An evening with Trent Reznor and friends.
It really wasn’t all that long ago, that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I knew that I had an understanding for computers, and that I could make a career with I/T. I’ve done that. I love my career, and even that was hard to get into. That said, I always wanted something to balance that out. I wanted.. an outlet.
Once I was old enough to understand who my father was, I became curious about the music business. I only got to see him play live once, before he died, and the above picture was one of the only that I got that was in focus enough for me to even want to post. Despite that I didn’t know what I was doing, nor that it would later be a real passion in my life, it will always be a special moment, because it was one of the only times we were together in the same room as adults.
When going to post the images from this week, I’m reminded of this day, because it’s where this part of my journey began. I never knew I wanted to photograph musicians and artists. I always had a love and appreciation for the craft, because it’s in my blood. I lack any and all musical talent, but music, and the art that it is, will always have a place in my heart.n It’s important not to forget where we began, just because of where we’re going.
I still have some of the first CDs I ever purchased when I was in my teens. Several of those, are NIN albums. Since I was young, I had always loved the music. It lives in this hybrid genre of electronic, and rock, two of my favorites for as long as I can remember.
A few weeks ago, I approached my good friend Bill who is perhaps the largest Nine Inch Nails fan on the planet. He had once told me a story about how he got to interview Trent Reznor for a message board that he was an admin of. Since then, he’s attending more NIN shows than concerts I’ve been to as a whole, in my entire life. He’s a true fan. I had made a joke that if he happened to reach out to Trent Reznor again, since he was going to be at a number of shows in the near future, to ask if it would be all right for me to get a few photos. I had shot a few shows, and put some of it on this site, so that artists would know I had some experience if I ever was trying to shoot more.
As it turns out, Bill did reach out to Trent, who is notorious for being both down to earth, and reasonable, despite his worldwide fame. Within one hour, we received word from the bands marketing team that I would be given credentials to shoot the show. At this moment, what was about to happen, didn’t really sink in. I found out days later after speaking with them, that I would also be given sole access to shoot the entire show, on both days while they were here in town. Typically artists only allow pictures to be taken for the first three songs. However, they were going to allow me the freedom and privilege to shoot the entire show. I was blown away, humbled, and even a little bit nervous.
Each night opened with Daniel Avery, a talented DJ out of the UK. I was happy to see a bit of electronic music opening the night. Unfortunately I was a bit late arriving both days, so I missed most of it, but if you’re reading this.. definitely check out his work. After that, a group that needs less of an introduction took the stage. The Jesus and Mary Chain is another act from the UK that has been around for decades. They have reunited as of 2007 and will be finishing out the tour with NIN on the remainder of the Cold And Black And Infinite tour.
Prior to NIN taking the stage, the room began to fill with fog. NIN is a visually interesting group because of their usage of lights, and fog. These things coupled with the raw, industrial talent of everyone on stage, makes for one of the greatest live shows that I’ve ever had the privilege of being a part of.
About halway through the first night, Trent stopped the music for a moment to ask the crowd if there was anyone present that had voted for Ted Cruz. I won’t give any political opinions here, as this isn’t the forum. That said he goes on to tell a story about how he tried to get on the guest list. It’s actually pretty hilarious for those that missed this. Definitely give it a google for a laugh, regardless of how you voted.
As artists, creators, or really anybody.. we all have moments in our lives that are memorable. We have moments that we refer to as being on the bucket list; that list of things we have that we want to accomplish before we take our last breath. In the grand scheme of things, I’m pretty new to this business. Getting to be a part of these two shows was on my bucket list. Getting to photograph these iconic artists at their prime, and having the creative freedom to get the images I envisioned, was both a privilege and a gift.
This week, one of my dreams came true. I’m truly proud of what I was able to capture at these shows, and I can only hope that these artists agree. I owe a great deal of thanks to my good friend Bill for believing in me enough to make this happen. I also want to thank Talia and the team over at Silvia Artist Management, who were nothing but extremely helpful. Lastly, props to the security team over at Toyota Music Factory, Jerome Crooks, and of course, the one and only Trent Reznor for allowing me to be a part of these special nights. I will never forget it.