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The Maloof Money Cup (only the biggest skateboarding contest, ever) after party was held from July 11th all the way to the 13th at the Sutra Lounge, featuring an appearance by Travis Barker and a performance by crunkster Lil Jon. DJ Andy Rourke of Til along with The Smiths graced Cafe Sevilla in Riverside with their prescence on July 1st. The other Cafe Sevilla (Long Beach) threw its two-year anniversary party on July 18th and July 19th.

Skinnie Entertainment Magazine - May 2008

   

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DRIVE THRU: New Zealand
Six Surfers, Two Vans and One Crazy Road Trip
words by: PJ Yatar
photos courtesy of: Fuel TV

The surf expression "If you surf New Zealand stay away from the bottom" is a bittersweet reference for six surfers willing to do anything to find the perfect wave. Fuel TV's Drive Thru returns for its eighth edition, this time with a crew of surfers rattling in an RV up and down the coast of New Zealand in search of the best surf breaks in the world. Returning are Drive Thru veterans Donavon Frankenreiter, Benji Weatherly and Pat O' Connell, joined by Oscar "Ozzie" Wright, Alex Gray and legendary wave rider Mark "Occy" Occhilupo.

As the show's title implies, Drive Thru is a fast paced journey. The group has 14 days to cover as much of New Zealand as possible, which is not an easy task considering the size of the country. "It was so big that I did not know how we were possibly going to do it," Weatherly recalls. "It was the longest Drive Thru we've ever been on. We covered over 3,700 kilometers." For those trying to do the math that's over 2,000 miles.

Wind was the biggest challenge the group faced, at times traveling hours on the road only to find pristine surf spots transformed into a soft mushy assortment of reformed waves. "Most of the coastline you couldn't even get to," Weatherly said, referring to New Zealand's rocky topography. "Some of the best waves we found were the ones we stumbled upon."

The wind also had the guys questioning their own safety inside the RV. Occhilupo recalls the stress he experienced at night. "A couple of time it got really windy and the roads are quite narrow and the cliffs are quite high," He recalls. "I couldn't sleep in the RV 'riding the wheel' so to speak to see if we are going to be safe." Occhilupo wasn't the only one concerned. "Our first trip was like a 12- 15 hours and there were really heavy winds," Weatherly remembers. "Our vans were going from one lane to the other and it was scary all the time." Fortunately the guys did finish the trip safely.

By the second episode it is clear their adventure is a comedy of manners, especially how they handle the endless travel in such cramped conditions. "There was definitely RV fever on the trip," Gray says, referring to riding hours inside an overstuffed motor vehicle. "Every personality on the trip contrasts the other ones." To make the time pass the guys would listen to music, play jokes on each other and take in the surrounding scenery. "When you're in there inside [the RV] laughing and telling jokes, and one guy is farting on the other... time goes by so fast," said Weatherly.

There are times the guys turn up the heat with their comic personas as they spontaneously mix up their wave odyssey by participating in other forms of extreme activities. Like the time the guys tried Zorbing. A growing activity in New Zealand, one is zipped up inside a 30 - 40 ft wide giant transparent rubber ball before being pushed down a towering hill. Weatherly remembers his body rolling end over end inside the enormous sphere. "Inside there is hot water so I was in there with my full suit on and I almost passed out," he said. "It ended up the weirdest experience in my life... it was so much fun. We tried to put a camera inside but it wouldn't fit."

The guy's biggest accomplishment happened when they tried white water rafting. After their raft flipped over sending the guys in a panic flailing for their lives in the rocky froth, O' Connell was unintentionally struck in the face by the river guide's paddle. Close to calling it quits the group persevered and by the end of the ride the guys were beaming with self-confidence in their accomplishment and moved by their faith in each other.

Framed by the green rolling hills of New Zealand it's easy to appreciate the characters' voyage as they negotiate the comedy and romance of taking a road trip with their buddies paced by a soundtrack that feels familiar but will be new to most viewers. You will have to watch the show yourself to get a better feel of the group's dynamic, but for anyone who has ever dreamt of grabbing your board and your buddies for a road trip in search of the perfect wave, Drive Thru New Zealand is both gratifying and inspirational. "I love the Drive Thru," said Gray. "A kid in my position surfing with my heroes alone in a foreign county with real fun waves... it was perfect."

MEET THE CAST...

