MFA PRESENTS: A Conversation with Ryan Simón of AMERICAN VULGARIA

We talked to Ryan Simón about publishing the first issue of AMERICAN VULGARIA, Camille Paglia and his plans for the future.

MFA PRESENTS: A Conversation with Ryan Simón of AMERICAN VULGARIA

‌‌This interview is part of a series discussing mandates, restrictions and censorship on art and music read more of these interviews here.

AMERICAN VULGARIA is an art and culture magazine [web + print] based in Missoula, MT run by founder and editor Ryan Simón.

The first issue of the print magazine was published earlier this year on September, 14th and features interviews with Aaron Fagan, Adam Lehrer, GOLDpny, and Jack Mason (Perfume Nationalist) as well as a photo collection by Matthew DeNicola.

You can purchase Issue #1 of AMERICAN VULGARIA Magazine on the MFA webstore below, as well as directly from AMERICAN VULGARIA's store.

The following interview was transcribed from a call between Camelia & Ryan that took place on November 20, 2022. Edited for brevity & clarity.

Table of Contents:
> The City
> Individualism
> Camille Paglia
> Babies
> Print Magazine
> Safety
> #MeToo
> Video

MFA: The main reason I started this blog was because I dove in deep into anarcho-capitalist Twitter, and found people saying a lot of things I agreed with, but there was nothing that really spoke to me art or music-wise. It was really bumming me out, so from my search for more beauty, I somehow found AMERICAN VULGARIA, which is so sick — the coolest thing in the whole entire world.

RYAN: Thank you.

The City

Were you born and raised in Montana?

Yeah. I took off for California for four years for college, and that's about it. Came right back, and I've been here since.

I'm from North Carolina, and I ended up living in New York for a while — I always felt like North Carolina was really dumb and lame, and I had to go to the big city if I wanted to do anything cool. Now I feel much differently. Did you have that kind of thing?

I feel way different too. I mean, it's not like Missoula is bumfuck nowhere. But, it's Montana. Moving to the Bay Area, I was nervous that I was going to be the sheltered kid who doesn't know anything about anything, but I immediately felt the opposite.

Especially for those who grew up in the Bay and never left the Bay — I mean, they're worldly and cosmopolitan in a number of ways, but they just seemed much more isolated and self-centered in their thinking in that distinctly “big city” way. Yeah, so my opinion flipped. Maybe it was just the college “liberal arts bubble” thing happening there, that I was drawing from a unique sample of, I don't know, intellectual conformity or prudery, or whatever you want to call it.‌‌‌‌ But that was my experience with the Bay.

During lockdown, everyone moved out to the red states. So Missoula has changed quite a bit the past two years, and it's been lively and fun. In general, Missoula is a really drunk city. It's always on those “Top Drunkest Cities in America” lists, and it's noticeable. For what it's worth, Missoula knows how to have fun. Drunk, unpretentious fun. But insomuch that there is an art and music scene, ‌‌it is liberal dominated — though I feel like lately it's just gotten more apolitical.


Having an apolitical drinking + music scene, that is what I'm really kind of after. That sounds very cool and good.

‌‌It has been fun. I mean, that's also reflected in the turn I took with AV. Especially the first issue — there's the anti-left rants and political stuff in there, but that's not what's driving really any of my artistic projects right now. Partly because there are certain figures in Missoula whose art I respect and who I met not through any common political agenda but through having a certain common aesthetic. Working together on that level has been very cool and fulfilling.

The idea of forming a kind of a collective here that's anti or pro whatever political project or whatever ideology, that just sounds so lame.

‌‌I'm still scared of people being mean to me. So, if you're someone trying to navigate music or the arts, but you are trying to be principled about free expression and avoid conflict... then you just kind of end up tiptoeing around to find spaces you feel comfortable speaking freely.

It seems like the literary community is doing a much better job at this than the DIY music scene though, just from my perspective.

