Thursday, February 19, 2009

Backlash fanzine!

was a music fanzine published by Dawn Anderson from 1987-1991. Dawn was a local music fan and writer, I remember seeing her articles in Seattle monthly music magazine The Rocket back when I was in highschool in the mid-'80s. In 1987 she dove into self-publishing with Backlash, focusing on the dirtier, heavier, more underground and rock side of Seattle's music scene that The Rocket barely would touch on. Backlash covered punk, metal, underground rock, grunge before it was called grunge and even some local hip-hop. It was the first magazine to cover this young noisy rock band from Aberdeen called Nirvana, ever hear of them? It was always a fun read and could be found for free throughout Seattle in record stores and clubs. Backlash lasted for 34 issues, the final one was published in 1991 featuring aforementioned Nirvana just as they were starting to break big... crazy for Dawn to stop publishing right as the world's media began to focus on Seattle, but maybe at that point her job was done and those bands no longer needed her to write about and promote them. Backlash was a huge inspiration for me in starting 10 Things. My friends and I began talking about starting a zine not long after Backlash ceased publication because we knew there was now a need for someone to cover the local music that The Rocket and Seattle Weekly failed to cover (this was also before The Stranger came to town).

Specific issue information:

December 1987-January 1988: First Issue - 8 pages. Cover: Q5. Other stories: Crisis Party, Terry Lee Hale, Chemistry Set. Reviews: Sir Mix-a-lot, Room Nine (Ron Nine's band before Love Battery), Jimmy Silva, Young Fresh Fellows, Coven, Ultraviolet, Bloodgood, Crazy 8's, My Eye 7 inch, Soundgarden ("Screaming Life" EP).

February 1988-March 1988: 8 pages. Cover: Incredicrew (a rare local hip-hop band). Other stories: First annual poll results (hilarious...); Breakup of Green river, Feast and the Melvins (obviously premature); Freestyle; Weather Theatre; Green Monkey Records. Reviews: Sanctuary, Scott Lindenmuth, Dehumanizers, Prudence Dredge, Liquid Generation, Ray Gunn, Karl Muller.

April-May 1988: 8 pages. Cover: Walkabouts. Other stories: Couch of Sound (Matt Cameron/Amy Denio side band), Bundle of Hiss, Fifth Angel, Action Buddie, Eagertones, No Big Business Records. Reviews: Green River ("Rehab Doll"), Hammer Head, Joey Kline, U-Men 7 inch, Screaming Trees ("Other Worlds"), The Life, Boom Boom GI (Laura Love's old band), Tony Benton.

June-July 1988: 8 pages. Cover: Screaming Trees. Other stories: Ellensburg bands, Panic, Mass Hypnosis, Big Tube Squeezer (Whiting Tennis' band), Blood Circus, Bombshelter Videos TV show. Reviews: Young Fresh Fellows, Queensryche, Chemistry Set, Accused, Blood Circus 7 inch, Swallow 7 inch, "Little Boy Goes to Hell" (Mark Nichols).

August-September 1988: 12 pages. Cover: Teen Dance Hall Ordinance. Other stories: Mother Love Bone (with a Ten Minute Warning sidebar), The Posies, Mark Nichols ("Little Boy Goes to Hell"), The First Thought, Duracell, Dangermouse, Nirvana (first article about them to appear anywhere), Hester Pryne. Reviews: SGM, Suicide Squad, The Purdins (still around!), Lethal Dose, AMQA, Dehumanizers, Soundgarden ("Fopp"), Skin Yard "Stranger" single, Green Pajamas single, Coffin Break single, Cat Butt single, Mudhoney "Touch Me" single, Tad single, Thrown-ups 3rd single.

October 1988: 12 pages. Cover: "Hairspray Bands: Alice in Chainz (note the 'z'), Black is Black, Kill D'Kor, Nasti Habitz, Ruff Toiz, Show and Tell, Whiskey Fix, and the state of Seattle hard rock." Other stories: Girl Trouble ("They live in Tacoma. They watch television. They eat meat."),Capping Day, Jimmy Silva, Hungry Crocodiles, Best Kissers in the World (Gerald Collier's band). Reviews: U-Men "Step on a Bug", Girl Trouble "Hit it or Quit it", Renaissance Affair, Weather Theatre single, Screaming Trees "Invisible Lantern", Capping Day single, Jackals, Crazy 8's, Obituaries.

