1. What is The Wire?
The Wire is an independent, monthly music magazine covering a wide range of alternative, underground and non-mainstream musics. The Wire celebrates and interrogates the most visionary and inspiring, subversive and radical, marginalised and undervalued musicians on the planet, past and present, in the realms of avant rock, electronica, hiphop, new jazz, modern composition, traditional musics and beyond. Passionate, intelligent and provocative, The Wire wages war on the mundane and the mediocre. Its office is based in London, but it serves an international readership.
2. How old is The Wire?
The magazine was founded in 1982, primarily as a jazz and New Music magazine, with a brief to "unravel the mysteries of music and musicians for those who look for fundamental answers about the nature of music...". Between 1984-2000 it was owned by Naim Attallah's Namara Group. In December 2000 it was purchased in a management buy-out organised by the magazine's staff and has been run independently ever since.
3. Who is The Wire?
The magazine is run by a small, dedicated team of full-time staff, plus a large international roster of over 60 freelance writers, stationed at points across the globe. Acclaimed music critics and experts amongst our contributors include Kodwo Eshun, Biba Kopf, Ian Penman, Simon Reynolds, Mark Sinker and David Toop. 'Star' contributors have also included Brian Eno, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Julian Cope, Greil Marcus, Robert Fripp, Jon Hassell, Robin Rimbaud, Paul Schütze and Howard Skempton.
4. What's The Wire's agenda?
There's no written constitution and no hardened music policy for inclusion or exclusion. The Wire seeks out the best current musics in, and between, all genres; and is committed to investigating music's past as well as its present and future. We are a 100 per cent independent operation, owned outright by the staff. There is no pressure from a publishing house to compromise our content, and we are at liberty to decide everything that's printed in our magazine - we won't let advertisers, record companies or press agents set the agenda.
5. How can I get hold of The Wire?
The magazine is available at all good newsagents and record shops in the UK - find a stockist here. Click here for distribution details. The magazine is also available at large retailers in the US and Japan like Tower, as well as selected, like-minded shops and newsagents in most European countries. The best way to get it is to subscribe: you receive your issues ahead of the street date, avoid import charges, and receive free CDs regularly.
A digital version of the magazine is available via Exact Editions on iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android and via your web browser. All print subscribers get automatic access to the digital version of the magazine. Current print subscribers can set up digital access here.
7. How do I submit a record for review?
All CDs, records, books, etc for inclusion in The Wire should be sent direct to our postal address. We can never guarantee to review or give feedback about any unsolicited material, but we listen to everything that comes our way (and there's a lot of it). Send to individual writers as well if you like, but bear in mind that they may not receive packages for several months, or may not tell us they've received them (so we'll be none the wiser). All unsolicited items become property of The Wire: send at your own risk. NB: we prefer not to receive demos or unsolicited MP3s; we cannot offer feedback or consultancy on music not intended for public consumption.
8. How can I become a contributor to The Wire?
If you are interested in writing for the magazine on a freelance basis, it's best to contact the editor, Chris Bohn, outlining any particular areas of interest, some suggested feature/review ideas, and enclosing some examples of your writing (either published or unpublished). We are always interested in submissions to our regular Global Ear section, a monthly report from a different town or city anywhere in the world.
All the portrait photography in The Wire is commissioned by our art director Ben Weaver. Live events photography is commissioned by Frances Morgan, the magazine's Deputy Editor. So if you are a photographer interested in contributing to the magazine, drop a line to whichever seems most appropriate to the kind of work you do.
9. Do you publish writers' guidelines?
10. What are your monthly deadlines for news, reviews, etc?
For news and listings in the print magazine (Out There/Bitstream): normally the first day of the preceding month, ie: 1st September for the October issue, etc. For Reviews: we normally commission about 5-6 weeks before each issue appears. As a general rule, always send material as early as possible.
11. How do I advertise in The Wire magazine or on the website?
Click here to see our rate card.
12. What else does The Wire do?
The Wire exists in other forms on various digital channels and physical realms. We regularly host talks and take merchandise to festivals including Mutek (Montreal), Unsound (Krakow), CTM (Berlin), Semibreve (Braga), Tusk (Newcastle) and Supersonic (Birmingham), among others. We have also collaborated or worked closely with Aldeburgh, Lux, Cafe Oto, Resonance FM, among others.
The Wire has also published a number of books: Invisible Jukebox (Quartet 1997), Undercurrents: The Hidden Wiring Of Modern Music (Continuum 2002), The Wire Primers (Verso 2009) and No Regrets: Writings On Scott Walker (Orion 2012) and we have worked with Mark Pilkington's Strange Attractor on the collected comic strips of Savage Pencil: Trip Or Squeek's Big Amplifier (2012). The Wire also runs an online bookshop, which includes stock of books by our contributors, among others.