Hello internet. I know. It’s been a while since I last dusted down the keys and wrote something on here. To be honest with you, it’s not because I’ve been too busy, I’ve just not been in the mood. I’ve been a bit blue with the whole photography thing in the past 9 months, and certain things have really been getting under my skin. More on that another time perhaps, I’m trying to be positive on here at this precise moment in time.
2016 then… What a shitter of a year for most people, we lost a load of iconic and brilliant celebs, we voted to leave the EU (???) and Donald J. Trump got elected as President of the United States (?!?!?!). Personally I think we were orbiting closer to the sun or something and everyone went a bit weird for a year. I had a pretty up and down year too, with a busy start and end to the year and an absolutely barren middle bit, which is pretty soul sucking.
Disclaimer; this post is pretty narcissistic, so if you’re not interested in me or what I have to say about things (understandable), maybe go and read someone else’s blog or play outside or something.
Good things that happened in 2016;
I shot Slipknot. Yay. Woo. Etc. I bloody love Slipknot, and never actually thought that I’d be able to shoot them, let alone for Metal Hammer, so to be able to do so was an absolute treat. They didn’t have the usual fire filled craziness on the tour that I shot, but it’s okay. It was still rad. Corey Taylor did this thing where he pulls his face off. So good.
I went on tour. This was fun, and actually only about 3 days after the Slipknot show. The lovely chaps in Thy Art Is Murder offered to stick me in their van and drag me around a very cold UK with them when they were with Parkway Drive. The shows were some of the most fun things that I’ve done, and the guys were great to me. I miss them very much and would like more than most things to be able to go to more places with them. Preferably in the warm but whatever.
I shot The 1975 again. Pretty self explanatory. I love this band.
I shot Biffy Clyro. See above.
I got to spend a day with the guys in Trivium. Matt has been a friend for a few years now, and is one of the best dudes in metal. We did a feature for Hammer which came out in April/May I think.
I went to Nijmegen. That’s in The Netherlands. We went to shoot the Forta Rock/Buma Rocks festival/convention and it was a good time. The sun even came out for a bit and I got burnt. Obviously.
I did an 8 minute photo shoot with The Dandy Warhols.
I started working for Idris Elba (technically). Yeah him, the actor. He’s a nice bloke. We actually did a really cool video which I now doubt will ever see the light of day. Maybe I’ll stick it on my Instagram one day.
There was a load of other good stuff, but these were the highlights. 2016 turned into a pretty quiet year, but the stuff I did shoot was fun.
Right then, let’s get this over with. I’ve been thinking about writing this since the news came that TeamRock was in administration, so here we go. You’ve probably heard by now that on December 19th, TeamRock went under, taking the jobs of 73 people with it, and putting the future of a number of publications at risk. Well, probably more than ‘at risk’ but I don’t actually know whats happening right now. I could have a rant about how shite this is, and how much it will impact the rock and metal scene, but everyone has said their piece already so instead I’m going to get a bit emo. Surprise surprise.
In 2012 I got an email from Lewis at Metal Hammer, who was Deputy Art Ed at the time, asking me if I wanted to photograph Tech Fest for the magazine. I was 18 and over the moon to be asked to work with one of the biggest rock publications in the world. Like the clingy child that I am, I never really gave them the option of me leaving them alone, and Hammer continued to let me shoot stuff for them. I look back at my contributions over the past four and a half years and can safely say that I owe almost all of the good things that I’ve been able to do to the staff at Metal Hammer. From photographing a load of my favourite bands, often multiple times, to going overseas to Norway and The Netherlands, to working the Golden Gods awards shows, and everything in between. It’s been a blast. I don’t know if the magazine is going to continue, I don’t even know if the January issue will be released. I hope it is. I hope we can carry on, but I guess we’ll see.
What is nice is the final thing I shot for the magazine was Bullet For My Valentine at Brixton, doing The Poison in full. They’re the band that really got me into all this shouty music that I still insist on listening to, and it was a treat to get to shoot them for print.
To wrap this whole thing up, I’d like to say cheers to everyone at Hammer who have helped me get to where I am now, all the cool PR people who’ve been mega kind throughout the years, and all the bands who aren’t mean to me/have been rad this year.
I am also kind of in need of a gig taking photos, so if you’re in need, I am your guy. Tell your mates.
Thanks for being bored enough to read through this massive self indulgent blog post. You’re alright. Probably.