There's a certain look that comes over Nathan Williams when Power is in full flight. It's a look that means business - almost a visual snarl - as the guitarist and vocalist of the Melbourne band struts and sneers on stage.
David Forcier is a photographer that is able to capture that look. For the last 18 months Forcier has been taking shots of bands such as Power, Total Control and Royal Headache in venues, front bars and warehouses and capturing the energy of the Australian punk scene.
The result is Reckless, a new 52-page zine, that features over 34 of Australia's best bands including Red Red Krovvy, Constant Mongrel, Spotting, Whipper, Straightjacket Nation and Miss Destiny.
Forcier, a French Canadian, who lived and played in bands in Ottawa before moving to Melbourne, started taking photos while living in Europe in his early 20s. "I was looking for a creative outlet for all the music I was seeing live. Looking back it was a pretty weird and lonely time in my life and it was just something to fill a void and it stuck."
He says that while it's difficult to navigate the idea of picking a favourite photographer, he admits that he's been fortunate to have been surrounded by interesting and creative people. "I definitely have drawn some influence from photographers from when I was a teen growing up at punk shows, Shawn Scallen would be at the top of that list. He was taking photos of the Ramones when I was still a baby and he's still involved in music now."
Forcier believes that Melbourne's geography and physical detachment from other punk scenes is a reason why the punk scene is both relaxed and strong. "That general need to "make it" that comes from being so close to America doesn't apply as much. Even in terms of the ego that can come with music that has some relative success, playing an afternoon show in the front bar of The Tote or beside the pool table at the Labour in Vain isn't weird."
Of the photos in Reckless, Forcier is especially fond of those of bands that have broken up or have uncertain futures. "The photos I have of Grotto from their last show at the Essendon Squat are really great. I only got to see them that one time and coincidentally it was the last time I'd go to that squat prior to it burning down."
'Reckless' is available here. The zine launches in Melbourne Aug 25 at the Tramway with Spotting and Rabid Dogs playing.
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