What follows is an e-mail exchange with the site’s founder, Richard Metzger, edited and shortened for clarity.
Who puts Dangerous Minds together, and what is everyone’s current (or previous) day gig?
I was the co-owner of a left-leaning book publishing and DVD distribution company called Disinformation (which I left in 2005). We released “OutFoxed” and documentaries like that. I hosted an underground culture show for Britain’s Channel 4 for a couple of years. I’d interview people like Robert Anton Wilson, Douglas Rushkoff, Grant Morrison, and Genesis P-Orridge and then do a mock “60 Minutes” type of piece where I’d investigate a conspiracy theory. The segments played like documentaries directed by Christopher Guest but they were real, just about people who believed crackpot things. I was an advertising executive and then I worked at the Los Angeles Times on their ill-fated, now defunct competitor to the LA Weekly, Brand X.
Tara McGinley was a fashion stylist and Hollywood costumer from about 1997 to 2005, dressing people like Mila Kunis and rock groups like The Strokes. Marc Campbell had a hit in the eighties with a song called “88 Lines About 44 Women” and owned some video-rental stores in Taos. Paul Gallagher, who lives in Scotland, was a comics publisher and a stand-up comedian who now produces pop-culture documentaries for the BBC. Niall Connolly, who is also based in the U.K., runs a record label, DJs, and is in a drag queen Joy Division tribute act called “Joyce Division.” Brad Laner is a musician and producer who has worked with people ranging from Van Dyke Parks to Brian Eno. He used to have a band called Medicine in the nineties, whose back catalog is about to be rereleased.
Tara and I are married, and I know Brad Laner, but the rest of us have never met in person.
Is there an editorial mission for DM? How would you describe what you’re interested in?
Marc, Paul, and I write about pop culture that “men of a certain age” would know about, but for many younger readers, it’s stuff they’ve never been exposed to before. One day Tara was talking to these two young guys we know—both of them as smart as you can possibly be, real otaku-types—and they were excitedly asking her how we heard about that totally amazing band, Devo, which they pronounced like “Da-voe”!
Tara has a particular knack for finding loopy stuff and viral videos before they go viral. Niall writes about new music and electronic music in particular. He contacted us one day and said, “What about covering the music you don’t read about in Mojo? I’m your man.” And so he was. I can’t write about dance music. I don’t know the first thing about it. It takes a younger person than me to do that convincingly. We also don’t post about cyberpunk and techie stuff because it’s covered better elsewhere. We’re aware that our audience is largely a subset of Boing Boing’s vast readership, and we’re all friends, so we try not to “me too” them.
Read more here.