November 1988: 12 pages. Cover: Young Fresh Fellows/Coffin Break US Tours. Other stories: Cat Butt, Forced Entry, Crypt Kicker Five (with yours truly on drums), Subcore/EverRat Records. Reviews: Soundgarden ("Ultramega"), C/Z "Secretions" comp, Mudhoney ("Superfuzz"), Mass Hypnosis, Chilly Uptown, Show & Tell, Nirvana 1st 7 inch ("Love Buzz"), Dharma Bums 7 inch, Kings of Rock 7 inch (w/Tom Price), Nights and Days 7 inch.

December 1988: 8 pages. Cover: Mudhoney (w/Mr. Epp sidebar). Other stories: Purdins, Je Ka Jo, Annual Critics Awards ("best of" lists, very funny). Reviews: Skin Yard "Hallowed", Dharma Bums, Posies "Failure", Sub Pop 200 comp, Go Team cassette, Meat Cigars 7 inch.

January 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Metal Church. Other stories: Pure Joy, Love + Respect, the Danged, Food Giant, Dead Flowers, Hardcore: Jesters of Chaos, Derelicts and Subvert, Reggae: The Defenders. Reviews: Blood Circus EP, Wipers "The Circle", Dana Lyons, Hi Rise, Derelicts 7 inch, Squirrels 7 inch, Big Tube Squeezer 7 inch, Snakepit 7 inch, Some Velvet Sidewalk 7 inch.

February 1989: 8 pages. Cover: Tongue-in-cheek "Satan and Rock" story. Other stories: Dehumanizers, Dharma Bums, Coven, The Hanks. Reviews: Duffy Bishop, Jesters of Chaos EP, Hell Cows, No Means No, Mudhoney/Sonic Youth split 7", more.

March 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Sir Mix-A-Lot. Other stories: The Accused, Seventh Stranger, Bible Stud, Ministry of Love, Story Book Krooks (Robert Roth's band), Squirrels, Swallow, Swinging Swamis (ahead of their time! - JE). Reviews: Metal Church, 3 Young French Fellows 3 (YFF "official bootleg), Defenders single, Mecca Normal, George Michael Jackson, Pounding Serfs, Big Black "The Last Blast" Video, more.

April 1989: 12 pages. Cover: TAD. Other stories: Seattle Bands Invade Europe (Europe swallowed the "Seattle Hype" way before it hit at home), Red Platinum, Prudence Dredge. Reviews: Walkabouts "Cataract", Mother Love Bone "Shine", Swallow, Tad, Greyfields Bobby.

May 1989: 8 pages. Cover: Weather Theatre. Other stories: Daddy Hate Box, "Acid House" in Seattle clubs, Pitbull Babysitter (later to become Sadhappy), Son of Man, Renaissance Affair, Stumpy Joe. Reviews: Screaming Trees "Buzz Factory", Mudhoney "You Got It" single, Hit Men single, Fallouts "Here I Come" single, Alphabet Swill single.

June 1989: 16 pages. Cover: Obituaries. "Oregon" issue. Other stories: Portland Scene, Hellcows, Wehrmacht, Surf Trio, Eugene Scene, Snakepit (Mike Johnson's old band), Napalm Beach. Reviews: Nirvana "Bleach", Fluid "Roadmouth", Heir Apparent, Moral Crux, Big Tube Squeezer, Boom Boom GI, 7th Stranger, Pure Joy single, Chemistry Set single, Smegma/Hellcows single, Zoomorphics single, Funhouse.

July 1989: 8 pages. Cover: Skin Yard. Other stories: Mono Men, Bellingham bands, Go Fish, Heir Apparent. Reviews: Coffin Break "Psychosis", Jon Strongbow, live review of "Lamefest '89" show (Mudhoney/Tad/Nirvana live), more.

August 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Green Pajamas. Other stories: Black is Black, Sabre, Bitter End, Assumptions, My Name, Hippie Big Buckle (ex-Feast). Reviews: Prudence Dredge, Teriyaki Asthma Vol I single (w/Nirvana's "Mex Seafood"), Tad/Pussy Galore "Damaged" split single, Dangermouse, Mono Men first single, lots more.

