Artist Profile: Jechtography

Jechtography
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Welcome to Will Not Fade’s Artist Profile series, where we take a look into the people in the music scene who aren’t necessarily musicians.

Jechtography

Jechtography

Who are you?

Hey! I’m Jecht and I run my own photography business Jechtography! I officially settled on the name while on tour with two Battle Of The Bands grand winners and since then I’ve shot seven international acts and 70 kiwi musicians and bands, most of them multiple times! If the name Jechtography seems familiar, it’ll be because of the many musicians and bands currently flaunting the photos I’ve taken of them on social media haha.

 

How did you start off doing photography?

It all started when I was taking snaps of my brother’s band Pale Lady with a cracked phone lens, at the time I very rarely took photography seriously apart from making the odd Instagram post. From there I started to go to more and more local music gigs and decided I’d need to invest in some better hardware, so I bought a brand new Sony A6000 and self-taught myself to where I am 10 months later!

 

Why do you photograph musicians?

I believe it’s mainly due to the influence of going to see my bro play live. I rarely went out to check the local scene beforehand and it think it was the exposure to seeing the raw talent oozing out of the Wellington scene lately that occupies most of my photography ventures lately. I’ve branched out and done a wedding and some photo shoots since starting Jechtography, but there’s a special active component with photographing musicians in a lively venue that you can’t get anywhere else, a special symbiosis between the performer and the photographer where you’re doing your best to capture and preserve the energy and emotions they’re expressing.

 

Film or Digital?

I would like to try out film sometime in the future, and upon thinking more on this question I do wish I tried taking up Photography as well as Art when I was at college (I remember we had a darkroom, so that implies film was taught right?)… but ultimately I’ve only ever had access to Digital hardware, and for now I want to shoot music gigs exclusively in digital. I’m a rather trigger-happy type of person and I want to be able to transfer shots to my phone within the same night for quick post-processing work.

 

Colour or Black and White?

Tough question. Easy answer is both, I love keeping shots in colour when the lighting crew or venues have a really cool setting to work with, and when the moment calls for it like when I want to draw attention to a facial emotion through a close-up or if there are great textures in the shot then I’ll pare it down to B & W. There is a hard answer though, and that’s when I really want to salvage a perfect moment like an iconic pose or an intimate crowd exchange, yet the photo is overblown with harsh red or blue light. I try to avoid those situations as much as possible on the fly with ISO/ShutterSpeed/AF settings but these moments don’t wait for you, you have to chase and make to with what you can get. For those photos, I begrudgingly almost always go to B & W.

 

What has been your highlight so far as a photographer?

I’ve had to reanswer this a few times sooooo honorable mentions go to Thom of Villainy saying my shot of him surrounded in gold confetti was one of this favourite shots of all time and Jon Toogood giving me a massive signal boost from an awesome acoustic show.
As for my highlight so far, I’ve got to give it to my time touring with Blue River Baby, a Wellington based Rock Soul Funk band that asked me to go on a nationwide tour as their tour photographer! I had a great time getting to know the band members, meeting new people within the industry and gaining the experience and the do’s and don’ts of touring life! It’s definitely something I’d want to do again.

Thom from Villainy, taken moments after giving me a nod to denote something BIG was gonna happen

Thom from Villainy, taken moments after giving me a nod to denote something BIG was gonna happen

What band would you most love to photograph?

My mind says Slipknot, my heart says Lacuna Coil. Both have great stage presence from what I’ve seen and I’d love to capture the grit from their makeup and costumes they proudly portray and change up every album release. This is supposed to be a single answer question so I’ll just lock in Lacuna Coil!

 

Have you got a favourite venue?

Whichever one has the better lighting!!! Jokes aside, Valhalla in Wellington is essentially my second home at this point. There’s no photographer pit so getting in close for a high profile band is tricky, especially when you’re trying to keep a steady hand with a lower shutter speed to compensate for low lighting (Korpiklanni was a cascade of dreadlock whippings for example) but it’s really great for seeing local legends in the making like PL, ELK, DSE etc.

