Oi!

Mega Issue #10!!!! 

Personally, I’m extra excited about this issue. The vocalist of my hometown’s pride in the Detroit Hardcore scene stops in to an Audio Fix for us… Jesse A. of the legendary Cold As Life! This band has gone through some huge changes over the years, but it doesn’t matter. They never lose the attitude. Cold As Life is Detroit. Detroit is Cold As Life. Dogs In The Fight is a Boise, Idaho streetpunk band that is steadily on the rise. I’ve been watching these guys since the beginning, and they continue to make waves. We also talk to Craig Silverman, who is the obvious first choice for “go to guy” in the American Hardcore scene. Holy shit… I mean, Agnostic Front and Slapshot?!?! That sounds like a life worth living. Ha!

A new band on the scene, Walk The Plank, is here too. These guys take everything that’s great about Hardcore and mash it into a ball… and throw it right at your head. We’ve been watching these guys since they surfaced too. They are easily one of the best in the business. Undergust is here to prove what a lot of us know already… Brazil brings some of the most brutal noise known to man. Finally, from Orlando, FL, Nailed Shut spits out pure violence in beatdown fashion that is just… what’s the word?… sick!

We also explore the world of punk photography through the eyes of Chris Suspect, and check out some top shelf ink work from the amazing Ryan Chapman.

Let’s Go!

For the best of the best. [ Click here: On The Nod Radio ].

Calling all zine collectors. Hit these guys up. They’re doing it right [ Click here: Infrangibile Skinzine ].

Dogs In The Fight hits hard. So hard, in fact, it’s leaving a lasting impression on street rock music fans from first listen, making them one of the fastest growing American streetpunk bands today. Blending punk, Oi, and rock, The Dogs give you their own signature brand of noise officially putting Boise on OUR map.

How did Dogs In The Fight form, and can you tell us a little bit about the band members?

C: We formed in March of 2015 after our old singer left the band. When Coby invited Wayne to come by and jam with us, we hit it off right away. We decided to change the name of the band to Dogs in the Fight and we started pumping out new songs right away. We are all very different people brought together by music. Wayne is our voice and he keeps the drive going and is the engine that keeps the band moving. He has a great ability to see the positive and it reflects in his lyrics. Coby is our main riff master and local comedian, always keeps things on the lighter side of life. As quickly as he can make you laugh, he can wipe out 20 hooky riffs. Jimmy, he is our philosopher and WWII historian, literally. He is as passionate about his bass lines as he is about life. Josh our drummer is all about his drums, the man loves his drum set. He is still our greenhorn in the band, which makes him an easy target for our jokes. I was recently given the tag “Dad” of the band when we were on our way to St Louis, I guess being the somewhat organized manager of the band, has earned me that title, ahahaaa. I also throw in idea’s and songs into the mix. I do a lot of the corresponding and networking for the band. Wayne will do a lot of the research for us also and does a lot of the promotional online work. 

What’s it like starting up a streetpunk band in Boise, ID? What’s the scene like up there?

C: It was different at first for us because we are the only Oi/Street Punk out here. So, we weren’t exactly what people were expecting to find in Boise and we heard that right away. Which was a positive for us, and the scenes reaction has been very good. The scene here in Boise is very close and tight nit, everyone knows one another very well and it is an extended family. We all support one another as much as we can. Seeing the majority of us are older and working, it’s not as easy to get out as much as we would all like. There are three scenes here in Boise. The Hardcore scene has a lot of great bands and there is a great house show scene going on here. The Rock/Metal scene is the biggest, more supported genre in Boise. Then the punk scene is small but has a great fan base. There are some really good bands in Boise like The Jerkwads, The Astrophobes, UpinAtem, Skittish Itz, Step Brothers and the Alleged to name a few.

You guys combine a few different styles to create your sound. Tell us about your songwriting process and what other bands / musicians have been an influential to the band.

