Careless Talk Costs Lives
The totally fucked up state of the UK's (world's??) music press is probably one of the main reasons you're reading trakmarx.com - if the opposition was any good, there wouldn't be any need for zines like us, or Careless Talk Costs Lives, for that matter - would there?
CTCL is the brainchild of former Melody Maker scribe & grunge expert, Mr Everett True. Currently fighting a one-title hard-copy battle to topple the Babbling Towers of Kings Reach single-handedly, this man is on a mission - your support is what he needs.
Tastefully presented in A4 size, printed on real paper & with stunningly beautiful photography, CTCL comes on like a decent music magazine should. Mr True has assembled a merry band of crit-buddies with obvious taste, intelligence & considerable knowledge. The mag is rammed full of news, reviews & interviews - quality opinion on a varied range of genres.
CTCL is available from an ever widening network of retail outlets - including very hip newsagents, good independent rekkid shops, beat style bookshops & sympathetic mail order outlets. Should you struggle to find a copy you can always access one from their website;
Jean Encoule recently got inside the mind of CTCL head honcho, Everett True, to bring you this.....
trakMARX - Whatever happened to my rock & roll journalism?
It lost the war. Join forces with corporations designed to shift units and eventually those corporations will always win out. It became a homogenised product, similar to the broadsheets that comfort the middle classes of Britain with their uniform views. It lost faith in itself, and forgot its primary purpose - to entertain, to act as a filter while entertaining. Right now, we need filters more than ever.
trakMARX - Will we ever read another Bangs, Marcus or Kent?
You're being deliberately provocative here, aren't you? First: you don't ever want to repeat the past, maybe learn from it, but isn't it bad enough we have countless bands trying to replicate the sounds of the past note for note, without music critics joining in? And two: I'm far more vital, and of this generation, then any of those old men.
trakMARX - Why is corporate fellatio so prevalent in the mainstream rock press - why does everyone want to be part of THE INDUSTRY (& there was us thinking it was all about kicking against the pricks)?
Because that's where the money and the free trips are to be had. I don't get given either, so it's easy for me to kick against it. It's nowhere near as easy once you've been sucked inside.
trakMARX - Many say the battle is over, the war is lost - the man won. How does it look from where you're sitting?
The Man won? Fuck no. I'm having a fucking blast here, and so are most of the people I know. So independent bands are being ignored by the mainstream? Good. It will sort out the careerists from the genuinely talented, those who love music from those seeking to make a fast buck. The same goes triple for writing.
trakMARX - Was there much bitterness/acrimony surrounding the demise of MM?
I don't know. I have no idea. I'd been keeping such a tight rein on my tongue at that stage it no longer existed. No one seemed to care, because it had been turned into such a steaming pile of crap. The MM - as people (hopefully) think of it - has ceased to exist a long time before it was closed down. The bitterness mostly occurred when Mr Sutherland was brought in as editor: I was pensioned off to VOX to keep me quiet (it worked) and the staffers were left to provide the poison. And good on them. No one should let what they care for go without a fight.
trakMARX - Do you see it as unhealthy that IPC has little or no opposition?
I see it as funny, because IPC patently don't know what the fuck they should be doing with NME. "Oh let's turn it mainstream - it worked for Select, MM and VOX." Good call, corporate lickspittles!
trakMARX - How did CTCL come about/How did you go about finding quality staff/How's it selling so far?
It happened because Steve Gullick was hacked off with the NME for being crap, and called me up to say he was starting a new music magazine. "Best of luck," I told him. "You're helping me," he replied. Ah... Well, there's two things you need: an ads manager and a designer. The rest we can fake. I sent out an email to a few people that I trusted, asking them to recommend writers and artists. We started commissioning illustrations because (i) I love them and (ii) Steve placed a ban on press photos. I had a few music websites I enjoyed checking out, particularly tangents.co.uk and the I Love Music discussion board at greenspun.com so I asked folk there if they would contribute. Some folk just insisted on helping (thanks Jimmy Possession!). It's not hard to find good talented people if you know where to look, if you're a good fucking editor... Seems like most of my peers aren't.
It's selling out every place we put it into (eg: Selectadisc and Rough Trade and HMV Oxford Circus all sell 100 copies/issue). Trouble is, getting it into those places. The magazine industry is very conservative and we don't fancy being ripped off by some big fancy publisher.
trakMARX - If CTCL has a manifesto as such - what is it?
It doesn't. We don't work like that. We love music, and we just want to create the best fucking magazine we can with the resources we have, so we can share our love.
trakMARX - The US has been kicking UK butt in the decent band stakes since punk rock post punk - why does the UK produce so few quality acts & is it any reflection of the nation's rock press?
Too much focus paid to too small an area, bands aren't given time to develop - and those that do are dismissed as "old hat". It's still true that you need to know where to look...
What about bedroom electronica bands like Transistor Six and Man Who Invented Fire, also Billy Childish, Sportique, the Welsh lot such as Mountain Men Anonymous, Tystion, Zabrinksi and McLusky, the Scots led by Future Pilot, Bill Wells and The Pastels, Brighton's own Electrelane and the Fatcat label, the Save Gringo axis, Techno Animal, smaller bands like Braer Rabbit, the Where It's At lot.... Etc etc
trakMARX - When we were kids our parents used to scream; "Turn that bloody racket down - call that bloody music". Now parents creep up behind their kids when they're trying to quietly smoke rocks in their rooms & say, "Hey - is this the new Marilyn Manson LP - grrrrrrreat. Pass the pipe". Is this extension of the age range demographic in any way to blame for the demise of the cult of the individual?
Yeah that age range demographic is a bastard, speaking as a 40-year-old...
Issue 10 of Careless Talk Costs Lives is on sale now.
Jean Encoule - April - 2002