Yeah, I don't know. I have a distrust in anything that calls itself a "community" or even “art,” despite that pretty much being my primary interest with AV.

I have a kind of Randian approach to all this: I’m drawn to people who are focused on their own individual projects or who have all the idiosyncrasies of an individual. I've joined an art collective before. There's some cool people I've met through that. Fine. But, you know… “collective”…? I don’t know… it's just lame.

That's the thing. I do agree the focus on the individual and the actual art is obviously the best way forward. But when I think about connecting like-minded fans and other musicians and resources and things like that — that's why a collective type thing appeals to me.

The podcast scene is a good example of individual actors who share common interests or just find each other interesting. They're all jumping on each other's podcasts all the time while doing their own thing, respectively.‌‌‌‌ So that, to me, seems very functional and still open to creative experimentation. There's not too much dogma there, all things considered. There are the occasional schisms, or whatever, on Twitter where certain friend groups have a falling out, but the scene on the whole is an eclectic bag of personalities and interests.‌

It is fun meeting people and working with people. For example, Matthew DeNicola, the photographer whose series I had in Issue #1. He's someone I talk to frequently about this and that, while I’m working on my magazine or while he’s putting together his photos. We have a good off-the-cuff working relationship. ‌‌‌‌That's fun, I like that. But, on the whole, I think everyone being their own little auteur is most fascinating and inspiring.

The Matthew DeNicola Interview ⋆ AMERICAN VULGARIA
Ryan Simón interviews Matthew DeNicola about his photography, music, art, death anxiety, and his podcast called The Saltbox.

Camille Paglia

I wanted to talk to you about Camille Paglia. I'm embarrassed to share I'm not very well read, but I'm trying to get better about it. From what I've noticed, her writing seems to bring different people with the right sort of mindset in. Doesn't it?

She's awesome. She's great, because what we're talking about with labels and political classifications — being pro-this or anti-that — really all that does is allow people to put you in a box and dismiss you and talk over you, but Paglia sees beyond all that. If anything, she sorts out all those boxes in a way that actually makes sense.

Camille Paglia's line of thinking has dominated the Red Scare and Perfume Nationalist scenes online. She is kind of becoming a meme, but her way of thinking is just so comprehensive and personable. It's just true. It's just deadly honest.‌‌‌‌ She has such a direct, humorous way of delivering harsh truths. Anyone who is interested in art in any serious, honest way, she kind of lays it out for you. I mean, Jack Mason of the Perfume Nationalist, he recommends reading her before you go to college to kind of shield you from whatever liberal academic indoctrination. ‌I read her after college, and it felt like she just totally undid my four years of undergraduate learning. She just lays things out so succinctly and comprehensively.

Paglia also pisses off all the right people on both the Left and the Right. She's self-aware of her role as this fiery provocateur, but when you read even her most provocative claims, you soon realize she's just the messenger. She's just declaring obvious, observable truths.

People who get mad at her, it's like, well, it's not her fault — she's just telling it how it is.

What would you recommend as a good intro to her writing?

‌‌She's got her books of essays, those are great, but her magnum opus is Sexual Personae. That's her big declarative manifesto. It's a door stopper of a book, but it's awesome. Even aside from its content, her style of writing is just so direct, it's so non-academic. She writes from outside the academic circle jerk of professors and academics who deliberately write and speak in that obnoxious obscure way that’s long been the university standard.

She has a very phallic way of writing. Ayn Rand is similar, too. It's funny because these are two very masculine females, and they're hated by all the right people. People fucking hate them. I love them.


I know the term red-pilling is so obnoxious, but for me that moment was watching Ayn Rand on Donahue. I also think her respect and admiration for men is... I don't know...appropriate?!

I've become blatantly anti-feminist over the past few years. Men are cool — why are we being so mean to them? ‌‌‌‌I just want to have a baby and work in the garden. I feel like there's a reason mostly men do certain things. But, anyways, that's neither here nor there.

