I have the honor of appearing in the new ArtSync magazine and had the honor of being interviewed by christine clemmons… I’m still not sure how she got me to do the interview as I pass them up quite frequently. I’m also not sure how she got me to open up like I did, but she did and I did.
I really like the interview/story because it tries to encompass more than just one aspect of what I do or have done…. most stories/interviews focus on one thing, like serial killers or satanism or some singular event or moment… this piece deals with me, as a person and not a product.
there are many reason I’m proud to be a part of this project… the main reason is that it is a selfless project that seems to be as much an artistic endeavor as it is a art magazine. today, publishing and producing a magazine is a labor of love and it shows with this issue and this publisher.
I hope you’ll check out the interview and the entire magazine and the back issues and spread it far and wide… this is a magazine for the artist, the world of art and the entire world… so pass it around… it is after all… FREE!!!
go to the website and click on the cover of issue 5 to read on-line or click the PDF link to download or visit the site next week for the print on-demand option.
artsync magazine: http://artsyncmag.com/
direct link to download the PDF version of artsync: http://artsyncmag.com/pages/5_web_artsync_sm.pdf
artsync on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/artsyncmagazine
Shane Bugbee – The World’s Biggest Troublemaker
interview by Christine Clemmons
Shane Bugbee, where do I begin? For starters he’s an artist, writer, radio host, publisher, filmmaker and promoter. There’s not a whole lot he hasn’t had his hands in — mixing it up with his special blend of rarity, his pot is always full of yummy surprises. He’s shocking at times, but the truth can do that to the masses. His outlook on life is refreshing, although it shouldn’t be. I mean, it is what it is, but most of us are to busy running around slapping labels on things, while he’s removing them and exposing what was already there in plain sight — the truth.
Shouldn’t that be the norm? I’m not saying I agree with everything Mr. Bugbee believes in, but that’s the beauty of it, I don’t have too. In fact, he spends a lot of time fighting for that very cause, so that you and I can openly express what we believe in. Shane is very familiar with the term “shut it down.” I think he’s come to expect it at every corner. The freedom to believe in, and create what you want without censorship, pretty much sums up his thought process.
As a publisher myself, I’ve had some real lows in this business. There’s always a few that expect you to do and do without considering the full plate you already have in front of you. Instead of helping, they’re much more comfortable with doing nothing…except exercising their pointer finger. Ha! Shane understands this all too well. I mean, if anyone knows the down and dirty aspects to this business, it’s Mr. Bugbee. He’s published over fifty zines and books combined. He’s been on various talk shows, including Jerry Springer, Nancy Grace, and even appeared on an E! True Hollywood Story segment. He’s worked with the likes of Mike Diana, Dana Plato, and has been profiled in several publications including Spin Magazine. Not to mention his interview by the great George Petros (ArtSync Editor) featured in Art That Kills. Oh, and of course there are the numerous events he and his wife, Amy, have founded, promoted and made happen. Wait! There’s also the blueberry soda pop, Ely Soda! Yum! Sometimes the doers of the world are in the backdrop never getting credit, and thought of as troublemakers. Yeah, that’s Shane, he’s a real trouble maker that one. Always watching out for fellow artists and reminding us of our basic human rights. A troublemaker who spends many hours a day researching and educating the world on environmental issues, among many other important topics of interest.
So kick back and pop some corn, because this is an X rated interview that will have you wishing you had a bar of soap and Mr. Bugbee’s mouth at hand, or maybe, if you can see past the foul language, it will inspire you. And yes, those last few lines are the disclaimer for this interview. How can I censor the man who fights everyday to protect the freedom of speech and expression? Well, I could, but I don’t wanna.
ArtSync: You’ve had a huge impact over the years on censorship. What was your first encounter regarding media and galleries – censorship in the public forum?
