conversations with bianca

Conversations With Punx Zine #7 ‘Gratitude’

If you’re not familiar with this project, that is so very dear to my heart and always a constant work in progress, go here to learn more. The issue features: Duane Peters & Corey Parks, Franklin Rhi, Ben Weasel, Russ Rankin, Brad Warner and Lord Ezec (snippets from the chats below). CWP #7 comes in a variety of (200gsm cardboard) covers including purple, blue and green, featuring heart cut-outs in its design and a decorative lace feature. I’ve also handwritten the introduction in every single zine! Subscriber zines will be mailed out first thing tomorrow morning. If you’re interested in getting a copy please email me: conversationswithbianca [at] gmail [dot] com.

Duane Peters & Corey Parks snippet:

DUANE PETERS: …Religion is all about fear. Spirituality is all about yourself and tapping into something else that’s bigger than you that’s maybe running the show. Maybe not just one thing but an element of things—you can tap into good shit or you can tap into negative shit.

The word ‘spirituality’ only makes me think ‘hippie’ because of the way I was bought up. In the early punk rock days it was against the law to be spiritual so you never did it. You ran off fear, ego and through battling this that and the other and not dying. You came to the conclusion—if your brain is still working by the time you get to the conclusion—that maybe something else is running the show. Maybe I can tap into some of that. Maybe it’ll help me lighten up. Maybe it’ll help me find something. Maybe it will help me get out of this fear running the show and ego.

COREY PARKS: I’m about nine years off from Duane. He’s a ‘Kennedy era’ kid and I’m more of a Baptist upbringing, the Rapture and a lot of hell, fire and damnation, the devil.

DP: My grandpa was a Baptist minister. There’s all this heavy religion on one side of my family and the other side are cool.

CP: I was born and raised in Southern California in the 70s. My parents were hippies and the only church my mum took us to was self-realisation fellowship, meditation class and the whole concept of there being a power greater than myself. It’s a little bit closer to what I’ve come to believe as an adult. It was a real positive thing. ‘Spirituality’ was a word that I always associated with God not religion that was always too scary and weird to me… like the Revelation, that was all such weird science fiction.

Ben Weasel snippet:

BEN WEASEL: …I had a little revelation when I came home from Baltimore and I knew a door was closing. I knew that it didn’t have anything to do with me in a sense. For years I sat around and had these ideas, almost these revenge fantasies about how I leave music and I’ll make a big announcement and I’ll walk off into the sunset and tell everyone to fuck off! That is like my happiest fantasy [laughs]. That’s not what this was though; a door was closing and one of the things I realised is that, even though this part of my life is pretty much over, it’s not necessarily completely over. I don’t have to close the door completely. I don’t have to go anywhere. I can continue to work with and ideally mentor young bands, which I enjoy doing, and if one day an opportunity comes up to play a set, I’ll go do that. If an opportunity comes up and I can tape some of my songs I have, then sure, assuming I have the time. It’s not a matter of leaving it behind, it’s about leaving behind my attachments to all that. You don’t have to leave music or the scene behind you just leave your attachments to it. Once you do that ironically, you’ll enjoy it more.

Ben photo by Marc Gartner.

Brad Warner snippet:

BRAD WARNER: When someone asked the guitarist from The Cramps – Poison Ivy – if she had some advice for girls wanting to play the guitar she said: Give up, don’t even try. That comes to mind. There are things in the so-called spiritual world and religion that are worthwhile. You shouldn’t just reject everything straightaway just because it seems religious. It’s more to the point of just staying true to you. A lot of the problem is that people just fall into the same patterns, like how the punk rock way of dressing became just a uniform in the same way that everybody else has to have Louis Vuitton bags or whatever the trend is. When everyone in the punk scene has to have a leather jacket, exactly the right leather jacket, it kind of loses its meaning at that point.

Brad photo by Svetlana Dekic.

Lord Ezec snippet:

LORD EZEC: …If you don’t believe in yourself, who the hell will? …I do everything at 110%.  I am like a pit-bull; I can’t do it half assed.  Got to go with all heart and balls!…

Ezec photo by Estevan Oriol.

Franklin Rhi snippet:

FRANKLIN RHI: When I was leading a straight edge kind of lifestyle, I did it because I got into the Krishna movement and the Hare Krishna philosophy. I never got into it because ‘Ray (Cappo) of Today’ told me not to have a beer. Getting into those kinds of bands added to my revolutionary spirit at the time, it made me look at things a lot deeper.

The first band I joined was 108. That band had a lot of spirit. You felt that on stage. Everyone in the band was a devotee. The more people you have that follow the exact same thing makes things a lot stronger on stage. Visually people feel it. Vic [DiCara] was living in the temple, Rob [Fish] was living in the temple, and I was living in the temple. Same thing with Shelter. People can see straight up if you’re following what you are preaching. I don’t really want to spill dirt on any body’s lap but, some of the things I saw in those bands also drove me away from the whole spirituality thing.

Russ Rankin snippet:

RUSS RANKIN: …I can think about being a better person all day long. I can think about being a better citizen. I can think about making then world a better place but, unless I’m taking action it’s just thoughts. When I take action my thinking follows. The first few simple steps of hitting my knees and saying these words, saying these prayers – even though I didn’t believe there was anything out there listening to them – the fact that I was taking action caused my thinking to change.

A big thank you to everyone I had a chat with for this issue, love you guys lots! Thanks for inspiring my life with your creations. Thank you to the photographers who let me use their beautiful work. Thanks to my dear friend Franklin Rhi for being all kinds of awesome! Much love to my subscribers for being patient, supporting this project and being interested in it… you all mean the world to me. Thanks Jhonny for the constant inspiration and for being the best person ever! And lastly, thanks to Vincent for the quality control help ;)

Gratitude, Love & Light,


  1. […] second conversation, can be found in Conversations with Punx limited edition zine #7 – Gratitude (along with interviews with Duane Peters & Corey Parks, Franklin Rhi, Russ Rankin, Brad Warner […]

  2. DE Gim
    June 6, 2013

    I’m not familiar with this project.
    I’m interested in reading all this #7 issue.
    How can i do that?

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