C: We all have a lot in common musically that ties our influences into our music and writing. Yet, at the same time, we have enough different tastes that we all try to still incorporate. When it comes to song writing, each song can take a different approach. Sometimes Coby and myself will come in with something completed from start to finish, other times, there is a map there but then we fill in the gaps and just kind of develop the song over time. Even songs from the record keep progressing as we grow in our abilities. Wayne keeps the content of the songs directed in a positive direction. We try not to limit ourselves or just look at our song writing to stick within the genre but to do our things, our way, the way we want to do things in Dogs. We want everyone to be able to relate to what we are saying. Doesn’t matter if you are into Punk, Metal, Pop. We hope to reach everyone we can and deliver a message that we can unite under. As far as influences, I think for a starter the time we have spent with Jesse O’Donnell and Matt Henson, that Noi!se really had a impact on us, especially the “you won’t know if you don’t try” approach. This stuck with us, when we were hanging out. Musically, I think that you can hear the bits and pieces of our influences from Hardcore band like Blood For Blood, Agnostic Front to Judge, Uniform Choice. To Cock Sparrer, Dropkick, Booze n Glory, The Bruisers, Flogging Molly, Rancid and the list goes on and on. I would have to say that Richie Bruiser was a huge motivator for us, he may not know but he will now. His feedback to us was monumental. It’s one thing to get feedback from someone who played in a band that influenced you. But to have him really get behind what you do, is something else. 

Whats your personal favorite track on We Want Peace, But Are Ready For War, and which song do you think best represents what the band is all about?

C: My personal favorite track from the record would be a close one but I think Working Class Salute. I like the build up to when the song takes off, the song just seems to flows really well. As far as the song that I think best represent what we are about is “United”. If I had to just pick one, otherwise, every song on the record is a piece of all of us and the messages within are something that we stand behind. We want people to be proud, don’t let the world push you down and let’s figure out a way to bring down walls, not continue to stack them higher. 

How have things been going in general for the band since the release of We Want Peace…?

C: I would say that we have been having a great time since the record came out, the band has been very lucky with being well received. We have had some very good reviews on the record and we have been working hard to drive sales of the record. We are staying busy and as the word gets out, we keep getting new opportunities. 

Are there any tour plans for 2017? Where are we most likely to catch a DITF show?

C: We don’t get the luxury to do a lot of touring because we are all working stiffs and we have our families. We made it down to Salt Lake city this year. Also, we performed two night at the Rude Festival in St. Louis with a lot of really talented bands. We will be appearing this summer at Underneath the Underground 6 Festival in July at the Gilman St., in Berkeley. We are very excited about this show also. We are still working out plans for the rest of the year and I couldn’t say just where you might find us performing. We hope to get out to the upper Mid West and New England states at some point. So, it is hard to say but if people are interested in helping us make it happen. Hit us up at dogsinthefight@gmail.com. 

Are you currently working on any new material?

C: Right now, we have about 12 – 14 songs, I would say 12 are ready to be recorded in the studio. So we have started the first stages of the next record. We will be looking to do more compilations, possible cassette release and another full length. We will see what happens as we progress throughout the year. 

Great job on We Want Peace, But Are Ready For War. Any final words for the readers?

C: Thank you Jason for the great review and this opportunity. Check out Dogs In The Fight, the record is available from Crowd Control Media, iTunes, preview it on youtube, spotify, etc. Check out our Facebook page also, then you can see where we are playing next. Thank you to everyone who has been behind us and for the support. 

Stop by Dogs In The Fight Facebook Page and let em know you’re listening. Also, check em out at Reverbnation.

Craig Silverman, hands down, has the most impressive resume I have ever seen. Not only does he play in one, but two, of the best… the undisputed champs of American Hardcore,  Agnostic Front and Slapshot! We contacted him to say, “What’s Up?” and find out what’s next.

What age did you pick up the guitar, and what led you to it as the instrument of choice?


C: I started playing guitar when I was six years old. I was obsessed with music at a very early age, but I was just drawn to the guitar.

