The Robey Hotel Food Photography

Pretty exciting day for the family. My big brother Nicholas Thornycroft got promoted to the position of Food and Beverage Director at his job and called me into photograph some food. One of the photographs have been featured on The Eater, which had to accredit two Thornycrofts at once, last time that happened was the police blotter. Always cool to see your name out there. 

Screen Shot

 

 

Some Recent Shows

Here are some recent shots of different sorts of shows ranging from noise, trans-Chuck Berry Rock and Roll, to some more Disrotted of course. On the line up I will be shooting the Psychic Twin show next Wednesday and the Pissed Jeans show in May. Currently working on a different and new studio project visualizing inside jokes as well as working generating images for the prospective insert artwork for Disrotted, which I've only been told that this is their album where their musical style "goes to space." So we will see what happens there. Hope you enjoy.

Bottomed (Solo drone/noise from Nick of Bongripper), Empty Bottle, Chicago

Bottomed (Solo drone/noise from Nick of Bongripper), Empty Bottle, Chicago

Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends, Chop Shop, Chicago

Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends, Chop Shop, Chicago

Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends, Chop Shop, Chicago

Ezra Furman and the Boyfriends, Chop Shop, Chicago

Disrotted, Emporium, Chicago

Disrotted, Emporium, Chicago

Disrotted Tour Day 5: Return To Earthdom

After the rounds of everyone using a shower for the first time in 2-3 days, a clean pair of socks, and a quick nap, we all got to WALK (un-fucking heard of during this tour) to the venue that Disrotted was playing at next. This was the beginning of Anomalous Collision 14, graciously hosted and organized by Self Deconstruction.

First in the line up was some furious grind by Broiler. The front man took it to the crowd early in the set, unafraid of getting physical with everyone. Screaming, head banging, and charging us, made him sweat profusely giving his face paint and really awesome effect. I kinda love this close up shot with 24mm.

I had been looking forward to Self Deconstruction since I saw them last year at El Puente. Memories of shows are always weird and sometimes can be misleading. "Was the band actually that good? Did they actually do that on stage? Was it really that loud?" Sometimes all these things can fuck with my actual reception of the show where I end up a little disappointed. That definitely is not the case with this band. They delivered on all fronts re-upping my nostalgia. 

The drummer was exactly as amazing as last, the guitarist was wearing the same dress and shredding, and the vocalist was eviscerating her vocal chords just as sharply as before. They truly are that intense, frenetic, chaotic, detailed, and impressive. Hands down one of my favorites from this tour. 

Sithter was an unexpected beauty of a show. Really weird stoner rock, with elements of doom, and a very psychedelic edge to it, even in their choice of garb. One thing that I love about the Japanese music scene is that they are 100% committed to their image. If the want to be crust punk, they are the crustiest. If they want to be vampire punk, their face is painted and no amount of sweat is taking that off. These dudes were the extreme of everything that their music represented. Very excellent. 

I have to apologize to quAng duc Asylum, this particular night, getting close to the end of a tour, the exhaustion of the previous day's travel to Osaka and back, I had to get really wasted. Definitely drunker than any other show of tour at that point (which is definitely saying something) and I was out buying whiskey during their set. I thought I could make it back in time but I blew it.

I feel like these photos definitely have that drunk filter on them. Softer focus than usual, some shots were very non-traditional to my style, others were very traditional, like alcohol was turning me into a swinging pendulum of my own confidence level with my camera. 

Even though I was experimenting a little bit, the dudes stayed the course of emptying the magazine as far as volume goeson the crowd. Last year Earthdom was the loudest show of the tour (this year that award goes to Yokohama thanks to the Su19b dudes bringing their gear) and it was a close second. I love watching the full extension of John's drums sticks coming down on the set, as if he was an iron worker and he was drumming in a bolt on some structure on a bad day.

Im pretty fuzzy on how the night actually ended, but i'm sure it finished with paying respects and saying goodbye to friends and everyone at the show, buying more beer as most of us woke up with half finished beers and a for me a half buried bottle of whiskey.

