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Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Bs As Desorden Zine-Interview to Max Vadala-(Arte y Cultura blog-2019)

I first got the know, Max, while travelling in Mexico more than 20 years ago, at the time, if my memory doesn`t fail, Max was playing with Terror Y Miseria, and Sopra De Garron, anarcho-punk bands from Buenos Aires(Argentina).We exchanged tapes, zines, and ideas and I have already posted all of them.
Max is a very talented illustrator-comics artist, researching about his amazing art-works I did realize that there are no internet pages about it in the English language. An internet archive page about him in Spanish is here, while on his blog Bs As Desorden you can view and read his comics, graphic art, and get more info. Last year He sent me the link for the blog Arte Y Cultura where it is featured a long and interesting interview with him. I am, now republishing the same interview in English here.
Big Thanks to Seba of Arte Y Cultura blog, to Max for all his help and kindness and to XFlower PowerX (Florencia) for providing the English translation of this very good interview.
Enjoy it.
~f/a/r:a/w/a:y~
Max Vadala is an old colleague of mine who has released one of the most distinctive fanzines of the local HC/Punk scene. He is well-known for his unique style. With just having a look at one of his designs you can tell right away that it belongs to him, it has its imprint,  no shadow of a doubt. Not all zines display such an unmistakable stamp. His designs and drawings have traveled the world and the seven seas and have been imprinted on record covers, fanzines, patches, T-shirts, band logos, etc, etc…  Just a quick glance and you will get to know who is behind all this.
Max answered a few old school questions from the Argentinian Northwest, where he is currently living. He will talk about his beginnings in punk up to date.
Arte Y Cultura-I imagine your first approach to pencil and paper was when you were a child. The question is: what made you kept developing your talent years later; family background or just your sheer interest?
Max-I do not think it is related to family background. I’ve always loved drawing and it was easy-peasy for me. My drawing teacher in primary school envisioned this. He advised me not to ever stop doing it.  (He is Omar Gasparini, search for what he does, he’s very good)
My first secondary school was based on advertising drawing. It was not exactly what I was looking for - this was more technique-oriented. Finally, I was expelled for misbehavior and absenteeism. Because of that, I ended up in the Fine Arts school, which, though not ideal, over time I realized it was worth attending. (I was also expelled from there, but that’s another story!)
Arte Y Cultura-How did you first approach punk rock? Which were the first fanzines you laid your hand on? When was that?
Max-I first approached punk thanks to my neighborhood friends in Catalinas Sur/La Boca. I lived there for my first 18 years.
There I recorded my first cassettes. We were skaters-punks, HC-skinheads.
Out of this lot, a few bands arose which are now classic cult bands such as D.A.J-B.O.D-ALTERNATIVA POSITIVA, NO DEMUESTRA INTERES (in the latter three of its members were from Wilde - in the Southern area of the province, though Adrian, its frontman was from La Boca.
The first zine I remember buying was RESISTENCIA (Resistance). It visually impacted me. Shortly afterward I was at PUESTO REBELION ( Rebellion stand) buying all zines from those times.
It was ‘88/’89 I guess.
Arte Y Cultura-How did you kick off with Bs As Desorden (BA Disorder)? What message did you want to convey back then? How has it evolved, how did it finally shape its own identity, the peculiarity of your own drawings and style?
Max-We kicked off with Bs As Desorden in mid-1993 along with Pichón -just the first issue with him as he then carried on with his own fanzine called  CIVILIZACIÓN VIOLENTA (Violent Civilization).
The idea was sharing info that we had in fanzines and magazines from other countries by translating articles, spreading the word,etc.
Over time the drawings became stronger than the fanzine proper to the extent that there was very little text in the latest fanzine issues.


Until issue 6 it was basically a classic zine  (Musik / social articles/reviews-flyers). Issue 7, as far as I can remember, was a comic special -it included different artists, most of them connected to LAPICES EN LUTXA (Struggling pencils)
From that point onwards, the fanzine would only include illustrations and comics, most of my own authorship.
Arte Y Cultura-Beyond the chaotic punk aesthetics and fanzines what punk record covers or artists you discovered during your early career and who are those nowadays?
Max-There were different stages. There were some covers that caused a great impact on me and later on I found out about their authors. e.g  PUSHEAD, Misfit’s EARTH A.D  (Mad Marc Rude),  Napalm Death’s SCUM de, Acussed’s RETURN OF MARTHA SPLATTERHEAD, to name but a few. They are drawings I like even better than the bands they represent! A pic, a collage, photomontage... Dead Kennedys (Winston Smith), Crass (Gee Vaucher), the compilation PUNK & DISORDERLY 3.
There are thousands, these are the first to come to my mind.
Pencillers and artists are also several. Comics artists and painters of all time.
Since I’ve had the Internet  I’ve discovered brilliant stuff.
Everything has a direct or indirect influence on me.
* an addition:   Blogspot  by  Sombra (No hay Salida zine/ Kontra la pare’ - Uruguay) He’s been doing thorough research on artistic and punk (really not to be missed!) www.10charruas10crestas.blogspot.com

