Inspired by the likes of Jim Marshall and Glen E. Friedman, I began photographing my friends’ bands around 1995 when I was 14. For nearly 15 years I took photos at shows on a regular basis until I became pretty cynical about the over-saturation of cameras at shows. Shooting punk or hardcore shows was always the most fun, though. My aim was to be close and intimate with the band performing and the crowd. That is why I most enjoyed small, stage-less shows like this one of Steel Nation playing at The Brickhouse in St. Albans, West Virginia.
In January 2011, my friend Rebecca was visiting Austin, and invited me to a house show. Rebecca, with whom I went to grad school, is better about being a photographer than me and had brought her camera. When the bands started playing, it felt like old times, and I couldn’t help but borrow the camera and start shooting. Leg Sweeper and ELVIS (who became my favorite Austin band) played that night before the cops shows up — so it truly felt like I was 18 again. Here are some images from that night — first of Leg Sweeper, then ELVIS and lastly the cops showing up and ending the fun. (Note: A post with this same content appeared on my old West Virginia music blog.) Also, check out ELVIS’s 2011 album “Crime of the Scene.” It’s so good.
Photograph by Darin Johnson
The image above was not taken by me, but is of me — singing in the hardcore punk band Old Poets. Around 2011-2012, my friends Desmond, Jess, Tim and I tapped into our angst-fueled youth, wrote songs, and played a few shows around Austin. The band was short-lived but we had fun. Now all that we have to show for it is some photographs and a half-assed demo recording, which you can listen to below. Though I’ll be using this new website to primarily share my photographs, from time to time I will post music, videos or other content I find relevant.