Stop Sexism with Style!

An interview with the Carol and Elise

by Elke Zobl

August 2001

Grrrl:Rebel is an amazing riot grrrl zine from Malaysia. I have first came across them on Elena's e-zine "It's not Just Boy's Fun". Grrrl:Rebel wrote an essay about the Grrrl Scene in Malaysia and I was immediately hooked and wanted to know more! Check it out!

Can you tell me first of all a little bit about yourself? How old are you, where are you originally from and where do you reside now?

Carol: Hi there? I’m Caroline and I’m one forth of Grrrl:Rebel editorial team. I’m 23 yrs old this coming September so better be ready to send me presents. I’m a Malaysian and proud of it and I’m currently stuck in an Australian old town called Adelaide.

Elise: Greetings! My name’s Elise, 24 years old, originally from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) but currently working in the southern part of Malaysia. I, with a few friends, run Grrrl:rebel zine.

What do you do besides your zine?
Carol: I’m a full-time international student and am trying really hard to get my ass graduated. I’m doing business management, marketing and accountancy. Our other editors - Michelle Azura is a lawyer in a private company in KL, and our resident male editor Rizal is in Perth (Western Australia) studying Architecture. Most of us play in punk bands and Rizal runs a small DIY label.

Elise: I’m currently working as an electrical engineer in a construction & property company, and I dun have any band, I SUCK L

For how long have you been running your zine now? How many issues did you put out until now? Are you the only editor or is there a team?
Carol: If I’m not mistaken, we’ve been running Grrrl:rebel zine since 1997 and we have 3 issues to date. Our forth issue will be out very soon.

Elise: I believe Grrrl:rebel started in late 97. Grrrl:rebel is a team of over lazy people. The first version of Grrrl:rebel editorial were Sara, Linda and Rizal. Shortly after Grrrl#1 was released, Linda and Sara left the camp. Michelle Azura and Carol joined the team a few months later, and I was the last person to join the editorial. Basically, we do things separately. Michelle and Rizal would come out with the concept, Carol focuses on band interviews and she writes heavy rants as well. While I’m more to writing political issues as well as lateral thoughts. Rizal’s responsible for the layouts and some reviews and he writes some articles and handles mails too. But anyhow, anyone can write in, Grrrl:rebel is sort of an open-zine for grrrls (and bois).

What made you decide to start this project? How did you come up with the idea and the name?
Carol: Grrrl:rebel zine has been around even before I joined. It was our friends’ idea; they were the ones who started the zine which was originally known as Grrrl. The zine evolved to its current name after two of the original editorial left to further their studies overseas. Rizal, who had been in the team since day one, asked me and Michelle Azura to write something and I jumped at the chance and eventually we found ourselves being part of this wonderful team.

Elise: Grrrl:rebel started as Grrrl but the zine was really pathetic and sucked big time, and people won’t even look at it J but things surely have changed after the original editors left, though I still think Grrrl:rebel#1 sucks. As for the name Grrrl:Rebel, I think you could’ve guessed it. It was named after a song. Bikini Kill’s rebel girl. We were HUGE fans of Bikini Kill as well as other riot grrrl contenders. According to the original editors, they started Grrrl:rebel because there were no local feminist punk zines around at that particular time.

What topics are most often discussed in your zine?
Carol: Numerous things but I’d say feminism is central. Even so, we take a great deal in focusing on pressing issues that women have to deal with; for examples rape, incest, sexism, sexual harassment and the list goes on. I think these issues are too big to be ignored. Also, we try as much as possible to include the necessary precautions that women or anyone ought to learn in order to deal with the problems. Having said that, I think these are issues that we have always and will always continue to address.

Elise: We write about things that we feel important and need to be heard. We’re not confined ourselves only to feminism and women’s issue, there are lateral thoughts as well among other things. I dun want the zine to be too-serious-heavy reading material per-se. The four of us do things separately, so there is a sense of versatilities in the topics. So basically, we just express our own thoughts, ideas and experiences and we want to document what we are doing and hopefully reach a few more people that have no idea of who we are.

