Thursday, November 14, 2013

Doom - Death - Metal | An interview with Blake from The Bowery

For those who aren't familiar with 'The Bowery' how would you sum it
up in a few words?

Doom - Death - Metal - A crime of Passion forced upon the world

How did the idea for The Bowery come about and who is the team behind
The Bowery?

I came up with an idea of starting a hub for creatives back in 2010. It was originally going to be a mag but that is wallet raping to start. The team revolves but it's usually just me behind the helm. There have been some jaded band members who have quit but like all things you start you have to say what the fuck and keep the band going.

It's been really awesome watching The Bowery grow from this rad little site by a couple of guys hanging out in Prahran to a fully fledged slick online magazine collective. What has that journey been like for youand where did you see The Bowery now in the scheme of things?

Thanks dude. Yeah it started as a bunch of us drinking beers and dreaming but I made the decision to make it into more of a stable business.The website has been hard work but it's been an amazing journey working with my main man John Toyne on getting the platform to where it is.The Bowery is it's own thing I don't think people still know quite how to market it, but that's fine by me I'm just happy I have a dedicated fan base that support me through the dark times.With the support of rad people like yourself I'm sure it will get out there a lot more in the coming year.

There is a particular aesthetic to The Bowery. A sort of.. dark, rock n roll,dirty jeans edge. How do you make sure you maintain that personal style and edge with the magazine while trying to remain relevant in an over saturated media sphere? Or simply how do you keep it real?

There just the things that i love and have grown up on. I had a steady diet of horror and metal as a youngster and have just force feed that to everyone else. haha I just think that the darker realm of life is a much more creative field to play in and I'm sure most people would agree. Just look around at all these hi end labels they all try to be dark but it takes dedication to stick to it. I think The Bowery might be ahead of it's time but well see how it continues.

There is a significant Skateboarding presence behind The Bowery. How
did skateboarding play a role in the making of the Bowery and even now in
keeping it going?

I've always been involved in skate in some capacity either working at skate companies or just hanging with people from that background and it sort of bleed in. It's a weird clique though, kind of bitchy in some respects. I'm a little jaded by it if you can't tell. It's sort of like that girl at the bar you say you won't go home with again but you end up waking up next to her time after time.

Over the past 12 months we have seen The Bowery evolve from an online
collective to now also a sort of "gang" and fashion brand. Was the initial
plan always to head towards the fashion industry or is this something that
snowballed later on?

I've always worked in fashion and of course who wouldn't want to rock their own gear. It has definitely snowballed lets hope it keeps growing some how.

Leather, scrawled metal writing, gang-like patches and skulls form
many of the symbols and aesthetic features of The Bowery when it comes to
clothing and accessories. Where do you draw your inspiration from and who
do you consider some of your contemporaries?

Wow good question. I do a lot of research into the symbols and things that inspire me.
B grade horror poster art is a main source of inspiration. Early 80's Black Metal zines are amazing and I keep looking for more and more. Raymond Pettibon, The Dadaism movement, Alfred Hitchcock, Occultisim, Hammer Horror movies, Stanley Kubrick, Chris Moyen I could go on for ever.

When it comes to presenting features and interviews how do you decide
what stays and what goes and essentially what to stay away from?

Ha I try to pick what I would want to see and it's also who replies to my emails haha. I'm trying to build more historical content. I want to treat the site now like an almanac that you can visit today or 2 years down the track and it's still relevant..Just stay away from crap I guess.

How important is it to you to make sure there is as much Australian
content on the site as there is International on the site?

Real important but unfortunately Australians are really lazy and I find it easier to get a guy in Sweden to send me a full pack of goods than a guy one suburb away answering one question. It's really quite sad.

 The Bowery continues to improve itself and up the anti the more
often I visit the site. What have you got planned for the future and what
should we be looking out for?

I've got some big things planned. I'm working with the amazing Steven Vogel from Black Lodges. He's such an inspiring guy kind of like looking at a mirror image of myself. I've also got a new brand in the pipeline, you'll love it Renee.