In 1994 punk rock fanzine writer Welly Artcore jumped in the van with legendary British punk band CHAOS U.K. for a two month tour around the U.S. Four years later he did it all again with his own band, FOUR LETTER WORD, this time also travelling across Canada.
The books author, Welly’s lifelong obsession with punk rock began in the late ‘70s, where he soon found himself designing his own home made record covers. As a result, after high school he
studied graphic design at print school and art college for four years and has been a graphic designer for punk bands and labels for over 30 years since, with over 170 published releases to date.
While still in high school, after finding out what a fanzine was from the pages of Maximum Rock’n’Roll he began creating his own, Artcore, in late 1985, printing a few dozen copies of the first issue on the high school photocopier in January 1986. He continues to publish Artcore to this day with 40 issues and 16 vinyl fanzines released to date.
After writing lyrics from an early age he co-founded FOUR LETTER WORD in 1991 taking up the role of vocalist, and after one 7” EP in 1995 they signed to YOUTH BRIGADE’s Los Angeles based B.Y.O. Records in 1997 for the story you just read. They released a total of four albums and eight EPs and singles before calling it a day 20 years after forming.
After FOUR LETTER WORD Welly formed the short lived STATE FUNERAL on vocals before being asked to join VIOLENT ARREST for their last two releases, followed by the one-off studio project, SIGNAL CRIMES, with three members of HERESY. With 30 years of bands and 20 releases under his belt, he now thinks it’s time for the kids to have their say.
He also ran two D.I.Y. punk rock record shops/stalls, Damaged Records (2004-2008) and the aptly named Ghost Town Records (2012-2014) in Cardiff, Wales, and was involved in promoting and making flyers for gigs and all-day charity benefits in Cardiff and Newport from the 1980s onwards.
After the tours he visited the U.S. numerous times with his family before relocating to Arizona in 2018.
‘Directions to the outskirts of town (Punk rock tour diaries from nineties north America)’ is a wonderful tour diary which makes its way across America, From the impossible drives, to
scrapes with the authorities, and the bands they shared stages and floors with along the way, often with nothing more than the name of a club on a scrap of paper that turned out to be a disused
unit in an industrial estate, they somehow made most of the gigs. All the while, Welly did something so many others don’t, he wrote it all down. The book also features 250+ awesome photos!
-Foreword by Kaos (singer of Chaos UK)
Earth Island Books
Publication date: 28/05/21
326 pages, paperback