Benji Weatherly
Hometown: Encinitas, CA
+ Drive Thru Vetran
+ Nicknamed "Mutt" by Jack Johnson

Donavon Frankenreiter
Hometown: Laguna Beach, CA
+ Drive Thru Veteran
+ Accomplished pro surfer as well as musician, Donavan is a bit of a clown
+ A free spirit who lives his life through surfing and his music

Alex Gray
Hometown: Palos Verdes, CA
+ Drive Thru Rookie
+ Bright eyed and eager to see all that New Zealand has to offer
+ Aspiring nudist and cliff diver

Mark "Occy" Occhilupo
Hometown: Kummel, NSW, Australia
+ Drive Thru Rookie
+ Former ASP World Champion
+ Television host for FUEL TV in Australia

Oscar "Ozzie" Wright
Hometown: Narrabeen, NSW, Australia
+ Nickname: Ozzie Wrong
+ Fronts punk band "Goons of Doom"

Pat O'Connell
Hometown: Laguna Beach, CA
+ Drive Thru Veteran
+ Hardly sleeps and seems out of place without a cup of coffee in his hands
+ He likes things in order- making him the perfect driver

++TOP

MINDLESS SELF INDULGENCE
The Nerds Who Saved Punk Rock
words by: Hans Fink
photos by: Jorden Haley and Paul Harries

For over 10 years Jimmy Urine (Jimmy Euringer), vocalist and primary songwriter of the ever-quirky and abrasive Mindless Self Indulgence (MSI to its fans) has abused and mutilated `80s technology to produce some of the oddest noises in the punk and electronica landscapes. Rounding out his audio proclivities is an odd band of self-proclaimed "art fags" in the form of Steve Righ? (Steven Montano) on guitars, Lyn-Z (Lindsey Mallato) on bass and Kitty (Kitty) on drums. The unlikely quartet quickly amassed a huge cult following, touring alongside such acts as System of a Down, Korn, Insane Clown Posse, My Chemical Romance and others, stealing shows with an aggressive, ADD addled live set. We've come to find their inspiration stems not from angst but rather from the need to evade boredom; and there is nothing more entertaining than chaos.

Jimmy, you compose your music on an old school Atari and in fact use the long forgotten 3.5" floppy disk. Tell us about your love of archaic machinery over modern technology.
Jimmy - If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I use a lot of old programs that are on old Atari computers and it never really was a problem for me to do it. So I just kept doing it.
Steve - He's just too cheap to buy new stuff.
Jimmy - Yep. Funny thing is, I even use the laptop version, I got so advanced - I bought the laptop of the Atari which is the last thing they made before they went out of business and I keep them in a storage space and whenever they finally break down I just go to the storage space and pull out a new one... They're built like brick shithouses! I can throw them down the stairs!
Steve - You should actually, you know, build a shithouse out of them.
Jimmy - I like the chip in the Commodore 64, it actually has a ridiculous amount of bizarre sets of sounds in three little processors... it's noisy as hell and you get a buzz off it and everything but the sounds are real great.
Steve - There are also a whole bunch of things that people have modded, like old toys and stuff. You can find just about any old toy modded and they make some kind of sounds of music out of it.
Jimmy - Like the Gameboy Color that had a couple of music programs hidden in games that you could sort of fuck around with. I wrote a couple songs in that. I have a cartridge, it's a Nintendo cartridge, it goes into an old Nintendo system and has some MIDI cords coming out that you can use to access the sounds they use to old music for like Super Mario Bros. and Mega Man and all that kind of stuff.

Nice. So straying away from chiptunes, I noticed you guys have a lot of Johnen Vasquez artwork for the new album.
Jimmy- We hooked up with him a while ago because we've seen more of his t-shirts at our concerts more so than other band t-shirts and we knew his work from Invader Zim and Johnny The Homicidal Maniac... We just gave him some real simple guidelines like "we need a cover!" He came up with all these great pieces of art and then we sort of decided that we wanted to - see in this day and age with mp3s you have to make the record special. You have to give people a whole deluxe edition and a regular edition. So we made the deluxe edition all super-Johnen and went all out and it's got a little comic book in it, it's got his art all over the damn thing...

So in this day and age when music is easily pirated you're going for added value if you're getting a fan to commit to purchasing the CD.
Jimmy - I've been ripping records off forever and probably the last record I actually was intrigued to go buy was the Beck record with all the stickers and all the stuff in it that you could do with it. I would've never bought that record if somebody hadn't been like "oh man, it had all these stickers and it had this thing and this booklet and it folded out like this and the packaging was amazing!"

