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Champoy and Rhea of Magick Orchids

By Monk Turner
Published: Saturday, November 28, 2009, at 01:24PM
Magick Orchids Monk Turner [Flickr]

Champoy and Rhea scare the children.

Speaking with Champoy and Rhea was like stepping back to my high school years. Talk of zines, independent distribution, renegade art shows and sharing spaces took me back.

Back to a time before Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter when the way you found out about what was going on was through your local underground zine (short for magazine). Before iTunes, Pitchfork, or Pandora, when the way you found out about cool new bands was through your local distro (short for distribution).

Call it a counter-digital-revolution or just call it old-school. Whatever name you give it, Campoy and Rhea are making art and music for the underground. The night we chatted, they were presenting an art show in tents on a downtown rooftop.

MONK TURNER: What attracted you to downtown?

CHAMPOY: For me personally, being from another country, downtown is interesting because it is a mixture of all different things. I guess when people think of California they think of Hollywood but there is a lot more culture in the LA you find downtown. You can go to Little Tokyo and eat Persian kabob! [laughter]

RHEA: When we moved downtown, there was always a certain element of discomfort living there because we were two block from freeway, three blocks from Skid Row, six blocks from the skyscrapers and business people. Somehow that discomfort provides this drive to create things. You want to create an environment that you are comfortable in. The people I've worked with and met who are doing things downtown are able to create things more so than a place like Silverlake or Hollywood that have these ways of doing things attached to them.

MT: What are some projects you're working on?

C: I'm involved in, like, Amber Alert. [laughter] I'm involved in Magick Orchids and we do a distro called Only for the Open Minded. For lack of a better word it is kind of like a community label but each artist is totally independent on their own. Everyone can do whatever they want and we just have all their music and zines there. I also do a lot of art and drawing for LA Records. I do a comic with a couple friends called Post Care which is a compilation with a bunch of people who do different comics. We publish random mini-zines to hand out at shows. We also do TOW which is a really great space downtown. It is a sharing space where if you have a skill you go there and do a workshop for a fair price.

MT: What should we be on the lookout for?

R: Our distro is just online for now but we are converting a bike trailer into what we be our mobile distro. We want to go to different venues and while people are chatting or smoking outside in between bands, they can check out zines, check out music from bands they have seen but not considered paying money for their album. A lot of local artists price their albums reasonably like $5. I want people to start putting their money into supporting local artists.

C: We want to make those things that parents warn their kids about. We want to make that kind of music and art.

MT: Amber Alert!

When all children have left the room, check out the band and the distro at and


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