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A Brief History Of 3d World

Author: Nick Jarvis
Monday, 17 March 2008
After 19 years and 900 issues we figure it's about time 3D world was allowed a little self-indulgent reflection. There's a lot of history to the mag, and to keep that history from disappearing into the distant corners of staff members rapidly failing memories, we decided we'd gather together some of the magazine's key players from the last decade to lay down a written history of your favourite street press mag…the dizzying highs, the terrible lows, and the power to make people snort coffee out their nose. Compiled by Nick Jarvis.


Jade Harley
Time period you worked at 3D World: started in November 1996 and finished in March 2005.
Position(s): started in Ad Sales, then Ad Manager, then General Manager and finally Managing Editor.

Sonia Sharma
Time period you worked at 3D World: 2003 - March 2006
Position(s): Editorial Coordinator / Associate Editor.

Jen Paterson
Time period you worked at 3D World
: 2004 - 2007   
Position(s): Web Editor, Editor.

Jack Tregoning
Time period you worked at 3D World: 2005 to 2007
Position(s): Review whore, part-time sub-editor, full-time Lifestyle Editor, Summer Festival Guide 07/08 Editor.

Nick Jarvis
Time period you worked at 3D World: 2005 to 2008
Position(s): part-time Assistant Web Editor, Web Editor, Associate Editor.

Lee Bemrose/Grumpy
Time period you worked at 3D World: I think I started in about 2002 and left in 2006... but I could be wrong. Never have been good with numbers.
Position(s): My positions changed quite a lot during my time at 3D. For example, on Monday I'd arrive serene and oozing essence of lotus position, but by Friday I'd be totally foetal.

What were your impressions of the magazine before you started working there-

That people who worked for 3D must have the sweetest job - midday starts, a guy DJing in the corner all day and more free tickets than time to use them. (Jack)

I'd been a reader since my late teens, so I'd really grown up reading 3D. Back before the advent of the internet (yes, I remember that) 3D really was the bible for anyone who was into Sydney club culture. I'd always liked the fact that it gave independent artists and DJs a voice that might not otherwise be heard. (Jen)

It was like a drug addition, I was totally hooked and had to get my Monday morning hit of 3D World every week or I simply wouldn't function. I'd usually score outside Club 77 and by the time I arrived at Uni I'd already gotten through Junkmail and my favourite columns (at the time penned by Mark Pollard of Stealth Magazine and Seb Chan from Sub Bass Snarl). I'd usually plot out my week of dancefloor antics by the end of the first lecture thanks to the trusty Essential Guide. (Sonia)

I thought it was a fun mag with a few contributors who were electronic music brainiacs. There was some serious knowledge tucked away amongst all that party fun. (Lee)

Did those impressions change once you started working-

Yep, at 9am on the first morning. Where was the freaking DJ- But what I hadn't counted on was how damn lovely everyone was going to be. I met a lot of my favourite people at 3D. (Jack)

Absolutely. I hero-worshipped 3D World; at the time I landed my job it was (and still is) the dance music bible. I guess I thought it would be a bit like Press Gang meets Human Traffic but I was surprised at how hard everyone worked and apart from the odd beer on deadline Thursday we were upstanding citizens…most of the time. (Sonia)

A lot of hard work and long hours goes into each edition, I gained an appreciation for all the people involved the longer I worked there. (Jade)

I didn't realise that, out of all the writers' names in the mag each week, only three or four actually worked in the office - there was a whole lot more churning-out work than gurning. (Nick)

How did the magazine change during the time you were there-

The essence never changed in my mind, the writers may change, the design may get refreshed but I think the brand has remained true to its audience and the loyalty of the readers is a testament to that. (Jade)

We went online (all credit to Jen Paterson) and we started covering a wider variety of music.  We re-launched Homebase, the urban section, when I was there and slowly guitar based music was creeping in. 3D World started off as an eclectic magazine covering all types of music so it was naturally swinging back in that direction. (Sonia)

Like most music publications, 3D was definitely affected by changing music tastes and fads. The rise of live music in the electronic scene definitely influenced what the magazine focused on, as did technology. We also really acknowledged that things had become a lot less tribal than they were in the '90s. The average 'clubber' (if there is such a thing) doesn't exclusively listen to dance music these days, hence the introduction of sections like Backstage Pass. (Jen)

What were the big things going on in the music scene while you were at 3D-

Wow, I saw so many trends come and go and some come back (showing my age)! In the beginning we were just coming out of the rave era with free parties and secret warehouse events, clubs became more established with the emergence of Sublime on Pitt St - the first real 'superclub' for want of a better word - and house brands reigned supreme, names that spring to mind from the depths include Delicious, Decadence, Wiggle, of course the aforementioned Subbies.

With the emergence of Fuzzy as the dominant force in Sydney came the breaks scene and that was massive for a while, finally moving into electro with the Bang Gang DJs and the like taking over the paper! But throughout it all one thing I've noticed is as soon as one craze dies there's another right there to captivate audiences, the old fears that dance music would die are of course unfounded. (Jade)

There were some major fundamental shifts: people were getting less scene orientated and more diverse (we saw the inclusion of live bands on festival bills which were previously just DJs); DJs stop using records and switched to CDs (this was before the iPod days); there was a lot of debate about the digital revolution; people started using 'ice'. (Sonia)

Probably the burgeoning trend of electro-house nights with soft porn identity crises. All the Back Door Discos and Slutty Funk Lube-Ups. (Jack)

Has the magazine changed now in ways you didn't expect-

Not really, it has grown, developed and stayed true to the times, I never thought I'd see 3D feature a live music section and cover rock and indie but then the musical landscape is different now and it needed to do it. (Jade)

