Fireworks

Welcome to the Rocktopia Interviews Section (* For Members Only)

Interview with Stevie Chick

STEVIE CHICK

Interview by Neil Daniels

Stevie Chick is a freelance journalist, sub-editor and lecturer. He is also the author of authoritative tomes on Black Flag and Sonic Youth.


What was your first published piece of rock journalism?

My first published piece of music journalism would’ve been my self-published ‘zine, Resistor, an A5 Xeroxed thing that I printed up three issues of back in 1996-7. But my first published music journalism in the larger world was a review of Subcircus’s debut LP for Melody Maker, the music paper I’d grown up reading, the only place I’d ever wanted to write, and an organ that was rapidly withering thanks to a radical change in editorial direction.

What publications have you written for over the years?

Melody Maker, The Times, NME, Evening Standard, Sleazenation, Kerrang!, MOJO, Careless Talk Costs Lives, Loose Lips Sink Ships, Plan B, The Guardian, The Stranger, Rolling Stone (Australian edition) and Bizarre… Those are the ones I’ll own up to, anyway.

Who are your rock writing influences?

I have spent much of the last fourteen or so years trying and failing to mimic the stellar abilities of Neil Kulkarni, Everett True, Victoria Segal, David Fricke, Keith Cameron, Sharon O’Connell, Cathi Unsworth and many more who I’ll regret forgetting to list later. And
Lester Bangs’ stuff was what made me really want to write about music, and is still a pleasure, a thrill, to read now. And the writers who wrote for me in editorial positions I had with CTCL, LLSS and Plan B all inspired me to try harder, try better, try different.

Who were your favourite bands growing up?

When a bairn, Madness. Then Genesis. Then, for a baffling while, Level 42 (I’ll still fuck with ‘Something About You’ and ‘Leaving Me Now’). Then Prince. Then Hendrix. Then I got deep into classic rock, from Zep on down. Then Nirvana happened when I was sixteen and I just got lost in all that American underground stuff, which fair rewired how my brain
works. Then I got deep into Hip-Hop. I think by this point I was a grown-up?

How did you get your first book deal?

Everett True was supposed to write the book, and then couldn’t, and asked me if I would. As it was a band I’d been obsessed with for years and years, I threw myself in front of the runaway train that was the chance.

Which was the hardest book to write?

Black Flag. It was crazy hard to track down some of the interviewees. And for many of them, recounting that experience was like ripping open a festering wound, and I felt for them. Of course, this intensity only made the book better, I hope, but it was painful. And a couple of
possible-sources who pulled out of their interviews at the last minute led me a not-so-merry dance.

Can you take me through the process of writing a book?

First, research. Tonnes. As much as you can manage. Then interviews. Then transcription (UGH!). Then writing (YES!). Then finish (MEGA-TRIPLE-YES!) Liberally slather the above with self-loathing, stress, panic and regret. Then ride that sucker to the poorhouse. Oh
yes.

Have you had any uncomfortable interviewing experiences?

Numerous. Have been threatened with fisticuffs mid-interview, by someone who could possibly have marmalised me if not for, you know, heroin. Also, I once asked a pair of (non-identical) twins where they first met, which kind of revealed my lack of research in that
instance.

Have you had any feedback from any members of Black Flag or Sonic Youth on your books?

Yes, but it was off the record. All nice stuff, mostly, though.

Do you make a living from writing?

Alongside work as a sub-editor and lecturer, just about, yes. But the living ain’t easy.

Can you name some of the best books you’ve read on rock?

Psychotic Reactions & Carburettor Dung: Lester Bangs.
A Journey Through America With The Rolling Stones: Robert Greenfield.
Mama Told Me There’d Be Days Like This and As Serious As Your Life: Val Wilmer.
A Change Is Gonna Come: Craig Werner.
Fa Fa Fa Fa: The Adventures Of Talking Heads In The 20th Century: David Bowman.
Please Kill Me: Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain.
Chasin’ The Trane: JC Thomas.
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: Jeff Chang.

What’s your music collection like?

Untidy.

Do you have any book projects currently in the works?

Some, but I can’t mention them yet because JINX.

Do you have any advice for aspiring music writers?

Do it because you love it, and don’t do it unless you intend to be brilliant, or die trying.

What are your thoughts on the future of music magazines and books?

Black thoughts. As long as we insult the intelligence of our readers, they will take their attentions and their money elsewhere.

Anything else?

I think that’s the long and the short of it…

Stevie-Chick-Interview

Share this on the web.


Comments (0)add comment

Write comment

security image
Write the displayed characters


busy

Latest Reviews on Rocktopia

Status Quo - 'Backbone'
21/09/2019 | Central Electronic Brain
article thumbnail

'Backbone' proves that Status Quo have still got it – and long may they continue!