What do you hope to accomplish by establishing your zine?
Carol: There are many things that I’d want to accomplish actually. Foremost, I’d like to see more grrrls taking pro-active roles in the local punk/HC scene. I don’t really like the ideas of girls just being backseaters or somebody’s girlfriends. So our zine is a mean to change that. As far as goals are concerned we want girls to be an important component in the local punk scene hence the guys would take them seriously (though we don’t really need their approvals) and there would be no more sexist craps like “girls were in the scene just for the sake of hooking guys” or “to be cool” or whatever. It would be a great accomplishment if the local girls come to their senses that girls can play in bands too, and they’re not just here to pander to male ideals. I believe our zine was the first local “Grrrl” zine who put emphasis on on female underground acts. There’s no doubt that the girl scenes have always been unknown to most people, anywhere in the world, and by exposing these bands I think it can definitely motivate someone, because for so long the local punk/HC scene is dominated by men and you can hardly find that many female bands. Apart from that, we want girls to get politicized which can be accomplished in many forms. For instance, girls can get political by voicing their positions on things they feel the need to compel. We want girls to speak out their minds, the more outspoken girls, the better. Furthermore, we want to empower fellow girls that being girls is not something to be ashamed of and they should be proud of who they are, and lastly, we want to raise awareness among the girls in the punk/HC scene.

Elise: I can’t speak for everyone in the team since the rest of team might have other things they’d want to accomplish, but one thing for sure we’re all in the same boat that we want more grrrls to be active in the punk scene, we want more girls to pick up instruments and form bands and do zines and simply just play important roles in the local scene. Besides that, we want people to listen to what we have to say and basically we’re just four people who are trying to express our own feelings and individual ideas. We are not trying to get the world to think the same way we do, we’re just want to let them know our thoughts on numerous issues and if people give us good rave that’s fine, and if people give us flak that’s fine too.

What does zine making (and reading) mean to you? What do you love about zine making? What ís the most challenging aspect of making zines?
Carol: In Malaysia generally, underground fanzines are our main ways of networking. We make friends via writing to each other, reading and supporting each other’s zine. I treat zine making as a fun thing and it has always been an excitement for me to express myself through writings plus I got the chance to interview my favorite punk bands and review my favorite records and zines. Apart from that, zine-making opens the doors of communication; we have established contacts with people inside and outside Malaysia by writing letters, trading tapes, flyers and zines, exchanging ideas and stuff like that and these are all good for us to broaden our horizon and see and learn about other countries’ scene and culture. As for the challenging aspects Let me see…our laziness, late interviews, negative criticisms etc but we don’t take these too seriously. I dun want those things to spoil the joy and excitement of making a zine.

Elise: There are lots of things that I love about zine-making. For starters, zines are the perfect medium for me to express my thoughts, feelings and ideas, and I’d really want people to listen and know what I have to say and suffice to say, zines make it possible. Apart from that, zines make it possible for me to interact and interview bands and zine editors too. We got a really big response from female bands and the next thing you know, we got the chance to interview Kathleen Hanna. I have always loved to do interviews, and I did most of the Q&As for the zine. I loved to know what they have to say about their bands, political issues, favorite records /zines or even embarrassing stuffs they have done onstage. These things make interviews interesting to read. Although, all interviews were done via e-mail but it was fun. Bands like Seattle’s Apocalypsticks, Australia’s Gofukuya, Slovenia’s Fregatura and Civet from Long Beach (USA), were fun to interview. They might not be as famous as Sleater-Kinney or The Donnas, but they were interesting and funny and have something smart to say and I think they can be role models for other girls who want to be in bands. It’s good for other people to read their experience and thus, it would motivate them to be the same way. As for the challenging parts late interviews is always a pain in the ass, slow correspondence and not getting supports from established bands; these are some of the setbacks that I can think of. As of now we stopped interviewing established bands (most of them from the States) because the lack of supports. I dunno maybe they were busy or something. Anyhow, we’re not gonna waste our time on them anymore, I mean there are lots of other female underground bands who you might have never heard of them, but they are worth mentioning and they’re really supportive. There are lots of girl bands in Europe, Australia and Japan.