I think that's an interesting view since most artists piss and moan about "oh no, people are downloading our songs, how will we eat?"
Steve - We've coexisted with that for a long time now.
Jimmy - For 10 years. The industry's gotten worse, mp3s have gotten more accessible. That's just the way the industry is, you gotta' give 'em more, you gotta' give 'em the DVD or a figure or something. Just give 'em something!
Steve - Instead of moaning about it do something about it. It's entertainment.
Jimmy - Yeah, exactly, and we'd rather be entertainers and I want to be a song and dance man. I'm more about Sammy Davis Jr. I want to give you a show, a cool record, soup... glass eye... we're an odd band, a collective of weird, fruity art-fags, really.
Steve - That's been overlooked, somehow.
Jimmy - Yeah, somehow everybody's overlooked the fact that we're pretty artsy, and that's where we really come from anyway, we didn't really come into this going "I want to get a guitar and rock the world and be Eddie Van Halen." No. We came in to this from all different angles with tons of different ideas and movies in our heads and video games and comic books and all sorts of crazy stuff... being so unique, we've never had anybody over us going "push for a single, push for a single, push for a single." I think most people are not willing to go "hey I really like 99 Problems by Jay Z and I really like Bowling for Columbine, how can I mix those two into a song?" Most people who make a song are worried about if it will get played on the radio. We're free to write whatever the hell we want, you know?

So essentially you don't stress about writing a single because you've already built a huge fan base without the radio...
Jimmy - Very little radio, very little video, but we have a wonderful word of mouth that's allowed us to be as creative as we'd like to be, and I think even on the last record we addressed the issue that there's a lot of stuff that's orchestrated to be "crazy" and "in your face" and that's just the packaging that somebody wants you to buy because they know you'll rebel to it. I don't think anyone realizes that they're being fed bullshit, especially in rock. Rock is boring, the tracks are boring, the people are boring but they present it as, "It's real, man, it's from the heart." No! You're just as formulaic as Christina Aguilera. You guys are writing the same emo song over and over and over again.

Word's gotten out you guys have a pretty intense live set. Let's talk about some of the craziest moments that stick out in your minds.
Jimmy - Every time we do a show we do such a high energy and insane act 'cause we're pretty bored and we want to entertain ourselves. For one leg of a tour you're doing like 40 shows and you're standing there, who cares? I want to hang off a chandelier if I can or make Steve laugh or pull my pants down or have some fun and we're all doing our own thing and smashing into each other. And the kids are doing the same thing. They're coming in full mascot outfits and running around the pit and stuff so it's entertaining for us. It's kind of like some crazy, off kilter, Rocky Horror Picture Show and at the end of it, you see that every single day, that it's really the days that are very mundane that stick out...

So it's the more boring crowds that are the most memorable?
Jimmy - Yeah, the more boring and empty but then the thing is we'll go off if they're boring and we'll try to ...
Steve - Don't tell them that, then they'll be boring all the time.
Jimmy - (Laughs) Don't be boring, kids!

Who are some of the coolest bands you've toured with, and why? Some of the shittiest bands, and why?
Steve - You want to know the truth? This is going to sound really fucked up. Sort of the bigger the band, the cooler they are in a way.
Jimmy - I think because they have to be pretty professional at that level. Like you would expect them to be some sort of crazy diva thing, like, "I ordered this!" and "This is not rare!"
Steve - But they're not. The worst thing is local support.
Jimmy - They're playing locally, but they're partying like it's Rock Of Love.
Steve - What bothers me more than that is if you're naturally a fuckup, that's fine. But if you're going to come into it and think you're going to impress us by being annoying - it's our show. We're the ones who are supposed to be annoying. We earned that, fuckers. Don't try to come in and out-annoy us.
Jimmy - We're the most annoying people you're ever going to meet.

This band can be prone to run-ins with certain authority figures. I understand there was an incident in Detroit... Regale us with the tale.
Steve - You've got to use smaller words.
Jimmy - Yeah, don't give me this Ulysses shit!

Sorry man, having this big vocabulary, I use it to compensate for other things.
Jimmy - You're the writer, not us! We were in Detroit and... I guess the local governor was trying to do good by the Christian right and sent in a whole bunch of cops to watch everything. So, we did our normal act where I proceeded to pull my pants down and do a duet with my penis and kind of light my pubic hair on fire. So they were like, "Alright, get him!" Luckily, Kitty saw me, but they threw me in the back of a squad car. No one would've seen me if I hadn't just walked past Kitty off the stage. They just booked me and threw me in an overnight cell with no phone call, no nothing, and just kept me in there the whole weekend without anything. Before anybody could get any kind of lawyers or anything to me I had talked my way out of it. They were like, "Everybody was minors, that's a sex crime! We're going to charge you with a sex crime!" I was like, "What?! They were the ones throwing bottles and lit cigarettes, those 12-year olds." And I wasn't really doing anything, just singing and enjoying my own penis and so I actually met with the sex crimes lady and I talked my way out of it with my smooth charm and now she's my wife.
Steve - The best part of that was his zipper was broken and the cops were like, "Pull up your zipper, pull up your zipper!" And he couldn't.