Latest News on Rocktopia

DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL announces second run of bands for 2020
19/11/2019 | Central Electronic Brain




JOINING THE LINE-UP:

VOLBEAT, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, BA [ ... ]


Member Login



Calendar

<<  November 2019  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
      1  2  3
  4  5  6  7  8  910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Search Here

Shout Here

Latest Message: 2 days, 8 hours ago
  • Rocktopia Te : @l.thijs: Apologies for the delay, your digital copy can now be downloaded from your "My Downloads" section.
  • l.thijs : Hi Fireworks Magazine. I made a purchase on 10 nov and I paid by Paypall. I bought the #85 fireworks mag download for GBP3,50. But I didn,t receive anything. Please can you find out what's going on?
  • kazooba : I have digital versions of every issue from 27 thru 88, any way I can get issues 1 - 26 with cd's digitally?
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: The links are in the Fireworks menu. Have you tried scrolling down? Maybe your screen size is too small...
  • SeaDog57 : Berny; there are only links up to Fireworks 86. Which is kinda strange because i already downloaded CD 87 but i'm looking for the link to CD 88...Chris
  • Rocktopia Te : @Johns Band: Can you please contact us here: «email»
  • Johns Band : Fireworks Magazine 88 did not arrive by post. paid by PayPal. Any Suggestion.
  • Berny : @bpomper: Can you pls. contact the Rocktopia team here: «email»
  • bpomper : i found the problem..old email i can not access.i have tried to change it by editing my info but it wont allow. any suggestions
  • Berny : @bpomper: A reply was sent yesterday, We recommend checking your spam/junk mail to see if our message was filtered there. The magazine was already sent to your shipping address. Please let me know if you do not receive it within the next couple of days. Thanks for your patience!
  • bpomper : Thanks didnt of that. I still have not heard about fireworks 88 was it sent out. Thankyou
  • Rocktopia Te : @bpomper: For security reasons, we removed your previous message. Please do not post your private e - mail address. Many thanks for your understanding.
  • bpomper : Thanks for the reply. I see download but can you confirm that hardcopy was or is sent ou .thanks.the email i used is inder the contact me info of the website
  • Berny : @bpomper: Apologies for your troubles. Where did you send the email to? We haven't received anything. I will send you a longer reply via mail. Also, you can download the free CD from the "Fireworks" menu on top, but the CD links are only shown if you are logged in.
  • bpomper : 3rd email inquiring about my purchase of fireworks #88. i purchased on the 2oth of sept and today is the 24 with no response...paypal has taken the payment. should i have a down load of the cd for mu usa magazine. Looking forward to an answer
  • bpomper : hello i purchased fireworks #88 through paypal on9/23 and have not recieved an email from rocktopia. purchase is for a hard copy of the mag. should i have cd download instructions.when should i expect it
  • Berny : @Johns Band: I've just sent you an e - mail. Best regards, B.
  • Johns Band : I have ordered FM Live video and £1.99 taken from my PayPal account. How do I download video. Something gone wrong at processing with Fireworks. The links to report it do not work.
  • Berny : @kevinw01: Have you received the mail containing the donwload instructions? It seems as if you are downloading the bonus CDs from the "Fireworks" menu, those are meant for our readers in the USA and Canada whose copies do not come with the CD. I will send you a mail now. Thanks, B.
  • kevinw01 : I have ordered several issues of Fireworks but when I press the download button I only get a copy of the MP3 but not the PDF files. I have an iPad. Am I doing something wrong? Kevin
  • Berny : @ARONITY: Thanks for your order. As stated in the item's description, it can take up to three hours for your purchase to be processed. You should have received a mail containing the download instructions by now. Thanks for your patience!
  • ARONTY : Hi, Just ordered #88 pdf, Paypal show the payment, but no d/l link, please help..
  • Berny : @John: Pls. check your mail, this should have been sorted by now. Apologies for the delay!
  • johnmason : Hi. I paid for #88 and it doesn't show up in the licenses/Downloads and I never received any email telling me how to download it.
  • Rocktopia Te : Fireworks Magazine #88 is out now!
  • SeaDog57 : Thanks Berny got it
  • Berny : @SeaDog57: Not sure why the password disappeared, but it's back. Pls. download your copy from the usual place (i.e. Fireworks - > Bonus CD 87 on the TOP menu). Have fun! :)
  • SeaDog57 : Berny looking for the link and password to Issue 87 free music
  • Berny : @yvesrock: Apologies for the troubles. I've just sent you an email.
  • yvesrock : Hi,I ordered the 11th june the new Fireworks' magazine (issue 87) and I didn't receive it. Can you see if you sent it ? Best wishes Yves

Only registered users are allowed to post

Follow Us

FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoogle

This website uses cookies to help us give you the best experience when you visit. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our Privacy Statement.

I accept cookies from this site