Readers/Zinesters write…

Readers write…

I used to write you and order issues of Tilt! zine & other stuff from your mailorder/distro back in the 90s. I just found out about your blog and now I know that issue # 10 never got out. Even now I still read my old issues of Tilt!.  The first issue I bought was the one with the green cover, # 7… Your interview-questions sometimes made bands avoid them at all cost, you were grilling them. Thanks for giving me excellent insights on world-politics, top-class hardcore and to think outside the box in this sometimes close-minded scene.

Ahmad ‘ASAS distro’; an old fan in Malaysia

I’ve distributed Tilt! (2nd half of the 90s, not exactly sure). At that time I had a strong interest in it because (it seemed to me) it was pretty well connected with the political/anarchist themes in the world of DIY/punk/crust/hardcore. Since then I completely left behind that small world of counter-culture punk (and its overall depoliticization upsets me a bit anyway). Instead I’ve taken a closer look at social/political issues and I’m involved in different struggles with anarchist revolutionary perspectives. For what is ‘visible’, I’m actively involved with internet such as http://squat.net/ & http://infokiosques.net/. (And have been actively continueing my distro Zanzara Athée – http://infokiosques.net/zanzara – since 1997 [Brob: That was also what I was aiming for with Tilt! in the late 90s…]).

Thomas G., Paris

Richard Forget, Montbeliard (1996)

I started massively buying fanzines in 1987, although I had already been reading them since 1985. One of them, I believe it was Vrnitev Odpisanih from Ljubljana, Slovenia: it had a small ad for Tilt!. I thought the name was really cool and it promised to be a good read, so I ordered one from Brob back in 1988, I think. If I hadn’t ordered it, I must have traded my own (Zips & Chains) for it. I remember it was thicker than most other zines at that time and had lots to read. If memory serves me well, it was issue 4, although I had bought almost all of them over time. It was a great zine and I started corresponding with Brob and whenever one of us had the new issue out we’d send it over.

Dario Adamic, Rome

Tilt! was one of the first western HC fanzines I had. Not sure where I got it from but I still remember reading your fanzine back in the day, armed with a giant English/Polish dictionary.

Selim, ‘Money Drug’ vocalist, Gdansk (Poland)

Zinesters write…

I wanted to send a brief note also commenting on Tilt! and Tilt! distribution. When I was first into punk and hardcore I was always much more interested in the European and UK music than American stuff – I learned so much about that music from Tilt! and through bands I heard via your mailorder. Probably more importantly if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have learned as much about Belgium and had the wonderful experience of visiting back in 96. As you know the U.S. is incredibly centric around news and politics and getting world information is not a common part of the culture – while the internet makes it easy now – its still not something people do as part of their normal routine here. Having that connection with you and your zine opened up a world to me that I know would never had occurred. Thanks for all of the hard work you put into the zine and mailorder – it really opened up my eyes and invited me into an important part of the world.

Another fan: Jack Kahn; ‘Desecration’, AZHC, Hippycore, Soy Not Oi

Laura ‘Albatross’ Wirtz, Synthesis zine (1996)

Tilt - Yann Dubois 1995Yann Dubois, San Jam zine (1995)Yann Dubois, San Jam zine (1996)

Matt Average, Engine zine (1995)

The zine-scene fit my personality much more – the music-scene seemed a bit more anti-social/alienating in my experience. I don’t have much recollection of many individual zines but most that I liked were at once personal and political, intimate yet informative in a broad way. These scenes knit people across the world together creating a conscious community where ideas were valued and without many of the trade-offs of globalization and technology-addicted cultures.

Jenna DeLorey, Libel zine, Sarasota, Fl, USA

The first issue of UPS zine was released in the same year as the last issue of Tilt! I remember I ordered or traded Tilt!#9 and was impressed by the contents. Mainly all fanzines in that era were or kind of light-hearted in a way the writer praised all the things (s)he liked & what the bands did and said (alias FANzine), or being more socio-critical with issues on the regular stuff like animal-suffering and -rights, vegetarism, anti-sexism, McDonalds and that kind of preaching-to-the-already-converted-stuff.

What me impressed and surely influenced me in later UPS zines, was the critical attitude of Brob towards the bands he interviewed. Answers were counter-questioned witch critical remarks and the bands were really challenged to show more than the superficial catchphrases.

In the letters we exchanged that period he was critical towards UPS zine as well. We didn’t agree on all things but I always liked his critical attitude even towards DIY-scene-fellows. Don’t be just critical towards society and mass-media but towards everything you read, see and hear. The same attitude that ‘Active Minds’ showed in their lyrics.

Unfortunately Brob stopped doing Tilt! zine. UPS zine continued and even grew into a DIY record label. Coincidently UPS zine stopped as well with the 9th issue. That was late 2003. Internet was booming and the interest in paper zines faded away. I always liked writing articles, interviews and stuff but in the end all the time and energy involved wasn’t worth it anymore, selling and trading not even 75 copies anymore. Most of my free time and energy went in the label UPS records and distro in 2003-2006. By 2007 I spent more and more time in Brazil and in 2009 I moved all the way to live overthere. This and the stark declining sales due to the MP3 generation put the UPS label in a coma.

But once it is in your blood, it keeps itching. And when a fresh enthusiastic punk from my new local hometown came up with the idea to do a zine together, I eagerly agreed and November 2011 we released UPS Mutante zine #1. All in Portugese to cover the non-English speaking Brazilian scene. One year later now we are making UPS Mutante #2, with me being active in the DIY scene for a good 15 years now.

And who knows Brob will release another zine sooner or later. By all means I am looking forward to that!

Richard UPS, Campo Grande (MS), Brasil

If I were a teenager today, I would probably not start a zine myself. The 80s and 90s were different times and making fanzines had a completely different significance than today. Information travelled slowly with what we call today ‘snail mail’ and being as slow in making a fanzine fit the way things were back then. Today all the information is on the internet in a blink of an eye, you can listen to mp3s instead of reading reviews and photos have much better quality online than in print. But once upon a time you’ld get really excited when you spotted an envelope in your mailbox, you’d rush home and read the fanzine from cover to cover, hiding it underneath your school-books while pretending you’re doing homework, and then write letters to your pen pals about it, telling them to get a copy as well, maybe enclosing a flyer as well. Those were the times I cherish.

Dario Adamic, Zips & Chains, Rome

What did fanzines mean to me? They were a window to a bigger and more exciting world. Especially when growing up in the Danish country-side, without any means of communication other than a piece of paper and a pen. Fanzines were the proof that somewhere out there, kids like yourself were experiencing the exact same shitty, formative years.

Kent Nielsen, Vask und Rigtigd, Odense (DK)/ Lübeck (Ger)

Eric Spit Teeth on Tilt! (-)Eric Tengvall, Spit Teeth zine (1998)

Christine Boarts on T!9 ('98)Christine Boarts, Slug & Lettuce (1998)

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  1. One day I was reading Tilt! on the train and because of the small print, I had to bend down and had my head turned away from the window… A brick flew throught the window just above my head. The shattered glass was all over me but I wasn’t really hurt. Tilt! and my folding-bicycle prevented that the brick and the glass got in my face. As Ilja (Satanowsky) wrote: it saved my life…
    No idea where the brick came from…but it sure was an intense experience!
    Later I sent my copy to a friend who’d gotten in jail in the U.K. and bought myself a new copy…


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