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Five questions

Five Questions with Chris Clavin

Chris Clavin has worn many hats in the DIY arena, and many of his efforts have been huge inspirations for this site and many other more large scale DIY projects that I’ve been involved with recently. I could say a lot about him, but we’ll just let him speak for himself while answering our five questions…

1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Chris Clavin. I run a record label called plan-it-x records. I’ve released 101 records/tapes/CDs by various punk and folk-punk bands and a few other types as well. I play in some bands: Ghost Mice, Inky Skulls and Tooth Soop. I’ve been involved in DIY PUNK since 1993.

2. What does DIY mean to you?
Well, everyone has their own opinion about this and no one is right or wrong. all i can tell you is what i think. i would say DIY means (to me), being socially and politically aware. DIY means not dealing with larger businesses. DIY means not having a booking agent. DIY means not playing shows that cost more than 5$ at the door unless there are 6+ touring bands or something and not playing 21+ shows or clear channel venues or even venues that have bad politics, like shitty clubs that let racist bands play etc. i would say DIY still retains a little of the core meaning. such as, making your own records, shirts and patches. DIY means not being afraid to take chances and go on tour to lands unknown with no money and no idea of what is out there. DIY means not having $30 hooded sweatshirts. DIY means inviting kids to stay at your house and cooking them food and having the same thing done for you when you get to their town. i would like to think that most people who call themselves DIY believe the things i do. i doubt it. the term is used too widely and by anyone with a fucking myspace account. i would like to think all DIY punks have an interest in making the world a better place. community building is the key. it’s not the punks vs. the people. it’s the poor people and the oppressed peoples, the animals and women and minorities and “weirdos”, “crazies”, and “criminals” vs. the powerful and rich 5% of people the rule the world with greedy intent.

3. Why should people choose the DIY method?
Because no one should have a manager, someone who takes a profit from their creativity. It’s also really fun to learn how to do things.

4. What do you want to get off of your chest right now?
I hate plastic. Plastic is ruining the world. Recycling is a lie and we all know that. Don’t try to feel better because you throw your plastic bottle into a recycle bin, even if it does get recycled, the energy it takes to do it is worse than making a NEW bottle. The world is getting fucked over because we want the ease of a plastic bottle that we don’t have to wash or worry about. Look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch

5. Are there any people, places or ideas that you think folks should know about?
There are so many, It’s really hard to think of one to suggest. I’m a big supporter of the pages to prisoners groups, also known as books through bars. It’s a group that sends books to prisoners, so that they have access to education and just general entertainment. I think it’s great. I don’t think years of isolation and boredom will teach prisoners to be better people and I don’t think some kid in prison for 2-5 years for selling weed should be treated like an animal. Check out my local chapter: http://pagestoprisoners.org/

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