Alternative Press (magazine)

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Alternative Press
Alternative Press logo.png
AltPressMagCover.jpg
"Most Anticipated Albums of 2007" issue
Editor in chiefJason Pettigrew
Categories Music
FrequencyMonthly
PublisherAlternative Press Magazine, Inc.
FounderMike Shea
Year founded1985
First issueJune 1985
CompanyAlternative Press
CountryUnited States
Based in Cleveland
Language English
Website www.altpress.com
ISSN 1065-1667

Alternative Press is an American music magazine based in Cleveland, Ohio. It generally provides readers with band interviews, photos, information on upcoming releases, and music charts. It was founded in 1985 [1] by Mike Shea, who is the president. [2] [3]

A music magazine is a magazine dedicated to music and music culture. Such magazines typically include music news, interviews, photo shoots, essays, record reviews, concert reviews and occasionally have a covermount with recorded music.

Cleveland City in Ohio

Cleveland is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the county seat of Cuyahoga County. The city proper has a population of 383,793, making it the 52nd-largest city in the United States and the second-largest city in Ohio. Greater Cleveland is ranked as the 32nd-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with 2,055,612 people in 2016. A Gamma + city, Cleveland anchors the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 3,515,646 in 2010 and is ranked 15th in the nation.

Ohio State of the United States of America

Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. Of the fifty states, it is the 34th largest by area, the seventh most populous, and the tenth most densely populated. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus.

Contents

Joe Scarpelli is the general manager. Jason Pettigrew is editor in chief. [2]

Beginnings

The first issue of Alternative Press was simply a photocopied punk rock fanzine, distributed at concerts in Cleveland, Ohio beginning in June 1985 by AP's founder, Mike Shea. He disliked the music that was then being broadcast on radio stations and believed that bands playing underground music should be given more media coverage "all in the same spot", he said.

Fanzine magazine published by fans

A fanzine is a non-professional and non-official publication produced by enthusiasts of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest. The term was coined in an October 1940 science fiction fanzine by Russ Chauvenet and first popularized within science fiction fandom, and from there it was adopted by other communities.

Underground music musical genres beyond mainstream culture

Underground music comprises musical genres beyond mainstream culture. Any song that is not being legally commercialized is considered underground.

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 that wasn't covering the music that Shea felt deserved to be heard. He said, "It has really always been about covering music for the misfits". [4]

Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1980s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music. At times, "alternative" has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not, that is seen to be descended from punk rock. Although the genre evolved in the late 1970s and 1980s, music anticipating the sound of the genre can be found as early as the 1960s, with bands such as The Velvet Underground.

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. [5] "I took my high school newspaper from Aurora High that looked nice and clean and offset print. I'd walk into these flower shops and Hallmark shops, and I'd say 'We're going to put out an entertainment publication, and it's going to be for kids and [the ad is] only $25.' And they'd look at my high school newspaper and say, 'It's really professional...' That's how we got enough money to make the first issue". [6]

Aurora, Ohio City in Ohio, United States

Aurora is a city in Portage County, Ohio, United States. It is co-extant with, and formed from, the former township of Aurora, which was formed from the Connecticut Western Reserve. The population was 15,548 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Akron metropolitan area.

Financial problems plagued AP in its early years. Of the fledgling magazine's struggles in 1986, Shea said: "After the last few punk concerts we promoted that year failed to make any money to help finance the magazine, I had to start begging my mom for money to keep AP going: $1,500 here, $2,500 there. My mom was super-supportive of the whole endeavor, and she seemed to enjoy having a bunch of punkers over at all hours of the night putting together issues on her dining-room table and getting spray mount all over her nice tablecloths and on the carpeting, which resulted in our socks getting pulled off as we walked over it". However, 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. AP's covers included bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden, prior to each band's mainstream success.

Red Hot Chili Peppers American rock band

Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983. The group's musical style primarily consists of rock with an emphasis on funk, as well as elements from other genres such as punk rock and psychedelic rock. When played live, their music incorporates elements of jam band due to the improvised nature of many of their performances. Currently, the band consists of founding members vocalist Anthony Kiedis and bassist Flea, longtime drummer Chad Smith, and former touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling bands of all time with over 80 million records sold worldwide, they have been nominated for sixteen Grammy Awards, of which they have won six, and are the most successful band in alternative rock radio history, currently holding the records for most number-one singles (13), most cumulative weeks at number one (85) and most top-ten songs (25) on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. In 2012, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Soundgarden American grunge rock band

Soundgarden was an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Matt Cameron became the band's full-time drummer in 1986, while bassist Ben Shepherd became a permanent replacement for Yamamoto in 1990. The band dissolved in 1997 and re-formed in 2010. Following Cornell's suicide in 2017 and a year of uncertainty of the band's future, Thayil declared in an October 2018 interview with Seattle Times that they would not continue as Soundgarden; they did, however, reunite in January 2019 for a one-off concert in tribute to Cornell.

By 1994, the magazine was doing cover stories on Beastie Boys, Henry Rollins and Love and Rockets. Norman Wonderly, now the publisher, was credited by Shea as having "made most of these happen and the more Norman got what he wanted, the more artists wanted their cover shoots to look the way Norman wanted, and so on. It wasn’t always easy; there were some nasty phone calls exchanged between everyone, and there was always some publicist who wanted to give us one half-hour of shoot time so the artist could go shopping or some stupid thing. Did we sometimes protest too much? Maybe, but we were up against a lot; we were underfinanced and still underappreciated in some corners of the music business, so we had to fight scrappily and mean when it was called for. Nobody takes you seriously unless you take yourself seriously, and that's what Norman brings to his position to this day".

2000s

By the early 2000s, after resisting attempts to purchase the magazine, Shea shifted the focus of Alternative Press to the newer punk music associated with the Warped Tour. When asked the magazine's audience, Shea said, "It went from heartfelt emo, to screamo, to post-hardcore, to metalcore… but, there will always be a suburban kid full of angst. They will always want music". [7]

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.

The magazine's current monthly columns include "The AP Poll", "In the Studio", "AP&R" (unsigned bands of the month), "Chalkboard Confessional", "Musician of the Month", "My Favorite Gear", "Next Exit", "Gig Bag", "1000 Words", "Beauty and the Band" and "10 Essential."

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, and has been a major sponsor of tours including Warped Tour, Taste of Chaos and its own "The AP Tour."

The Alternative Press Music Awards

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References

  1. "Potential Markets". Freelance Writing. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  2. 1 2 "Alternative Press: Contact" . Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  3. Scott Suttel (July 22, 2015). "Alternative Press founder Mike Shea reflects on 30 years of music journalism". Crain's Cleveland Business. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  4. Wells, Kevin (2014-07-21). "INTERVIEW: Mike Shea, founder of Alternative Press Magazine". Communities Digital News. Retrieved 2016-05-11.
  5. Alternative Press, Issue #264. July 2010. pp. 82, 84.
  6. "Alternative Press, Issue #264" (Interview). Interviewed by Mike Shea. July 2010. p. 84.
  7. "Alternative Press Founder Mike Shea Says "Screw It" | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum". rockhall.com. Retrieved 2016-05-11.