 

What do you consider your most essential piece of equipment?

I don’t think eyes would count for a suitable answer so I’ll have to say my earplugs. I can work without my tripod, I can work with only one of my few lenses but I need to preserve my hearing when I’m forced to stick near a blaring speaker to take those magic moments. I got my own future music career to think about too!

 

What kind of ear protection do you use?

I started using monthly disposable earplugs from White Cat, then when I prematurely lost them recently I resorted to looking like a tool and used my noise-canceling bluetooth earphones for a while. It totally worked but I’m sure that’s not their intended purpose, please don’t take it as an endorsement! Then for Christmas I got a pair of Alpine PartyPlugs that are wash friendly and I’ve been using them ever since.

 

Have you got any advice for aspiring beginner photographers?

From personal experience, starting with a phone camera is totally okay if you’re testing the waters and you’re not sure, but know that you will definitely need the freedom and flexibility that modern DSLR cameras can offer over flagship phones. A great tip with shooting specific musicians is that you’ll probably need to see them live a few times before you’re both in sync, if you can identify unique quirks that band members have and when they’re most likely to showcase said quirks, you’re already on the way to becoming a fantastic photographer! It all comes back to the symbiosis between the musician and the photographer, even getting to know them off stage can lead to them becoming more comfortable and showing you sides no one else will see.

 

How can people contact you if they want to use your services?

If you’re looking for a passionate photographer with a rising portfolio, you can get in contact with me via my Facebook page Jechtography or at booking@jechtography.com. My rates are usually very affordable and work on a per-head basis, less band members = cheaper rates! I’m based in the Wellington region but I have on occasion ventured out to shows, it doesn’t hurt to inquire.

 

If you’d like to take a gander at more of my photos, I upload a small selection from each set I shoot on my Facebook page Jechtography with the full photo albums on my personal website at https://jechtography.com. I also have an instagram account where I upload musical photos from the gigs I shoot… confused about what a musical photo is? Check out @jechtmania for what I mean. I also shoot the occasional video at the gigs I shoot and upload to my YouTube account Jechtmania, there you’ll see kiwi acts like Jon Toogood, Pale Lady and Hault as well as a few high ranking videos of the international metal sensation Devin Townsend doing acoustic!

Nick of Dream State Empire

Nick of Dream State Empire during a double digit second long howl, real estate given up top to accentuate his aura

Jon Toogood belting out solo

Jon Toogood belting out solo

Jessy and the Volunteers_s Jessy getting her RnB soul on

Jessy and the Volunteers_s Jessy getting her RnB soul on

Devin Townsend during his acoustic warmup world tour, incredible musician with an unbelievable voice

Devin Townsend during his acoustic warmup world tour, incredible musician with an unbelievable voice

Coridian's Dity reaching out

Coridian’s Dity reaching out, going B_W to bring more focus to his hand

Artist Profile: Garry Thomas Photography

Garry Thomas
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Welcome to Will Not Fade’s Artist Profile series, where we take a look into the people in the music scene who aren’t necessarily musicians.

Garry Thomas

Garry Thomas

Who are you?

Garry Thomas

How did you start off doing photography?

In the last year or so I’ve discovered a passion for photography. I first borrowed a DSLR from a friend and dabbled in a bit of Astro / Night Photography, and along the way started loving Landscape Photography. It’s challenged me to get out and about when I’m not feeling like it, like when i get up in the pitch black of the morning to shoot the sunrise over the city, or being the only one on a beach at 2.a.m, to try and shoot the Milky Way. I’ve booked entire holidays around the possibility of finding something new and spectacular to take photographs of. Best of all, it’s an excuse to explore our beautiful country.
Recently, I’ve photographed a few bands. Thus combining a couple of my biggest passions in the world.
My oldest passion – Music. And my most recent passion – Photography.
Throwing that together with a 15 year fascination with Photoshop, and a background in design and its a pretty freakin’ sweet way to hear some new bands, have some fun and meet some new faces.

Why do you photograph musicians?

I love music, why not help people create / document a point in time?

