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Trumbull Magazine with Owen Black & Sam Reiss
  -- Monday, October 13, 2008

I remember meeting Owen for the first time (I think) at Youth Attack's first show at WPI. That show sticks out a lot in my mind. First and foremost because Jeff was this young ass kid singing for Youth Attack with permanent marker drawings ALL over his person. Secondly, there was a dude absolutely losing his mind in the pit. I mean, this was an opening band playing one of their first, if not their absolute first shows, and there is this kid just busting crazy in the pit. He had style, no doubt, and he had intensity. I met the dude later in the night. Turns out, it was Owen. From that point forward, Owen seemed to bring the same intensity and drive to all his projects.

Sam is a little different. He was always the laid back dude. We started talking sneakers a mess of years back over the internet. I would always think, "does Canada even sell sneakers? Aren't they on some ice boot tip?" Obviously not (shoot outs to Goodfoot T.O.). Sam had deep knowledge. He wasn't the fad follower. He stuck to his guns, saw the trends come and go. When everyone jumped on the SB trend, he just laughed and copped 97s for cheap. He's still laughing. While you are wearing some terrible Puff and Stuffs, he's flossing in some ill vintage 95s. Ps. He's still laughing at you and your Bics.

When these two minds got together, it was a wonderful marriage of gritty determination and an attention to obscure details that has barely been seen prior to this. Each guy brings years of experience to the table and starter skills that make all us Monday Morning "journalists" jealous. Read on and learn.




Yo, how's your edge? AND, how was your edge?

OWEN: I saw my edge walking around the city the other day. I was like, "Damn, I know that guy..." but I couldn't place him. Then he came up behind me after we had passed and kicked me in the nuts. That dude is out of his fucking mind, and now I remember why I killed him.

SAM: To quote Lewis Carroll, "It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place."

Click here for more details ...
I remember meeting Owen for the first time (I think) at Youth Attack's first show at WPI. That show sticks out a lot in my mind. First and foremost because Jeff was this young ass kid singing for Youth Attack with permanent marker drawings ALL over his person. Secondly, there was a dude absolutely losing his mind in the pit. I mean, this was an opening band playing one of their first, if not their absolute first shows, and there is this kid just busting crazy in the pit. He had style, no doubt, and he had intensity. I met the dude later in the night. Turns out, it was Owen. From that point forward, Owen seemed to bring the same intensity and drive to all his projects.

Sam is a little different. He was always the laid back dude. We started talking sneakers a mess of years back over the internet. I would always think, "does Canada even sell sneakers? Aren't they on some ice boot tip?" Obviously not (shoot outs to Goodfoot T.O.). Sam had deep knowledge. He wasn't the fad follower. He stuck to his guns, saw the trends come and go. When everyone jumped on the SB trend, he just laughed and copped 97s for cheap. He's still laughing. While you are wearing some terrible Puff and Stuffs, he's flossing in some ill vintage 95s. Ps. He's still laughing at you and your Bics.

When these two minds got together, it was a wonderful marriage of gritty determination and an attention to obscure details that has barely been seen prior to this. Each guy brings years of experience to the table and starter skills that make all us Monday Morning "journalists" jealous. Read on and learn.




Yo, how's your edge? AND, how was your edge?

OWEN: I saw my edge walking around the city the other day. I was like, "Damn, I know that guy..." but I couldn't place him. Then he came up behind me after we had passed and kicked me in the nuts. That dude is out of his fucking mind, and now I remember why I killed him.

SAM: To quote Lewis Carroll, "It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place."

Before we get into the mag, let's discuss you dudes. How did it all begin for you? Were you coremin from birth or was it a gradual transition? Anyone you should be thanking for turning you onto punk and hardcore?

OWEN: How did Morgado answer this one? I want to say "ditto." I want to thank Mark Baumer for letting me borrow his Hatebreed CD in 1999. "Your family, your friendships, your community, these are the most valuable things a man can have." "I'm a family man- I run a family business. This is my friend and my partner, S.I. Reiss."

