The Whole Earth Catalog once described Forced Exposure as "Rolling Stone for people who'd rather read the Journal of Trauma Medicine than watch MTV," and many rock critics were directly influenced by its acerbic style of writing.
Originally a fanzine devoted to hardcore-punk, beginning in 1985 Forced Exposure began to shift its focus to noise rock and the East Village art-punk scene. Subsequent issues featured writings by prominent No Wave bands like the Swans and Sonic Youth; interviews with filmmaker Nick Zedd, photographer Richard Kern, and post-modern painter Robert Williams; and a long lost interview with the Velvet Underground. The highlight of issue 7/8 (Summer 1985) is a fight between Byron Coley and the singer Nick Cave.
Over the next eight years, Forced Exposure would continue to document the musical underground, with a Big Black tour diary (as well as regular columns by Steve Albini); an interview with nihilistic monochromatic artist Raymond Pettibon (Black Flag); profiles of counter-cultural figures like Charles Bukowski, Boyd Rice, Philip K. Dick, Lisa Suckdog (Lisa Carver), and William S. Burroughs; as well as continuing coverage of bands and musicians like Die Kreuzen, the Butthole Surfers, Diamanda Galas, Glenn Branca, and Spacemen 3.
Forced Exposure still exists as an independent record label.
- Chris D. (Slash Magazine, The Flesh Eaters)
- Eugene Chadbourne (Maximum Rock N Roll)
- Gerard Cosloy (Conflict, Matador Records)
- Lydia Lunch (The Right Side of My Brain, Widowspeak, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks)
- Michael Gira (The Swans)
- Sonic Youth (Sonic Life, Road Movies, etc.)
- Steve Albini (Matter, Big Black, Shellac)
- Tesco Vee (The Meatmen, co-founder of Touch and Go Records)