MK Magazine - The History
In the beginning there was man, type-writer, and glue…
MK ULTRA MAGAZINE was first published in January 1995 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Alex Zander. He was a veteran rock journalist, who also moonlighted as an FM radio DJ and night club DJ. The concept of MK ULTRA was actually born six months prior to the first publication, when Zander became completely frustrated with the publications for whom he was freelancing. Their lack of interest and exposure for the many fascinating and talented “underground” bands gave Zander the motivation and opportunity to give many of these artists the recognition they deserved.

As Zander remembers it, "I had done this great interview with Peter Steele of Type O-Negative, and none of the rags I wrote for would print it. I thought it was too good and that the band were too good to be ignored this way. You have to understand at this time very few people knew who Type O-Negative were. In fact, I had only just heard of them. They [the magazines] had done this with a lot of my other interviews of bands who had not really broken out of the underground yet, but I knew Type O-Negative had the potential. So it was the fact that I had believed so much in bands like Type O-Negative that I decided to self-finance and produce MK ULTRA MAGAZINE on my own." (Within a few months Type O Negative would go on to sell out concerts worldwide and release 2 gold records.)


On April 1, 1995, MK ULTRA MAGAZINE moved it's headquarters form Pittsburgh to Indianapolis and began tapping into Chicago’s music scene through friends and associates in that area. Word of the tabloid-style "magazine" that refused to be considered a "zine" spread throughout the Midwest. With the huge response, MK ULTRA's circulation and distribution increased, and eventually spread throughout the United States via Alternative Press and other smaller publications. Word on the Internet also increased interest around the globe.

In 1998 MK ULTRA MAGAZINE relocated to Chicago.

Sarcasm, black humor, and parody proved to be constant within MK ULTRA MAGAZINE from the beginning. In fact, in an early review, Sonic Boom said, "MK ULTRA MAGAZINE enjoys not taking itself too seriously and goes out of it's way to be absurd, offensive, and down-right rude, but tend to do it in rather unique ways. I have to applaud a publication printed in a very conservative town for going out of its way to satirize the populace in a way only it could."

The labor of love that Alex Zander has endured to make MK ULTRA MAGAZINE a reality has most recently been acknowledged by the Zine Guide: "MK ULTRA MAGAZINE is quickly becoming the fastest growing gothic/industrial magazine in the world. HARD WORK AND DETERMINATION PAY OFF."

Spectre Magazine also referred to MK ULTRA MAGAZINE "Definitely essential to have as well as highly informative. MK ULTRA MAGAZINE IS FAST BECOMING THE GUIDE TO DARK UNDERGROUND MUSIC WITH AN ALTERNATIVE/GOTHIC FEEL."

From 1995-2000 MK ULTRA MAGAZINE grew from a 28-page newsprint rag to a 48-page glossy music and underground culture magazine. It was embraced by a following that was both loyal and dedicated. This first proved itself true when publisher, Alex Zander first time he took the stage at a sold out show at Chicago's House Of Blues. The publication spread itself from it's pages onto FM radio worldwide, the Internet, and to sold out concerts in one of the world’s largest cities. Readers voted it as one of their favorite independent publications worldwide. All the while, Zander was spreading himself thin. In 2000 he took a year off to reconsider and reevaluate what he had created. After a year of demand and inquisition, and eager to shed it’s underground/gothic image, Zander recreated and redesigned what he started nearly seven years prior. MK ULTRA MAGAZINE made its return with a bold new look in Oct. 2002. Wrapped in a color cover and featuring a full color pullout of an MK ULTRA MAGAZINE UltraViXXXen, the magazine was picked up by Tower Records worldwide and Desert Moon Periodicals who distribute MK ULTRA at stores like Borders Books and Music and hundreds of independent retailers worldwide.

By its third color issue in February 2003 MK ULTRA MAGAZINE found itself the sponsor of the United Tour, a seven week cross-country trek featuring PIGFACE, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT, BILE and Norway’s ZEROMANCER.

In the summer of 2003, due to some behind-the-scenes business, MK ULTRA was laid to rest by Alex Zander. With a new staff, more creative influences, and growing potential, he then gave birth to its flashier, trashier, nastier, fun “bad sister” MK (Musik Kulture) Magazine. The publication you see today is the latest evolution of Zander’s deep dedication, widening interests, and talented staff of writers, editors, photographers, interns, and good friends.

And for the record, MK MAGAZINE now does take itself very seriously, and manages to do so without losing touch with its dedicated readers, new fans, and what’s going on in underground and popular culture.

© Copyright 2004 MK MAGAZINE Media Group - All Rights Reserved