Having started humbly in 2011 as an A5 DIY zine, in the last five years Mushpit has really come of age, and is in the process of compiling its 9th issue: ‘The Crisis Issue’. Born out of frustration with the rule-bound world of fashion, Mushpit is a playful reaction to glossy magazines, featuring lots of satire, as well as all your favourite tropes of teen magazines, with flow charts and problem pages aplenty.
If you haven’t picked up a copy of Mushpit yet, look no further – we spoke to creators Bertie Brandes and Char Roberts about being vodka lime socialists, unemployment, and what’s in their latest issue, which will be available for you to get your hands on pretty soon.
How would you describe Mushpit to anyone who doesn’t know it?
As useful, useless and stupid hot.
What were your aims when you started Mushpit? What gap do you think you’re filling in the market?
When we started we were very critical of “women’s media” which clearly didn’t cater to us at all. If you liked magazines then you apparently either read Vogue, Dazed, Grazia or W, which felt extremely dated. We also wanted a place to give room to all the amazing writers, photographers, stylists and time-wasters we were hanging around with.
Is there a political agenda you stick to in terms of content or political leaning?
We’re Vodka Lime Socialists and proud.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
Shop signs, fizzy drinks, rival mags and the Ham & High.
Who is your audience?
People with a sense of humour, who are willing to spend money on something they have no idea about – so a lot of media dads. Oh and young women obvvsss!
How has Mushpit evolved since it began in 2011?
It has grown in every sense. It was A5 when we were students and it’s A4 now we’re unemployed.
How do you fund the magazine? Do you have other jobs outside of Mushpit?
Charlotte (hi!) is a stylist and Bertie (hello!) is a writer. We try to do as many morally dubious and anonymous jobs as we can to fund the magazine and it sort of works. We manage to remain proudly ad-free, somehow.
What have been your favourite collaborative moments?
Shooting with Tyrone LeBon was great, and working in Suffolk with Raphy Bliss and Victoria Higgs on the new issue was a real dream shoot. Eloise Parry is an amazing photographer who we love working with, as well as Dexter Lander, who has become a regular contributor. Everything Paul Gorman does for us is phenomenal as well, not excluding him and Caz’s next feature.
Can you give us any teasers for the next issue?
There’s some great editorial in issue 9; our good friend Martin has interviewed one of the founding editors of Spare Rib and, perhaps a little less high-brow, there’s a dandruff diet page for flaky scalp sufferers.
What kind of impact do you think Mushpit has?
We hope that once you’ve finished the magazine you feel vindicated and victorious… And ready to take on the world! The horrible, horrible world.
‘The Crisis Issue’ is coming in early October to Themushpit.co.uk
All images courtesy of Mushpit Magazine