Erin Micklow and Last Rockers TV Interview

22 Aug

If you have been around the national punk scene in recent years, you have probably spotted Erin Micklow. Either her spiked hair roaming around Punk Rock Bowling, on her YouTube channel, or just with a search of punk social media. The social media bringing out the critics and the praise.

I had the pleasure of meeting her briefly at this year’s Punk Rock Bowling. As one working to bring bands to the attention of more, I truly appreciate seeing her work with the Last Rockers TV channel on YouTube. Though, I did not know a ton about her outside of the online presence. She reached out to me a little bit ago, and the idea of a interview. It was the perfect opportunity to not only learn more about her for myself, but for others too. Below we touch on a variety of topics including how she got into punk rock, the birth of her YouTube channel, modeling, clothing, Rebellion Festival, and on what happened at Punk Rock Bowling this year. Hope you enjoy!

Let’s start it off simple, so how and when did you get into punk and ska?

In tenth grade, I was alternative but not punk. This punk guy sat behind me in my geography class. I didn’t have a lot of friends and he was always really nice to me so we became friends. He always wore a punk vest with an Unseen back patch so I asked him about it. He told me it was a band. I started looking out for shows at a local venue. I saw the Unseen were coming to town and wanted to check them out to see what it was about. My friend wasn’t available to go so I went alone. That was the beginning of it all for me. I think what got me hooked on that first show was I was alone but didn’t feel alone. It was fairly easy to make friends at the show too, which seemed so difficult for me everywhere else.

I’ve always seen you in Vegas the past couple years at Punk Rock Bowling, but I presume that isn’t where you are actually from?

No, I grew up in Tampa, FL and moved to Los Angeles right after graduating high school. Hollywood has been my home for a lot of years now and I love it!

What are some of your favorite bands and musicians?

Rancid, Ramones, Sex Pistols, Blitz, The Briefs, The Business, Cock Sparrer, Swingin’ Utters, The Adicts, and The Aggrolites to name a few!

What are a couple of your bucket list bands, active or inactive, that you would love to see?

The Sex Pistols and the Ramones. That would have been so cool to see them live!

Do you have any guilty pleasure bands?

Green Day’s early stuff. I know it’s a never ending discussion if they’re punk or not, but I think their early stuff is punk as fuck. The first time I heard them, I was seven years old and my brother was listening to his “Dookie” cd. They lost me for a while with the albums after “American Idiot”, but their latest album, “Revolution Radio” is actually really good. I feel like if you’re a kid that grew up in the nineties like I did, how can you not like Green Day? It’s a band that will always have nostalgia and sentimentality for me.

Photo By Joe Altmann

Following your Instagram, I see you also model. When and how did you start down that career path?

I started modeling when I was twelve years old after attending a modeling school called “Barbizon,” which my mother and I later found out was a scam. After that I started reaching out to agencies in Florida and started taking some acting classes. My mother took me to NY and LA when I was fourteen to pursue a career in entertainment. When she realized she would need to uproot her life and move, she told me to wait until I was eighteen, done with high school and I could move on my own. Which I did!

In addition, I enjoy how you convert these shirts and other articles of band clothing into skirts and tops (blouses?) for women. You include before and after shots of the conversions too. How did you get into doing that? Was it always punk rock clothing designs?

I grew up around my mother and grandmother sewing and making wardrobe as a hobby. So naturally, I picked it up as a hobby too! My mom and grandma taught me the basics of sewing by hand. When I wanted to learn on a machine I was in high school. I started taking sewing classes at a local fabric shop on Saturday mornings in Tampa. I always had these ideas for wardrobe and what I wanted to look like, but I either couldn’t find clothing like that or I couldn’t afford it. So I started making things myself!

I’ve never been the best seamstress, as I’m more of an idea person. The more I make things, the better I get at constructing the pieces. To this day, I feel the selection for women’s punk clothes is limited if you take a look at any band’s women’s merch selection. So I feel I sew out of necessity. I want to support the bands I love so I’m constantly coming up with new and creative ways I can turn their basic tees into something special, cute and DIY!

When did you start the pursuit of what is Last Rockers TV? What got you invested into doing it?

