you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself? How old are you,
where are you originally from and where do you reside now?
Hey what's up? I'm Jen, I play bass in a hardcore band called "neshamah",
and do a zine called "silent screams", I was born in South
Africa twenty years ago, and well still live here…
do you do besides your distro? Do you also publish a zine?
Other than my distro I do web design, I also do my own zine called "silent
screams" which was the first South African hxc/punk zine around…
how long have you been running your zine/distro now? Are you the only
one running it or is there a team?
Well for a few years now, only say 2 and a half, I run the distro myself,
but for Silent screams I have another girl helping me out [mel] she
does most of my interviews and photos for SS.
made you decide to start the zine/distro? How did you come up with the
idea and the name?
Well being in SA was really fustrating because we could never get our
hands on any hxc/punk bands cd/zines/merch unless we ordered it straight
off the internet, so I decided why the hell not start my own one, and
help kids understand more about punk/hxc all over the world, let them
in on whats happening world wide, because I had all the contacts with
zines/distros and other hxc kids in scenes world wide, from the internet
and chats, that I had the recourses to start up…I called it silent screams
because I feel there are way to many kids out there not voicing their
opinions, and well silent screams is here for the kids to voice them..
topics are most often discussed in the zines you stock? What criteria
do you use to choose the zines you stock?
I cover basically anything and everything, from social, political, religious
topics, to short stories that don't even make sense, its basically a
zine for kids to read, learn more about their roots, learn more about
world wide scenes and well just to enjoy and have a laugh, I'll stock
anyone's zines, zines are allot of hard work, and I respect anyone who
does one, if anyone has a zine and wants to get it out to SA, please
do you hope to accomplish by establishing your zine/distro?
All I want is for the kids to be united, awareness in hxc/punk, and
to be able to get hold of hardcore and punk, I remember when it was
really hard for us to get merchandise we really wanted, and well now
having a distro, it makes it a few steps easier for kids, its way more
convenient to go to a show and buy cds than steal your parents credit
card and order it from the other side of the world, having to pay those
sky high postage bills..
does zine making and distributing mean to you? What do you love about
zine making/distributing? What ís the most challenging aspect
of making/distributing zines?
I do it because I love it, and my heart is really in the scene, Neshamah
was the first hardcore band in South Africa, so we always used to get
weird looks when we started playing about 3 years ago, but right now
the scene is blooming, we get about 250-500 kids at a show, its soo
much fun!! I also make punk rock studded accessories, lets just say
I like making things with my hands hehe, im one of those arty farty
type, and also went to art school for 3 years…I love meeting all zine
writers world wide, from Singapore to America, I love that there are
kids out there with the same desires as me, and well its just soo much
fun to put something together, that you've created with your sweat,
blood and hard earned cash, and have kids come up to you and say, wow
I really enjoyed the zine, it really makes me smile…every 3 months just
after I've released a zine, I always sit back saying "AARGH where
am I going to get all my content from" but somehow it just all
starts falling together and by the time its time for the next issue
to be released, I have too much content I end up having articles and
interviews for the next zine…the only real challenge is finding a job
to get money to support the zine..HAHA right now I do web design, and
work in a XtrendyX clothing store, where I only get paid per hour, per
shift, and that's what I use to print zines, and make my merchandise,
I basically just just cover costs for the zine, all postage I pay out
of my own pocket, and well any extras as well..but hey id rather be
sowing money into the scene than eating it!! ;)
was your first exposure to zines? How did you find out about them? What
have they come to mean to you?
Jiesh, I hadn't even had one before I started mine, basically I guessed
in my own head what a zine was about, and well surfed on e-zines and
just made it up as I went along, zines were just not found here, there
are still kids that pick up my zine at the mercb table and say "What's
this?" hehe so I have to explain the whole DIY thing, I just love
them, I love all zines, I personally love the whole cut and paste zine,
I did it for my first 7, the latest one ive done on pc, well most of
it, I still have to do a few pasting and stuff, but hey that's cool..I
love it, anything DIY..I'm there..
Do you consider grrrl and lady zines as an important part of a movement
of sorts? Do you think zines can effect meaningful social and political
Yea of course, I love that girls in hardcore/punk that actually do something,
and are motivated to do so, there are just too many people in our scenes
that don't care about change, of course zines could change a person,
if you have an article on say abortion, and a person had never read
about it before, they could be informed, and maybe see what its all
about, and well the more zines that get out, the more people are informed,
and well yeah it could change a group of people, and spread from there..
does the zine community mean to you?
I love it, I hope paper zines last forever, I know many people are doing
e-zines, and I could too, but paper zines are where its at, I know maybe
some people think its old school, but I personally would rather collect
up zines, than read it off the net, which gets updated so you wont be
able to page back if you need reference, or I dunno inspiring, anything..print
zines are best..
advice would you give others who want to start a zine or a distro?
Get a name, and some paper, and do it!! Hehe its fun you get to meet
loads of people, and well get your message out there, if you have had
thoughts about doing it, do it, I know you wanna..
are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as
Well when I started in the band, I used to get dissed by the guys, saying
I'm a girl trying to play MANS music, or, something like that, sometimes
even get cheered on because I'm a girl, like OOH CHICK BASSIST, like
oohing and aahing cos I'm a girl in hardcore, I think that just because
I'm female, makes me no different, and no I'm not emo, if I wanna dance
in the pitt, let me, just don't beat me down cos you think I'm tough
because I'm hardcore, I might be hardcore, but I'm still a girl..
you active in the feminist movement? How?
Well only in the way that I support girls in whatever they want to do,
be it in hardcore, or anything really…Just because we are better looking,
doesn't mean we belong in the kitchen, hehehehehe…
do you think about feminism today? Do you see yourself as part of Third
Wave Feminism and what does it mean to you?
Hmm I dunno, all I do is play in a band, do my zine and well hang with
friends hehe, if I have to do something, I will, and support it 100%,
I have an awesome article in #8 that nic wrote on a hottentot [bushman]
lady who was used for scientific experiment because the Europenas were
interested on it..aargh!! heres an extract from the article featured
"Women know your place - Saartjie Baartman was a khoi-san (now
referred to as Bushman) woman who became a 'scientific' interest of
the British in a time that could be called the start of racism in Southern
Africa, the colonizing of Africa. British people were obsessed with
any one who looked any different to themselves, ever wondered into a
punk show not wearing the appropriate attire and you know a little about
this. During a time when British men oohed and aahed whilst comparing
themselves to the African male they came to the conclusion that even
lower on the scale of classification was women, all women that is. Women
were referred to as savages and the most inferior of human evolution.
So the British male found some thing 'special' in Saartjie Baartman,
a black female, she was quite sweetly? given the pet name 'The Hottentot
role plays the Internet for you? Does it change your ideas of making
zines and doing/reading zines? What effect does it have on your zine/distro?
Wow, it does everything for me, hehe, most and all of my contacts are
online, all my friends I chat with that submit articles and stuff, all
my interview and everything, because I am so far away from other scenes,
the net brings up closer, which is awesome!! Without the internet I
wouldn't be able to do this!!
you have any suggestions? Something you want to add?
Yea you can check out my site http://www.silentscreamsdistro.com/,
I only update it after the zine has been released, so check it out,
you can see what previous zines had in them, as well sign my guestbook
and let me know what you think.. my bands site is www.neshamah.com,
we just released a 5 song ep on angrysonrecords in ohio, if you have
aim chat my nick is xjen24 so add me and we can chat!! Thanx so much
for the interview, I really appreciate it, and any girls out there with
zines, please get hold of me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
I'd love to distribute your zine in South Africa!!