In 2008 I started a blog that this page is a distant relative of. It was a different place, darker, tonally darker. It was an explorative place where I worked out who I was via photographs, rituals, femininity and community. I met some of my best friends in this time.
My blog was called It’s a Satanic Drug Thing – You Wouldn’t Understand. It was a tag line of a Monster Magnet album, my friend Krusher had just designed the cover for their album. One day he swanned into the comic shop I worked at, making up nonsense as he did and when he walked away, I saw that line on his shirt and that was the name of my blog from that day onwards.
Krusher was an associate of Black Sabbath, their former roadie and graphic designer and I have reams of recordings of him just talking about them and Mötely Crüw, I should sort through them, he always tries to get me to come to his psychedelic farm he now lives at, but being about 40 years younger than him I still feel too old to get up to what he gets up to.
The spirit of my friendship with Krusher was sort of distilled into that blog, I used to often joke that he couldn't come into x place as it wasnt deconsecrated.
I was in my early 20’s recovering from Goldsmiths and settling into life as an adult that didn’t function well. The posts mostly consisted of my depression, fatigue with London life and my attempts with my ex to make art that matched the music scenes we lived in. He co ran No Pain in Pop a record label in New Cross where we lived and I made art that now falls into the camp of Witch House, embarrassingly or not.
London was, as its always been, a strange electric place. And as the financial collapse began, I became a staff photographer for Vice and i-D. We young and we were making gritty dirty work. It suited New Cross. When I moved out of London to Staffordshire I spent more time honing the blog, so to connect to the people I loved and they all happened to be outside of the UK. This haunted island extended, and I found myself in a new brood, held by them.
They were so inspiring.
I made this video in 2009 and I think somehow it encapsulates the dark psychedelia of those days…
As another global recession tiptoes into our calendar I feel a need for this family more than ever, now more fully formed. We know who we are, and know what we needed from the art we made.
We all realised we are (always were) queer, radical and none of us let up, we all became if anything more determined to make the work we started back in 2008.
The model in these photos is HANA, we met when doing an art residency and we became inseparable for the next 5 years and she became the face of the blog. This is us together. We made work darkly evoking the mills of Blake's Jerusalem.
I always thought deep down that I was the pop side of what my close friends were doing, that they were the real deal and they really came through on this magic.
This video is two of my closest friends from these days collaborating on a piece inspired by IASDTYWU (lol), and I was reminded of the community, their song stood as a fierce reminder (God damn Kris and Diane are so fucking good) and I needed this. I needed to hear their collaboration, feel it. Thank you both for ushering in a reminder, that we are missing something vital and it needs willing back. A slower network of ideas. In the words of Diane on twitter yesterday Let’s bring on the next Avant Garde! ... but let’s just name it better this time, huh!?
I just love that this was called Depression Fest!!??