One of our main goals as a venue is to bring our creative vision to you, and this isn’t just aided by discovery of new artists, but also through the discovery of new labels, promoters, and magazines, which are a fundamental element of the DIY music industry. One of our favourite zines on the scene currently is Why Generation?, a new project by Elly Bailey. Elly has worked in the industry as a photographer and journalist, and recently pulled such skills and passion into Why Generation?, a physical print zine which promotes new music. With a niche focus on punk, indie and rock music, the zine is stunningly put together, with eloquent reviews and features accompanied by photos (both film and digital), and illustrations designed by FEET’s George Haverson
Issue Three recently sold out, as did the debut issue and Issue Two. The zine features artists like YOWL, Calva Louise, Lady Bird, Strange Bones, and Television Screams, with a raw subculture inspired philosophy embedded in the zine. We had an in-depth chat with founder Elly about the zine, the accompanying launch parties she runs, and her overall role in the music industry to date. She has also curated a new playlist for our Isolation Tapes series on Spotify, so have a read below and keep an eye on her socials for the much anticipated arrival of Issue Four
Tell us about the zine and events you run under Why Generation? What’s the ethos behind the magazine?
First of all, thank you for having me! Why Generation? is a music magazine and blog that I started in September 2019. It originally started as a space to share gig photography but by Issue Two it had grown into a proper zine with different features, interviews and more. I also started working with an illustrator called George Haverson who helps to create the vision I am going for with each Issue.
We go by the mantra, “for the misfits, the moshers, the early morning rockers”, inspired by the dedicated music fans who spend pretty much every evening going out to gigs, staying out all night and doing it again the next day. These kids that attend grassroots venues is what keeps the underground music scene alive, and is how so many amazing artists have been discovered.
I also put on gigs as a launch party for each Issue and handpick artists that I love, and who I want to support and showcase to other people. We have previously had bands such as Spit, Snayx, Juicebox and more play, and when the lockdown is over I definitely want to put some more on!
How did you initially get into the music industry?
For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with music, especially live music, and when I finished school I decided to go to the Academy of Contemporary Music to study Music Business and to also connect with people that had similar interests to mine. My degree has been very beneficial to finding work in the music industry and I went straight from leaving ACM to an internship at Murray Chalmers PR, and have since just carried on from there. I’ve never really had a real plan, but I enjoy what I do and am excited to see what other opportunities come my way.
As well as your zine, you’re well known for your photography work. Tell us a bit about this
I started doing photography whilst at ACM in 2016. Because it’s a music university, a night out would mainly consist of going to see your mate’s bands play, so I would go along and take photos, and eventually, people starting hiring me to photograph them. I originally worked only on film cameras but in 2018 got a DSLR camera as a birthday present and am still regularly hired to do shoots, photograph gigs and even doing photography jobs for corporate events and clubs.
What have your favourite projects been in your career so far?
In October 2018 I went on a UK tour with the indie-pop band Anteros as their personal photographer which was an incredible experience, travelling all over the country and getting to learn so much and also create some amazing content which I am still very proud of.
Along with this, my work as a photojournalist allowed me to attend a handful of different festivals last year, including Download, Truck, The Great Escape, Reading and more. It was very rewarding to see that all my hard work had paid off and that different PRs were allowing me to attend these festivals on press passes. And of course, each festival was a lot of fun, I saw so many great bands and got to have a lot of fun with my friends.
How do you discover new music, and how important are grassroots venues in aiding this discovery?
I think we’re pretty lucky that we live in a time where we do have so many ways to discover new music, everything from going to gigs, checking out recommendations from friends, and using platforms like Spotify to search through playlists to find new artists. I also am a very big fan of the app Shazam, and if I am out somewhere and hear a song I like, I’ll always Shazam it and then go back to it at a later time.
There have been so many bands that I originally discovered at a grassroots venue, such as Calva Louise, The Blinders, Avalanche Party and more. If you don’t have a huge team behind you it can be hard to get gigs or support slots at big venues, so it’s these grassroots venues that allow smaller bands to play and gain fans, which is what makes them so important. And as grassroots venues tend to have a much lower entry fee, a lot of the time people will attend them, not really knowing who’s playing and then will end up finding their new favourite band.
What plans do you have for the next issue of Why Generation?
I am currently working on Issue 4 and have conducted most of the interviews; it’s now just a case of putting them together and also working on the other features.
Along with this, I am currently working with a website designer, and together we are coming up with a plan for a brand new site which is very exciting and I can’t wait for us to finally be able to share it with people!
Elly has curated a Why Generation? playlist for us below, as our 10th Isolation Tapes instalment
Follow Why Generation? below