At first glance, there's something obviously different about Tepsic Magazine. You get the feeling you are seeing something new. Like you might be looking through some strangers' personal photo albums. Strangers who happen to perform music for a living. This is Tepsic Magazine: simple, raw, gorgeous.
Tepsic Magazine is the labor of love for one Morgan Tepsic
, of Oklahoma City. Morgy
, as he is known to his growing legion of “Tepsicheads”
, has an idea that is interesting, expressive and personal, yet so simple, you wonder how it hasn't been done before.
Simply: he sends a disposable camera to an artist, they snap some photos and send it back. He then publishes the photos on giant (11x17 - “Poster Size”) pages that contain no articles, reviews, or writing outside of some titles. “A music magazine without the bullshit” as he has described it. What you get is a candid peek into the behind the scenes antics of each artist, from their own point of view, a style which Morgy calls ”all natural photo vérité".
Morgy takes the time to personally decorate the disposable camera
for each artist because, as he told Portable.TV
, he feels that it “…gets people excited to snap pictures on it.” He spends a lot of time on social networks interacting with other users and documenting his process. When he ships a magazine, he usually includes a signature doodle and maybe even a haiku written on the packaging. Every aspect of the magazine has his own personal touch.
While preparing for the impending release of the second issue of Tepsic (out as of the weekend of Friday, Oct. 26th), Morgy took some time out of his busy schedule to chat about his favorite music, inspirations, and some of the things in between.One of the main aspects that appealed to us about your magazine besides it's beauty, and why we felt you would be a good feature for TAPE, was that everything seems so personal about it. From the pics the artists take to the presentation of the magazine itself, the way it is sold and marketed and even packaged and shipped. Does this reflect what you are attracted to in a product, whether it is art, music or otherwise?
It's a mixture of what I'm attracted to in a product and I like to put a part of myself in what I produce. When it comes to music these days, I think it's easy for people to forget that these artists are people like anyone else. I want to be that voice for them that unveils an artistic side you normally wouldn't have seen, just like the places they photograph. When I package up the magazine, I like doing my little MORGY guy
to serve as sort of a reminder that TEPSIC is not some soulless magazine, but run by a dude that likes adding that last “touch”.Are there any artists that directly inspire you and your art?
I'm guessing you're referring the magazine as my art, so I've been heavily inspired by fashion magazines coming out of Japan right now in terms of designs and layouts. The team over there at SUP' Mag
really inspired me as a music magazine showing that it's possible to have a relationship with an artist and want to be interested in the music they make based on a conversation with them, rather than a rating scale or something like that. I think dudes like A$AP
really inspire me as well, just for doing something and taking that shit as high as they want to.How big of a role does music play in your daily life?
It plays a pretty big role in my life now. I have a job where I'm able to listen to tons of music and am being exposed to new music all the time from letters i get from artists all over. I'm constantly sending out cameras for artists to shoot on and deciding which new cameras to send out. It's all part of a selection process that's happening in my head, constantly deciding who I want to appear in the mag. At the end of the day though, I just want to listen to some cheesy pop music and chill out.Is there a song/artist/genre that makes you feel nostalgic every time you hear it? Any memories you care to share?
Whenever I went on a road trip across the US with my girlfriend we listened to a lot of Francis and the Lights
and this great mix tape that Jensen Sportag
put out called “Rio's Night Out”
which had Wham!, Chaka Khan, Kool & the gang, Sheila E and a lot of other great tunes. Whenever I listen to that I'm immediately taken back to being blazed in a jetta trekking all over the place.
A lot of electronic and japanese pop music can take me back to when I was living in Korea. i was being exposed to a lot of great music and spent hours and hours downloading music. Stuff like Capsule
, Hazel Nuts Chocolate
, the pancakes
….the list goes on.You come across as a pretty open-minded guy when it comes to music, how would you describe your taste?
I like a lot of pop music, mainly 80's and 90's pop. A lot of slow jamz. They don't make shit like that anymore! I love synthesizers and bass-lines, so that's where Zapp
and The Human League
, Com Truise
and even Breakbot
come in. I've got a VERY soft spot for disco, so I have a lot of Tiger & Woods
, Cheryl Lynn
, Mary Jane Girls
, The Emotions
in my library, and I still feel like I need more.Are there any albums that you find yourself frequently returning to?Donuts
by J Dilla has and continues to blow my mind.Forget
by Twin Shadow, I still get chills.Odelay!
by Beck, one of the best albums of all time. Doopee Time
by The DoopeesHomework
by Daft PunkWe are big fans of your PITCHFORK sticker, can you explain your feelings about the site?
