One blustery Saturday winter morning a few months ago I packed up my camera gear and headed to the beautiful Welsh coastline to the amazing little Llanddwyn island in Anglesey with my good buddies and incredible band The Mekkits to shoot some images for their upcoming album.
The lads had specified that they wanted one image for the inside of the inlay card of the album and that they would all be dressed in togas (explanation coming up!) by the sea, but other than this they were really relaxed about exactly how the images would work out and were happy to take on board any ideas and see what happened on the day! As a creative bunch themselves they had lots of their own ideas too so together we just pooled our ideas, played around with them and rampaged all over the island for an hour! The results are below, and the one they ended up going with for the album is the title image above, also choosing one of the others below for a gig poster.
They are releasing their debut double-sided album titled Pompeii/Vesuvius on Monday 28th May 2012, so the Ancient Roman album title inspired the togas, which they also used for their first video release from the album, Brave Little Boy (easily the most insane video I have seen for quite some time, love it!) On that day they also filmed a video for another song from the album, End of the World Blues, and I took some documentary behind-the-scenes pictures of this as it was EPIC! I don’t want to give too much away but it involved the ocean and waterproof camera housing…! The video is being released in a week or two, so I’ll blog these images with a link to the video as soon as it comes out – it will be well worth seeing I promise!
The shoot was a challenge for me photographically, as I’d not done a proper band shoot as such before, any music photography I’ve done before has been completely documentary. So faced with five strapping lads to direct I was really nervous that I’d be able to do a good job for them. Added to this was the fact that due to the image being for an inlay card, the final image had to have a 2:1 side ratio, so it was an extra consideration cropping the top and bottom off the image in my head whilst shooting to make sure that it would work in a more panoramic format. But it was SUCH good fun and one of my favourite days at work ever. The lads are so much fun, easy-going, creative and patient. Despite being stood in a Welsh winter wearing nothing but a sheet, they trampled around barefoot all over the place, over sharp rocks, rough undergrowth and even in the freezing Atlantic ocean.
Please do go and check them out – they are absolutely brilliant and are holding an epic album launch party on Friday 25th May 2012 in the St. Philip with St. Stephen Church in Salford, Manchester. You can buy tickets here and each ticket purchase buys you entry to the gig itself, plus entry to the after-party in the Northern Quarter, PLUS a copy of the double-album on the night. Hard to argue with that really! If you need any more persuasion, check out their amazing reviews – very well deserved praise.
Amazing lads, amazing musicians and most importantly to me, amazing friends. I can’t wait for the launch gig and am so excited to see the culmination of all their hard work – they really do deserve all the recognition and support they can get. Love them!