Sunday, April 12, 2015

Repulsive Regurgitation Zine Interview

I got a present in my (actual) mailbox this week: The first issue of the Repulsive Regurgitation Zine. It's pretty impressive...over 200 pages, and nearly as big as a phone book, featuring interviews with Shane Embury, Bill Steer, Carlo Regadas, Decibel's Albert Mudrian, and more. Stylistically, it's a throwback to the great "cut and paste" zines of the Nineties - I'm reminded in particular of Metalion's seminal Slayer zine. I invited editor/creator Epul Rickard to sit down with me for a quick chat to tell me more about this undertaking.

Dreams of Consciousness: What gave you the idea to write your own zine?

Epul: Actually, I got the idea from Phoenix Militia zine, by Bill Steer and Pek. I used the same typewriter font, the cut and paste style, and Jeff Walker’s drawings.

DoC: What did you like about those old zines?

Epul: Zines are something like history for me. Because it’s documentation, from bands that have been interviewed; their opinions…

Actually,  I don’t have any hobby, besides listening to music. So I started a zine because I want to share to the grindcore community about some band's opinion: How they [developed] the grindcore style. A zine is documentation. It’s quite important.

DoC: And the format was important to you too, right? As opposed to a website, or a proper magazine.

Epul: Yeah, I tried and make it cut and paste style, for that 90’s feeling.

DoC: How long did it take you to put it together?

Epul: Because I didn’t mail letters like the 90’s zine writers, I used e-mail and social network platforms like Facebook, it was quite fast for me to get replies from people. So I sent my questions around 22 December 2014, and at the end of February I sent it [to the printer].

DoC; And the interviews that you got are pretty impressive. You got Bill Steer, Carlo Regadas, Shane Embury, Scott Carlson from Repulsion... what was it like to correspond with those guys?

Epul: First, I thought they would never reply or want to contribute to my zine, because they already have lots of interviews [to do]. But they still supported, and it was a pleasure for me. It’s not to say that I put local bands aside, but I tried to share with the grindcore community [interviews from] all those people involved with the early grindcore scene. Like in the interview with Scott Carlsson, he described how people wouldn't be talking about Repulsion if it wasn't for Napalm Death's Scum.

DoC: Were you nervous?

Epul: Very much!

DoC: Had you interviewed bands before?

Epul: I never made a zine before, but I interviewed Birdflesh in 2008 for a local metal zine. But it was never published. Maybe it was not too metal, or my questions were not so good…

DoC: What was the most difficult part of doing this zine?

Epul: The scanning, because I couldn’t not scan it in high resolution, because of my computer. So I just scanned it, put it in [Microsoft] Word, and converted it to PDF.

DoC: …you put the whole zine together in Word?

Epul: Yeah, because I’d never done a zine before, and I don’t know the proper way.

DoC: Yeah, we should talk, because I think there are a lot better ways to put a zine together than Word. The actual format of the zine seems very intensive, because there is a lot of cutting and pasting. Per interview, how long did it take?

Epul: I could do one interview in about 30 minutes.

DoC: Did you try and contact Mick Harris?

Epul: Yeah, I tried to contact Mick Harris, but he deactivated his Facebook account. I contacted Ian (former Benediction drummer) who works at the same place with Mick, but he said he doesn’t want to be part of [the music scene]. Some people said they couldn’t reply because of personal issues.

DoC: Maybe if you want to interview Mick Harris you should ask him about fishing.

Epul: Or maybe send a letter, because he still lives at the same address from the Scum LP.

DoC: So what’s the plan for the future?

Epul: Next, me and Aizat plan to reprint about 150 copies in A5 size, so the overseas postage will be cheaper. Maybe it’ll come with two different covers. Maybe I’ll write number two, but not in this format (perfect bound) which costs a lot of money. So it might be fold and staple. Maybe for the next one I’ll focus on the Malaysian grindcore scene. We have a strong grindcore scene here, and each band communicates with all [the rest], and supports each other.

DoC: Do you have a timeline? When do you know when you want the next one to come out?

Epul: Maybe around 3-4 months from now. September maybe.

DoC: Tell me about the Q+A night you had at Tandang store.

Epul: To be clear, it wasn’t a launch night or anything grand. It was a Q+A night about my experience in how I made the zine. I brought all the stationary I used: glue stick, art knife, scissors, and the cutting pad. So I just shared that with people and people were open to ask anything that relates to the zine.

DoC: Did you get a good turnout?

Epul: Yeah, for me.

DoC: And did people seem excited about the zine?

Epul: …

DoC: …interested, maybe?

Epul: Yeah, I hear all the comments [from people] who bought the zine, but grindcore is full of “assholism”; even if you make something good, people talk shit.

DoC: In the blog world, we call them “haters”.

Epul: You know, the main thing I really want to repeat is that I won’t make huge money with this.

DoC: Your goal per issue is to break even?

Epul: I will never get back my money from this zine. To be honest, if I wanted to make a lot of money I’d press vinyl. You can see in our culture here, not many people read. Some people I sent the zine for free, like you and Joe Kidd. For me it’s like promotion, and I know those people will enjoy and appreciate it. My main focus is I want to share something.

DoC: Anything you want to add?

Epul: I put a lot of effort into this zine, and I hope people who buy it enjoy reading it…I’m still waiting for people who bought the zine to send me their “10 albums that changed/impacted your life.”

DoC: Ha... Okay, are you ready?

Sepultura - Beneath the Remains
Entombed - Clandestine
Napalm Death -  Fear Emptiness Despair
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
At the Gates - Slaughter of the Soul
Vader - Black to the Blind
Krisiun - Conquerors of Armageddon
Origin - Antithesis
Naglfar - Vittra
Glissando - With Our Arms Wide Open We March Towards the Burning Sea

There you go: Your first reply. I even saved on postage. And if people want to order the book how can they do that?

Epul: You can go to Noisemonger Records. And if you go to the Repulsive Regurgitation Facebook page, there are about 8 other places where you can buy the zine.

230 copies, 50 interviews, 205 pages, a4 size, perfect binding, 525 grams
RM20 in Malaysia (excluded postage)
US$10 Worldwide (excluded postage)
[contact for postage option]

Available through:

NO.3, JALAN 3/6D

265 DISTRO / 265 distro

Broken Noise Recs

DDT Distro / DDT Distro

Tandang Records Shop / Tandang Store

Karunguni / Karunguni
Campbell Complex 98 Jalan Dang Wangi
Kuala Lumpur.
012-906 9974

Bloodbath Records (Japan)

Dead Bir Records / Dead Bir Records // Distro

Revulsion Records