MF = Mahmood Fazal
DX = Daniel Stewart
MF: To the woman who shot Mussolini. Welcome to Mont Icons, I'm Mahmood Fazal, a former outlaw biker now working as a writer and journalist. I founded the Mont Publishing House with my friend DX and this podcast is a way for us to explore icons of counterculture.
DX: I'm Daniel Stewart, for the last decade I have published a magazine called Distort that started as propaganda for my own bands and other cult hardcore and punk music. Mahmood and I founded Mont out of our shared interest in writing and counterculture.
MF: So DX, what is this thing we're calling counterculture?
DX: Let me flag from the outset that we've both had mad reservations about even using that tag counterculture for months, based on how commercial it is to brand yourself in this way. But we've both immersed ourselves in counterculture outlaw and outsider culture from a very young age. And it's not our way to brand what we're doing, but it's more where we're coming from.
MF: Yeah, I mean, for me, counterculture is the story of otherness. I've always been drawn to the stories of freaks, the criminals, the losers, the hustlers and the downtrodden. In many ways, the worlds that we both inhabit, that no man's land on the fringes of crime and hardcore, underground music still ferments this thing we call counterculture that's always been around.
DX: I think it's important to tie all this in with the history of radical art and literature and revolutionary politics, which have always informed each other. And this space that we're calling counterculture can really be thought of as a space on the margins, where poets and lowlifes and artists and insurrectionists painters and vandals are all forced to come together and figure out the big questions.
MF: Yeah, like, what, what the fuck are we doing here? And how is that experience different for people who have tested the limits of life and living? What can we learn from that? Who are historic icons, who mean the most to us and who are the countercultural icons of today? We'll be talking to outsiders about their icon, gangsters, about their street heroes, philosophers about their inspirations, body builders about their idols.
DX: This podcast is about exploring the intersections of our own lives, your background in criminal and prison culture, my background in underground publishing and music, and making the most of our shared influences and interests in having conversations with people from these worlds, trying to interrogate exactly what is meant by outsider, or counterculture in 2020. Look away the sparks are flying. What's actually interesting and real out there. What kinds of obsessions and fascinations are driving people to take photos, make music, design fashion, write poetry and take risks doing these things?
MF: You can listen to Mont icons at Litmus dot media or wherever you get your podcasts