'Pub Trivia' is where we get to know our favourite Australian publications a bit better.

This week we speak to Swampland about music journalism, long-form writing and filling a gap in the market. 

So, what is Swampland?

Swampland is a print publication dedicated to thoughtful, long-form coverage of Australian music. We started due to a frustration with a lot of contemporary music journalism: As audiences have moved online, the quality and length of a lot of criticism has taken a hit. We wanted to carve a space for music writing that is built to stand the test of time. As well as great writing, we also commission original photography and we also like to throw fun parties.

When did you start?

We published our first issue in November last year. Our third is due out this coming November!

Who is Swampland for?

Anyone who has an interest in good writing and Australian music. We don’t have allegiances to any particular music genre and we are interested in stories from different points in Australian music history, so there’s hopefully equal appeal for everyone from hip, young club kids through to salty, veteran rock-dogs.

If the publication were to recommend a book to its readers, what would that be?

It would be too easy to choose something music journalism-related, so we’re going to say The Plains by Gerald Murnane for a classic Australiana fix.

What's the best feedback you've had on the mag?

Someone from the State Library said we were “very relevant”, which we were pretty chuffed about.

What’s the weirdest criticism the publication has received? 

This was not directed at the publication per se, but we got a few talkback radio knickers in a twist over a poster we put up to promote our last launch show. We had the inimitable Spike Fuck on our line-up and a Concerned Citizen felt compelled to call up 3AW and complain about the ‘filthy’ language. It’s just a step too far, proclaimed Rob from Brunswick. Whatever could be next? He stayed on the phone long enough to ponder the state of modern music criticism (“long-form music journalism… whatever that means”). Evidently, it was a slow news day: Melbourne’s Lord Mayor had to field poster-related press questions and we ended up on Channel Nine news. (Still sore at Peter Hitchener for pronouncing our name wrong.) Rob, if you’re reading, you’ll be pleased to know you’ve had your words immortalised on a fetching Swampland tote bag available to purchase from our online store for a very reasonable price. 

Tell us something people don't usually know about Swampland

We cycled through a long list of names before settling on ‘Swampland’ (primarily based on the classic song from the Scientists). Some choice cuts were: Stranded, Ripper, Girt, Carked, Chunder, Yeah Nah, Verandah, Grouse, Junkyard. Safe to say, we probably made the right choice.

What’s on the horizon, and when is the next one out?

We are busy working away on issue number three, which is due out in early November. Stay tuned for the announcement of our launch show — you won’t want to miss it.

Where can readers find you?

Web: swamplandmag.co
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SwamplandMag/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SwamplandMag
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/swamplandmag/

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