Write Yer Ane Zine

Words about DIY punk; records, shows, interviews, whatever.

Month: August, 2014

My Depression and Me

***TRIGGER WARNING; I talk about depression, mental health, death and suicide in this post. Please don’t read it if you think it’ll upset you inordinately. Advanced apologies for the over-share***

For all the issues that exist between sleep and myself, there are some days when I just don’t want to get out of bed; days when the world seems bleaker than it was when I went to bed. Abbie awoke this morning and told me the sad news of Robin Williams’ passing, my little black heart sank a little further and I was saddened, as I’m sure millions of people are. However, I also realised how lucky I am.

I’m a 31 year old human being; male, white, heterosexual, privileged, lying in bed reading news on my iphone, healthy, warm, looking forward to some freshly ground Ethiopian fair trade coffee and spending my morning sequencing the digital download of the new Kaddish LP; I seemingly want for nothing and am grateful. I think about Robin Williams, I think about my own mental health. I think about how I preferred Dead Poets Society and Good Will Hunting to the comedies. I think about my friends who have passed, I think about my family members who’ve passed. I think about my friends who have killed themselves. I think about the history of depression, addiction and mental illness in my family and worry that it’s in my genes. I think about suicide. I think about how it surrounds so many of us, how it’s inescapable and how its effects are ever-lasting. I think about death. I think about all the times that I’ve thought about these things and that I’ll probably never stop thinking about them. I think about how punk has always been my place to go. I think about the stupid songs I write to make myself feel better. I think about the songs that other people have written that make me feel better. I think about the International Space Station and the ever-expanding nothingness. I think about how I’m yet to master sleep.

I know that I can talk to Abbie about my worries (this morning I did) and ask for a cuddle. I know I can call my mum and tell her I feel unwell. I have a band and friends and family that have been through everything with me and supported my every choice. I’m sure many people will have stories and lord knows that I’ve put my band mates through hell. I feel like I always (at least tried to) address my problems in the songs that I write, even when it’s been an uncomfortable exercise. I must have been a nightmare at various points. Through all of it, I know how lucky I am to still be here and to have the people in my life that I do. I’ve pushed the boat so far I almost sailed over the edge more than once. I had to shed the bullshit and admit how badly I was struggling. I asked for forgiveness and support. I received it in spades. Many people are not so lucky.

I suffer from depression. I suspect that I’ve lived with it for most of my life (as perhaps an extension of my perpetual feeling of “otherness”) but was only formally diagnosed as such around two years ago. It took the death of my father and the subsequent six months of catastrophic emotional turmoil and behaviours for me to even entertain the idea of speaking to a doctor. I’ve been seeing various different therapists and counsellors off and on for over a decade now, so this diagnosis came as no surprise to me. Depression is real. My depression is sheer inexpressible emotional desolation. It’s not a case of “chin up Chuck”. I can speak only of my own experience but my tale is in no way unique; I’ll never be “cured”, all I can do is learn to live with it and try to keep it at bay. The best way to do that, I’ve found, is to talk about it. To EYC, if you will. It took me a long time to realise that, though.

There is no definitive answer, no cure, no magic wand, no pill (well, there are thousands of them but none are the answer), only “coping mechanisms”, “distraction techniques” and “de-escalation”. All the cognitive behavioural therapy in the world won’t mean shit if you’re not willing to open yourself up to it and admit the truth to yourself. For me, it was about putting honesty and the “greater good” (I’m hesitant to use language such as “higher power”) ahead of my own bullshit and ego. Booze played a massive role too. Stopping drinking was a huge step for me, especially after partying my way through the entirety of my 20s, and has improved my emotional well-being beyond imagination previously; undoubtedly one of the best decisions of my life. Again, I am grateful and realise how lucky I am; I have the most dependable and compassionate “support network” you could wish for. That shit doesn’t come easy though, it takes (for me) brutal emotional honesty (“lacerating self-analysis”) and a willingness to admit my failings and shortcomings, of which there are many. I could write you a fucking list.  I used to think of that as weakness. Now I realise that it is actually strength.

Whenever I talk about this, I always think about the Bill Hicks “ex-smoker” sketch; for me to preach would be hypocritical in the extreme. I used to think of myself as a “fuck up”, now I realise that we all “fuck up”. I’m not going to tell anybody what to do and I’d hope I’m not conceited enough to dispense “advice”; only you can truly know. However, that doesn’t mean that others can’t help you find yourself, especially if you’re lost. I’ve begun to realise that I’m not as “other” as I thought I was, that we are all human; that we all bruise, break and bleed.