My girlfriend's pregnant. She’s walking around barefoot and pregnant upstairs, while I work and drink my beer. And it's like, this is right. Everything's in harmony in this house.

‌‌Congratulations! Wow, that's so great. Is it your first kid?

Yeah. I've had the ambition of doing a print mag for a while, and when she got pregnant, it lit a fire under my ass. It’s like, well, okay dude, I'm not going to be a loser dad who enters fatherhood bitter because I didn't pursue my dreams or whatever. You know, like Eraserhead. The kid is what really got me to start the magazine.

Having a kid on the way, everything shifts. Before she was pregnant, that’s when I was in my Instagram stories yelling about vaccines and lockdown and Biden and all that shit. But now, life is much more real. You just reprioritize everything on a molecular level when you’re having a kid.

‌‌How long have you been doing the web magazine before you started the printed version?

I started AMERICAN VULGARIA in 2017, and I just didn't do shit with it for years. Initially, I thought maybe it'd be a local newspaper for Missoula, because around then the local newspaper in Missoula was bought out by its competition and shut down shortly after. This was kind of a local scandal, and one that felt vaguely connected to the broader “fake news” crisis of that time, the mainstream media meltdown over Trump. With AV, I thought, well, maybe I'll start something‌‌ to fill that void and represent the Missoula art community.

But then you meet the “art community,” and you realize that most of these people are complete losers.‌‌‌‌


There was a lot of new media popping up online around then. The IDW stuff and Quillette and all that. After Trump, most online normies fell into two camps. It was either the Bernie Left — all that Chapo Trap House shit that presented itself as some kind of “independent” potty-mouth thing for liberals — and on the Right, you had Quillette and Jordan Peterson. They turned out to be their own kind of libtards in the end, too. I still stand by Jordan Peterson though. He's getting a lot of shit now because he's just whining on Twitter a lot. He stresses me out, I can't bear it. It's like watching your dad cry all the time.‌‌‌‌

With lockdown, I took the time to reorient myself and really figure this all out. I did the Adam Lehrer interview over a year ago, and I liked it so much that I thought, I want to see it in print.

The Adam Lehrer Interview ⋆ AMERICAN VULGARIA
Ryan Simón interviews writer Adam Lehrer about art, addiction, safety propaganda, his new book, and ghost stories about dead junky artists.

Especially with the written word, anything you throw online is, at best, like a flash in the pan success. No one really even reads it. They just go in for the screenshots to either bitch about it or share one cool pithy tweetable quote. But yeah, the Adam Lehrer interview and then the Aaron Fagan interview afterwards — I just liked both of those so much that I wanted to publish them in something more tangible than a website, so I got the print mag going.

The Aaron Fagan Interview ⋆ AMERICAN VULGARIA
Ryan Simón interviews poet Aaron Fagan about his poetry, art, skateboarding, American surrealism, and the meaning of “nothing.”

The long-term goal is to make a huge multimedia project out of this. I have the print magazine, and then I want to start producing some shows, for both video and podcast. But right now, the focus is on print and just seeing where that goes.

The print magazine is so pretty, it's beautiful.

It's been fun.‌‌‌‌ The first issue, looking at it now, it looks rough to me, because it's the first time I've really messed around with InDesign and played around with magazine design. Which is mostly what this was: just playing around and adding colors and effects and layering images and shit.

I work in book and vinyl record manufacturing, so I just look at it and I think, this looks really hard to lay out in InDesign if you're new to it. Was there anything you used as a reference or you're just going for it?

‌‌I have a ton of magazines. I'm constantly on eBay just buying vintage mags. I’m constantly flipping through them. All media, really — I'm doing the Steve Jobs thing where I just steal from everyone to form my own thing.

