Maximum Rocknroll is a widely distributed monthly fanzine dedicated to supporting the underground punk rock scene. MRR’s long history and large, obsessed, all-volunteer staff makes its punk rock coverage the most consistently up-to-date and reliable around. MRR maintains the values of the punk underground by remaining independent, DIY and not-for-profit.
“Maximum Rock & Roll” started in 1977 as a punk rock radio show—one of the first and best of all time. “Tim (Yohannan) and the gang” played the latest punk and hardcore sounds from across the world, the U.S., and from their home in the bristling San Francisco Bay Area punk scene. “The gang” included personalities like Jeff Bale, Ruth Schwartz, and Jello Biafra. Punk antiheroes regularly visited as guest DJs, and the roster of touring bands interviewed on the show reads like the track list on a classic old comp. The show was notable for the immediacy of the music, a dedication to international coverage (rare at the time), and for explicitly interjecting progressive politics into the dialogue of punk. The show became hugely successful in the underground, and eventually was broadcast from stations across the U.S. and abroad.
Maximum Rocknroll in zine form first appeared in 1982, as the newsprint booklet in Not So Quiet on the Western Front, a compilation double-LP released on Alternative Tentacles. The comp included 47 Northern California and Nevada bands, many of whom went on to ruin thousands of impressionable kids by releasing some of the best punk records ever. Today MRR has published over four hundred print issues. It’s still an essential read if you want to keep up with new punk records and demos from around the world, but MRR also reviews a large number of zines, books, films, and videos every month. The meat of the mag lies in tons of submission-based band interviews, where groups ranging from the latest buzz bands to the most obscure uncovered gems speak in their own words. Scene reports from across the globe (Dubai to Denver, Russia to Rio) keep the worldwide community connected.
The Maximum Rocknroll columns section has served as the punk scene’s gossipy party line for decades, but these days it provides a platform for the diverse voices of active punx with something to say, or at least an interesting way of saying it! The zine is also a vehicle for critical and engaged political though that responds to evolving global upheaval.
By remaining stable on the one hand and flipping the bird with the other, MRR’s controversial personality has affected—or infected—the history of punk rock for all time.
The very first time readers got their hands ink-stained with the pages of Maximum Rocknroll, it was through the zine insert for the now-classic Cali punk/HC compilation Not So Quiet on the Western Front. Right from the beginning, MRR wanted to have its hands in everything DIY punk: zines, records, radio, show spaces, politics, and more.
That locals-only double LP was released by then-MRR Radio collaborator Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles, and served as ground zero for both Maximum Rocknroll fanzine and Maximum Rocknroll Records. Just two short years later, MRR Records unleashed its first official release onto the world: the era-defining ripper Welcome to 1984, a compilation that managed to introduce some of the greatest global hardcore bands to a wider audience.
Always reflecting both the local punk scene around it and the happenings of the international punk world, MRR Records next released the Turn It Around double 7″ EP, featuring local bands associated with the nascent Gilman Street Project, and the Dezerter and Naïve records, both from behind the Iron Curtain. The ’90s saw MRR Records focusing on politics (Noam Chomsky), old and new punk classics (Bad Religion, Furious George), and the emergent garage punk sound (Spoiled Brats, et al.).
After a seven-year hiatus, MRR Records re-emerged with the monster 2006 international HC/punk comp Public Safety, followed by another SF/Bay Area comp, Noise Ordinance, an international HC/punk Sound the Alarms!!, and the US-edition of Los Crudos’s 2xLP Discografia. The MRR team began working on a new international compilation in early 2018—more info on how to submit soon!
Out of print, but you can download it here!
Mülltüte, Silla Eléctrica, Synthetic ID, Total War, No Statik, Dictadura, Permanent Ruin, Vivisektio, Giffords Treatment, Question, The Fight, Lotus Fucker, Ruidosa Inmundicia, Anti You, Verrugas, Orden Mundial, Kuudes Silmä, Nuclear Spring, Gutter, Entre Rejas, Estampido, Sietokyky, Hondartzako Hondakinak, I.R.A., Πανδημία (Pandemia), DHK, Kvoteringen, Kontatto, Lei Do Cão, Cülo, Maailmanloppu, Obediencia. 36-pg zine insert.
Out of print, but you can download it here!
Morpheme, Needles, Rank/Xerox, NN, Shotwell, Black Rainbow, Surrender, Conquest For Death, Acephalix, Airfix Kits, Ruleta Rusa, Face The Rail, Ecoli, Migraine, Year One, Love Songs, Suicide Bomb, Hunx and His Punx, Acts Of Sedition, Fix My Head, I Will Kill You Fucker, Duck And Cover, The Fleshies. 32-pg zine insert.
Recordings from 1983; co-released with Smooch Records.
Ääritila, Career Suicide, Deadfall, Direct Control, Disease, The First Step, Formaldehyde Junkies, Framtid, Gorilla Angreb, Holy Shit, Look Back And Laugh, Limp Wrist, Nightmare, No Hope For The Kids, Observers, Pedestrians, Persevere, Regress, Regulations, Signal Lost, Sin Dios, Sleeper Cell, Smalltown, Smartut Kahol Lavan, Strung Up, Sunday Morning Einsteins
The Detonators, Amenity, Christ on a Crutch, Nausea, Apocalypse, Conspiracy of Equals, Screeching Weasel, Jawbox, Dissent, Downfall, Dead Silence, Cringer, Bazooka Joe, Libido Boyz
Reissued in 2010 by Nikt Nic Nie Wie.
Compiled by David Hayes. Reissued as an LP in 1991 as a benefit “bootleg” for Gilman Street on Very Small Records (1,087 pressed). Corrupted Morals, Sweet Baby Jesus, Isocracy, No Use for a Name, Crimpshrine, Operation Ivy, Stikky, Nasal Sex, Yeastie Girls, Rabid Lassie, Sewer Trout, Buggerall
Terveet Kädet, Olho Seco, Crucifucks, Electric Deads, Inferno, Kidnap, NOTA, Icons of Filth, RIP, Skjit-Lars, Rattus, Raw Power, Bristles, Depression, BGK, The Stalin, Frites Modern, UBR, Mayhem, Red Tide, Moral Demolition, Huvudtvätt, Upright Citizens
Tim Yohannan (spell it right!) was Maximum Rocknroll’s founder. He died on April 3, 1998, at the age of 52. Read more about Tim in the links and comments below. If you have any more photos of Tim or links we can share, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org