Around what time in your life do you consider to be the formative years as a musician leading up to this present run with these iconic Hardcore bands you’re playing in now?

C: My early teens. That’s when I first discovered underground music. My very first show was Metallica opening for Venom at The Paramount Theater in Staten Island, NY in 1983. My first hardcore show was Agnostic Front at CBGB in 1984. After that, I was hooked.

Your first established band, Only Living Witness, released it’s last album in 1996 and did a last reunion show in Eindhoven in 2008. What else was going musically during that transitional time leading up to when Blood For Blood called on you for touring support?

C:  I played in rockabilly and country bands after OLW disbanded. I just wanted to enjoy playing music with friends at that point. 

So, how did joining Slapshot come about? 

C: My buddy John was playing drums with the band at that time. We were both at an Angry Samoans show and he asked if I would be interested in joining. Sounds boring, but that’s how it happened. 

I find it absolutely amazing that you found a place in two of the best hardcore bands ever. How did your position in Agnostic Front happen?

C: I played in Blood For Blood with Ian McFarland and he directed a few videos for AF. When he found out that they were looking for a guitar player, he suggested me and the rest is history. 

Receiving the invitation from either of these bands had to be amazing. Honestly, how pumped were you after the invite from Agnostic Front? How did that phone call go down?

C: I didn’t have audition or anything like that. Learned the set, went to NYC and jammed with the fellas. Sounds boring, but that’s how it happened. 

Between Slapshot, and Agnostic Front, has there ever been any conflicts in schedules? How in the Hell do you pull all of this off?

C: Up until recently, there haven’t been any conflicts, but when you play in several active bands that tour…there’s bound to be a problem here and there.

Over the last few years, I’ve seen many pictures of you and your son. One can tell that he’s all about dad. Has he seen any videos of you onstage, and  what’s his reaction?

C: He’s too young to understand. Ask again in a couple of years. Haha!

Technical question for all of the guitar players out there: What are your weapons of choice?

C: ESP Guitars. Blackstar Amplification. Dean Markley Strings.

Are you currently working on any new material?

C: Just finished a new Slapshot record. It will be out on Bridge 9 in June. 

If tomorrow, both bands said, “Fuck it, we’re done”…. which I hope they never do… but if they did, what direction would you imagine yourself heading in next?

C: Back to Rockabilly and Country.

As someone who has landed the type of career most of us dream about, what advice would you give to new musicians gearing up to attempt to make their mark in the scene?

C: Don’t listen to others, stick to it, and do your thing. It’s really that simple.

CLICK HERE: Agnostic Front Facebook Page

CLICK HERE: Slapshot Facebook Page

CLICK HERE: Only Living Witness Facebook Page

Jesse A., the frontman of the legendary Cold As Life, stops in to share with us 5 of his all time favorite albums. 

1) Cold As Life – Born To Land Hard

I know what your thinking. Your own band, haha! But, I’m first and always will be a fan. First, I grew up with CAL. Seeing them was my first real HC show. When Born To Land Hard dropped, and I first heard it, I was blown away from start to finish. it’s unbelievable! I grew up in a bad situation, and having that record I could turn too for surport was a blessing. CAL did, and will continue now to always be a truth band about real life. It’s a certain rhythm of pain that can’t be duplicated.


2) Pantera – Far Beyond Driven 

I remember when it came out, I was going to get it thinking to myself that there is no way it can touch Vulgar Display Of Power. Then, right from the start, it just melted my face off… so heavy!!!



3) Life Of Agony – River Runs Red

This record has been in my CD player for 10 years. The vocals are next level. One of the best to ever do it.


4) 2PAC – All Eyez On Me 

I’m not the biggest PAC fan, but love this record. PAC is able to capture people’s attention whether you like him or not. That’s the definition of an artist.

5) Johnny Cash – Any of his records haha

 

l love everything he has every done. He’s not really a singer. More of a story teller. The pain is in every word.


