TO ROCK: Interviews and Essays (Gorsky
Press) by Todd Taylor. Gorsky Press. 319 pages. Having been a huge
part of Flipside fanzine for a number of years and co-founding Razorcake
zine, Todd Taylor has conducted many interviews and penned numerous
essays/columns. Born to Rock is a collection of fourteen
interviews and three essays. Most of the interviews are with punk
bands or known punkers; NOFX, Dillinger Four, Smogtown, Duane Peters of
U.S. Bombs, Fletcher Dragge of Pennywise, Rev. Norb, etc. Also
interviewed: Maximum Rock-n-Roll’s Tim Yohanan (RIP), Artists Stan
Winston and Mike Diana (only artist to be convicted of obscenity in the US
for his drawings), and Andrew Vachss, who is an anti child abuse advocate.
this fine collection, the essays are the main draw here, to me anyway.
Todd’s opening essay, which gives you a quick but poignant snapshot of
his life and how he arrived to where he is today, is as inspirational as
it is gripping. To be honest, because I really do not care about any of
those interviewed, I didn’t read any of the interviews with the
bands/musicians. However, I did read the interviews with the remaining
four non-musician individuals and was rightly impressed with how Todd
conducted them. Therefore, I trust, the other interviews are most likely
well conducted. Best part about Taylor’s writing and interviewing is
that he is able to successfully bounce around the emotions (sad, funny,
happy, anger- you know, the feelings that enable you to live an unboring
and unpathetic life. Ok, there are a few of you soulless chaps and
chappettes out there who may not understand this). If you’re interested
in interviewing bands, Todd’s “On Interviewing” is a must read.
It’ll save you from asking stupid questions and making yourself look
like a moron, you dummy. The only thing that could have made this book a
touch better is if there were more essays. I truly enjoyed those and
encourage Todd to write more of them (like he’s going to listen to me).
OK, you’re now free to visit the Gorsky Press website. – Denis Sheehan