What was your first exposure to zines? How did you find out about them? What have they come to mean to you?
Carol: I believe my first experience with zines occurred when I was 15. I stumbled upon a Death/Black metal fanzine. It belonged to my first boyfriend’s pal. Though I was not fond of metal music but I found the zine rather interesting. There were heaps of uncensored articles and personal rants in there as well as interviews with metal bands. A few years later, my friends and I went to a local punk gig, and I run into a few zine editors. I bought a coupla zines and from there on, I started to get networking with zine-makers. I wrote to them to get some info on the local punk scene, and I, also wrote some articles for them. I was so excited to see my article been featured in a household punk zine. Zines mean a lot to me. I’ve always loved writing and zines are the perfect means of channeling my thoughts. This is the place where I express my frustrations, dissatisfactions, anger, happiness and sadness in words and I really want people to know how and what I feel about certain things and stuff.

Elise: I was a late-bloomer. I’d come across with a zine when I was 20 yrs old and by that time, there were already heaps of girls doing zines. Believe it or not, Grrrl:rebel was the first zine I ever read, but it was known as Grrrl at that particular time. Though, the zine was not the best first impression of what zines should be, but I love the idea of producing your own magazines/publication. I started to purchase lots of local zines and eventually, I stopped buying those Alternative/rock mainstream magazines like Kerrang, RIP, Raw etc– they’re boring and too music wise and no female bands. Zines are fun! I mean, what is not fun about reading rad and over-the-top stuffs, writing and sharing your thoughts with others. You won’t get stuffs like this in any of those commercial magazines. I’d rather learn about other fellow punks’ thoughts/stories than let’s say Britney Spears or Metallica. The stuffs they wrote are way more interesting, realistic, explicit and something to ponder about.

Do you consider grrrl zines as an important part of a movement of sorts? Do you think zines can effect meaningful social and political change?

Carol: Yes, definitely. Seriously, zines have a big effect on the Malaysian underground community and they play a prominent part in changing people’s views towards a lot of things, be it political or personal. Through zines, people in the scene are much more exposed to stuffs that were somewhat limited to them and the public before. In countries like Malaysia and Singapore, you would get arrested if you write any articles that can be considered as threats to the government. Unlike the States, the freedom of speech is very confined and fucked up, the people in the HC/punk community have to be really “underground” to run their activities, which is really cool to me btw, and this is where zine play an important role as a source of information and networking. I’d say that people in the punk scene are much more aware of what’s happening in this world than a tie-and-suit person. They stopped subscribing to the capitalists, some even active in direct action activities by participating in peace demonstrations and protests and stuffs and a large number of my friends even participated in entirely voluntary community collectives. Speaking from my experience, I was a naïve little girl before and I’d never thought zines have helped me changed my perceptions towards a number of things that I could hardly find in the mainstream media. Like a few years ago, for the first time I learnt about the notorious McDonalds and blood-sucking Nike in a local punk zine, or the mass killing in Acheh (Indonesia) and Tibet. Believe it or not, I was inspired to pick up guitar and form my own punk band after reading a riot grrrl zine. My parents told me girls should not play rock music, they told me to get piano lesson instead and I was like “What the fuck? Or the more recent one, like the other day, I learnt about gentrifications in Synthesis zine (UK). More or less, zines can be very helpful and a good source of informal education and general knowledge. The more I read it, the more empowered I get. One more thing, Malaysia has a very big fanzine scene; everyone is excited doing zines. Even those who have little knowledge about things are able to put out zines. Zine-making has encouraged them to be very independent, I mean people are coming to their senses that they can do anything, if you wanna be in band pick up guitar and learn and ditto for zines, pick up pen or keyboard and write/type anything you want, it’s like “I can do this” and “I want people to know what I have to say”. So I guess zines can effect meaningful social and political change. Some may say there are lots of trivial things in zines but I disagree, there are plenty of zines to choose from, each caters to different style/theme, if you’re into political stuffs, then pick up political zines and if you’re into music zine, it wouldn’t be a problem to get one there are loads of ‘em.