Design-wise, DAZED Magazine is maybe my favorite of the more mainstream mags, especially DAZED Mag’s late-90s issues. All the skater mags too, they have a great playful design. I just had all these magazines laid out around me while creating this first issue. And then for each interview, I kind of let the content and tone of each interview dictate their design to a degree.‌‌‌‌ It’s funny — despite the magazine’s mishmash of influences, AV’s own aesthetic identity revealed itself to me once I finished it. Now that I see it, I feel much more emboldened to wild out with issue 2.

But, again, a lot of that was just kind of getting drunk and fucking around on InDesign. It took forever.

It looks like it took forever. It's very impressive. Who did you use to do the printing?


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Did they give you a template and you have to put the InDesign stuff inside that, or they sort it out for you?

They have an InDesign template, so I just worked with that. My margins and shit are all fucked up though. I still need to sort that out. But, it works. The print came out how I imagined it, so I'm going to stick with that for now‌‌‌‌.

Peecho is dope because they do print on demand and they're global. They have printers all over the world. So, I think moving forward I’ll set it up so people who buy internationally can do so directly through Peecho, that way they don't have to deal with the $30 shipping for international orders.


‌‌We moved from Brooklyn to outside of Nashville.‌‌ I was expecting it to just be like some sort of freedom-fest, the best time ever.

That was the first time I realized that the problem was with the people— when all the shows in Nashville that I wanted to go to still had vaccine and mask mandates in 2021. I was like, wait a second, I thought we were only doing that because the government was making us. ‌I didn't know people were doing it just all the time.‌‌..

That was the worst part about lockdown, that it was all self-inflicted. People were so eager to wear the mask and dictate who can say and do what. That's why trying to argue with covidians on any sort of ideological grounds or trying to reason with them at all is pointless. They’re completely unreasonable. They just like the conformity of it all, and they'll map whatever new justification to their behavior, however contradictory, to keep their moral authority over you.

There's no debate to be had. You're not going to win through debate or through reason or, you know, through revealing their hypocrisy. They'll just hate you more for doing so.

I think at least locally here, something broke during lockdown.‌‌ People are kind of horny again, and there have been fun spontaneous interactions and friendships and conflict‌‌, with strangers brushing up against each other at the bars and whatnot. That wasn’t necessarily the case throughout the late 2010s, but there's a vitality now in Missoula that has been fun, for what that's worth.

Lockdown was never even that bad in Montana. We locked down for a couple months. But, I don't know… the lingering threat of it just broke people and raised the stakes on having fun. Everyone from the bigger cities who didn't want to deal with lockdown moved here.‌‌ So I think lockdown just brought a lot of fun people to Missoula. For better or worse.‌

I try to speak in an apolitical way and try to help meet people half way. But then I also feel like I'm not being honest— I almost do wish that I had just like tanked everything and been like, you guys are being fucking losers. This is wrong. But I'm still trying to be nice, I don't know the best approach to any of it is.

Do you remember that TIME Magazine piece, that horrible article where they basically confessed that the conspiracy theory of the election being stolen was true, in a sense — that all the big businesses and all these key institutional figures were working together to stop Trump from getting elected? I was so pissed when I read that — I sent off this fiery “fuck you everyone” rant. And on Instagram too. [Laughs] Instagram's not the place for that, but Instagram stories do delete — you know, they self-destruct after 24 hours, which I like because they don't come back to haunt me years later.

But I drunkenly threw up that vicious rant, and I woke up in like a panic at 2, 3 in the morning and deleted it, because it was too much. I’m going to yell at my Instagram followers because of a TIME article? I have no problem being mean when it’s honest and necessary, but I prefer to “hate the game, not the players.” Though it is sometimes fun and fair to just call people “fucking losers.”

I was wondering how you find people to interview. Is it just people who you're already a fan of and who are also down with what you're doing?

Yeah that's kind of how it started. With Adam Lehrer, I was just a fan of his writing and I subscribed to his podcast System of Systems as soon as he started it.

