Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.
Who: Shane Jesse Christmass
Where: Melbourne, Australia
So, who are you?
I am Shane Jesse Christmass. Son of Byford, brother of Al.
What do you do?
I make, construct, write, music, some art. I’ve written two novels. One from 2014 called Acid Shottas. One from 2016 called Police Force as a Corrupt Breeze, published by Dostoyevsky Wannabe. I was also in a band called Mattress Grave. I am currently in a band called Snake Milker. We just put out a cassette on Pretty All Right Records in Chicago. There’s a whole bunch of other stuff, check the internet, it’s all there.
Who or what are you influenced by?
Depends. I do like being inspired by the stuff I’m ingesting at any given moment. At the moment I’m reading Bitch Planet – the American comic book by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and artist Valentine De Landro. I always come back to Percy Bysshe Shelley though. That’s just writing though. Any list would be endless and perpetual.
Are you one of those people who like really loves technology?
Yes. It’s always invigorating to pull a small remote control from the chest pocket of my uniform and create something.
Do you still listen to music? If so, what's been the best stuff you've heard all year?
I’ll include 2015 in this. BYG Actuel was a French record label founded in 1967. They specialised mainly in free jazz, but also had other artists like Gong record for them. A lot of the albums were recorded in a short period in 1969 in France, and then released over the subsequent years. Last year I got into a 2002 compilation. It’s a 3-CD set by Thurston Moore and journalist Byron Coley. Since I stopped DJing, I’ve listened to less contemporary music. Been getting listening to Soft Machine a lot lately, and the Kevin Ayres and Robert Wyatt solo stuff. I still listen to a little bit of electronic music, as evident by this mixtape I did for my new novel.
Do you read? Tell us about good books you read this year?
I’ve been on a roll lately that every book I read has been superb. Here’s a list, starting with the most recent:
I Love Dick - Chris Kraus (currently reading and likely that this might be the greatest book I’ve ever read)
Free Jazz - Ekkehard Jost
The Decline of the West - Oswald Spengler
Autoportrait - Édouard Levé
'Pataphysics: A Useless Guide - Andrew Hugill
Stand on Zanzibar - John Brunner
High-Rise - J.G. Ballard
Eden, Eden, Eden - Pierre Guyotat,
Roadside Picnic - Arkady Strugatsky, Boris Strugatsky,
Consumed - David Cronenberg
The Fuck-Up - Arthur Nersesian
The Armageddon Crazy – Mick Farren
334 - Thomas M. Disch
The Blue Room – Georges Simenon
The Man In The High Castle – Phillip K. Dick.
The Suicide Cult. The Inside Story Of The Peoples Temple Sect and the Massacre In Guyana - Marshall Kilduff
What are you currently working on?
Doing artwork. GIF work. Been asked to submit some work for a few journals and to submit for a gallery show. Working on a new novel, which may just be a collection of nouns. Working on a musical side-project. Not sure if it will get released.
Who's ever written a great work about the immense effort required in order not to create?
Oh this is easy. ‘The Tobbaconist’s’ - written by Fernando Pessoa as one of his heteronyms – Alvaro de Campos.
So do you fancy yourself as some kind of artist or what?
Probably not. Probably not for me to say either.
'Quit... quit... you should quit... you should quit... you should... you should...'. Should you quit?
I prefer to define it as a retirement rather than quitting. I’ll retire, then come back in two years time because I miss the footlights so much. But when I come out of retirement I’ll also be going through the motions.
Are you just in it for the money?
I’m in it for the retweets.
Can you give us the names of two other interesting people who you think we may not have heard of but should have heard of and who we can put these questions to?
Check out ‘Moss Piglet’ an experimental sci-fi journal. The editor is Becky Nos.
Also hit up: Gobbet Mag.
'Police Force as a Corrupt Breeze' by Shane Jesse Christmass is out now on Dostoyevsky Wannabe. Watch the video trailer (produced by Dostoyevsky Wannabe's Richard Brammer) below: