Quick Fire At The Slaughterhouse: Interview with Matt Phillips


Matt Phillips writes real Noir, the kind of Noir fiction that possesses the spaces inhabited by Jim Thompson and James M Cain, dark places we all inhabit. But while many, among the teeming masses of fawning sycophants and dumb poseurs who shred in onanistic train rides the pages of the glossy magazines that attempt to dictate tastes, in the name of what exactly? the dollar or the pound? fiscal realities are burning by the day, while these citizens of the unfree world profess not to do so, writers expose the hollow lie that haunts the heart of a social vacuum, and it seems that the second law of thermodynamics is alive and well and kicking like a demonic foetus in a womb. His new book is Accidental Outlaws, and he is here at The Slaughterhouse drinking whisky. Oh and before you ask, yes this is all about Artistic Revolution.

Tell us about your latest release

MPHILLIPS-250x156px_ACCIDENTALMy latest release, Accidental Outlaws, is a book of three rural noir novellas from All Due Respect Books. These are punch-you-in-the gut tales with plenty of desert atmosphere, criminal hijinks, and enough gunfire to make you cover your ears and clench your teeth. Imagine jumping in a hot rod and jamming the throttle down a long desert highway––that’s the book.

Should writers also be Revolutionaries?

Great question. In today’s world of bite-sized dialog and armchair activism, writers are revolutionaries. Whether they want to be or not. These days, not a lot of people have the guts and patience to sit down and craft a story. There’s a whole lot of people out there who jump on the latest meme or hashtag, but that doesn’t mean shit when you get down to it. Tweets can be deleted. MPHILLIPS-250x156px_THREE-KINDSOr ignored. Your Facebook posts are owned by some dude in Silicon Valley. When you write a book and it gets printed? There’s no taking that back. You are what you do every single day. And when you sit your ass at the desk and write a book, you’re a writer. It’s a political statement to write: You’re raising your voice and you’re saying––in fifty, sixty, or seventy thousand words––that you will not be silenced. Should writers be revolutionaries? They’ve got no damn choice––they already are. And always will be.

What’s ‘wrong’ with extreme sexual content in literature except to those fawning pc eunuchs who don’t get it?

I don’t give two fat steaming shits about extreme sexual content, extreme violence, or anything else ‘extreme’ a writer puts into his or her story. The only thing I care about is whether the MPHILLIPS-250x156px_REDBONEwriter does the job: Is the writing persuasive, detailed, and in a voice that must be heard? Is the story worth the telling? Yes? Good. Then tell the damn thing. Write it down. The only people who complain about content in art are the armchair activists. It’s easy to criticize art from a cell phone. And you know what? It’s easy to become a fascist too. Don’t tell me what to put in my stories. I’m sure as shit not going to tell you what to put in yours. You know?

Is Noir the ultimate form of crime fiction and why is the law an ass?

Noir is the ultimate form––here’s why: Noir illuminates society’s dark alleys and hidden passages. It gives us metaphorical territory where we can discover revelations (good and ill) about governments, institutions, private property, and the bad man (and woman) next door. Noir is also about the human capacity to question God’s existence. In Michel MPHILLIPS-250x156px_BAD-LUCKFoucault’s Discipline & Punish, he discusses stories of crime and criminals. We come to see that all this noir and crime fiction is about disparity between people. He says, “This literature of crime…was a locus in which two investments of penal practice met––a sort of battleground around the crime, its punishment and its memory.” That last part is most important…What is our collective memory? The ‘law’ is an ass when it hides the truth, when it tries to damage the memory of a crime, a criminal, or people associated with such. If you’re a lawman and you’re hiding some truth, you’re more than an ass. You’re scum. You know what homicide cops say? Everybody lies. And they’re right.

Classic interview.


Buy Accidental Outlaws via the publisher, Down & Out Books or Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, IndieBound

In the UK, all other of Matt’s books can be found on Amazon.co.uk: Three Kinds of Fool, Redbone, and Bad Luck City

Matt’s books published by All Due Respect , an imprint of Down & Out Books, can be bought via Matt’s Amazon.com author page

Matt can be found at his website and on Twitter @MRPhill25

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Quick Fire At The Slaughterhouse: Interview With Paul D. Brazill


Paul Brazill, Brit Grit, hard boiled, Noir, attuned, vernacular, tough and entertaining, these are some of the words that come to mind when you think of him. He has had a busy year so far, with new releases. Guns Of Brixton and Big City Blues are classic examples of his writing. Paul met me at The Slaughterhouse, where we talked about the importance of the city in his fictions and Brit Grit.

You’ve had a productive year so far with new releases, tell us about your hardboiled classic Guns Of Brixton.

Guns Of Brixton is published by Caffeine Nights. It’s my idea of a sweary, violent Ealing Comedy. It involves London gangsters, a killer priest and the search for a missing briefcase. The writer Robert Cowan described it as ‘part knuckle-duster, part seaside postcard’ which seems to sum it up.

PD-BRAZILL_300x439_3D cover big-city-bluesBig City Blues oozes your trademark style. How important is the city to you in your fictions?

Big City Blues is another Brit Grit novella. It’s published by Near To The Knuckle. It takes place in London, New York, and Madrid. Three vibrant and distinctive cities. I like to write about places – and people- with a lot of personality. It’s unlikely that I’d set a story in Sevenoaks.

