Monday, 25 January 2010

Rhubarb Bomb Relaunch


The Rhubarb Bomb is a recently relaunched fanzine produced in Wakefield, YMC chats to Matt about the fanzine and forthcoming launch night.

YMC: You have relaunched the Rhubarb Bomb magazine, how did you get involved with this?

Well as you may know, the Rhubarb Bomb has been around for a few years now in one form or another. Dean knew the previous editor Benno quite well, and had written a couple of bits for the last couple of issues he put out, and I'd been in touch with regards to writing for subsequent issues.

Then one day I got a text from Dean (we've been good mates for years outside of the Bomb) to say that Benno had, basically, handed over the reins to him, having suddenly had enough of doing it for one reason or another, and would I like to come in on it and see what we could both make of it?

We sat around for a few days letting it all swish around in our heads, then spent a boozy afternoon in the pub sketching out our "manifesto", trying to work out what we wanted to put into it and how we thought we'd be able to make it all work, then we set to work on our first issue.

We consciously went for a relaunch as our vision of the Bomb is somewhat different to what went before - we've made a deliberate effort to establish several regular features to give it a bit more structure and identity, and it's now much wordier than it ever was previously.

But essentially, the focus is still the same - what we'd call "proper" indie, with a strong emphasis on what is happening in Wakey, but also more of an attempt to cast the net further afield in whatever ways we can.

YMC: Why did you decide to stay with a printed magazine instead of an on-line one?

We're both avid readers, and love that feel of having something tangible that you can carry around with you. I mean, the way we've done it - it's printed on A5, so it's nice and compact - means you can roll it up, put it in your pocket, shove it in your bag, whatever, and just carry it around with you and dip in and out of it as you go about your daily routine.

We both love printed magazines and fanzines, we get through loads of the things, and to me a website is never quite the same - yes it's better for up-to-the-minute news, gig listings etc., but I don't think anybody ever reads the articles on a website half as closely as they do in a printed magazine.

You might say it's commercial suicide to be attempting a printed zine in 2010, but we are getting some excellent feedback, and to be honest, it's not a commercial proposition anyway - it's a free zine, and as long as we can cover the printing costs (or at least near as damn it) and don't make too much of a loss we're happy and can continue producing it. If we ever do make a "profit", we intend to plough it straight back into the zine and make it even better, maybe via the odd cover-mounted CD or something.

YMC: Where can I find it and how much does it cost to buy?

Well, the main thing to emphasise is the Bomb is FREE OF CHARGE! to anyone that wants a copy. If you check the Myspace or Facebook pages there's a full list of stockists, and we're expanding on these all the time, so do keep checking back. If we've not made it to your area and you think you can help by putting a few copies in a local record shop, gig venue, etc then get in touch and we'll send you a bundle. 

YMC: How often will it be coming out?

The aim is every three months, one for each season of the year. This is something we know we can manage without flogging ourselves to death trying to keep up with the workload. We'd like to go for it more often, but we would need more contributors onboard I think to make this viable (so if you want to write for us, drop us a line!)

YMC: You are having a launch night on 1st February, what's planned for this night?

This is something we are hoping will become a regular thing, to coincide with each new issue. It's at the Bodega Bar in Wakey (near Lightwaves!), and it's really cheap, we're only asking £3 entry, all of which goes towards printing costs for future issues of the zine.

On this occasion we've got four lovely bands playing, all of which are contributing their services for free to help us out (huge, HUGE thanks for that!).

We have Standard Fare from Sheffield, who are a girl/boy indiepop band that Dean is a massive fan of. We also have Tiny Planets, who are a fantastic new Wakey band featuring ex-members of The Old House. Thirdly, St Gregory Orange, another Wakey band signed to Philophobia Music, which is undoubtedly Wakefield's busiest and most unique label - the Orange put out a brilliant album last year and are emerging as a really interesting live proposition. Finally there's The Fur Blend, who are another new Wakefield band.

It all kicks off at 8PM, there's various drinks promotions once you're in I believe, and it'll go on until the wee small hours, and like I say, it's all for the good of the zine, we're not making anything out of it. Should be a grand night!

YMC: You are based in Wakefield, does the magazine just focus on the Wakefield scene?

No not at all. The old Rhubarb Bomb perhaps was primarily focused on Wakefield but we are keen on casting our nets further afield, while still having a strong flavour of Wakey.

We try and always have a major Wakefield "presence" in every issue, it's where we both live after all and that will never change, we will always want to reflect what's happening in our home town - but we're open to anything from anywhere, as long as it's all done for the right reasons.

So we're talking all of Yorkshire and beyond really - we've made a conscious effort to distribute copies of the Bomb throughout the country and we'd like to go even further with that if we can.

Anything made by free thinkers for the love rather than the money, and we're there.

YMC: If a venue, record store, studio, etc. would like to distribute this free magazine, where should they contact you?

Just drop us an e-mail and we'll go from there. As a general shout out, for the Bomb to prosper we *do* need people to get involved - so if anybody would like to write for us, whether it's a couple of reviews, a column (regular or one-off), or a big old meaty article, the doors are always open. If anybody wants to stock the zine, or distribute it in their area, we can sort that too. And if any bands want us to look at reviewing their demos, releases, or gigs, then get in touch, we'll be more than pleased to do so if we possibly can.

Website details are : www.myspace.com/therhubarbbombmagazine, or search for Rhubarb Bomb on Facebook and you'll find us easy enough. E-mail contact is :therhubarbbomb@googlemail.com, or message us through the Myspace. 

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