reprinted from The Music Network
The interview was conducted by Jason Treuen. This is the full transcript of the edited article that appears here.
When did the idea for Collapseboard first come about?
Brisbane photographer Justin Edwards suggested the idea of a collaboration between his pictures and my words over a year back: he’d been a reader of my two UK music magazines Careless Talk Costs Lives and Plan B Magazine, and appreciated the way the photographs were treated, particularly those of Steve Gullick’s at CTCL. (The design was clear, straightforward, no messy headlines or press shots or paid-for advertorials. We took the line that we were proud of our content – visuals and words – and wanted to showcase it to the best of our ability.) I shot back that I didn’t think a music magazine was viable, either in 2010 or in Australia: my PhD research at QUT was leading me to investigate blogging, and I was also teaching a class in music blogging, so it seemed like a natural extension to suggest an online blog aggregator, but with the focus on local (Brisbane) blogs. That way, I reasoned, it would be easy enough to create a thriving website. Also, most blog aggregators stop short of posting up actual blog content, preferring to give the RSS feed – this seems dull to me.
Collapse Board is actually a website in two parts: the blog aggregator part, and the magazine part. The first part collects together a dozen or so local blogs on a regular basis, looking to create a real sense of community. The second part is the more-familiar magazine stuff – reviews, interviews, features, and of course our regular Song Of The Day blog.
Interestingly enough, Justin’s reasons for contacting me to start a music magazine/website were pretty much identical as Steve Gullick’s back in 2001 with CTCL. Gullick was fed up the way the NME treated photographers. Edwards was fed up with the way Australia’s street press treats photographers.
There’s a lot of Australian music blogs and coverage out there. What’s your opinion on the current offering? Is it underwhelming?
No, not underwhelming at all. I grew up writing for fanzines and I very much see music blogs as the 2010 equivalent of that. I love the idea all these individual voices and music fans are commenting upon music, motivated so strongly that they’re driven to create their own outlets. What’s lacking, however, is focus. All these voices, untrained and unsolicited – it’s exhilarating, but often you feel there simply isn’t the time to track them all down. Hopefully, Collapse Board can go some way to rectifying that. Our focus might be on Brisbane – this occurs naturally, as most of us live there – but our scope is international. (In this, we differ from Mess And Noise, which covers Australian music and music news exclusively.) Also, my suspicion is even some of the better-known of these blogs are simply rehashing whatever the music industry and PRs tell them to rehash: over at Collapse Board we pride ourselves on holding opinions. We are music critics, so first and foremost we love music and then we criticise…
A music site can be a huge undertaking. What inspired you to start your own?
See above. Also, I find that I can’t go to gigs and enjoy myself unless I’m giving something back: be it dancing (which I don’t do so much anymore), performing, DJ-ing or commenting. Also, my inspiration for starting a website remains the same as my inspiration for starting a national music title or even a fanzine: no one else seems to want to print my words, so I have to. Once again.
What will Collapseboard do different to other blogs out there?
I’m a very experienced editor and writer and publisher and author, with over 30 years involvement in music. Justin is a great photographer. Brisbane has a totally thriving DIY scene that is mostly ignored by the media – both in the rest of Australia, and locally. Our bloggers are young and old and enthusiastic and talented.
We are Collapse Board. We have no fancy slogans or marketing speak. We love music, and we want to express that love, share that love, communicate that love in whatever way we can – through words, through visuals, through informed discussion and argument, through passion. Music is our lifeblood: it makes us want to fuck the world and give birth to a new breed. We are Collapse Board. We don’t believe we should be constrained by any artificial restrictions: if we want to express ourselves, we should be able to express ourselves. There is no right or wrong approach to evaluate music, only boredom. We want to fill the roaring silence that otherwise threatens to topple life.
We are Collapse Board. We love music. We are so far ahead of the pack it mostly feels like we travel on our own. We are taste-makers, insurrectionaries , fools. The greatest thrill is discovering great NEW music, music that is new to US: whether it be from one second ago or 100 years. We have no fear of being thought of as not cool: cool is anathema to our breed.
We are Collapse Board. On this site, there are blogs about music, articles about music, reviews of music, photographs of music, links to music – and even MP3s of music. If this was 1990 or 2000, we would be a magazine. It is not. it is 2010, and we are a website. This doesn’t mean that we take what we do any less seriously or fervently. Our one inviolate rule is that we shouldn’t bore you. If we bore you, let us know.
In terms of aggregation, will it be automated or hand-picked from other sites?
Illustration: Eric Reynolds