AT A GLANCE...
+ Game Nerd
"I have every [game] system that ever came out. Most of it's in storage 'cause you can play it on a freakin' PSP if you get the right hack." - Jimmy

+ Comic Nerd
I've got a huge comic book collection, probably worth 40 grand if I ever wanted to sell it. I'm starting to sell my comic book collection and trying to buy the original pieces of art." - Jimmy

+ Art Nerd
Bass Player Lyn-Z is an aspiring visual artist, and is affiliated with HUNG, a traveling art exhibit focused on punk inspired photography and artwork.

+ Tour Injuries
Steve has a titanium hip from repeated wear and tear. "I always get stopped in airports, I always set off the metal detector." Steve laughs. Lyn-Z once suffered a deflated lung on tour. "It just happened, and it happened slow, when we were in the middle of a tour," Jimmy recalls. Steve adds, "I heard her in the morning... I thought someone had brought a seal onto the bus."

+ My Chemical Marriage
Sorry, underage girls. Lyn-Z of MSI is married to Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance. Oh well... You still have Jared Leto.

+ Jimmy's Old School Computer
Jimmy Urine composes all his music on an Atari Stacy, the first and only laptop Atari made before they stopped making computers. It was released in 1989, has a 20Mb hard drive and weighs 15 lbs.

MSI's new album IF available now!
Catch MSI at the Wiltern May 24th!
www.mindlessselfindulgence.com



++TOP

DJ Vice
Methodology For Body Rocking
Words by Kristie Bertucci 
photos by Karen Curley

You've got your drink of choice in hand, that cutie by the bar dancing with you and you're feeling damn good. Then, the DJ plays a song that makes you throw your hands in the air and jump around in excitement (careful not to spill the aforementioned drink). Just when that song ends, another body-shaking tune blasts your ears, and before you know it, you're dancing around as if in convulsions to the never-ending barrage of hits the DJ throws at you.

You've got your drink of choice in hand, that cutie by the bar dancing with you and you're feeling damn good. Then, the DJ plays a song that makes you throw your hands in the air and jump around in excitement (careful not to spill the aforementioned drink). Just when that song ends, another body-shaking tune blasts your ears, and before you know it, you're dancing around as if in convulsions to the never-ending barrage of hits the DJ throws at you. Chances are, you've probably experienced one of these out-of-body experiences as you grooved to the sounds of DJ Vice on one of your crazy trips to Sin City's Body English, Pure, Tao or LAX nightclubs or a typical Friday night at some of the hottest clubs in Southern California. Considered "the hottest nightclub DJ in the U.S.," DJ Vice has become a celebrity in his own right, helping take DJ culture to new heights. As a notable DJ to celebrities (He's DJ'd for Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan and performed with Busta Rhymes and Mariah Carey, just to name a few), Vice has built a reputation for rocking any club or party with his superb musical selection and impeccable turntablism skills. His DJ sets have even have choreographed lighting and backdrop images, entertaining the crowd similar to that of a concert.

Born and raised in LA, Vice became interested in DJ'ing after listening to mix shows on LA's legendary hip hop radio station of the '80s, KDAY (1580 AM). "I had no idea what the hell mixing was," he enthusiastically explains. "I just heard it on the radio and was like, 'How are they making two records go together?' Like, it made no sense to me. So, after being out and about when I was 11 or 12 and going to family parties, I finally saw what a DJ was." At 13, he got his first set of turntables and locked himself in his room for hours at a time, perfecting his mixing skills.

With more than 15 yeas of experience behind the turntables under his belt, Vice makes sure to always be in the know of the latest trends in music. "I make sure I'm ahead of the curve with what people are listening to and always researching and going through blogs to find the hottest music," he says. When he's not on the Internet, Vice still likes to go out and hear what other people are playing. "I travel non-stop and pretty much play five to six days a week, so I'm always out and about across the country, hearing different trends. From Los Angeles to Las Vegas, and Miami to New York, it's pretty hectic." And he literally means non-stop. He's lucky to spend one night a week in the comforts of his own bed, but since he's been doing if for so long, it doesn't fazehim anymore. "I always have that itch to go back out on the road," Vice explains with a laugh.

While he may be deprived of sleep (a minor downfall of being in such high demand), Vice isn't complaining about his career choice. "There is never a night when I don't want to DJ," he asserts. "On nights I'm not really feeling it, right when I get on the turntables, I immediately want to get the place cracking and get into it again. It never turns into a job." Actually, Vice doesn't exactly know what having a real 9-5 job feels like since he joined the Power 106 crew as a mixer in '97 only a year after graduating from high school. "I never really thought I'd make it big DJ'ing. After I got the job at Power, I was like, 'Wow! This is serious, and I can actually run with this.' I never thought this was going to be my job. I never really had to work a day in my life."