Film or Digital?

Digital

Colour or Black and White?

Both

What has been your highlight so far as a photographer?

Bongzilla were amazing. Been listening to them for 13 years. Got to shoot them.

Bongzilla by Garry Thomas

Bongzilla by Garry Thomas

What band would you most love to photograph?

Tool, Nine Inch Nails, Queens

Have you got a favourite venue?

Wherever the music takes me.

What do you consider your most essential piece of equipment?

24-70mm 2.8 lens, Ear Plugs

What kind of ear protection do you use?

Decibullz custom ear plugs from Amazon

Have you got any advice for aspiring beginner photographers?

The best camera is the one you have in your hand.

How can people contact you if they want to use your services?

https://www.facebook.com/garrythomasphotos/

https://www.instagram.com/garrythomasphotos/

Garrythomasphotos@gmail.com

Hit me up and I’ll probably come photograph your band.

Planet Hunter by Garry Thomas

Planet Hunter by Garry Thomas

Delaney Davidson by Garry Thomas

Delaney Davidson by Garry Thomas

Fall Of Man by Garry Thomas

Fall Of Man by Garry Thomas

Tom LaHatte by Garry Thomas

Tom LaHatte by Garry Thomas

Artist Profile: Stella Gardiner Photography

Stella Gardiner
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Welcome to Will Not Fade’s Artist Profile series, where we take a look into the people in the music scene who aren’t necessarily musicians.

Stella Gardiner

Stella Gardiner

Who are you?

Stella Gardiner.

How did you start off doing photography?

I was originally into Lomography and experimental street film photography,and it wasn’t until much later in life that I started using a digital camera. I bought a Canon 5D and made a few low budget music videos with a friend in London. Upon returning to New Zealand I decided to use the camera for photography and on a whim took it with me to a Peter Murphy gig in Auckland. I sent my images to a media outlet on the advice of a friend and the rest is history.

Why do you photograph musicians?

Musicians bring the world so much joy. They give it their all performing on stage and I want to immortalise those moments for others to share and enjoy. Going to a gig, for me, is a cathartic experience. It’s an added bonus if I get to photograph as well.

Film or Digital?

Mostly digital although I have tried film as well but it’s tricky.

Colour or Black and White?

Both. Depends on the artist and the atmosphere or venue.

What has been your highlight so far as a photographer?

So far it would have to be photographing The Cure. For a teenager obsessed with Robert Smith this was a fan-girl dream come true!

The Cure by Stella Gardiner

The Cure by Stella Gardiner

What band would you most love to photograph?

Grace Jones. I saw her live at Camden Roundhouse in London and would absolutely kill for the chance to photograph her. She is an amazing woman.

Have you got a favourite venue?

I love Meow on Edward Street as there is always a place to get a great shot and the décor is eclectic making for super interesting backgrounds. I also love San Fran for the high stage and super awesome staff! I do miss Bodega though.

What do you consider your most essential piece of equipment?

Actually my jeans. I need a lot of pockets to hold all my stuff when I shoot haha.

What kind of ear protection do you use?

Isolate titanium ear plugs. They block loud sounds but I can still hear conversations in the crowd perfectly. It’s really trippy.

Have you got any advice for aspiring beginner photographers?

Think outside the box and be prepared for anything. Oh and ALWAYS treat the crowd, promoters, venue staff and fellow photographers with the utmost respect. They can be your biggest ally at a crowded venue.

How can people contact you if they want to use your services?

https://www.instagram.com/stellagardinerphoto/

https://www.facebook.com/stellagardinerphoto/

stella.gardiner@gmail.com

Peaches by Stella Gardiner

Peaches by Stella Gardiner

Linen by Stella Gardiner

Linen by Stella Gardiner

Julia Deans by Stella Gardiner

Julia Deans by Stella Gardiner

The Chats by Stella Gardiner

The Chats by Stella Gardiner

The Exploited by Stella Gardiner

The Exploited by Stella Gardiner

The Jesus & Mary Chain by Stella Gardiner

The Jesus & Mary Chain by Stella Gardiner

The Mummies by Stella Gardiner

The Mummies by Stella Gardiner

Will Not Fade Awesomeness Award 2020 – Hamish Morgan

Hamish Morgan of Happy Valley
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You’ve got to love people who embody a DIY ethic, and Hamish Morgan certainly fits that description. Wellington has been facing the loss of many local venues in recent years, including youth hub Zeal which was vital for the all ages music scene. Obviously with less venues available, bands have fewer places to play, meaning that the local music scene suffers as a result.

