Hi, self, let’s agree to pretend that there’s an actual interviewer, shall we? Otherwise, we, you and I, are going to choke on the preciousness of it all.

Yeah, let’s do that. The whole notion of a self interview is endlessly cute and irritating. It’s like club promoters who “let” the band set up their own bill. Nobody wants to work anymore.


Well, your work ethic is terrible too.

Yeah, but I NEVER wanted to work. I think it’s a new thing for everyone else.


Fine. Did you read that book that n+1 put out on “the hipster”?

No, I read the shorter New York Magazine piece. It was fine. Life’s a bit too short to read a book length treatment on the subject. When I worked at The Strand, my boss gave me advice that has served me well up to this day. He said “Zack, life is too short to read Tom Wolf.” I use it often and I think it’s given me an extra lifetime of spare time. Spare time I use to download Crust demos and think of snide things to say about Let The Great World Spin.


What are you talking about, you loved that book. You were, like, crying through the whole thing.

Sure, at the time, but now all I remember is the part where the Irish dude talks about playing Tom Waits in a bar. Nobody plays Tom Waits in a bar. It’s like wearing a sign that says, “I’m in a bar! Ask me about it! Bar bar bar bar bar . . .” The only people who play Tom Waits in bars are college kids and people who write “Great American Novels.” Nobody should have to drink with either of those types.


Do you mean what you say, or are you just trying to be interesting?

Chuck Eddy’s Stairway to Hell was a huge influence on me. People thought he was just being contrary because he put Teena Marie and the Adverts in his top ten Heavy Metal albums of all time, but he was being sincere while never losing sight of the fact that shit should actually be interesting to read. I’m interested in the truth, but I don’t make a fetish of it.


Let’s get back to the hipster thing.



Because people like to talk about it. It elicits strong feelings. And your writing has been criticized in the context of you being a hipster asshole.

Yeah, fair enough and, by current loose standards, I am. I guess I’ve been hearing people I’ve been serving drinks to calling other people hipsters for as long as I can remember but, to me, it’s not a terribly interesting subject. I mean, I work, pay my rent, plan on eventually paying taxes, I figure the obscurity of the band t-shirt I’m wearing is my business. If it makes you feel bad, on whatever level, don’t tip me. I’m a grown-ass man, I’m too busy fearing death to flip the fuck out over a blogger’s disdain for my life.


But you live in Williamsburg, play in a band, and have black rim glasses. You’re a goddamned cartoon.

Luckily Williamsburg is no longer hip. It’s now just a rich shitty college town. A guy like me can now, walking down Bedford Ave., safely get called a faggot by a white person. So I would hope everyone would update their cultural references accordingly. Anyway, there seems to be a real element of “disco sucks” to the hatred of all things hipster. Know what I’m saying? People can’t say what they mean. Hardly ever.


OK. We already knew that. So, what’s next for you and Stacy and Nick?

We’re doing a reading/performance in SF for the Noise Pop Fest, at the end of February. I’m not allowed to talk about all the neat stuff Nick is working on musically, but it’s real neat. Stacy has a cool book of show dog photos out on her and her sister’s publishing house, Evil Twin. I’m working on a novel (like everyone reading this I imagine), a piece on my love of Cop Shoot Cop, and an essay for a Jane Eyre zine.


A Jane Eyre zine?

Yeah. I think I’m going to defend Rochester. I don’t see the problem. He seems fine to me.



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ZACHARY LIPEZ sings in the band Freshkills, tends bar at Beauty Bar Brooklyn, and deejays all over New York City. His writing appears on Vol.1 blog. He is the author of Please Take Me Off the Guest List (photography by Nick Zinner of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeah's and design director Stacy Wakefield).

14 responses to “Zachary Lipez: The TNB Self-Interview”

  1. jmblaine says:

    Man I used
    to spend a lot of time
    downloading Crue demos
    Not for any of that
    later crap
    just the stuff off Too Fast
    & Shout at the Devil.
    I liked Donna Summer
    but never quite caught
    that dude’s estimation
    that she should be
    in the top metal albums.
    I mean, I sort of did
    but I didn’t.

    This is the best
    ever on TNB.

  2. johnny says:

    it always was a college town i think.. It is just that we where the under classman now we are teh townies who didn’t leave.

  3. mikki says:

    Wait, why is the Jane Eyre tag lowercase? I knew you hated women.

  4. Smitty says:

    Dude, what’s the best Riistetyt record to get? Been listening to lots of Oi! lately which is always refreshing thanks to it’s commitment levels. Still, fuck Chuck Eddy.

    • Zachary Lipez says:

      Well, when they played ABC No Rio last year, I got the new one, so…not that one. I think they have a compilation. I saw them later that night and they were talking about how Williamsburg was a police state because their show at Rock Star Bar got shut down. Thanks for the comment, Person I’ve Never Met!

  5. Judes says:

    You may be a hipster, but you’re no asshole.

  6. Smitty says:

    So what do 40 year old veteran Finnish hardcore dudes look like? Where is the Rock Star Bar? Since I don’t know you I have no idea where these places are.

  7. Pandy says:

    I like this.

  8. Maria says:

    This is comment #45. And it says that Zack is more relevant now than he’s ever been before.

  9. Gloria says:

    The Tom Wolfe advice is topnotch and when I quit reading Bonfire of the Vanities fifty pages in, I felt at that moment like I was making an incredibly important decision. Now I know why.

    I’m too busy fearing death to flip the fuck out over a blogger’s disdain for my life. <—- total awesomeness.

  10. […] Lipez interviews himself at The Nervous Breakdown.  This is probably the most groundbreaking interview ever done by Lipez about […]

  11. Jesse F says:

    I’ve been working on a piece defending Rochester as well, in the context of his work for Jack Benny. Perhaps we can join forces! Also, you should come up to Morningside and visit sometime, as I need to get you your Warhammer Fantasy Roleplaying manual back.

  12. chris says:

    I used to have such a crush on Zach — I often went to Mars Bar just to ogle him. He’s still cute and funny…

  13. JJ says:

    The Hazlitt piece on Bob ‘n Ray was great. Make photocopies.

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