Former Vox editor Everett True and rock photographer Steve Gullick have set up an alternative music magazine for people fed up with the mainstream music press.
The title, Careless Talk Costs Lives, is being funded independently by True, Gullick, and Gullick’s manager Colin Browne. It covers a range of music from The Dirtbombs to Yoko Ono, and is sold at independent record stores, book-shops and concerts. True is now seeking a deal to widen distribution further across the UK.
He has already been in talks with James Brown’s publishing company IFG and is currently in negotiations with WH Smith.
"I am aiming for a circulation of between 80,000 and 100,000. I want people to want it and be hurt if they can’t find it," he told Press Gazette. The title has a print run of 10,000.
Browne described the set-up as the Spinal Tap of magazine publishing, a reference to the spoof rock documentary that satirised the music business.
The first editorial meeting took place in a caf at London Bridge station and, to stress the magazine’s alternative approach, the launch issue is labelled issue 12.
"We have set out to replace the decaying music press in Britain, so by issue zero we will either have achieved our objectives or given up trying," True added.
"Everyone is fed up to the back teeth of the music press. NME has gone too mainstream. There’s a massive underground culture with thousands of small labels and no one is writing about them. I was being sent around 200 CDs a week and writing to about 30 different places, and I couldn’t get the reviews in anywhere. IPC attempted to turn Melody Maker and Vox mainstream and they both folded. I really don’t want to read about Kylie Minogue and ring tones for mobile phones. What they don’t seem to understand is that there are 10,000 places you can read about Kylie and only 10 places you can read about Mogwai."
True said he was also keen to highlight the work of female artists. "I’ve always felt women are incredibly under-represented. I am actively promoting female writers and female artists," he said.
True, a former assistant editor of Melody Maker who has written for NME, Rolling Stone and Spin, stressed the title was not in a position to pay freelances. The next issue will be out on 1 April.
By Ruth Addicott