He’s someone I admired well before meeting him. Aaron Fagan, I've loved his poetry for quite a while too. After I published Lehrer’s interview, Fagan followed AV online, which I then used as an opportunity to reach out to him. You know, it's like you post one thing and then three new opportunities sprout up, and you just kind of naturally meet people with similar interests.

It's been fun now that I got the magazine out too. I've kind of broadcasted my aesthetic interests with this first issue, which now serves as a beacon for other artists and writers who vibe with the magazine’s interviews and erotica. Most artists who approach me in Missoula are mostly responding to AV’s pornographic elements. I think they see my magazine as an opportunity for them to have their own horndog instincts dignified and expressed.

Twitter is just such a space of know-it-alls, which is never a good look — even on those who I like and generally agree with. Next to Paglia, one of my big post-grad influences was Byung-Chul Han, specifically his book The Agony of Eros, which I read shortly after Sexual Personae. Reading that book really helped me clarify my feelings on art and eroticism, and it essentially pulled me out of the know-it-all intellectual political sphere. Byung-Chul Han’s central claim is essentially that the global monoculture — the whole “neoliberal” thing, the flattening of all culture and communication — is killing eroticism by reducing everything to the serviceable and consumable. Everything must be positive and therapeutic and pornographically transparent, totally free from harm or danger or confusion.

He defines eroticism as a sort of engagement with the quote-unquote “Other,” the philosophical Other, which encompasses all that is unknown and unfamiliar and disastrous to our sense of self. The opposite is total monotony and sameness, which sets the stage for narcissism and depression. So like an easy example: a man approaching a strange beautiful girl at a bar — that shit is scary, because she's unknown, she’s a whole other person full of unknown thoughts and judgments. Meeting this person threatens to destabilize the man’s sense of self. Or he could just avoid her and retreat back to safety and preserve his self-esteem. This explains the rise of stepfamily porn: family is familiar. It’s safe, unlike sex with a stranger. But this retreat from anything fearful or harmful, you know, it just kills the eroticism of life. Lockdown enacted this on a global scale.

People like Paglia and Rush Limbaugh and a lot of the TPN sphere, they’ve noted the loss of Eros, in their own words, with like the cigarette bans. You know, the smoking bans of the ‘80s and ‘90s onward, because smoking is harmful, and even engaging with someone who smokes will harm you, which reads more like an intolerance of having to share space with others. But, I mean, smoking is sexy.

Broadcasting my erotic interests, that's the most exciting thing to me. I say that AMERICAN VULGARIA is governed by the edicts of Eros more so than any political bullshit. Eros is baked into the texture of the magazines. I don't necessarily want to go full blown pornographic. Like Byung-Chul Han, I think the pornographic and the erotic are at odds. Playboy magazines are fun, but I actually don't think their full nude spreads are that hot. When you bear it all — okay, I mean, boobs are great, I like them a lot — but the half-concealed is far hotter and sexier than the fully revealed. It’s like the concept of negative space in art. That governs my way of thinking and approach to all of this. I want to irritate more than satisfy.

If I want AV to be known as anything, it's as an erotic magazine first and foremost — in the full sense of erotic. It's not quite there yet, but that’s the idea.

When I first started interviewing people — I was asking everyone what they think happened to punk rock. One of the first interviews I did I mentioned smoking bans and how people started getting really cunty about being around smoke and it was the first rollout of performative safety.

You can't do what you're doing because of how it is affecting other people. But there was also something very cool about smoking...

I guess having something that's a little bit unsafe, in lieu of labels, is how you kind of hint at supporting free expression without saying it.

Well, yeah, the substance stuff. I mean, getting drunk and being intoxicated in general, that’s all essential to the sacred Dionysian side of community. That’s how we commune: we get drunk, we share the peace pipe, we share ideas — we need these substances to let our guard down.

People, now, in this age of narcissism — the purity and preciousness of oneself is just so nauseating to me. You know, other people now aren’t viewed as sources of joy. No, they're potential disease carriers who might be asymptomatically spreading COVID, a virus that you have a 99% chance of surviving. People are just inconvenient.