Ultimately, the point I am getting at is YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

The stigma attached to mental ill health and depression needs to be removed. The statistics speak for themselves, there are millions, probably billions, of humans suffering. Don’t suffer in silence. We make enough noise about the bullshit, we need to start making some noise about the important shit. Without resorting to YOLO/OLOC cliché/sloganeering horseshit, please talk to your friends and loved ones. Please listen to your friends and loved ones. People care more than you’d think and more than they let on.

Please reach out for support and support those that are reaching out.

Breathing Space Scotland

Scottish Association for Mental Health

Samaritans 

Action On Depression

Support In Mind Scotland 

Tayside Council on Alcohol

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Distro Update; August 2014

Big thanks to everyone who continues to buy records and supports the DIY punk rock scene worldwide. There are loads of good people doing great things in our community and I think we’d like to collectively think that the world is a slightly better place for all the hard graft and endeavour. If nothing else, there is some incredible punk rock’n’roll goodness to be found!

burst cow

All merch/distro can be found here; http://makethatatakerecords.bandcamp.com/merch

As such, we’ve just updated our distro list and currently have limited supplies of the following titles in stock;

LPs (£8/10)

Algernon Doll – “Omphalic” (green)

Boilerman – “Loss Leaders” (clear)

The Doublecross – “The Timeless Destruction of…” (blue/white splatter)

Down and Outs – “Lifeline”

Jimmy Islip and The Ghosts – “The Wild West Riding”

The Kimberly Steaks – “To Live and Die in West Central Scotland”

Leagues Apart – “Brief Interviews With Hideous Men” (blue)

Polina / Bonehouse / Todos Caeran / Kaddish – Split 12″

Wringer – “Bullfighter” (w/ screenprinted sleeve)

10″ EP (£6.66)

ROASTER 4-Way Split w/ UNIFORMS / Sink Alaska / Question The Mark / The Walking Targets (Reign in Blood)

7″s (£4)

Amistad / New Bruises – Split (red)

Canadian Rifle / Zapiain – Split (grey)

Cheap Girls / Above Them – Split (red)

Dan Padilla / Down and Outs – Split (purple)

Gameday Regulars / Guerrilla Monsoon – Split

Great Apes / Daikon – Split

Paperjets – “Before The Fall”

Science Police / Zatopeks – Split (orange)

Steve Adamyk Band / Dauntless Elite – Split (orange)

Uniforms / Loaded 45 – Split

CDs (£3/4/5)

15 Minutes – “Together, Forever”

A Thousand Arrows – “Defallliance”

Algernon Doll – “A.D.”

Bad Karma Kings – “Nuthin’ To Lose”

Billy Liar – “All I’ve Got”

Break Ups – “It’s Complicated”

Brothel Corpse Trio – “Death Shop Pit Stop”

Count Us Out – Borders

Don Blake – “P.O.P Music (The EP Collection)”

Elmo and The Styx – “Sexy Clowns”

Get It Together – “Perspectives”

Hated Until Proven – “Songs for the Short of Attention”

Loaded 45 – “No Coast Punk’n’Roll”

Maxwell’s Dead – “On The Floor”

Pete Bentham and the Dinner Ladies – “The New Underground”

Robot

Shatterhand – “Bone Palace Ballet”

Shatterhand – “Chaos and the Art of Dissent”

Shatterhand – “Random Acts of Defiance”

Stand Fast – “Know Yourself In Things You Hate”

Smiler – “Condemned”

Tragical History Tour – “TWO ZERO ONE FOUR”

Triple Threat (Kickback UK/The Best of The Worst/Joey Terrifying) – Split

The Walking Targets – “Chasing Days”

Various – “Sweden The Deal” compilation

The Shit-Talk with Jimmy Wrizzle; Tony Teixeira (Nothington/Cobra Skulls)

“The Shit-Talk with Jimmy Wrizzle” is a new interview feature that I’m very pleased to host. Jimmy Wrizzle is one of my best friends, my co-conspirator and my boy. He can explain it best himself. Please enjoy!

All questions by Jimmy Wrizzle.

computer

 Every now and then you meet people in life that go on to have quite an influence on you, even if at the time that meeting was brief and you may not appreciate it fully. They might spark an interest in things in life you hadn’t considered, might inspire you with the music they are part of making or even just be someone that makes you laugh. Punk music has thrown up a few people like that in the past 15 years for me. So I’ve decided to try and ask one of them some questions.

