Sunday, January 29, 2017

From Where Did The GAD! Zine Come? part II: Still Not About The GAD! Zine

The Mostly Harmless? : Adam, Ansel, and Kevin (Ash)
  In 1998, while I was goofing around in college, I finally convinced other idiots to start a band with me. We did not know how to play. Literally. WE. DID. NOT. KNOW. HOW. TO. PLAY. But the allure of D.I.Y. and a need to express ourselves were intoxicating. We called ourselves The Mostly Harmless? (not to be confused with another band from the time simply called Mostly Harmless). My friend Kevin, recently rechristened Ash Nagasaki, and I would spend hours in our dorm rooms or driving around concocting different artistic schemes. It wasn’t long before the idea of a zine came up. Both Ash and Ansel “Oister” (the drummer) had gone to the same high school as me, so were very familiar with my zine from that time, “Teenage Lobotomy”. So I guess the idea of our new zine was to be like a bigger “real world” version of TL. We would mix social commentary and politics (this time bitching about politicians rather than teachers) with exciting music. Sounds good. Except, we were only really just beginning to form our opinions on such matters. We did agree that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, or religious preference, but we had no clue about anything else. And the other bands that we knew were mostly of the 90’s pop-punk variety and most of them were even less politically motivated. But we still thought we could start a revolution. I wanted to call it “American Vedem”, inspired by the “Vedem” magazine that Petr Ginz and other brave young men had created in a concentration camp during World War II. In my head, it would have been a loving tribute to them. In reality, it would’ve come off like Bieber at the Anne Frank Museum. Fortunately, the project was indefinitely postponed as we always bickered over the format. Kevin wanted it to be full color and glossy and we’d sell it for like $5-$10. I wanted it photocopied and cheap. We also couldn’t find anyone in town who was willing to carry it anyway. So the idea faded and, eventually, so did the band. It’s probably for the best. I found some of my layout pages a few years back and they consisted mostly of really heavy-handed stuff like pictures of Adolf Hitler with Mickey Mouse ears. Ugh.
The first issue of "Something Else"
    I suppose I could also mention that during that time, Ash and I, along with our friend Nathan (AKA Bob 12, for the very brief period he played keyboard for our band), joined and took over the university’s Writer’s Club. It was pretty easy. Not many folks showed up that first day and hardly anyone knew each other. Whatever we wanted to do, we already automatically had 3 votes going for us. Ash became the president, Nathan the vice-president, and I became “the publicist”. My position was made up on the spot. I kinda sucked at it, but I did at least make a few flyers to spread the word. Why am I bringing up this nerdy political intrigue? Well, when we took over the club, we inherited responsibility over the annual literary digest. It had some hideous Latin(?) name that was somehow a play on the school newspaper’s name or whatever. It was forgettable and pretentious and just didn’t roll off the tongue. So we decided to change the name. Somebody said that we just had to call it something else. I said, “That’s it! Why not call it “Something Else”?” It was still pretentious, but it at least sounded approachable. I like to tell people that it also brought up the excitement and energy of Eddie Cochran’s seminal tune, but I was probably more enamored at the time with the Sid Vicious version. Putting the booklet together was almost exactly like the “A Collection” zine I had made in high school. We took the best submissions by students and a compiled them. I was in charge of selecting the poetry. Along with a few other pieces, I stuck in my own ridiculous poem. When a faculty member called me on it, I just said, “My job is to pick the best poetry. Why would I write poetry that I don’t think is the best?”. I was an asshole. I also slapped together a collage for the cover. “Something Else” was printed on a computer and folded to digest size. It really was pretty much a zine in almost every respect.
I would, for a while, make little tiny zines to hand out to my friends, I think one was called “Putrid Green Vapor”, but I didn’t really accomplish any of my creative goals at the time. I soon met a pretty and intelligent and kinda dangerous girl named Miranda, who turned out to be the love of my life. She would be a major influence on the direction of many of my artistic endeavors from that point on. Not as some uninvolved muse, but as an equal partner in sharing ideas and perspectives. The zines would get way better. -Adam Harmless



Thursday, January 19, 2017

Genki Genki Panic!: My Favorite Chattanooga Horror Surf Punk Band

Genki Genki Panic!

