Pin It
Instagram of the Week @moshermags metal magazine 15

The IG account dedicated to 00s-era moshers everywhere

Mosh, mosh, get a wash (then hit follow on @moshermags)

If you’ve never stood outside your local, small town rock club at 3am as a bunch of boy racer, tracksuit-clad townies sped past you screaming “Mosh mosh get a wash” circa the early 00s, have you ever truly lived? Were you to ask Rachel Branson that exact question, it’s likely the answer would be a resounding ‘no’, given she recently founded @moshermags – the Instagram account offering a deep dive into the era’s definitive subculture through pages ripped directly from archival issues of Kerrang!, Rock Sound, and more. 

Encompassing music, fashion, and the scene’s biggest heartthrobs and heroes, a quick scroll through @moshermags’ grid brings up photos of teenage festival goers who bear more than a passing resemblance to Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, Blink 182’s Mark Hoppus escorting Beyoncé down the red carpet of the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards, and ‘Hunk of the Year’ round-ups which see Incubus’s Brandon Boyd, Marilyn Manson, and Brian Molko of Placebo make the top ten. Conversely, Manson also topped Kerrang!’s ‘Scruffiest Bastard’ poll in the year of our lord 1996. 

Also on the line-up are posts dedicated to getting the mosher lewk down, with adverts dedicated to legendary parachute pant purveyors Punkyfish, mail-order, Vetements-esque ‘Saint Inside’ tees (j’want tbh), and rock-inspired phone cases for your Nokia 3310 all to be found in the mags’ pages. Even more brilliant than the shopping pages, though, are the publications’ lonely-hearts-but-make-it-metal columns, where romance-craving rock fans outline (sometimes slightly problematically) what they’re looking for in a partner – because FYI moshers need love too. 

Here, founder Rachel talks us through the account, metal’s Depop resurgence, and being obsessed with Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley.

Why did you decide to start @moshermags? 

@moshermags: There are actually a few reasons, one being that I’ve always been a huge music and pop culture nerd – I love books and music and books about music! I’m also just a general nerd, and working in a university library I see amazing online magazine archives, mostly for cultural education purposes. There’s a pretty good one called Rock’s Backpages, which is an archive of music journalism from the 50s to the present day, and another which has scans of magazines like Spin and Vox, but only up until the year 2000. People seem to have completely ignored Kerrang! and Rock Sound in their cultural archives. 

Were you a mosher back in the early 00s? And if so, are you still one now? 

@moshermags: Absolutely YES to both. From 2001 to 2004 I wore cartoon t-shirts, rubber studded chokers from the goth shop in Middlesbrough (where I grew up), and big, baggy neon pink and purple cord trousers – don’t talk to me if you haven’t waded through puddles and had a tide mark up to your knees by the time you’d finished. I also had a Jigglypuff backpack that I ruined with badges, permanent black marker, and safety pins, black adidas Superstars because Deryck from Sum 41 wore them, and knee-length rainbow socks. Because this was in that grey area before digital and phone cameras were widespread, there aren’t many photos of me sadly. 

How big is your archive of mosher magazines?

@moshermags: I’ve got about 150 issues of Kerrang! and about 100 of Terrorizer, Metal Hammer, and Rock Sound – I’m getting issues donated to me now, and I got a big bundle from 1996-1999 for my most recent birthday. I’m easy to buy for at this point, I guess. I’m also glad I kept everything! Though I obviously cut out a lot of stuff to put on my walls and school books the first time round. 

When did you start collecting them? 

@moshermags: When I was a ‘mini mosher’ – I got my first issue of Kerrang! in 2001, aged 11, because it had an article about Wheatus in. My mam got me it after she took me to see them in concert for my birthday. It had Will Haven on the cover, and a free CD called ‘The Sound of 2002’. Still have it, obviously.

What do you think of the resurgence of mosher style which is coursing through fashion currently? 

@moshermags: There’s a very specific feeling of being a UK-based ‘alternative’ adolescent in the late 90s and early 00s that I’ve tried to capture through Mosher Mags. Being alternative wasn’t cool back then – Converse, piercings, and band shirts were reserved for moshers, skaters, and goths! A few years ago, I noticed a lot of ‘vintage’ band shirt Instagram accounts and Depop sellers pop-up – it baffled me to see that people were charging up to £100 for crap quality, £10 market stall band shirts printed with the likes of Slipknot, Limp Bizkit, and Korn. That was the kind of stuff we wore on big baggy hoodies and got picked on for having! 

