Three Years of MNSTRM



TW: Mental Health, Suicide

Hi friends, MNSTRM is three years old today and I have a lot to say.

I’ve been through so much with this magazine, the last three years of my life have been some of the most challenging years I’ve ever faced. I lost my dad, I lost friends, I nearly lost a battle with mental illness and I lost part of myself along the way. I was met with a lot of fatigue, frustration and disappointment in myself when it came to shooting shows. I started to dread concerts, I started to skip them and my photos didn’t bring me joy anymore. I nearly threw in the towel a lot of times just because I wasn’t seeing the numbers I wanted and I wasn’t getting the recognition I felt I deserved. 

This industry is so tough and it’s beat me down in more ways than one, I lost hope in MNSTRM so many times. There were months I cried in front of my computer while uploading the issue because I thought it was pointless and no one would read it. I had so many insecurities about my work and the less than fantastic engagement on my social media only made it even worse. I’ve spent thousands of dollars out of pocket to keep it running and even left my day job to pursue what I loved full time, it often felt like it was for nothing. I would lie awake at night and think, “What the fuck am I even doing with my life? I am such a loser.” I thought about ending it all more times than once.

However, here we are, year three of the magazine and I absolutely cannot believe it. Over the past few months I’ve found myself again and found faith in the magazine like I did when I started it at 20. In June 2016 I started the magazine on a whim, went to five Warped Tour dates, snuck into photo pits, begged artists for their time, slept in my car once or twice and I was so fucking happy. I felt incredible to step into a photo pit inches away from my favorite band, to call my parents after a show and to hear my dad say how proud he was I was doing something I loved. I looked forward to shows for weeks and refreshed my email every hour to hear back from press managers. I was living my dream at night and working days making pizza at minimum wage and I had never been happier. Only 100 people read it each month and I didn’t care. I don’t know how or when I lost it, but it faded.

I’ve realized in the first half of 2019 over a period of therapy, self reflection and self care that the numbers don’t mean anything. It doesn’t matter how many people read my magazine, it matters that I love doing it. I stopped caring about liked and social media, I let the followers go and realized if people enjoyed my work that’s great, if they don’t I shouldn’t care. I’ve started crying tears of joy at shows instead of sadness. I let go of my aggression and bitterness of the industry and kept the mindset of “just happy to be here” and have done a complete 180 I’ve started editing differently and going outside of the box when it came to the spreads, mostly thanks to my best friends: Cori, Jacob & Ryan.

I cried my eyes out last week while shooting Fall Out Boy, a feeling I haven’t had since 2016.

I’ve made so many amazing friends through the magazine that have changed my life and perspective on the industry. I’ve traveled the country and shot bands I didn’t even think I would ever be able to see live. I’ve been to hundred of concerts, taken thousands of amazing photos and continue to grow everyday. I can’t believe there was a time where I wanted it to be over. To this day, I’ve never missed a deadline or an issue no matter what physical, emotional or mental state I was in, thanks to my incredible staff. There is so much hard work and effort put into the magazine every single day and I only have you to thank for it, our readers. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us. If you’ve bought a shirt, tagged a sticker or even just flipped through I am so endlessly thankful for your love and support. You give me a reason to be here, to do what I love for I hope is the rest of my life. This little magazine means so much to me and is my entire life at the moment. I love you all so very much, thank you, thank you thank you.

MNSTRM gave me a purpose, I wouldn’t be here with out it.

Resources if you or someone you know is struggling:
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255 /

Rickie McCanna