Features One Question Interviews Afraid of the Basement

One Question Interviews: Afraid of the Basement

Elias (Afraid of the Basement)

SPB: Your label and zine seems to take pride in nice-looking product. Talk about the difficulties funding such consistently aesthetically pleasing product at the DIY level. 

Elias: It's funny that you bring that up man. I don't like complaining about it, but funding a zine is a fuckin’ money pit. But I still do it and don't regret the thousands I've lost in that pit! I refuse to let print media die. I say it's a money pit because:

One) because it's expensive, even if you have your own printer that can print 11x17 pages, it still would use SO MUCH black ink it’s just insane. And if you get it done professionally like I do, at such a low run (about 150 each issue, I've printed three issues, and re-issued the first issue three times and the second issue twice, so I’ve released about 900 zines altogether, and I've sent them to about 10 different countries--pretty cool, but I'm getting off track sorry). It hurts you. I use a local place that had the best prices around and really it's not TOO bad but I don't even use the best paper haha. 

Two) because no one wants to buy zines anymore. It's sad but true. If anyone DOES happen to have a couple extra bucks at a show or event it’s so much more likely to go to a record or a shirt or, most likely, beer. And who can blame people? It's fuckin rough out there. Gotta get your kicks first. I get it. But I think I ended up giving away about 85% of the zines I printed merely because I wanted people to read it more than I wanted to make back the money that I already put up anyway so who cares if I don't get it back. I knew from the beginning this wasn't exactly a wise investment. I suggest taking it on only if you have some money to play with. I usually end up getting a few runs around tax return time every year.

Three) I'm a goth so unlike many zines AOTB has mostly black backgrounds, I use a LOT of black ink. I appreciate the compliment on my layouts. I'm proud of my 'messy but organized' aesthetic and it's definitely the aspect I put the most effort into. Except for contributed articles, I do every aspect of the zine, and the rest of my company. Outside of some outsourced art (very rarely), I have no partners and do everything single-handed. I've actually been a designer for about 15 years, since I was about 13 years old, I taught myself how to use photoshop so I could make a Dragonball z website haha. Good thing because now I make a living off it. I bring this up because although I use a specific look/style for AOTB Fanzine I am capable of much more professional AS WELL as much more messy/punk aesthetics. I'm for hire ;) I do band logos, websites (basic ones, I’m old), banners, album covers, flyers, ads, etc etc!! (email below)

One last thing, luckily now I'm able to "capitalize" (judge if you want, but we all gotta eat) on another venture now: I've turned Afraid of the Basement into a video label as well now, in addition to releasing various unauthorized "gray market" releases of older bands that never got the proper video/live/music video/documentary treatment, I've since moved on to doing OFFICIAL authorized releases including the punk documentary DESTROY CLEVELAND, the upcoming documentary THE DICKS FROM TEXAS, and tons of live sets , EXCLUSIVE to AOTB including PART 1 Live in Philly, CAPITALIST CASUALTIES LIVE (In Japan and a bonus set + Music Video), as well as T.O.M.B. / Dreadlords and Cape of Bats. Sorry for the shameless plug!! Check out what I have available for now at AFRAIDOFTHEBASMENT.COM or email me directly for better and more specific deals/inventory at DAIFORME@GMAIL.COM!

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Words by Nathan G. O'Brien on Jan. 21, 2016, 11:56 p.m.

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Afraid of the Basement

Posted by Nathan G. O'Brien on Jan. 21, 2016, 11:56 p.m.

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