Check out the newest Cold As Life tracks at Cold As Life Bandcamp, and stop by Cold As Life Facebook Page and let em know you’re listening.


Interview by Dan Tope

Walk The Plank: The New Face Of DC Hardcore.

This DC band has been ripping up the stage from up and down the east coast, to Central America, and around Europe since 2010. Walk The Plank brings a refreshingly new approach to American hardcore with strong intelligent vocals that reflect life, strife, and doing things your way. They balance melody and aggression in a way that reflects DC’s early hardcore roots in a sound that is all their own. Some of my favorite songs are “Dying on the Vine,” “Nothing in Common,” and “Control.” I highly recommend the new album “Cemetery Vacation,” and while you are at it check out their splits, and EPs as their entire discography is on point and caters to both new and old fans of hardcore. 

Who is in Walk The Plank?

Ian: Alex, Ian, Chris, Tim, and Aaron. (Aaron recently left the band, but is on the new album) 

Tim: We’re five pretty mellow dudes who like to let out our frustrations with punk music

Alex: We’ve had this lineup now for almost 3 years. Tim and Aaron joined in fall 2014.

How long have you been a band?

Alex: 7 Years. Ian, Chris, and I started the band in 2010. Lucky circumstances really. Ian was working at a bar that Chris and I went to pretty often. At the time I didn’t know Chris either, but we ended up meeting and having a few brews. Then we decided we should start a band. Ian had just started working there and we ended up asking him to sing. He hadn’t sung in a band yet, but it ended up working out quite well.

How many albums have you released? 

Tim: Cemetery Vacation is our first “official” full length. 

Alex: Yeah, we did a collection of many of the 7 inches on album that we released in Europe (Perseverancia), but “Cemetery Vacation” is our first proper full length. Before that we had a bunch of 7 inches and splits we put out. 

What are some of your influences? 

Tim: Working too much, missing the bus, relationship/dating problems, struggling with bills and money, searching for an identity in a world that feels unrelatable… and NOFX

Ian: Black Flag, Paint it Black, Striking Distance

What should people expect at your shows?

Tim: I think, to be inspired to pursue their own passions and discover a destiny all their own.

As a DIY band you toured Central America, can you share any of your experiences from that tour?

Alex: Wow, a lot happened on that tour. This tour began with having to take two different people to fill in on guitar and bass as this was around the time Tim and Aaron were just joining. Tim was on the road with his other band, Rememberables, and Aaron had just joined a few days prior to leaving. Our buddy Dan from Detroit actually met us at the airport in Baltimore and met our friend Bobby who was playing guitar for us there as well. It was the first time they had met!  We hopped on the plane and headed to Guatemala where found a practice space for the day. 
However, most of the gear was not in working order so we got through about 3 songs before the drums literally started falling apart. So for the first show we just kind of played and hoped for the best. We ended up doing the tour on coach bus going from country to country. I swear, one border crossing someone was being smuggled across. Saw some sketchy transactions after a random guy came out of the bathroom at the border. Mind you, the entire time they said the bathroom was “out of order”. Then we had the border crossing between Guatemala and El Salvador. They weren’t going to let us in until we explained how we are coming to play at some church events. They didn’t buy the lie, and he asked for a document to prove it. I said I didn’t have one. At this point I was a little worried we wouldn’t get in, but to my surprise he pointed to a guy down the way and said he could help me. I went to him, and I had him draw up a letter and gave it to the border agent and we were allowed to enter. Go figure! Then there was also the accidental flooding of the house we stayed at in Costa Rica…. but that’s a story for another time. (By the way, we didn’t do it, the guy who moved into the house that day did after he came home from a night on the town…oops!)

Do you have any plans to tour further, and if so where?

Tim: Yes!  Europe, east coast USA, Mexico, and some Central America are happening this year.  We are also planning doing some more USA and Canada early next year.

What is the name of the new album, and what should people know about it?

Tim: Cemetery Vacation.  It’s a peek into the minds of 5 punks living in the Washington DC area in 2017.

