Biopsy is the eccentric US-based magazine exploring anything from culture, society, and anything that might fit into the vague category of 'ideas'. Run by the 'irate pamphleteer' and founder, Chris Morgan, they launched in 2008 before they hit a bout of procrastination for two years, before the third and most recent issue was out at the end of last year. Though the particular goals of the magazine change based on their mood on a given day, they aim to offer readers the feeling that they're being watched from just outside their window. 'Whether it's while changing clothes or watching Criminal Minds is entirely up to the reader.'
Dazed Digital: Why the name 'Biopsy'?
Chris Morgan: It came from the song “Bone Marrow Biopsy” by the NJ hardcore band Rorschach, and initially it seemed like a slick and simple title for any kind of cultural magazine; over time though it came to summarize perfectly the tone of the zine that I’ve been attempting to work out that combines the clinical and the visceral. Perhaps Carcass was trying to achieve something similar with its medical text lyrics, but I’d like to think that I pull it off with more success on the count of Biopsy not being a grindcore band.
DD: What were the reasons behind starting Biopsy?
Chris Morgan: Biopsy was originally conceived as one of those conventional unconventional magazines like Might which seemed like the most creative thing to do with what was unavoidably becoming a prospect-ridden journalism career. But upon discovering that I possess the temperament of an irate pamphleteer rather than that of a businessman or journalist proper, I found the zine format, as rendered by ANSWER Me! and Crank, to be much more inviting.
DD: What are the main themes you brush upon in the publication and why?
Chris Morgan: The most common theme, and most certainly the best theme, is repulsion. Biopsy isn’t so much iconoclastic as it is creepy. The aim is to take widely accepted and discussed activities like sex, political centrism, wearing nice shoes, and not being murdered and to make them shameful while also not making the writer appear insane.
DD: So this is the third issue, are there continuing links between the issues or do they exist independently of each other?
Chris Morgan: There are themes I’ve returned to in every issue that I hope to put a new spin on. Each issue has an “On Corruption” essay that critiques one moral quandary or another in greater detail than the other essays. Also I could probably make up a short book with my writings on pornography.
DD: Who are the contributors to the zine?
Chris Morgan: Eugene Robinson is perhaps best known as the vocalist of Oxbow, but he is also the author of two books (FIGHT and A Long Slow Screw), and an expert fighter, athletically and otherwise. Aaron Lake Smith publishes a zine called Big Hands and has contributed some great copy to publications such as Vice, Newsweek and The Rumpus.
DD: Where are you distributed?
Chris Morgan: At present, the best place to get Biopsy is biopsymagazine.bigcartel.com.
DD: What's next for the publication?
Chris Morgan: In my illicit fantasy world, a book deal. In reality, possibly some t-shirts.