 A few years ago the band I play in were lucky enough to tour with Cobra Skulls where I met one Tony Teixeira.

Tony Teixeira is the bass player for Western Addiction on Fat Wreck Chords. He previously played in Cobra Skulls and Nothington.

He lives in San Francisco, California.

 tony t

What was your first experience of punk rock?

 My older sister was always listening to Jawbreaker, Rancid, Bad Brains and other punk bands. In 1996 I lied to my parents about where I was going and went to a Skankin’ Pickle concert. I got kinda fucked up and had an amazing time. I was hooked.

What made you want to play guitar? Do your family play music or was there someone you grew up with exposed you to it? Did you take lessons or just wing it?

I remember being at summer camp. There was an older kid who brought an acoustic guitar and would play for all of us. He knew how to play some Alice and Chains, Soul Asylum, and Stone Temple Pilots tunes. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. when I got home I picked up my dad’s acoustic guitar that was collecting dust in the corner of the living room. I played all the time. I took a few lessons but mostly learned playing with my friends and along with Nirvana records.

 What was the first guitar you ever owned?

My first guitar was a Rockwood. I think it cost like $100, real piece of garbage. My first REAL guitar I got a couple years later. It was an American Stratocaster, cream colo[u]red. I fucking loved that guitar. years later it got stolen out of our trailer on a tour. I couldn’t believe it, but I cried my eyes out when i found out it was gone. I truly loved that guitar and haven’t found anything that compares since.

 What’s the best show you’ve ever been to? Both playing and paying?

The best show I ever played? hmm.. maybe with Nothington at Fest 7. It was the first show I ever played where the crowd was going completely insane and singing every word. it was the best feeling. I remember looking over and some kids had Chris up on their shoulders while he was playing. Jay was surrounded by about 100 fists and screaming faces. I couldn’t believe it. I just smiled and played. It was quite a night.

The best show i’ve ever been to was probably Green Day at the Fillmore in 1998. It was the first/best time i ever saw them. They played for three hours and it felt like 30 minutes. I was able to experience pretty much everything off of their first 5 records. Very special.

 What’s your favourite green day song?

FUCK…that’s a tricky one. Definitely something off Nimrod. Maybe Scattered, Prosthetic Head, The Grouch, Redundant? They’re all gold.

 Would you tour as the lead character in American Idiot the musical? You have to wear eyeliner and cant make any disparaging twitter remarks.

I would! Gladly! At this point I would rather do ANYTHING than work at the shitty fucking grocery store I work at now. The problem is I can’t really sing, dance, or act…but I think I’d look pretty good in eyeliner. Don’t you?

  Was there a moment or incident that sparked your interest in being vegan or was it a combination of things?

When I was a kid my family went to Hawaii for vacation. I went for a walk one night and found some kids torturing frogs. They were laughing and enjoying themselves very much. I ran back to our room and cried to my mom. I knew I never wanted to have anything to do with cruelty towards animals and that I would try to live my life fighting for them. later on I learned, through punk rock, that there were actions that I could take in my everyday life to stand up for animals. Going vegan and abstaining from the use of any an animal products is a great first step.

pizza

 Being vegan, does it bum you out how out of touch people seem with that or is it getting better?

I’ve been vegan for nearly 14 years. I used to get really angry and bitter at my friends and family for not giving a fuck. I still do, but its easier now. I can’t make people care, I can only be responsible for myself. If I’m ever NOT angry about it I’ll know there’s a problem.

 You can name a fantasy band, max 4 members. dead or alive. who’s in?

My fantasy band would just be Dead to Me where I take Ken’s place. Sorry Ken. Me, Chick, Ian and Sam. Yeah, perfect.

 You told us on tour (I was so drunk so its hazy) that you used to live in Matt Freeman’s house? Or he was your landlord? How disappointed were you hearing him “sing” that boomshackalacka bit on the last Rancid album? What’s your favourite rancid song?

Haha…hmmm…I think I must’ve been pretty fucked up when I said that haha…I don’t think I ever lived in Matt’s house. Rancid has always been one of my favourite bands. The last two records didn’t really do anything for me but the preceding ones are nearly perfect. My favourite Rancid record is Life Wont Wait. My favourite Rancid song is Radio.