SAM: Ehh, read a lot of magazines, bought a record or two, read the liner notes, dragged my folks to record stores on vacations, standard stuff. I was a hungry little beb. I didn't get anyone into shit, unless you count getting three people into Alpha Omega three years ago something. I'd like to take this space to thank John Bloodclot for giving me a nickname way back when. It's made it all worth it.

Was it during this time that you discovered Straight Edge too? What did it mean to you then and what does it mean to you now?

SAM: I copped Minor Threat CD a little bit after I got into the other stuff, and it clicked, so I stuck with it. I'm loyal. S.E. can be great, you can either get something out of it, or become a weird loner. Plus, it's nice to have the money to spend on gear and candy, important stuff. I think the best thing about it, besides Straight Ahead, is that it can mean as much or as little as you want. To me, it's whatever Barrow and Jay Bil say it is. The missing link lies in listening to Stop and Think.

Suppose you were granted the power to erase one band or artist from the history of mankind. Who would you delete?

OWEN: I think I would delete BIGGIE because then 2Pac might still be alive. Controversial answer, I know. No disrespect.

SAM: I would never go back in a time machine and erase history, because even the tiniest change can alter the future in ways you can't even imagine. But probably The Wrong Side, they're the worst band of all time.

What music gets you psyched these days? What is getting a lot of plays from you these days?

OWEN: I think the older I get the more I narrow down my tastes. Hot new Lil Wayne tracks always get me psyched. Wayne for sure is a huge inspiration to me. Especially his work ethic and his confidence. Merauder, True Blue and Dead Wrong always get me psyched. Shout outs to Ivan, Kitzel, Rene, and Minus. RIP SOB.

SAM: I only listen to Juan Epstein and baseball podcasts. I got into Spice-1 this week, he's great. That Mister Cee five-hour Biggie mix is awesome, too. That new Cam'ron, "Still the Reason." Iceburn. I like some hoser shit, Doughboys, Inbreds, Mystery Machine, Superfriendz, Inepsy. Zac Davis and I both got into disco around the same time, but I didn't put the work in. He still fucks with it though. I'm probably going to get into Tangerine Dream by Christmas. I love Klaus Schulze, he's hard. Classic records like Show World, Heaven and Hell, The Fix, Unrest, Four Walls, are why life's worth living. I like driving around with my girl, she is as good at listening to classic rock radio as she is bad at spelling. Waiting on that new Erlend Oye. As far as what gets me psyched, I like a good baseball game, George F. Will, Cam'ron, candy, dips, squats, water parks, the Kosher falafel place next to the Pyramid club, Niketown, skinheads, pizza, Air Max 97s, Jay Bil, finding money on the street, Ten Minute Misconduct, the first few pages in Paper Lion, doing yardwork, Muscle Milk, my roommate's dog, Mr. Penut, free food, etc.

Top 5s
a) Current Releases
b) Current Bands
c) Lower East Side Eateries


OWEN:
Current Releases:
1. Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
2. Weezy mixtapes - various
3. T-Pain - Pr33 Ringz
4. Cold World - Dedicated...
5. Unforgiven - Last of the Few

Current Bands:
1. World Collapse
2. Down
3. Merauder
4. Cold World
5. Unforgiven

Current Artists (besides Wayne etc)
1. Jay-Z
2. Keri Hilson
3. Eminem
4. Cam'ron
5. The Cardigans

I'm going to give you my favorite eateries that are either near my work or near my Williamsburg Apt
1. Maffei Pizza - 6th and 22nd - #12 Italian restaurant in NYC according to Village Voice....get the buff chicken. 1 slice is $4 and its a meal.
2. Rickshaw - 23rd b/w 5th and 6th - Dumplings. Get them fried!
3. Tony's Pizza - Graham and Metropolitan, Brooklyn - I used to be a Carmine's man but their hours suck and I'm a late night kind of guy. Also, Tony's has a special every day, for a special price. It makes deciding easier.
4. Daniella's - Same area, different corner of the intersection - You can get a bacon, egg, cheese, and POTATOES on a roll. Put on ketchup and hot sauce and you will be happy. $4.
5. McDonald's - I love McDonald's. If you like chicks with fat asses, go to any McDonald's in New York City. Especially in Brooklyn. Wear sunglasses and Jordans.

