30 years ago I went to my first punk show in the DC area. It was Naked Raygun, TSOL, MIA and the Cereal Killers at WUST Hall (now the new 9:30 club location on 9th and V Sts.). Back then I didn't have a camera nor the balls to photograph the bands, punks and skinheads at these shows, but I remembered the energy, the fun and the danger that swirled like a tornado at these events. For the last four years, I've been shooting the current hardcore and punk scene in DC and Baltimore which has been making waves in our area and beyond, just look at how many people come out and travel for the yearly Damaged City festival. It's pretty amazing to bump into people from Brazil, Sweden, the UK, California, etc.
Now I have culminated some of my best photos into a book entitled Suspect Device. I chose the name because the camera is a device, I'm Chris Suspect and I do enjoy the Stiff Little Fingers reference. The goal of presenting these images is to recreate the same feelings, energy and chaos I felt as a fourteen-year-old at my first shows. This is not just about the bands, it's also about the kind of people who are attracted to this underground lifestyle.
I am fortunate enough to have Alec MacKaye write the forward for it. I asked Alec to do it because he's a great writer and also because he was there at the beginning when harDCore started. I thought it would be interesting to get his take on a scene that is now more than 30 years old and still going strong. He did a fantastic job!
The image in this post is the book's cover. It is published by Empty Stretch, a photo book company from DC which has been breaking lots of ground in the art photography world lately. The first run is 100 copies and we will be having a release party for it at Hill and Dale Records on June 21 which coincides with a Govinda Gallery show entitled East Coast Rock & Roll Photography 2014 featuring a number of other photographers, including myself.
If you can't make the reception and are interested in getting Suspect Device I strongly encourage you to pre-order it from Empty Stretch. Here are the details:
By Chris Suspect
68 pages, 8.5 x 11 in
Hand numbered in edition of 100
Forward by Alec MacKaye
$20 USD + S/H
PRE-ORDER (FIRST ORDERS SHIPPING JUNE 23): http://emptystretch.storenvy.com/products/7791675-suspect-device
BOOK LAUNCH (JUNE 21): https://www.facebook.com/events/295057294005162/