Elise: I was really surprised at the amount of people we drew. A lot of girls and bois write to us, and this is really inspiring and it means a lot to us. Not only do the people pay attention, but they also have something nice and constructive to share like they want to start a band, they want to do zines and stuff like that after reading our zines and it was really cool. We played a small part, if not big part, in encouraging and inspiring fellow grrrls to be the same way. In truth, our zines are pretty crappo if you compared with others but we are always encouraged by the responses. We have spent lots of time, energy and money for the zine and for one, it feels nice to be appreciated. Truthfully, Grrrl:rebel is designed for girls since most of the issues revolved around women’s issues and feminism and we are the first local zine that specifically focuses on female underground bands/musicians, but strangely, we received a lot of supports from men. Men in the local scene are more responsive and really into “grrrl” punk zines. Males make up 70% of our readers, and I haven’t sorted out why the local grrrls are reserved in supporting fellow grrrls, I mean I’ve seen lots of punk/hardcore girls and riot grrrls at gigs. Maybe they are so busy competing with each other in attracting boys attention in this “who’s rioter than thou” game, I dunno. Anyhow, most of our male readers have given a lot of positive and constructive feedbacks and we’re also encouraged by that knowing that there are still people (males) in this part of the world who feel the same way and support what we’re doing now.

What does the zine community mean to you?
Carol: That’s a toughie. I’d say the zine community has brought us feminists/punks/riot grrrls together. I’ve met a lot of amazing grrrls and boys thru networking. Most of them are zine-makers and musicians themselves and they have become our friends. We share our ideas, we talk about lots of things, we support and write to each other and basically, this is what made zine-making so fun and fervent. I mean if I hadn’t gotten into zine-making I might be still hanging out with some mindless-drones-yuppies and I wouldn’t have the guts to pick up instruments and play in a girl punk band. And those are all amazing things. So yeah, the zine community plays an important role in my life.

Elise: Totally rad! The zine community really breaks the barrier. Before I got into Riot grrrl/punk/underground, most of my friends were either my college mates or my former high school mates and they were all my age. I could hardly find any mutual friends, who were into feminism, punk and female bands. But now things were surely changed after our zine made it to the public. People who read Grrrl:rebel contacted us and, we met them at gigs and so on, and eventually, I got to know heaps of people from outside the circle and some of them have become my close friends. Apart from that, who could’ve thought now I got lots of foreign contacts from USA, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Indonesia, Holland, Japan and the list goes on. (I don’t have to worry about lodging anymore! J)

What advice would you give others who want to start a zine?
Carol: First off, I’d say patience. You really need that. Second, write anything you wanna write. Be it political or personal or general, anything. There’s no restriction or limitation. This is your zine and you have every right to speak your mind. Don’t do zines just for the sake of seeking attention or to be cool, that’s so lame. Worry NOT about people’s acceptance and reaction towards your zine. Always see criticisms as constructive lights because they might help you to improve your contents and stuffs, the more people voice their opinions, the better. You don’t have to emulate other zines, and ONE important thing, please do not write stuffs that have been repetitively written because it’s just BORING. Try to come out with something creative, unique and fresh!

