I feel comfortable with a piece of paper and a pen in front of me. I love to draw away the day, to see the possibilities of what can happen to a blank piece of paper. I like to keep my hands busy and my mind busier. I really hate feeling bored, it feels so empty. It’s that feeling of being so bored you don’t even know if you’re hungry or interested in anything, you just feel lost, wondering room to room of the house hoping something will suddenly entertain you. Creating, however, is full of curiosity and imagination, discovery, and mostly I find (without being overly dramatic), cathartic.
I’ve never been someone who had a desire to conquer technique or master a specific art form. Don’t get me wrong, I love to learn and I believe education (not educational institutions) is important to a person’s development; you can only get so far with ignorance and idiocy. But for me playing in bands was so I could hang out with my friends, going to art school was so I could move out of home, experiment, rebel and have fun.
When I found out more about punk, like, when it became more than just buying the tapes and CD’s and singing along to the words I found a community. I found politics, fanzines, discussions and creativity. I found DIY and all these amazing people doing it all for themselves without waiting for others to tell them how.
It wasn’t doing something to look or sound lo-fi, it was doing the best with what you had and for the most part, it wasn’t much. Broken amps and cheap guitars, screen-printing using old net curtains glued to old picture frames. It didn’t matter. The how didn’t matter, it was about the why and the why was for the love of doing it.
At first writing songs gave me a platform to be part of the musical side of it all. Bands like (early) Against Me!, The King Blues, Ghost Mice and Onsind showed me that you can be just as powerful as any band even if all you have is an acoustic guitar and a voice.
I had all these things I felt like I wanted to say but didn’t feel like they warranted a full band behind them. Song structure and timing had and still isn’t my forte and whilst I am aware of it more now, when I started out it wasn’t important. I just wanted to get my words (lyrics or poetry, whatever they are) across to the people standing in front of me. And I enjoyed it, the way it made me feel. Writing, performing, being part of a group of people and bands was so exciting.
There have been times where being in bands or creating artwork for others feels like a chore. I’ve found creating for other people or trying to fit my ideas with other peoples doesn’t always seem to work out, but doing it for myself does. That’s what feels comfortable, just doing it because i love doing. – Laura Mardon