The Fire Within is a live show photography fanzine from the hardcore punk scene with a solid list of bands shot, including Comeback Kid, Terror, Anti-Flag, Terror, Agnostic Front, uicidal Tendencies, Lionheart, Danny Diablo, Sick Of It All, Turbonegro, The Hives, Ignite, and more! We have teamed up with photographer and author Eric Estrade for a special commentary and photo/video teaser of this interesting release.
Print, despite what you may have read online recently, is not completely dead yet. The DIY zine format in particular have a long and proud history in self publishing, reflecting the individual viewpoints or obsessions of their independent creators. Photography zines have been a standard-bearer for print’s vibrancy, enjoying another decade of publishing, and it’s always great to see this format offering from the hardcore punk and alternative / underground music category.
Eric from The Fire Within started shooting hardcore and punk shows long time ago in 2003. At that time, he was doing videos only. “With two friends from the hardcore scene (we were all 3 playing in bands, 8Control and Fat Society if you want to check them on Spotifty) we had a website called MBC MEDIA where we put live pics and videos before the YouTube explosion.” – says Eric.
“So, I first learned how to shoot with a video camera and to edit. I still do some edit stuff for myself or my job but I’ve turned more and more into a photograph. I guess I owe that to the fact that at certain point there wasn’t any more video cameras on one side and photo cameras on the other. Something like 15 years ago we started to shoot videos and photos with the very same cameras and I got mine. And a little after that, you could now shoot photos in the same 16/9 format that I had been used for years with videos.”
He began shooting more pictures and he even bought a camera dedicated to that (a Fuji x20).
“It was kind of natural to shoot some live shows as I used to go watch a lot.” – he admits. “Somehow, I wanted to document those shows and the scene but I guess a final purpose was missing… So, I shot only my really favorite bands and not each and every show I was going to. And for a while I kept those pics only for me or sometimes to put one here and there on social media, but nothing consistent.”
“And then, Covid hit… After some lockdowns and a long period of complete inactivity with live music, no shows and even not being able to rehearsal with my band (Black Knives now), I felt super frustrated.”
With some unexpected spare time, Eric started to arrange lots of pictures that were sleeping in his hard drives. “And as I needed some new creative stuff to work on, I started to think about releasing « something ».”
He already had his own website for a video project where he puts some live pictures, but he thinks a website is not the best way to fully enjoy a photography. “And as I’m an old timer, I’ve read and really enjoyed tons of fanzine when I was younger.”
“Funny thing is the term fanzine is a lot used in the punk/hardcore scene and into photography too. So, it began to make sense and I started to work on this project to release my very first fanzine. It took a while to select the pics, edit them, learn about InDesign… And more than learning about the software itself, to learn about a print edition display, how to build it etc. I’ve watched a lot of Youtube tutorials about that, only about photographers releasing their own fanzine and explaining how.”
“It was super exciting to learn new stuff, open myself wider to some part of the photography world, and to learn stuff I could use directly in my project.” – continues Eric. “A cool and inspiring thing definitely. So, when I sent it to print, I quickly thought « I’ve probably should have done this before ». Only quickly because the idea of doing it was missing before and more important, time was missing too.”
But after doing it, Eric immediately felt the desire to do another one, post Covid with more pics, more bands, more underground shows and with best quality picture.
“This made me actually discover my photograph side and passion and I’m taking more and more picture since (as you can see on my Instagram @afewslices)”
“I bought a better camera and want to release other print works again… So, stay tuned for my upcoming adventures ;-) and checkout my website too.”