SAM:
top 8 current artists:
1. Cam'ron
2. Rampage
3. Buddens
4. Scarface
5. Foreign HC: Erlend Oye, Gauze
6. Electric Wizard
7. Cassidy, Cold World, Mind Eraser, Inepsy, Shorts Guy
8. Godhead (this is my solo project, it sounds like Prong meets Gary Glitter, it's terrible)

Current releases:
1. Those unreleased Cro Mags songs that just dropped
2. Cam'ron new shit
3. Mood Muzik III/Cassidy Mixtape/T-Pain tape
4. That Gauze LP from last year is a ripper
5. America's Youth, "Being Straight Edge to make music to be Straight Edge to." This is actually a terrible record, don't listen to it.

Restaurants:
1. Ray's
2. Famous Ray's
3. Original Ray's
4. Original Famous Ray's
5. TIE: Hans' Deli/Blimpie/Momofuku Ssam Bar/We Cut Keys*

*Honorable mention to DiRienzo's



Lets discuss your public writing history. Trumbull, Sleepy Puppy Action Newsletter (S.P.A.N.), Spotrusherz, The Cult Of Paris ... Each format had different focal points but similar pieces. What inspired these outlets?

OWEN: Sami and I have both been writing to a large audience for a long time. We both had jobs reviewing music for widely-read publications since we were teenagers, and once you start, you never really stop. I think we decided somewhere along the way, "Hey, we're stupid, we say stupid things, and people are also stupid. The only smart people in this world are John Adams (RIP), Bruce Willis, Lil Wayne, and our friend Jagger; lets try to write something that these beautiful minds might eventually read whilst defecating on a toilet."

SAM: I can't speak for Cult of Paris, but the stuff I've done has been more or less the same. Just writing stuff that would make me chuckle. I just like to write stupid stuff and get better at it.

I can break my "public writing history" down for you.

Trumbull: We started this zine at 91 Gordon, mostly about over evolved NYHC and sneakers nobody was into yet. This caused beef with a guy named Scones that has not been squashed. We also made mixtapes, which featured songs by Silkk the Shocker, Deathside and the Descendents.

Sleepy Puppy: We didn't have enough content for a second issue so we made a two-pager and filled it up with poetry and our thoughts on Avenged Sevenfold and the Willie Wonka movie. It was technically issue No. 2.5.

Spotrusherz: I started this 'blog with Woj. He posted a bunch of cool shit but I just ended up posting about Israeli politics and the Senators' checking line, eventually abandoning it.

Cult of Paris: I think this was a money-making scheme by Owen. I was under the impression that it did quite well.

Can you see any obvious progressions from one outlet to the next? You don't look back and cringe, do you?

SAM: I always find at least two or three gaping errors in anything I've written. That's going to happen -- it's hard to write something that doesn't make you occasionally wince, unless you're writing business copy or something about robots or something. But generally, I'm very proud of all my Uppercut-related writing. This means I'm probably going to be ashamed some of the new Trumbull, but that's how it is for me and English. As long as there's real progress, then good.

Is it just me, or has Paris completely fallen out of the public eye? How does that make you feel today (considering Cult Of Paris hasn't been updated since summer 2006)?

OWEN: Paris has a new show on MTV called "My New BFF" in which contestants vie for a chance to...win a reality show? I really wish I could have been on this show. Paris and I would have become fast friends and then I could have bounced right off the set entirely. Shout out to Wheeler, who actually did this on A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.

SAM: Yeah



Now about your current project, Trumbull Magazine. How did it go from the DIY handout into this full blown, glossy spread?