Bugbee: The first, as special as it is, isn’t really what’s so shocking. The shocking thing about being harassed for expressing one’s self, sometimes crossing over into censorship, is that it never ends…at least for me it hasn’t. The first time a printer ripped my paste ups — original boards. (I was publishing before PDF’s and the entire digital age, so give me a fuckin break.) The funniest, was having to sign a paper with the city of Hammond, stating I wouldn’t dress as, or represent Satan at an event my wife and I were promoting. The event revolved around a local author, Jean Shepherd and his film, A Christmas Story. I remember that it was the early harassment that built the rage that fueled my publishing career. Yep, it was the early ass-hats that fucked with me and made the Mike Diana books possible, and eventually made me a magnet for the books/zines others wouldn’t dare to print or promote…and I loved it — rubbing their faces in it — publishing the worst of the worst. And if I have the chance, I’d do it again — publish material that fools and folk might want to kill or censor.
ArtSync: How about that Mike Diana? This was a bold move for you. The way I see it, you made a choice, and one that would be frowned upon no matter how you angled it to the media. Did you have to think about it, or was it instant?
Bugbee: I’d like to think, I THINK about everything I do, even if it’s a gut reaction. With Mike Diana, it was instant and organic. I was angry when Mike told me he was going to take some time and ultimately quit doing what he did to get away from the heat. I just thought it was my obligation. [Laughs] For instance, I played peewee football, so I saw it as me picking up the censored ball and running with it, and when they tackled me, I’d toss the ball to someone like you, and you’d run with it. It was instant in a reactionary way, but at the same time, it was well thought out. I didn’t like the fact that he was being picked on for expressing himself, and understood if they hurt him, they’d hurt me. I saw it as an attack on me, and everything I held dear. Freedom of expression is worth dying for, so what the fuck, why not publish an obscene book or 10?
ArtSync: We all have people who have influenced us throughout our lives. Can you give us a bit of background on some of the people you’ve influenced? I’d also like to know some of the people who have inspired you. I mean seriously Shane; you’re a bit of a legend. Tell us how you’ve obtained some of this knowledge and then how you recycle it.
Bugbee: Yeow! I’m not sure I want to admit to any influence. That might be very incriminating. I wonder who even knows who truly influences them. Influence can spread so quickly and credit usually goes to the ones with money, the ones who exploit the idea/action, and the ones that admit it, how honest is it when spoken to your face? For all I know, the guy or gal who tells me I’ve influenced them could be looking for some sort of handout/attention/affection. I understand influence, and I try to influence those who might be listening to stand up, stand out and fight for the things you can’t hold your tongue about. I’m all about influence over affluence. At a young age I understood I’d never have extreme wealth, power or fame, but I could and would have influence. As far as revolution goes, influence is really all you have. Bullets/violence only goes so far and the intent is lost, and most of the time perverted. I feel true influence is forever and it grows because it’s alive. That’s right, influence is alive and it thrives on desire. The D.J. Steve Dahl has always been a huge influence on me. I’d listen to him day in and day out. I definitely used him as a parental replacement. He’s a very honest communicator, and his honesty influenced me to speak my mind. Steve Dahl is the DJ that Howard Stern ripped off, and a perfect example of what I’m talking about when I say, the ones who get the credit are the ones with the cash and/or resources. My wife has been a huge influence. Without her love, her understanding and strength, I’m not sure if I would have evolved the way I have. I fear I might have gone the way of the convict and I’m not saying that for some pussy, or to give my Amy a handout, I mean it. Her father was a fireman and her mother a librarian, so she helped me understand what I was doing wasn’t BAD. Amy encourages me in most everything I do. Funny when you ask about influence — I remember reading Seconds Magazine. It had a huge impact on me, and the way I did/do interviews and publish. And that was in some way connected to your father, George Petros. I find out he’s your father after meeting you, and being affected by your influence, your energy, your determination…so, talk about the wild world of influence. To pinpoint my influence is hard…early on it’s really hate-filled. Today I’m more focused on me, and what I make, and interpreting the visions I have. One thing’s for sure, for me, influence doesn’t stop and I hope it never does. I can’t imagine it ever could, I can’t imagine a life without it, without being constantly amazed and excited about the future.
ArtSync: Your creations are beautiful! I’ve never seen anything quite like them. I really appreciate inventors/artists that reuse materials. We can find bones and other things that you’ve recycled in your pieces. Share this process with us, not how you make it, but why.
