Freak Tension is a zine published annually in Minneapolis, MN, by MP Johnson. It's focused on punk, and features music reviews and band interviews. It also contains nonfiction perzine elements, as well as a small amount of horror or bizarro fiction in each issue. The emphasis is on humor.
Originally based in Wisconsin, Freak Tension was first published in December of 1998. The first four issues were published on newsprint with print runs of 1,000. Issues five through nine were photocopied, with smaller print runs. Freak Tension returned to the newsprint format for issues ten through twelve, again with print runs of 1,000. Beginning with issue thirteen, Freak Tension has been photocopied and distributed in limited quantities.
Freak Tension has covered a wide array of interview subjects, including the Varukers, H2O, Shelter, the Groovie Ghoulies, John Doe and the Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. It has received positive reviews in Maximum Rock 'N' Roll and Flipside.
Early Freak Tension covers featured art by MP Johnson, whose crude drawings of monsters and mutants were reminiscent of old show flyers. Current cover art is provided by Bill Hauser, whose work has also graced record covers and T-shirts by Hirax, In Defence, Ozzy Osbourne and more.