With 35 years in the alternative-rock trenches, we’ve seen and heard some stuff. We’ve obviously written about it, as well. So it made perfect sense to compile our readers’ requests for certain stories and issues to create this compendium of what we’re calling our “greatest hits.” This special issue revisits some of the best moments in our storied existence.
There was that time when we found out about Awsten Knight’s impending book, and Editor In Chief Paige Owens ended up talking to the Waterparks founder for three hours. That call ended with Knight reaching out to her via FaceTime. He had the book title (You’d Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You)) written on a sweater he had been wearing for months, and no one knew about it.
We were so stoked to hear twenty one pilots’ Trench, we dropped everything and flew down to Nashville to talk about the album with Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. The band were an hour late for their photo shoot. It turned out that Joseph had gone to the hotel to have his head shaved for the session and didn’t tell his publicist until a bit later. Their rehearsal the next day at a private soundstage may have run a little slower than usual. We were up until 3 a.m. talking about the duo’s next chapter.
One of the biggest cover stories we pulled off was centered around the 10th anniversary of Take This To Your Grave by Fall Out Boy. The extensive oral history format had all the band members and their associates recalling their memories about the making of the record. For the cover photo, the band revisited the apartment they lived in during the making of the original album. We also shot a three-part video (“Take This To Your Apartment”) that had them hanging out with the new tenants.
We spent some time with Paramore as the band celebrated the release of their 2013 self-titled album. It was a crucial period, one that would certainly go on to inspire and influence Hayley Williams‘ current creative path. Williams remembered, “Every day was different. Every song required a new strategy. Nothing was static, nothing was left to a pattern. Everybody was learning, growing, trying, and experimenting every day. There was no comfort zone.” After Josh and Zac Farro’s departure, the band still triumphed on Paramore.
How could we possibly put together a greatest hits issue and not include My Chemical Romance? We were there from their humble post-hardcore beginnings and were the first American magazine to give them a cover. In 2010, the members extended an invite to us to hear some songs they would later end up scrapping to make Danger Days: The True Lives Of The Fabulous Killjoys. That era portended a lot of things about the band that we never really considered (the most glaring being the phrase “California 2019”).
Nearly 10 years later, MCR guitarist Frank Iero appeared on our cover as a solo artist. In addition to catching up with him after his band the Future Violents played their first show together alongside Thursday, even more fun was had. Iero’s cover shoot was a secret affair with plenty of jalapeno M&M’s and Game Of Thrones-branded Oreos. He also revealed his penchant for finding strength in vulnerability.
But if you’re really fascinated by over-the-top photo shoots, well, we got you. It was around this time last year when we handed over the reins of the magazine to dark-pop polymath Melanie Martinez. Naturally, Martinez gave us the inside scoop on the making of her K-12 movie. She also selected all the features and took all of her own photos. And yes, she’s actually reclining in a huge bowl of milk packets. These are some of the out-of-print stories that have become Alternative Press’ greatest hits.
After exhausting Netflix, tapping out your Spotify Discover Weekly lists and thrashing your Xbox, you now have time to read again. This issue was made with one thing in mind: you, the reader. These stories have been out of print and out of stock for years. We’re all waiting for scientists to develop a vaccine so we can go to shows safely again. Until then, we hope you’ll enjoy catching up on the history you may have missed. We’re still committed to covering rock’s future. With our first Greatest Hits issue, we’re putting a cool (but not flat-ironed) bow on where we’ve been. We hope you enjoy it.