Punk Love. City Terrance, East L.A. August, 2013
I first met Angela in 2002. She was the only other girl in the room and we bonded instantly over our love of boys on skateboards, music and not going to college because, EFF AUTHORITY! I've written about Angela before so I'll spare you our soulsisterlove story but it goes a little something like this: girl meets girl, girl becomes lifelong friends with girl, girl interviews girl about her amazing new East-LA punk scene docu-series.
And here we go.
And here we go.
GGC: First, tell us about yourself. Three things about Angela Boatwright ready go...
Angela Boatwright: Haha, let's see: I love roller coasters, but I don't like cliff jumping (although I would love to skydive one day). And I'm terrified of slugs and worms (but I don't mind spiders at all.) Is that 3 things? I have a huge sweet tooth. That's definitely three!
GGC: Let's talk about your project. Why did you choose the east LA backyard scene to feature in your docu-series?
AB: I had been on tour documenting various heavy metal bands for 3 years prior and I really fell in love with all the fans that came to see the shows. They're the ones that buy the tickets, the CDs, the mp3s. And they live for the music! So I knew I wanted to feature metal and/ or punk kids in my project. I had recently moved to Los Angeles so I thought it might be a good idea to feature some punk/ metal kids from L.A., my new home.
AB: Ahh, when I was a teenager hair metal was my thing! I was absolutely obsessed with it. I would scan the thank you credits included on all my favorite LPs, (this is before the internet of course - 1987, 88, 89) I would call long distance information and attempt to talk to some of the thankees! I spent about 20 minutes on the phone with Axl Rose's tattoo artist, Robert Benedetti once. How cool is that? And he's an incredibly famous tattoo artist on top of his relation to Axl! But back to how heavy metal "saved my life," I didn't fully fit in in school, my parents had just divorced. I felt pretty isolated and alone and that combined with phenomenal amounts of teen angst-rage... heavy metal provided a place for me to belong and feel powerful. It still does.
AB: Yes! Music for whatever reason is often considered the problem when in fact it's either a symptom or in most cases the solution.
Nirvana concert, 1991, Angela, pictured in gray, just behind man holding mic
AB: Lauren just turned 15 and is still in school. She's already planning on college and wants to be a marine biologist or maybe (and I'm serious) a coroner or a crime scene photographer. She's not afraid of things that most of us find gross or frightening; she's a really brave girl!
Proyecto Makabro, and he continues to visit his grandmother (once a week, at least). One of his dreams is to go to school to learn how to do make-up for horror movies.
GGC: What surprised you most while working on this project? What changed you? Moved you? Frustrated you? Inspired you?
AB: So many things inspired and moved me while myself and the crew were creating this project. The one thing I found most surprising however: I've been hearing a lot of talk about how corporations (such as Vans) shouldn't be involved in punk rock whatsoever. And with respect to my project, I'm listening with an open mind. I used to be that person that thought everything was a jab or a farce. I hated the government, authorities, "the man", everything. And although I still harbor a healthy sense of suspect I'm happy to report that I'm nowhere near as paranoid as I used to be. So it's been very interesting to be on the other side of things. (Don't get me wrong, I still think people should question absolutely everything.)
AB: Sure. Back in April Vans approached me to pitch an idea that represented their motto "Off the Wall". As previously mentioned I really wanted to focus on the kids, the fans that support the bigger bands. I did some research online and discovered a couple of articles written for L.A. Weekly about the East L.A. backyard punk scene. The articles were incredibly inspiring so I stalked the writer, Javier Cabral on Facebook and long story short, he ended up taking me to my first show. A few weeks later I pitched the fully fleshed-out idea to Vans and they loved it. They honestly didn't give me any parameters, although I would check in with them from time to time. So I spent the next 6 months with all the kids in the scene.