Photo: Raleigh St. Clair
In 2006, after half a decade of working as a barista in corporate coffee shops, Joe Evans decided to open his own coffee shop, and Nobrow was born. Although Nobrow is a boutique shop—specializing in coffees made from top-tier roasters around the country like Intelligentsia and Counter Culture—the atmosphere is casual and their espresso delicious. Nobrow is more than a mere coffee shop … The space also serves as a gallery, a practice space for local bands and the community meeting space for many groups throughout the valley.
SLUG: Tell us about your first experience with SLUG Magazine.
Evans: I’d head down to Sugarhouse to skate, go into The Heavy Metal Shop and pick up SLUG and a tape or two. They were always featuring these bands that I was listening to on this hardcore show on KJQ. It was just part of all that experience. But they continued to cover a broader sense of music than just that skate punk and hardcore. I always picked it up, because it was always where you went to see what bands were coming, or to see what bands were local. Local music coverage has always been a strong suit of SLUG.
SLUG: How have you seen the magazine change since then?
Evans: It has definitely grown up a lot. It’s been nice in recent years to see the addition of other culture items—skate and snowboard come on stronger, my creation of the food column, there is definitely a lot more coverage of people within the community.
SLUG: What is one of the most memorable SLUG articles that you have ever read?
Evans: In one of the earlier issues I picked up I remember reading about Fugazi, and I was such a big Fugazi fan in the early ‘90s that it was just awesome that they’d gotten to talk to Ian MacKaye. I don’t know that there is one that stands out over any other, per se; I’ve always enjoyed the Dear Dickheads section. I always read Mike Brown’s articles because they are stupid and funny, but mostly because I’ve known Mike since he and my little brother were friends in high school. I remember early coverage of Iceburn. I distinctly remember the Iceburn cover. Iceburn was such a mammoth force when I was in junior high and here they were on the cover of a local magazine.
SLUG: What is your favorite SLUG cover?
Evans: I remember the Iceburn cover years ago. I loved the Band of Annuals cover. I thought it was so cool to do that—to recognize this other aspect of underground music.
SLUG: How has SLUG affected your life?
Evans: It’s hard to say what influence it has had because it’s always been part of the document of music and underground stuff in Salt Lake and I have always been, in one form or another, part of that scene. As far as it’s affected me, I don’t think you could pick it out from any other aspect of Salt Lake subculture. It was always an integral part of that. Without being recognized as a big part of my youth, it was a part of my youth.
SLUG: Why do you think SLUG has continued to be relevant in Utah for the last 22 years?
Evans: It’s been willing to evolve with the scene without ever compromising itself. The majority of the advertising is still local businesses committed to creating a local scene. The articles have still been very specific to what is current in the subculture without selling out, while still paying tribute to the past.