Planet interview via e-mail April 30, 1998
Rhona – definitely a bit of both – there's a confusing start! if you don't take yourself seriously then nobody else will but if you're too serious nobody will want to approach you. I like to have a laugh & a bit of fun & so do all my friends, you can have a much better time that way. at the Whitby goth festival one year, an elderly lady asked me about the bat gifts I make & asked me to explain Black Planet to her – someone who takes themselves too seriously would probably be offended at such a statement but I thought it was great & had a great time talking to her!
QRD – do you make enough money to cover printing costs?
Rhona – barely! I've just had to put Black Planet's issue price up because paper has just gotten really expensive. my printing consists of an ancient laser printer & a photocopier with an attitude problem but although it may be fun & games getting the issues printed it still works out miles cheaper than getting them printed professionally.
QRD – why did you decide you personally needed to do a zine?
Rhona – at the time Black Planet was created (3 years ago), there were zines that covered music & interviews & some poetry & fiction but not really anything else. I wanted to create something that would appeal to everyone & something that could be considered as an "every day" magazine & that's why I like to cover the topics I do. I'd love to do some American shopping guides/club guides, you know, something for Goths to take on holiday with them, but I doubt I'll be able to afford to do anything myself so you'll have to rally some contributors up!
QRD – what do you think about zombies?
Rhona – I've always been interested in that sort of thing & always fancied having a go at being a bocor & stealing someone's soul & make them go off & beat up all your enemies, but it must be awful for the zombie to be denied help from other spirits & be unable to move onto another plane of existence. I've read a fair bit of Haitian folklore & find it fascinating – what makes Zombies really scary is that they actually can exist & are not just fiction.
QRD – how are you able to keep on your bi-monthly schedule & get thicker each issue?
Rhona – every issue time I have a panic
& think "what the hell am I going to put in it this time?" but I usually
come up with something new & the panic is all over. I never dreamed
Black Planet would get this far, but there are so many avenues to explore
I shall be quite happy for another 19 issues I think! contributions
do help – it's nice to do the
QRD – why did you decide to do interviews with random people instead of "famous" ones?
Rhona – I'd interview "famous" people if I had the time, but most people like that require things to be done at a certain time & a certain way so it's just awkward to work around. we have done some "famous" interviews with Rosetta Stone & All Living Fear & The Voice which are all well known bands over here & I've got a few more lined up as well as a couple of authors. it would be nice to get interviews with other celebs such as artists & maybe someone who runs a vampire society but it all takes time & I'm soooo busy with my career. interviews have been scarce lately as I've been quite ill & as such unable to interview or devote as much time to Black Planet as I'd like.
QRD – what's your favorite Swans' song?
Rhona – sorry to disappoint you but they aren't widely known over here & to be honest I've never heard any of their material...sorry....
QRD – what do you think is the best article you've ever printed?
Rhona – the Rosetta Stone history &
interview was pretty good & we sold a record number of copies because
of it. the erotica articles in issue 18 were a good move as they've
opened up a completely new avenue of possibilities to explore & I've
had interest from businesses in that field. I love doing church &
cemetery visits & getting lots of
QRD – who would you like to get your magazine that you don't think currently is?
Rhona – somebody really famous. when I worked in a HD & Suzuki motorcycle shop I sold some bits to Dave Vanian & he agreed to have a look at Black Planet which I sent to him but I never heard back from him. when I saw Madonna's "Frozen" video I thought "wow, she's gone goth, send her a Black Planet." but it turns out she hasn't gone Goth at all but I'd love her to come to Britain & open my business when it opens because I specialize in Henna Body Art & she'd be a great advert! Seriously though, I'd like to get some more interest in the US & Canada & that's why I said earlier I'd like to get more contributions from there. Black Planet is already pretty worldwide but the US & Canada are a definite minority for readers of Black Planet.
QRD – any interesting dreams lately?
Rhona – um, I had one where I dreamt I went to Whitby for the Goth Festival & it was snowing & there were these policemen telling all the goths they had to wear white otherwise they'd get seen & captured (by what or whom I can't recall) & everyone was crying because they didn't want to wear white... strange.
QRD – do you think "goth" is becoming mainstream & losing its cult status?
Rhona – no, definitely not. a few years ago I remember when suddenly black & silver ankhs were fashionable & goths everywhere broke out in nervous rashes but it didn't last long thankfully. I don't know what it's like in the US but over here the goth scene is in more danger of becoming permanently divided & ridiculed because there is a massive amount of bitching going on between different 'classes' of goths. some of the things that start arguments are so petty & it doesn't help when new zines dedicated purely to bitching & slagging everyone off start up. I wish everyone would just accept that they are all GOTHS & get on with enjoying themselves.
QRD – anything else?
Rhona – just that I have always enjoyed
QRD & I hope you'll be around for a long time – what a creep eh?!!!
seriously, QRD is a breath of fresh air & a world away from most goth
zines – well done!