Ian: We are very proud of it and hope people enjoy what we’ve put together.

What do you want readers to know about Walk the Plank?

Tim: That we worked very hard on this record for a little over a year and hope y’all dig it!

Ian: We’ve sold our souls to rock and roll.

Booking info: USA – Alex Reimer(walktheplankband@live.com) Europe – Eva Bozevniece (eva@flixagency.com) Canada – Eamon McGrath (eamon@flixagency.com ) Mexico – Omar Parada (puercords@yahoo.com.mx)
Buy their merch at: http://walktheplank.bandcamp.com  www.say-10.com (USA) http://www.30kfr.de (Europe)

Make sure to stop in at /Walk The Plank Facebook Page and let em know you’re listening and visit their website at http://www.walktheplankdc.www.walktheplankdc.com

So, how long have you been tattooing, and can you tell us about how you got started? 

R: I was skipping school when i was 15 and hanging out in the local shop. Would just go in and draw in the lobby. Dude came up and threw a mop at me and said if i was gonna just hang the fuck around i was gonna fuckin clean. So thats what i did. Every day. Didnt even ask for an apprenticeship. After a year of that he offered me one for being such a stubborn little prick. Was an old biker, american traditional all day and whatever the dumb college girls would see in our magazines. I went on hiatus for couple years after that cuz my son was being born. Sorted my shit out and now ive been tattooing almost 10 years. 

What is your preferred styles(s), and are there any kinds that you prefer not to do? 

Shit thats a fuckin hard one. I dont really think i have a niche i prefer over another. As long as its custom fit for the client and some fun cool artwork im down for it. I do love tattooing pixar and other movie characters that are close to me. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for newschool as well. And neotrad is gorgeous as shit. That being said i dont really do much american traditional or hyper-realism. 

is there any one piece that is your most proudest accomplishment? 

I tattooed my moms foot and she didnt kick my head in so that was nice. Thanks mom, love you lol. 

I hate to be that guy who asks people about their own tattoos, but… Hey, can you tell us a little bit about your own tattoos?

They’re all path of life tattoos (for the most part, exnay the camel toe and brain slugs). And most revolve around demi-goddesses of different religions/mythologies. Essentially warning/reminding me of the different, less than great, qualities lot of women have that in my haste I may overlook while, ummm, “courting” women haha. 

What other creative outlets do you have? 

Besides tattooing? I airbrush, oil paint, charcoal, body paint models for shoots, and this new fangled ipad pro is the tits for drawing digitally.

When in Spokane, call 509 • 327 • 2333 and book an appointment. Visit Garland Tattoo & Piercing’s Facebook Page.

Undergust words it best… “Music is a form of art, without owners, without frontiers, without ideological or social barriers. A way of expressing what we want to add during the short time we are in this difficult place. Prejudice, intolerance, and hatred have no place here”. This Brazilian hardcore band knows where they stand. Now, you will too!

Tell us about your current lineup and how Undergust became a band


S: The current lineup is Samuel Vieira (vocals), Fábio Gonçalves (Bass), Robson Silva (Guitars) and Gabriel Kemmerich (drums). The band emerged in mid-October / 2015 through a project devised by vocalist Samuel. After the beginning of the band there was a complete change, leaving only Samuel of the original formation.

What is the hardcore scene like in Sao Paulo, and where do bands typically play shows at?

S: The scene is strong and wide, having several segments from Hardcore / Crossover, Thrash to Punk. In 2016 several concert halls ended the activities, and we have now seen the resurgence of smaller gigs in studios.


What bands / artists have you found to be influential to your sound?

S: Cro Mags, Napalm Death, No Innocent Victim, Antidemon, Ação Direta, Crucified, Madball.

Undergust has a pretty strong belief system concerning social issues. Tell us about that.