I think that's horrible. I love meeting other people, it's fun. I'm very social and it sucks to have the tiptoe around each other. That's the fucking thing about this political climate. It's like playing Minesweeper. You don't know if you're going to step on a libtard, just by being yourself.

That's the thing. I don't want to self-censor, but I also don't want to offend anyone.

You reach a certain level of whatever follower account, or whatever, where you're gonna just naturally attract haters. That just comes with it.

I mean there are people like Johnny Knoxville, someone I admire because he's kind of loved by everyone. I mean you get some stuffy people who think he's infantile and degenerate, but he's just a fun-loving guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously. Not that I want to go around getting kicked in the nuts every day, but he has this way of being very charming. I really admire that.

There's no charm anymore.

Even when I was more Progressive leaning, I always admired people that were contrarians. I didn't understand, I thought they were just being difficult for no reason, but I always just really respected people like that. That's something that I want to get better at — saying what I know to be true, but in such a way that is potentially persuasive. I don't know how much I should should care about persuading people, but I also don't want to exclude people.

Oh, I want people to feel bad. When I committed to the AV aesthetic, that was my goal. After several of my high-school friends unfollowed me during lockdown for being vocal about the vaccine and this and that, I basically just had the goal of making something so fucking cool that people will feel bad for not being part of it. If you want to gain membership, you gotta just cut the shit, you know. Everyone's welcome, but you have to be cool. So not everyone's actually welcome, but you could be welcome if you just chill out.


Did you ever watch The Pickup Artist?


Oh my God. It's this completely unhinged show where this weirdo teaches all of these nerds how to hit on women and have one night stands with them. It's fascinating. It's from I think 15 years ago. It almost makes you think culture is being manipulated in such a way that people are encouraged to actively behave in ways that go against their own best interests.  I listen to a lot of conspiracy podcasts.

But if you look at shows like The Pickup Artist, it's encouraging men to be really aggressive towards women without consequence. Then, the Me Too movement is like — Gotcha!

Look at the movie Superbad, like the whole movie was about how he had to get alcohol so this woman would have sex with him. A lot of the men that I went to college with had that same mentality, and it's just very interesting. I don't know, I've been looking at media with much more skepticism than I than I used to.

That era of like Superbad and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, those are great and those are really sweet and honest movies. They're very crude and vulgar, but they were honest. Honest explorations of like male desire and male loneliness. Even in Superbad, they're pursuing pussy in this funny way. But there's also like the friendship between the two men and how they can't communicate their love for each other until they're hammered and booping each other on the nose.

I'm not complaining personally, 'cause I'm fine, but the resentment and just cultural skepticism against men, where any sort of male desire is perceived as aggressive and totally unwanted by women, as if women are just totally pestered by men. It's just really strange and sad, but I mean men kind of are just total pussies right now too.

I feel like a lot of the Me Too stuff, especially in music obviously, had to pre-date the COVID stuff, because everyone was scared. One of the record labels that I was working with, members of a few bands got Me Too'd and then you read the article and it's basically like, 'He said he wanted to have sex, and I said I didn't, and then he called me a cab,' and I'm like...wait, what?

Well, I remember during Trump's campaign when they “dropped the bomb” of him saying that when you're as rich as he is, women let you grab them by the pussy — that whole thing — and that that was somehow controversial and untrue. It's like dude, they're called gold diggers. They're called groupies. We have names for this universally recognized phenomenon. Why is everyone's acting like they're totally scandalized by this? That was so absurd to me.

I really felt like I could not understand these people — the performative outrage and acting scandalized by everything like prude Catholic nuns. Especially the men who are huffing over it, thinking that will curry female favor. Awful. There's so many cultural incentives to be dishonest with yourself and your own desires. That's why I love the Red Scare podcast so much, aside from how charming those girls are. The fundamental ethos of that show is about being honest and responsible for your own desires.

