Lakisha writes a personal zine called The Dissonant Accost, she shares a lot more than music in her work and her style is very individualistic and moving. She started the zine at the age of 16 and according to Lakisha, there is no real focus in her zine, she considers it a learning process.
1.First, tell us why you chose that name for your fanzine. The Dissonant Accost, clearly was not the original title. I wanted to have a title, which reflected my own life. The first title I instantly thought of was Johnny Belinda, named after a film I had seen around the time I was creating it. This film didn’t relate to my own life (being that the film told the tale of a blind rape victim), but it was quite harrowing. I contemplated over the title, because I was aware that title would pigeonhole my zine with a feminist standpoint. On my unusual trek through the dictionary, I discovered words to which I could relate-‘dissonant’ and ‘accost’. Connecting the two words to me defines my life at some points; it’s something I’m attempting to avoid. My personal definition is ‘a myriad of conflicts that approach you from time to time’. At first, the title was highly ironic, now the joke is no longer funny.
2.What is the focus of your zine?
Hmm…There really isn’t a focus. I am constantly learning something new, and I embrace that. Every time I put out an issue my opinions may change on something I said six months ago. Well, most would think that my zine is a ‘music zine’ but it’s not. What it IS, is a personal zine. Music happens to be incorporated within the issues, because music takes up a large percentage of my life. I’m not a huge fan of zines, particularly zines primarily dealing with music. I don’t sense personality in those zines. There are a few magazines I enjoy reading such as FIZZ and BAD TRIP.
3. Did you think you would still be doing DISSONANT ACCOST and what kind of response have you received from it?
The truth is, there are times when I want to give all of this up and wither away. There’s some sort of force, which prompts me to continue this bloody thing. I have been doing this zine for four years now, and the only reasons I’m still doing it is because I learn something new everyday. No, I didn’t think I would still be doing this.
Within four years I have gotten as much response as I would have liked. I have met some really groovy people by doing this zine, so I suppose that is an advantage. Most of the response I get has been positive; some just don’t write back.
4.What kind of bands and activities do you enjoy?
Well, that list could create a whole novel, so I will list some of them. Bands such as MUDHONEY, JACK O’ FIRE, PULP, DOO RAG, GAS HUFFER, TEENGENERATE, THRASHWOMEN, MELVINS, JOHN ZORN, SUPERNOVA, FITZ OF DEPRESSION, MAN...OR ASTROMAN?, TEAM DRESCH, HENTCHMEN, NEW BOMB TURKS, FLOP, WOGGLES, BASSHOLES, THE THROWN-UPS, KARP, MINUTEMEN, CRHOME CRANKS, BLOODLOSS, BILLY CHILDISH- related stuff, bla, bla, bla…the list is quite lengthy. I also listen to older music, such as MARTIN DENNY, Old Sun records recordings, LINK WRAY, BUDDY HOLLY, CHICK COREA, THE DAVE QUARTET, MUDDY WATERS, basically anything that sounds good to me. My emotions reflect the music I listen to.
I like to chill, listen to records, and read books.
5.Could you explain to our readers what the riot grrrl scene is about and if you would consider a band like HOLE, grrrl riot?
The riot grrrl ‘scene’ was intended to be a means of solidarity for females (and males who support them) who felt they were shut out of the macho music scene. It originally had its good intentions. It was a way to speak your mind without having someone tell you your words mean nothing (unfortunately, this still happens).
Riot Grrrl was a network for females. It let them know they were not alone. They were not isolated from the world of music and other arts. Art is universal, and being shut out of it because of your gender is blatant sexism. Somehow, the media fabricated billions of myths about riot girrl, claiming it to be an " all girls club". Excluding males was not in the original agenda, but somehow the word got around to many females not aware of the intentions that it was. This shows you how the media is influential. Thus began the shows which shut out males, ordering the males to " move so the girls could be in front".
Some of my male friends have been hurt by some of this. They also have gotten strange looks because they are male. They are at the show for the same reason you or I would be at the show-because he likes the band! I feel it is unfair to exclude males from the front, or to exclude them from the clubs. I have had friends involved in a riot grrrl who left because of the infighting and sexism. Who are we fighting here, the patriarchy or males in general? If some guy tries to feel you boobs at a show and you request that he shouldn’t , fight him and not the poor geek who is quite sincere about the band. He may just become your best friend. A lot of music I listen to would have sexist overtones to the hardcore feminist, but I enjoy listening to it, so I will continue.
As far as I’m concerned, HOLE aren’t part of the riot grrrl scene. Wait? Have they ever considered themselves riot grrrl? I’m not sure about that. There was a statement in which Courney Love said she would no longer consider herself a girl because girls are bratty and don’t menstruate. OK That is a valid point, but girls will always be girls. I still use the word ‘girl’, but most of the time, ‘chick’ is part of my vocabulary. If anyone finds that sexist, don’t use the term. I have never been a fan of HOLE, not even when they were on sympathy for the record industry. I don’t have a high opinion of this band, musically or visually. Courtney Love is not the most attractive human in the world. She has facial flaws or blemishes, and a lot of cellulite, both of which she flaunts. That aspect of her, I disrespect. The manner in which she flaunts to gain attention loses my respect. Why she wishes to gain such attention is beyond me.
6.Lately riot grrl and ‘feminism’ have gotten to an absurd point, where there are women who think it means ‘to hate men’ and think everyone should fit the category of what they think women are (actually they are more like women who want to be men). What do you think of this situation? What would you do to change this point of view or idea?
Actually, I don’t feel that riot grrrl wish to be men. Far from it. The media has portrayed this image of feminism as a n issue devoid of sexuality. It’s all convulted. Feminism doesn’t have to be sexual as it doesn’t have to be sexist. There is no concrete term for feminism. Each human has a personal definition. I do feel males who consider themselves feminists should be allowed to. Feminism doesn’t mean you must flaunt your body, nor does it mean you have to cover it. There are so many aesthetics of feminism, it has confused me.
To me, feminism allows those who feel they couldn’t, to speak out on various issues. Feminism, to me is shying away from the title of ‘victim’ to the title of ‘strong individual’. But despite my statement and ideals, I refuse to label myself feminist. There are many wonderful females who have made progress, and you can celebrate it without considering yourself a feminist. Yes, males and females are different , but no one has to be treated like a second class citizen. I don’t know if I have done anything to improve the relations between sexes, but all I know is that being myself is the best I can do.
7.any last words
You, my dear deserved a horned hand.
Special thanx to Lakisha for this intriguing interview!