Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with Fake Publishing Millionarie’s and Indica in Decay’s Ilan Moskowitz. Together we discussed the origins of Fake Publishing Millionaires, what Fake Publishing Millionaires does, Indica in Decay signing with Ska Punk International, Indica in Decay’s upcoming single, and so much more!
1. Mustard is grateful to have Ilan Moskowitz from Fake Publishing Millionaires join them. How are you?
It’s probably been Fake Publishing Millionaires’ best year yet!
In print, we’ve put out Josh PM’s “The Inexcusable Hardcore Dan” comics collection, “Dream Dream Dream” by Sean Choate, my lit zine “Lorraine, Who Tells You What To Think About Reality Television,” a whole mess of mini-zines like “Weird Drumsets,” and I’m about to print a “remastered” version of “Kitchen Deathmatch” #1, from our ska/food service themed horror zine series. And then there’s some really wacky stuff in 2023.
In other forms of media, we started a ska/zines radio hour on BFF.FM, and this week’s guest is Aaron Carnes from In Defense of Ska. It was part of San Francisco’s Litquake event this year, which is a real honor.
Also, we’ve been building our music video crew for weird tactile effects stuff, inspired by old horror movies like Troma, which has been really fun. We’ve made two Indica in Decay videos so far that all have some great “gross out” scenes, with another coming out in December. Plus a video for Sad Snack in November!
2. Fake Publishing Millionaires formed in 2015. When did the idea first come to form Fake Publishing Millionaires?
The original idea in 2014 was to publish everything digitally, to say “fuck you” to conventional publishing. But that never took off. We put out a bunch of short stories online with the idea that it was targeted at commuters who wanted to read new works by underground writers. We split the initial company between the east and west coast, and I handled NYC stuff. I’d go with my crew there to zine events at Silent Barn or Pioneer Works with thumb drives full of PDF’s, because we didn’t have anything in print for the first year. And you knew people were just wiping the thumb drives for the storage space without ever reading the digital zines. But we got the last laugh by buying such cheap thumb drives in bulk that only one in five actually worked.
3. Fake Publishing Millionaires features everything from Zines, Comics, Radio, and Film. Is there a place humans can check all these out?
The central hub of this madness is literally www.youaredoingeverythingwrong.com
The Fake Publishing Millionaires’ Hour has all episodes available at: https://bff.fm/shows/the-fake-publishing-millionaires-hour
Our music videos and concert recordings are up at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ7kIPHdFex77ilWQFNxRV
We sell our zines through the Silver Sprocket Comix webstore (https://www.silversprocket.net), Ska Boxes (https://www.skaboxrox.com/), Denver Zine Library (https://denverzinelibrary.org/) and at every Indica in Decay or Sad Snack merch table.
We split tables lately with our good friend The QUEENBY, who makes these sick vaporwave zines about smoking colors. Her stuff is at www.instgram.com/dontbedumbo_
4. Mustard has had the pleasure of interviewing Ellie Stokes, who founded Big Leap Collective, and whom Fake Publishing Millionaires has worked with. How did this collaboration happen?
I was living in Portland in 2021 and had just finished this band/satirical comic series called Millennial Falcon, which existed, through an absolutely ridiculous series of legal loopholes, almost entirely to go the distance and truly fuck with Disney in trademark hearings. The Millennium Falcon was apparently a property which, despite millions in acquisition, they didn’t fully have locked down with the same trademark system they tried to use in 2013 to trademark the holiday Dia De Los Muertos in multiple sectors of commerce (like “christmas ornaments” and “fruit based snacks”).
Millennial Falcon V. Millennium Falcon lasted years and cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars, and me not a cent. It almost set a precedent for parody in Trademark court which would have, in theory, loosened Disney’s hold on a lot of public domain cultural fables. Disney’s argument is that despite half of Star Wars not being formally trademarked, it’s so famous that a formal trademark is irrelevant. But then how could they trademark a holiday?
