Celebrating 10 Years of APESHIT: The Genesis of APESHIT

2012 marks the 10th anniversary of APESHIT. It’s been a long ride and it’s pretty crazy to think we’ve done this thing for so long. Through hard work, stubbornness, sacrifice, and dedication to our vision, APESHIT has been able achieve many successes and victories while also outlasting many of our peers. We’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work some of the most dedicated people in the industry as well as some of the greatest bands on the planet. Let’s take a look back at how it all began.

Back in 2002, I was two years removed from graduating from college with a useless degree and little career direction. I was in my second year of working for two of the biggest underground metal labels handling all aspects of their online presence. Yeah, I know it may sound like a metalhead’s dream come true but working for pennies isn’t exactly something to give you hope for a bright future.

I had known roycifer since college where we both had underground metal radio shows. He was one of the first djs in the U.S. to play all the albums from the, then blossoming, Norwegian black metal scene. After college, he took his self-taught web design skills to a professional level and had recently quit his long time radio show. We were both looking to not only take our love of metal to the next level but also help strengthen our resumes for a better professional future in the web. After one conversation, it was decided. We were going to launch our very own extreme music webzine.

As for a name, it was tough to think of something that was unique yet not too cliche (i.e. something not with the word “metal” in it). One of the names that was thrown around was “Millionflame,” named after a SOILWORK song. In a moment of spontaneity, roycifer suggested the name, “APESHIT,” and that was that. Yeah, it had a cuss word in the name, and in hindsight, not the best thing to put on a resume, but one thing was certain, it was an easy name to remember.

Back in 2002, the world of web design was still something left best to the pros. If a website was done by an amateur, it was usually readily apparent and metal webzines were no exception. Besides aiming to bring a level of design and technical sophistication to APESHIT, we wanted to cover the best in the underground without any hype, hyperbole, or outside control. Staying true was, and is, our mantra. Believe it or not, the media, including underground music, is largely dictated by payola in some form or another.

While roycifer and I were young and enthusiastic, we knew we couldn’t do this alone. I had spoken with friend, co-worker, and heavy metal warrior, shady rajah, about APESHIT and he was down. Like us, shady rajah had a voracious appetite for seeking great extreme bands. Yeah, we loved bands like OPETH, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, and IN FLAMES long before they even played their first U.S. shows.

Web development duties would be handled by roycifer, publicity and press contacts would be handled by myself, and shady rajah would focus his energies on content. The APESHIT goons were born. We worked quickly and officially launched APESHIT in July 2002.

Personally, I was eating, drinking, and smoking metal 24/7 back then. I was willingly swimming in a sea of advanced albums, going to shows 1-5 times per week, and meeting so many of my favorite bands. Additionally, I was still doing my weekly metal radio show, which required me to drive 30 miles south after work and caused me to get home at 1:00 AM afterwards. But I didn’t care, I seemingly had all the time and energy in the world to do it all. It wasn’t until drama sprang up at the radio station that I chose to end my nearly six year run on radio to focus my energies on APESHIT.

In hindsight, starting APESHIT back then was the perfect time. Had we started the site a few years later, we may have shut it all down before we got any momentum going. It was kind of like learning to play an instrument at a young age instead of waiting until your 20’s and inevitable quitting prematurely.

We want thank every single visitor and supporter of our humble website through out the years. We also want to thank all the hard working music industry maniacs who have given us their support, friendship, and respect for what we do. As we have learned through out the years, in life, never stop grinding! Cheers!