“The 12-year break is over and school is back in session. Sign up now. Knights of the Soundtable ride again!” – Chris Cornell
How do you thank a band that you love for the joy that they’ve given you over the years? The live shows, that special song, that favorite album, the friends that you’ve met due to your mutual band love? Well, you keep it simple by sourcing fans from around the globe for stories, photos, reviews, artwork, memories and memorabilia in order to compile and create something as dynamic and original as the band, itself. And then you call it Photofantasm Soundgarden: Nudedragons to King Animal.
In 1997 Seattle’s titans of grunge and alternative rock, Soundgarden, may have walked away with barely a murmur but in 2010 they returned with a rumble much to the joy of devoted fans after 12+ years of limbo. From the 2010 Seattle show under the moniker Nudedragons to the 2013 release of their studio album, King Animal, Photofantasm Soundgarden is a labor of respect and love that chronicles that very specific chapter of the band’s story and does so through the eyes and words of some of their most ardent fans. This has been a true passion project of authors Jaye and Mike English (Spoondog Entertainment Group), and the final product is a collector’s edition 8.5 x 11 hardcover book limited to only 1,000 copies printed. Inside you’ll find 592 pages, over 1000 photos, interviews and commentary from artists like Duff McKagan, Korn, William DuVall (Alice in Chains), Bill Kelliher (Mastodon), Stephen Carpenter (Deftones), Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge) and more along with contributions from fans from over 30 countries sharing their personal Soundgarden accounts. In a nutshell, it’s exclusively fan-created and the only one of its kind for a band of this stature.
In 2011, photographer Michael Rosati from Alameda, CA traveled to Los Angeles in order to shoot the band at the Forum in Inglewood. “The whole experience was rather surreal.” said Rosati. “[It] may have been one of the bigger venues I got to shoot back then, and perhaps, one of the biggest bands I ever covered early in my music career. But being one of my favs made it an extra special night.” Here’s what other Soundgarden fans/Photofantasm contributors had to say:
“I wanted to share my passion for live music photography from the front row at the Chicago UIC to help document and capture a moment in music history. My story about bringing our teenage daughter with us from Ohio shows that the band appeals to a broad audience and spans generations; not only now but, hopefully, in years to come. The proceeds from the book going to a charity that helps prevent cancer is also something that may potentially make a difference in many lives.” ~ Janet Hall, Ashville, OH
“We were honored to be able to give a picture of us holding one of the first albums that Soundgarden made, and their most recent album. We were able to follow the process and the elaborate attention to detail that was invested into preserving the integrity Jaye and Mike felt would properly represent the fans of Soundgarden. I am excited, astounded and amazed at the end result and think this was the ultimate tribute to one of the most influential and solid rock bands of my generation!” ~ Adam and Liz Chase, Grand Rapids, MI
“My story was about ditching my college graduation in favor of going to three shows straight and interacting with the band at practically every show and meeting my longtime hero, Matt Cameron. I went to several shows on the King Animal Tour and met a lot of amazing people on the way that are now my friends. It’s amazing to relive those experiences on the pages of Photofantasm and point out my friends and familiar faces from the shows I saw. It’s like meeting them and seeing the show all over again.” ~ Maggie Nguyen, Detroit, MI
“I took my 19 year-old nephew who had never seen a rock concert before. Very memorable for me and him. A special night it was!” ~ Jason Andes, Huntington Beach, CA
“My wife, Meghan, and I were lucky enough to go to over a dozen Soundgarden shows since 2010, most of them with Mike and Jaye English. Couldn’t be more proud to be part of this book and to have become great friends with so many other fans along the way.” ~ Jeff Ansari, Miami, FL
As Soundgarden, Chris Cornell, Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron have become one of rock’s most original, formidable and respected (not to mention loudest) bands with a catalogue stacked with songs that, to many, are already classics. And that’s why Photofantasm came to be. In addition to being a hell of a collaboration, celebration and testament to Soundgarden’s place in music history, net proceeds from the book will go to Canary Foundation, the first and only foundation in the world solely dedicated to the funding of early cancer-detection solutions.
Photofantasm Soundgarden: Nudedragons to King Animal is available for pre-orders and expects to ship by June 16th 2015. That said, all of you Knights of the Soundtable can order your copy right HERE.