Jessica-Leigh is in full blown toddler mode now. If you’re on my Facebook, you would know that this week there was a major incident with the Sudocrem.
Thankfully that was handled with pretty well, and I’m under no illusion and fully expect more trouble to come – she’s embracing the ‘terrible twos’, being only a month away now.
For 10 minutes every day however, there is calm in our home.
Bedtime is one of Jessica-Leigh’s favourite times of the day, especially the stories. Some books have just about survived the nibbling, drooling and tearing up stage, and others are yet to be read. A particular favourite right now is The Gingerbread Man. Or as Jessica-Leigh calls it – ‘Gingerman’.
I don’t know how many times I have read this book to her now, as when she’s stuck on something she likes it is on repeat for weeks. But, she has started joining in with the words now, which is awesome when you start to get back all what you put in
We made a short video at bedtime last night
Butter wouldn’t melt. Hard to believe the chaos that was earlier when she smothered herself, the carpet, sofas, and Daddy’s recording desk with Sudocrem is it.
The little things. Those 10 minutes. Sometimes we overlook things when there’s so much chaos going on. We hugged extra tight last night.
Marta Demmel was in London with her band Bleeding Through for their final ever UK show last month. I met with her before the carnage to hang out and shoot some pics
After 14 years, 7 studio albums and countless shows, it was a very emotional day for the whole band. But Marta and I found plenty to laugh about.
We also talked about her really cool necklace (which has Phil’s guitar pick in a silver plectrum holder), and life being a ‘tour widow’, something which I can understand when Glen is away for different lengths of time.
The live show was immense, sweaty, energetic, and damn right brutal. My only way out from taking pictures at the front was to be carried through along the moving bodies that were packed so tightly together. At that moment, I was really hoping there wasn’t going to be a circle pit!
They had taken their Sharpies to the chipped dressing room wallpaper and bare plaster, leaving their mark alongside other bands that had graced the stage at The Underworld in Camden. I always find the walls fascinating to look at. And, for some reason until that night, there wasn’t a single phallic scribble in sight – something which dudes feel compelled to draw – I have no idea why. Marta corrected this, and no, you don’t need to see a picture or even the video I made
A really great send off from London. In whatever path they take next, I wish them all the very best!
South London riff-machine Snakebite decided upon a name change (partly due to a Whitesnake tribute band of the same name) and booked me for a batch of new pictures. I jumped at the chance.
Having seen these guys before and knowing frontman Jason for a few years, they are the most energetic and fun guys to be around. This of course had to come across in the promo pictures too…
..cue beard stroke from guitarist Andrew
The first set of promos were shot at sunset in February. It was freezing, Jason had cut his hand on a wayward tree-hanging crate, we ran through a graveyard, a very boggy field and we were against the clock.
The guys totally rocked it though
This picture was literally as the sun hit the horizon and it created the most awesome flare. I love it when things like that happen and nature is on your side.
I know, I know, we were talking about energy being portrayed in the shoot weren’t we. Well the 2nd shoot had lots of that! I can honestly tell you I haven’t laughed so much in a shoot either. We all laughed in fact.
They actually had a fight during the photo shoot. A first for me, and I have to say that it wasn’t even on my ‘wish list of photoshoot ideas’, but I’m happy I did it!
There are more pictures, so these are just a couple of teasers. You can view more of them on their Official Facebook Page. It’s a new page so go ahead and become a fan.
Here’s a teaser trailer of their forthcoming album ‘New Age of Old Ways‘, produced by the legendary Russ Russell.
They also have the best band bio I’ve read in a long time. Nothing generic about this band at all!
Around 60 lucky people got holed up for a few hours with Machine Head‘s guitarist – Phil Demmel – at the GAK store in Brighton; to talk gear, influences, and hear him play through some tracks.
Before everyone arrived, I had a quick promo shoot with Phil – above is a teaser.
Chris Cannella – the product specialist for Jackson (and Vocalist/Guitarist for the band Autumn’s End) gave a great introduction into the history of Jackson as a brand and the longest running custom guitar shop in the world, which was really engaging even if you didn’t know too much about guitars. His upbeat American attitude made everyone in the room feel involved from the get -go and shouting ‘FUCK YEAH!’ at any given opportunity.
