Friday, July 15, 2011
Before we will talk about METALLICA and your book „METALLICA: Club The Dayz, 1982-1984 ”, first I want talk a bit about your person, professional work, curious facts. In the beginning tell, how has been begun your adventure with rock and metal heavy? First fascination, sort of music, favorite band, album, concert...?
Yeah… where to start… I have always loved to photograph, always dug music and always stared at magazines =) So when I was old enough to put all three together… I was a very happy person! The Rock scene of the 1980's gave me the means to do what I loved at the time… ROCK OUT, HELP PROMO BANDS and TAKE A BUNCH OF PHOTOS!!!
And tell about start of your photographing of stars of music? I think, that you started work in „Metal Rendezvous Int.” so fast, am I right? And in this magazine you take a photos professionally, by long years?
To put it in a surfing term… It was Our wave and when the "Big One" comes ya got to ride for all it's worth!!! MRV was at the right time BUT we knew that and wanted to put out the best mag EVER… The timing was right and we had a blast!!!
In this time, when you work in this popular magazine, market of musical press crawled in USA... What do you remember from that those times? It was not internet, informations of music and bands we was dried from radio and magazines like „Metal Rendezvous Int.”. Probably this magazine was very popular and mass reading, respected magazine in USA, hm?
Yeah, it is a real important question! Metal Rendezvous Int. was formed from the need to have a magazine to promote Heavy Metal in the USA… I believe Ron Quintana had Metal Mania a few months before MRV popped out… Brian Slagel had his"The New Heavy Metal Review" before he started Metal Blade, that lasted for 12 issues… But MRV was the HR/HM mag… We really wanted to push all the bands that we loved!!! Yes, before the internet the print word RULED...
Later you worked with other big magazines - „Kerrang!” or „Metal Mania”. Tell about specificity of cooperation with these titles? There were many common features definitely, so can you mention about significant differences?
MRV (Metal Rendezvous Int.) was my main gig… I would see Ron Quintana at gigs and he would ask for pix.. The stuff I did for the other mags was really to help promote the bands I felt were cool and needed a push!!! I really kept my work for my mag...
I`m curious, in your career, you has taken a photos only on concerts and backstage, or also in studio during recording, or in completely private situations (for example on some party), or you took other „affectation” photos for front cover of albums, for press?
Yeah I did the whole lot… album covers, Promo shots… BUT shooting bands, that's what I thought was cool!!! If ya dig deep you will find my work apart from my work with (MRV) Metal Rendezvous Int.
You photographed many known bands, not only METALLICA - BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, QUEEN, AC/DC, WHITESNAKE, DORO, ACCEPT, MOTORHEAD, IRON MAIDEN. Work was with which one was for you the biggest honor, challenge, fun?
Being on stage with Whitesnake at a huge out door show in front of 75,000 screaming fans was a real trip!!! I did a photo session with Doro in LA on top of her recording company building that was COOL and so was Doro… she's great!!! Sabbath with Ian Gillan!!! Bon Scott and seeing Phil Lynott in Thin Lizzy TWICE was amazing!!! It was just great to be able to photograph this time!!!
Or maybe work with some band / person was really hard for you? And you didn`t remember this well? You know, some stars are very strange, eccentric, freakish:- ).
Metal Rendezvous Int. was a very cool mag. Almost every band wanted to be in it… So all the bands were great to work with! It was fun to be on staff with that mag!!!
I think, that you are a friend of this all musicians. With who you had the bast personal contact? About who can you say: great guy, pal, not star of rock? You know, I wonder for example... If Freddie Mercury was such too eccentric beyond the stage? If Alice Cooper is the same crazy guy like in stage show? If Ozzy Osbourne in private life is possessed by devil included:-)? And if some other guy from metal bands is churl and aggressor?
Well, Paul Baloff was the craziest "MOFO" ever!!! No one could match him in the "Over The Top" department!!! I still talk to Dave Mustaine, mainly via email.
Alice Cooper was to cool and very intelligent. David Prichard of ARMORED SAINT was one of my best friends… A very sad day when he died… But, as a whole, all the bands back then were very cool!!! Katon from Hirax… he's like my brother!!! Myspace and Facebook has brought many of the 80's rockers back in touch with me… that's cool to get an email from Graham of Saxon or Pat from the Mama's Boys!!!
METALLICA: The Club Dayz, 1982-1984” was out in 2009. Why exactly now, but not e.g. on some jubilee of the band, or anniversary of your work? Why did you published this old, rare photos after so many years?
Actually the timing was perfect! But I did not intend it that way… ECW Press (publisher of this book) had asked my to produce a book of my Metallica photographs. We started in 2008 and worked for an April 2009 release date. I did not know that Metallica was going to be inducted to the Rock and Roll hall of Fame… or the their latest album would be so good… The Metal Godz just smiled on this project…
If all this photos lies on your private archive and even the band dozen`t has them? Do you have also something else? Other unpublished materials about METALLICA?
Just a few… I will use them in a upcoming Bay Area Thrash book…
Probably emotion squeezed your faces, when you choose this photo, hm? E.g. this from 8.12.1986 with Cliff... Memory came back to you, I think, because you participated in births of legends, so? Do you have some favorite photo(s)?
