Not Just Rock: The Madness to my Method or "Don’t Fall In!"
How did you get into doing this?
I’ve been a photographer since I was twenty. I started out doing high school sporting events and basement shows in New Brunswick for next to nothing. As far as music and the local scene is concerned, it was something that just came with being in the right place at the right time. I lived at two houses that hosted basement shows every weekend.
You don’t get paid for this, so how do you get by?
Just like you and most of the bands I shoot and interview I’m working class, scraping by day to day. I cook and bar tend at a local pub in Jersey City. JC’s a great place it’s right near NYC and there’s a flourishing music scene starting up here. So it’s a perfect base of operations.
Who are your photography influences?
Well I think it goes without saying that Glen E. Friedman is a huge source of inspiration. I consider his photo book FUCK YOU HEROES to be one of the things that got me into shooting bands and just really helped me come up with ideas for how to look at the world through my lens.
My partner and longtime friend Kate Connolly has also been a huge source of knowledge, we are constantly critiquing each others work. More famously Cindy Sherman, Chad Pitman and Melanie McDaniels.
Any other influences you’d like to site?
Yea, definitely! My Dad, he’s been playing the guitar around me since before I can remember. My mom, who’s supported me unconditionally. In the journalistic sense, writers like Warren Ellis, Alan Moore, and Hunter S. Thompson. Really come through in my narratives about the bands. I like to think to myself, “How would these cats say it so it would entertain the reader without patronizing him.” Neil Gaiman keeps me positive
What about music? Give us your all time top five bands?
I reserve to the right to change that at any time.
So as far as equipment goes, whats your set-up?
This is a hard question for me to come forth with. Because I believe that as a photographer your equipment is secondary to your overall skill and confidence in your craft. But having said that:
50mm 1.8 Nikkor Lens
I recently purchased a Samsung SC-MX20b. Before that I was using my LG Dare cell phone for video, for quality and fun’s sake I wanted something with a little bit better sound recording.
Most importantly about all this equipment. I keep it light. I take the train to these shows or a cab, so I need to be mobile. Everything fits into a bag about the size of a kid’s lunch box.
How can you be contacted by bands and managers to come out for shows?
Now, answer your own question! How can we keep the local music scene alive?
It really is a four step process:
Step 1: Support your favourite local bands, that’s the easy part!
Step 2: Look at how your local government deals with music. When I was in New Brunswick, the police would show up all the time to crash a basement show on a Friday or Saturday night. There are candidates out there that are music friendly. Register in your town and vote for them!
Step 4: PROFIT….oh wait sorry. Ha!
Any final thoughts?
Yea, Don’t Fall In! You can quote me on that!