Thursday, July 28, 2011

Metal to the core @ Heavy MTL

I grew up listening to rock and metal. So when I got the OK to shoot the Heavy MTL 2 day festival, I was stoked! The organisers first said no photographers in the photo pit, but quickly changed their mind when many photographers refused to carry their gear into a mosh pit to get decent images. Good on you Evenko, thanks for making our lives easier (and safer!).

The 2 day line-up was intense. There were many great local bands such as Slaves on Dope and Blackguard, along with some pretty heavy weight headliners. Day 1 had In Flames, Godsmack, Disturbed while day 2 had Anthrax, Motorhead and Kiss. Many fans were wondering at the pertinence of having Kiss at a heavy metal festival, but when you think back to when Kiss was in their heyday, they set the stage for the heavy metal movement.

The festival had 3 stages, 2 main ones and one secondary one. The main stages were pretty high up and somewhat drab as the band was pretty far apart from each other. The secondary stage was my favourite. You could get up close to the bands and they had some lights going on making for interesting shots, like the one below from Blackguard.

The typical 3 songs and out was in effect for most of the bands. Due to the number of photographers in the pit, we were limited to 1 song for Anthrax, Opeth and Motorhead. The only black mark of the day went to Kiss who limited the actual media present in the pit. Out of the 30 or so photographers, I believe 8 were the "chosen" to shoot Kiss. While I can appreciate that the band is in control of their image and in their right to do what they do, it is a piss off when you are a struggling photographer and a band, which was once a struggling band, wants to be so controlling of their image. It is in my best interest to take the best shots possible of all clients. And besides, how many freakin photos of Kiss are already out there? They presented a release form to all photographers shooting which basically sold the photographer's soul. The rights and ownership of the images are given to the band and the photographer isn't legally allowed to use the images taken for their own portfolio without approval of the band.

That's what we call a rights grab. The band, who makes way more money than I do, now have 8 top notch photographers taking images of them for free. Am I a bit pissed? Kinda. I'm pissed that more and more bands are doing things like this.

That venting aside, the festival was very well organised, I love how they treat the media and the notch. Music was awesome and I got to mix in being a pro photographer and being a fan at the same time!

You can check out the Heavy MTL Day 1 and Day 2 images in the Gallery section of my website.

Below are Day 1 images of Disturbed, Godsmack, Billy Talent and In Flames

And here we have some Day 2 images of Motorhead, Morbid Angel, Anthrax, As I Lay Dying and Girlschool

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