Photo: Mitch Allen
Walk past Gallenson’s Gun Shop on 200 South, turn left into the alley beneath a gigantic mural of the Virgin Mary, pass the walls covered with street art and you will arrive at a small, nondescript building nestled behind FICE and Este Pizza that is responsible for simultaneously galvanizing and blowing up Salt Lake City’s art scene. A little more than a year old, Copper Palate Press has quickly gained a reputation for housing the vanguard of Salt Lake City’s burgeoning art scene by throwing killer screen printing parties and being an unmissable stop on any Gallery Stroll. More than this, however, the Copper Palate Press (CPP) communal philosophy—keeping the overhead low, making sure profits go directly into the pockets of the artists and putting their wares directly into the hands of the masses by selling their art, prints and merchandise at affordable prices—is responsible for providing the ever-expanding collective with a black hole-like gravitational pull for all those fascinated with SLC’s art scene. Copper Palate Press is a delightfully motley crew— old-schoolers who were in high school when SLUG first burst into SLC’s consciousness (many of whom have contributed to this fine publication) mingle freely with new-schoolers who have hosted their first shows at CPP within the last year.
SLUG: Tell us about your first experience with SLUG Magazine.
Cameron Bentley: I first encountered SLUG when I moved to Salt Lake City a few years ago right out of high school. I was working at Graywhale and I have read SLUG ever since.
Clyde Ashby: I was in junior high. Probably 1989. I lived in rural Utah and would come out to SLC for punk shows. I liked the D.I.Y. aesthetic of SLUG. It was everything I really liked about anti-culture and anti-mainstream, and the fact that it existed in Salt Lake, or Utah at all, was amazing.
SLUG: How have you seen the magazine change since then?
Dave Boogert: Locally, it has been a lot of people in the arts or music scenes that have helped SLUG push forward with free work and things like that.
Angela has done so much to help out this city by expanding it. She has brought in snowboarding and skateboarding. She has been able to grow it and expand it and push it into new territories, and has taken it out of just a music situation that it was and blown it up without compromising what it stands for and what it stood for under JR Ruppel.
SLUG: What is one of the most memorable SLUG articles that you have read?
Davey Parish: I am going to vote for the Mike Brown article with C.C. Deville. You should hear it on the audiotape. It is pretty hilarious.
SLUG: What is your favorite SLUG cover?
Boogert: The Thunderfist cover that Sri Whipple did was pretty cool.
Ashby: Christmas four years ago with Chopper Douglas Styer on the cover with the Slippery Kittens.
SLUG: Tell us about the most memorable SLUG event that you’ve attended.
Emilee Dziuk: Craft Lake City. That was the first SLUG event that I had been to. That was such a great turnout and there were a lot of people who came, great space, perfect weather.
Parish: I would say the best SLUG events are the ones you can’t remember.
SLUG: How has SLUG affected your life?
Steve Taylor: Starting out as a punk rock kid getting into SLUG, it was really useful to have that magazine to help me direct that craving for something new all the time. When that craving broke from a need for punk rock into something more expansive, SLUG was also there to give me suggestions in things like hip hop, metal and so many other genres. I could just open up any edition, no matter when it was printed, and I could flip to the back and find those CD reviews and start reading, and within 15 minutes I would have a list of CDs I was going to go buy.
SLUG: Why do you think SLUG has continued to be relevant in Utah for the last 22 years?
Parish: They’ve stayed really local and they’ve kept the underground “underground” and kept it coming to you. They’ve evolved in that way.