Disrotted

Disrotted

Disrotted Tour Day 4: Osaka Bus Trip of Death

This day was both one of the worst days and best days. The criteria for the worst day is as follows:

1. Some of us slept maybe two hours, others couldn't sleep at all, before hustling to a bus station in Shinjuku at five AM.

2. There was no possible way of sleeping on the 8 hour bus to Osaka, generally one of the most uncomfortable things you could possibly imagine. All of our Japanese friends were hilariously calling us "cheapskates" for the rest of the tour. 

3. Our stomachs felt like garbage from only eating Seven Eleven rice balls all day at the rest stops on the way to Osaka. 

4. When we got to Osaka, we went to the wrong address for the venue, (apparently there are a million places named Bear's in Japan we found out) and had to drop 3,000 yen on a cab to get to the right venue on time. 

5. The first two bands that played literally turned off every light in the venue and I couldn't make photos. 

6. After the show we again had to hustle back to the bus station for another 8 hour bus that no one could sleep on keeping some of us on hour 48 of no really substantial rest.

7. For the second year in a row we only got to spend a half hour of exploratory time in one of the coolest spots in the world. 

The Criteria for the Best Day is as follows:

1. The first two bands although not photographed were incredible. First a noise bassist the generated droney bass only soundscapes, the second was a drummer with alot of his set connected to a series of effect pedals, with a very high level competency on his kit. 

An Attempt: A 29 Second Handheld Exposure

An Attempt: A 29 Second Handheld Exposure

2. This may have been Disrotted's best set of the night. They collaborated with Osaka's noise producer Guilty Connector for this set and his noise added an extra perfect layer to Disrotted's already harshness. I wish this guy could have done one more show with Disrotted on this tour, but was happy to be able to experience it the one time. 

Disrotted

Disrotted

3. Ferocious X, a crust punk noise band, played and it was a sight to see. Turned up to eleven, attacking the crowd, no pauses, and no retreat. These dudes ruled. 

Ferocious X

Ferocious X

4. Finally, just to be in that tiny basement bar where thousands and thousands of excellent bands have played was amazing enough. Just staring at the wall with all the band signatures of Brutal Truth, the Locust, and so so much more. It was a very awesome day despite all the traveling and not sleeping. 

Taking it all in

Taking it all in

Many thanks to Guilty Connector for his hospitality and I hope to see him play again soon.

Disrotted Tour Day 3: Asakusa Extreme

Another day and we are still running around. Even though there is less travel involved this year opposed to last year, I definitely feel as if we are constantly in transit. Wake up, shower (maybe), have a boss coffee, figure out the trains, get to the venue, set up the merch table, then start shooting, break down merch table, start drinking, get back to where ever we are sleeping, finish drinking, sleep maybe for a few hours, wake up and do it again. I maybe have about thirty minutes of time on my ass and then its right back at it, but it feels good. Exhausted, smelly, boozy, but good.

I missed the first set of the night because Ryohei and I had some much needed beers while walking down the sidewalk of Asakusa, a quick relief from smoke filled venues, and noise overexposure, but I didn't miss Funeral Moth, my second day of seeing their set in a row. That's how good they are, I could see this band everyday for a week and not be bored of it.

The wonderful one woman doom project called 目玉湯鯨, or The Eye of the Whale, blew all of our minds. It was hard to pin this one down, slow repetitious bass tones with programmed drums and various noise, its one of those shows that only Japan can produce. Her performance onstage is a perfect reflection of her music, swaying slowly, receding to the back of the stage at times of pause, incredibly well thought out, performed, heavy doom.

注射針混入豚 (or Needle Contaminated Pork) cautiously and meticulously approached the stage, donning an anti-bacterial suit, gas mask. After a few minutes of carefully realigning everything he just erupted from minute one, charging into the middle of the crowd and started blasting some beatdown riffs over programmed death metal drums. 

注射針混入豚 or Needle Contaminated Pork

注射針混入豚 or Needle Contaminated Pork

I actually had a thought today that I was bored with regular day to day operations, and I couldn't figure it out. Then finally, I realized that I wasn't being assaulted by Su19b and Disrotted every night with a gross negligence to the wellbeing of my ear drums. I miss the sights of people collapsing from the weight of maddening sound.

