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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR If you want to do what you want to do, you need to do two things: Know what you want to do. Do it. Good luck with that. Most people never make it to step two, which one would think would be the harder of the steps. If you know what you want, get at it. Don’t take it for granted. This is the 40th issue of ALARM Magazine, a project that I started as a student 17 years ago. I feel fortunate that I’ve been able to do ALARM for so long. But really, what I should be thankful for is that I want to do anything at all—that there is something I like doing. And honestly, that’s what matters. All you need to do is figure out what you want and keep doing it. For better or worse, it’s rarely the best talents that succeed—it’s the people that keep showing up. Perseverance is what you need; talent is what you want. Photo by Tim Cadiente

Over the past two years, I’ve struggled to figure out how to get the magazine back in print, and, honestly, I’m not sure I’ve found a real solution to that yet. Contrary to what the media says about itself (a suicidal stance that I completely do not understand), we are at a high point of media. There are so many great writers working now—prolific and talented storytellers, aspiring and promising journalists. I can read so much good, thoughtful stuff, easier than I ever have before. And most of those people creating the stories are working from rocky, cobbled-together financial situations. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. The hustle to sell magazines and sell ads is, well, soul crushing. But the opportunity it’s created also is appealing. Look at the range and scope of artists that our small, independent magazine is about to cover and cover well. What we, as media, lack is confidence in what we do. We think we’re failing. We think we’re not as influential as a 15-year-old with a zillion Twitter followers. We’re worried about pointless bullshit like “page views” and “uniques.” Well, what the media world needs to do is take a few pointers from the artists inside this issue—to be uncompromising in our craft, to have confidence in our craft, and to focus on nothing but it. Readers will come, influence will come, just like fans have come to musicians playing some pretty farout-there stuff. Twenty years ago, no one ever thought Converge would go anywhere. No one. Trust me. I was there. But they not only stuck to it—they reinvested in every album, pushed and pulled and earned every note. And they’ve earned their craft, earned their audience, and are still working for more. I love music, and I love the simultaneously independent and hectic culture that surrounds it, the destructive habits balanced with the supportive ones. It’s a culture that I’ve built my small, weird world around, and I want to stay immersed in it the only way I know how: day by day. I refuse to leave it. I know what I want to do, and everyday I try to figure out how to do it. This issue celebrates that. ALARM never left, but it’s great to be back in our original magazine form. I hope you’ll have us. That’s it. Let’s not overthink it. Do you know what you want to do? Then go do it. Then write me about it. ----Chris Force, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief




ALARM Magazine #40