Fugazi. Women worked on my fanzines No Deposit No Return and Left of the Dial. Women have played with me in innumerable bands, including my current unit No Love Less.

Hispanics, women, blacks, and gays and lesbians have always been a huge portion of the backbone of punk culture. Black music formed a template for punk, and anyone who has listened to The Jam and The Clash already knows this. Just recently, the bass player for The Carpettes told me when the band formed, they played Chuck Berry covers. One of the first gigs TSOL played was for a Black Panther, and Luther Vandross is one of singer Jack Grisham’s favorites, just like John Coltrane has shaped the output and outlook of Mike Watt (Minutemen).  If the New York Dolls and Stooges, both steeped in black traditions, were proto-punks, then punk is directly linked to black music. Plus, black artist Barry Jones made the iconic Roxy club collages and Don Letts shot the footage for the film D.O.A., capturing punk circa 1976 at its apex. Lastly, before I push too much, the Bad Brains, despite their sexism and homophobia, made an indelible impact on punk, transforming it into hardcore via their jazz-skills.

I curate a whole blog dedicated to the work of Randy “Biscuit” Turner (a small chapter in the book addresses him as well), a rare “out” gay punk-funk pioneer who made well over 100 hundred gig flyers for his band the Big Boys without utilizing typewriters or computers: he relied entirely on inky illustration, cut and paste, collage, mixed media, and the rigors of copy machines.

Black people didn’t immerse in punk? Think again. I have over 250 flyers of bands playing gigs with black members, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Meanwhile, my interview with Deaf punk Muslim filmmaker Sabina England is my most read post on Popmatters, and my oral history of the Deaf Club debuts next months in Maximum Rock’n’Roll, replete with many flyers to document the club’s existence in punk history.

FN:  You talk about the emergence of hardcore and how many in the punk community felt it lacked the heart and soul, intelligence or in the case of John Doe, the humor of punk.  Why do you think this subgenre created that impression and do you agree with it?

David:  Well, I do point out the many hardcore bands were linked to humor as well, like the Meatmen and Gang Green, so a lot of the older punks were simply jaded, which 7 Seconds attacked in the song “Out of Touch,” which I should have mentioned in the book. I also think that hardcore bands actually retain a great deal of intelligence and forethought, from MDC to Strike Anywhere, but their messages are sometimes lost in the anomie, aggression, and adrenaline of their audiences. So, I don’t agree with those assessments per se, but I do recognize that some women literally felt pushed out of the scene in the mid-1980s, due to overt aggression and sexism, but others clung on, transforming hardcore punk eventually, like the Riot Grrrls and garage rockers as well, not to mention full-on punks like the Lunachicks.

Wendy O, Williams was herself proto-hardcore, as was Alice Bag of the Bags, so they proved that women were not soft or weak, but many of the male bands clung to old notions inherited from the master narrative of American culture. Some punk men refused to change; the same could be said of homophobic and racist punks too. I do think that hardcore lacked some of the stylistic variety that punk offered, since the earlier generation seemed to embody an umbrella genre that could fit early B-52s, Cramps, XTC, and Television. Hardcore didn’t seem to offer that inclusivity, but bands like Soulside and Beefeater did invoke hybrid forms that challenged the status quo, the rigid templates, and the funnel effect. Not all people believe they belong in the same category as Minor Threat, but I do. Bands like The Dicks, Mydolls, and Really Red here in Texas proved that punk-in-the-hardcore-era did not have to exude chainsaw riffage and caustic vocals bolted to 110 mph beats.

FN:  What role did fanzines play in inspiring and promoting punk rock art? You ran a fanzine called “Left of the Dial”.  Does it still exist in some form?

David:  The quick impulse is to argue that fanzines represented the crucial civic media center and emporium of grassroots punk culture. A whole book could delve deep into the profound equation and marriage between the discourse and material culture of fanzines and punk ideology and identity, so any attempt here is a bit futile. So, I will answer the question by exploring the personal impact of fanzines on me.

Punk rock was my high school, more so than my own high school, which mostly bored me. I felt, like many punks, a strong sense of the trans-local — part of a group of people strewn throughout the world, connected by music and fanzines rather than my neighbors. The fanzines were not just JC Penny catalogs of punk product but a primary source of my knowledge and insight into punk issues, mores, and style. By the mid-1980s, I had a subscription to Maximumrocknroll (I contributed to them as a writer since 2005), read Flipside voraciously, and even had copies of regional zines like Non-Stop Banter and Last Rites, both from Chicago.

After reading the input from readers in the editorial pages, and seeing the reviews of bands I knew, like The Flex from Rockford, I knew that zines offered a two-way form of communication and connectivity, community and coherence. So, I decided to make my own mark, just like the early days of punk, when Sniffin’ Glue stirred culture from below.  The whole idea, reinforced to me by Steve Shelley of the Buzzcocks, was punk offered fans an option: one did not have to be a mere consumer, passive and exploited, but could become a force of culture, an active agent in making and maintaining a culture of his or her own. I stole a line from Henry Rollins and turned it into my fanzine name, No Deposit No Return, sought a few nearby bands for interviews, managed to use some clip art and early computer graphics for design purposes, and asked my dad to copy the whole thing for me by the dozens after-work at his factory, which he did. I had published little film reviews in the school paper, but I felt real ownership and accomplishment, empowerment and possibility after mailing out my ‘zine.