So Hamish took it upon himself to provide a place for local bands to play: his living room.

He recently wrote a piece about it for our homies The Mousai: 

https://themousai.co.uk/post/189631733776/hataitai-homewrecker-wellington-7122019

For over a year now, Hamish has been hosting house shows at his flat in Hataitai. He provides a backline (amps, PA, microphones, drums etc), a venue (his living room) and advertising on Facebook and with posters.

Hamish Morgan of Happy Valley

Hamish playing with his band Happy Valley. Image: Will Not Fade

It’s a risky business. Maybe it wasn’t the wisest decision to name the events “Hataitai Homewrecker”. Yes, it is located in the suburb of Hataitai, but I’m sure that he doesn’t want his home destroyed. He limits the events to only once a month, noise proofs the space as much as possible and tries to enforce a strict curfew so as to not upset the neighbours too much. On the wall is a framed warning notice from Noise Control, who had been called out to the very first Hataitai Homewrecker event, but the other events have been mostly uneventful in that respect.

These events have become a right of passage of sorts for many bands. Hamish was the first person to book my own band to play, and many local Pōneke bands first cut their teeth at a Homewrecker. Plenty of musicians from the punk/hardcore etc scene in Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton and even as far as Sydney have made the pilgrimage here to play as well.

This is more than just providing another place for bands to play. A bonus that some people may not realise, local artists are getting some good exposure from the posters. My personal favourite is from Daniel Vernon (of the band Dartz), who did this amazing hipster Hulk poster. I’ve since been noticing his artwork popping up all over the place. 

Hataitai Homewrecker poster Daviel Vernon

I’ve had a few chats with Hamish and he’s stressed to me about how he wants to avoid it becoming a “sausage fest”, and wants to ensure there is a variety of gender representation. And he’s done pretty well, with plenty of wahine featuring in the lineups of great bands that play his events. I don’t want to put words into his mouth, but like me, Hamish is an early childhood teacher. Males make up a very small minority in that area of the teaching profession, so we are very aware of the impact it can make.

It’s been a great success, with Hataitai Homewrecker events having occoured monthly for over a year now. And Hamish is showing potential for branching out, having recently organised a free local show at a skatepark (sadly this was canceled due to a horrendous storm) and currating a stage for the upcoming Newtown Festival in March 2020.

So major tautoko to Hamish for taking it upon himself to provide a place for local musicians and sustain the music community.


Links:

Hamish posts his events under the Elbowdrop page: https://www.facebook.com/elbowdr0p/

Happy Valley Bandcamp: https://happyvalleywgtn.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Ash Grunwald Discusses His Collaborators On Mojo

Ash Grunwald - Mojo - Album Art
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Australian blues musician Ash Grunwald was the first person I interviewed for Will Not Fade, back in 2015. It was just before his upcoming NZ tour. During our talk he mentioned plans for his upcoming record, including some people he was hoping to collaborate with. Fast forward four years, and he has just dropped said album, Mojo. I asked Ash if he would like to give us a guide to who he collaborated with on Mojo, touching on the process of working with them, and his favourite songs by some of the respective musicians.

 


Terry Evans (featured on tracks “Hammer” and “Whipping Boy”)

One of my favourite singers ever, big tall African American man from Mississippi, work that he did with Ry Cooder in the late 80s was very influential on me and I LOVE his song “Down in Mississippi”. Recording in LA with him was one of the best days of musical life.  