Elise: Basically, just write whatever you want, and of course, you have to remember that you have to be willing to take the crap out of it. There would be criticisms coming from all directions, people pay attention to what you write and they would counter-argue because not everyone shares the same cup of tea. There would be time where people praise your zine and hooray, and also there would be time where people criticize and condemn your work, it’s all in the life of a zine editor. Stay strong in dealing with criticisms and don’t let them get to you. If you think you’re right you gotta stick to your gun and if you’re wrong, don’t be reserved to admit your mistakes!

What are some of the zines you admire?
Carol: I’m totally a fanzine collector geek. Heaps of ‘em! and they come from all over the world. Some of my favorites are Synthesis zine (UK), Cherrybomb press (Singapore), The Common People (Malaysia), Punk Planet (USA), Slug and lettuce (USA), XForumX (Malaysia), Chronically Donut (Malaysia), Scooter zine (Australia), Pee zine (Australia), Bitch (USA) and the list goes on. I think Italian and Japanese zines are marvelous too, but too bad most of them were written in their mother tongue.

Elise: I have a few favorites – Specific Heat zine (Singapore), Dirty world (Malaysia), Ganyang (Malaysia), Raincity (Malaysia), Callus (Malaysia), Cherrybomb press (Singapore), 90’s Choice (Malaysia), Gunk (USA), MWS (Malaysia) etc

Could you please describe a little bit the grrrl zine community in your country?
Carol: The Malaysian underground scene doesn’t have an identifiable girl zine community, we don’t confine ourselves to one gender. We are all in a large, single community, boys and girls zines and we support each other. But I can say there are many girls putting out zines nowadays, and this is good. The zines are varied too; there are punk, music, personal, art, Riot grrrl/feminist, hardcore, anarcho and skate zines.

Elise: As of now, the scene is pretty healthy in the sense of there are many girls (Malaysians) putting out zines. It’s not an obscure thing anymore. Years ago, things were on the other way around but now the grrrl zines are picking up. Some are good, and some are craps but it doesn’t matter. Of course, this would never happen if it weren’t for punk and Riot grrrl. Everyone seems so busy subscribing to the infamous punk’s “DIY” and they (the grrrls) are now way more independent and headstrong; if the boys can do zines, so can the girls. I believe the fucked-up ploy “girls as backseaters” in the local scene might come to an end sooner or later.

Do you define yourself as a feminist?
Carol: Yes, I am and proud of it. My boyfriend and some of my boy friends see me being a feminist as an irritation. They say I’m making a big deal out of nothing. They say sexism is no longer an issue. Excuse me! I beg to differ. If sexism is no longer an issue, how come women’s voices are rarely heard? How come they are only a few women in cabinet ministers? How come there are still perverts at the mosh pit? How come those men still harass girls on the streets? How come some boyfriends don’t like their girlfriends play in bands? I mean what is so not sexist about those? Just because I was born with vagina I have to conform to some stupid rules based on the ground of gender. I can’t do that and this just because I’m a girl? C’mon, all human beings should be given equal opportunities regardless of what gender, race, religion, sexuality they subscribe to. Being feminists are not about hating men but rather about asserting their rights and standing up for themselves in order to make the world a better place for both men and women. As long as the patriarchal and sexism still there I’ll always be a feminist.

Elise: I’ve always comfortable being a woman, being a feminist. Even if I don’t subscribe to feminism, I have always been the type of girl who are headstrong and not easily to be beaten down. I’m not going to just sit tight let people violate my rights; I’ll stand up for myself and speak out my mind. I resent to be treated as a “girl”. I resent the idea of women being the weaker sex and second gender to pander to male ideas and I resent the stereotypical image that women are the ones who have to do the cleaning, taking care of the babies, washing the dishes and the list goes on. I believe that all people are inherently equal, no matter where you’re from or what gender you are, or what color your skins are. I don’t like the idea of one particular gender is superior to another. We all have our rights and don’t let the rights to be taken away. Learn to use it. Men might be strong physically, but it doesn’t mean they have to be treated any better they treat women. Apparently, you don’t have to be masculine to succeed in life. We don’t need muscles. All we need are a brain and an attitude.

