says the writer Travis Jeppesen, in an email I receive from him one rainy Monday morning last September. He’s a million miles away in China, and is clearly getting fashion paranoia regarding some of his portraits for this piece. I don’t blame him… as you can see at the bottom of the page, Travis is wearing an atrocious brown wig (his idea), whilst roaming around the back-street dustbins of Berlin (I think that was my idea) in an old wheelchair

(joint effort). It seemed like a good idea at the time and they are beautiful pictures, taken by Luigi Vi, who you may know as the editor of DUST Magazine.

 

I try to reassure him a few weeks later when he’s back in London, over drinks in Dalston Superstore.  He’d just discreetly revealed to me that he’d be participating in this year’s upcoming Whitney Biennial, the first ever writer to have been included. “Trust me Travis, everyone will want to sleep with you now”, I say, “and then there’s your new novel about to come out… you’ve got everything going for you - you just need to brag about it more". Allow me...

 

Travis’ new novel is called The Suiciders and is published by Semiotext(e). Gee Whiz: how do I sum it up to you? Travis says it’s about 7 or 8 friends, who may or may not be the same person, and they declare war against their own minds and go on a journey to overthrow reality, all the while accompanied by an adorable pet parrot named Jesus H. Christ. It’s the ultimate friendship adventure story, like an apocalyptic Enid Blyton novel, except none of the characters are called Dick or Fanny, but rest assured there’s plenty of dick and fanny inside.

 

One of my favourite parts is when a witch uses her magic powers to turn

the gang into hairs (and no, that isn’t a typo: she literally turns them into hairs, as in the hair on your head or under your armpits or in the crevice of your ass): “Zach was a curly red hair; Lukas was a black pube, thin as a wire; Adam was a sparkle hair; Matthew was an afro hair; Jesus was a brown hair. Even though Zach was a hair, he could still drive the car.” If a witch were to turn me into a hair, I’d hope to God she’d turn me into one of Travis’ luscious golden locks. We’ve known each other for a while now: we’ve drank together, laughed together, moaned about London together, jacuzzied together, snorted sherbet together, but I’d never formally interviewed him about his work. It was therefore my esteemed pleasure to visit him in Berlin last summer, where we lounged around his neighbourhood in Kreuzberg, with no clear goal other than to shoot the shit and talk about his life.