Meet and Read: Melted Magazine

Written by Madeline Happold



Who: Named after garage-rock god Ty Segall’s 2010 album, Melted Magazine is an online zine dripping with grit, grime and lax attitude, covering emerging artists in indie rock.


What: Playlists about bands, playlists by bands, concert photo series, interviews, album reviews, and an Etsy shop featuring buttons and T-shirts. Formed in the summer of 2015, Melted started as a general arts magazine. A year later, Melted turned its attention to solely music. “I want Melted to serve as a platform for up-and­-coming artists to have their work featured, a plethora of music waiting to be unearthed,” says founder Al Smith. True to the “have you heard?” nature of the underground rock scene, Smith hopes readers “stumble upon music that otherwise would not have crossed their path.”


Where: Washington D.C. based, but covering music from the garage band next door. Melted has covered bands from Chicago’s The Orwells to Atlanta’s The Pellys.


Leave the phone at home: Melted separates itself from the endless Internet search of music zines by returning to true, lo-fi garage rock ethos. Forget the iPhone camera photos that go straight to social media; film and its wait-a-week development process are back in style. The magazine accepts only film photography, creating a design rooted in scratchy, sweaty, the-grainier-the-better visuals. “It’s grounding. One must practice the art of patience in order to shoot film,” says Smith. “Film is like a step back into reality.”


Tapes are the new records: Records are clunky, digital downloads are overrated and tapes are portable. In 2017 Melted is releasing the Melted Tapes tape label. Featuring mixtapes of different artists along with solo projects, the magazine’s tape label is all about artist exposure.


VHS is the new Netflix?: Keeping in line with the revolt against the digital, Melted aims to keep it old school. Watch for Melted Live, the zine’s newest project in which live concerts are filmed on VHS video. Copies of the VHS tapes are on the table in the back, next to the cassette tapes, at your local DIY show.


Visit Melted Magazine. Photos courtesy of Madeline Happold. Contact Madeline at, or follow her on Instagram.