It’s a really busy time for Vice at the moment. Three years after we
launched and closed down about seven other magazines, we’ve spread the
brand/magazine all over the world.
My US counterpart Jesse Pearson has to oversee editions in
Australia, New Zealand and Japan and I’ve got to look after the UK,
Scandinavia, Germany and Italy. Also have to find editors and writers
in Spain, Russia, Holland and, come 2006, Iraq. If any of you reading
this want to help out, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org There’s also the
footage we’re putting together for the upcoming Vice DVD series, which
MTV gave us a trunkload of money for. The first DVD is like a moving
picture version of the Travel Issue (www.viceland.com) that we put out
a couple of years ago. Oh, Vice TV as well. The comedian/actor David
Cross is working with us on that, as are Johnny Knoxville and Jeff
Tremaine who made a littleknown show called Jackass.
controller of Vice TV, Eddy Moretti, just got back from Beirut with
co-founders Shane Smith and Suroosh Alvi, where they did a story about
I think they got shot at a couple of times. Next
is Baghdad where we’re promoting a concert for an Iraqi metal band that
we covered in our Obsessions
Issue (again, see www.viceland.com)n Now I have to convince the BBC
reporter and old friend Ben Anderson to come and help us out on a
documentary around something so exciting and amazing that I can’t tell
you what it is.
What else? I have to go to meetings with two
major record labels to convince them to give us the overhead to start
the Vice Recordings imprint over here in the UK. In America we’ve
released records by The Streets, Bloc Party, Death From Above, 1979,
Hard-Fi and the Boredoms.
My wife Jeneleen is an illustrator and
she designed the logo for Vice’s pub, The Old Blue Last at 38 Great
Eastern St. This week she’s designing the corporate identity for our
new marketing agency Virtue. Get it? Vice is also making shirts with
this New York label called Seize Sur Vingt and Jeneleen’s designed some
motifs for that too.
Also have to mention the director Spike June
who’s coproducing a Vice Film with Eddy, as is Harmony Chorine. As you
can imagine, it’s pretty tough having to deal with all the teenage
girls chasing us down the street screaming: “We love you, you are
amazing” but we’re slowly coming to terms with it.
We’re working on the Journalism Issue of Vice, which means we’ve got
all our writers to spend a week or so with an interesting subject then
come back and turn round the stories in a day. Like any of you who work
on newspapers already do.
It’s been a lot of fun. Today was not so fun though, as I spent half
of it making endless phone calls to our talented but amazingly
egotistical staff photographer Jamie-James. I need him to cough up his
pictures of Pete Doherty’s backstage shenanigans because we’re running
them in the US edition.
Vice and Pete have had a weird
relationship in that we first featured him in the magazine two years
ago in our famous Dos And Don’ts section. It’s where we take pictures
of people and then write funny captions criticising their trousers. A
couple of years back, we ran a pic of Pete playing guitar at one his
famous Albion Rooms concerts and said: “Why don’t you do the one about
the junkie dad who’s so desperate for drugs he holds sock-footed
concerts in his apartment where idiots pay him £10 to hear him play
songs from the band he just got kicked out of.” For some reason that
didn’t go down too well even though it was the truth.
been following Pete’s band Babyshambles on tour and has become close
with Pete (in the way a teenage girl gets close to her favourite
singer) so he doesn’t want us to upset his relationship by publishing
any captions that are mean and will make Jamie and Pete cwy (sic).
There’s a band in New Orleans called Eyehategod and Vice got to be
friends with them through mutual friends. Their album Take As Needed
For Pain is like the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band of the heroin
punk metal scene. After Hurricane Katrina I’ve been speaking daily to
the guitarist Gary Mader to check he is still alive. He said he was ok
but that everything he owned in the whole world had been turned into
mud or eaten by all the alligators and looters. I sent him $150 through
Paypal so he could get the brakes on his car fixed and he tells me that
the singer of his band, Mike, is still missing, presumed dead in the
We found out that Mike and his girlfriend Alicia are still alive and
well. Only they’re in jail facing charges relating to what they call in
America, felony narcotics and felony looting.
They allegedly looted a methadone clinic and Alicia tried to sell
all the drugs to a minor. I ring up Morgan City jail, where they’re
incarcerated, and get told by one of the jailers: “We don’t allow the
prisoners any access to the outside world.” In the background I hear
screaming and groaning.
I hear later from Gary that somebody went
to visit Mike that day and he told them: “This place is like a hotel.
It’s better than anywhere I’ve lived in the last ten years.”
Nevertheless, Mike is facing a huuuge stretch in prison.
There’s a campaign to free him/give him money at www.eyehategod. com
Hector, our German editor, is worried because not only is he a
Spaniard who can’t speak a word of German, but one of our writers who
has gone “undercover” in Berlin’s sprawling alcoholic/ crackhead scene
has gone missing. The last time he talked to him, he told Hector that
because of the lack of girls in the scene, the men all get high and
“cuddle each other” in the night. The writer was already complaining of
guys bribing him with Xanax and trying to crawl into bed with him in
the middle of the night so we are quite worried about him too. Oh well,
Went to the gym all morning, then dropped in at the centre for
underprivileged Albanian teenage mothers where I do voluntary work.
Hey, I’m just trying to make a difference in this crazy ol’ world. Is
that a crime?
Pretty distraught that I didn’t get included in the Gieves &
Hawkes campaign alongside my best friends Jefferson Hack and Dylan
Jones. Ever since I left NME to go to work for James Brown – who I
subsequently upset by setting up Vice with my partner Andrew Creighton
while I was still editing one of James’ mags – I’ve had this
slow-dawning realisation that I’m never going to be recognised as one
of the all-time greats like Dyl. Hmmm, maybe we should change Vice so
it is more like GQ i.e. the Innovations catalogue with tits and an
interview with a gay actor. Maybe then I’ll get to hang out with Johnny
Vaughn, Ronnie Wood and Caprice at an awards ceremony or be asked to be
a talking head on VH-1’s “British TV’s Most Stylish Reamers”. Where is
my life going?