Casualty of Disrotted

Casualty of Disrotted

It feels a lot like withdrawal, like nothing in Chicago is loud enough now. I can't really think of two like minded bands that could tour to that massive sound capacity, a new tolerance level has been set, and I might never get back to that spot. 

Disrotted

Disrotted

Disrotted

Disrotted

At the end of every Disrotted set, Adam usually stands still as Dean's last guitar notes ring out, and that ringing becomes not only the swan song for that frequency of noise but also for any preconceived notion that you had seen a loud band before. After a quick dinner with all the musicians, our main dude Bernie directed us to the hotel so that we could have approximately three hours of sleep before the most grueling trip of tour. 

Disrotted Tour Day 1

Disrotted is back in Japan, and they have graciously requested me to accompany them for the second year in a row. Naturally it took one or two days of us blacking out throughout Ikebukuro, attending a lengendary Japanese Wrestling show, roaming temples, consuming copious amounts of ramen, boss coffee, cow tongue, Takoyaki, and Ryokucha Hai, to reacclimatize ourselves with the drastic atmospheric change from the cold, dreary, Chicago. I could go into great detail of more of these events but for the sake of this tour blog, I will try to keep it to just music related items only. When things finally slowed down (and we kinda sobered up), we took the train down to Denechofu, where we met Ryo of Guevnna, who drove us out to Yamanashi for the first round of shows at Kazoo Hall

A line up consisting of mostly punk, hardcore, and powerviolence bands, the high adrenaline atmosphere provided by Yamanashi locals Lost Without Hand Grenade, as well as two of Tokyo's Hardcore bands Lost Control and NoLA, kept the crowd's blood pressure high. To what seems to be the standard in Japan, all bands were great and played at a rapid fire rate. It was amazing as I could see everyone laughing, having a good time, not aware of the impending bummer that Disrotted had been preparing to unleash on them. 

On the short list of my favorite Japanese bands, Guevnna always maintains high ground. Self proclaimed "disco doom" playing dark, heavy rock riffs, with shredding vocals by the front man Ryo Yamada, and all backed up by disco drum beats creates a heroin level of addictiveness. Their greatest trait might be that they don't lose themselves in seriousness of the doom, metal, or heavy scene, often displayed by the sincerity of Ryo on stage. Constantly moving, never relaxing, cracking jokes, imitating band members when there is a break in vocals, Ryo is a prime example of an individual that can take great material to stage and take the show to a higher level of excellence. Even though the songs are very very heavy, the show is a party atmosphere, almost of positivity which set the stage for Disrotted to destroy all of that. 

I may have mentioned that these guys play heavy, glacial paced, doom before, but I what I haven't mentioned is how excited they get before hand. I sincerely have never seen anyone so genuinely excited to ruin someones day with sheer violence via sound. Generally seeing Disrotted play in very dimly lit Chicago venues with little to no light, Kazoo hall provided on stage additives to create a dense fog that accentuated the god shattering volume of Disrotted. 

Disrotted pummeled and punished the crowd into an exhausted mess. The high speed, high intensity, almost feel good vibe of the night came to a twenty car pileup halt. It was grim watching John Finaldi beat droningly beating the shit out of the drums, with Adam Jennings howling an arcane language. Dean Costello guitar passing through both guitar and bass amps created a nauseating drone that will haunt the dreams of anyone who forgot earplugs for this show. 

This show shut down the night, we loaded our stuff into Ryo's van and drove back to Denenchofu where he graciously let us sleep at his place. Spent the next morning making polaroids at a large temple, then mentally preparing ourselves for Yokohama, where Disrotted was challenged to play a 90 minute set. 

Prepping for Tour

Finally after months and months of group texts and inside jokes we are offically moving. We've all been working our asses off, saving money, practicing, playing extra shows, and now its finally happening. Currently stopped in Korea for a flight transfer and wanted to throw up some pics from the last few shows and practices in Chicago. Soon we go to the Tokyo Dome for some New Japan Wrestling. 

Adam Jennings - Subterranean

Adam Jennings - Subterranean

John Finaldi - Practice Space

John Finaldi - Practice Space

Dean Costello -  Practice Space

Dean Costello -  Practice Space