But things weren't always so easy for Vice. There was once a time when a crowd booed him after DJ'ing in front of 500 people for the first time. "I started playing a record and when it ended, I froze," he recalls. "After the crowd started yelling at me, I ducked under the turntables and hid. I was like, 'What the fuck do I do?' So, I reached up and started the song over again and jammed off stage... but I was like 14 at the time." Things have changed for Vice, who now brings in crowds on his presence alone.

Maybe it's because he's a DJ for the people. "I play songs based on what the crowd is feeling. I watch the dance floor and look for people's reactions," he explains. "If you ever see me DJ'ing, I look up a lot to scan the crowd; I feed off people's vibes." But, being a DJ, Vice likes to put some of his personal favorites into his sets, which include a lot of house and dance music - the latest trend in the club scene, he says. "Hip-hop has lost its edge. The house scene is merging with the hip-hop scene and it's cool to see because it gives more energy to a club."

Although DJ Vice is in his prime, he's also thinking long-term. "I always say there has to be a time to tap out," he confesses. "I'm always going to play because you can never take being a DJ out of a DJ. But, the natural progression for a DJ is being a producer, which I'll most likely do in the next five years." He's also looking to expand his notability overseas. "I want to travel internationally more and bring my music to people in different parts of the world." Vice has already played in Australia, Japan and many parts of Europe, but wants to make traveling outside the U.S. a regular stop in his already busy schedule.

Right now, Vice is perfectly content on helping push the DJ into the limelight. "It's finally our time to shine," he explains. "I think the craft was really never respected for what it was and now people are finally understanding that it's a serious thing. Clubs, promoters and media are finally realizing how much power we have over a nightclub and a dance floor. We're now more than just a guy standing behind the decks, playing records."

But don't think all the success has gotten to Vice's head. Despite partying with A-list celebrities at the hottest clubs in the country, he's still very modest about all his success. "I attribute my success to being humble and being appreciative of everything I get. I didn't start out to do it in the beginning. I just had fun with it and did my thing."

AT A GLANCE...
+ How did you get your name?
"I was 13 and had no idea how to come up with a name, so I went to the dictionary. I was flipping through it and came up on 'vice.' It meant a bad habit, and I knew that was what DJ'ing was turning into already for me."

+ Power in Numbers
DJ Vice is part of a DJ collective known as S.K.A.M. artists. Each Saturday a different S.K.A.M. artist DJ spins at the renowned Highlands Club in Hollywood.

+ Hottest chick celebrity you've met?
"Alyssa Milano."

+ Best place to DJ?
"Definitely Las Vegas because of how many people are really out there partying. Everybody is balls to the walls and goes out of control."

+ Favorite bar to hang out at when you're not DJ'ing?
"Noir in Las Vegas."

+ Favorite food?
"Pho...it's the new Starbucks. Get your Pho on!"

+ Greatest DJ of all time?
"Jazzy Jeff."

+ Cheesiest pick-up line a girl has tried on you at a club?
"Something along the lines of, 'I have something for you to spin later.'"

+ Favorite song to Play?
"'Peter Piper' by Run-DMC."

+ Song that you hate playing?
"will.i.am's 'I Got It From My Momma.'"

+ Are you one of those diva DJs?
"No, I don't go overboard. All I require is a bottle of Patron."

++TOP

TARA MOSS
From Glamour to Crime and the Eccentricities in Between
words by: Autumn Carter
photos courtesy of: Montana Lucas Allen and Giuliano Bekor

At first glance, you may just see a pretty face, but Tara Moss is much, much more than that. As a model she used her glamorous beauty to stun the world, but her aspirations went higher than appearing on world famous magazine covers. She quickly took the literary world by storm as she finally manifested her childhood dream of becoming an author. Moss, a talented crime writer, has become an international sensation with her best-selling novels Hit, Covet, Split and Fetish, which have been translated and published in 13 countries, earning her the title of "Australia's #1 Crime Writer." Not only does she write crime novels, she goes inside the lives that she fictionalizes by touring FBI centers, morgues, prisons, and earning a weapons license. She flaunts her risqué side in some of her more daring pictures: barely clothed with her pet pythons winding up her body. But whether she's posing for the camera or putting pen to paper, Moss is adamant about blazing new trails and making her name an international phenomenon.

You departed from a flourishing career as a model to become a successful author. Your career change is virtually unheard of. How did you go from modeling to an extremely successful writing career?
TM: Look at it the opposite way around. I wonder how a writer ever ended up working as a model. I loved writing ever since I was a young girl. But you don't always get encouraged to pursue the career in your heart. People were always coming up to me, especially when I was a teenager, six feet and skinny at the time, and saying "you should become a model." No one comes up to you and says "you look like you should become a writer." Despite all the fantastic opportunities to travel as a model you're putty in someone else's hands. You absolutely need to stick to your guns and do what is in your heart.

