Another beautiful day outside, another zine complete! Conversations with Punx: A Spiritual Dialogue limited edition zine #5/12 ‘Creativity’ is done.
This issue is really special to me. The conversations in this zine are by far some of my all-time personal favourites. Each of the people I spoke to has had influence on my life, via their music, art or the friendship we have cultivated. Reading back through them made me tear up more than a handful of times; the conversations are so beautiful, honest and show other sides of the individuals I chatted with that people may not have seen before by fans. Reading the conversations also took me back to the time I did the interviews (the project celebrates 7 years since I started it this year) and what I was going through in my own life at the time and highlighted how far I have come in my own personal growth and spiritual exploration. The conversations are with the following wonderful souls:
Roger Miret (Agnostic Front / Roger Miret & the Disasters):
Roger chats about love, his time in prison, growing up, coming from Cuba to America as a kid, the early days of NYC hardcore, fatherhood, of moving to Arizona, Buddhism and spirituality. I also really like the image of Roger (by Helena BXL) that accompanies the conversation. It’s one of the only photos I’ve ever seen of Roger smiling. I handpicked it purposely after scouring the net for photos. Every other photo I found had him looking all ‘tough guy’ like or kind of serious but I wanted a photo that reflected the conversation which shows a softer, happy, loving Roger Miret. After my chat with Roger I had an even deeper respect for him.
Lisa Kekaula & Bob Vennum (the BellRays):
I had conversations with wife and husband team, Lisa and Bob separately for the project. I spoke to Lisa in my hometown when the BellRays came to Brisbane. I was in awe of her the entire time; she has an amazing, commanding presence and is such a thoughtful, nice lady. It was a special conversation for me because it’s not every day you meet a female in the punk community that is of ethnic heritage, strong, confident and a true individual (at least not where I’m from). The conversation took place on a street curb in an alleyway behind Brisbane live music venue the Zoo in Fortitude Valley just on dusk. The frontwoman spoke about punk’s similarity to jazz, her Hawaiian and African-American heritage, of being present in the moment, on finding her soul mate and of course spirituality. My interview with Lisa’s husband Bob (the BellRays guitarist) happened while they were on tour in Europe. Bob talks on having purpose, the creative process, of seeing the Ramones open for Black Sabbath, his ideas on punk rock and the ‘support the scene’ mentality and more.
Mark Civitarese (The Unseen / Ashers / A Global Threat / Self-Destruct):
I’ve known Mark Unseen for the last decade. I first corresponded with him and interviewed him for my old zine. My conversation with Mark happened the day before I had to get my wisdom teeth out. Mark and I spoke about spirits, being spooked, his thoughts on religion, people’s auras, psychics, dreams, Ouija boards, visions, his lyrics, performing live and of life changing moments. He also talks about some of his friends in other punk bands and their experience with spirits/ghosts.
Spider has a really interesting story… within the first few minutes of our dialogue he opens up telling me: “For about eight years I was this absolute crystal meth cocaine addict” and from there in a no-holds barred account he takes me on a journey of his struggle to get clean, of the realities of being an addict and his new found belief in the law of ‘karma’. I’ve been Spider’s friend now for several years (since the initial conversation) and to see him get his life together and make an honest living has been wonderful to watch. He talks about how he first came to punk, his interest in Judaism, of his music, art and more.
Nick 13 (Tiger Army):
In this conversation the Tiger Army frontman chats to me about music and spirituality having a connection, of having faith in yourself, meditation, paganism and creativity.
Jesse Michaels (Operation Ivy / Common Rider / Classics of Love):
Jesse speaks about Buddhism, meditation, song lyrics, art, of living in a Zen Centre, getting through dark periods in his life, ‘spiritual’ punk bands that have influenced him, feelings on performance, life beyond music and more.
To compliment some of my favourite conversations of the project, I decided to do something really special with the covers of Conversations with Punx #5/12 ‘Creativity’… I have personally hand drawn each cover with (my favourite art medium) coloured pencils (glitter is my second favourite medium to work with). Each cover is totally unique. The images on the front are drawn the way I have always drawn, it comes from my heart, is not preplanned—I just put pencil to paper and don’t think about what I’m doing, I allow it to form in its own time. It’s me being at my most creative, just being, and connecting to ‘pure potentiality’. It’s 80 pages. This issue is very limited so if you want to order a copy please contact me at: conversationswithbianca [at] gmail [dot] com
I hope you guys enjoy this issue. I enjoyed making it!
I wanted to leave you with a very cool blog post I found recently from one of my favourite authors Paulo Coelho (author of The Alchemist) on creativity:
The Creative Process
By Paulo Coelho
All creative processes, be they in literature, engineering, computing – and even in love – always respect the same rules: the cycle of nature. Here is a list of the stages along this process:
a] ploughing the field: the moment the soil is turned, oxygen penetrates places it was unable to previously. The field gets a fresh look, the earth which was on top is now below, and that which was underneath has come to the surface. This process of interior revolution is very important – because, just as the field’s new look will see sunlight for the first time, and be dazzled by it, a new assessment of our values will allow us to see life innocently, without ingenuity. Thus we will be prepared for the miracle of inspiration. A good creator must know how to continually turn over his values, and never be content with that which he believes he understands.
b] sowing: all work is the fruit of contact with life. A creative man cannot lock himself in an ivory tower; he must be in contact with his fellow men, and share his human condition. He never knows, at the outset, which things will be important to him in the future, so the more intense his life is, the more possibilities he will create for an original language. Le Corbusier said that: “as long as man tried to fly by imitating birds, he couldn’t succeed.” The same applies to the artist: although he translates emotions, the language he is translating is not fully understood by him, and if he tries to imitate or control his inspiration, he will never obtain that which he desires. He must allow his life to sow the fertile soil of his unconscious.
c] growth: there is a time in which the work writes itself, freely, at the bottom of the author’s soul – before it dares show itself. In the case of literature, for example, the book influences the writer, and vice versa. It is this moment which the Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade refers to, when he states that we should never try to recover lost verses, for they never deserved to see the light of day. I know people who, during a growth period, spend their whole time furiously taking notes on everything which comes into their head, without respecting that which is being written in the unconscious. The result is that the notes, which are the fruit of memory, end up disturbing the fruit of inspiration. The creator must respect the time of gestation, although he knows – just like the farmer – that he is only partially in control of his field; it is subject to drought and floods. But if he knows how to wait, the stronger plants, which can resist bad weather, will come to light with great force.
d] the harvest: the moment when man manifests on a conscious plane that which he sowed and allowed to grow. If he harvests early, the fruit is green, if he harvests late, the fruit is rotten. Every artist recognizes the arrival of this moment; although some aspects may not have matured fully, some ideas not be crystal clear, they reorganize themselves as the work is produced. Without fear and with great discipline, he understands that he must work from dawn to dusk, until the work is finished.
And what to do with the results of the harvest? Again, we look to Mother Nature: she shares everything with everyone. An artist who wishes to keep his work to himself, is not being fair with that which he received from the present moment, nor with the inheritance and teachings of his forefathers. If we leave the grain stored in the granary, it will go bad, even though it was harvested at the right time. When the harvest is over, the time comes to share, without fear or shame, your own soul.
That is the artist’s mission, however painful or glorious.
Published on July 24, 2008 on Paulo Coelho’s blog