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The Peace & Freedom Magazine Geoff Wall Interview
Geoff Wall of Stick it in Your Ear magazine interview by Gypsy. Originally appeared in the Volume 7, Number 1, Spring 1991 issue of Peace & Freedom magazine.
Geoff, SIIYE has been going a few years now, can you tell me exactly how you came up with the name?
SIIYE began in mid-1980, when I broke my leg. During my convalescence, I started to collate and review many independently released DIY cassettes. The first issue appeared in January 1981 and contained reviews of over 70 tapes that came from most parts of the U.K. Word of a new magazine totally devoted to this work soon got around. I printed 500 copies and sold most via London outlets like Rough Trade and Better Badges. It proved a success, with tapes arriving from all over the world. I started exchanging a back issue for each tape sent, which continues today. As for the name... it came during a moment of drunken inspiration.
How has SIIYE changed from the first issue?
The biggest change has been moving from quarterly to bi-monthly. Back in 1987, it became monthly for 6 issues. It's basically the same in ideals - to be supportive of an alternative, cheap method of musical communication; expose the infamous "Home Taping Kills Music" claim; to be more of a directory to the delights of DIY worldwide. The single most difference between 1989 and 1981 is that we now devote articles to individuals, bands, or labels that we consider important.
There must be a lot of work involved with the preparation of each issue, so this is a labour of love, or why burden yourself with the work?
Certainly, the whole project is a labour of love, and there are times when it takes over your lifestyle, but the musical delights that pop through the letterbox never fail to rekindle my enthusiasm. I could not imagine life without it! Also, the element of friendship plays a very important part in my attitude towards the magazine. Over the years, I have struck up many friendships worldwide. I suppose the tape world is a giant pen pal club.
Over the years, you must have come across some very obscure music - is there anything that has left its mark, or something you still dig out and listen to now?
Most things received have left their mark! the variety has been staggering. My five-year-old daughter is beginning to discover many for herself, and in the process is re-exposing them to me.
You must have a vast amount of tapes. What do you do with the tapes sent in - let's say ones you don't enjoy yourself?
The SIIYE tape archive has thousands of DIY tapes within it. Everything has been kept. We guarantee to include every tape that is sent. I will, probably, eventually, donate the entire collection to the National Sound Archives in London, together with all the correspondence and literature.
How about recording music yourself - are there any projects you are working on?
As an extension to SIIYE, we started SIIYE Tapes, which was devoted to Southampton music. In eight years we have released forty cassettes, featuring jazz, rock, pop, reggae, folk, blues, dub, etc. With the birth of my daughter, SIIYE Tapes have tended to take a back seat, lately, but everything is still available.
From all the tapes you get to hear, have you any recent favourites?
Probably the most consistent must be Martin Newell & the Cleaners from Venus. Also, the Color Tapes of Gary Gipps are exceptional.
How many other people are involved with SIIYE?
With the establishment of SIIYE Tapes, more people contributed reviews and articles. At present, seven of us produce the magazines. If you include the distributors around Europe, then there are a lot more.