S: We try to be as transparent and as frank as possible with our audience and this includes a concordance of what we say in the lyrics with what we live. Hardcore does not allow lies or falsehoods. We are a true family and we live it every day. We help each other, we pray together, we laugh and play, we compose, we rehearse and we travel to play in different gigs, and that includes our faith in God where we seek strength and inspiration to face the daily struggles we have.

What are some of your favorite Undergust lyrics, and why?

S: Irrational Behavior, title song of the EP, that sums up very well the idea and concept of the EP, criticizing how society behaves in an irrational, prejudiced and separatist way.

What future plans do you have for the band?

S: Our main target is to record a full album still this year of 2017, and a tour through Europe in 2018.

Where can we pick up your albuns and merchandise?

In our page http://www.fb.com/undergust and the site of our seal in Brazil, http://www.miltentativasrecords.com

Thanks for the music so far. Any final words for the readers?

S: We believe and understand that music is an art form, therefore, it is a form of expression, free, without owners, without barriers, without dogmas. Through it, we express what we believe, live, and our worldview. Everyone is welcome here, regardless of what you believe or how you live. We are totally against any kind of prejudice and discrimination. We believe that all are equal and deserve to live in equal conditions, regardless of color, social class, religion, ideology, sexual choice or nationality. Everyone has the same rights and we must all respect each other.

Let’s do our part, add something in this life, add something around. If we are not the solution, we are part of the problem … Respect, love who is around you, promote peace, do your part! Greetings and respect, we are the Undergust Hardcore Family. Welcome! God bless you all! We thanks a lot you Jason and Smash for the support, all the people who have helped us on this journey and God for giving us strength to face the daily struggles.

Stop in at Undergust Facebook Page and let em know you’re listening!

Central Florida ain’t just Mickey Mouse and droves of sunburnt tourists. Orlando hosts Florida’s most brutal noise known to man… Nailed Shut.

Tell us about the origins of Nailed Shut

P: Nailed Shut started out in 2013 when I moved back to Orlando from South Florida. Basically rented out a storage unit and started jammin with friends from the hardcore scene. From there we started playing shows and getting our name out there.

How do you describe your music to people who have never heard you yet?

P: We described our sound as a hardcore band with a heavier tuning than normal, with alot of tempo changes and just in your face heavy fuckin music.


What steered you guys in the direction of playing Beat down?

P: We’re all big fans of beatdown and heavy hardcore. Pretty much we’re playing our favorite kinda music with a no bullshit attitude. Our music is straight to the point and we love to see the kids go fuckin crazy when we play.


How long have you been playing drums and what’s your equipment of choice?

P: I’ve been playing drums for a little over ten years. I have a pearl 4 piece kit. I use Tama iron cobra double pedals and have pretty much every cymbal brand on my kit. Also my kit is about 30 percent duct tape, with nails and screws holding it all together.

What other drummers have you been influenced by?

P: Drummers I’ve been influenced by are Mark Castillo from Bury Your Dead, the drummer from Recon, and Chris Adler from Lamb Of God.


You guys have been getting on some decent tickets lately. What are some of the band’s you’ve been sharing the stage with lately?

P: Yea man we’ve been getting on some pretty big shows, a lot of thanks to our vocalist Glenn and our bassist Brice for having the hookup with the bigger promoters in Orlando. Bands we’ve played with Madball, All Out War, CDC, Life After Death, Bodysnatcher, Left Behind, Drowning, Danny Greene, Cold Existence, Taste The Steel, Cold Reign and a ton others that I can’t think of at the moment.

Any final words you want to leave us with?

P: Just wanna say thanks for the interview and to keep an eye out for Nailed Shut in a city near you.

Visit Nailed Shut at Nailed Shut Facebook Page and let em know you’re listening.

Chris Suspect: Photography

Interview by: Dan Tope

“Punk rock in America’s capitol as chronicled in the photography of Chris Suspect”

Can you tell us a little about yourself and what first got you into photography?
C: My interest in photography started around the same time I got into punk rock music at age 14. I really liked a lot of the images bands were using for album covers and flyers. For example, the first time I saw a Diane Arbus photo was when I purchased a record by S.N.F.U. from Canada. They had the boy with the hand grenade image for the cover and the album was called “… And No One Else Wanted to Play.” I think they got called on it and had to change the cover for subsequent releases.