Years later after graduate school I was bored and restless and started sending reviews and poems to papers and magazines. Thirsty Ear in Santa Fe, NM was generous enough to allow me to write for them on a regular basis, including interviews with everyone from the Violent femmes to Merle Haggard, all of which I relished. But the magazine only took requested sizes of articles, which often left me with excess material. Simultaneously, I was hired as a full-time college instructor, which boosted my income, providing me some to invest in a magazine of my own making. I asked a handful of local designers like Russell Etchen to guide me through the process and help me forge the magazine, and I used that excess material, like Ian MacKaye (Fugazi, Minor Threat) and Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) interviews, and new interviews with TSOL and Gary Floyd (The Dicks, Black Kali Ma), to hit the newsstand with a  tour-de-force. Plus, I offered no reviews, just all interviews, and some original writing by band members, like poems and memoirs.

We survived for five years, totally without debt (though I spent over $20,000 on the project), switched designers and helpers, but our distro went bankrupt, Tower Records disappeared from the map, and I switched efforts to the web, where the magazine existed until the last few years, when I became a frequent writer for other publications, like the Houston Press and Popmatters. Left of the Dial will again rise from the past, this time as a collection of interviews, along with newer material, to be published in 2013 in book form.

FN:  What was the connection between skateboarding and punk?  Did skateboarders have an effect on the imagery used in many punk rock flyers, posters, fanzines, etc?

David:  I dedicate a whole chapter to skate-punk culture: the impact was truly momentous, which can be felt every time one flips through an old Thrasher magazine. Many members of bands like TSOL and Minor Threat actively skated, and I did too, albeit with a really ‘wounded goose’ quality. My parents have a photo of me caught midway down our driveway, doing a handstand on a skateboard decked with stickers and homemade painted logos, jeans tattered and bleached. I built an awful quarter-pipe, but did not follow the dimensions accurately; instead, I ‘winged’ it, making an almost impossible curve to skate, which was more like a killer curve than a cool slope. I listened to Bad Brains and Raw Power endlessly as I skated, and I still enjoy riding sloped streets, although my wife steadfastly bans them from the house or my possession.

To put it concisely, skating and punk turned “nothing” like parking lots and light poles, into something, like street art galleries or museum of the streets and launching pads for acrobatic tricks. They re-envisioned the space of cites numbed by codes and rules.  Skaters invoke a kind of freedom that struts and symbolizes, and they are pro-active – people usually don’t skateboard in basements. Both flyer makers and skaters search the topography of the city, the ins and outs, for kicks, for places to “play” – to make music and art, and to engage in sport.

They both encourage the art of possibility, not the doldrums of restrictions. They were also often unsanctioned acts, unlawful and furtive, reckless and restless.  There is a reason why the Black Flag biography is named Spraypaint the Walls — because punk was a verb, was a dictum: “Do it.” Take place. Make freedom. Penetrate and poeticize the streets, much to some people’s chagrin. If you scour my book, you’ll see dozens of images of skeletons, many riding skateboards, “shredding” and embodying the notion “skate to hell” or “skate to destroy,” but not to damage physical property per se (you want to keep skating those pools, right?) but to destroy taboos and notions of restraint and control. Plus, punk flyers and skating could be genderless manifestations: flyers and skateboards don’t care if you are a women or man, black or white, abled or differently abled. They are platforms and modes, and you can re-tool them as you see fit.

FN:  Speaking of imagery, there seems to be some common images that appear again in punk rock art.  Whether it’s monsters, skeletons, skulls, religious or military iconography there seem to be a lot of common threads.  Why do you think that is?

David:  As mentioned, flyers are like one-sheets and newspapers, in hyper-condensed form, displaying the terrible macabre of the modern world, with its droughts, financial collapse, civil wars, injustice and poverty. They show the often hidden ugliness of the machine age, of science gone bad/wrong, or creatures mutated and anguished. They borrow from Goya, from B-movie monster matinees, from Rat Fink, and Leon Golub, exposing the wounds in society’s skin.  The gore and transgressive motifs suggest carnality and deadly instincts but also serve as warnings and creeds.

They tell us to stop pretending and see the filth and atrocities, and to live up to democracy’s best ideals – maximum liberty, justice for all, and a sense of humanity, with a deep undertow of compassion. Not in all cases, obviously: sometimes they are just death-culture fantasies, the masturbatory excesses of grime and gore. So, the message is never stable or core: it is unstable. The monsters reveal layers of symbols: we make monsters, like Frankenstein, or we behave like monsters, like a skull tank, killing children and women, or we feel monstrous, like outcasted, alienated youth shed from families and friends.