Carlos Satana: guitar
Bionic Vapor Boy: drums
Photo by Phil Thach Photography
Davey Snakes: bass


GAD!: You guys have a sound that is truly its own. How would you describe it?

Carlos Satana: When people ask I generally just tell them that it's kind of like what would happen if Gwar and Fantomas wrote the soundtrack for a Hanna Barbera cartoon, with lot's of exotica and noise rock thrown in.

Davey Snakes: We usually tell folks Exotic Horror Surf but we’ve been known to at times describe to ourselves as Spookzotic, Chudrock, Tribal Surf, and occasionally we delve into some Noise Rock, Postpunk, and Sludge.

Bionic Vapor Boy: It’s kinda like an alien transmission, received in the future from Jupiter’s melted moon Io. where the wave’s are sick and the alien babes are lookin hot as hell in their 16 cup bikini’s. it naturally inspired them to incidentally invent surf music. meanwhile there’s a party in a spooky, tricked out, blinged up hearse where the dead and creatures of the night are all ballin’ out to that. Just getting so rowdy. A little bit like that. But a little more realistically, it’s just the sound of us having fun, making the music we want to hear.

Who first came up with the idea and how did it all begin?

CS: I started the band back in Dec 2014. We'd been trying to find a singer for my old band Uncle Touchy for about 2 years with no luck and then I just sold everything I owned, quit playing and even listening to music, and lived out of my car for another year and a half after that. Around Oct 2014 i bought a guitar and started writing songs again. I'd always wanted to start a horror surf band so I ran the idea by my friend El Fatsquatch who played drums. We got together and jammed a few times and wrote the entire first album in about 4 weeks without a bassist. He had to quit due to health issues and we had a few friends fill in for some shows until we arrived at the current line up about a year later.

Where do you draw your influences from?

CS: Ive always mostly listened to movies scores, stuff like Vic Mizzy, Danny Elfman, and Les Baxter. I grew up in the 80's and lived next door to a video store. I was obsessed with werewolf and vampire movies as a kid and it's kind of carried over to my adult life. As for bands, Oingo Boingo and White Zombie were huge influences for me...Bad Brains, Faith No More, Gravediggaz, Bone "e1999", Fantomas, Korla Pandit, and Unsane are some of my favorites as well.

DS: besides a love for Horror Movies, comic books, super nintendo games and 80s/90s cartoons we've all had a pretty extensive Punk background and a love for some of punks wierder bands (Shellac, Butthole Surfers, Jesus Lizard, Melvins) I grew up really big into Frank Zappa, Mr Bungle and Man or Astroman. Satana turned me on recently to some of Martin Denny's Exotica Suites and that’s definitely added to the writing process. We love GWAR. The list could go on and on on.

BVB: I came up listening to punk, post-punk, noise rock and Jamaican music, you know stuff like that. but now I’m really into hip-hop and breakbeats. I mean it could change tomorrow. just stuff that feels genuine or gets me amped. And that’s not even diving into the personal things that inspire me everyday. Hitting those drums really give me a catharsis

Where does the name come from?

CS: We started off playing surf versions of alot of video games themes. Things like Castlevania, Tetris, Metroid, etc. We wanted something that would reference that stuff as well as convey the gross humor of our song titles. We basically just took Doki Doki Panic (the name of the game that became Super Mario Bros 2) and mixed it with Genki Genki which was a really gross tentacle porn site that I used to torture my friends with.

Have you guys ever thought about adding vocals?