Later on when I joined my first punk band The Suspects as a bass player a friend of ours John Fox used a lot of photography for our fliers. This inspired me to go to the library to browse photobooks and then make copies of the photos I liked for flyers as well. I was primarily interested in the work of Arthur “Weegee” Felig because his images lended themselves to great promotional posters for the kind of music we played. It wasn’t until 15 years later that I picked up a point and shoot camera to capture the birth of my son, Strummer. Often I would go out on my own and try to recreate the style of images I used to see on the records and flyers I used to love. After posting work on Flickr and seeing what other people were doing I decided to get more serious and started to pursue photography by enrolling in a color photography class as a continuing education student at the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.

You play/played with the Suspects a great punk band from DC, what kind of a transition was it from playing in a band to photographing them?
C: I have to say, playing in a band first before you do photography gives you amazing insight into what to look for when taking photos of bands and the audiences that see them. You can anticipate all kinds of things visually because of your musical experience. You know for example what people are likely going to do during a breakdown. Or, you know, because of the rhythm of the song, when the guitar player is likely to leap in the air – even if you haven’t seen them before. I also have to say photography in its act of taking photos is not too dissimilar from playing an instrument. You find a groove and ideally get into the zen of it and make the magic happen. It’s the point where you become one with your craft. The famous french street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was a big fan of the book Zen in the Art of Archery by German philosophy professor Eugen Herrigel. In this book Herrigel discusses his struggles to master archery. By the end he realizes how through years of practice, a physical activity can become effortless both mentally and physically. I think most accomplished musicians and photographers have experienced this moment, so I don’t really think there was a big transition for me. Instead of playing bass I am now playing a camera if you will.

What are some of the struggles with taking well composed photos in chaotic environments like punk shows?
C: As one of the original founders of Magnum Robert Capa used to say, if your photos aren’t good enough you aren’t getting close enough. In the case of punk and hardcore shows you really need to get close to the band, even if that means being in a crazy ass mosh pit with your gear. So essentially you need to become part of the audience to get those killer shots. Getting good composition can be hit or miss as you can imagine. However, like all things, practice helps a lot. Often times I don’t even need to look through the viewfinder because I am that familiar with how my camera works, the angle of my wrist and the power of my flash. 

What are the elements of a great photo?

C: There are so many elements that can make a great photo. The solution to that problem is to apply the elements that you think may work in a given situation, and this has to be done in a split second really. The best way to learn this is to study photos and photobooks to learn why a great photo is what it is and then ideally recall those ideas when you are composing your shot. Unfortunately there are no elements that work in all cases. Sure being in focus is a great start, but sometimes being out of focus can actually convey mood and energy much better than a perfectly frozen moment. Truly great photos are usually great because the elements that make them work are unique to that image and can’t be easily replicated. I don’t think I answered your question, but I would seriously dismiss someone who says they can answer this one definitively.

What are some of your favorite photos, and why?
 C: This photo was taken at the Anarchist Inaugural Ball during the second inauguration of Obama.

What I like best about this image is that the singer Brian from Catharsis is displayed twice due to my use of flash with shutter drag. On the left his arms are extended like the wings of an angel on the right his arms are down and he looks more like a skeleton or the devil if you can imagine. It’s a great juxtaposition which is further enforced by the tattoos of the scorpion and heart with wings on his chest. The shutter drag effect also gives this a sense of movement and urgency. I was ecstatic when I first saw this shot. And it’s still one of my favorites, especially when printed large.