You are incredibly successful-a world-renowned model, goodwill ambassador, and now an international best-selling author. What are your future ambitions?
TM: I'd like to become a much better writer than I am now and have a more interesting writer's journey. I also want to continue to kick the boxes of really interesting experiences that I want to have in my lifetime. I just got my private investigator's license. I don't necessarily want to practice as a Private Investigator, but because I have a character in my books that does that I want to get as close to that as possible.

How was transitioning between your modeling and your writing career? It seems like you're really happy with it.
TM: Definitely. Absolutely. It's been very rewarding for me. I'm really lucky. If you become notable as a model, that's how people see you. It's not a particularly empowering occupation. I'm pleased not to have to rely on my appearance or the fickleness of fashion to pay my bills anymore. 

You go in depth for the research for your novels, including touring FBI centers, morgues, prisons and earning arms licenses. You are writing fiction. Why do you dedicate so much time to this research?
TM: My training as a writer has largely been part of research. I write a fictional style that is based on reality. To me, it's really important to have as much reality and authenticity as possible in my work.

What was your first experience as a writer?
TM: My first story was called Black and White Doom. I wrote it to amuse my friends when I was 10 years old. It was very Stephen King-esque. I can see the same sense of pace and the same sort of writer's voice, and I'm not sure you can teach that part. I like to read sections of that at very serious literary conferences.

You are always in the spotlight. Do you like all the attention? You must have a very outgoing personality.
TM: I'm actually an introvert. Most writers are introverts, but I have an extroverted side. I really find it invigorating to do public speaking and talk about life with people. But most of my days are actually spent in the lonely writer's life. I do really enjoy the experiences I have by getting out there and putting myself in the spotlight. It's an interesting balance. I try not to overdose on one or the other. I think if you just sit at a desk you become a bit nutty and your experiences of life are generally diminished.

You have diverse tastes in literature and you seem to have mastered the crime genre in your own writing. Do you have plans to branch into other genres in the future?
TM: I imagine I will branch out into other genres at some point in my life. I'm currently writing my fifth crime novel using the same main character, Makedde Vanderwall. I'm very focused on writing in the crime genre for my full-length novels.

What kind of books do you read in your spare time?
TM: Textbooks, nonfiction on everything from mental disorders to the history of French theater. I'm a consumer of the written word. I guess my desert island book would be Roald Dahl's collection, it's pretty incredible.

What is your advice for someone starting out as a writer?
TM: Write. It's that simple. Don't over analyze it. Don't procrastinate.

What did you enjoy about modeling and what didn't you like?
TM: I really enjoy photography. I like the visual arts, so yeah, I really enjoy photography and being a part of a beautiful picture. I did not enjoy not having any control over how I was presented. You're selling a product, and that has nothing to do with who you are. You become a representative of a brand and not yourself.

Do you see yourself having something of a "bad girl" image? I mean, you have snakes and motorcycles...
TM: Yeah... I have to say, I love my motorbike. I also really enjoy my snakes. I love serpents, motorbikes, tattoos...

You seem very socially minded. Tell me about some of your community service work.
TM: I've become a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, which is an honor. I'm also an ambassador for WYCA, and involved in the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. I think what they do is incredible. It just seems like a natural part of one's life to be involved in community. I've always been involved in some way. There's a different type of impact I can give by having some public profile. I can see how my involvement can help. I'm not actually a rich person. I can't open a hospital and fund that, but I can host an event to raise the money to do that. It's really rewarding to be around people who do that a lot.

What do you do for fun?
TM: Everything. I ride my motorbike for fun. I read for fun.

Is there anyone famous that you would like to meet?
TM: I'd be honored to meet Stephen King, I've been a fan since I was a child. Also, Germaine Greer, a well-known Australian writer, and Al Gore.

Who is your personal hero?
TM: My mom. She unfortunately passed away from cancer when I was in my early teens. She was a great mother. She was strong and had a lot of creative passion.

For those getting to know you in the United States, who is Tara Moss? How would you define yourself in a few words?
TM: I'm a process of evolution. Crime writer, adventurer, forensic tourist.

AT A GLANCE...
+ Pet Peeve: "People who criticize success."

+ Worst Fear: "Letting my fears stop me from doing something."

+ Guilty Pleasure: "Chocolate, trashy movies, beautiful looking men (and I'm not planning on giving these up!)"

+ Favorite Food: "Chocolate."

+ Strange Collection: "Female action figures."

+ Hobby: Herpetology (Breeding and handling reptiles – specifically snakes)

+ Most Embarassing Moment: "At nine years old I got a new swimsuit and it fell off in the pool."

