Mary Anne Hobbs left school at the age of 16 and went to work in an egg packing factory for the princely sum of £39 per week. She quickly ran away to London with a hard rock band, while working as their lighting engineer, record sleeve artist, wardrobe designer and mechanic. Her great ambition was to become a music journalist, so she produced her own fanzine – Krush. She sent a couple of issues along with a CV to the Editor of Sounds music paper and landed a job with them at the age of 19.
At 21, having been profoundly influenced by a snapshot of Metallica, Mary Anne sold all her worldly goods and bought a one-way ticket to Hollywood, where she lived in a garden shed. She spent a year as Sounds US correspondent in the dark underbelly of LA writing about the fledgling thrash metal scene, Jane’s Addiction, Guns N’ Roses et al. At Sounds Mary Anne met fellow teenager James Brown (legendary writer and publisher, not the Godfather of soul) who became a lifelong friend. James moved to the NME as Features Editor and when Mary Anne returned to London from LA, he promptly asked her to work with him at NME. Mary Anne spent three years on the newsdesk and as a major feature writer on cover stories on artists from Ice Cube to Nirvana.
She went on with James Brown to form part of the original team he put together to launch Loaded magazine. She worked there as Music Editor, and also writing major undercover stories. Mary Anne got her break in radio at BBC GLR on Sunday mornings alongside Mark Lamarr. She presented groundbreaking shows on XFM during their trail broadcasts, which helped to win their licence.
Mary Anne was brought into Radio 1 in 1997 after an interview with Radio 1′s then Head Of Production (Trevor Dann) found the desk of the Controller of the day, Matthew Bannister. Mary Anne’s time at Radio 1 has seen her host shows from all the major award ceremonies: Q, NME, Brits, Kerrang, Mercury Music Prize, and make documentaries about artists as diverse as David Bowie, Slipknot and The Sex Pistols. She championed comedy god Ricky Gervais in his pre-Office days, hosted a movie review show with Mark Kermode called Cling Film and founded and fronted the award-winning Radio 1 Rock Show for five years.
Her “Dubstep Warz” show for Radio1 in January 2006 is widely regarded at the show that broke the dubstep sound globally. Mary Anne released a definitive underground compilation album in June 2008 called “Evangeline” on the Planet Mu label, featuring exclusive dubs from some of her favourite artists operating on the electronic underground scenes she supports, following her notorious debut for the label “Warrior Dubz” in October 2006.
On September 18, 2009, she’s going to release a brand new compilation on Planet Mu. “Wild Angels” is a superb showcase for emerging new artists that hybridise existing genres like hip hop, dubstep, grime and soul into exotic exciting new forms. The mixture of underground classics and exclusive new tracks makes it an essential purchase for the curious and the converted.