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THE COMPLETE MARISA MAGIK INTERVIEW

By D. Mess


(Featured in the split zine Brown Rot #8/ Elephant Mess #10)


2001

 

FOTO LEFT TO RIGHT: Lo-Hi, Magik, and Blue Ghost



Marisa does a zine called Kitty Magik in which (among other things) really amazing people are interviewed. It's been almost two years since I was first introduced to this zine, and up until that time, I never really enjoyed reading a zine devoted mainly to music and interviews. Marisa's zine has always been different to me. The passion for music and life is there, and it's presented in such a fun and personable way. Due to technical difficulties, this interview was originally going to be presented in two parts, but I decided that in order for you (the reader) to get the full effect, I would just include it all here in it's complete form.






WHEN AND WHY DID YOU START KITTY MAGIK?

Kitty Magik was conceived during my senior year of high school. It's been around for five years now. I have always loved writing and music since I was very young so the conception came really naturally. At the time I had started thinking about making it I was talking with Jill Emery (ex-Hole/Mazzy Star) and Jane LeCroy (formerly JaneHohenberger, a NYC artist). They were creating such interesting music, art, and poetry that I thought others might take an interest in it as well. It just made sense to start Kitty Magik and I think it started at the right time with those ladies.

SEEING HOW KITTY MAGIK IS MAINLY A ZINE OF INTERVIEWS, HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHAT'S GOING TO GO INTO EACH ISSUE? HOW DO YOU USUALLY END UP GETTING TO DO THE INTERVIEWS YOU DO?
In order for someone to be in Kitty Magik I have to genuinely enjoy what the artist/band/individual does. At the beginning, the people who were in Kitty Magik were my friends. As it progressed and I started to meet all different kinds of people, more and more interviews just developed naturally. I would just ask people if they would be interested in doing something and sometimes publicists will set up things for me but that just started happening recently. I also have some great contributors in Kitty Magik now so it's been able to expand even more.

WHAT QUALITIES DO YOU THINK THAT A GOOD INTERVIEWER NEEDS TO POSSESS? WHAT DO YOU THINK MAKES FOR A GOOD INTERVIEW?
I've never really thought about that before. When I conduct interviews I try to ask interesting questions and basically have a conversation with the individual(s) I am speaking with. I think being yourself and trying to talk about different aspects of the individual(s) makes for a good interview most of the time.

ARE MOST OF YOUR INTERVIEWS FACE TO FACE OR THROUGH THE MAIL OR WHAT? WHICH MEDIUM DO YOU PREFER?
Lately most of my interviews have taken place in person. Sometimes they are done over the phone or via e-mail. Face to face interviews are the best. If you can't do it in person, the next best thing is the phone so there is more of a conversation going on rather than just the question and answer sort of thing.

WHAT INTERVIEWS HAVE BEEN YOUR FAVORITE/LEAST FAVORITE SO FAR? WHAT INTERVIEWS DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR FUTURE ISSUES OF KITTY MAGIK?

I've pretty much enjoyed talking with all of the people who have been featured in Kitty Magik so far. Out of the interviews I have conducted my favorites have been with Evelyn McDonnell, Hollis Queens, Tracy Wilson and Kathleen Hanna. The types of settings we were in were comfortable and they were all done in person. It helped that they were all super nice. The Lisa Carver interview was a fun one too but that was done over the phone. My least favorite interview was with a member of The Get Up Kids. As far as the next Kitty Magik goes, Semiautomatic, The Seconds, and Ex Models are just some of the individuals who will be featured.

YOU HAVE INTERVIEWED MAINLY (ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY) FEMALES FOR KITTY MAGIK AND ALTHOUGH I KNOW YOU HAVE STATED THAT YOUR ZINE WAS/IS NOT INTENDED TO ONLY BE ABOUT FEMALES AND THEIR PROJECTS, DO YOU FEEL IT IS IMPORTANT THAT MORE FEMALES GET RECOGNIZED FOR THE THINGS THEY DO? DO YOU FEEL LIKE MAYBE THEY RECEIVE LESS RECOGNITION COMPARED TO MALES OR ARE THINGS PRETTY MUCH EQUAL THESE DAYS?
I feel that it is extremely important for females to be recognized for the things that they create in their communities. I've always been interested in female-based creations simply because I am a woman and I don't believe that things are equal today. For the most part, Kitty Magik is a female-based creation that is interested in talking with men and women who are creating interesting happenings and are decent individuals (meaning they aren't full of themselves).

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR KITTY MAGIK? HOW LONG DO YOU THINK YOU WILL KEEP IT GOING AND DO YOU PLAN ON CONTINUTING TO WRITE EVEN IF YOU WERE TO QUIT DOING KITTY MAGIK?

Kitty Magik will become a full-size, professionally produced (maga)zine this fall. I had planned on doing this for a while now and the time finally seems right. Many friends have been encouraging and helpful and I know I couldn't do it without them. I can't say how long I will continue to do Kitty Magik for. I guess until the passion fades. Even then I will continue to write. That's inevitable.

ARE YOU INVOLVED IN ANY OTHER PROJECTS BESIDES KITTY MAGIK?
Aside from Kitty Magik I contribute to zines such as Hag Rag, out of Brooklyn, NY, and Venus, a female-oriented music magazine in Chicago. I do publicity work for a New York band called Lo-Hi and will be helping out a good publicist friend of mine with her business soon. I also sell merchandise occasionally for bands I know. In my spare time I like to read, write, listen to music, hang out with friends, and go to shows.

WHAT BANDS ARE YOU INTO LATELY AND WHAT BANDS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THE READERS OF THIS INTERVIEW CHECK OUT?

Lately I have been listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Peaches. Those are the only "new" things I'm sort of into right now. My taste in music really varies. Lately I have been listening to The Rolling Stones and Ike and Tina Turner at least once a day. I also like Al Green, Ex Models, Madonna, Sonic Youth, the Seconds, Marvin Gaye, Patti Smith, John Zorn, the Who, Mary J. Blige and the Traveling Wilburies.

YOU ONCE MENTIONED SOMETHING ABOUT SOME FIXATION WITH DRUMMERS THAT YOU WERE DEVELOPING. WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT?
"Fixation with drummers" - you make it sound like I'm a groupie out for the drummers of the world. That's so not the case. You see, my father was a drummer growing up in Hoboken, NJ and he showed me a few things when I was very young. My interest in music and drumming totally stems from him. While I don't play the drums I really love to watch drummers whenever I see a band perform. I find that they are usually overlooked which is depressing since most of them truly rock their shit and keep it all in check. Some of my favorite drummers are Tom Surgal, John Bonham, Mitch Mitchell, Bob Bert, Ginger Baker, Russell Simins, Ringo Star, Hollis Queens, Charlie Watts, Sara Lund, Jake Fiedler, Martin Owens, Lori Barbero, Darian Galgano, Pete Moffet, Rachel Carns, Janet Weiss, Keith Moon, Tobi Vail, Dave Grohl, Dan Peters, Steve Shelley, Tyler Trent, Hugo Burnham, Tia Sprocket, Patty Schemel, and the dudes on my James Brown and Ike & Tina records.


Contact Marisa at:

kitty magik (marisa),

po box 96 whitehouse station,
nj 08889-0096


kittymagikzine [AT] yahoo.com