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LUCY / BIG CLOWN

Täällä julkaistaan haastatteluja, artikkeleita ja muuta zinemäistä sisältöä! Zinen toisessa jutussa päästään kuulemaan Lucya! Lucy on mississipiläinen zineistään tuttu punklaulaja. Lucy laulaa Big Clown -nimisessä bändissä ja Teini-Pään Jesse päättikin haastatella häntä sekä zineistä, että bändeistä ja vähän Lucyn Suomivierailusta!

So you had a new zine that came out like yesterday, right?

Yeah, well earlier this week I made one cause got nothing better to do! *laughs*

And how many have you made so far?

Like total?

Seems like you have a bunch like almost every week there’s a new one. *laughs*

*laughs* Yeah, these days I probably couldn’t keep count. I make a lot that kind of, I sort of forget about, because they go on the internet for whoever to read whenever. And I don’t keep them in my, like, rotation of zines that I take to zine fests and stuff. But I’d say right now in that rotation of zines that I print and staple and take to zine fests probably 9 or 10. But that’s not counting history. *laughs*

How did you originally get into zines and making them?

Well so I sort of got into zines and punk rock at the same time just like a lot of people do cause… So the first zine I ever bought… Let me stop doing my make up so I can focus and speak to you like a person. First zine I ever bought I was 14 in Memphis and I was at the street festival and it was really hot. I’ve told this story other places, but I was at the street festival in midtown Memphis and it was so hot and oh fuck and I was getting a sunburn and me and my friends were like we have to find some shade like we’re desperate. And so we went into this place called Goner Records, which at the time I didn’t know anything about. And I was 14 so we like looked around and they didn’t have any like My Chemical Romance CDs so I was like “oh this sucks”. But I felt really bad you know. Nobody just wants kids running around their store and not buying anything. So I was like I’ll just find the cheapest thing and buy it. *laughs* I looked at the front. This little shelf they had at the front and there’s this comic called Cramhole. You know it’s like that sounds dumb I’ll buy that. *laughs* It was like 6 dollars or something so I bought 2 issues of it and it was really cool because it was like comics but not in like a very professional looking way. And it wasn’t like about superheroes. It was just like about this dude’s life as like a record store clerk in D.C. which at the time was a very romantic thing to me. So I was like “oh this is cool!” And so I kind of like knew about zines throughout high school. And then after I moved out of Memphis I lived in Arkansas for a year and I was really homesick and everytime I would go back I would go to Goner Records and that was at the time that I was getting into punk and I would also buy copies of maximumrocknroll cause it was cheaper than buying a record. And I didn’t have a record player *laughs* And I like didn’t know about bands and stuff so I was like “oh I’ll just like read this frickin gigantic it felt like 300 page tome every time I bought one and then I’ll like know about bands and I’ll be cool.

How do you feel about maximumrocknroll dying, I guess? *laughs*

It’s a bummer but also it’s kind of it’s the way a lot of things are going. And I think it is sad that they just like weren’t ready for it at all. Like I don’t want to disparage because obviously I still love all their online content and how they’re keeping up and I think that it’s working really well for them. But it felt to me as an outside person that they were kind of like scrambling to figure that out whereas a magazine like She Shreds they also just had the same thing happen but they had this whole roll-out ready. And they were like “don’t worry everyone we’re not just dying and whithering away we’re just moving online and we’re gonna do even more great stuff.” It’s also zines so like who cares? *laughs* Like are you ever ready for anything with a zine? Like probably not.


You’ve gone to zine festivals as well.

Yeah a bunch of them.

Yeah I’ve never been to one because zines aren’t that popular in Finland right now. But yeah I don’t know what my question really is… what are they like, I guess? *laughs*

Fests are cool. It’s kind of… actually I’ll tell you about going to Helsinki Zine Fest because…

Oh yeah we have had that!

Helsinki Zine Fest was fun. It was a multiday thing which a lot of them are not. And they had a really cool special guest. It was Sophie… I’m forgetting her last name. She does a web comic online. I’m sure that’s very helpful to your readers *laughs* [edit: her name is Sophie Labelle!]

We’ll find out! *laughs*

But zine fests are great cause like when it was just me doing zines in Mississippi I was like, you know, oh nobody knows what a zine is. I didn’t have friends that like knew what zines were except for my friends that I like told them about zines and made them read my stuff. *laughs* But when I went to my first few Zine Fests I was like “oh this is a whole community of people that like some of them have been doing it for like years and years like lifers in the zine community”. Which was crazy to me and I you just meet a lot of likeminded people and you get to tell people about your work. Which I always think is like a fun thing to do. I really enjoy sharing my work with other people. And yeah the best one I went to was the American Library Association. This big like group of librarians. They go together every year and have this HUGE convention every year. And one like teeny little baby part of it is they have like a “zine pavilion” where there’s like it’s just a little pod of like a mini-zine fest inside this much larger convention. But it was crazy cause like I was meeting all these people that didn’t know what a zine is, which generally means if you’re like “hey wanna read my small book of like stories you don’t care about?” Average passerby are like “oh no thank you!” *laughs* Like I’m walking away from, you know, avoiding eye-contact but because it was librarians they were like “hell yeah! Let me get into this!” So I was getting to like teach people a lot about zines. But also it was people that were like interested in knowing which is always a good time.

