An Interview with Frankie Kerner, Creator of the “Eugene Muzine”

Frankie Kerner, a junior at the UO, is spreading the word about Eugene’s growing music scene in the most creative way possible. Her DIY music zine, “The Eugene Muzine,” which covers local bands, student art and writing, photography, and music-related projects on campus made its debut just last month!

Frankie, also known by her on-air name, DJ Bird, is an office assistant at KWVA, manager of the Eugene band Laundry, and a journalism student with a focus on music journalism. Her show on KWVA, “Flippin’ the Bird” is every Thursday from 11 am-noon, where you can find her jamming to music from the alternative, folk, jazz, soul, funk, and indie genre.

I sat down with Frankie today to talk a little bit about her new zine, what’s in store for the next issue, and what inspired her to get started!

KWVA Music Blog (Sophie): Tell me a little bit about your zine and what inspired you to start it.

Frankie: The Eugene Muzine has had one issue released so far, and I’m working on the second one right now. It should be released within the next week! For those of you who don’t know, “zine” is short for magazine, which is a DIY, self-released, unofficial publication. DIY or die, am I right?

What inspired me to make this zine is a couple different things. One, I feel like the Eugene music scene is really exciting–there’s a lot going on and there are many opportunities for musicians and people who are interested in music. I got really into the music scene last year, when I started booking shows at the Lorax, a co-op house show venue. I met a lot of great people in the music scene through that. Now, I’m the band manager for Laundry.

I started the zine when I began to see that the music scene wasn’t inclusive in a lot of ways. People might not know there is a music scene here, or feel that they aren’t welcome into it for various reasons. I felt like making a zine is a cool way to get encourage and welcome people who want to get involved, raise awareness about the local music scene, and create a platform for new artists. Also, the zine is a great creative outlet for me.

KWVA: What kind of content is included in the zine?

F: The zine is mostly made up of poems, photos, written work, house show promotions, and some random doodles and comics. I want other voices to be heard, not just my own, which is why I accept submissions. Not all of the stuff in the zine has to do with music–I’m up for any type of content. In the next issue, I’m going to be including a piece submitted about the downside of the music industry and the struggles of being a self-made artist. I think it’s really important to be real about that kind of stuff.

KWVA: How do you put it together? What’s the process?

F: For the first issue, I used photos from a bunch of old National Geographic magazines I had laying around. I cut out the pages, then glued them in as a background for the articles. If there is a lot of text, I’ll type it out, but for small writing pieces I’ll handwrite it. In the end, I have a full physical copy that I scan copies of. “The Eugene Muzine” will always be free. I’m never going to charge people for it–I think it’s important for small publications like this to be accessible. It would be cool to eventually get an ad in the zine or some artist promotion, but at the end of the day I’m not doing this for my own financial gain at all. It’s more of a creative outlet for me and a way to educate others about the music scene here.

KWVA: Do you have a favorite piece from the first issue?

F: My favorite page from the last issue was the house calendar I included. After I published that, a few freshman in the Music Industry Collective I’m a part of came up to me and asked me more about the shows. I really wish I had been more involved in the music scene my freshman year, so it’s cool for me to be a resource for freshman who want to get involved. They’ve been asking me great questions, like how to form a band. It’s awesome to see people enjoying the zine like that.

KWVA: Who’s been involved in the zine?

F: Mostly my friends, so far. In the first issue, Bobby Schenk, the programming director here at KWVA, submitted a series of comics having to do with dungeons and music. It’s a funny set of doodles that’s dungeon themed, but also highlights various artists. Bobby wrote about the artists in medieval language, which is a really fun, creative, and very Bobby-like way to talk about bands and singers. Also, Sam Mendoza (from the band Spiller) who is part of Blue Plant productions did a brief interview with me about the collective.

KWVA: Last question for you. What artists/bands/singers have you been listening to lately?

F: Palehound, SALES, Noname, and Vince Staples.

Thanks, Frankie! Want to submit your own work to the Eugene Muzine? Email Frankie here.