What are the most pressing issues you are confronted with in daily life (as a woman/feminist)?
Carol: Generally speaking, it’s so hard to being a woman or worse, a feminist in ASIAN countries. Most Asians regard girls as second and how pathetic is that? There’s no gender equality and there are so many taboos and restrictions for the so-called “inferior” gender. Obviously, the society is so dependent on gender roles more than anything else. The whole thing has a lot to do with the patriarchal systems that have been here for ages. Men and women roles are diminished based on the ground of gender. Men have been taught since the early age that their appearance essential to their value and to the fulfillment of their masculine role, while girls have been taught to do all natural roles, feminine roles of women without questioning the system. They can’t do this or that just because they’re girls, I find it doesn’t make sense. Moreover, girls are constantly appreciated for their physical appearance and rarely, for their brains. This biased devaluation leads to a lack of attention for women’s achievement and thus women failed to be regarded as “important”. Secondly, women are under presented; women’s voices are rarely heard. Being loud has obviously limited us somewhat due to the society’s lame and rigid perception that girls shouldn’t be outspoken. Of course, there are a few women leaders in the government but the number is so comparatively small to the fact women make up half of the country’s population. Anyway, let’s ditch the political scene for awhile, you know, I could go on and on. Let’s take a look at the local punk scene itself, there’s no doubt there are heaps of girls in the scene as of now but they have to deal with loads of shits and hostile environment. Girls are excluded and they have to deal with misogynistic views coming for all directions. Grrrls are still being groped at the mosh pit by those perverts. These are some apparent examples, there are more.

Elise: Apparently, I’d say rape is the most pressing issue at the moment. Contrary to popular belief, living in an Islamic (secular Islamic, actually) country doesn’t ensure that women are safe. Rape is a big issue here and I think everyone is already plugged-in of what happened. I’d never thought that I would stumble upon at least a coupla articles about rape every day, every fucking day and you know what? This is so sickening. I, for one, extremely hate the idea of feeling scare every time I’m on the streets or in the taxi cabs, thinking someone is about to rape me. I’m not being paranoid but I’m really concerned about my safety and those who I love. According to some statistics, the number of cases that involved rape in Malaysia is on the rise and I’ve long been critical in the way the government deals with the problem. The existing laws/punishments are ineffective and stale and if no action is taken to remedy this situation there’s no doubt the number will continue to rise. I wonder if it will ever stop. Sadly, I dun have the answer to that.


Are you active in the feminist movement?
Carol: I can’t really say I’m an active feminist. I used to get really active but now I’m not. I did some campaigning for AWAM (a non-government organization runs by women which devoted in helping the women in crisis) a few years ago by distributing their pamphlets (which mostly about sexual harassment and rape) to our readers and friends. Though, I believe the (feminist) movement is never contrived it simply comes from several small factions of feminists and as a result it is really hard to see a visible feminist movement considering the lack of supports from the people in the punk scene and outside the scene. I also did my part by helping fellow grrrls who were in crisis. But anyway, our zine Grrrl:rebel is sort of a feminist movement. Like I mentioned earlier, we write about stuffs that all women should be aware of like women’s rights, precautions against rapists, sexual harassment and stuff like that. In addition, we educate girls and encourage more girls to speak out and do what is necessarily to be done to get their voice heard. By doing so, maybe they would get motivated to do something so I guess in a way it’s a representative of our way of being active.
Elise: Not at the moment.