Be on the look out for Tara Moss' fifth novel, Siren, due out late '08 or early '09.

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ASHES DIVIDE
Billy Howerdel Thinks Outside the Circle
words by: Ellen Rumple
photos courtesy of: Island Def Jam

Spawned from the mind of A Perfect Circle gitarist and founder Billy Howerdel, Ashes Divide rehearses and prepares for their upcoming tour with Linkin Park and The Bravery in this summer's Projekt Revolution, while a reserved Howerdel speaks calmly through the phone. Every moment not preparing for the tour is spent promoting Ashes Divide's debut album Keep Telling Myself It's Alright.

Billy Howerdel is a laid back individual whose one and only passion is writing and performing music. He is a New Jersey born, self taught musician, who started out doing theatrical stage lighting. Before performing with A Perfect Circle, Howerdel was a guitar technician for musical inspirations David Bowie, Guns N' Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins and Tool. Howerdel had been writing music since touring with David Bowie, but knew that his music needed more time to mature before he was going to reveal it to the world. Through chance and opportunity he met lifelong friend and vocal legend, Maynard James Keenan (of Tool and A Perfect Circle band mate) and the rest is history.

The inception of Ashes Divide came about after A Perfect Circle's tour had come to a close. Once Keenan went off to work with Tool, Howerdel saw this as a perfect opportunity to start a new musical project. "I had been thinking about this for a while, the timing was right and I wanted to stay prolific," said Howerdel The artwork on the album has pencil drawings all around to represent what the music is about. Originally the album was suppose to have an oil painting on the front and pencil drawings inside but because of time Howerdel decided to just have all the drawings in pencil. As a result, the end product came out better than he had anticipated. Howerdel made sure to work first hand with the artist Kevin Llewellyn by giving him a line from each song and allowing Llewellyn the chance to convey the sentiment of that song through a picture. "The artwork can be powerful enough that everyone can have their own interpretation of it", commented Howerdel.

With Songs like "Stripped Away" and "Ritual" Howerdel said, "it is loosely based on any real character that I know." A lot of the songs on the album are skewed versions of real emotions and real stories that he experienced in his life. So no one can say that the song directly relates to one person but that Howerdel was more concerned with the sentiment of the song when he was writing it rather than who the song was about. However, his favorite song on the album and one that he feels defines the band's sound is 'Sword.' It is a musical description of where I wanted to go with the album." Howerdel is aware that inevitably there will be comparisons between A Perfect Circle and Ashes Divide, but isn't worried about it. He has no intention of trying to convert APC fans to the new project. He knows what is being said through reviews but ultimately loves making music. "I'm trying to make music I believe in. I make music that comes from the heart and whoever latches on, latches on."

When Howerdel is not working on the album he is occupied with touring. He wouldn't reveal anything about the Projekt Revolution Tour but he did say this was his first time touring with Linkin Park, "When I was asked I didn't even have a touring band." He states. "I was trying to put together what I thought was the right set of people for my band, but I didn't just want people from my close circle of acquaintances - I was looking outside of that and trying to get some fresh faces." The sudden launch into a lineup of bands as big as the main attractions of Project Revolution brings lots of promise for the fledgling music project. What does the future hold for this bold, up-and-coming artist? Howerdel asserts, "I don't know what I would be doing if I wasn't performing, I know I will have to think of something else to do someday, but right now all I can think about is music."

AT A GLANCE...
+ When on the road Howerdel doesn't really like to scarf down fast food, but he does enjoy eating healthy, like drinking tea and eating peanut butter and jelly.

+ When he is staying put in LA he can often be seen taking food to go from the local Café, "It's my healthy fast food kick."

+ Howerdel also happens to own a "Hank Hill" special grill where he likes to cook Italian, Indian and Japanese food (Japanese is his favorite).

+ Another hobby that he got into a couple years back is photography. "I am the guy who always has the camera, I am like the annoying mother. I carry it wherever I go," said Howerdel.

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2001: An Energy Odyssey
What's So Wrong About Deregulation... Gone Wrong ?
words by: Bobby D. Lux

Ah, the '90s... A simpler time. Pearl Jam was at the top of the charts, those kooky kids from Beverly Hills 90210 were learning their life's lessons every Thursday night, the press was wrapped around Presidential fellatio, and deregulation was all the rage. "Deregulation... that's a term I hear all the time on the news, but what does it mean, and what's the brief history of it in the United States?" I'm glad you asked.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the American government began to regulate several industries such as energy, water, communications and other public infrastructures to allow private corporations a foothold to grow, and, in many cases, become monopolies as they were providing a public service. Still there was another justification for regulation at that time: those damn robber barons, those who were viewed to abuse their monopolies (most notably in the railroad industry) for profit and influence. Whether or not there was any relation to Dick Cheney is still anyone's guess.

