Raw Material
Stay Free!

Carrie McLaren,
Stay Free!

Age: 28

Selection: "It's a Doughboy!" (page 9); "Slouching on the Shoulders of Giants," by Jason Torchinsky (page 123)

Recent reviews (from Factsheet Five): "Lots of fun and very informative."

Sample: $3 and a few stamps from P.O. Box 306, Prince Street Station, New York, NY 10012 (checks: Stay Free!)

When did you launch your zine? What inspired you to do so?
August 1992. up until then I'd been working in a copy store and college repping for Sony Music. to make the Sony job a little less awful (and as an excuse not to talk to people) I'd started a local Sony "zine" called Sonyland. It was extremely successful in that the execs at Sony loved it while most of the locals thought it was a parody, had no idea it was actually promoting (and funded by) Sony. After I a) got fired from the copy shop and b) realized what I was actually doing, I quit doing Sonyland and—since that was the only thing I liked about the Sony job—working for Sony.
Smoking clownAround the same time, I decided I wanted to put out a single by archers of Loaf and, since I really missed Sonyland, thought I'd make a zine to go with it. That was Stay Free No. 1. Also around that time, a guy who liked Sonyland approached me about starting a monthly community zine. In January 1993 we put out the first issue of Trash. After five consecutive monthly issues, I got really disillusioned about the zine thing and moped around for about three months (Trash kept publishing...and got really shitty!). Oh yeah, I put out another SF!, too, with a couple other local bands I like a lot, Spatula and (my roommate's band) Evil Weiner.
Anyway, three months post-Trash trauma, a girlfriend of mine suggested I start doing SF! as a tabloid a la Trash, and I did.

Why publish a zine?
Same reason musicians make music and painters paint, I guess. The creative impulse. The time/hassle/money loss seems worth being able to control the context/editing of your own writing. Basically, I value my writing more than anyone can afford to pay me. As long as they can't pay me enough, I might as well do it on my own terms, write about stuff I want to write about, etc.

What can you tell us about the selection you provided for "The Book of Zines"?
DoughboyThe original plan was to get a couple friends of mine to come up to him with our photographer around, take off their cloths (coats) and we'd take a picture of the Doughboy "caught" in action with this naked couple. (this was for our food/sex issue). Unfortunately, Charlie, the guy who was planning to do it, found out he could lose his scholarship for it and chickened out...as did Sara. When they didn't show, the photographer went in to take a picture anyway. He ran into a couple friends (the two guys from Spatula...it's a small town) so they went in to ask where the Doughboy was so they could take his picture. He had gone to lunch. this was like 20 minutes after Jason and I had talked to him. the Harris Teeter people said he was gone, so the photographer asked if he could walk around with the suit on...and they let him! (The person in the Doughboy suit that we talked to was a Harris Teeter employee, he had no connection to Pillsbury, the marketing reps travel around with this $900 suit and make store employees wear it).

Any general tips for aspiring zinesters?
1) plan on losing money
2) don't cut people's stuff without talking to them
3) be prepared to back up whatever you say in print. It can haunt you.

In my other life, I'm a:
I do the Web site and promotional newsletter for Matador Records. Marketing, in other words.

Carrie McLaren
Jason Torchinsky
Doughboy Sells Out

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