OWEN: I felt like I could run a magazine just as well as anyone else, plus maybe a little better. I could have pursued a career in the magazine industry, but I'd rather just run my own empire. What I'm saying is why aim to be Cassidy when you can be Hova? I have enough heart to drag Sami and the disgusting couch he watches baseball on with me to the finish line.

SAM: Owen has a great work ethic, and is my friend, and he wants to do this. Like he said, other magazines just aren't that good. I'm pleased as punch with our older issues, but there are like 20 circulated copies*. Fuck it, we're trying. God loves a tryer. If people could overlook the bad layouts and photocopied scans in the first few issues, they can fuck with glossy covers. Also it will be free now, it wasn't before. That should help us, what with the print industry being dead and all.

*Email us at zacgreerrecordtrading@lycos.com to secure a copy. "Interesting trades considered."

Besides getting your voice out to the public, what are your goals with this magazine? What props your magazine over the crowd of the GQs, the XXLs, the Complexes and the Vapors?

OWEN: This is a really good question, because people usually ask us "What's your magazine about?" We're better than GQ because that magazine is too big, we are baby-sized. We're better than XXL because we can write and don't mix 6 fonts on a page, I don't know how we are better than Complex, they have had 2 Lil Wayne covers, that's hard to beat. Their magazine is also tiny, so it really is one of the best on the stands these days. I can't see Vapor.

SAM: That's a really bad question. We're outsiders and we write better. I have no idea what Vapor is, is that some engineer shit? None of those magazines' logos are based on William Gaddis' National Book Award winner, like ours is. The numbers here are actually a step down for me, to quote Owen's favorite rapper, "Fuck the public." My goals with this magazine are to be a bit better than the older issues, and with slightly more distribution. Owen's goals involve boats, secretaries, etc.

What's the target market for you magazine? Will little Johnny Straight Edge enjoy this magazine as much as Thrash Or Die Johnny?

OWEN: Yo Johnny Straight Edge always clutters my bulletin board with surveys and Thrash Or Die Johnny just picked my roommate up for practice. If you see in color and can read the English language you will like our magazine. In fact, I think babies would even like our magazine. Show your baby a picture of a dog or a beach from our new issue. I bet s/he will like it.

SAM: Anyone who likes good sentences, photos of dogs, skinheads, shit like that, should at least get a snarfle out of this. As long as Messrs. Edge and Johnny know what a gerund and who Stephen Murphy is, then good. Actually, to make an analogy, I don't give a shit about coal and trumpets, but I read the New Yorker. So anyone can read Ish IV, for example those guys' girlfriends, if they have them.

Since Trumbull Magazine hasn't hit the racks yet, what 5 novels and 5 blogs would you recommended as prerequisites to digesting your magazine?

OWEN: Homework time!! Murphy this interview is fire!
Books
1. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov - The beginning of excessive yet hilarious footnotes.
2. Consider The Lobster by David Foster Wallace - Vibe jocked the fuck out of this gentle, gentleman's style.
3. Babylon By Bus by Ray Lemoine - Ray demonstrated to our young minds how to hustle and do big projects, and to therefore fulfill our Jewish prerogative to make lots of money and control the media.
4. The Neal Pollack Anthology of American Literature by Neal Pollack - Sounds long but is quite short. Our namesake lived and died within these pages.
5. Your favorite book - this magazine is definitely for people who enjoy reading so if you just like to read, period, then you pass.