Nevertheless, back to the '90s. The notion of deregulation had been growing in support since the 1970s, influenced by independent research in addition to the ideas of noted economists (all with excellent names) Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, and Ludwig von Mises. In 1996, California Republican Governor, Pete Wilson, began to deregulate the energy industry. The bill to cause deregulation was authored by Democratic State Senator, Steve Peace, who chaired the energy committee, and is often called, "the father of deregulation."

In an ominous and buck passing statement, Wilson later said that problems created by deregulation would need to be addressed by "the next governor." Gray Davis would later be recalled by the voters and replaced with The Terminator, thanks in no small part, to the energy fiasco. The bill called for Investor Owned Utilities, IOUs, which included Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric (which covered the northern part of the state), to sell a portion of their power generation to private, unregulated companies like AES, Reliant, and Enron (ring a bell, anyone?). The IOUs would then have to buy energy from the private companies to provide for the public.

The intended affect of deregulation was, according the San Francisco Gate, "a brand new day in which utility companies' long-standing monopoly would be broken and rates would decline by as much as 25 percent. Instead, when it is over, it may cost customers of the state's investor-owned utilities $40 billion, perhaps more. In the coming year [2001], it could harm the world's sixth-largest economy and send a ripple effect throughout the globe for those dependent on California's continued prosperity."

So, What Happened? According to President George W. Bush, in a January 2001 interview with The New York Times, the answer was simple. "The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants." That's a lot of power for one sentence, but that's a lot of wrong too. Quite simply, the California Energy Crisis was deregulation gone bad.

In places throughout the state, people saw their utility bills skyrocket overnight, in many cases jumping as much as 500%. However, this wasn't the case across the entire state. Cities like Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Silicon Valley were immune because those areas didn't privatize their energy and thus, weren't subject to deregulation. "Isn't it interesting," said Jello Biafra on his spoken word album, Machine Gun in The Clown's Hand on the topic of energy deregulation, "that for a lot of these corporate people, money does to them what crack does to other people? ...Instead of robbing a liquor store, they have to rob EVERYBODY!"

When the out-of-state private companies bought up the power generating facilities of the regulated energy companies, they decided that price gauging was the five-dollar phrase for the day. They figured why not sell the energy back to Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric for the going rate when they can hike up the prices as high as they wanted. Duke Energy, based out of North Carolina, hiked prices as high as $3,800 per kilowatt-hour when the hypothetical threshold during peak seasons was $273 per kilowatt-hour. This type of price gauging by unregulated private corporations forced Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison billions of dollars into debt. Of course, with those numbers, they just had to pass those kinds of savings on to the customer.

With the debt and inability to buy energy from the out-of-state corporations, next came the dreaded rolling blackouts, leaving millions
of people across the state with no energy, and in essence gave the utility companies the leverage they needed to make their next move. The struggling utilities sought help from then California Democratic Governor, Gray Davis, who gladly signed a bill to hand to the two companies over $23 billion of taxpayers' money, and also locked them into long-term agreements to purchase energy from the price gauging companies at still higher rates than anywhere else in the country. Not only did the public pay for the consequences of deregulation every month on a huffed up utility bill, but they also paid to bail out the companies that ripped them off.

It's also important to note that the two companies buffered themselves against the debt they'd amassed and were bailed out from on top of this. Because of deregulation, Pacific Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison were able to split up their companies and set up into smaller corporations like Southern California Edison Company and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. This way, the companies that were technically in debt were the smaller corporate offshoots. At the time of the bailout, according to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Pacific Gas and Electric Corporate had $34 billion in assets across the nation that could've paid off the debt. But, why spend that money when you can threaten the Governor with blackouts and get the money from the taxpayers?

Oh, and by the way, we're still paying for it. As pointed out in the February 28, 2008 LA Times, there are still multiple charges on SCE and PG&E bills to help pay for the bailout, like the "Competition Transition Charge," which will snuggle up on electric bills until 2028. In the meantime, talks of deregulation are stirring up. This time, we're assured that they'll get it right...

That's a scam even the mafia can admire. There never was an energy shortage. It was as real as the tooth fairy. So, why does this matter years later? Why the lecture on deregulation gone wrong? Let me ask you a few questions, and I'll just leave it to you. Have you heard those rumors about a gas shortage? How much did it cost you to fill up your car this week?

Sources:
PBS - Frontline
campusprogress.org
ucan.org
San Francisco Gate
San Francisco Bay Guardian
New York Times
Los Angeles Times
Jello Biafra, Machine Gun in the Clown's Hand 2002

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