The anti-military vibe is woven deep into political protest but also as an undercurrent of ghastly immersion as well. Some people are shocked and dismayed by calamity but others yell out ”Kill ‘em all and let God sort ‘em out.” So, I think the art stimulates often-contradictory responses, but in the book I try to navigate the pop terrain of undead iconography in punk, iconic in bands like the Misfits, in order to understand how the same era of post-Vietnam could produce Leif Garrett and the Dead Kennedys, suave all-night disco and “Death Disco” by Public Image Limited.

FN:  Who are some of the artists you feel had the greatest impact on punk and hardcore art?

David:  I’ve mentioned some already, but I will make a personal stab, since I don’t share the same tastes as some collectors who might suggest that Frank Kozik is noteworthy and more important than, say, the members of The Avengers and Mydolls, women like Penelope Houston and Trish Herrera that made flyers. Kerri and Pushead are truly definitive, along with Raymond Pettibon and Winston Smith, and their work commands fairly high prices in the market. But many artists I showcase in the book offered plenty of unique style, from Jaime Hernandez (of Love and Rockets fame) and Victor Gastelum (of SST fame) to B. Otis and Ric Cruz, whose material was abundant and finely-wrought but not as immediately recognized by the masses, though collectors flock to their work in small fervent numbers. Many more exist, and I am deeply fond of local Texas work by JR Delgado, Charlie Esparza, Tim Kerr, and Randy “Biscuit” Turner.

FN:  Speaking of Randy “Biscuit” Turner, the afterword of your book is all about his art.  Who was he and why did you choose write the afterword about him?

David:  Randy ‘Biscuit’ Turner was a pre-eminent punk-funk singer who melded soul music’s deep sonorous singing and traditions with punk’s urgency and intelligence. He was also gay, funny as hell, and an intensely focused outsider/visionary artist. He cared much less about his hardcore punk singles and much more about shopping the ‘last call’ thrift store with Exene Cervenka of X, where he could pick up battered and lonely plastic items for his mixed-media collages, one of which I just purchased. He was a performer, bar none, unafraid to explode gender roles and expectations. He could wear a pink tutu, he could wear a hockey jersey, and he could wear a massive Mardis Gras outfit all in the same few days, completely grounded in his sense of being outside the norm, even for Austin. He also made at least 100 flyers, which I have archived on my site dedicated to him (

He did not depend on typewriters or computers: his work indulged the old-fashioned methods I have described earlier, but most of all he enjoyed free form illustration and keen cut-up collages. To me, his works melds the visuals of Funkadelic with the Weirdos, black art with white ruckus. He also did not obey the punk conventions of nihilism, gore, and cynicism: he was Day-Glo when others were moody and pallid. He drew poodles having sex instead of corpses. He was the singer of my band for the last five years of his life, The Texas Biscuit Bombs. Our double record, replete with colored vinyl and Biscuit art, is available from me, having been released in France last year. He was a comrade, a friend, and a poet. The book honors him, and I thank him for his life rife with poignancy and purpose.

FN:  Any advice for the budding punk or hardcore artists on Figment?  Should they stick to hand drawn art or are there ways to maintain that punk DIY ethos when using programs like Photoshop, etc.?

David:  They should stick to their gut impulses but also attempt to stretch their perceptions, styles, and output. I think high-energy flyers made quickly and accessibly via programs is fine and functions well, but they should always experiment with hand-made options as well, whether it means buying antiquated typewriters just for the fonts or re-using paper for unexpected results. They might think of the pieces less as functions of sheer utility and promotion and more like an art project, in which chance, spontaneity, and randomness are well worth exploring. Hybrid styles are the calling card of the future, including retro-futurism, remixology and deconstruction, appropriation and painstaking originality. Just “Do it.” Like the band DOA always touts, “Talk minus Action equals zero.”

If you’ve enjoyed this interview you might also want to check out more from David Ensminger:

Watch a short film by Lo-Fi Cinema on Visual Vitriol

Black Punk Archive

Punk Women Archive

Midwest Punk Archive

San Francisco Punk Archive

Read Some of Visual Vitriol

Check out the Visual Vitriol Blog

Listen to David’s band No Less Love


2 Responses to “Visual Vitriol”

  1. theHoseman Says:

    Man, Eric, what a great and informative interview. David painted (xeroxed?) a vivid picture of the art of punk, how it shaped and was shaped by the music and how everything from the fanzines on down melded together to form the culture (I hate using that term, but for lack of something better..).

    I liked his message about the inclusiveness of early punks and how there was always room for different interpretations of the punk ethos. That rings especially true for me (an atypical punk fan who leans more towards a lot of the stuff punk was distancing itself from) It seems that for the masses, Punk has taken on the meaning of a musical style or “sound”, but for me, I always thought of it more as an attitude. A band could be Punk without necessarily sounding punk (or what most people have come to think of as sounding punk).

    Anyway, rambled on too long as usual. Thanks for the great interview!

  2. poppinfresh Says:

    Love the artwork — very inspiring!

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