September 1989: 8 pages. Cover: Posies. Other stories: Mad Hatter, Still Falling, Bremerton Scene Report, Runaway Trains, Jim Basnight. Reviews: Soundgarden "Louder than Love", Coven, Variant Cause, Beat Happening "Black Candy", Fifth Angel, Love Battery "Between the Eyes" single, Sky Cries Mary "Until the grinders Cease", Treehouse single, Nights and Days single, Ken Cornia single, more.

October 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Crisis Party. Other stories: Common Language, Bassics, Dogma Cipher, Love Battery, Myramainz, Seattle Poster Laws, Zine reviews, live show reviews. Reviews: Mudhoney "Mudhoney" LP, Scott McCaughey "Chartreuse Opinion", Cat Butt EP, Helios Creed "Last Laugh", Slack, Surrealists, Girl Trouble single, 64 Spiders single, Skin Yard "Start at the Top" single, Treepeople first single "Important Things" (which featured Doug Martsch), more.

November 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Soundgarden. Other stories: Seattle politics re: music, Shotgun Mama (later known as Sweetwater), Dickless, Metaphonics, Variant Cause, Lethal Dose, Backlash second annual coffee tour of the "Ave", Big Satan Inc. Reviews: Sir Mix-A-Lot, Pure Joy, Young Fresh Fellows, Crisis Party, Another Pyrrhic Victory comp LP, Accused/Morphius single.

December 1989: 12 pages. Cover: Looking back at the 80's. Other stories: A decade of northwest metal, A decade of dead clubs, Subvert, Panic, Beltanes. Reviews: Melvins "Ozma", "Here Ain't the Sonics" comp, Teriyaki Asthma Vol II single, Dope Guns & Fucking in the Streets Vol 1-3, Girl Trouble single, Some Velvet Sidewalk single, more.

January 1990: 8 pages. Cover: Shock Value (Jim Blanchard art). Cover Story: Champs and Chumps of 1989. Other stories: Gas Huffer, Hit Men, Pure Joy becomes Flop. Reviews: Walkabouts "Rag and Bone", Metal Meltdown 4 comp, Screaming Trees EP, Cosmic Psychos, Thee Hypnotics, Stumpy Joe single, Kings of Rock single, Grapes of Wrath, Doc Rockit, Bible Stud single, Seaweed single, more.

February 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Sanctuary. Other Stories: Skin'n'Bones, Stagnant Water, Glee, Treepeople (feat. Doug Martsch). Reviews: Tad "Salt Lick", Rancid Vat EP, Fastbacks single, Gas Huffer "Firebug" single (their first!), Coffin Break single, YFF/Scruffy The Cat single, Daddy Hate Box single, Sanctuary "Into The Mirror Black", Yeast single, more.

March 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Grapes of Wrath. Other Stories: NoMeansNo, Moral Crux, Bill Bored, Condemned, Bone Cellar, Dumt. Reviews: DOA "Murder", Curious George, The Hanks, Teriyaki Asthma Vol. III, Miracle Workers, Crypt Kicker Five single, more.
April 1990: 12 pages. Cover: The Fluid. Other stories: Spaz, Helltrout. Reviews: Mark Lanegan "Winding Sheet, Afghan Whigs "Up In It", Jack Endino "Angle of Attack", Green Pajamas "Summer of Lust" (vinyl issue, finally!), Brotherhood single, Battered Citizens single, Puget Power Vol I single, Sanity Assassins single, more.

May 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Slam Suzzanne. Other Stories: Young Fresh Fellows, Gorilla, Hammerbox, Quigzy Stick, Tom Ensign, reviews of other 'zines. Reviews: Coffin Break "Rupture", Animal Kingdom, Skin Yard "Fist Sized Chunks", Tone Dogs, Mono Men single, Game for Vultures single, Still Falling single, Poison Idea single,Tor Dietrichson, local tape reviews, more.

June 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Northwest Indy Label Explosion (big article). Other stories: Sweaty Nipples, Cropdusters, Paisley Sin, Infamous Menagerie, Sub Pop about to make a deal with Columbia Records (obviously premature). Reviews: Bitter End, Mono Men, Treepeople, Laura Love, Accused, Common Language, Food Giant, Dickless single, Weather Theatre single, Thrown-ups box, Inspector Luv (later Green Apple Quick Step) single.