Bugbee: Why…funny you ask that. After I was run out of town on a rail, I went on a year long road trip to work things out. (ayearatthewheel.com) Once off the road and after a push from Dave Archer (the artist who was schooling me at the time), I started sculpting. I continued sculpting because I no longer wanted to do or say anything that might get me run out of another town. I no longer wanted to speak out — only act out thru the art I was now making. I found out it was better to quit trying to be understood rather than quit trying to understand, which is what I do when I speak out — I want to understand and be understood all at once. After I made my first 10 pieces they were misunderstood and just as shocking, if not more shocking to others…so I gave up trying to be understood. All I can do is be me.
ArtSync: Do you experience bouts of depression and anxiety? How do you handle it — keep it calm?
Bugbee: Depression, anxiety, anger, angst, rage – yes! Yes! Yes!!!! And it’s worse when I’m not making stuff. So there you go. I create, and therefore I calm my hate. I always thought that if my father was creative with art, he wouldn’t have had to be so creative with the belt and beatings. Creating helps me commune with my angry/depressed/confused self. Creating is how I see deep…it’s my ritual, my magic.
ArtSync: How about your early years at home? Describe to our readers the years that impacted you the most when it came to your family and how it affected your personal choices.
Bugbee: Hmmm…that’s a hard one…so many things and events shape who and what you are. My parents were ignorant, abusive fuck-tards, so there’s that. I’m a product of the early suburbs, so I watched farmers get displaced and farms burned/torn down only to build up a bunch of box-like homes that looked the same. I recall going around town spray-painting lyrics from the RUSH song Subdivisions. I spent my summers at the family funeral home, helping my Uncle Jim pick up bodies and set up flowers. That definitely affected me. I remember poking my finger at a dead guy’s cheek while he laid in his coffin. The make-up my uncle used to cover up the cancer sores crumbled. I freaked out — jumped 10 feet in the air and ran. The divorce that took my parents years to get, years of constant abuse, being forced into Catholic school (as one of the punishments, the school made me kneel on dried beans in a corner), and eventually being kicked out of Catholic school for acting out is a start. Also, my best pal catching me whacking off and telling the entire school, and because of that, I lost the girl… never getting the girl — always being that close and never getting the girl, until that is, I started following my heart, my path. Once I started doing what I needed and wanted, it seemed the girls eventually came along. So getting the girl was a distant goal — love, affection and the lack of love and affection, and the need for love and affection…I would say all of the above was a maximum impact on my life.
ArtSync: I know I might regret this from the stance of a publisher, but from an editor’s viewpoint, I’d like to hear your thoughts on Satanism. Most people hear this word and it’s all they can do not to revert into themselves, hiding from whatever content may follow. I get that you’re an Atheist, but you do hang with a certain crown…right? There are questions. Is there a nutshell version you can crack for us?
Bugbee: The S word…. yeow! The S word got me run out of town, the S word ain’t nothing to clown around with, and that’s for sure. For me, SATAN is a word, that’s it. Satanism to me is a philosophy more than a ‘religion’. I’ve always looked at it, the Church of Satan, as a political and artistic movement along the same lines as the American Indian Movement, the Black Panthers or the Yippies…all of whom played out their politics on the world stage…The Theater of the Absurd and LaVey was part of that, and it seems he picked one hell of a subject, pun intended. Religion is a subject most won’t touch, won’t talk about and as you allude to…they run for cover. I’d say Satanism is great for the young atheist and truth seeker. It’s a great start, but not the be all end all. Satanism is a logic based philosophy, and the Satanic Bible is one of the greatest self-help books. The ones who run from it or shun it, show their ignorance and unwillingness at the very least to understand their enemy. What kind of spiritual warrior are you if you don’t understand your enemy? Let me tell you…you’re the past, you’re obsolete and no longer needed….in order to evolve as a species, we must call these weak willed socalled spiritual warriors out for being nothing more than car salesmen, and manipulators creating more and more weak sheep that suck down our resources and create nothing more than a grease mark. I’m not an enemy of folks on a spiritual journey or who consider them self spiritual. The only belief system I’ve found that seems ok is Buddhism, and a lot of what I understand about the Native American spiritual beliefs.
ArtSync: You’re a fellow publisher. It’s been nice having someone who relates outside of the ArtSync team. I want all your fabulous secrets! Cough them up! At least two!