What do you think about feminism today? Do you see yourself as part of ìThird Wave Feminismî and what does it mean to you?
Carol: It’s a big subject, and I’m not really keen to discuss about feminism as a whole but I guess I could talk about feminism in Malaysia. More than anything I think the movement is one mild frustration. I’m really unhappy with the level of women’s general acceptance of feminism here, as a woman as much as anything else. Some blatantly say feminism is a tiring issue and there’s no need for such movement to exist here since there is nothing to fight for. Well that’s what they think and obviously they’re wrong. As far as the issue goes, I think the ignorance and stupidity of it’s own terms speak for themselves. I realized that most girls in Malaysia have been raised in a culture that negates women in any ways possible and as a result, the girls are blinded and brainwashed by the fucked-up institution and it’s very typical now among girls to claim that sexism is not a serious issue, that the world is no longer amenable to radical change. They believe those issues don’t concern them. We know better. Truthfully, they don’t really give a fuck about it in the first place. I don’t really like preaching people and I’m not the kind of person who gives up easily either. But it really frustrates me that they’re basically conformed to society’s perception of what an “ideal” girl should be. They’re overly concerned with their physical appearance rather than anything else. The mentality is still there and it’s obvious that these people don’t have any interest in changing anything in society. On one hand, you can take pessimistic view that finger pointing is not gonna solve anything and agree that not everybody shares the same cup of tea, since they’re entitled to have their own opinions. On the other hand, you can look at it optimistically and say that these issues are relevant to them. Sexism permeating through their daily life, rape, harassments and violence against women are happening on daily occasions. Many times I’ve seen girls and wives being used and treated by their boyfriends and husbands to the point of degradation and personally, it made me to do something to change their fucked-up views. Also, the frustration lies in getting just a small faction of women who are anxious to do something and they were all from the punk/hardcore scene. I’ve never met anyone from outside of the circle. Maybe they are lots of feminists out there but I think the closest you could ever get is when you know the women in person. About this “Third wave feminism” thingy, I dun really know whether we fit in this category and I could care less about the label. The bottom line, I’m a feminist and I’m fighting for women’s cause in order to make the world a better place for men and women.

Elise: I’m getting wary of labeling myself part of the “third wave Feminism”, it’s just that I feel the label or any other label is unnecessary and it is more likely to create a sense of divisions among feminists and I always believe that actions speak louder than words. I see feminism today as the struggles of modern and smart women in a repressive society. It’s a fight against patriarchy and sexism and definitely, it’s not a war against men like a lot of people had like to think but rather the vehicle to gender equality. Apart from that, feminism inspired women to be strong and determined and thus, they’re capable of running their life and they should be given the same opportunities as males.

Which role plays the Internet for you? Does it change your ideas of making zines and doing/reading zines?
Carol: As far as I’m concerned the Internet plays a MAJOR role in the development of our zine. I’d say the net is the most effective and fastest way of networking. It makes things much easier. Most of the band interviews were done via e-mails and we communicate with our overseas contacts also thru e-mails, and I’d say the internet has been nothing but really good to us. I know there are a lot of e-zines nowadays and technology is so readily available, everyone is accessible to it and the more you use it the more you save energy, time and money. But still it doesn’t change my ideas of zine-making. There are lots of people, who still enjoy and subscribe to the conventional way, and I dunno how to put it in words but you can never replace the warmth of printed zine.

Elise: The net has always been the best resource for information and you can’t argue with that. When I was starting out, the net had been so accommodating and useful to me like when I was searching for information on feminism and Riot grrrls, or when I was working on my Uni assignments and there were like thousands of sites to choose from. And there are webzines too, the net makes things much easier for zine editors and now they have granted choices either to do the zine the conventional way or the more advanced and sophisticated way and webzines normally cater to a wider audience and one of the best features about webzines, you can create the layouts in a bombastic way that you could’ve never imagined. Plus, you could download music from there and so on. Economically, it saves money too, and the best thing is you save the trouble queuing up at the photocopy shop. Of course not everything about the net is good; they are some setbacks like people tend to write lesser in e-mails, whereas you won’t get that in snail mails. Plus, I don’t really like the idea of sitting in front of my computer all day long just to read webzines. I prefer to have zines in my hand instead so I can read them in a nice and comfy environment. Besides, zines are handy and portable.

