Memes

Memes That Perfectly Skewer London's Worst Dickheads

Yes: an interview with a meme-maker, about memes.
October 6, 2017, 11:48am
Images: @Poundlandbandit

Millennials will be remembered for two things: misery and memes. While we're all very capable of creating the former for ourselves, most of us rely on other people to come up with the latter. Other people like Poundlandbandit, who's been rinsing everyone you see out and about in London (and at Croatian music festivals) for a while now, but whose Instagram page suddenly blew up last week after his acerbic "starter packs" were shared by a couple of bigger pages.

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I caught up with the man behind the memes – self-professed "scumbag graffer" 40Ounce – to talk about dickheads, his newfound fame and what makes a good meme.

VICE: Why did you start making memes?
Poundlandbandit: I like looking at memes for a laugh when I'm bored on the bus or train or taking a shit, and I just saw loads of them all over Instagram about London and whatever that weren't even relevant or funny, so I thought I'd make ones for a laugh that people could actually relate to.

Where do you get your ideas from?
I just get them from being out and about – bars and house parties and even just randomers I see in the street. If I see someone acting like a prick, but they also have 100 clones dotted around London, I'm like, 'Yeah watch, you're gonna be a meme mate cos I bet everyone else is sick of your shit and wants to laugh at you too.' My favourite thing about it is that every time I post a new meme there's at least ten comments on it saying "I feel personally attacked", which makes me laugh no end.

Have you ever offended any friends?
I'm not too sure. I never say anything that isn't true – from observation or experience – but I also never say anything too deep. If someone gets pissed about it it's probably because they're mad that they relate to the meme and think, 'Ah, fuck I'm whack.' I don't want people to get mad depressed by them and see it as some personal dig – just laugh at yourself, innit; it's all just a joke. I take the piss out of myself too, pretty much every single day. If you can't admit that you fit the description, it's because it's 100 percent true to your life and now you feel peaker than the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

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Where do you draw the line with offence?
Anything that would be racist or boying disabled people. Can't be doing that – it's just out of order. Aside from that, anyone else is fair game if they're a knobhead.

You've been doing this for a while now – how did it feel to suddenly blow up pretty much overnight?
It was mad. I don't know if it's because people thought I was funny, or because they found it so honest and observant – but yeah, I woke up one day the other week and I'd gone from 2,000-something followers to like 10k. I just sort of sat there and laughed, like, 'Fucking hell, this could be a thing here,' so just kept doing it to see how many people found them funny. I suddenly have people like Mike Skinner, Katy B, Example, Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones, NTS and Balamii following me and occasionally liking things I've made. So that's mad, especially with their statuses.

Do you feel under more pressure to be funny now?
Nah, I feel like it'll open me up to opportunities to go to things I wouldn't usually go to. I can have a look about and get more ideas for jokes and all that from the new people I encounter on my sexy and dangerous travels.

What makes a good meme, in your opinion?
Just be relevant. If everyone's complaining about a group of pricks you always see ruining house parties by pissing in the fridge and fingering your missus on the balcony, jump on it, but make sure that it's at least 50 percent true to what those people are actually like.

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What's next for Poundlandbandit?
I'm just having a laugh with it and seeing what happens – ain't taking myself seriously, and I'm just out to make people laugh and make arseholes feel deep about their shitty life choices through the beauty of the internet.

Can we expect a VICE starter pack soon?
[Laughs] Nah, it would cut too deep and I'll probably get some hate crime article written about me by some prick living in Hackney Central with a French bulldog and a degree he's never used.

Finally, what's your favourite starter pack you've made so far?

@niluthedamaja