Facebook memories reminded me that one year ago this week, was my first interview under Last Rockers TV! Fifty one interviews later, the channel has grown really rapidly in just one year. The channel was born when I was on the phone with a girlfriend joking around. I had seen a video on YouTube and was thinking, “I could do that!” My girlfriend said “Yeah you should!” and that’s kind of how the interviews portion of my channel was born.

Some of the seeds had already been planted though because I’ve interviewed bands in the past for other people’s channels. A few months prior to the birth of my channel, I had been approached to interview artists for a couple different outlets. For various reasons, it just never happened. I like that with my channel, I’m in control of the various aspects and have a say in the quality of the videos I put out. I reach out to the bands to set up the interviews, research the artists to prep questions and do all the editing myself. It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun too!

Now on the topic of Last Rockers TV, I saw you had issues with your press credentials at the last Punk Rock Bowling. You don’t have to go into any detail on that, but in your last update recapping the show you said it was your last PRB. Is it really going to keep you from going to it again, even if just as a regular attendee again?

Yes, after supporting that festival and attending for the last eight years in a row, I’m sad to say my ties have been severed completely with the fest after the bullshit they put me through this year.

What this is really about is the personal differences that Shawn Stern has with me because we dated very briefly back in 2009, almost a decade ago! PRB had initially denied my media credentials to the fest, but a friend vouched for my work and got them approved. Because of that, I already had a bad feeling going into the fest this year. At the fest, I wanted to be the bigger person. With the encouragement of my husband of the last six years, Joe, I approached Shawn Stern, genuinely thanked him for approving my media credentials and congratulated him on the fest. I heard from a friend later that apparently he didn’t know that I had media credentials. So at that point he made it his mission to have me removed from his festival.

His assistant made up a lie that she saw me filming backstage. Claiming I had been told “several times” not to but that I did it anyway. So that they could have a reason that looked legitimate for removing me. It is complete crap and absolutely un-true, but if they told the truth it would expose him as the small man he is. Had they asked to see my cameras, I would have gladly shown them what was on them. To prove that I was not filming backstage, but I was not even given that courtesy. On a side note, there has been a ton of press released since the fest from other media outlets that were actually filming backstage. I wonder why they weren’t given the same treatment as me? They banned me from the festival, the free pool parties, all the clubs shows and all other PRB related events.

Now I saw you went over to Europe and Rebellion recently, how was that experience? Was it your first time watching music outside of the U.S.? What were a couple of your favorite sets out there?

Rebellion was absolutely incredible! It was my first time attending and they welcomed us with open arms. The festival owners and producers really worked with me to help get the best footage possible to promote the fest and the bands. Everyone was incredibly friendly and happy. The environment felt like a real community! There wasn’t that celebrity culture that we have in America where the artists hide in their tents and trailers and nobody is allowed to talk to them. Many famous artists were out and about socializing. I thought it was so cool how accessible and laid back they were!

We did thirteen interviews, the most I’ve done at a single fest so far. Filmed the bands’ live sets, and filmed for my Rebellion recap video. The recap video is up. A new interview will be released every week for the next several weeks on my channel!

The festival itself was also incredibly well organized. Which to me is absolutely awe inspiring considering the size of that fest. Seven stages with bands playing simultaneously, around the clock, for four days! I was really impressed with the sound quality, lighting on the stages, as well as the security guards. Security would catch the crowd surfers, gently lift them to safety and then send them back to the crowd. Being used to shows in America and how rough the security can be, this was something very foreign and amazing to see. This is what punk rock shows should be like.

On a related question, what music festivals have you attended? Which one stands out as your favorite and why?

I love a lot of the SoCal fest that SGE puts on, all these fests by the beach. And I have to say, I think Rebellion will become my annual event from here on out!

Any bucket list festival you hope to hit in the near future?

I’d like to attend Riot Fest Chicago again. I attended that one back in 2014 and had an amazing time! Also, the Flogging Molly Cruise looks like loads of fun, would love to be able to attend that one as well!

We end it on that. I learned a bit about her and hope you did too. Thank you Erin Micklow for participating in the interview with me. If you liked what you read and want to follow her, you can find her stuff at the following places:

Subscribe to Erin’s channel, Last Rockers TV: http://bit.ly/2Mtot0U
Follow on Instagram: http://bit.ly/2Muc39e
Like on Facebook: http://bit.ly/2PhaKZU
Follow on Twitter: http://bit.ly/2BfASBb

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