Aaron Carnes did an excellent job of summarizing the band/comic/parody while it was still going in this article for Good Times Santa Cruz:
I started trading the Millennial Falcon comics with Alvie and the Breakfast Pigs in SF (who have a comic of their own), and that got Ellie’s attention. She’s a comic book fan and messaged me to get some copies. While I was in SF to play a livestream at the Complex with Indica in Decay, I saw her band Grooblen and was blown away. Since then we’ve played a bunch of shows together and Grooblen’s drummer Sean Choate has become a writing/publishing collaborator, as well as my bandmate in Sad Snack.
5. It was announced on Ska Punk International’s Fall 2022 Direct that Indica in Decay has signed with the label. Are you able to share more about how this came about?
Chris was apparently into what I was doing on Megawave’s Megawednesday. Which is flattering. I play all these analog synths live with a drum machine, so it’s like walking on a tightrope.
When I sent him a pitch a few weeks later, he enthusiastically agreed, welcomed me aboard, and then gave me a grave warning that what I am doing is not ska, and people might be a little weird about that.
Which felt like my brain was hanging upside down, if you’ll pardon the Ramones reference, because of how many times I’d been in ska bands years ago, when emo or indie was a ruling force in booking, and to get taken seriously one would avoid the phrase “ska” in their bio. We’d often used the phrase “jazz punk,” which it literally wasn’t, and I cringe to think of now.
6. Mustard loves the concept of an ongoing rock opera. What inspired the idea?
I liked the trope as a kid about characters becoming so impassioned in a moment that all they can do is sing about it, like the Say Anything rock opera “. . . Is a Real Boy.” I like how, without a libretto, rock operas pick up at different points in a plot, providing a jagged timeline by which the listener skips through the story. For instance, how conversational the second person dialogue is in Billy Joel track “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” but in the longform that would mean stringing together different versions of these perspectives . . . Into an infinity of Italian Restaurants, mwahahahahahah!7. On Thursday the first scene from Indica in Decay will be released with SPI. What can readers expect from the first act?
I wanted something like “Let’s Get Delirious” by Prince, only it’s being played on speakers as you run through your abusive slumlord’s band house with a sledgehammer, singing along as you smash things like Dee Snider in a Twisted Sister video.8. Indica, the star of Indica in Decay, wants to conquer the world of music but it will have many challenges. Will humans be able to relate to these challenges?
Indica’s quest hinges on her having a big heart, but feeling too defeated to really work on her own music. She is constantly trying to find someone whose music she can be a part of, which she sees as somehow saving her.
In finding a mythical instrument that writes immediately lovable music for her, she doesn’t solve her problems or learn anything.
The first two acts are a lot about Indica trying to figure out what makes her happy and whether or not she’s misplaced her goals. But it’s got sorcery, people getting their guts replaced by machines, songwriting A.I., the mythical Lady of the Lake, ghosts . . . so I hope it’s not too relatable, because that sounds like a really hectic lifestyle.
9. Act one, scene one is called “15 years of mop water.” Is the mop water foreshadowing Indica’s job? Or is Indica cleaning up the mess of others?
15 years of Mopwater is Indica lamenting the decade and a half of shitty jobs and band houses she’s endured on a quest for rock stardom which she’s beginning to question.
10. For those who have not listened to Indica in Decay before, how would you describe your sound?
Gritty synth & drum machine punk, with catchy hooks and proggy breaks.
11. Where can readers check out Indica in Decay?
15 Years of Mopwater is out 10/27 STREAMING EVERYWHERE through Ska Punk International!
The first two scenes are available on our bandcamp: www.indicaindecay.bandcamp.com
The video for No Oasis Covers! (a FPM/Octopus Primate collab with Noelle FV from Sad Snack co-directing & starring) can be seen at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m68UOMf3NJY
The video for 15 Years of Mopwater (a FPM/Octopus Primate collab) can be seen at: