Ho99o9 – Begin a revolution with Nova Twins in support

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The hype around this band has gone stratospheric. But for once for very good reason and they more than live up to it. I saw them support Dillinger Escape Plan on their final UK tour before they split up and Dillinger have a reputation for hand picking exceptional supports and not always in the genre you would expect. I did my research and was pleasantly surprised to hear the old school hardcore punk mixed with HipHop and it working better than you would expect. A lot say they are similar to Death Grips and this is definitely a compliment but the comparison is only stated because its an unsaturated style of music are there are few successful band that mix the two main styles together well. Ho99o9 are their own revolution and are taking the world by storm, taking no prisoners and they don’t care who they upset on the way, this is a good thing as they are causing waves and being heard, expressing whats wrong with the world and fighting against racism. They have come from a band you wouldn’t of heard of 6 months ago to being in every music magazine and all over social media, they are now unavoidable, you must pay attention. Most recently this week being hailed as one of the most brutal starts to Glastonbury Festival alongside Napalm Death. Their stage performance is already legendary being full of energy and crazy costumes (such as wedding dresses and gimp masks) and they know how to interact with the crowd and make every individual feel part of the show. Its relentless and aggressive throughout. As a fan you feel empowered after seeing them live as they don’t conform to anything you expect they might be, especially as the genre of Hip Hop and Punk is typically butch yet theOGM wears woman clothing and is occasionally flamboyant on stage followed by Eaddy storming over in Dr. Martens being very masculine and often diving into the crowd. Its a wild ride and one the audiences are excited to be part of. Buy their album, lets make these guys huge and listen to their new music video ‘War Is Hell‘.

The support tonight was from Nova Twins who explained they were fans of Ho99o9 and bumped into them in Paris and they all got on which made tonight possible. I always take a look at music videos before a gig of a band Im less familiar with, I was very impressed especially as they have a new video out for ‘Thelma and Louise‘  and was very keen to see these guys perform, they have the hip hop/punk theme but a lot less aggressive than Ho99o9, yet still with the same attitude. I have the impression many in the crowd were unfamiliar who the support were until half way through the first funky, groove filled riffs hit hard and with slick, catchy raps and choruses were blasted out which demanded the crowds attention immediately. Amy and Georgia commanded the stage with confidence and style (they design their own incredible clothing) making everyone dance, bounce and headband. A pit erupted as the songs got heavier with thumping base lines, the crowd were eating out of their hands and rightfully so. You have to see these guys live to appreciate the talent and the fun they bring to the stage.

 

Nova Twins

Nova Twins

Nova Twins

Nova Twins

Nova Twins

Nova Twins

Nova Twins

Ho99o9

Ho99o9

Ho99o9

Ho99o9

Ho99o9

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

’68 – Josh Scogin creates another genre defining band.

Posted by & filed under Commission, Music, News, Portrait.

Josh Scogin is a creative genius and was the founding member of Hardcore band ‘Norma Jean‘ in 1997 which is still going strong to this day even thought he left in 2002. At that point he felt it was time to change his focus and from there created the Metalcore band ‘The Chariot‘ who was a more extreme outlet for Josh. I saw these guys and photographed them about 10 years back and they are still by far the craziest live show I have ever experienced. Usually such an extreme show would have a potentially violent pit and this was no exception, but I would rather be in that pit than on stage with the band, these guys were throwing their equipment around like rag dolls which was absolute chaos. It was the most fun id seen a band have on stage, it felt pure and that they put their all into this one performance showing that Josh and his band members believed in the music and the scene they had freshly created as there was no one else like this around. If you have seen Dillinger Escape Plan live then you have a slight idea of what these guys were capable of, except these guys kept switching instruments and playing each others whilst jumping in the crowd whilst the bass player was hanging upside down above the crowd from the rafters. It was as if the mental hospital let them out for one performance only and it will stay with me for the rest of my life.  Josh describes their live show as “Destruction” but I believe it created a loyal (perhaps cult) fan base and faith in the Metal scene which is why Josh Scogin has remained so important throughout his career.

