November 15th, 2012 by Mariam
As you may or may not know, Mariam is stepping down as one of the coordinators of Maximum Rocknroll, so the search is on… Do you think you have what it takes to run MRR? Read on!
What are we looking for?
As Maximum Rocknroll’s content coordinator, you are running a business and putting out a magazine every month. You’re the editorial, advertising, managerial, graphics and accounting departments all in one. You are responsible for choosing all of the magazine’s content. You will have another content coordinator as a partner-in-crime, and there is a distro coordinator who takes care of the magazine’s distribution and also has say about the zine’s content — it’s a great team. You also have a huge arsenal of shitworkers who take on a large part of the work, from copy editing to layouts and beyond! You will be expected to keep a part-time job as well, but the magazine will be your primary job. (You will have time for fun, I promise…) You must be efficient, organized, dedicated, and literate, with an eye for detail.
That is the quick version, but let me tell you — no two coordinators are alike, and, actually, they shouldn’t be! It really is about being able to compliment your fellow coord’s. The content coordinator duo is like any friendship; one person may be better at some things than the other, one person might enjoy aspects of the job that the other does not, etc. You don’t have to be BFFs, although my relationship with former coord Layla Gibbon has definitely developed into super-tight-friend-for-life status, and current fellow coord Lydia and I are quickly following the same path.
The way MRR works is very unique because of the way coordinators are compensated for the job — we all live and work together rent-free. All three coords are in close quarters and are constantly working together, which obviously puts us in a situation that allows us to see some of the personal aspects each another’s lives. Imagine living with friends and working on punk projects every month. The best feeling is when you and your fellow coordinators get that new issue you spent time working on together. Making punk happen! Keeping the legacy going…
Bear in mind running this magazine is a full-time job that does not pay. The mag is all-volunteer run, but you do get to live at the big MRR compound for free. We have free internet, laundry and 50,000 records, so it’s pretty sweet. You would have to move from where you currently are and live in SF. This would be your primary job. The most comfortable part-time job would be a three-day a week situation; which will be enough for saving a little, going to shows, buying records and food/beer/root beer money. There will be time for crucial hanging.
A main requirement is that you must be a legal citizen of the US with no problems that would prevent you from being listed on official paperwork. I know it sucks, but the Migra here is harsh and to begin to attain “corporate sponsorship” for a citizen of another country is something that is totally out of MRR’s financial reach. I particularly hate that we are bound by this, because there are about five people I can think of right now who live abroad who should be applying for this position, some of which I am confident could take my space here, but can’t. But I know that there is a punk somewhere out there in the US who would kill at this job and who is ready and in a situation that makes them eligible. Please contact us!
So here are some of the attributes we are looking for in our new coordinator:
Music knowledge: We need someone with a strong hardcore punk background and overall strong international punk knowledge. You don’t have to be an encyclopedia, but you have to have a curiosity for punk that propels you into seeking out the knowledge. If you are a person that seeks out new releases online or digs through old zines, dollar bins and liner notes to find the origins of bands and punks, this is the place for you!
Organization: Sure, as punks maybe we don’t do our laundry when we should, but we are looking for someone that is comfortable with deadlines, schedules and multitasking. We need someone who can take directions, but still feels comfortable to take shit on alone. You will be juggling different roles as content coordinator, so that means being able to switch gears, organize your time and still be able to make deadlines. Believe me, I know it sounds daunting, but I have a part-time job, go to shows, am in an active band and do other projects…it can be done. I still have time to chill the fuck out and hang!
Diplomat/bad-ass: When you are content coordinator, you will have to answer for all of the content in the magazine. Sometimes this means rejecting content or having to explain content that rubs people the wrong way. Being able to explain yourself with out being a pushover, yet not resorting to the immediate “fuck you,” is important (though saying “fuck you” is totally expected sometimes, and you should be comfortable with that too). If you think you have a strong, ethical DIY backbone, confidence, ability to articulate your thoughts well and provide arguments as to why you did or did not do something, to a cross section of punks, spanning from the GG-loving scumfucks to the masked blackbloc radicals, this may be your spot. Also, you have to keep your fellow shitworkers in mind. They work hard on the magazine and you wanna be able to back them up, and have them back up MRR. Personally, this is one of the main reasons I took the content coordinator spot, because I love to debate, and each conflict is an opportunity to hone my skills. If you love punk, and want to make sure MRR can continue to reach out to punks worldwide, this might be your gig.
Dealing with “Business”: We have landlords, a bank account, a printing company to deal with, bills, etc… You should be able to deal with “business people” sometimes. Calling the bank to get a finance charge returned; boring? Yes… Necessary? Sometimes… We do our own accounting, so having some financial experience in your background is good, but not necessary. You will learn about the wonderful and exciting world of QuickBooks regardless, so if you have a quick mind, I wouldn’t worry too much…
How do you apply?
The Four Steps: First you fill out a questionnaire that is reviewed by the current coordinators and the MRR board of directors. After this process, we will let you know if you have made it to the next step, which is handing in some writing samples. If those samples make the cut, you are asked to participate in a phone interview with the board and the current coordinators. If you make it to the last step, you’ll have an in-person (or Skype) interview with the board and the current coordinators. If you make it this far then you may become the next content coordinator of MRR! The whole process takes a while, but really, it is contingent on how quickly and thoroughly you complete the steps.
Not that it makes a huge difference, but there are a few reasons I am leaving this position at MRR. I just want to share them with any of you who are interested in applying. One, I think I have done everything I can do in this seat as MRR coordinator. While I still want to contribute, I think my time is up. The zine needs new blood and someone that can make their mark on MRR — someone passionate about punk, who is concerned about getting info out to the punks, getting good quality interviews (gotta keep the bar high!), covering scenes worldwide, staying true to the punk ethic. We are now almost completely connected by technology, but before all of that a community was built on the common love and need of punk, and I hope whoever takes my place has that in common with everyone who reads MRR.
The other reason I am leaving is family. I know I don’t have to tell you guys what’s going on, but someone in my immediate family has been battling cancer since I was a kid and it appears that this might be the last fight. I need to concentrate on helping in any way I can. I will still stay in SF for at least a year to train the new coordinator, play in bands and contribute to MRR and the local scene in other ways, but it’s time to take care of my blood. While I think of many punks as part of my family, I do believe that I can make room in my life for all of the things I am passionate about, and punk and MRR are certainly some of them!
If you are interested or have any questions, please email us at . We wear our inky fingers proudly, and if you think you have what it takes to run the mag, you will too.
Up the punks!