Yeah, that pic that you are talking about of Cliff and Dave Mustaine… Really, I am the only photographer to get Cliff and Dave together by themselves… twice!!! My face is the one I took right after the last show at the Stone before Dave got "Fired".. Cliff, Dave and I were just walking about, when that photo bug hit, and I snapped two shots off!!! I will not tell you who the girl is in those pix but those in the know, know who she is… I have a lot of face shots… way to many to talk about… That's why I'm putting them in the book form, to share them with the rest of the Metal World…
What it was happen in whole, that you was on this first 6 concert of METALLICA and took a photos? Are you a hobbyist photographer, as somebody from newspaper or in other else way?
I was on assignment from my mag Metal Rendezvous Int.. We knew Lars way before he started Metallica… He would call the office and talk about his new band, when they wrote "Hit The Lights" they (Metallica) played it over the phone for Us. Finally when it came time for the band to gig in San Francisco, We were there. Metallica had that Metal "Spark" and the Bay Area insiders all knew that!!! It was way cool to watch the band grow over the next few months to the Monster band that Metallica became!!!
On this old photos we can see young boys, not older then fans. How they were then? Privately, beyond stage? Timid, with inferiority complex? Or they were proud and determined for success? How got back you then?
HA!!! Lars knew that he wanted to be a ROCK STAR… and just went out and did it!!! James was the shy one, Ron was the normal one, and Mustaine was the Metal one. In fact, Dave put the "Metal" in Metallica!!!
Bill, tell some anecdote about early period of activity related with METALLICA. Probalby you was witness of countless exciting situations with the band, musicians. So tell polish fans something, that anybody knows about that and what aren`t in biographies of the band, hm?
YEAH, BUT then I would have to kill ya, ha… The guys in Metallica were the real thing… What you see was what you got. They lived for Metal. The guys were the same off stage as they were on stage… No posing, just METAL!!!
Probably in the last years you meet face to face guys from METALLICA, in more or less official situations, so? How looked these meetings? You sat down, drank and with smile on mouths reminisced the past?
Saw the band a lot in the 80's… James and Lars a few times in the 90's.. saw Kirk the most… Hammett lives here on Oahu but I have not seen him, we have some mutual friends... It's funny that I last saw the band, all in one place, at a UFO gig in 1996, just before "Load" came out and all the "Glam" hair stuff...
I`m sure that you have your favorite album of METALLICA, write the title... I guess that the biggest sentiment do you have to oldest albums and really thrash period of activity, am I right? Did you follow far the next albums and successes of the band? What do you think about all changes in METALLICA music? Do you accept, tolerate it stylistic changes? Because many old fans completely don`t follow now with the band...
Well my fave is "Master of Puppets". That album is the best album of that time period… "Ride" is great BUT "Masters" just rules!!! A band has to grow and they can really only write songs about the "Head Space" that they are in at the time… Metallica has had a great career! Some fans might not like some albums BUT that's life and the band has to to what they feel is best at the time!!! So cheers to Metallica for lasting this long and STILL KICKING A$$
The autobiography of Dave Mustaine „A Heavy Metal Memoir” was out on early june. With your photos too (22). How pleases it it this publication? What is your opinion?
It's cool, Mustaine's cool… I had photographed him from almost the beginning of his career so it's cool… Dave is one of the founders of his type of Heavy Music, Now he is a Metal God, so, that's cool too….
Do you have other in your publishing possessions other albums with photos? If so, you can advertise it now:-)
As of now, I am in negotiations for my 2nd Metal photo book… it's on Megadeth… I should have six, in total, from my 80's metal vaults…
Now, 30 years later you are on deserved pension surely...? Maybe sometime you still in contact with music world, cooperate with some musicians, take a photos on contacts?
Ha… I never though of that… "Heavy Metal Pension"… I still work with bands right now, I mainly work with Henry Kapono. He is a legendary Hawaiian Rock Star! His latest album is called "The Wild Hawaiian"… Image Jimi Hendrix growing up here in Hawaii, full blooded Hawaiian!!! Check him out http://www.myspace.com/henrykaponothewildhawaiian
What do you think about modern musical scene? Something seems me, that you still like old psychedelic rock bands, and newest bands like KULA SHAKER, hm? However, do you listen from time to time some new albums of young bands? What do you think, if now exists the bands with so charismatic leaders like in `70 years? Do you like someone from young generation of musicians?
I dig new bands like Glyder (Ireland), Muddpiggs (Houston) and The Starz (France) and of course Henry Kapono (Hawaiian Super star)… I'm still on the look out for new bands… but good metal bands that can compete with Megadeth or Metallica or even bands like Deep Purple or UFO are far and few... Ha KULA SHAKER… Crispian Mills (lead Singer) is the son of actress Hayley Mills and his aunt is Juliet Mills so he comes form British acting Royalty and the band was cool…. as well, dig the Australian band The Church amigos others ...
I have found information on your profile MySpace, that you live live on Island in the middle of the sea (Hawaii). Tell something more about this fabulous place. How this place affects on your mind, perception of world, relations with other people?
Hawaii is a real cool place! The people, it's culture, the weather and yes the beaches… To borrow a phrase… It's a "Place" with a capitol "P"... We do have a few metal bands one of the best is Corrupt Absolute (http://www.facebook.com/corruptabsolute)
Thanks for interview. All the best for you!
Cheers for the time… Here's my blog spot… http://metallicatheclubdayz1982-84.blogspot.com/ Keep it Heavy ~ Make it METAL
Atmospheric Magazine on myspace
Atmospheric Magazine on myspace