July 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Afghan Whigs. Other stories: Thin Men, C/Z Records, My Sister's Machine, Aspirin Feast, Pullman (Wa.) Scene Report, Live reviews. Reviews: The Fartz "You, We See You Crawling", Bill Frisell, Common Language, Pure Joy EP, Hit Men, Hammerbox single, Mudhoney "You Make Me Die" single, Teriyaki Asthma Vol. IV single, Treehouse single, Alice in Chains "We Die Young" 3-song debut CD single, Last Gasp single, Madrigal, Icky Joey single, Mecca Normal single, Snakepit single, Seaweed first single, Love and Respect single, Giant Weeds single, Dope Guns & Fucking in the Streets Vol. 5 single, more.

August 1990: 16 pages. Cover: Bitter End. Other stories: Icky Joey, Talk's Cheap, Adrian's Childhood, Like Rain, Picketts, Urban Rhythm Unit, Herbivores. Reviews: Kid Sensation, High Performance, Accused "Grinning Like An Undertaker", Girl Trouble "Stomp and Shout", Daddy Hate Box "Sugar Plow" EP, Hungry Crocodiles EP, Flop single, Christ on a Crutch single, Derelicts single, Big Yuck Mouth single,Bent single, Smegma single, Infamous Menagerie EP, more.

September 1990: 16 pages. Cover: Alice in Chains. Other stories: Gruntruck, F-Holes, Capping Day, Cryptic Slaughter, Popllama Softball.... Reviews: Mother Love Bone "Apple", Solomon Grundy, Queensryche, Vexed, Derelicts single, Greyfields Bobby single, Alice in Chains, Dead Moon, Marble Orchard single.

October 1990: 12 pages. Cover: Coffin Break. Other stories: Sadhappy, Modern Fabrics, L7, Big Head. Reviews: Posies "Dear 23", Various Artists "Hard to Believe" Kiss tribute comp, Green Pajamas "Ghosts of Love", Dharma Bums (Portland band), Hester Pryne single, "Small Pond" Boise comp, Love Battery "Between the Eyes" EP, Criminal Nation single, Daddy Hate Box "Sugar Plow" EP (again), Shattered Machine, Big Satan Inc. single, Treepeople single, Beat Happening single, Malchicks single, Hoop Skirt Loop Yarn video, more.

November 1990: 16 pages. Cover: Coffee Tour of the "Ave". Other stories: Melvins, 7th Stranger, Imij, Keith Livingston, Last Gasp, Gypsy Kyss, Inspector Luv (who later became GAQS). Reviews: Squirrels, Estrus Lunch Bucket, Thee Headcoats, Girl Trouble "Thrillsphere", Swallow "Sourpuss", Mad Mad Nomad, Jumbalassy, Purple Outside, Capping Day, Karla Cruz, Fastbacks "...Motor", Nirvana "Sliver/Dive" single, Young Fresh Fellows single, Hellcows single, Coffin Break single, Gut Flower single, Puget Power Vol. II, Swelter Cacklebush single, King Krab single, TFL single, 10:07 single, Gunsharp'ners single, more.

December 1990: 16 pages. Non-Local Issue. Cover: Pixies. Other Stories: Mummies, Tar, Eggplant, Steel Pole Bathtub, Sister Double Happiness, D.O.A., Agony Column, Skinny Puppy. Reviews: Maggies' Dream, Kreator, King Diamond, Deacon Blue, Primus, Helmet, Limbomaniacs, Surgery, Tesla, Adrian's Childhood, Dirt Fishermen, Jim Wolfe, Mark Arm single, Tad single, Seaweed single, Gorilla single, Paisley Sin single, Fastbacks/Gas Huffer single, lots more.

January 1991: 12 pages. Cover: Squirrels. Other Stories: Dharma Bums (Portland), DC Beggars, DC Rebels, Seaweed, Champs and Chumps of 1990. Reviews: Gruntruck "Inside Yours", Bobbing for Pavement comp (Rathouse), Satyricon comp, Derelicts "Love Machine", Dehumanizers, Resist single, Moral Crux EP, Girl Trouble single, Picketts single, Calamity Jane single, Completely Grocery single, lots more.

