Create to Destroy! Anya
I met Anya a few years back in Portland. She was like no other punk I had ever seen before, is in good bands, and carries an interesting conversation making her an all-around engaging human. In a sea of clones, here is a truly colorful individual—online and off! I don’t exist on the internet (except through MRR.com and my record label) but even I knew of her internet presence. Whether Tumblr or Instagram, this girl is a magnet for punk and fashion voyeurism. Eat your hearts out…
How do aesthetics and punk intersect for you?
I think the two are intertwined in a really taboo way, to be honest. Anyone that has ever seen a punk is aware that there is a specific aesthetic there, and yet somehow talking about fashion choices or looks has this connotation of being shallow. While I don’t totally disagree with that sentiment, I think that said shallowness can be combatted by being open about these things, much like how people say that privilege or bias, etc., can be combated by awareness primarily. Like, if you’re fucking secretive about your look and uncomfortable talking about it, that tells me you probably think about it an awkward amount. For me, a central doctrine of punk is pushing boundaries and I think it’s important to not exclude our own boundaries from this.
[pullquote]A central doctrine of punk is pushing boundaries, and I think it’s important to not exclude our own boundaries from this.[/pullquote]
Do you feel that the aesthetics of punk are important?
Clearly punk aesthetics are important to me. I mean, fucking look at me — Christ. I think aesthetics are important in general, and having said that I don’t mean that they necessarily should be important to everyone. I guess I could say that as a cripplingly visual person, aesthetics are important to me though. I think people should look and present themselves however the fuck they want, even if that means presenting themselves in no particular way. Having said that, though, that doesn’t stop me from relentlessly talking shit about normal assholes. Like if you’re fucking walking around in crocs and a utili-kilt you’re a complete dick, sorry.
What punk fashion movements and characters have had an impact on your personal style?
I think that much like my taste in music, the two things that have had the most influence on me fashion-wise and in general are the anarcho punk and 1977 punk “movements.” I’m embarrassingly obsessed with England in the ’80s. I like things that blur the line between what’s a joke and what isn’t, and if you’ve ever seen me, that’s abundantly clear.
What is Tumblr, and what do you post on there?
Tumblr is a website where all kinds of weirdos can have a blog without knowing anything about fucking code or whatever you need to know about to have a regular blog. You can make it be about whatever the fuck you want and there’s almost no censorship so it’s a jungle out there. I originally started because I was bored and unhappy with my life so I wanted a way to distract myself, and then people seemed to like it and I’m fucking starved for attention. I post porn, pictures of punks from the ’70s/’80s and general internet dysphoria. I really like the perverse outsider art aspect of the internet a lot.
Do you feel that through social media that you have branded yourself almost as a punk character, not just some weird Portland local?
Oh, definitely. I think anybody that knew me before knew me as a bizarre character, and that my eventual transmigration into social media has cemented and exacerbated this aspect of my personality. “Internet” has given me the physical and mental or “cyber” space to expand into utter fucking shit.
Do you value privacy? Do you feel it’s diminished by having an online presence?
I do value privacy and I do feel it’s diminished by having an online presence. However, I also think that if you don’t want a motherfucker to know what you’re up to don’t talk about it and don’t photograph it, and if you throw something out into the aether at this point it’s unrealistic to assume it can be private. I feel the things that I post on the internet are so absurd that if the powers that be acknowledge me as a threat to society then “they” are essentially acknowledging their own obsolescence.
What does “all men are rapists” mean? Do you consider yourself a feminist?
When I decided to engage in social media, I wanted an eponym that was universally offensive. “Allmenarerapists” was something I felt nobody would feel good about and nobody would make a fad of, so of course I was attracted to this as a screen name. I used to write it on coats and we used to have a couch with “all men are RAPIST” spray painted huge on it.
Do you think it’s weird I’m interviewing you about your online presence?
Not at all, to be honest. I think it’s strange that virtual personalities and discussions thereof aren’t more of a discussion point within the punk scene.
Do you think it’s weird punk exists on the internet?
Not at all. Bias noted, I think that punk as the manifestation of anger and alienation retains relevancy throughout the digital age. I think that the intrinsic irony worship of digital media mixed with the infernal petulance of the punk scene creates an inescapable draw. Maybe ten years ago it seemed strange, but nowadays I happily acknowledge that we’re edging quickly toward the cyberpunk post-apocalyptic world prophesized by William Gibson and Phillip K Dick.
Have you had any strange interactions or backlash because of your presence online?
Because the international punk scene is passive aggressive as fuck, I have not officially received any backlash due to my online presence. However, I do feel that I have had several strange interactions because of it. Because smartphones notify a motherfucker immediately when you unfollow on Instagram or Tumblr, people are constantly intimately aware of your level of interest in the minutiae of their lives and feelings get hurt.
What bands are you in now?
I’m playing in VIVID SEKT still, new EP on the way all female fronted, and also I’m in a new Oi band called PMS84 with members of KOWARD and LIFE FORM that should be pretty ridiculous.
Do people know you who you have never seen before, and not just because of the bands you’ve been in?
Oh, yeah, all the time. When I was in Europe last year I was constantly recognized at shows in various exotic locales. It happened so much that BELLICOSE MINDS and BELGRADO were giving me no end of shit. I am comfortable with this. I feel that my online persona is an extension of my “meatspace” one, and I’m pretty comfortable with myself at this point. Fucking 27 years old — FUCK.
LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH
Anya on Tumblr: allmenarerapists.tumblr.com