For more by Olivia C. Tonin, click here.
The Write With Me Project is a sort of homage to the Choose-Your-Own-Adventures of the 1990's. In Andrew Hsu's words, the project "hearkens back to the days of the early 90s with our favorite genre of story as children at the time, the select-a-quest novel."
So far, the genre has been set to Science Fiction - but the story has only yet begun. Give the Project a visit and try your hand at playing fate (by trying to kill the protagonists in a swift and/or gruesome demise).
Over the weekend, we were given the privilege to chat with Pat The Bunny - former ringleader of do-it-yourself punk bands Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains and Wingnut Dishwashers Union. Although, the days of Johnny Hobo are over; He's recently come clean, completing a year long rehab stay. His new music project is a band under the name Ramshackle Glory, who are about to embark on a ever-growing summer tour.
Where did you grow up? How was your childhood?
Pat: I grew up in Vermont. My childhood was good. My parents are nice people. I really had a hard time with school. The school I went to was probably among the least coercive ones I could have gone to, but any school probably would have set me off. Anyway, I was really angry from about kindergarten until about a year and a half ago.
How did you get into making music? What was your first band?
What was the first show that you played?
What's your favorite show or experience that you've had playing thus far? Worst?
Any insights into your process of making songs? Any advice for growing musicians?
How was rehab? What led to your addiction?
Pat: There isn't a genetic component, environmental factor, or event that "leads to" addiction, unless you want to speak so literally as to be somewhat absurd (e.g. "using heroin constantly led to my addiction"). The previous causes are very mysterious. People from all possible backgrounds, with all kinds of life experiences develop addiction. There was no extraordinary trauma for me growing up, beyond stuff everyone goes through to varying degrees at one time or another: getting told what to do and not liking it, feeling like I didn't fit in with people, etc.
To get an idea of what this question is like from my perspective, how would a non-addict answer if I asked them: "What led to your lack of addiction? What caused you to get through life without shooting dope?" That's as strange to me as shooting dope is to you. But the only insight they could probably give me is that they never shot dope because they aren't a junkie. It's all circular, no matter what side of the question you're on.
How has the reception been about no longer playing your older songs?
How is the world going to end?
Find out more and hear new songs online from Ramshackle Glory.
Where did you grow up? How was your childhood?
NG: I grew up in Manchester, NY - not far from where I live now. It's a quiet place. Quiet enough to experience some unusual things. I can't dream of answering your second question swiftly, but fine I guess.
My mother would beat me relentlessly at Dr. Mario. She went to school to be a nurse, so she had some kind of sixth sense about how to arrange the pills to make multi-part score combos. As you know, it's one of those two-player puzzle games where the better you do, the more your opponent is punished. Well, I couldn't beat her.
One night, after a particular brutal versus mode session, her water broke, and she had my baby brother. Ever since then, she hasn't played so much. I've, of course, gotten much better at it. And my confidence has sky-rocketed. Turns out little brothers can be good for something.
NG: My first job was working on a farm in middle school. 6am to 4pm. Every day of the week. Not much of an exaggeration there.
It could have been a traumatic experience, but I went through it with my friend Justin, and we made a hilarious game out of it.We'd just laugh when things got really bad. When we were super tired, hungry, or scared of being yelled at, we'd just do really well. I think Justin and I still hold the record on that farm for most tomato pecks picked in a single day. We each picked 192 pecks. Are you really interested in this?
How did you get into making comics?
NG: My Mom would sew pieces of paper together when I was very young, and my siblings and I would make little stories for them.
Of all the Perry Bible Fellowship comics that you've put online, which is your least favorite?
I'll say Commander Crisp. I'm quite proud of it, but I really did lose 5 weeks of my life to it, painting it large, then scanning and assembling it all on a super-slow computer. It was right about the time when I realized the PBF wasn't making sense for me or my body.
Why did you stop Perry Bible Fellowship?
NG: Haven't fully stopped (I always have a few drafts lying around that I look at and think about). I stopped doing it weekly because it was physically hurting me to do so.
I would just pull too many all-nighters trying to get them done on time. I have some kind of resistance to putting out something that I'm not 100% feeling good about, and this would sometimes require that I not sleep a day or two before deadline.
What projects are you working on now?
NG: You can find one of them here: trailsoftarnation.com
Any advice for growing comic artists?
NG: Keep growing.
Genre: Experimental, stream-of-consciousness