I had to write down so that I remember that you put zine pavilion in quotation marks because I won’t hear it.

Sorry I’ll say things…

No no no, that’s fine! *laughs* You did mention a zine festival in Helsinki so I’m gonna use that and start asking questions about Helsinki *laughs*

Yeah!

You were in Helsinki for a year-ish?

Oh not even 6 months barely, yeah.

What were your favorite bands that you saw in Finland?

Ah, Jesse I’m so glad you asked me this question. *laughs* Here in America I tell people all the time what my favorite Finnish bands are and they don’t give a fuck, Jesse! Um, I really… let’s see. It’s funny cause I also kind of saw a lot of American bands while I was in Finland. I saw Timmy’s Organism and I guess maybe just Timmy’s Organism.



You were like one of 20 people who saw Timmy’s Organism in Helsinki *laughs*

I felt like that show was popping but I think it’s just because I knew Pete and Pete knew everyone there.

Well I was like I know everyone by name who’s here.

Right. I really loved seeing Acid Runs. The couple of times I saw them they were really good. I loved… Here, let’s go and see what records I have that will help me jog my memory. I just had to cut up my Teen Wolf Records shirt which is a big bummer because if you ever just try and cut up a shirt and then you ruin it that’s what happened with this shirt. I was so sad about it. Let’s see, I really liked seeing Acid Runs. I also really liked seeing HÄN one time. I’m sure I’m saying that wrong.

No, that was perfect!

Jesse… thank you. They were pretty good. I really liked… oh my god everytime I saw The Toxics or like any band that Jens was involved in maybe like one of the last shows I saw was Jens Fest.

*laughs*

Which like looking back was like so funny to me. Like just a fest of this guy. Like Jens really was really nice to me everytime we talked just like a very kind individual. And just like such good like nobody has any business being that good at music. And I feel that way about Joni Ekman too. Like that’s another person where I’m like “who gave you the god damn right?” *laughs* to be good at music like that. Let’s see, I saw… oh one time i saw Atte’s band Tuntematon Tie one time at Oranssifest. And that was really really fun. They were really good. Any band that my friends are involved in I am a great fan of. And it’s funny cause like even since coming back I feel like I have discovered a lot of new Finnish bands just from like seeing what people post on Facebook or who’s putting out new albums. Like Ghost World I think I only saw one or two times while I was there but since being back I’m like “oh damn Ghost World is like the best!” I love Ghost World. And also any time I see a Finnish record out in the world in America I buy it. And so like I’ve found a lot of bands that way. Like I just heard Bastards for the first time because I bought that Bastards record at Goner.


Yeah, it’s interesting the bands you mention that you saw because like Acid Runs I don’t think they’ve played like they’ve played maybe one show after you saw them. But they’re still around but just the bands you mentioned sort of felt they kind of feel like those bands were playing all the time like two years ago and it changes so fast.

It really does!

But the same people have other bands so it’s alright!

Yeah, definitely.

And like Tuntematon Tie hardly every play, unfortunately. We actually with Pete TNT Band we played a Tuntematon Tie song cause it was like every member but one from Tuntematon Tie and a couple of extra people. So we were like we’re just gonna play Tuntematon Tie. Why not?

Might as well hey it’s good as fuck and I have such a distinct memory at that show of Finnish people’s favorite thing to ask me is like “do you like salmiakki?” And like the answer is “no, salmiakki fucking sucks!” *laughs* But Atte that night was like I was like “salmiakki tastes like a horse ass” and he was like “okay, have you had Sisu, though?” He was like eating a Sisu before the show cause it would like help his throat. And I was like “no, I’ve never had Sisu” and he was like “okay, you’ll like Sisu”. And I had Sisu and I did like it, the minty ones they’re good.

*laughs* That’s awesome! Big Clown!

Yeah.

How did that start?

Well after I got back from Helsinki I was like “damn, I should be in a band!” But here’s the thing. I don’t play any instruments and I really am not musically inclined in many ways except that I really enjoy listening to it. But it turns out if you sing in a punk band you don’t have to be good at any of that stuff. So I briefly sang with with this band called Giggle and then we broke up. And I was like “wow I’m never gonna be in a band again!” Like that was a one time deal because I just did not feel like it was going to be part of my life like learning any instruments or anything like that. But one of my best friends Zach was kind of one day he was like “you know I’ve always had this idea of like wouldn’t it be fun to get few of my friends together and just like do a band and make a record in one weekend?” Like everybody talks about doing something like that but like nobody actually does it. Like that would be fun and I was like “dang, yeah that would be fun but I can only sing”. So he was like “well, none of us can sing so like yeehaw great!” *laughs*

