Soundwave Festival. I love this fest. If you ask any band or any crew person, they will say this is their favorite festival tour. I did it last year with Of Mice & Men, and this year I was with A Day To Remember. It was a totally different experience this year which I enjoyed all the same. The way Soundwave works is you basically travel, live, and play with a group of bands. In each city, there are maybe…. errrr 5 different hotels everyone stays at, and the bands are tiered off and split between them.
Last year I was with maybe 10 different bands I knew, and we partied every night and hung out everyday. This year, we were with one other band I knew. A Day To Remember was billed pretty high up, so we were with the other bands of similar, or larger size. Korn, AFI, Rob Zombie, Avenged Sevenfold, Alice in Chains, Alter Bridge, Jimmy Eat World and Green Day. I didn’t know this the first day, but it because apparently when I ended up working out next to Davey Havok for an hour. One day I went to the gym and Rob Zombie and his wife were working out there as well. I thought it was cool, couldn’t have predicted I would ever have been in those situations, my 13-year-old self would have flipped shit.
Anyway, this year I stuck with A Day To Remember 100% of the time. I did the same with Of Mice & Men, but the difference was – Of Mice & Men hung out with a lot of different bands. A Day To Remember didn’t really keep to themselves by choice, but when they weren’t playing shows, doing press, or traveling in-between them, they were getting lunch of working out. Basically all time off was devoted to bettering themselves as people so that they could do their occupation best they could. Respect the band a lot for staying on top of their shit. Some people get to their point and start to relax/ let go- they just take it as a time to push harder.
2/21/2014 – Brisbane, QLD – Off Day with A Day To Remember 2/22/2014 – Brisbane, QLD – Soundwave Festival With A Day To Remember – RNA Showgrounds 2/23/2014 – Sydney, NSW – Soundwave Festival With A Day To Remember – Olympic Park 2/24/2014 – Sydney, NSW – Press Day with A Day To Remember 2/25/2014 – Sydney, NSW – Sidewave with A Day To Remember – UNSW Roundhouse 2/26/2014 – Melbourne, VIC – Photo Shoot with A Day To Remember 2/27/2014 – Melbourne, VIC – Sidewave with A Day To Remember – The Forum 2/28/2014 – Melbourne, VIC – Soundwave Festival With A Day To Remember – Flemington Racecourse 3/1/2014 – Adelaide, SA – Soundwave Festival With A Day To Remember – Bonython Park 3/2/2014 – Perth, WA – Off Day with A Day To Remember 3/3/2014 – Perth, WA – Soundwave Festival With A Day To Remember – Claremount Showgrounds 3/4/2014 – Perth, WA – Off Day 3/5/2014 – Perth, WA – Off Day 3/6/2014 – Perth, WA => London, United Kingdom – Travel Day
I love Australia. The natural light it offers is irreplaceable and I feel like it really shows in my images. My candids really improve when the guys do more candid activities in daylight. We might do things on regular tours, but its usually after the sun goes down and at a bar close by. In Australia, we actually did things!
2/22/2014 – Brisbane, QLD – RNA Showgrounds
First day of Soundwave was great. Another change this year was that we had our own driver everywhere we went. So if we wanted to do anything, ever- we just had to ask. When I say we, I really mean the band. I was never the one making requests (obviously) but if they did, I tagged along. The only time I would go shoot another band was if ADTR was watching them, or if ADTR was doing some kind of press where I wasn’t needed.
THIS WAS MY FAVORITE THING EVER. A Day To Remember, well, Jeremy, requested that people surf on top of a crowd surfer every day for one song. It was so fun to put on telephoto lens and play snipe the surfer. I got some of my absolute favorite images I have ever gotten and some of the people in them found the shot online and they were so stoked.
2/23/2014 – Sydney, NSW – Olympic Park
One thing I really try to focus on when shooting a live show is getting good light. I feel as though quite a few photographers either a) don’t know or b) don’t care about good light when shooting a live show. I get it (I think I get it) you captured a moment- you can’t pass it up. So the light is shitty, BUT, the moment is still there. Sure I understand that sometimes you can’t pass images up. But most of the time I think that there is just no excuse. I love these outdoor festivals because almost all of my images have nice lighting :), especially for the time slot that ADTR was playing everyday *heehee*
Another thing I love about outdoor festivals is I am able to shoot with very fast shutter speeds. Fast shutter speeds mean really long focal lengths! Which means close up on stage portraits. My favorite thing to do (recently). When I shoot other artists at these festivals I am doing it just for fun. I don’t sell the images, it is just for me. So, because of this, I can spend the whole set trying to get one image, or I can spend 2 minutes, get one image, and be done. I like to think of these photos as ‘Onstage Portraits’.
3/1/2014 – Adelaide, SA – Soundwave Festival – Bonython Park
3/2/2014 – Perth, WA – Off Day
3/3/2014 – Perth, WA – Soundwave Festival – Claremont Showgrounds
3/4/2014 – Perth, WA – Off Day
I spent a few days hanging out in Perth after the tour was over. I do this as much as I can, when I can. I feel like the whole “been everywhere, seen nothing” motto is much too true for me sometimes, so I try to see when I can. Our Last Night (another band on Soundwave) was nice enough to invite me with them and a band from the area showed us around/ gave us a place to stay.
3/5/2014 – Perth, WA – Off Day
3/6/2014 – Perth, WA => London, United Kingdom – Travel Day