It's always changing. I don't imagine Kate Monroe will ever pose topless on the cover again. But it's the stuff that stays the same - Mental Combat, Sushi, Junkmail, Uppers and Downers, CD reviews - that's important. (Jack)

Is it just me or has Junkmail shrunk- I mean, back in my day as the Junkmail editor we were never short of letters. There were always hundred of letters... hundreds and hundreds of letters each and every week. Ah... those were the days. (Lee)

What's the strangest/most interesting/most absurd thing that happened during your time at 3D-

I could give you 50 but here are a few:
Someone posted us a shit in an envelope - we obviously wrote something that someone took offence to!
The Scientology centre close by started dropping in and giving us leaflets on a regular basis - they thought we needed saving…
The week we had a power cut and had to run the office from the pub and send the designers out to woop woop land to design it - stressful yet fun (for those of us in the pub), the night ended with some impromptu kung fu and my lovely designer with a metal plate in his hand - don't ask… (Jade)

Well, there was the time when an incensed father called the office to damn us for running Off Ya Dial. Sonia, the Editor at the time, dealt with it consummately. Some of the Friday night drinks spiralled into absurdity, but the strangest 3D phenomenon can probably be attributed to the former office comedian Sotiri. For no obvious reason, he created an “RnB electro superstar” called Garry, who had his own (fake) press shots, MySpace, fans, the whole shebang. The fact he never did any shows further cemented his exclusivity. It was completely bizarre. (Jack)

There was that two-week period during our office renovations in '06 when everyone was getting high off paint fumes - for some reason things kept descending into anarchy that fortnight. The recent 900th party was pretty memorable as well, if not for Tom Chemical Brother hanging out in the VIP with some of the Crusty Demons, then definitely for the sleep deprived staffer who fell asleep at her desk the next day and ended up on the front page of News… (Nick)

There was this one time I got flown to Disneyland to write a story…I'm still trying to work out how that happened. (Sonia)

Absurd... does anyone remember that loopy reader who kept writing in called Jenny Fisher- Started with her writing a letter asking 'if she wrote a letter, would we publish it-' As Italics Ed I got into a bit of weekly banter with her and it went on for months and months. Readers started cheering for poor, verbose Jenny. They asked her out for drinks, demanded she have her own column...we even had interviewees giving her a shout out at the end of their interviews. It was a cack because I was Jenny Fisher. (Lee)

What's your proudest achievement of your time at 3D-

Working for such a great brand and trying to develop a real team spirit with the team, we all worked hard but we all had fun, it was at times stressful and frustrating but always interesting and I met the greatest bunch of people, most of whom I still call a friend today - that's my proudest achievement! (Jade)

I was completely obsessed with MIA and insisted we put her on the cover of the magazine (thanks to an incredibly hot picture of the Sub Continental rapper the publisher was easily convinced). It's a real kick to get behind and support an artist before the bandwagon gets rolling. There are a number of acts 3D has supported well ahead of trend. (Sonia)

Probably some of the covers I ran. I was really happy to be able to run artists like Hot Chip and Lupe Fiasco before they started to get bigger profiles. (Jen)

It tended to be little things: usually an event, CD or theatre review of mine that I was particularly proud of. As saccharine as it sounds, though, I was most proud of having really talented and like-minded people to work with. The 'creative' end of the office was a great place to be. (Jack)
I don't think I really achieved very much while at 3D. I like writing things that make people laugh so it was always a particularly proud moment when I'd get a text from a friend telling me I just made their coffee come through their nose and right onto a stranger's toasted smoked salmon bagel because of something Grumpy had written. That kind of shit could really go to my head. Like, the guy with the soggy bagel is looking at a retard who just coffee-snotted all over his breakfast for no apparent reason, and the guy who sprayed the coffee everywhere is seeing a pissed off bagel eater with a soggy bagel, but I saw a secret super power: I destroyed something in another place with something that came out of my head. Cool or what- If only I could harness this power and destroy something other than a stranger's breakfast... (Lee)

Were there any lapses in taste or judgement-

Of course the odd bad cover, the odd terrible print job and the odd argument in stressful situations but hey we're all human… (Jade)

Oh dear god yes. But let's not dwell on those at this happy time… (Jack)

What does 3D World mean to you now-

It was the first 'real' job I'd had and I'm proud to have worked there for so long, I learnt so much during my time and will always look back on it fondly. (Jade)

Again, it was the place where I met some brilliant people, so it'll always have fond associations. It's satisfying to be part of something with such a long history. Hopefully I added something of worth between issue 700-ish and issue 850-ish! (Jack)  

It's the place where I now get veto power over the office stereo, does that count- (Nick)

Well the other night I had two former 3D World mates over for a very civilised Sunday dinner…a far cry from our former Friday night booze fests…but 3D had brought me some pretty amazing friends and some wild memories (who wouldn't want to party with Prince Paul and Pharrell Williams in their youth-). It means a lot. (Sonia)

Some of the best times of my working life, the camaraderie in the office really made it a great place to work. It was stressful at times, and we didn't always agree on everything, but we always had time to laugh in the office. I made some great friends that I still spend time with. (Jen)

Where do you see the magazine being after 1800 issues-

Still around, maybe more online than print but hey, we'll see, as long as there are people that love to dance and appreciate quality electronic music, there will be a place for 3D World. (Jade)

Hopefully twice the size in print, with its own internet TV and radio station, covering all good genres of music, with a larger Lifestyle slant and writers that keep up the proud tradition of taking the piss. (Nick)

Distributed daily via iPhones to the Moon- Seriously, I hope 3D keeps its edge and humour and continues to deliver quality coverage to the kids. (Sonia)

Printed in organic ink on recycled toilet paper with 100% solar powered energy. (Jen)

Any last things to add-

Yeah - to Soggy Bagel guy. I'm sorry about that. (Lee)