Arte Y Cultura-How many issues has Bs As Desorden released? How many shared issues have you had? Can you tell us a bit about Lápices en Lutxa (Struggling Pencils)?
Max-For the time being (winter 2019), there are 24 issues edited. There were a few shared issues along with En la Cancha Se Ven Los Pingos (The proof of the pudding is in the eating), Alto & Klaro (High & Clear), Krea Desorden (Kreate Disorder) from Ecuador and Comunidad Punk (Punk Community) from Mexico.
Lápices en Lutxa was a collective/ illustrators’ partnership (all of them based in Spain, and myself in Argentina). I suggested them we should have Lápices en Lutxa BA, as I was not “officially” part of Lápices en Lutxa Spain. Unfortunately, I couldn't manage to find committed people who would engage in the BA branch.
The idea revolved around comics with a “message”. Its goal was spreading libertarian ideas and views by means of illustrations
The group edited a very good zine called Por Amor al Arte (For the sake of Art) which I distributed here in Argentina. And they distributed issues of my zine. After a while, the collective vanished, though you can still have a look at the pieces of work on the web by some of its members such as Kalvellido, Salamanca, Manolito Rastaman. In my opinion, they are to be highlighted.


Arte Y Cultura-Has your work been plagiarized? Has anybody versioned any of your pieces? If so, have you seen any of them?
Max-I regard plagiarism, or- better worded-theft,  the use of illustrations without authorization or when seeking profit. I remember there was a shop in BA. I was asked to screenprint 10 T-shirts with the “Crazy Cat” design.  Then I learned the T-shirts had been made through sublimation printing (faster and cheaper) without my consent. The shop closed down less than a year later. He might have moved or he was cursed due to his mischief.
There are those who use my drawings for silk-screen printing and they don’t let me know. But as they are usually DIY punk projects I don’t mind at all. I know everything I publish in the zine or on the Web will be re-used sooner or later...
There are also people that send me pics of my modified drawings in tattoos, murals, sculptures, etc. That would be some sort of “ ego-booster”, as I see there are other people who enjoy creating a new version of my designs, in the same way, I do with other people’s designs.
As an example, I was sent -not a long time ago- a pic from Bariloche of a tattoo with one of my designs (HC Chapulin Colorado). Prior to this, I was asked for permission. Also, I saw that Ratos de Porao’s ( Sewage rats) singer also posted my version of Crucified by the System, but he didn’t even mention my name!  You can find anything both in the real and in the virtual world.
Arte Y Cultura-Which formats were your illustrations edited in? (Leaving aside your own-edited fanzines and books).


Max-The most exotic format was a wooden toy for very young children, crafted by a fanzine-fellow called Beto Beles - Subsuelo Insurgente zine ( Insurgent Underground zine) from Venezuela. A sculpture of the logo toy which I  designed for the Municomio (Grand Bourg/BA). Also, some skull flower crafted in metal by Kasa Noise’s punky (Paso del Rey/BA)... There are also murals/tattoos/ screenprinting stuff, other zines. I had some other proposals about animation but for now, this has failed to materialize.
Arte Y Cultura-We know this must be tough… but choose three of your drawings you regard as classic and which have your imprint.
Max-As the Punk Rock and Indian Ink’s intro goes: I consider “classic” or those that represent me the following: How do you destroy culture? With torture. Another one is Punk is no violence. Anyway, any of the pieces I’ve created over the last ten years are pretty “identifiable”.
-Punk rock and Indian ink has already been published for several years now and has been reprinted twice. Tell us a little about this first experience. Did you think it would reach so many faraway spots on the planet?
Punkrock and Tinta china have 4 re-editions ( 3 in Argentina and one in Mexico). The truth is that I never thought about editing it in book format. I imagined it as something very expensive and complicated.  It was on Ale Natural's insistence (Tren en Movimiento publisher) who persuaded me. It was a one-year work. I would go to his place by train and bicycle, I would choose the material, scan-diagram, make print tests... tedious work. That experience changed my reality as a "penciller" quite a lot. From the first book, many people began to take my work "seriously". Articles were published in several mass media. I was invited to some exhibitions abroad. I got several requests to make art cover-flyers-designs for T-shirts ... and to date, I continue working on this.
Little by little,  I started "profiting” from my drawings in exchange for my time and energy and creativity. However, even today there are people who write to me believing that I should make them drawings for FREE just because they are “also punks"... Although this kind of attitude is, luckily,  disappearing from my way.
 I always underline that I‘m not seeking $$ in exchange for my work, I also accept barter for... but most people find it harsh to get rid of the capitalist logic.
Argentinian bands are understanding that cover art is a core part of the message they convey, I calculate that if it wasn't for our critical economic scenario, more people would come to me asking for my work.
My book was the first Tren en Movimiento release (nowadays TM  is one of the most renowned alternative publishers here in Argentina). It was also my first published book!


