11 April 2011

Zuper Zine: Drunken Werewolf

Drunken Werewolf zine Mystery Jets front cover
Drunken Werewolf is the work of Tiffany Daniels. She's a Bristol based writer who freelances for the likes of The Line Of Best Fit and God Is In The TV Zine, but she also does what many bloggers and writers aren't quite brave enough to do - publishes her own zine. Up to issue 16 at time of writing, and spread around the country as quickly as Tiffany can, it's a refreshing, honest and enthusiastic look at new and exciting music. I emailed Tiffany some questions about herself and her top zine and she answered them. She also suggested some new music listening, which can be found throughout the post.

How did Drunken Werewolf start out? It was an online blog only firstly, right?

In 2005 I put a stupid amount of effort into a summer mix tape - all I can remember now is that it included Julie Ruin’s “Aerobicide”. Anyway, I didn’t want it to go to waste so I created a LiveJournal account to host it. That trundled along for a while, and was mainly used for uploading and re-uploading every b-side The Cooper Temple Clause ever recorded. It got more serious when people started to request Laura Marling b-sides, and then finally Thom Stone emailed me and asked me to host some of his songs, so I did. I’m not sure why he did that. I guess I should credit him more often.

So why the move from standalone blog to zine?

I’d been writing for online websites for a while, but some were confusing, others inactive, others didn’t suit my tastes... I was getting impatient with the pace and direction of most of them. Ultimately though, I started the fanzine because of a stray interview with Kat Flint. No one would publish it for me, so I though “Well screw this! I’ll publish it myself”! I didn’t want to put it on the blog because I wanted to give it proper meaning. I still think that although the internet’s very immediate, it’s also very disposable.

Tristen - Tadpole

What’s the manufacturing process like? Is it a cut, paste and copy job like ‘back in the day’, or is it designed on PC and mass-printed?

It’s a bit of both!

A team of illustrators design the pages of the fanzine because I’m terrible at art. I edit all the content and work out an A3 master copy – usually in Bristol’s Central Library, much to the annoyance of some. Last time I got pulled aside by an O.A.P. who asked me, “Shouldn’t you be using the UNIVERSITY printers?” to which I curtly replied, “I’m not a student, I’m the taxpaying public.” That told him.

When I was a student I used to print all 200 copies myself, mainly because the University of Liverpool’s printing prices were so low. Now out of financial necessity and time restrictions I have to take it to a print shop.

You currently use live journal for the online side of things. Do you get much hassle with it or do you think it’s a better platform than, say, blogger of wordpress?

I love LiveJournal, but I’ve had MAJOR hassle this week. Their server has been under a DDOS attack almost constantly. I set up a WordPress account at the beginning of the year and I’ve been meaning to move over there ever since. I’ve got big plans!

Without meaning to be rude, I can only assume the zine and blog doesn’t make you enough money to live off. What’s the motivation behind writing about music and bands?

It’s really difficult because in an ideal world I’d like to refuse payment for writing about music. I’m concerned receiving payment automatically makes you insincere, as a critic. It certainly jades you, and you’re at the will of your readership, which isn’t always a good thing. It’s hard to adhere to your original motivations. But then on the other hand, I need to make a living somehow, and I’d prefer to make a living doing something I enjoy and (something that some people seem to think) I’m good at.

In answer to your question – I write about music because:

1) I want the musicians I love to get the exposure they deserve.
2) I want people to agree with me.
3) I want to assert my (subjective) authority.
4) Sometimes other writers really hype up a band that are just bloody awful, and that annoys me. I feel like I have to counteract.

Hysterical Injury - Snow

How did you first get into writing about music?

Ha! No one was writing anything good about Ludes’ The Dark Art of Happiness so I volunteered on a site with the specific intention of writing them a good review. How fan girl is that?!

You’re based in Bristol. How do you see its local scene compared with other UK cities?

I lived in Liverpool for five years, so hand on my heart I can say that Bristol is truly underrated. Sometimes underrated by its own residents, which is a sad thing. There was a metal revival a few years ago, but anything is better than a legion of Beatles cover bands.

Do you have any major success stories with bigging up a band just before they became super-massive-big?

It’s hard to keep a perspective sometimes! I guess the biggest success story is Laura Marling, who was my first proper blog in 2005. I also interviewed her about hecklers, but that was for a short lived fanzine called Bored Youth.

I’m not sure she’s super-massive-big, but I put Caitlin Rose on the front cover of Issue 8, which came out in June 2009. DrunkenWerewolf also interviewed Esben & the Witch and Mumford & Sons for Issue 9, which came out the following October.

Mary Epworth - Dropout

Do you see Drunken Werewolf continuing until you’re old and grey, growing along the way or are you pretty content with the way it is?

I tried to enforce a week’s holiday on myself after Christmas and I failed. I’m a genuine workaholic. The only way Drunken Werewolf will stop is if I get a paid job that is the exact equivalent, freedom of content and all.

And, crucially, what portable MP3 player and computer media player do you use?

I’ve got a rubbish £30 one from Argos – I’m not even sure of the brand – and I use Winamp!

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