I think numbering scales are dumb and inefficient in terms of letting people know if they will actually like the music or not. it just seems more like politics rather than being about the music, and I think that should raise concern with some people. Their job now is to create hundreds of headlines a week and post them to Facebook and Twitter all day long to remain relevant and constantly remind us of their presence by content farming. And it's not just Pitchfork
doing that, it's practically every major music magazine. we now live in a point in time where we want all the latest news, NOW! If you take a look at NME's Twitter feed
throughout the week, you'll notice that they tweet a story related to Oasis about every week
, and multiple times throughout the week. It's hilarious.
I will be very happy when Pitchfork
is no longer relevant to how and why people check out new music.You reside in Oklahoma City, can you tell us about the musical environment in the city?
The music scene is rapidly developing with a lot bigger names rolling through the city. There's always local shows happening every week. It's a great place to be if you like all kinds of music.If we were to come visit OKC, are there any particular record shops, venues or other musical related happenings/landmarks that we shouldn't miss? Any local bands we should look up?
If you were ever in the area, I would suggest hitting up the conservatory
in oklahoma city if you wanted to see where the night would take you. There's always interesting bands rolling through there with cheap beer. Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips
lives in the city and lives in a crazy weird house
, and you almost always see him around the city doing something. Guest room records
has a few shops throughout oklahoma city and norman and have a great selection of records. Their dollar bin is fun to browse through if you have the time.
I recently saw “My So-Called Band”
a couple weeks ago, and they only play 90's music and all interchange instruments and singing. They play anything from TLC “waterfalls” to Rage Against the Machine's “bulls on parade”. I would suggest getting hammered and going to one of their shows. It's a lot of fun.Have you ever been one to make mixtapes or have you ever been given one by someone? If so, what was it like and what were the circumstances around it?
When I was around 3rd or 4th grade i bought a stereo system for around $30 that had a tape deck and a 3-CD changer. I remember my older brother having a ton of CD's, and I would just take them and record the songs I liked onto a tape so I could play them later because he got mad when I took his albums and lost them.
When I would make mix tapes, it would usually be surrounded by a genre or I would try and expand on a friend's music taste by introducing them to some tunes they haven't heard of.You recently asked people over various social networks to leave a message on a voicemail line for a mixtape you were making. How was the response? How much strange did you get?
Yeah that was really fun, I didn't really think people would call in but they did! I'm using those voicemails for an upcoming mix I'm putting out that sounds like a radio station. TEPSIC Radio! I got a lot of voicemails from Los Angeles requesting old school rap which was pretty hilarious, Hopefully you'll be able to hear some of them soon.Do you make mixes regularly? If so, what is a typical Morgy mix like?
I regularly compile songs in iTunes that i really like and it kind of serves as my “go-to” mix when I want to get into the “MORGY ZONE”. I like to blend in a lot of different types of music and have it possess a “flow” so it naturally transitions into each song. Some weird tunes, some classics, some wild-cards.Let's say you have a middle-school aged nephew/neice who has taken a strong liking to music, what albums would you give him/her as a birthday present?
I'd probably give him/her †
by Justice, Feels
by Animal Collective, a greatest hits album
of Sade, The Chonic
by Dre, Bad
by Michael Jackson, MM…Food
by MF DOOM and probably some Zapp
for good measure. I know they probably wouldn't give those albums a listen while they were in middle school, but over time they will probably go back to them and be like “Uncle MORGY is cool”.Are you a collector of anything music related?
Other than collecting all these TEPSIC photos, which I hold very close to my heart, I collect vinyl and that's about it. Over the course of my life, I've been very accustomed to packing up and leaving and losing a lot of my stuff in random places. I collect my woman's love letters and a modest vinyl stack.Do you have any advice for someone who wants to start their own magazine?
Don't expect anyone to like it. Don't expect anyone to buy it. Don't be influenced by what everyone else is doing.
Commit to your vision and a set of goals and do whatever it takes to accomplish those goals. Set the bar higher and higher as you progress and stay true to why you started a magazine in the first place.Order Tepsic Magazine:tepsicmag.comFollow Morgy/Tepsic Magazine:Tumblr - mdtepsicTwitter - @tepsicmagFacebook - /tepsicmagazineInstagram - @mmoorrggyy
Portable.tv interview (and a source for some of the info in this piece) where Morgy talks more about the process of making the magazine:Portable.TV