The book reached many spots. " The book around the world" arose from that idea.  It would be an album with photos friends are sending me from all over the world. Several photos from exotic places. My favorite one is in a Nepalese village where my friend Cecy gathered several local women for the pic- Cecy is the main collaborator. She has sent pics in Malaysia, Nepal, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia...etc!) African lands will also appear.
Arte Y Cultura-The second edition is coming soon and the first one will be re-edited in Portugal, right? Let's talk a little bit about this, how the reedition was conceived, and how you are selecting material for this second edition.
Max- The idea is to include material from 2010 to date (vol. 1 goes from 93 to 2010, which is when we finished it). As I said before,  after the 1st book I got a lot of work on demand ( from bands mostly), so I have a lot of material!... The Portuguese edition was thought to be presented in different book-related events both in Portugal and Galicia.
Arte Y Cultura-PUNK Y DERIVADOS (Punk and byproducts) was a section that was gaining importance in the zine, and we as readers were looking forward to a new issue so that we could read the stories. How was the process and how it ends up being published in a book format?

Max-Punk y Derivados was a drawing that came out in a Spanish zine in the '90s. It depicted the evolution or different branches of punk, SxE-oi-crossover-goths-etc... I made a re-version of the punk family tree. In the following issue, I released a drawing where I ironically highlighted some punk-skinhead attitudes back then.
 In the next issue, I told a tragicomic anecdote in a 2Minutos gig. At that point that zine section became permanent: real-life stories or anecdotes related to punk experiences - as incredible as it sounds nowadays, before the Internet appeared, punks (and youngsters in general) used to meet up in the street,at corners, parks or squares. .. there I developed this "ability" or "magnet” with supernatural beings or human specimens that do not fit in ordinary social patterns.

This section, then, it became the most "expected" part by the Buenos Aires readers. When Ale Natural suggested me I should publish a book, I first thought of compiling all the stories of Punk y Derivados but he suggested starting with only one drawing. Both formats worked, text and design! Currently, there are friends translating it into English and Portuguese. We will re-edit it with both translations as soon as we can.
Arte Y Cultura-Today it’s your own imprint your “trademark”.   What new techniques have you been using, or resorting to, software, etc?  What’s your favorite drawing technique?

Max-My technique is not quite farfetched, at the beginning, I used to draw with microfibers, then I switched to the pen and Indian ink and at the moment I’m using brushes filled with water to make watercolors. I put Indian ink on them and then I scan them giving some digital retouches with photoshop like contrasting or re-assembling the elements. I try to show that they are "handmade" drawings with brushes and not with digital tools (though I don't rule out the use of digital tools in the future).
-Overall these years we’ve seen your art in several places, gigs, punk book fairs, etc. Where do you feel more comfortable in?
When I exhibit what I do, I always try to do it in the environment in which I have always moved (concerts/okupas/independent cultural centers/etc). I'm not  “famous”  and I don't have the Art contacts so I doubt very much that I'll be called from outside the punk community... "Art" is like music:  it's not about how good your stuff is but about what contacts you have or how much money you can invest to promote yourself.
 My only manager and/or press agent IS MYSELF!



