Alternative Press (magazine)

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Alternative Press
"Most Anticipated Albums of 2007" issue featuring Motion City Soundtrack
Former editorsJason Pettigrew, Paige Owens
PublisherAlternative Press Magazine, Inc.
First issueJune 1985
CountryUnited States
Based inLos Angeles

Alternative Press is an American entertainment magazine primarily focused on music and culture. 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 managed by MDDN, and based in Los Angeles, CA.[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 for bands playing underground music. The name of the magazine, Alternative Press, was not a reference to the alternative rock genre, but referred to this 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 paused due to its financial problems, only resuming until the spring of 1988.[5] With the growth of alternative rock in the early 1990s, its circulation began to increase. Notable AP 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.

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 avenues 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, eventually averaging between 198 and 220+ pages a month.

AP sponsored a radio show which 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 fall of 2020, Alternative Press was sold to MDDN, owned by Good Charlotte members Benji and Joel Madden.[6] In the 2020s, AP's digital and print content has shifted toward highlighting rising artists and introducing them to the magazine's audience. Cover stars include artists such as Waterparks, Rina Sawayama, Chase Atlantic, Willow Smith and more. The editorial shift has expanded their coverage to 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,[7] and AP&R. In January 2022, Alternative Press closed its offices in Cleveland, Ohio and relocated to Burbank, California.[6]

2022 saw Avril Lavigne debut on their March Issue,[8] and other notable cover stars that year included Demi Lovato,[9] Louis Tomlinson,[10] Spiritbox,[11] and Arctic Monkeys.[12] Upon the release of their Demi Lovato cover, the print publication announced it would be moving to quarterly releases,[13] as opposed to its monthly roll-out.

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 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.


  1. ^ "Potential Markets". Freelance Writing. Archived from the original on December 8, 2015. 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. ^ Hoffman, Kevin (February 18, 2004). "Almost Famous". Cleveland Scene. Retrieved 2023-12-13.
  6. ^ a b Smith, Troy L. (2022-01-25). "Alternative Press is no longer a Cleveland magazine". The Plain Dealer ( Retrieved 2023-12-13.
  7. ^ "Generation Ap". Alternative Press Magazine. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  8. ^ "Avril Lavigne: Alternative Press Magazine - March 2022 (Version 1)". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  9. ^ "Demi Lovato: Alternative Press Magazine - Fall 2022". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  10. ^ "Louis Tomlinson: Alternative Press Magazine - Fall 2022". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  11. ^ "Spiritbox: Alternative Press Magazine - Fall 2022". Alternative Press. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  12. ^ Reese, Ashley. "Arctic Monkeys aren't done evolving". Alternative Press Magazine. Retrieved 2022-10-25.
  13. ^ 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.