‘Focus on the Light’

Belgian editor of Monkey Climber magazine, and contributor to Issue 1 of Subsurface,  Gio Vanhooren goes back a few years to look at his punk rock roots and how it has shaped his current take on the carp fishing media…


United we stand…We’re in this together…Make a change… those are just but a few classic choruses of the hardcore ethos I grew up with. When I first met Gareth Fareham I was more than happy to discover that he was as much into punk rock and HC as I was myself. It appears there’s very few anglers who really dig it, although I did find some Fugazi in Luc De Baets’s collection once, but that’s another story. Actually it seemed we had both grown out of the hardcore scene a bit (class of ‘80/81 for those in the know) but we still reminisced a lot about those early days and we still both attend a show or two now and then. Hardcore and punk rock have never been mainstream whatsoever, and undoubtedly never will be, or hope to be, and those underground ideals reflect to this day in both our later lives. For an outsider at a hectic live show, it may seem as if we’re trying to kill each other, but there’s an exceptional sense of brotherhood, friendship, and above all, revolutionary ideas behind it all.

Being a very critical subculture, hardcore and punk rock also work as a very inspirational point of creativity for so many kids; they start a band, begin drawing, writing, photographing, making ‘zines. Punk Rock was built on a DIY ethos and the latter was really my kind of thing and so in ‘99 a friend and I produced one killer issue of our very own ‘Bonded by Blood’ fanzine. ‘Very own’ is actually very correct too, as we never got to make more than the two copies for ourselves, but the spirit was there though, and stayed with me until this day. If you’re unhappy with what is out there, make something yourself to challenge it. It is a simple ethos, but one that is at the very core of what we do.

It was three years ago now when my girlfriend Eve gave me a dummy of what was to become Monkey Climber magazine as a birthday present. We seriously began re-thinking the idea of publishing a serious carp angling ‘zine ourselves. Of course, we had already talked about the idea in the past, but without a publisher it was always going to be hard. Still our discontent grew, the old hardcore values kept my toes curling and seeing how wrong things had gone and how carp angling was being portrayed, we felt like it was time for a change. F**k it, DIY style, presenting a new angle(r). Or as we put it: ‘old school meets new school’.

We’re two years down the line now and glad to see a change gradually starting to take place all over Europe, despite being a Belgian/Dutch mag it seems a change was exactly what the scene needed. And today, we can only cheer for Subsurface to see the day of light, and to reach an even broader public of lost carp angling souls. Subsurface will undoubtedly be as subversive as we are, and with an ever growing number of anglers with us, we can truly hope for change. Or to say it in HC terms: together we can start a revolution! We’re siked!

Gio MC


Subsurface will be available soon in Belgium and to whoever who wants it in Holland, Germany and beyond… through Monkey Climber magazine.


To hook up with Monkey Climber on Facebook click HERE

MC#3 ran a full interview with Gareth Fareham last Winter. For this one occasion, the guys at Monkey Climber decided to put it online in English as a FREE read: Click HERE to read


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