Arte Y Cultura- How do you see the fanzine movement today? 5 fanzines and 5 bands to recommend?
Max-There are still some zines, as I said before. The internet has changed everything, including the zines’ world. I'll name 3 that are fundamental and unique in their style: La Ponzoña (chaotic collages, punk art full of irony and criticism), Dekadencia Humana (must be the most ancient zine in Argentina). Many insights and writings from his editor and info related to the anarcho-punk and political punk world) and  En la Cancha Se Ven Los Pingos (a typical fanzine which includes a mix of his editor's musical tastes -punk, Oi!, heavy, rock, social criticism, from a street view approach. No academic-philosophical researches. Stories about fictional characters based on the youth subcultures. These 3 zines named have their "book version"  published by Tren en Movimiento.
As for bands the ones I like the most are: Responsables no Inscriptos (RNI), Qué Risa, Los Disckolos, KrestaMurti, Tango 14, Bokasucia... all of them are still playing and active and you can listen to them on the Internet.
Arte Y Cultura-As a bonus track,  let's talk a little about your musical side, Massacre en el Autocine was the first band you had, right?   Tell us a bit about it. Your second band Acidos Populares. Tell us a little bit about this band since not all of its members live in the same city. Tell us also about the experience of your solo album.


Max-Regarding my "musical side" let me tell you that I don't feel to be a MUSICIAN or even an ARTIST, I only use this as a means of expression, both with the guitar and with the brush I do "what comes out" (which is not always as I imagine it).
The band I played in was Massacre en el Autocine, I had no musical notion but I had already read the inspiring phrase that goes as follows: "In punk rock, anyone can grab an instrument and make their own band!". Music-wise we were trying to make horror punk, I think this label didn't exist yet - 1992. Our main influences were 45 Grave/Misfits/Undead, B films, and classic horror literature (Poe-Lovecraft/etc.). The lyrics were written by Vicky (RIP), she read a lot and was very good at writing. it was a big loss, the first friend that was leaving me...
M.e.e.a became Bs.As. Desorden (same name as my zine, since we had a gig with CHIQUERO - where Esteban's brother, the guitar player in B.A. Desorden. We didn't have a name, just some rehearsals plus 5 or 6 songs). The idea was to make Oi! or punk rock 77.  There were 2 punks and 2 skinheads in the band.
Bs. Desorden lasted for less than 2 years. Nogal appeared soon afterward. It was made up of a front girl (Brenda, currently in Bloodparade). We all had diverse experiences in bands: I.D.S., Espias Secretos, Fuerza Interna, and those already named). The result of this all was quite an original punk rock band.
At the end of 1996, I joined Acidös Pöpulares, and just after that I joined  Klub 699 ( I spent 1 year there, recorded 2 songs for a compilation and left). we were already playing quite a lot with Acidös, everywhere: the capital city and Gran Buenos Aires...
Terror y Miseria was later formed.  That was the time when anarcho-punk was all the rage (1997).  Many events,  many people got together at Plaza Congreso’s fanzine fair. All Terror y Miseria members were actively engaged in the fair.


In 1997 I also joined Sopa de Garron, but we played occasionally as Panke lived in Santa Fe and me in Buenos Aires. In 2000 we traveled to Mexico for the international Enkuentro Anarkopunk and we seized the opportunity to make a mini-tour TyM/Sopa de Garrón. We played in several cities...
Back then all Pöpulares members lived in different cities, for that reason, almost spontaneously different lineups arose in different regions of Argentina.  We occasionally played with a certain lineup depending on the place we were. The lineups were as follows:  Acidos Populares (Buenos Aires), Acidos Kuatreros (Rio Iv -Cordoba/V. Mercedes -San Luis), Acidos Tucumanes (Tucuman) and there were also Acidos Jujeños (Jujuy) and Acidos Patagonicos (Trelew/Puerto Montt-Chile).  Gringo and I were part of all lineups. Also, musicians from other bands joined us: Sirvientes de Nadie (Jujuy), Kara de Perro/El Contuvernio (Tucuman) Causa de Accion/Tumba 37 (Rio Iv Cdba), Desastre Total/Old Skulls/Amnecia (Bs.As.) Que Risa (Trelew) Aversion Social/Ñankupel (Puerto Montt-Chile).) There is a new album already recorded that we hope to release in 2019. It will be called "El Exilio" and it includes some unreleased songs, others from a former BA lineup, 2 songs with the Acidös Kuatreros, and some old re-versions with the current BA lineup, with a better sound.
Thanks, Seba for your patience and for taking my work into account.
You can contact me by email at dismadre@gmail.como// FB Max Vadala or Instagram
bsasdesorden



 

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