Alternative Press (magazine)

Last updated
Alternative Press
"Most Anticipated Albums of 2007" issue featuring Motion City Soundtrack
EditorSam Coare
Former editorsJason Pettigrew, Paige Owens
Categories Music
PublisherAlternative Press Magazine, Inc.
First issueJune 1985
CompanyAlternative Press
CountryUnited States
Based in Los Angeles
Language English
ISSN 1065-1667

Alternative Press is an American entertainment magazine primarily focused on music and culture, now based in Los Angeles, CA. It generally provides readers with band interviews, photos, and relevant news. It was founded in 1985 [1] by Mike Shea in Cleveland, OH. [2] The company is now looked after by MDDN. [3]



The first issue of Alternative Press was distributed at concerts in Cleveland, Ohio beginning in June 1985 by AP's founder, Mike Shea to advocate bands playing underground music.

The name for the magazine, Alternative Press, was not a reference to the alternative rock genre, but referred to the fanzine being an alternative to the local press.

Shea began working on his first issue in his mother's house in Aurora, Ohio. Shea and a friend, Jimmy Kosicki, targeted the Cleveland neighborhood of Coventry. [4]

Financial problems plagued AP in its early years and by the end of 1986, publication had ceased due to its financial problems, not resuming until the spring of 1988.

Growth in the 1990s

With the growth of alternative rock in the early 1990s, circulation began to increase. Notable AP's covers included bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden.

By 1994, the magazine was doing cover stories on Beastie Boys, Henry Rollins and Love and Rockets.


Older masthead Alternative Press logo.png
Older masthead

By the early 2000s, after resisting attempts to reform and design the so called "fanzine" Shea and Bobby Crist breathed new life into the publication and sought new revenues for its survival. Revamping the magazine and marketing it in many venues. They shifted the focus of Alternative Press to the newer punk music associated with the Warped Tour. At the time of its 20th anniversary in 2005, AP had grown to an average size of 112 pages per issue, later averaging between 198 and 220-plus pages a month.

AP sponsored a radio show aired on XM Radio, a podcast featuring in-depth discussions on various topics with people such as Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz and Kevin Lyman, and a compilation CD.

Nearing the end of the 2000s AP would venturing into hosting tours with AP Tours, documenting musicians day-by-day on the publications YouTube channel, and working with large scale music events.


In the 2020s, both digital and print content shifted toward highlighting rising artists and introducing them to AP's audience. Cover stars include artists such as Waterparks, Rina Sawayama, Chase Atlantic, Willow Smith and more. The editorial shift expanded their coverage to more broader avenues that touched on lifestyle, culture, and style conversations within the alternative sphere. By 2022, the brand had formed new franchises to symbolise the shift in direction, such as Gen AP, [5] and AP&R.

2022 saw Avril Lavigne debut on their March Issue, [6] other notable cover stars that year included Demi Lovato, [7] Louis Tomlinson, [8] Spiritbox, [9] and Arctic Monkeys. [10] Upon the release of their Demi Lovato cover, the print publication announced it would be moving to quarterly releases, [11] as opposed to its monthly roll-out, and also retiring monthly subscriptions.




Advertising and Business Development



The Alternative Press Music Awards

The Alternative Press Music Awards was an annual music awards show in the United States, founded by the music magazine Alternative Press.

The inaugural awards show in 2014 was hosted by Mark Hoppus, bassist and vocalist of the pop-punk band Blink-182.

In 2015, the hosts were Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat of All Time Low.

In 2016, the show was hosted by Andy Biersack of Black Veil Brides.

As of 2022, another event has not been announced.

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  1. "Potential Markets". Freelance Writing. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  2. "Alternative Press: Contact". Alternative Press. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  3. "MDDN". MDDN. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  4. Alternative Press, Issue #264. July 2010. pp. 82, 84.
  5. "Generation Ap". Alternative Press Magazine. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  6. "Avril Lavigne: Alternative Press Magazine - March 2022 (Version 1)". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  7. "Demi Lovato: Alternative Press Magazine - Fall 2022". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  8. "Louis Tomlinson: Alternative Press Magazine - Fall 2022". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  9. "Spiritbox: Alternative Press Magazine - Fall 2022". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  10. Reese, Ashley. "Arctic Monkeys aren't done evolving". Alternative Press Magazine. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  11. altpress [@AltPress] (September 9, 2022). "Alternative Press moves from a monthly magazine to quarterly releases. 25% bigger than before, this poster book will feature in-depth cover stories and full-page images ready to be adorned on your walls. If you have a monthly subscription, please check your inbox." (Tweet). Archived from the original on November 30, 2022. Retrieved December 5, 2022 via Twitter.