Reading the last issue of this serie, a friend of mine pointed out something interesting. I’m always naming those interviews after the last zine or the “most” reknown zine put out by the interviewees. In fact, I just named it after the zine I knew or read first. It’s all about references, and those are mine.
Law And Order always was a huge influencee for me (maybe some of you have noticed Ahem…), in many aspects and I’m still amazed on the quality of these zines, which can hardly get better ! So after bumping many times into Staffan I finally decided to interview him … Through e-mail. Like I could have made it a long time ago, face to face, but no, I decided to do it the way I despise the most. How inapropriate is that ?
Every time I’m doing those interiews as portrait, I feel like I’m doing an history lecture you know, but don’t get me wrong I just want to pay respect to the people that brought to write stuff about hardcore. Then here lies my tribute to Staffan Chaffey. Again, someone told me it’s a little bit short, but it’s the purpose of the thing, short format for long stories, you know.
Through its killer artwork, quality interviews, interviewee and reviews, its back cover made out UNITY lyrics, the style and the content of Law and Order fanzine always amazed me. The first thing I though was how can people do such a huge work and not wanting money out of this ? In fact, they were even loosing money, the forth issue of the zine cost around three thousand euros to print for example. Of course, I was curious, and I wanted to know everything about how and why they were doing this. Based in Gothenburg, Staffan interviewed a lot of crucial “scenesters” (I don’t like that word but I’m not sure I could find any others) face to face, as it was the purpose of the zine. It gives you an insight on how much time an issue is taking him, and at this time, it was really weird for me to put so much effort in something that doesn’t gives you anything back. But I changed my mind since then, don’t worry.
Now, I met Staffan a certain amount of times, the first being in the SECTARIAN VIOLENCE van from Nantes to Lille during their tour two year ago, when I accidentally end up holding their merch table when they had mechanical problems. Sometime travelling alone can end pretty well. Since then, I had a lot of opportunity to talk with the guy, every year at Fluff fest, where he is borrowing the Zine tent that Max Mitchell (Author of a shitload of zines, Cognitive Surplus being the last one out I suppose) and Dominik Elberskirch (Same type of guy but the most notable thing he wrote was It’s The Limit fanzine), or at COKE BUST’s shows, since he is doing the merch guy for them pretty often. But guess what ? I never used that precious time to interview him. The shy little kid hiding in me popping out for no obvious reason. Silly me. Don’t judge me though, it’s always weird to ask pertinent questions to the people asking questions usually.
Last year, he put out a split zine with Patricia, who plays drums for BEYOND PINK and SLÖA KNIVAR, called Born Half-God for her, Blood Mornings for him (With a lot of tour story inside !). Another straight reference to UNITY, because the guy sure love the band. It’s pretty comforting to know that you can be 35 years old and not be a sour grape spitting on hardcore scene because it was “better in those days”. Especially when you first heard it in 1988 and picked up your first zine in 1994. It was at a REFUSED show, they were called Inner Struggle and Weapon Of The Real Revolution. He put out his first zine called Lemonzine, when he was sixteen years old, with a classmate and its favorite readings may be Abnormalcy, Painkiller and Absurd from Sweden (if those names ring any bells to you) and The International Straight Edge Bulletin, Engine and Hardware, for the worldwide ones. He never seemed to be bored of hardcore since then, frist playing in a band called LAST WARNING, which I had never hear of, and then playing in bands like STAY HUNGRY or more recently doing CORRECTION with some friends. Interesting fact that is this band was supposed to be a recording only project, but turned out touring. He is still Vegan, still Straight Edge, still giving a fuck.
If you picked up the last xREPENTANCEx LP, you have between your hands another contribution the guy did to hardcore, learning design by himself through doing zines and flyers. Actually he is doing a lot of artworks and you might see other great records/band merch stamped with his style in the near future. Like if his zines, and his bands, and his travels throughout the world being the merch guy of COKE BUST weren’t taking enough time in his schedule, he decided to add some extra doing designs for bands. Just to give a context, for the last two issues of Law And Order, he barely did all the writing. He spent all his time doing it, quiting his job for the fifth issue and barely slept. The friends he lives with said he was living “in a bubble”. For now on, he is not planning a new issue of Law And Order, but as he said he got “A long life ahead“. Well, considering his lifestyle and the fact that he was recovering from a “bad concussion” when we were talking, I suggest some rest before doing another issue ?
Through Law And Order I discovered awesome bands, like HåRDA TIDER or IRON TO GOLD, which I like a lot; that you can do a fanzine and make it look professional and that when you love something, you got to give some sweat. If you can, grab an issue of this reading, it’ll gives you a different approach of bands like FIRST BLOOD, TERROR and NO TURNING BACK and maybe you’ll learn interesting things about hardcore. Definitly one of the best european zine, maybe even worldwide, and a great influence, at least for me. Here’s some random questions to end this interview. Thank you for your time and patience Staffan, and take care for yourself a bit.
DxR : “Your favourite place to read a zine.”
S : “On tour.”
DxR : “Favortie Wishing Well records band & favortie EARTH CRISIS song.”
S : “UNIFORM CHOICE and… no, impossible to pick just one song. But I can say this: I love “Slither” too.”
DxR :”Break Down The Walls or The Don Fury Session ?”
S : “BDTW because that’s how I learned to love the songs, Don Fury because of the aggression.”
DxR : “Catalyst Records or Desperate Fight records ?”
S : “Sorry Kurt but Desperate Fight without question. That shit is close to heart.”
SOUND. SIGHT. REACH. BELIEVING.
Some interesting links :
And also, a good friend of him, Linus from NEIGHBORHOOD whom xTJx interviewed, as to serve fourteen month in prison because he is involved with anti-fascists actions in Sweden. Staffan and some other peep’s are trying to raise money in order to get him out of that situation. Give whatever you can and share this as much as you can.