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Interview—Megan Clune from World’s Only
Written by Sinead Stubbins — 4th March 2015

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This week, Megan Clune of World’s Only is launching the fifth edition of her music magazine at The Good Copy. We’re pretty excited about it. Megan is coming all the way down from Sydney!

Ahead of the launch on Friday, we asked our resident editor/zine-maker Brodie Lancaster to interview Megan about independent publishing, making music and the beauty of a good binding job.

Brodie: You’re launching issue 5 of World’s Only this week. How has the magazine changed since issue 1?

Megan: Good question! It’s changed a lot. When it started, I did all the writing and it was very personal, as I had no idea what I was doing with my career and just wanted an excuse to talk to people who made cool work. Now I have a much more editorial role and a team of people who contribute, which is really fun too. It’s still Q&A-style and pretty informal, but the design is definitely a lot slicker these days. And this issue is perfect bound! Wowee!

How good does that switch to perfect binding feel? When I made that step with Filmme Fatales I felt fancy as hell.

SO FANCY!!! Yes, it’s very exciting.

Is World’s Only still mainly a passion project, or has it become more of a job over time?

No, it’s still a passion project for sure. I get a lot of inspiration from it, which feeds into my career as an artist/musician, and I have learnt so many things and met a lot of cool people. This matters a lot more to me than making money—it’s certainly not a commercial operation! If it could be all those things and be a job, that would be amazing, but I’m not sure that’s possible! Time will tell.

I feel like World’s Only combines the best elements of different publications in a really unique way. What kind of magazines or websites were you reading when you decided to start your own?

Thanks Brodie! My number one fave publication is Bad Day Magazine, which is from Canada. That was, and continues to be, a big inspiration. They have really great taste. Mono.Kultur is another favourite. I love how uncompromising they are: no ads, sometimes not even any photos! Just great design and great journalism. I also read The New Yorker quite a bit—certainly not ‘cool’ in any way (esp. design!) but very, very good writing and fascinating subject matter. I think all of these publications have carved a niche—you will buy them and spend 30-plus minutes reading them, no matter what they’re writing about.

I also read a lot of fashion magazines back in the day—I guess that was my entry into the magazine world. Russh was a big favourite, so were Dazed & Confused and Nylon. They have strong music content too.

There’s a big fashion influence in World’s Only, which is something I love about the mag—it’s a music magazine but it’s not exclusively ABOUT music. I’m thinking specifically about the Romance Was Born photo shoot you featured in an early issue. Is it important to you that the mag includes different types of art or creativity?

Yeah, certainly. My own work as an artist is very multidisciplinary too, so it goes back to me feeling confused that I couldn’t really fit my work into any particular world (cue light-bulb moment when I came up with the title). I’ve come to understand that if it’s ‘music’ or ‘art’ or ‘fashion’ it actually makes no difference when you’re there with your hands dirty, making the work, and it’s actually much more interesting the more you blur the lines between them.

What does your work as an artist entail? What do you do when you’re not making World’s Only?

I have worked as a musician for the last few years, and have curated a music night at the art gallery Alaska Projects in Sydney. I’m making more sound installation–based stuff now though, and I’ve also been working with dancer Angela Goh. I’m curating some shows at Golden Age Cinema and Bar, and I’m also teaching music to kids at fancy private schools, which is fun and also funny. I have my fingers in a lot of pies!

I’ve seen some of that event stuff happening more and more. Is having a real-life element important to World’s Only?

Yeah, it really is. I think it’s really an extension of the printed magazine, or another facet of it that is equally important. Not that I planned that in any way when I started!

Did you have a big plan for how it would grow when you first started out? Or has everything come about organically?

I planned NONE of it! While I’ve worked really hard on it all, I definitely didn’t do it with the intention of making it into a big thing. I interviewed Tune-Yards in this forthcoming issue, and she talks about how she grew up in a family of musicians and everyone was always practising—not necessarily to become a superstar but just to be better, to be always improving. I think I share that outlook, probably because of my training in classical music.

What’s been the best surprise that’s come out of all these years of dedicated, methodical practice?

Realising no matter how hard you work, you will never have any idea what is going to happen! Usually the good stuff is completely unexpected.

The World’s Only issue 5 launch is on Friday 6 March at The Good Copy, 6–9pm.