Josh MacPhee started studying media and culture at Oberlin College (Ohio). There he did this “politically charged” zine; he was also an activist. After two years he quit school and moved to Washington DC, to help some friends start the Beehive – a book-/record-store and community-space for anarchists and punks. Nowadays Josh lives in Brooklyn and is a designer, artist (develops/distributes T-shirts, posters and stickers with revolutionary content), curator and archivist. The radical art distribution project (justseeds.org) of which he is the founding member (1998) was formed into an artist coop in 2006. He’s also one of many volunteers that keep the Interference Archive going. Plus: he contributed to Signal, an ongoing book-series dedicated to documenting and sharing compelling graphics, art-projects and cultural movements of international resistance and liberation-struggles.
The first issue of his zine (out in 1992) featured ‘Spitboy’, ‘Worlds Collide’, a piece on safe sex and concert-/record-reviews. The issue I have (#2, 93-ish; probably an introduction by Vique ‘Simba’ Martin or ‘Jen ‘Fucktooth’ Angel) contains interviews with ‘Econochrist’ & ‘Universal Order Of Armageddon’, a page on the band ‘Heroin’, a lengthy piece on labour-unions, info on sexually transmitted diseases, columns on black/white power & on political correctness, and reviews.
Fenceclimber really only had 2 issues. They were my attempt to merge the hardcore music I was inspired by with my emergent politics. Which made for an interesting mix of band-interviews and immense amounts of record-reviews and then features on diverse political issues. In Oberlin not only did I do the zine, but with a couple friends (Irene Chien and Rebecca Parker) ran a small zine-distro called Junglegym.
I made a number of zines after Fenceclimber #2 but they all evolved and changed, and didn’t seem to fit the name anymore. I did some small run personal zines, and then about 15 years ago started putting out a new round of zines rooted in street-art documentation. That has evolved into Pound The Pavement of which I recently released issue #19.
Josh MacPhee, June 2018
I got to know about ‘Universal Order Of Armageddon’ (based in/around Annapolis) through my comrade Sam MacPheeters (‘Born Against’ singer). After they toured Europe, Tonie Joy (also ‘Moss Icon’ and owner of the label Vermin Scum recs) & Brooks Headly joined them on bass and drums. The latter 2 also got together with Anthony Scott Malat (bass – Tonie played guitar in ‘U.O.A.’) & Colin ‘Seven’ Busch (vocals) to form this new band. At the time of this interview they had just released their first demo. Their first vinyl would be a split-EP with ‘Born Against’… In Tilt! #8, I wrote about that: “play noisy, angry, over-the-top HC-punk” and their lyrics “prove they don’t see themselves as the beginning and end of the whole HCpunk-community”… Intelligent/political/sociocritical band!