Geek party at Arnolds….
10 questions to never ask a transgender person by Laura Jane Grace
I could not be more exited to share this cover with the world. (available now) The first metal band I ever got into was Metallica, and the surreal opportunity to fly out and photograph Kirk and Gary (of Slayer and Exodus) at comicon was incredible. This is absolutely a milestone for me, as a photographer, who is also a fan, to get to work with someone who first inspired me to pick up a guitar when I was a kid, who got me into metal and music and into the world im in now. Still surreal… check out the full story below
Kirk and Gary shoot
I wake up around 7am in Los Angeles and throw my gear in the car and start the trek to San Diego at 8, hoping to get there around noon (3 hours before my shoot, ample time to scout and set up prior to the actual shoot). It ends up taking close to 1 and driving around looking for parking for about 30 minutes. Due to it being Comicon, most lots and garages were full, despite their hefty $50-$80 price tag for the days parking. I have my assistant drop me off at the venue with the gear so I can get a start while she continues looking for parking. She arrives just 10 minutes later having found metered parking directly across the street from the venue, which was a miracle as I was hearing horror stories from everyone else who paid up to $100 to park that day.
I was shocked when I saw the size of this club, at best it could maybe hold 250-300 people very uncomfortably. We found the only spot we could possibly do the shoot which was a small walk way between two couches. Three set ups: on the couch, on the walkway, and the red column opposite the walkway. There was barely enough room for the lighting, but we made it work. While we were setting up, Scion was building an elaborate talk show set with 10-20 lights, as they were recording their scion talk show and doing interviews with the performers that night.
As you can imagine, schedules change drastically the day of a hectic show. The idea was to shoot exodus at 330 and kirk with gary at 345, and be done by soundcheck at 4.
Suffice to say, that did not happen. And here is where I start to sweat.
Im all set up and ready to go, as you have to be in these situations, and exodus came in around 4pm, however they needed to get their gear ready and prep for soundcheck, but they couldn’t soundcheck while the talk show was being recorded as they needed complete silence while shooting video.
While we waited, special guests started to show up such as Mark from Death Angel Rob from Metallica, and Doug from Kings X. they all started talking about shows they played in the 80s together, trouble they ran into… essentially war stories where everyone was laughing and of course going over the set list for the night.
So kirk comes in and says hi to everyone then does his talk show appearance, as he was on a tight schedule with comicon panels and such.
Kirk left to go do a comicon panel and we knocked out the Exodus photo shoot, shooting in all three locations just before they hand their soundcheck.
Exodus did their soundcheck while I was scrambling figuring out how I was going to keep Gary at the venue for his shoot, while the rest of the band was able to go out until the show. I told Gary the situation, that we would have to do the shots of him and Kirk together when he returned. He was super nice about it, understood, and obliged.
After soundcheck the scion tv crew was doing back to back interviews that required dead silence, they did kirk and exodus, but then had interviews with skaters, hip hop performers, that went right up almost to doors. I had no idea how they were going to break down the entire set before doors opened at 8, but even worse, I had no idea if I would be able to get the shots of Kirk with Gary if they needed complete silence and the time to shoot was just moments away.
And then like a flash everything falls into place. Kirk arrives and starts going over the set with the exodus guys and the special guests, laughing and having conversations, like a family reunion. You could tell there was a special history between everyone that took the stage that night. Kirk and Gary especially.
I went over and got Kirk and Gary for the shoot, they were joking and laughing with each other, talking about some bad shows they played (and some good ones) back in the day. A lot of “remember that time we played…” etc.
Lights up. Camera up. I start shooting and they go into game mode, knowing exactly how to pose with each other and have fun with the shots. You can tell they both had a strong respect for one another to go along with a long history of playing music.
We knock out the shoot, break down all the equipment, pack it up, and its close till doors. Scions entire set disappeared behind us while we were shooting. Kirk takes the stage to soundcheck with gary, mark, tom, and some of the other special guests that night, and the people in the venue (who at this point were all VIP/industry) were already so excited just for the soundcheck.
Everyone is there from Kerry King, Brian Slagel, Monte Pittman, Maria Ferrero, and a whos who from behind the scenes of the metal world.
Doors open and instantly the very small venue gets much smaller. Around 11pm Exodus take the stage and first thing they do is dedicate the set to Paul Baloff. It was amazing to see Zetro back in the band and take the stage as if he had never left it. They played an excellent one hour set, and with out missing a beat, kirk comes out and they start jamming on cover songs and for the next hour and a half, went through not just some metal covers, metallica covers, but also some blues and rock covers as well. The line up on stage was constantly switching with Doug of Kings X, Richard Christy, Rob of Metallica, Mark of Death Angel, and of course the members of Exodus, with Gary and Kirk being on stage for every song.
I pack up and leave San Diego around 230am, stop for some food along the way, and arrive back in Los Angeles around 6am, pack quickly, off to the airport at 7am, and on the plane.
I land in Hartford at 11pm, get my gear prepped for the next morning by around 3am where I would be waking up at 7am to spend the day shooting portraits of Ice-t/Body Count, Korn, Asking Alexandria, Suicide Silence, Ill Nino, Emmure, Miss May I, and a few more. Long day behind, long day ahead, little sleep in the middle. “no rest for the wicked” as they say.
It’s finally here!!! #daveyhavok @herringandherring
These boys are so handsome…