After 10 years Josh ended The Chariot and within a week had teased his new venture ’68 with friend Michael McClellan. The charisma and chemistry these two have on stage is powerful and engaging. Its difficult to take your eyes of either of them as they are always doing something interesting on stage and making up songs on the spot. Josh has admitted they like the live performance to be as live and unique as possible so they turn up with no idea what songs to play and they tend to jam together and create something new which is a talent in itself and then they find a song and play what feels right at that moment. This unusual way to create a live performance is refreshing and always fun and they continue the unusual themes in their music videos as The Chariot had done previously buy thinking outside of the box. One of their earlier videos were two separate videos you had to play together correctly synced to hear properly as one video was Josh in a room on his own playing guitar and the other video was Michael in a room only playing the drums so neither made sense until you played them together, the thought was that music wouldn’t be easily accessible and throw away with todays generation of short attention spans but that you would take you phone/lap top etc to a friends house and play together making it a more immersive experience, a conversation piece and more enjoyable to feel part of it.

These guys are incredible live. After being a fan of their first album I saw them for the first time last year support Every Time I Die. They are all old friends who have run in similar circles previously as well as the new ETID drummer Daniel Davison originating from Josh’s first band Norma Jean. I photographed them here and they have since used my photos on many of their posters for tours and in their album sleeve of their new album Two Parts Viper. Thank you Josh & Michael and Carl from Good Fight Entertainment. Also Stencil Magazine in Issue 43 published 4 of my photos of the band live in a very cool Interview they did with Josh. Check out the publication here, photos are on page 80-83.

Since then I saw them last week at The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch and had some time to hang out with the guys as well. As I hoped they were absolute gentlemen, very friendly and sincere.

 

’68

’68

’68

’68

’68

’68

’68

’68

’68

’68

My Photo in their Album Sleeve

Me (left) with Josh Scogin and my gig partner James Davies (right).

’68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gojira: French Heavy Metal Gods

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I first discovered Gojira in 2006 at Download Festival. A friend who’s music taste I respect had mentioned them recently so I went to see them and was blown away. It was not what I was expecting, it was not your standard metal sound, it was like TOOL with their big wall of sound and technical ability but heavier and it wasn’t until they spoke and I realised they were from France. I thought at the time, I couldn’t name another French metal band, I still can’t though I’m sure theres talented ones out there, but this is why the French love these guys so much, they have crossed boundaries. I have a few French friends who have no interest in Metal who are very aware of them and proud. I bought their new album at the time as soon as I got home, ‘From Mars To Sirius’ was and still is a seriously epic album of great magnitude. Since then they have delivered every time especially with their newest album last year ‘Magma’ which I expect will stand the test of time with its diverse heavy and groove filled songs such as the incredibly catchy song ‘Stranded‘. Although all their previous had been incredible, this album brought them to the forefront and has made them global stars.

This was the first time I had seen them at their own show, this year they played Kentish Town Forum, London and the support bands made it feel as if we were witnesses to a flow of potential headliners, all have the ability to be top of the bill. Car Bomb brought the erratic tech style which was relentless and up next was the comeback of Code Orange bringing the Grunge and Hardcore combination often sounding like 2 separate bands at times as they have different singers and wildly different styles of music per each song. But Gojira are the headliners for a reason, the stage set up, the lighting, the video screen again hails back to how TOOL perform. No need to run around the stage, their sound is so huge that they adopt the power stance and plough straight into the heaviest riffs around with the crowd collectively slow head banging to every song. These guys blow a hole in the roof of the venue with the power they pump out. Truly a sight to behold.

My images have been used by Gojira and published in The Independent.

 

Gojira

Gojira

Gojira

Gojira

Gojira

Gojira

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devil Sold His Soul – A Fragile Hope 10 year Anniversary

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These guys still have their youthful looks but have been around longer than you might remember. They formed from previous bands such as Mahumodo, *shels, Rinoa and The Arusha Accord. They released their first full album in 2007 called A Fragile Hope after their popular EP Darkness Prevails. Since then released 2 more albums before Ed Gibbs the vocalist in 2013 left the band and Paul Green from The Arusha Accord joined to take his place. They then released a further EP with 2 singles including the huge song Devastator which was well received; this is a difficult task to succeed at when the singer has been changed as it often can change the whole sound of a band but Paul Green is a truly accomplished singer and was able to show the fans he was able to fill the void and cement his place within the band. Their fan base is very loyal as Devil Sold His Soul do not sound like other bands in the metal genre, they have been described as ambient metalcore which basically means they sound heavy and have huge soundscapes in between the screaming.

At the end of April they performed their debut album in full at The Dome in Tufnell Park, London with an encore of a couple of their newer songs. This was a sold out event as predicted and Ed Gibbs returned for the tour giving the band 2 ferocious singers for the live shows. This went down a storm, the sound was enormous and was an incredible sight to see the band perform their technical songs with casual ease and with Ed and Paul pacing around the stage with intent. They also released a limited edition vinyl for the event which the guys very kindly signed for me.

