Against every odd (and boy, as you would see, we had a ton), VENTS is finally hitting the big 10 milestone today. But the journey has had its ups and downs, lots of mistakes but thankfully very few regrets. Come with us into a wild ride filled with Coke (the drink, not the drug), loneliness (don’t tell my cat!) and Grammar (if you think there are a few typos and spelling issues… oh man! You know anything)!
Back on March 24th, 2009 and with only sixteen years old, I finally get to publish the first issue of what was intended to be a cool Christian magazine, a spin-off of sort to a podcast I’ve had been running for a year or so. The name of the magazine was HopeWhen and Seventh Day Slumber was our first cover story. It had a section called Top 20 that lasted for a few years where would go on featuring a list of bands I dug at the moment, a review and a feature of the main band (read: cover story) under the generic name “Band of the Month,” a section where I kinda throw in some thought-provoking “sermon” and a shows section. Eventually there was a film and TV section.
The Dumbest Publication
Maybe it was because of the shittiest excuse of a layout, it might have been our very intrusive (so sorry everyone!) way of promoting the magazine on the comment sections and private messages on the ole Myspace page where we used to run and promote the publication or the fact my English was waaaaaaaaaayyy too poor – thing is we had to actually pretty much beg bands to get featured and often times we got a few F bombs thrown our way. It took a whole revamp and change of social network to kind of build on the respect and find an audience… my marketing techniques were still a bit too annoying, so we had a few negative comments in our inbox.
Only For The Shows
The revamp came in the form of what it was supposed to be a sister magazine fully dedicated to cover shows and tours. At the time, we got a great designer (by the name of Guillermo Galvan) helping bring some life to each page and also got to cover our first big tour (more on that later) as well as our first photographers (shout to Rae Ann Varona and Jon Ramirez).
The idea was toss away mostly because of the logistics and time restrained because of the school, etc. So eventually both HopeWhen and this sister magazine evolved into one on the Summer of 2009. The name was VENTS Magazine.
Also we didn’t get to reach and contact as much as great and big Christian bands, so even though to this date I am a proud of my faith, the mission change and we opened our doors to other bands. From there on, we also went on a whole new vision and that was to promote other emerging and small bands that rarely got a shot to receive any big exposure.
In addition, I got to chop my writing and English skills thanks to help of Ellen Eldridge and a few publicists.
The Lamest Name
Now, you may be asking, how did I come with such a creative and intelligent name for this new step and important moment in music and my life as a whole – well…
Remember how was this supposed to be a magazine dedicated to cover shows and those types of things? I look for a keywords finally going with “events” and then looking for any great translation or synonyms that would be both short and sweet. After breaking the Google Translator down, I went with the most desperate and quickest option at the moment: I took the initial “e” on “events” off… and that’s how Events became VENTS.
If I recall, the name was meant to be provisionary, but in the end it stuck. It captures our new intention of covering events, and our mission covering some fresh new bands. Kuddos if you got the pun.
Remember how I mentioned we got the chance to cover our first big show and tour ever? The name of such event was no other than Vans’ Warped Tour.
Thanks to all the folks on MSO (which 10 years later we still been on touch), especially Kristin Ashton and Libby Coffey, we get to cover the LA Date and got to interview some major names as Scary Kids Scarying Kids and ALEXISONFIRE.
Since them, we’ve covered the event almost 9 years consecutively, this makes Warped Tour the record holder for the most coverage event ever on the publication. Back on 2013-14, the festival got its own cover story in honor of our fifth anniversary Summer issue.
Speaking of record holders, there are two bands that have been fighting for the first spot for the most featured band in the mag’s history.
Both Jamie’s Elsewhere (who become the first band to grace our cover under our new name and also becoming the first Hosts) and The Upset Victory have been featured on our site, our cover, as inside features, review their respective albums and also as a recommendation in our Top 20 bands.
As a side note, and speaking of duality, Death Letter Circus and Everlyn has been the only bands to share the same cover.
The UK Invasion
After having established our name in the US and growing our number of contributors (all the big thanks to Syrika Rutherford, Bree Steele, Mike Reardon, Kevin Sloan, Frederick Muchoki, Breanna Keller, Cody Blevins, Salim Ghazi Saaedi, Sebastian D. Mackay, Hannah Marren), we actually got to expand and head overseas thanks to the amazing help of two pairs of sisters the Rawson twins, Georgia and Emily and the Hurry sis, Rita and Melissa.
For a few years, they help us covering some major events like Download, Reeds and Leeds and so much more. Even as we were pretty small publication, they were both smart and awesome enough to cover the events and bring their A games and talent chopped already on some legendary outlets like Kerrang!
Eventually others like John Colson, Russell Hughes, Laura May, Chris Kent, Rowan Thomas, Mark Dean and much more will follow. But it all started with these awesome ladies.
In addition, we got to expand to get some great writers on Mexico as Mariana Hdz and the talented Lindsay Dunn on Canada helped us securing some big festivals and events (Peter Fonda, anybody?) In a few years, we got our international status thanks to some many great and talented people.
The Spanish Issue
Back in the early days of the magazine when we were just starting and I wasn’t drowning on press releases and had a resemblance of a social life – VENTS en Español was a thing.
Sadly, mostly due to the time constrains, that version only lived for only five issues or so. But hey! Never say never…
Three incarnations, kinda…
By now you probably noticed it has been a wild and long journey to get here. Aside from our current incarnation as VENTS and our first stages as HopeWhen, technically it all started back with our podcast ChriRock. So if you do the math, there will be three incarnations… and hopefully that would be it. However, that doesn’t mean we will not go much further and take the brand to other places.