Bad Teeth comes from the tradition of good old-fashioned punk photo zines. Capturing the frantic and berserk energy of punk shows in bars, basements and warehouses it features photos of bands, blood, puke and falling over. There are a lot of leather jackets and shaved heads. Always in black and white! As the Melbourne and Australian hardcore punk scene has grown in recent years Jess De has been at shows and parties throwing her camera in front of bands such as Leather Lickers, Scab Eater, Gutter Gods, Simfuckers, Oily Boys and Soma Coma.
The latest issue includes a tape featuring 20 live/previously unreleased tracks from the best Aussie punk and hardcore bands, many who have appeared in the pages of Bad Teeth. Listen to "Fuck the Queen" an unreleased track from Brisbane’s Last Chaos below.
Jess launches Bad Teeth Five at Maggot Fest, the annual punk and hardcore music festival that takes over Melbourne over the Halloween weekend.
We had a chat to her about shooting at punk shows.
Noisey: How did you start? Have you always shot on 35mm?
Jess De: It started as a result of my laptop getting stolen. I lost all my photography but luckily I had my negatives because I only shot film. When I couldn't see my photos anymore I realised how crappy it was staring at them on a screen in the first place. I like making something that I can hold and flick through when I want rather than clicking the next button on my computer screen.
Is it named after the song by 70s NYC band Jack Ruby?
No but it is named after a song. Also I have a recurring dream of my teeth rotting out of my mouth when I talk.
Cover illustration by Richard Costa
It makes sense that you are launching the fifth issue at the fifth Maggot Fest.
Yeah I couldn't think a better place to launch this issue. You can expect to see a few of the bands playing Maggot Fest in this issue so its perfect timing. I decided to make it bigger and explore a lot of my photography with montage and make some "poster art" for each band. It also comes with a compilation tape with all the bands in the zine on the tape featuring either a live or previously unreleased track.
Do you have a favourite pic in the new issue?
There are definitely a few spreads I like more than others. Sometimes I found I was over killing some pages with too much stuff and it was becoming too cluttered. But, there are a few sneaky shots I placed here and there that I put in purely for my humor...
Do you have a favourite band you like to shoot?
I think there are some bands that when they play, everyone will go nuts for which will make the energy more engaging and some bands who have a great presence on stage but I wouldn't say I have favorites. I have venues I absolutely hate to take photos at though.
Have you suffered any injuries taking photos at a gig?
I saw Hoax at Chaos in Tejas and some guy was taking photos and the singer smashed the camera out of his hand. The guy went up on stage and punched him in the face. I was just thinking, “Oh man I’ve still have travel after this, I only have this camera with me, please don’t fuck it up!” A few weeks ago I at a Whitehorse show I saw a wall of people coming towards me but I was like, “Nahh I can make this” I took the shot and got knocked down. The photo was pretty shit in the end.
What do you think of the current Melbourne scene?
I’m never short to find something to do on the weekends so I can’t really complain. I think it has its peaks and drags.
Bad Teeth 5 will be launched at Maggot Fest V at the Tote on Friday Oct 31.