12V Negative Earth

In 2022, Lucy’s Record Shop celebrated its 30th birthday with an all day, all ages music festival at Drkmttr. Lucy’s was the heart of independent music in Nashville in the 90s, a place that burned hot and fast, bringing bands like Pavement and Guided by Voices to town (and providing space for local rock teens to cut their teeth.) 12V Negative Earth was one of those bands, a metal band from Nashville that almost made it. They reunited their original lineup for the show, and had me out to their practice space to shoot their first promo photos in two decades.

“Where did all the sunshine go?”

There were two halves to this shoot. The first was a run-and-gun posed shoot in the big room at Diamond Sound, a practice space in North Nashville. We wanted this to be as unfussy as possible, a few shots of the group before self-consciousness set in and a live shoot during rehearsal. They handed me some earplugs between shoots. (For the record, they were extremely necessary).

Guitarist Trey Suiter, who I’ve known for years at this point, buzzed me into the studio and we banged out photos in fewer than 30 minutes.

The photos from the rehearsal were fine, but they didn’t have the energy of the band playing in front of a crowd. 12V had landed a mid-day spot, playing just as the sun was starting to set on a crowd of young punks and aging metalheads reliving the glory days of their scene.

My goal here was to capture both the diversity of the audience there to see them, but also try to bridge that gap between the 12V of 1999 and the 12V of 2022—not showing them as the band that they were, but as the band that they grew into being.

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