BVB: We’ve kinda flirted with the idea and had them in small doses here and there. I think it could be neat to have a few different vocalists come in and collaborate with us on a set of tracks, but only if it feels right. all of us are pretty open minded and want to experiment with all sorts of music and sounds, we just don’t wanna force anything. If vocals are meant to happen, they’ll happen

DS: Genki Genki Panic neither denies nor confirms that we’ve had vocals or will have vocals in the future.

CS: The whole thing started bc we couldn’t find a singer and has grown out of that. I've always over written and never left enough space for vocalists anyway, so what we do works pretty well without one.

Chattanooga is one of my favorite cities in the South, one reason being that there are so many great punk record shops. Do you guys have a favorite?

BVB: Well I usually just pirate all my shit online and I’ve been paying for some streaming services cuz I’m young and fresh and broke. I’ve got a little stack of vinyl however, which I do appreciate in a different way. A good portion of it came from Mayfield’s All Killer No Filler. The name explains their store pretty well, and they’re good people with good taste.

DS: Chads was pretty cool back in the day. We like going to mckays, theres always random treasure there.

CS: Mayfields and Mckay are two of my favorites as well.

Who would win in a fight? The Wolf Man or The Creature from the Black Lagoon?

BVB: I’d rather them just make love, and maybe have offspring but I think The Creature from the Black Lagoon would definitely be on top.

DS: Can wolves swim? I got my money on creature from black lagoon.

CS: Wolf Man, any day of the week.

What do you guys have planned for the future and where can people find your music?

BVB: We’ve got so much planned, we’re just taking it as it comes and doing whatever we can to let people know we’re out here trying to get weird with surf music. Right now we’re getting ready to go on a tour in mid-November through the south to Louisiana and Texas, and we’re hitting 2017 strong and are planning to go north-east again to NYC and some other cities. we want to tour some more places that we haven’t played across the US next year but it’s all in early development as of right now. We’re also constantly working on writing and recording some new material. The next thing we release will be bigger than ever before. We’ve been talking to some people and throwing around some ideas for doing some music videos and creating more youtube content. You can find our music at genkigenkipanic.bandcamp.com and also be sure to add us on Facebook to see the latest, dankest, exclusive stuff.
DS: We got our first week of tour as this lineup coming up in November its always a hoot taking the circus on the road.

CS: Yeah, what they said. We have a ton of shows coming up. If you make it out to one, come say whats up to us. We're also working on our next album thats gonna be insane. I'm talking Melvins Houdini meets Outkast Stankonia/Atari Teenage Riot/Evil Empire but you know.. still kiiiinda surfy?

Any last words?

BVB: We dem boyz

CS: Klaatu barada nikto?

DS: Listen to Genki Genki Panic!!


Interview by Dakota Gilliland
[Also appears in GAD! Zine Issue 13]

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Some Kind Of Nightmare: Molly Mess!


An Interview with Molly Mess conducted by Charlie Fuchs

I was granted the privilege of being able to interview the amazing, talented and inspiring woman Molly Mess from Some Kind of Nightmare; my former band Punge was lucky enough to open for them in 2015 at Copper Top Dive-N- Dine in Huntsville, Alabama. In this interview Molly shares with us the story of how Some Kind of Nightmare was formed, the ups and downs that they have gone through, including her truly inspiring battle with Breast Cancer. I'm extremely proud to say she kicked cancer's ass! I'm so very grateful to Molly and the band for allowing me to interview them and want to thank them for such a great opportunity! I asked some pretty personal questions, Molly gracefully answered them all and this is what she had to say:

"Some Kind of Nightmare started in 2006. I was in need of starting a punk band. I found a bass player and we were in search of a guitarist and a drummer. My husband, Chy (we were dating at that time) had just lost his singer from his old band, and he and the drummer were looking for a singer and a bassist. I didn't want to unite the two entities together at first because the singer was his brother and had not left on good terms. But it was our first bass player who suggested to "join forces." Chy seemed pretty open to the idea, so I went with it. We didn't become a three piece until sometime in 2012. I picked up the bass when we were sick of not being able to tour due to members.