 How fucking awesome is Napalm Dream by Tenement?! 

Napalm Dream is flawless. Tenement is like a new Descendents! It’s been pretty much all I’ve listened to for the past couple years. That and the rest of their releases. Shotdown got to play a couple shows with them. One of the best live acts I’ve ever seen.

 What’s your impression of Europe from touring? 

Touring in Europe is amazing. People there actually give a fuck about music/bands and not just the fashion/status that goes along with it. My touring days are pretty much done in the US. Good riddance. But any chance I get to go back to Europe I will gladly take. I’m already unofficially planning on going back early next year shhh…aside from the band part of it Europe is beautiful. I saw a castle one time.

  What’s your worst ever tour story?

The first tour I ever went on was with a hardcore band called Envain. I think I was 18 years old. We did six weeks across the US. A lot of terrible things happened, but at the same time it was also really fun. I learned a lot. Most of my terrible tour stories are a little too “adult” to be recorded on the internet haha…I’ll gladly tell you next time we’re hanging out.

  Is there anything you wish you could go do musically you haven’t already?

I really want to learn how to play drums. I always wanted to record a full record by myself. Tour wise I always wanted to go to Japan and Alaska. Someday for all of these things.

 tweet

Your twitter (@Tony_Teixeira_) is fairly fucking awesome and knuckle-to-the-bone. Have you ever thought about doing a podcast? 

Thank you! I’m glad that someone even reads my twitter hahaha…for the record everything I say is 100% correct. It seems like everyone’s doing a podcast these days. I was a Radio/Television major in college. Me and Chris from Nothington were room mates in the dorms and had a radio show. It was a lot of fun. T-Bone and the Weez. It was kind of a podcast I guess. So, to answer your question, yes, I think that would be cool.

 If you could have anyone on twitter follow you, who would it be?

@ValEKilmer

You talk on Twitter about your co worker Jan…I also have a co worker called Jan, he’s a cunt. In an ideal world if you could force your Jan to have one piece of advice he had to follow for 30 days what would it be?

My only advice for that piece of garbage would be to stay the fuck away from me. I will murder Jan and his entire family with the hell-fire of 1000 suns.

  Has anyone ever told you that you look like a young Al Pacino? 

My best friend James used to say that. I’ve heard it from a couple people. I am quite down with the comparison.

Describe your ideal day.

My ideal day is spent in bed with good television, good food, and someone I love next to me.

 You are the only person I’ve ever seen play a telecaster that I didn’t hate. (guess that’s not a question)

Tele’s are great! Real fun to play with a nice bright sound. I just bought a ’77 Gibson SG that I’ve been paying a lot of attention to. I’m looking forward to recording again so I can hear how the two sound together.

  Whats the worst British band you’ve ever heard?

Hmm…the only British bands I can think of are really good ones. Oh wait! Is Pink Floyd from England? They suck ass.

 Mexican food; I’m buying. Where are we going and what would you like to eat?

My friend, I hope I have the chance to show you the many delicious burrito spots in San Francisco California. Best in the world. We definitely need to hit up El Farolito, Taqueria Cancun, and Papalote.

 Tattoos – you have a few, any special ones, ones you regret?

I kinda wish I never got any tattoos. I used to think they were cool but not so much anymore. My favourite one is the script I have across my chest that says “today’s empires, tomorrow’s ashes”. If you don’t know then you weren’t meant to.

You don’t need to answer the next part, and if you do I wont publish it unless its cool, I’m just curious.  I have recently decided to stop drinking/getting fucked up for good, I’ve had to but I also have friends close to me that have quit drinking/partying/etc. Was there a specific situation that forced that in your life or was it a build up of stuff?

First of all, I’m proud of you dude. I am happy to answer this question and have it published. Sobriety has been the hardest thing that I’ve ever encountered. I always kind of knew I liked to drink/party too much but it started to take over my life. I was starting to lose everything that I loved. Some people can handle that shit. Me, I don’t know when to stop. It sucks, but I know that I would probably be dead if I didn’t change my life. It’s a lonely way to live. I always think about that line in the Fifteen song Lucky “the only way around your problems is straight through them”. It’s true.

 Replace Me by Shotdown (http://shotdown1.bandcamp.com/) has anyone released that? I’d love to!

You have no idea how happy it makes me that people listen to and enjoy Shotdown. Those songs mean a lot to me. No one has released it. I’m open minded to getting it put on wax. Let’s discuss.