Bugbee: Never give credit. Never give in. Give them double the rope to hang themselves with later, for when they do let you down, and they will. Always place a value on your time and space and no matter who, always let them know the value. Never let them guilt you, understand your intent and move forward. Once you hear from the wanna-bees about how you don’t pay the writers, move along and move without them, they’ll never understand that publishing, especially today, is a labor of love, and they’ll never have the work ethic to do anything more than complain anyway. So fuck them. And never cave in to advertisers, it’s a sure way to be forgotten, lose readership and go out of print.
ArtSync: Wow, that’s some pretty deep and honest advice. Thank you! Ok. Let’s get dirty. You are what you are. If I were to sum you up, and I kinda am, I’d say you’re a pretty down to earth guy. I’d say that you call it how you see it. You seem pretty fearless to me. Where does this come from, and how has this attitude affected you in the negative?
Bugbee: Come from? Hmmm. I don’t know. I’ve never deviated from my path and have never felt anything but an extreme desire to follow that path. How does it affect me in the negative? In many ways — from purposeful hair and spit in my food…to landlords, cops and teachers bullying me. They try to affect me and they do at times, but it’s seldom and short lived. The further along the path I go, the harder it is for me to be derailed, or be affected by the do-nothings and haters, but in general it has brought nothing but awesomeness to my life… really. I live a life I could have never imagined in a million years, and I believe it’s only because I follow my path and will destroy those who try to get in my way. So really, all negative turns to influence, or stokes the fire of determination and therefore it is positive.
ArtSync: Tell us about your radio program and why we should listen.
Bugbee: To me, it’s no different than anything else I do, whether its sculpture or filmmaking, it’s all about expression and understanding. I’ve done various radio type shows. I did the first 24 hour internet broadcast. It’s all about understanding — me trying to understand those I have on, and thru that trying to understand me and hopefully growing as an individual. It’s really all about me and I’m not sure who would be into listening to that…except for me that is. I’m not sure I’m comfortable asking anyone to listen. It’s all talk and its all mania, meaning it’s all over the place…like any conversation that goes down in my presence. I do this show for me to document things I think should be recorded…it’s long form and isn’t set to today’s attention span.
ArtSync: Ok. Stripping away all the censorship and bullshit for a moment, can we focus on bright, happy and cheery things that give us all the comfort of sleeping easy? In your perfect world (not to assume it’s anything but perfect for you), what are the things that make you happy, besides yummy food?
Bugbee: Well, everything in my life…IS my life, and I look at it all as the same thing. Without the censorship and struggle I wouldn’t have a fight to fight or the accomplishments or this interview, plus that attention/affection makes me happy. I love everything I do, and again, without the angst, what would fuel my art? What would creation be without the struggle to understand? Yeah, I love the life I have. Sex makes me happy. My friendship with my dog makes me happy. The beach makes me happy and so does ice cream. I like to ride my bike, and a great conversation is rare and, so I’m madly in love with a great conversationalist. In general I love making stuff and talking and sometimes listening, and we do an anti-art camp each year. We invite great conversationalists/artists and we hang, talk and make shit for a week or two. That I love, and hope never ends.
ArtSync: Look, its great when likeminded people connect, even if it’s only in one form. What‘s your list, you know, your internal spec sheet for relating to other humans?
Bugbee: As far as human beings go, I can’t seem to find too many I dig. Like 10 years ago I’d make sure to ask if a new maybe-pal liked Seinfeld or the Simpsons, if they said no, I knew I wouldn’t like them. Today I don’t watch too much TV. I try and stick to the creative class, the artists, the inventors…I shun the ruling class. The creative class will always trump the ruling class.
ArtSync: From one publisher to another, in the world of art, how do we co-exist between the dark and light? Is it possible to have all of these things in our publication and keep everyone happy?
Bugbee: The world of art could care less about yours or any other belief system, they only care about quality and technique, and then once in a while something in the art world will catch the eye of the populous/mainstream and will be torn apart, bastardized, exploited or censored, and you as a publisher — it’s your responsibility to lay it all out for the reader to decide. Who cares if they’re upset? Maybe they should be. Maybe that will inspire them to create the change they want because you certainly can’t create change if you don’t understand what’s going on around you. And for me, I learn so much more when I’m forced to confront subjects that are out of my focus or understanding.
Keep up with Shane at: shanebugbee.com •