Well, starting in 2013, tour life became our home life. We started touring full time. We were on the road for a full year that year. We took a few months off in 2014 in Arizona, and went back out on the road until June of 2015. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July of 2015, two days before we were supposed to leave for the next tour.

Meeting the wonderful people we have met on the road has been my favorite part of touring. It's been truly amazing in that sense. We get to play our creations every night. It's very therapeutic. Exploring the country has been incredible. The whole experience is really eye opening. We've learned so very much from this lifestyle. We've learned how to become very resourceful. Vehicle problems is the thing I hate worst about tour. Those moments can be some of the toughest.

Some of our musical inspirations include Rancid, Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, OFF, Betty Blowtorch, Butt Trumpet, The Gits, Naked Raygun, The Distillers. Also some of the bands that we've met on the road: Suburban Vermin, Kill Liberal, Cuntalopes, We Might Be Wasted, OC45, Rude-A-Baga, and No Brainer.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29. There was a "debate" between my surgeon and my oncologist. My surgeon said stage II, because a lymph node was cancerous. My oncologist said stage IB because of the size of the lymph node.

It was terrifying. I was very angry it happened when it did, not angry about having it, because it's a common disease, but when it happened it really upset me. We had been offered to do a small tour with Michael Graves, we were about to have a meeting with Pig Records from Seattle. We had booked an awesome tour with some really great shows. Everything had to be canceled. I felt horrible for our drummer (who was living in Texas and was preparing for the tour.) It was hard having everything we worked for ripped from us because of me. There was a lot of guilt. Chy was so very supportive. The best and number one husband ever! When we announced the diagnosis, so many bands and people across the country started putting together benefit shows. One of our Arizona friends came to visit us. That's where the true strength came from I believe. All of the support. I started really exercising, walking, running, Yoga, Pilates, etc. I had watched an interview with a breast cancer survivor saying that exercise increases survival rate by 50%. I started going to an amazing church within walking distance from my house. The pastor came to both of my surgeries. I'm so grateful for all of the support I had. But Chy truly got me through it.

Bandwise, everything had to be put on hold. Our drummer understood completely. In fact, everyone understood completely. Our drummer held out for us and I'm grateful for that.

I don't know what the hardest part was. So many things made it difficult. Canceling the tour and not being able to play music. Losing both of my breasts. (I did get reconstruction.) Chemo and the pain that comes with it was terrible, and I wasn't even on the harsh chemo. My heart goes out to anyone on what they call the "red devil" There were a few moments where I thought that I was going to die. It was really hard hearing stories from people about people they knew who had died from cancer. The death of one of my friends from cancer has been hard. There might be some survivor's guilt there. There's post treatment depression, no one really warns you about. Certain people not being as supportive as you expected them to be. All of the changes your poor body has to conquer. Definitely low self esteem issues. It's all been tough, but I'm so glad I got to experience it because of what I've learned and the insight cancer has given me.

To all men and women out there! Complete self examinations weekly. A diagnosis isn't an instant death sentence. You'll learn you have strength you never knew existed. I love my mastectomy and my scars. I love my new breasts, so there can be positive body image after a mastectomy. If you have tissue expanders, they are magnetic, so have a little fun and put magnets on your boobs. If you have a certain type of breast implants, they are see through if you shine a flashlight on them. Always laugh. Always. Take care of your body. Treat it like gold, because it's worth your life.

One last thing, plan on surviving."

Again, I would like to thank Molly and Some Kind of Nightmare for such an awesome interview, my first for the Gadzine, as well as Adam Harmless for allowing me to write the article. Keep an eye out for Some Kind of Nightmare as they are on tour at the moment. They're an incredibly high energy punk band that will not leave you disappointed, so if you can make it out to their show I highly recommend going to rock out with them!

Interview by Charlie Fuchs
[originally appeared in GAD! Zine Issue 12]