I won't work with anyone if they seem like they haven't figured themselves out. To grow up, you have to take responsibility for yourself — and you have to understand yourself to do that. When you look at the Me Too moment, there's just so much there you had to buy into, so many lies and delusions you had to agree to to even take it at face value. It was just so absurd.

Yeah like we're all adults, either you have agency or you don't. I think the victimhood stuff is extremely dangerous, especially to young women.

I fell for all of that though. I remember when I first moved to Crown Heights in Brooklyn and I was getting aggressively hollered at. I was just like crying all the time and I was so scared to go to work. And it was scary! It was not a good time. I told my boyfriend and he was like don't walk around like you're scared, walk with your shoulders back, stand up straight. And it worked.

I do think there's a lot of power in at least pretending to be confident. I think fear and victimhood is just really so dangerous and the Me Too thing just encouraged more of that.

And if you look at the typical Me Too aggressor, these aren't like alpha Chad men who have the physical strength to overpower women. These are dweeby wormy freaks. You know, with like George Costanza hair who are like, “YoU wAnT tHe PaRt, DoN’t YoU?!” I mean, it's undignified for women to have to deal with that shit, but typically these aren’t strong masculine men who are doing this.


I've been wondering if music videos might be evil. I feel like the video component being added to music took away people's ability to have their own interpretation of the music itself, and potentially would lead people in a certain direction. Whereas before it was more open to interpretation.

Video killed the radio star. That reminds me of when Harry Potter was first adapted to film and people were like, “That's not how I imagined Hermione!” There's probably something to that.

I love music videos though. I spent so much time back in the day just sitting and watching MTV until like four in the morning, because I wanted to see like the Tool "Schism" music video and freak myself out.

I feel like much of my aesthetic preferences and who I am as an artist was formed in the crucible of the early-to-mid-2000s. MTV music videos and Girls Gone Wild infomercials were a huge part of my youth. I don't know if music videos are evil. They definitely affect how we listen to music and what we expect from it. There probably is a certain flattening process there, because when you listen to classical music, that’s such a psychedelic experience now, because there's no visual component to it. Whenever you listen to Bach or Beethoven, you kind of hallucinate, you know, these grand operas of angels and demons in your head. Whereas everything now has a visual component.

I feel like David Bowie was one of the big pioneers of this. He wasn't just a musician, he came with an entire visual package that governed how you engage with his music and his art. I think that's cool. I like that. But video does have a narrowing effect on how we interpret music. Music loses that psychedelic factor — even for like "psychedelic music" like Pink Floyd and stuff. Like, “psychedelia” is its own codified genre with a set aesthetic. Pure music, pure audio, though, is magic.

I wanted to ask you about your plans with AMERICAN VULGARIA for the future. You'd mentioned wanting it to be a mixed media project.

When I imagine what kind of shows I'd like to do — like, say, an AMERICAN VULGARIA podcast — I don’t see myself doing interviews. That’s what the magazine’s for. And podcasts that discuss media in an artful manner, that’s already been kind of mastered and monopolized. You know, you got Jack Mason doing perfume and art and movies with his brilliant podcast that’s organized as a long-running soap opera narrative, and my friend Sam, he's the ultimate authority on video games. His is a great podcast: The Third Place.

I don't see how I'd enter that sphere.

Without revealing too much, I would like to do something more on the level of Sam Hyde and Million Dollar Extreme and like 2000's MTV, with shows like Jackass and Room Raiders and all that. 20-minute episodes fragmented into whatever segments. I think that'd be fun. GHOST JAIL kind of does that, where it's an hour episode split up into various skits and monologues, all unified with music. I think that's really cool. I'd love to see more artists pick up on that

For me, AV is a multimedia project, and the print mag is just one of those mediums. We'll see where that leads to next. But, ultimately, I am targeting all six senses with AMERICAN VULGARIA.