The whole band were the friendliest bunch of guys (as most musicians in the metal scene tend to be) and met me before the show to hang out briefly and take their portraits and chat about the show. I shot them across the road at the awesome rock bar Aces & Eights. I hope these guys are back for good as the scene has changed a lot in the past 10 years and they were always ahead of their time and perhaps didn’t get the exposure they deserved as they didn’t write conventional songs. This is the time they can really reach a wider audience.

 

Devil Sold His Soul

Devil Sold His Soul

Devil Sold His Soul

Devil Sold His Soul

Devil Sold His Soul

Ed, Paul & Me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Time I Die – The Greatest Live Show On Earth

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Ok the title is clearly bias but that doesn’t make it false. These guys have been consistent for the past 20 years musically and with their live shows. The greatest Hardcore band that doesn’t compromise, change to fit the scene or do what their peers do. They are their own animal, their own genre and with that attracts faithful and obsessive fans. Back in 2015 ETID (along with other bands such as Deftones) had to cancel their shows after the Paris terrorist attacks at an Eagles Of Death Metal show. It was a hugely anticipated 4 in a row stint in London at only small venues, but thankfully they rescheduled as soon as they could for mid 2016, it was the London Takeover and each night was a different set list and each night teased a track from their new album Low Teens yet to be released and supported by incredible and chaotic Muck from Iceland. As you would expect, every show was hectic, sweaty, aggressive, fun and full of dedicated fans who knew all the words who sang and growled along with Keith at every step. All the band members show their own personality throughout the show which you don’t often see in bands but each member is equally insane on stage and never stop moving. They all are happy to get into the crowd with their instruments and you can catch Jordan throwing his guitar in the air, jumping around, lying on his back or throwing up. Its the most fun you can have at a live venue as each member is as entertaining as the guy next to them and they encourage the crowd to get on stage with them and get involved making it more of a party than a gig.

They then returned to London in December playing the coolest venue I’ve ever been too called Brookyn Bowl. A huge Bowling Alley with a stage in the middle of it, located at the O2. All of the above chaos was present as usual with the added bonus of the band ’68 being the support. 2 guys making the biggest noise of Southern Blues mixed with Punk who have been likened to Nirvana and Pixies but much louder with lead singer Josh Scogin from Norma Jean & The Chariot. ETID + ’68  easily make this the gig of the year if not more with the best part being that now that ETID’s new album Low Teens has just been released and has been widely received across the board as one of their finest records. I have barely stopped listening to this album since I bought it, as I mentioned, they are consistent at making great music in their own way, as other hardcore bands become more commercial to get more popular, the Buffalo band are uncompromisingly continuing to push the boundaries and get heavier but without loosing the melody, the riffs, the groove and Keiths beautiful, dark, yet often hilarious lyrics that we crave each and every time, and they deliver with passion. Low Teens was an album born from tragedy and Keiths lyrics are more furious than before helping him cope with the horror he and his family faced a couple of years ago. Thankfully Keith and family came through the ordeal and all is well with the world again. They have since released 5 singles from the album, the first being The Coin Has A Say which was filmed at the London Takeover shows, so I’m in there somewhere, watch it to experience a snippet of how relentless these guys are live. Like I said, the greatest show on earth.

 

Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sumo Cyco

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Sumo Cyco are a spectacular Canadian band that came out of nowhere for me. They supported a band I went to see last year at The Underworld in Camden, London and at the time I had never heard of these guys but after doing a little research and listening to 1 song on YouTube I knew I had to photograph them. I bought their album straight away so I knew their music before the show. Its a mix of different styles making it completely unique which is a difficult task in the rock/metal genre these days. Musically they are great fun, mixing reggae, funk, rock, punk, pop and metal together, on paper it doesn’t sound like it would work but their first album is flawless with no weak song to skip. Seeing them live is a whole other experience, their songs become so much heavier and Skye Sweetnam (known as Sever) is a mad woman never standing still, crowd surfing, jumping into the crowd to bounce with her fans and walking through the crowd singing the catchy choruses with as many people as she can. A real crowd pleaser which has helped grow their fan base incredibly quickly. Now everyone wants them to do a headline tour in the UK. They have come back a few times since and now more recently with a Co-Headlingin Tour with New Zealand female fronted band Devilskin with support from Eva Plays Dead. Not to take anything away from any of the other bands that have played alongside Sumo Cyco as they are all great live but the crowd walk away from each show only talking about 1 band who stood out because of the great songs, huge amount energy and personal interactions with the crowd.

