“Two days to print!” yells a voice across the room. Phil Villeneuve lands on a chair in front of a screen. “Can someone tell me what happened to that article the new guy wrote? The one that was due last week….!”
It started in 2004 when Phil began his internship at FAB.
“My goal was to be a music writer. I just wanted to write about music, go see shows, travel, go to festivals, and discover new music, and that was it. But that slowly changed, because with the web, everything changed. Rolling Stone isn’t the same as it used to be, or Spin isn’t the same as it used to be. It’s a magazine, sure, but music blogs are everything now. They are being updated as things happen.”
Phil continued to write for FAB as a freelance contributor while also writing for Chart magazine, which is a local music magazine that stopped printing in 2009. Eventually, FAB gave Phil his own column.
FAB hired Phil full time, April 2012, as Editor. “I wanted to stay at FAB for a solid 3 years, and make an impact that way. The reaction to FAB was always so great, especially in the last year. I couldn’t make sense of the magazine closing down.”
“When FAB announced its closure, there was no backup plan. I had invested all of my existence into that magazine,” said Phil, the last standing editor at FAB Magazine before it closed its doors.
“It was purely financial, and the magazine was losing a lot of money in the last three years. Like most magazines, they never actually profit; they are always losing money.”
Unlike most people who lose a job, Phil had another one waiting. FAB’s closure was unexpected and he didn’t have a chance to prepare. Xtra, a popular, gay newspaper and website which is owned by the same publishing company that owns FAB, asked if he would join them as their Arts Editor. He walked out one door and in another.
“I feel like I’m floating right now, but it’s a nice feeling of floating. I’m sort of like a balloon that’s tied. I’m still floating but also tied down to a nice little banister. If someone would cut my string, that would be very scary right now. It’s still very new. Xtra does want a fresh FAB voice in their magazine, because they do need to revamp themselves. They have a reputation for being political and serious. So they need a breezy, fresh voice in there. That is what they hope I will bring, and the writers will bring,” said Phil.
“I didn’t set out to be an editor or arts editor in any way. I’m not the greatest wordsmith; I don’t have the best editing skills. I like to know what’s going on in the city. I like to showcase our city, and show people off. I love building a community of cool people and cool things happening.”
WORDS: ADAM HENDRIK
PHOTOS: CRISTINA ARCE