And so I went up to Memphis. It was over Christmas break when I was still in college. This was like a year ago. And I met up with Zach, who was going to play the drums, and his friend Stephen, who was going to play guitar, and our friend who’s also named Jesse, who was also going to play guitar. And I like knew both of those guys just like from seeing them at shows and like knowing them through Zach. But I didn’t know them very well, you know. And so we all got together and I had like a couple of leftover lyrics written from this like defunct band that I had been in. And then I was like writing things on the fly and Jesse sent us some riffs kind of early on and so basically I got there and we made an album. And the whole time that we were making this album we were like “oh my god, what are gonna be called?” Like this is terrible. And we were sitting on Jesse’s porch. He was recording everything at his house on an 8-track. Not on an 8-track, on a reel-to-reel. I don’t know anything. *laughs* I say things like I know what I’m talking about but truly I do not. So we’re sitting out on his porch and Stephen was smoking and we were like “what are we gonna be called?” And so like I offered a couple names and Zach offered a couple names. And then somebody said Pantera Bread which is a pun on the American like quick service dining chain Panera Bread. And everyone lost their minds laughing. And they were like “that’s our band name!” And I was like “no, we cannot do that!” *laughs* I was like I simply will not be in a band called Pantera Bread. *laughs* And so I fought really really hard for us to not be called Pantera Bread. And Zach said “well, I’ve always wanted to call a band Big Titty Clown because that’s just funny to me and it makes me laugh, like why would a clown have big titties?” *laughs* And I was like “okay, what about just Big Clown?” Because my concern was like what if my grandma wants to listen to our band, and she never did. She has never been interested. But I was like, you know, that’s the worry so we decided to drop the titties and just be Big Clown.

And yeah, then we made the album and we put it up on Bandcamp and we were like “well, that was fun! See you guys later.” We did what we were gonna do. Made an album and then like a month later all of us were like “okay, but what if we just played like one show?” *laughs* And now we’re a fully functioning band and play shows all the time.

That’s great!

Yeah.

Do you have any new records planned? I guess this quarantine sort of situation will probably slow bands down.

Well so I live like 3 hours away from the rest of Big Clown. They all live in Memphis and I live in Mississippi. And so now I’m a teacher so I’m still kind of on that school schedule. So whenever I have like any kind of an extended break I scram and I’m like “fellas, gotta make a record like it’s our only time.” And so we are sitting on a record right now that’s like ready and mixed and just, you know, waiting to see when a good time would be to release it. Here’s the other thing about Big Clown is that everybody else in that band is in like seven other bands. It’s everybody’s side project except for mine. So when I’m like I sit at home thinking all day like “dang, I love that new Big Clown album. Wish we could release it.” Soon everybody else is like “well, I’m in seven other bands. I have to coordinate seven other, you know, releases or recordings or stuff like that.” So not high on the priority list for everybody right now. But I’m looking forward to releasing. I’ll send you some if you want to hear it. [this record is out now on Bandcamp and streaming!]

Sure! Do you have plans for like any other bands besides that or is that enough for you right now?

I mean teaching full time is enough of a thing. *laughs* And Big Clown is good because in some ways sometimes it’s frustrating that I live far away from them cause I can’t just like pop over anytime and work on music with them. But it also means that we like pick and choose when we play very strategically. Or not strategically but carefully cause like we don’t wanna waste a drive up on playing with a shitty band. And which luckily we have not done so far in Memphis. Memphis does not have that many shitty bands but also… I forgot where I was going with that. Basically I think my point was like it’s a good situation because it is sort of constrained to certain time frames. Like I don’t have to think about it all the time.

Sounds good.

Plus nobody wants to be the person that like sings in every band. Like there’s only so many ways I can do funny punk voice, you know. *laughs*

Yeah, I guess so. Oh, the pun name reminded me. I feel like it’s somewhat common in Finland, I don’t know if you noticed but some Finnish bands… we’ll I guess cause they’re Finnish you wouldn’t maybe notice it as much but like Finnish bands a lot of bands are like based on a pun like Tamara Luonto.

So that’s the one that was explained to me one time.

Oh yeah.

Because I couldn’t really explain it to you now. I do not remember the origin of the pun but I was with I think I was just sitting with Salla and Kristiina [from Tamara Luonto] one day at that show and they were like “do you understand anything about Tamara Luonto?” And I was like “I don’t even understand most of what people say to me.” Like I have no idea what’s going on. *laughs* And they explained it to me but yeah.

Yeah, and Salla had a band called Nothing Else Mothers as well. *laughs*

Well now she’s in a band that’s like kind of a play on Destiny’s Child.

Oh, she’s not in that band anymore!

Oh, rip.

But yeah, that’s true. She’s like in all the pun bands I feel.

Yeah!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Not really. Everyone should go read my zines on my website and listen to my band on our Bandcamp and…

I’ll add links to all of that stuff as well!

I’m excited for ya’lls new album too!

***

Lucyn zinesivuille pääsee tutustumaan täältä ja Big Clownia kuulemaan täältä