Which was a lot!
Phil took to the stage and explained the workings of his own custom guitar, along with some humorous stories about his journey so far – with early beginnings listening to AC/DC, Ted Nugent and KISS, to starting out on the guitar with Randy Rhoads as a major influence. Then being involved in the Bay Area thrash scene, as guitarist in band Vio-Lence, through to joining Machine Head.
He played through all 9 minutes of ‘Wolves’, which was the last song written for album ‘The Blackening’ – describing it as a ‘riff soup’, before he took some questions from the floor.
People made videos, head banged, shouted and sang along, just the same as they would at a live show.
Phil also played ‘Asthetics of Hate’ after telling his story of meeting Dimebag Darrell just months before he was gunned down on stage performing with Damageplan. The song written after a ‘fan letter’ was received about Dime.
Then there were questions. Some ridiculously funny, a couple about gear, and ideal band lineups with musicians – dead or living.
Chris and Phil then played through a track together to close
Afterwards, Phil signed memorabilia, spoke to each and every person some more and had pictures taken.
An extremely personable event, and it didn’t cost anyone that attended a penny!
Rival Sons left the UK last weekend after a stint of tour dates and handful of surprise acoustic appearances in London. One of which was at St Pancras International, as part of the ‘Station Sessions’ running from April 4th until May 9th and raising money for the N.S.P.C.C.
A real treat for those travellers by Eurostar departures! Here’s some shots from their 30 minute set (click to view larger).
Quite a crowd had formed by mid-set
The usual train announcements about ‘left luggage’ and ‘unsual incidents’ in the station provided much amusement!
For those returning from a long trip, it was a wonderful welcome home. For those leaving? I wonder how many missed their train
I found this video on youtube of set opener ‘Keep on Swinging’ from their latest album ‘Head Down’.
Last night I shot the Tremonti show at the Electric Ballroom, London, for record label Fret12.
A tremendous honour.
Completely blown away with the huge sound and energy at the show. Here’s my favourite pictures.
The title track to the album – ‘All I Was’ – stood out to me in the set. It was one of those songs on hearing, that would remain an album track rather than a live performance song. I was proved wrong and couldn’t stop humming it all the way home!
SCA have issued a press release with details of the collaboration. Cristina is excited to be on board and has already discussed great ideas for her collection; which will be the first SCA release for 2013, and taking on a more feminine style.
Cristina says, “I LOVE skulls but it would have to be something different, definitely not biker style but more classy…with balls!”
We met up with her before Lacuna Coil’s sold out show, in London’s KoKo venue, for her initial photo shoot – the decor and layout was perfect for her style; red & black, velvet and quilted leather. Very decadent.
(view from the desk during sound check)
The ‘Ace of Spades‘ ring is proving a popular design at the moment, as you would have read from my previous post with Pepper Keenan and the Down shoot. Cristina wears it in the above photo, but this one is actually hers (you will also be pleased to hear I have a replacement for my one that Pepper “borrowed” ).
In my time of shooting shows, I have snapped Orange Goblin live maybe 3 or 4 times, so was really looking forward to actually meeting them in person for a brief promo shoot.
They were all quite happy despite not liking their pictures taken, just like many guys in bands I work with. They also joked about how all their promo pictures seem to be around or near a bar. After a couple of semi-serious poses I asked them to do something funny. The only thing they could come up with was to “punch Joe in the face!”
Ben is a towering 6ft 4 (at least), but a very friendly guy with it. And yes, I would have needed a step ladder to speak to him at eye level.
This is not a Marie’s eye view, but you get the idea on height
Oh yeah, In case you were wondering about the killer shirt Ben is wearing, it’s the latest SCA shirt (designed by Chloe Pye).
Shortly after the shoot, the press area got a little hectic. Phil and Kirk were doing an interview, then Orange Goblin did an interview while Down were sound checking. When doing press there’s an awful lot of waiting…and waiting. We didn’t get bored though as the sound check was pretty cool, they even ran through a cool cover of Robin Trower’s called ‘Bridge of Sighs’ which Alex loved which eased the waiting a little more.
Then it was the Down shoot. Only 10 minutes until doors opened, they all surfaced and were ready to rock. Well, all expect Phil, who was watching the Saints game (apparently nothing would tear him away from his laptop screen – and I mean nothing!)
