The recently launched Inside Line magazine has caught the attention of many a rollergirl.Happily, Scottish Roller Derby managed to get a chance to catch up with Jessica Rammit,rollergirl and founder of the UK's first dedicated Roller Derby publication,to chat about founding the mag,the future of UK Derby and who will win the World Cup!
SRD-How did the Magazine start?
JR-I subscribe to Five on Five and Blood and Thunder magazine and although I love them and think they are great derby magazines, I thought there was a difference to the UK scene that was more DIY than the USA that wasn't represented in them. The name came to me one night and I daydreamed about making a magazine for awhile, then I met a friend of a friend who set up her own magazine, Fat Quarter, and thought it was a sign and started my research.
SRD-Who are the founders?
JR-I am! :) I had a lot of help and support from various people, namely Assaultin Peppa from Five on Five and Black Dahlia from Blood and Thunder Magazine who answered all my annoying questions about how they did things and they gave me loads of valuable advice. After telling Danny "Jay Pegg" Bourne it took off a bit too as he is a walking derby encyclopaedia and told me about the fanzines that had been made previously by Sky Rockitt from LRG and Marie Danielle from LRG. I also got a tip from either Black Dahlia or Assaultin (sorry my memory is slightly foggy today) about a certain "Lexi Lightspeed" who had been enquiring about a UK mag and so I sent her a line and she was a major helper with ideas (and a total bad ass illustrator). Belinda from LRG rec league got in touch and she setup the website for the magazine and will be the Web Editor.
SRD-Why do a Derby magazine?
JR-I love roller derby and I love magazines so this is like a dream come true :)
SRD-Are you a skater,what is your background in Derby?
JR-I am a skater, and have been skating since an early age. I started playing roller derby in June/July 2010 with Croydon Roller Derby and have recently transferred over to LRR, I've got another two months of probation and then hopefully I'll be on a bouting team :)
SRD-It's a really bold move launching a magazine at any time,but particularly so during a recession,how difficult does this make the day to day running of the magazine?
JR-I have backed the magazine myself so it is a bit of a pinch but I'm really loving it so it's worth it. Hopefully more companies will advertise in the magazine as it gains popularity so I can pay my contributors but until then it's a total labour of love. I also work a full time job and train so it's a lot of juggling and multi tasking but so far, so good!
SRD-Are you aiming the magazine purely at skaters,or are you aiming for fans too? And how do skaters who want to contribute get involved?
JR-All the articles, photographs and illustrations in Issue 1 were provided by skaters, refs, fans, and myself. I am a firm believer in grass roots and that was what attracted me to derby, I want this magazine to be by the skaters (and refs and fans and derby widows) and for the skaters (and refs and fans and derby widows).
Ideally once it has been around for a year or two (fingers crossed) then it will be something non derby people buy and read and then get hooked and get involved with their own local league!
If you want to contribute please send me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
SRD-Tell us a little about what we can expect to see in the magazine both now and in the future and what aspects of derby do you cover.?
JR-You can expect it to be full of illustrations, photography and articles that interest and appeal to a roller derby lover. I want to cover all aspects - a couple of articles I have been sent for Issue 2 are spot on as they cover issues that skaters have to deal with off track like schoolwork, and being a Mum!
SRD-What has the response been to the magazine since it's launch?
JR-Really positive! I was totally blown away by the positive response, after spending months of researching and planning and designing it was finally out there and it hadn't sunk in. Belinda set the website live and all of a sudden my inbox started going crazy - we sold nearly 100 copies in the first 24 hours!! I was gobsmacked. Assaultin Peppa gave me some really great feedback the other day after receiving her complimentary copy and I'm going to frame that email and put it up on the wall.
SRD-How do you see the future of Inside Line?,where do you want to be in a years time?... in five years time?
JR-The future is bright! In a years time I'd like the magazine to be well established and a great resource for the UK roller derby scene. In five years time - ouff! I'm not sure about that one ;) but if you need an answer then I'd say we'd be branching out into Europe as well.
SRD-In the UK Roller Derby leagues have sprung up in almost every city and major town,UK Derby is probably getting close to saturation point in terms of the number of leagues ...where can Derby go in UK from where we are now?
JR-I think that the saturation is a massive positive driving factor that will help UK roller derby to develop - it's hard to get a bad ass team together if you've only got 7 members who train regularly... If there's 20 of you then it can only mean training gets better and harder and your team/league will grow and become a force to be dealt with on track. Uk Derby is getting out there! I just finished watching the LRG vs NSOTB WFTDA eastern regionals bout and I'm buzzing - this means so much for roller derby becoming international, it's a day for the history books.
SRD-London Roller Girls are knocking at the door of the USA,there are WFTDA member and apprentice leagues in the UK that are not too far behind,as Derby gets bigger it will attract sponsorship and maybe television coverage,how can Derby maintain it's DIY, 'by skaters for skaters' attitude in the face of that sort of commercialism?
JR-Use the commercialism to our advantage - don't succumb to a dodgy deal whereby your league has to let their values suffer. Mission statements and the league structure should be set in stone. If your league adheres to that then there should be no problems. Let's face it - sponsorship will mean we can focus more on the sport and worry less about how we fund our practices.
SRD-he first Roller Derby World Cup is coming up in December,who do you think will win and who do you secretly hope will win.
JR-I'm going and so excited to see all teams play!! I'm originally Canadian so I'm gonna support them and I met a lot of Team Finland and Team Sweden at May Day in Hell, in Helsinki so I will also be shouting them on - and, of course, Team England, Team Scotland and All Ireland Roller Derby. Yeah I'm a bit of a ho as a fan ;)
I think that a win will be a toss up between USA and Canada for sheer experience on track but I secretly hope that the underdog wins, like a team from Europe or South America.
Scottish Roller Derby would like to thank Jessica Rammit of Inside Line Magazine for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview. If you want to know more have a look at the Inside Line website where you can find out how to subscribe and get involved.