Now, it seems like the late 90s and early 00s rock and metal scene is merely ‘aesthetic’, and although I’m really not a fan of the ‘irony’ that comes with this sort of thing, I’m not one of those dickheads that think you shouldn’t wear a band shirt if you don’t know the songs. I just think it’s interesting (and quite funny) to see how the younger generation takes things that they missed and repurpose them. We’re all guilty of doing it I suppose. I’m just happy I have Instagram to document this lame, embarrassing, and hilarious era of our youth.

What's the funniest or most random thing you've found one of your archival mags?  

@moshermags: The picture of Ryan Jarman at the Big Day Out in Milton Keynes in 1999. I screamed when I saw it – when I decided I was ‘too cool’ for rock and metal, like most people, I moved onto indie and alternative music and was a HUGE fan of The Cribs. My mam went from buying me Kerrang! every week to getting me the NME. Seeing one of the icons of mid 00s indie rock as a hot goth at a Marilyn Manson concert just ticked all my boxes. Weirdly, I didn’t keep my NMEs. And which magazine is still running? Exactly.

Do you have a favourite issue?  

@moshermags: My fave issue is probably any with an end of year list – I think it really summarises what people were into and what we cared about. Shittiest thing about the year 2000? Not the Roskilde tragedy, but the Millennium Dome and Zack leaving Rage Against the Machine. Amazing priorities!

Who were (or are) your fave mosher bands?

@moshermags: My first mosher love was Fred Durst and Limp Bizkit. I distinctly remember a girl on my street making me a tape of Limp Bizkit, Korn, and Eminem in the summer holidays of 2000 – I was scared my mam would hear the swearing so I secretly listened to it on my Walkman while reading Smash Hits. He’s kind of the ultimate symbol of that generation I think. The first mosher band I was PROPERLY obsessed with was Sum 41, though. I begged my mam for bootleg hoodie off Stockton market, and I’m devastated I threw it out in my ‘i’m too cool for all this’ era – I could have flogged it for about £200 to some trendy Depop kid.

What has the response been to @moshermags?

@moshermags: It’s genuinely been amazing – I get messages from people all over the UK who were at gigs or met through Kerrang! message boards and penpal pages. Everyone has such good stories and memories of this era, and I’m glad I get to share my daft collection and have a good laugh about it all. I've even been followed by members of Taproot, Crazy Town and Daphne & Celeste.

Which is your fave post and why?   

@moshermags: I think it’s the ‘Be Crazy Town’s Butterfly Girl’ competition. One of the most iconic album covers of the era, a total one-hit wonder by one of the most shitty, machismo-laden bands. I just love the rules – ‘YOU MUST BE OVER 18 AND PATENTLY FEMALE’. So problematic! So emblematic of the era! And the saddest part of all? The competition entries were posted on a ‘special’ Kerrang! and Crazy Town website which is no more. I’d do anything to find those pictures!

If you had been the editor of Kerrang and you were putting together an ensemble cast for the cover, which five people would be on it? 

@moshermags: It would have been loads of hot boys, for sure. Fred Durst, Chester Bennington (RIP), Cone from Sum 41, Davey Havok, and Mark Hoppus. Not even ashamed, because I think they’re all still fit.

What was your fave track to mosh to? 

@moshermags: Back in the day, it was “Break Stuff” by Limp Bizkit. Angsty, powerful and relatable. And it still gets played in rock clubs now – loads of stuff from that era does! It holds up, man. Nowadays, you'd have to tie me to a chair to not lose my mind when Roots Bloody Roots by Sepultura comes on. 

Who do you think is continuing the mosher legacy in 2020?  

@moshermags: The Roach Koach podcast have totally got the same vibe as what I’m going for with Mosher Mags. They revisit nu metal albums to see if they hold up, in the hope of creating a nu metal canon. Hilarious, genuine, and done with love. Trillians Rock Bar in Newcastle – I defy anyone to go in there and not remember how much they love metal music. It’s just a little time capsule and it’s perfect. Bloodstock Festival has never let up on its true mosher roots – I always look forward to seeing their line-ups! This year’s Download looks amazing too. And Slipknot have never ever let up and totally live the mosher legacy – look at them bringing Knotfest over here to Milton Keynes bowl! It’s like the year 2001 all over again…