Joe Bonamassa (featured on the track “Waiting Around To Die”)

Was a massive honour to have Joe Bonamassa on “Waiting Round To Die”. Although he’s probably known as the most impressive, flashing blues, rock guitarist on the planet he treated this song with a real subtlety and restraint. I mixed his performance with Ian Collard who in my opinion is one of the best blues harmonica players in the world and I get a kick out of hearing them trade blues licks.

My favourite song of his version of his is ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ with Beth Hart. You hear the soul in all the notes he plays in that song.

 

The Teskey Brothers (featured on the track “Ain’t My Problem, with Josh also playing on “Waiting Around To Die”)

A huge honour to have the boys play on “Ain’t My Problem” the band have a real dedication to their craft and recorded the tracks in their old school analogue tape based studio, in that real Motown style that they’re known for. Josh Teskey has the best voice in blues and roots in Australia in my view and I’ve had the opportunity since that track to do some more collaborating with him including some more . It’s been really good getting to know the guys better and in discovered they used to come watch me when they were little kids (10) before I even had a professional music career which is pretty funny.

Favourite song: “So Caught Up”

 

Kasey Chambers (featured on the track “Whispering Voice”)

Yet another  huge honour to have Kasey who was rightfully honoured in the ARIA Hall of Fame. A national treasure, she’s the same age as me and for her to have mainstream success back in the day showed you didn’t need to be a pop musician to have success. 

Fav song: Ain’t No Little Girl’

Harry James Angus (featured on the track “Human”)

Harry is one of the most proficient musicians I know. Famous for his work as the co-frontman for The Cat Empire, he comes round to my place and I never play guitar, I let him play as he knows a million chords and can pay any song from memory including the solo, and he’s a trumpet player. He recently played me some new tracks from his solo album (not out yet) and they completely floored me and I would probably call it modern, jazzy, cross over pop. I want him to produce/record do something with me. 

Mahalia Barnes (featured on tracks “Human”, “Trouble’s Door” and “Mountain”)

Mahalia has an absolutely huge voice. I love what she’s done on this album (three tracks) – she’s got the whole Aretha thing going on with just a little bit of the old man rockiness chucked in there. She also tours the world singing with Joe Bonamassa most of the time so she’s no stranger to wailing guitars. I love her Live At the Basement album. 

Kim Wilson (featured track “Goin’ Out West”)

Along with Charlie Musselwhite probably the most renowned harmonica player in the world and most famous for playing with Jimmy Vaughan in the fabulous Thunderbirds. I used to cover one of his songs in my first blues band I played in called ‘She’s Tough’.

 Ian Collard (featured on the tracks “3AM” and “How Many More Years”)

Ian is a mentor and a friend and also a huge influence on me, His first album ‘Collard Greens + Gravy’ in particular is an AU seminal blues album in my opinion. My favourite EVER Australian blues album. 

Fun fact, his parts were recorded by Jeff Lang (on that album), Jeff is probably Australia’s seminal roots artist. 

Eddy Clearwater (featured on track “How Many More Years”)

Eddy ‘The Chief’ Clearwater. He sang on the Howlin Wolf song and was great on it. A real genuine blues man, the real deal but sadly is no longer with us. He passed away in June 2018.


ASH GRUNWALD LINKS:

Website: www.ashgrunwald.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AshGrunwald
Twitter: twitter.com/AshGrunwald
YouTube: www.youtube.com/ashgrunwald
Bandcamp: ashgrunwald.bandcamp.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/ashgrunwald/

Buy/stream Mojo: http://smarturl.it/agmojo


ASH GRUNWALD
MOJO TOUR
NEW ZEALAND
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019

With special guest Swamp Thing

Thursday 28 November
Anthology Lounge | Auckland
ticketmaster.co.nz | 0800 111 999

Friday 29 November
Yot Club | Raglan    
ticketmaster.co.nz | 0800 111 999

Saturday 30 November       
Totara Street | Mount Maunganui
ticketmaster.co.nz | 0800 111 999

Sunday 1 December
Leigh Sawmill | Leigh
ticketmaster.co.nz | 0800 111 999