Know Your Zine: Josh Terris’ Grass Roots
Grass Roots is the brainchild of West Coast photographer Josh Terris. You might know Josh from his work with Fersher or his feature on Vice, but we know him for pushing the envelope with the camera lens and creating some of the most provocative images around. In Grass Roots, Josh expands his creative palette by including collages, drawing, and writing in the zine. From the topics of the video game Twisted Metal to the TV series “To Catch a Predator,” check out what Josh had to say about the zine below.
Mass Appeal: What influenced your decision to make a zine when you already have Fersher?
Josh Terris: Fersher takes a lot of planning, editing, and creating. I just wanted to make something quick and to the point that involved my drawings and little notes from my phone.
MA: Was the design, printing, and distribution process all DIY? If so, is there an overall feeling of accomplishment you gain from that experience?
JT: Yeah, I did it all from my house and oh yeah, it’s a total feeling of accomplishment. I just wanna share with everyone what’s going on in my mind.
MA: One of our favorite pages is the Twisted Metal drawing. What significance did that game have on you and how did that idea come about?
JT: I was actually drawing on an ad in magazine, trying to make the girl into a juggalo, and by the time I was done it totally reminded me of the clown in “Twisted Metal.” I used to love that game.
MA: What was the inspiration for the cut and paste collage style messages?
JT: I have no idea, I just thought the idea was cool. I was fucking with my fax machine a lot and it looked really sloppy and grimy, I liked that.
MA: Would you say there’s an underlying message to the zine?
JT: It’s just a lot of random thoughts, ideas and pictures.
MA: We have to ask . . . where did you pull that aim a/s/l bit from?
JT: I made it up. I have seen like all the episodes of “To Catch a Predator” so I was heading in that direction. I was also trying to be funny . . . hopefully that worked out.
MA: We know you mainly for your photography. How long have you been drawing/writing and do you feel it gives you a different creative experience then being behind the lens?
JT: I have been drawing since like 6th grade. I took an AP studio art class in high school and drew cartoons. I also just write random notes in my phone, its nothing too serious. It makes it easier to push the envelope when I’m drawing or writing . . . I don’t have to go out and find fucked up things to take photos of. (Which I love to do.)
MA: Can we expect a Grass Roots Vol. 2?
JT: I don’t think so . . . but I will make more zines with different titles. Be on the lookout!