Do you have any suggestions? Something you want to add?
Carol: Cheers to Elke for a great interview. More power to you and Sorry I got this back to you real late, I’ve been really busy. Anyway, Grrrls and boys check us out! Everyone feel free to write us. One final thing, do look out for our forth issue soon. Thanks.

Elise: Thanks to you (Elke) for this interview. It feels really nice to have this opportunity to speak out our mind. First off, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the bands, zine editors and our loyal readers who have been so supportive to us throughout the years. If you play in underground female punk bands we welcome you to join our grrrl bands compilation tape or if you think you deserve to have yourself featured in this zine, e-mail us at If anyone would like to purchase the zines or if you want more information on the zines, you can write us at:

c/o Rizal,
23 jalan Bakti,
Off Jalan Kamaruddin,
20400 Kuala Terengganu,

"Grrrl:rebel is a riot grrrl/feminist punk zine. Our missions are simple – to promote underground female acts from all over the world, to raise awareness among the girls in the punk/HC scene. We write about lotsa things including women’s issues, punk, DIY, riot grrrls etc. Also, you could find scene reports, columns by out contacts from all over the world, comic strip, music, zine and gig reviews, girl bands pics etc. Take note - We would only interview all-grrrl bands, not that we are sexists or fascists but the girl bands don’t get much exposure. We have 3 issues to date.

1st Issue – (A5/64 pages/copied) Interviews with Snap-Her (all-girl punk from LA, USA), Killrockstars Records (USA), Fatal Posporos (female indie-pop trio from Philippines) & Fida of 90’s Choice zine (Malaysian Straightedge/feminist zine). Some articles on US riot grrrl movement, Courtney Love, Malaysian girl bands, comic, British female acts pics, Indonesian punk/HC scene report etc.

2nd Issue – (A5/80 pages/copied) Interviews with Lolita No.18 (Japan’s female punk), Pristine Smut (Grunge girls from Wollongong, Australia), Bracode (feminist punks from Australia), Fregatura (all-girl punk/new wave from Slovenia) and Syikin of Specific Heat zine (Singaporean riot grrrl/skate zine). Articles on feminism, rape, girls in Malaysian punk scene, comic, Kuantan gig review, Philippines punk/HC scene report, London punk/HC scene report, Queens of Noise part 1, Japanoise girl bands pics, music and zines reviews etc.

3rd Issue – (A5/80 pages/copied) Interviews with Gofukuya (all-girl garage punk from Melbourne, Australia), Civet (all-girl glam punk from Long Beach, USA), DzapDauDau (punk pop from Hong Kong), Hello Cuca (riot grrrls from Murcia, Spain) and Laura of Synthesis zine (UK Hardcore zine). Loads of articles and columns about homophobia/homosexuality in Malaysia, women’s rights in Malaysia, Riot Grrrl in Spain, Women’s exploitation issue, Menstrual shame, Queens Of Noise part 2, Riot Grrrl Montreal, comic, Rochester NY scene report, Germany punk/HC scene report, Australian female bands pics, music & zine reviews etc."
Price – RM4 + stamps (Malaysia)/S$3 (Singapore)/ US$3 (The rest of the

4th Issue: a new format, totally pro-printed with a hardcover, still in A5
size. US$3 for international readers.
Grrrls Rocking Out Issues: Interviews with lots of grrrl
musicians/bands including Hell-Sister (Malaysia), Lady!Die (Holland), Unrest
(Indonesia), The Phoebes (South Africa), Foamy Ed (New Zealand),
Apocalypsticks (USA), Snap-Her (USA), Rai Koris (Nepal), Bitchcat (USA), Cobrachicks
(Japan), Damn Right! (Sweden), Astreal (Singapore) etc. Plus, Brazil
scene report, articles, columns by the grrrl musicians from Malaysia,
Holland, Japan, Sweden, Singapore,Argentina etc and lots more! Pro-printed
with a hardcover. RM5ppd (Malaysia) / US$3 (world