There’s a small boy in the UK making the best zine in the punk zine scene.
His name is Arlo Lippiatt, he hails from Saltford, Somerset, and his publication, Pint-Sized Punk, is creating something of a stir in the publishing industry because—who is this little dude? And how the heck is he getting features with IDLES, Super Furry Animals, Fontaines DC, BEAK>, and Dream Wife? Also, is he hiring? Pint-Sized Punk is brilliant, and easily the best use of paper and staples we’ve seen in a long-ass time. Let’s meet the little pip-squeak editor-in-chief.
First question: Why are you so short?
I’m only ten!
Correct. Second question: Are you named after Arlo Guthrie?
I had to ask my Mum, but yes I am! When she was pregnant with me, they had friends over and were watching the Woodstock film. The announcer said, ‘And next… ARLO GUTHRIE!’ and they all turned to each other and said, ‘That’s the name, Arlo.’
How did your zine, Pint-Sized Punk, get started?
When the UK went into lockdown, I was bored with the school work that I had been set pretty quickly. My Mum asked me what I would actually like to write about, and I said music. We know a few adults who make zines, so we talked to them about how to actually make it into a ‘thing’ instead of it just feeling like homework.
What’s in an issue of Pint-Sized Punk, what are the departments?
It’s got interviews with musicians that I like and people who work in music, like tour managers, radio producers, DJs, roadies, etc. It also has drawings, photos that I’ve taken, puzzles, comics, recipes from bands, and a Marmite chart where we show whether people I’ve interviewed love or hate Marmite.
How do you conduct your interviews, in-person or over the phone?
So far, I’ve done most of them on Zoom, but a few really busy people have asked for written questions. I prefer Zoom as it’s good to have a bit of banter and get people’s honest answers as they’re thinking. It’s really good fun to interview groups on Zoom as they usually chat together, though it is much more difficult to edit afterwards. Hopefully, once the Covid restrictions have gone down a bit, I’ll start interviewing some people face-to-face.
Do you get nervous doing interviews?
Sometimes. It depends. Most of the time I interview smaller bands, but I have interviewed some big people. But because I’m only ten, I sometimes don’t realise what a big deal it is and how famous some people are, so I don’t usually get nervous. I just chat to them and everyone has been really nice so far. I usually start with the same few questions, so I don’t have to worry about what I’m asking at the beginning either.
So, after those introductory questions, you wing it?
I normally plan out my questions beforehand, but sometimes I add extra ones or make some up on the spot if they pop into my head. When I was talking to Dream Wife, they were talking about the Rolling Stones and I said that I only really know them because Keith Richards had a cameo in Pirates of the Caribbean. That led us on to a really fun conversation about which film they would like to have a cameo in.
What band has been your favourite interview so far?
I like interviewing groups, so talking to Dream Wife and BEAK> and Milo’s Planes was really fun. They bounce ideas off each other and take the mickey out of each other and you get to see what they are like as friends and how they get on. I was really excited to talk to Carlos from Fontaines DC as they are one of my favourite bands—I had met him once, but we talked for a good hour and he even played his guitar for me.
What’s the bloke from IDLES like?
Dev is really nice, probably the most cuddly member of IDLES! I first met him in the crowd for Fontaines DC at Glastonbury Festival last year and he was so friendly. We live near Bristol, so my Mum bumps into him loads and he sometimes sends me a little video or says hi on the phone.
What bands are on your wish-list to feature in the zine?
I LOVE Queen, so would love to talk to Bryan May and Roger Taylor. There’s also this singer called Janelle Monae, and she is AMAZING. There are lots of local bands that I’d like to talk to. It’s a bit tricky to fit everyone in at the moment, but I hope that I’ll keep doing the zine once I go back to school too. Elvis Costello is at the top of my list too; me and my Dad listen to him lots.
How many issues of Pint-Sized Punk have you published so far?
Since July, I have published three issues, so it’s once a month. It may have to slow down when I go back to school because it takes quite a lot of time to send it out.
How do you circulate it?
We post it from home, which has been really annoying. I write a little note to each person to say thank you, but it’s annoying as I always get an achy hand now that we’re selling hundreds and hundreds of copies. After the first issue, we had to start selling it on Bandcamp. Before that, my Mum just put it on Facebook and asked people to send her a message if they wanted it, but there were so many people contacting her to order it that we had to make a site to sell it.
I used to have a zine called Wooooo and I loved packaging orders and going to the post office. I think that was my favourite part of the process. What’s your favourite bit?
Definitely not packing orders. How was that your favourite part?! I like interviewing musicians. And I started making a small comic in the zine called Death Pigs, which is quite fun.
What band do you wish you could’ve interviewed but they don’t exist anymore?
There are lots of bands that I love that don’t exist anymore, like The Beatles, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, or Queen. I think my family would faint if I got to speak to The Beatles! David Bowie is really cool and he was in the film Labyrinth, which I love. I would tell him that when I was watching the film and I was little, I couldn’t stop staring at his codpiece!
What do you think of The Smiths?
I know that my Mum and Dad really love The Smiths, but they don’t get played much anymore… Isn’t Morrissey a bit of a villain now? When Morrissey sings he sounds really depressed, so I wouldn’t want to listen to them too much.
Where do you see yourself in the year 2035?
I really don’t know. It feels like such a long time away.
*Get a copy of the zine and some Pint-Sized merch HERE!