I was on the train from Toronto to Montreal to photograph my friends Tegan and Sara for their next record, So Jealous, when I got a text from Sara: “We might be out when you get here because we're trying to find a place to print out a huge tiger for the shoot”.
Huge tiger print? I started feeling very unprepared. I had a few simple ideas for portraits but hadn't given much thought to props or backgrounds because the plan was just to shoot in Sara’s apartment.
Tegan, Sara and Emy Storey who art directs most (if not all) of their album art and merch had built background flats, covering them in various wallpapers and handwritten song lyrics. They also brought a bunch of props including irons hanging from the ceiling, which is something I never would have thought of, and they worked so well. Oh and the giant tiger print!
They had pretty much transformed the apartment into a photography studio. I put my underpreparedness (not a word) behind me and explored everything they created. We shot for a full day and never ran out of interesting setups.
From the very beginning I noticed how completely in charge T&S are of their careers. They know what they want and how make it happen better than anyone I know. I've always marveled at their creativity, professionalism and integrity when it comes to their business and their art. Including their decision to title their second full-length album “The Business Of Art” when they were only 19.
Tegan and Sara, I love you and and everything you've created and can't wait to see what's next!
Just one year after releasing their debut album, Billy Talent were one of the most popular bands on the main stage at Warped Tour. They were in their element and it was so fun to watch.
I hadn't shot a Warped Tour show in a few years and this was my first time being there with a band as opposed to just having a media pass. Actually I think this was the year I travelled on The (International) Noise Conspiracy's bus. Side story, we went out pretty late in Quebec City and got back just in time for the tour buses to drive to Montreal.
At Warped Tour, the bands that aren't headlining the main stages get their set times assigned by lottery the day of the show. And the morning after our big night out, a knock on the bus door woke us up at 11:30am to deliver the news “You're on at noon!”. And it was pouring rain.
Of course The INC killed it as usual, and because the stage they played on was close to the gates, loads of people stopped to watch as they filed in. The last slide is singer Dennis Lyxzen standing ON the crowd towards the end of their set. Thanks, Lana for telling me to turn around to get this photo! (I was still a little foggy from Quebec City).
Back to Billy Talent... It was so cool to see how quickly their fanbase grew once their record came out. This was my first time seeing them play an outdoor festival and in these photos you can see how nuts the crowds went for them. It's hard to imagine anything bigger, but in 2005 they reached an even higher level. Stay tuned...
This is from a shoot I did with The Cardigans behind Lee's Palace in Toronto for Hobo Magazine.
Not much of a story behind it, as it was a quick one, but it gives me the opportunity to tell a story about the time we met in Vancouver in 1997 and possibly made history.
Around the time they released their very successful album First Band On The Moon in 1996, I had started an online magazine called SODA. I started SODA because I was looking for a publication to consistently publish my work, and since not every magazine in the area loved the same bands as me, I solved the problem by starting my own.
My computer genius friend Slaven convinced me to make it an online magazine since there would be no printing costs and the distribution would be World-wide. Only problem is I didn't have a computer or any idea how the internet worked. It was 1996. I don't even think people could get their own custom .com domain yet because mine was www.vvv.com/~soda
So I bought a laptop and Slaven got me started. I owe him big time for that!
In May 1997 The Cardigans came to Vancouver and I reached out to do an interview with the band. Slaven suggested something even more cutting edge: a Live Chat... A what now??
I did some research and found The Web Cafe in Vancouver and they agreed to host the event. They'd only been in business for a couple of months and it was definitely the first one I'd ever been to.
The Cardigans all sat around one computer and chatted with their fans for two hours! It was incredible! The last slide is a screenshot of the intro page on SODA describing the livestream. You can tell by my writing how new this experience was for everyone. Hilarious.
We even got local and national TV coverage because camera crews were there to cover the band being presented with a Gold Record so it was a pretty exciting time all around.
I want to thank The Cardigans for being forward-thinking and taking the time to be a part of this groundbreaking experiment!