We were happy with Pat, Jimmy, Kirk and Pepper.
To backtrack a little, February last year we shot with Kirk when Crowbar were touring, as he had a custom NOLA Fleur de Lys ring which Alex had made. Word had spread to the rest of the band about SCA and their original hand crafted pieces for bands (which appealed to their love for Saint Vitus). Now almost all the band are now owning a Vitus piece from SCA.
Alex had some pieces already for them, but they were so into it all they wanted more. So Alex took most of his jewellery off too which they then wore for the shoot.
(Pat, Jimmy & Kirk loving the St Vitus pendants and ring)
Pepper wanted another ring but Alex didn’t have any more. I was wearing my Ace of Spades ring and mentioned it, but didn’t think it would fit him. Pepper flipped out over my ring and managed to squeeze it onto his little finger. Judging by his reaction I had a feeling I may not be seeing that ring again.
There was even time for a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with Alex (SCA) in the middle
I think Pat won.
Fans were cheering outside (in the pouring rain) as they could see the guys doing the shoot through the huge glass windows. They all waved to them as they removed Alex’s jewellery and passed it back, saying thank you for a couple of their gifts and for the shoot. Pepper said that my Ace of Spades ring was apparently “stuck” on his little finger. He tried with all his strength to remove it. I was laughing so much that I had to take a picture of it.
He looked like Smeagol from Lord of the Rings!
Pepper ended up walking off with the My Precious on his little finger. He also wore it for the show.
I still went home with a smile on my face though, even if I was a little lighter in possessions.
When it comes to location shoots, the weather can be a photographer’s best friend or worst enemy.
London-based groove metal band L Sol Tace booked me for another promo shoot after a bit of a lineup change and a debut album in the making. We had previously shot in a dark venue and I said to the guys that it would be great to go to an outdoor location. They got back to me and said that near their rehearsal rooms “there’s this fence that’s kinda cool”.
I laughed! Cool, a fence. Sorted!
The weather that week was abysmal. Typical UK you may think. Actually, even worse, as by this point we would be basking in a little more sunshine than this. (Not edited at all and taken on my iPhone)
I started setting up, the guys had a litre bottle of Jack Daniel’s in hand and they had already had a few beers during rehearsal. We kept watch on the weather and had to quickly grab everything and run inside the rehearsal rooms at the first sign of rain. It reminded me of this scene from Wayne’s World
But with rain instead of cars obviously.
Turns out, the moody sky actually worked to our advantage. So as long as the rain held off we did the shoot. I have to say I’m super pleased with the pictures and the band were pretty stoked when they received them.
Here’s one of the group shots
With all the talk of the rain, I forgot to mention the fence! Well it was kinda cool – it’s peeking in the background of the shot above. I think the sky steals its’ thunder though
Here’s a couple of the individual band member shots
Thank you to the sky for looking so awesome that day, to Jack Daniel’s for keeping us all entertained while we waited for the rain to clear, and lastly to the guys for making me laugh so much that day.
Rising rock band – Achilla – contacted me for a promo shoot recently. I must admit, I had never heard of them before. Checking out their website and doing a bit of research, I wondered how I hadn’t!
Acclaimed by journalist Malcolm Dome (Metal Hammer) and a host of other music media and radio, I was very excited for this shoot.
For some of the pictures they wanted to use something called ‘X-Ray Fabric’ as a backdrop. Very intriguing! This fabric was designed and made by woven textile designer Rita Parniczky, who had studied at the prestigious Central Saint Martins and, this fabric will become part of a permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2013. You can imagine how excited I was to see it!
Well, here it is.
The X-Ray Fabric.
Martamaria had part of her shoot involving this and then we did full band shots in other parts of the photo studio.
The shoot session was really enjoyable and I found the guys in the band to be so interesting – hailing from Greece, Italy and Hungary. A real mix of cultures and proof that music is the universal language.
Here’s one of the promos from the day. They wanted some simple shots to use for promotion and also for the forthcoming album.
Achilla are on tour with Swiss band November 7 this June & July around the UK. Be sure to check out their dates and catch a show in your area. Did I mention Martamaria holds the Guinness World Record for the widest vocal range?!