They released a new single at the beginning of the year called ‘Move Mountains‘ with guest appearance from Benji Webbe from Skindred as they are huge fans of his band and he also of theirs. This comes from their new album Opus Mar which is an album that had a lot to live up to being the follow up from their well executed and well marketed Lost In Cyco City. Luckily they achieve the impossible and match their first album. All their artwork is by Francesca Ludikar who is an incredible photographer/artist/graphic designer, who has created the Cyco City world and visual style for the band on their album covers and music videos. Please check out her website and watch all of Sumo Cyco’s Videos, there is a progressive storyline to follow and all have their own mini film and own style.

 

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nathan Gray Collective

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A friend of mine who is obsessed with BoySetsFire told me about the lead singers new venture creating ‘Nathan Gray Collective‘ with co writer and producer Daniel E. Smith. During the tour to promote their new album ‘Until The Darkness Takes Us’ he would be coming to London, he then contacted his management on my behalf. I was very happy he did this as although I hadn’t heard any of his music at the time I am always open to new musical experiences. I did my research and in the process became a huge fan, more than I was expecting to be as it wasn’t my typical musical style. It is very dark, passionate and atmospheric, the music switches from evil sounding music of despair to uplifting anthems all having that emotional passion throughout. This isn’t just a side project for Nathan, this is clearly a new direction and a successful one at that. Check out the song Wolves which was released before the new album and their new single Heathen Blood.

Thank you to James Davies for organising and Becky at Nathan Gray Collective for being so helpful to arrange everything. Photos taken at Boston Music Rooms in Tufnell Park, London.

 

Nathan Gray Collective

Nathan Gray Collective

Nathan Gray Collective

Nathan Gray Collective

James, Nathan, Saeed & Me

Nathan Gray Collective

Nathan Gray Collective

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stolnick Magazine: I Am Water (double page spread)

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I was asked by Valentina to do a bespoke shoot for her families company to advertise their brand of water ‘Aqua Helios’. The shoot was to be abstract to match the article she had written for the magazine. This Magazine is distributed throughout Russian and parts of Asia.

Click here to visit the Magazines website

Stolnick is one of the most powerful magazines designed for successful, sophisticated and educated environment. Stolnick was found in 2000 as a publication about beautiful lifestyle. During its existence, the magazine has become a competent source of information covering all aspects of luxury life style and proved itself as a successful and dynamic publication. Today the magazine is available in 14 regions of Russia and is a leader in print media market of each city. We are not just a glossy publication that writes about beautiful life. We are focused on continuous improvement of our professional level and quality of life of the community we work for.

Their readers say, “If there is nothing about an expensive brand/store, etc. in the Stolnick magazine, such brand/store cannot be found in town”.

Valentia and her son are the subjects for the shoot.

 

Stolnick Magazine

Stolnick Magazine

Aqua Helios

Aqua Helios

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentina

Valentina

Valentina & Son

Valentina & Son

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Time I Die – The Roundhouse

Posted by & filed under Music.

I finally got the opportunity to photograph my favourite metal band when they supported Architects recently at London’s infamous Roundhouse venue in Camden. I have been going to Every Time I Die gigs since there first show in the UK at Portsmouth Wedgwood Rooms in 2004 at the time of their second album ‘Hot Damn’ being released. I have been obsessed with them since then and had the opportunity to meet them and hang out back in 2004, and always manage to meet them every year at their gigs in London. The band really earns the fans respect by no matter how huge and popular they have become in the past 17 years since they started and the larger venues they play, that they always meet the fans before and after the show at the Merch stands or with Awesome Andy coming outside to give everyone in the cue hugs. I could write pages and pages on why I enjoy their technical, intelligent, brutal music so much and about the charismatic individual members and why they are the perfect party band but I won’t bore you any further, so go check out the photos and head to youtube to watch their hilarious videos and if you are new to this band go buy their stuff here, you won’t be disappointed.

On a side note: I would like to thank Jordan Buckley (Guitarist) for the opportunity to photography them. We met up after the show and I collected some signed artwork from him which I plan on framing, he is a very talented artist/illustrator and you can check out his work here.

 

Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die

 

 

Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die

me with Jordan Buckley

Me with Jordan Buckley

Me with Keith Buckley

Me with Keith Buckley