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Perzine, Maxx,,, $4

What’s more romantic than taking to the highway and working to help up-and-coming bands realize their dreams? If you go by the account of Ottawa sound technician and zinester Maxx’s account of her first time crossing the U.S. with a heavy metal band: pretty much anything else. From catching a cold that just won’t quit to babysitting the whims of the petulant lead singer and navigating night after night of solitary highway driving, Maxx’s first time on the road isn’t exactly the vision of music-based camaraderie that she’d imagined.

First Tour Problems is divided into chronological sections, as well as mini-chapters named after the city or state that’s the backdrop of her life at the time. It’s a smart design that helps the geographically inclined imagine the tour route and terrain.

While this is a relatively text-heavy zine, there are a lot of areas where I wish Maxx delved deeper. More detail about the personalities of the guys in the band and her actual work as a sound tech would’ve added to the tension and weariness she touches on and probably would have made her victories seem all the sweeter. The passages that resonate most are when the tone goes personal, like when she expresses gladness for the dark so the guys don’t see her blush.

Illustrated with daggers, diamonds, photographs and maps of the Pillars of Earth, this is not a slapdash zine. There’s something satisfying about a publication like this, with its colour cover and section dividers. I want to give it the same sort of time and attention that was put into its creation.

On the back cover of First Tour Problems, Maxx mentions being asked out on tour with another band. I hope she writes about this second foray into road life. The world could use more stories about touring soundgirls. (Joanne Huffa)

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