Blogs
1. Medicine Agency Blog
2. Lil Wayne's ESPN blog
3. Can't Stop The Bleeding - For Sami, I don't read this.
4. AtheneWins on YouTube
5. Egotastic

SAM:
Influential shit:
1.New Yorker/Big Brother --Flynt-era ONLY
2. The 'zine trilogy: Bust Super Fanzine, Lockin Out No. 1 Fanzine (and Trumbull Escapades). All OOP
3. Army Man magazine -- Main Trumbull influence. Photocopied FTW
4. Old MAD Magazines -- Mort Drucker FTW
5. The author trilogy: Pynchon, Gaddis, Foster Wallace (RIP)

Blogs:
1. Cantstopthebleeding -- The best 'blogger alive since the best
'blogger retired
2. That 'blog that has the whole No Limit discography at 320.
3. Jay Bil's 'blog
4. The 'blog trinity: Jasonbarrow.com, Jasonbarrow.com/Wayne, Spotrusherz
5. Carl "I'm Pissed" video 'blog

If you had the chance to work with one artist, alive or dead, who'd it be, and what topic would you give them to work on? On a more serious note, who would you love to have on the staff as a regular columnist?

OWEN: I think doing a photo shoot with Brian Wilson in like July 1966 would be retarded. Or I would get drunk with Edgar Allan Poe and just put a tape recorder on him all night. Part two: I'm gonna clarify that I interpret this to mean that I am picking someone who would quit whatever job they have and work solely for the magazine. And that's a hard question to answer. Right now, I wouldn't be able to do this magazine without the help of all my friends. They contribute a lot of the material, so I would like to send all my love out to them right now. What this means, though, is that I have essentially assembled my dream staff already. Short answer: Zac Greer (myspace.com/usercd).

SAM: The answer to the first question would have to be Picasso. I'd give him the whole issue, or have him preview this hockey season. To be honest, our contributors can go fuck themselves, you all should have worked much harder, I had to edit the shit out of you. And I can barely edit to begin with, so that put me in a tight spot. Neal Pollack has a standing offer to do whatever he wants, but he's a real writer, and gets paid real money, so we might have to suck the peanut gallery's dick for content for awhile. Also, anyone from Baseball Prospectus, esp. Will Carroll, and Steve Ludzik, Joe Budden, Robert Smith (of the Vikings), Mister Cee, Felix Havoc, would be great. Ludzik is actually in contact to write our "Getting the most from your modem" column for the website. It was going to go to Havoc but he told us to go fuck ourselves.



When can we expect to see the first issue? Where can we learn more about the magazine?

OWEN: I am operating on a deadline matrix which happens to manifest itself as an apparition resembling a shadowy Uzi-wielding Grim Reaper type dude. The guy is just ALWAYS around the next corner...there is so much involved with launching this concept from zero to 100 that its impossible to look ahead and say it will be out _____, but I can say that the best way to stay up to date is to bookmark trumbullisland.com. We are about to drop some very sweet pixels upon your collective displays. And the magazine will be out SOON.

SAM: First issue is dropping sometime before the Biggie movie hits theatres and sometime after Jason Bay fucks the Rays up the ass. You can learn more about the magazine here, glad you asked. Expect glossy pics, skinny-ass girls, not that much writing from me, stuff Owen is into, stories about drugs, photos of dogs, fantasy basketball tips, skinhead literature reviews, recipes, Ask a Girl, five-word movie reviews, My Dinner With Scace, record reviews, photo essays, Owen's graphic skills (they're legit), attempted journalism, etc. The magazine will be like the record, and the website the emp. The website will be completely self- and Scace-indulgent. There really are only so many times we can write about Sheeds and Uppercut, but we plan to stretch that to its logical limit. Owen says we can't write about Mortains no more, we can't write about coke no more, can't write about being broke no more, so my web input will probably be sports-related, as I am no longer that good at listening to music. I'm not sure what Owen will write about, but I hope it has something to do with Bruce Willis, restaurants and air travel, a.k.a. the finer things in life. I also hope you all like MLS, because I am jumping in feet-first this winter.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions. Do you have any final thoughts or words of wisdom?

OWEN: BURN the haters. If you got beef, step up. To the ladies: I love you all! If we didn't do this magazine, who would?

SAM: Fuck society and their rules, we got this.

Note: Owen sent me a different picture originally. I told him this was a family friendly website (lol) and suggested he tone it down for me. He then followed up with that pic. If you want to see the original image (which is pretty hot), get the magazine!

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