Here’s the blurb: London Detective Sergeant Ronnie Burke and Polish cop Jola Lach are on the trail of a serial killer, and New York private eye Solitaire is sent to Spain to track down a missing rich kid. See how their lives intertwine in Big City Blues. British coppers, an American private eye, London gangsters, international spies, and a serial killer known as The Black Crow all collide violently and hilariously in Big City Blues, another fast-moving and funny Brit Grit novella from Paul D. Brazill.

How much of a punch do you think hardcore Brit Grit fiction packs as opposed to the traditional US fiction out there and how different are they?

The Americans can write about the more high-octane stuff more freely and convincingly, I think, because they have guns and it’s a more bombastic country. I think the best of the British and US stuff has a sense of the ridiculous and absurd about it and maybe some of the US stuff is more sincere. Although I have no idea of that’s true or not.

What else is on the cards for you this year?

I have another book coming out form Near To The Knuckle- who have published 3 of my books this year: Too Many Crooks, A Case Of Noir, and Big City Blues. This new one is a flash fiction collection. I hope to have at least one more book finished this year, too.
Bio: Paul D. Brazill’s books include Big City Blues, Guns Of Brixton, Too Many Crooks, A Case Of Noir, The Last Laugh and Kill Me Quick! He was born in England and lives in Poland. His writing has been translated into Italian, Finnish, German and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including three editions of The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime.

Paul, thank you for a classic interview.



Get a copy of ‘Big City Blues’ at Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Find Paul D. Brazill at his website, on Twitter  and Facebook

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Quick Fire At The Slaughterhouse: Interview with Michael Perkins


Michael Perkins is a poet and a novelist. Subversive, iconoclastic, profound, erotic, are all terms that may be applied to his diverse and superbly paced fictions. Among his published titles are Dark Matter, and Ceremonies Of The Flesh, and I recommend them both unreservedly. Michael met me at The Slaughterhouse, where we talked about the need for a writer to challenge society, and alternative fictional paradigms.

Your fictions may be described as inhabiting that body of MPERKINS_350x211_CEREMONIESliterature known as transgressive. How do you see your novels, and to what extent is transgression necessary for a writer to challenge prevailing social hypocrisies control programmes?

“Transgression” is a co-opted word stolen by advertising and pop culture some time ago. It’s no longer literary, and literature has been my obsession since I first read Nightwood at 16. That book remains transgressive. So does Evil Companions. (I am not comparing the two books as literary artifacts; that would be absurd. I am speaking now of motivation. )

In the Sixties, every night television held up a mirror: our best and brightest were dumping napalm on children. It is the artist’s duty to express a society’s pain. I sat down at my typewriter and reportted for duty,Transgression? The violation of. commandments? That was for those who care about such things. They wanted to clean the temple of our civilization. Our species.

I wanted, like blind Samson, to tear it down. I wanted to set its heart on fire. And I wouldn’t piss down its throat.

Is it necessary for a writer to subvert society, to ‘Epater la bourgeoisie’, as the French decadent poets of the 19th Century, exhorted writers to do, and do you think the best fictions offer alternative paradigms to those we are presented with?

Those writers who are in the subversive business know that it is counter- productive to attack what’s left of the middle class. They buy our books. They also provide us with the raw material for our dreams,the surprise and shock we never–being delicate creatures–would have thought of. No; we must treasure our readers. Who else would be so foolish as to open their minds and spread their legs for us? We wish to be dangerous, but will settle for scandalous.

Your novel Dark Matter deals with family abuse, rebellion and alternate lifestyles, sects, and the occult. What are you spiritual views and to what extent do you think religion is part of a social propaganda?

MPERKINS_350x211_DARK-MATTERThe priests have always kept us enslaved. It is their job to keep us away from the truly spiritual. My spiritual views? Gnostic, Taoist–along those lines. I believe that I have a
soul,and most do not. I believe that everything is alive, and that the writer’s work is always spiritual. I believe that literature is either hard work at low pay, or a calling to which you must devote your life.

As for Dark Matter, I simply wrote what I saw. Most of DM’s characters are portraits of real people,doing things I saw happen. This novel, like Evil Companions, was conceived in anger, and given birth by c-section.

Ted Hughes wrote, in his poem Theology,

“No, the serpent did not
Seduce Eve to the apple.
All that’s simply
Corruption of the facts.

Adam ate the apple.
Eve ate Adam.
The serpent ate Eve.
This is the dark intestine.

The serpent, meanwhile,
Sleeps his meal off in Paradise –
Smiling to hear
God’s querulous calling.”

What are your views on his statement?

Women are smarter than men by a long shot, perhaps because they are schooled by reptiles when still in nappies. The only thing a man can do is to take a stick when he goes among women — not for them, but for their serpents.

Michael, thank you for a great interview.

MPerkins Auth Img_350x221

Reading at Dr. Generosity’s Pub, NYC, late 1970’s

“Dark Matter” links:
Amazon US and UK
AbeBooks US and UK
Barnes & Noble
Little, Brown

“Ceremonies of the Flesh” links:
Amazon US and UK
AbeBooks US and UK

Author links:
Waterstones author page
Amazon author pages US and UK
Little, Brown

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