February 1991: 12 pages. Cover: Derelicts. Other stories: Molasses, Sky Cries Mary, Unearth, Fallen Idols, River Jordan, Mad Mad Nomad. Reviews: Tad "8-Way Santa", Screaming Trees "Anesthesia", Gas Huffer "Ethyl" EP, Fluid/Nirvana split 7 inch, Moral Crux, Mummies, Shattered Machine, more.

March 1991: Farewell Issue - 8 pages. Cover Story: Nirvana, "Signing on the dotted line and other tales of terror". This was their last interview before recording Nevermind; Dave Grohl had just joined the band. Other stories: Cats + Dogs, Eppifanie, Poison Bone, The First Thought. Reviews: Metal Church, Beat Happening, Gary Heffern, Hester Pryne, Criminal Nation, The Holidays, Some Velvet Sidewalk, The Fumes, various 7 inches.

(This insanely complete issue listing was mostly copied from Dawn's ex-husband Jack Endino's website garage sale of past issues from about seven years ago, editing it all into a common clear format took forever, but it seem like this info should be documented for Northwest music history).


Anonymous said...

Hi, I wish I had all those fanzines,...

I only got 2 fanzines from an old grunge guy, one of those fanzines is superdope #5,...

I hope I can make a fanzine myself one day, I can draw a bit but not much and writing about good bands and interview them would be cool, I will ask a girl from a riot zine for help

I did a grunge fashion thing on the article from punk fashion (playboy), you can check it on my myspace,... if you like,...


Anonymous said...

i loved backlash, didnt dawn do an earlier zine called backfire as well?

Dan 10Things said...

Backfire was her second one, I'm doing a write up on it in a few days. I just scanned the cover of the issue with the Briefs on it in.

brysmi said...

Awesome. Backlash is a forgotten gem for a lot of us then-under-agers who were slumming around looking for something to do around here.

Anonymous said...

excellent dan, i'll be looking for it.

Anonymous said...

Backlash was great. Whatever happened to Dawn? Anyone remember "Hype"- sort of a Rocket-ish paper that was around for a year or so?

Anonymous said...

Are copies of Backlash available anywhere? Specifically, I'm looking for November 1990...and the story on Karla Cruz. (See her at, she' still rockin' and has a lot of material still to come. But I'm fasciunated with the early years)
Any help?

Dan 10Things said...

"Are copies of Backlash available anywhere?"

I don't know, I donated most of mine to the EMP for their historical collection, along with a couple hundred other Northwest Zines. One day I hope they actually do something with them like an exhibit, otherwise they probably are squirreled away in some basement archive. Jack Endino used to sell back issues on his website, you could try checking with him, although he's a busy man. There really is no good place to buy and sell old zines (Ebay isn't exactly DIY or a place most people would look for them).

Unknown said...

I've got a number of issues' of
Backlash,including the august/sept. 88 issue & the july 89 with a letter
to the editor signed by nirvana re:
Chris's behavior at a recent alice in
chains show.most issues i have run
from june/july 88-alot of '89,i don't
seem to have any 90 or 91 issues,save
for the final march 91 issue.
got a number of vintage 85-91 "Rockets" two with nirvana covers,plus lots of old sub pop colums,deep six lp review,green river article etc. etc.
Also have 1 1/2 issues of hype.
the half issue has a nirvana interview about the time of neverminds release.
also have some vintage 82-86 "metalmania" fanzines with lots of
old mustaine era metallica stuff.
Im looking to unload some of these
get in touch and we'll see if we can work something out.

Anonymous said...

You can reach Dawn Anderson on Facebook; she lives in Tucson, Az.

robert said...

As someone who wrote for all three of them, I can confirm that "Backfire" was actually the name of Dawn's first and third zines. The original "Backfire" ran from August 1983 to March 1984, and had a glossy color cover, quite rare for the time. The cover articles included Red Rockers, Bryan Adams, Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, Nina Hagen, and Girlschool. From that, you can tell that right from the start she covered every form of loud rock, from punk to metal.

When Dawn decided to start another magazine in the late '90s, she dusted off the "Backfire" name.