I published Disposable Underground as a print ‘zine from 1991 to 2011, and switched it to a blog the following year. Matt Scott, being a supporter of and participant in underground music, approached me about collecting all of the ‘zine issues of Disposable Underground into a book, something like the incredible hardcover collection Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries (Slayer was one of the ‘zines that I looked up to and followed back in the ’90s). He soon noted that, since I had released 43 issues of the ‘zine, it wouldn’t be possible to fit them all in a book.
My initial reaction to his idea was, why bother? I scanned all of the old cut-and-paste ‘zine issues and put them, along with the later desktop publishing ‘zine issues, up on my archive site as PDFs for anyone to read. But I warmed to his idea because it would give me a chance to “clean up,” as I like to call it, some of that content and make it more accessible and easier to get to.
Fast forward a few years and I took Matt’s concept in another direction: I selected content from the ‘zine issues and put it onto the blog here as a collection.
To start digging through the collection now, use the Table of Contents. Read on below for more background on this collection.
About the Process
For the first six years of the ‘zine, I laid out the issues cut-and-paste style on paper. For this collection, I used free optical character recognition websites and plain-old retyping to recreate the text from those issues here.
Then, for the “clean up,” I applied some copy editing standards to many of the old interviews for clarity and readability (and in a few cases to remove comments which are unnecessarily offensive). In places, I added footnotes at the end of the interviews.
I’ve arranged the interviews in alphabetical order, grouped by ‘zine issue, and included a few editorials, opinion pieces, and standout record and concert reviews from the ‘zine, but most of what I left out of this collection is the vast majority of countless CD, LP, 7″, demo, and video reviews that my contributors and I wrote from 1990 to 2011.* Many of the reviews over the years, during a long period of editorial cynicism that I went through at the time, were unconstructive anyway.
The ads pictured above are just a sampling of ones I ran for the first few years of the ‘zine. The photos below are just a few of the ones that I took at gigs and printed in the ‘zine over the years.
With that, please enjoy this collection. I hope that the content will be of interest on its own, for the context at the time it was written, and, in some cases, how it might still be relevant today. As I wrote in my first issue in 1991: “Thank you for any interest you may have, and keep the underground alive! Support your local scene!” ■
*I also left out interview subjects’ contact information, which was usually in the form of mailing addresses, from the interviews. Back in the day, record labels, ‘zines, and bands often operated out of home addresses, and after so many years this contact information is most likely no longer valid. Some of the bands have been broken up for years too.
My parents, Jean-Claude Fournier (rest in peace), Andy Low, Parastoo Zeerat, R. Mason; Matt Scott for the idea for the collection; Nanci Bompey for editorial suggestions; the record labels and P.R. companies that set up some of the interviews that appear in this collection; the bands, labels, and people that graciously agreed to be interviewed over the years; everyone that bought an issue of the ‘zine and/or read it online; and the following whose work appears in this collection:
Mary Bielich, Eliza Bulla, Jake Cregger, Vaughn Currier, Amanda Curtis, Louie Denslow, Danielle Dombrowski, A.E., Brian “HellFarmer” Farmer, King Fowley, Jan Frederickx, Gary Fry, Forbes Graham, Rob Gredone, Blake Harrison, J.R. Hayes, Scott Hull, Jim Hunter, Justin Jarboe, Jeff Kane, Craig Lenc, Lenny Likas, R. Mason, Nick Mertaugh, Blake Midgette, Ted Patterson, Adam Perry, Pete Ponitkoff, Ralphyboy, Sean Rogers, Robin Rohrback, Daisy Rooks, Mark Sloan, Mike Smith, Mark Stauffer, Chris Taylor, Nick Teta Jr., Erin Vaeli, Scott Waldrop, Taryn Wilkinson.
These resources were valuable in researching details and events:
Blood, Fire, Death: The Swedish Metal Story by Ika Johannesson and Jon Jefferson Klingberg
Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore by Albert Mudrian
Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Søderlind
Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives by HellBlazer and Morrigan
Rest in Peace
Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus of GWAR)
Dawn Crosby (Fear Of God)
Kristian Hasselhuhn (Inverted)
Mike Munoz (L.D.Kids)
Jesse Pintado (Napalm Death)
Phil Vane (Extreme Noise Terror) ■