This image if from a small club in Baltimore taken during the Turbojugend East Coast Festival. The band Apocalypse Dudes is a Turbonegro cover band from Richmond, Va. In this image the singer on the right is holding the mic up while the audience sings along. What I really like about this one is that it was taken very close and every inch of the frame is filled with information, especially on the left side where you see layers of hands in the air going all the way to the back of the room. This is balanced on the right with the black linbes on the singer’s face. One of the hands is holding a cigarette which is pretty funny. I guess you could still smoke in bars in Maryland in 2012.

 One thing that I enjoy shooting at shows is the audience. Often times they’re more fun to watch than the band. This one was taken at a house called the Dougout that used to have weekly shows all the time. Here we have another photo using layers. I like how we have two faces close up on the left and right side of the frame and then in the center we have 4 faces in succession going from back to front. It’s a really nicely composed image that allows your eyes to scan everywhere, but you ultimately keep coming back to the center to the gentleman in the SSD t-shirt.
You have been documenting the DC punk scene for years, so how have you scene it change over the years? And do you have pictures that illustrate this change?

C: I have been photographing the scene since 2010 and it hasn’t really changed much from then till now. The main difference for me is that there are now more photographers at shows it seems. Plus many are using off-camera flash – something I started doing back in 2011. So the only difference you see in photos really are more photographers in the front row! LOL. Honestly, the scene seemed smaller back in 2010 and since the advent of Damaged City Fest it is now a bit larger. There are more shows and more kids involved. However, before I started taking photos at shows, I had been part of the DC scene since 1984. My first show was at WUST Hall (currently the new 9:30 club space) with Naked Raygun and TSOL. Since that time the scene has ebbed and flowed, although it was totally dead in the early 90’s. There really weren’t any punk or hardcore bands of note at that point. From 93-97 the scene did pick up a lot and there has always been bands around since then. The other big difference is that DC has seen a ton of gentrification since the late 90s and with that has come a lot more places to play, including the house show scene. Back in the 80’s and 90’s there were really only a few clubs or spaces you could see a punk band at. You could literally count them on one hand at any given point in time. Now there are so many places where people play shows it is impossible to keep track. And that’s a great thing. Right now DC is ripe for music of all kinds. It’s really awesome

What are some of the bands you have photographed?

C: I’ve shot a lot of bands, but for me it has never been about which band I have shot or what “famous” person I’ve captured. I photograph to see how well I can make a photograph. That’s my driving force. I am also interested in all the parts that go into having a show, so half the time I am shooting people in the audience or outside the venue. Perhaps this can be viewed as a more holistic approach to music photography. I view the crowd and the space they are in as being just as essential as the band. Some of my favorite photos from shows have no bands in them.

Where have your photos been displayed?
C: My punk photos have travelled the world. I had a major exhibit in 2014 in Germany at Photokina. In 2015, the same exhibit was featured in Tblisi, Georgia (the country, not the state) at the National Georgian History Museum. The book I published, Suspect Device, was featured in Doom Gallery in London. And a collection of these images are in the archives of the Leica Galerie, as well as the DC Public Library archives. Many of these photos have also been shown locally at various places in DC.

Do you have any advice for people interested in getting into photography? 
C: Yes, the most important thing you can do is learn about the history of photography and the theories and philosophies behind many of the photo movements and genres. You need to also research and find photobooks of the photographers you gravitate to and others whom you may want to understand better, even if you don’t “get” them. You want to know what is it that makes these photographers great. While you are doing this be out there taking photos and develop your own style. You need to ask yourself, what can I bring to this ongoing visual conversation in the photographic arts that’s unique and new?

Do you have a book or where can people find your work?

 C: Yes, I have a book called Suspect Device that has sold out twice now. Unfortunately, you can’t find it. I do have photos in a new book called UnPresidented that documents the 3 days around the Trump inauguration. It’s a collection of work by 20 plus different photographers. It came out really well.

Follow Chris on:

Blog: http://www.suspectdevice.net

Instagram: @gratuity_included

Well, this concludes MEGA Issue #10. Thanks a million to everyone involved and to those who support this zine.

Take care, ALL 

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