Damon Peirce, an exclusive interview

'I swear on hard-work and honestly feel like if you do put the hard-work in, you will get rewarded.'

Damon Peirce is an established music photographer who’s been fortunate enough to work with stars such as Pale Waves, Black Honey and Royal Blood! Quite personally, I see music photography as the unsung hero of the music industry. Photographers allow the bands to express themselves in a way they never thought possible, they spend hours and hours developing and editing pictures and very rarely get seen in front of a camera. So, I went behind the action and spoke to Damon a bit about his career. 

“Hi Damon, thanks again for agreeing to answer these questions. So, how did you end up where you are now, as a successful photographer?”

Damon – ‘From a young age, I’ve always had a massive passion for photography, especially in music. I’ve just loved looking at photos whether it was looking at how cool bands look, what they were wearing etc. so many topics. But weirdly it became one of those where it fell into place quite late to even think about it as a career. I’ve always been passionate about music for basically all my life and started going to gigs when I was 14. Since then, from the start I knew I always wanted to do something in music but couldn’t decide what at the time. In the past, I had moved about in bands and worked in bars where live music was happening so I could get free shows while working so it really took a while to try and find my feet. I literally wanted to meet as many people as I can in this industry and just started networking with bands and became friends with them. Since then, I’ve always acquired that philosophy to life and believe with hard work and passion, I’ve got to the position where I am today and don’t plan to stop. When I have time off and think about what I’ve achieved so far, I really have to pinch myself.’

“Do you find your work varies all the time or is there a pattern to it?”

Damon – ‘From my time working in this industry, I’ve learnt that it’s very give and take. Like this present time I’m in a position where I want to continue to grow my career and just try and shoot as many artists and bands as I can but unfortunately like anything some gigs you’ll have to do a few favours and free shows to get rewarded out of it. There’s been so many sacrifices and shit jobs I have done along the line to get me to this point today but I’m very fortunate and lucky to be here in a position where I’ve had countless Instagram messages & e-mails complementing me on my work. I’m always an individual who will always learn from my mistakes and would want to keep improving my images and learn new ways on how i can present them. I swear on hard-work and honestly feel like if you do put the hard-work in, you will get rewarded. You have to believe that! I feel like if you don’t take a chance in life, what’s even the point? You just can’t sit back and think “If I did it that way, where could it of gone?” Just try things no matter what, if you fail then learn from your mistakes and try again. There’s lots more avenues within my photography and music I want to pursue and all I can do is just keep challenging myself and making people aware of my ambitions.’

credit - @saffyneedham

“You’ve photographed the fast-rising stars Pale Waves, how did that come about?”

Damon – ‘I’m very excited to see what that band will become in the future, They’ve got an exciting time ahead of them! In my eyes, what they are so good at is the way that they just write brilliant pop songs and melodies and they just instantly grab you from when you listen and Heather Baron-Gracie as a frontwoman has the perfect image for a frontwoman. It’s a lot of fun to shoot them. How that came about was that I met them and their management at Reading last year and it kinda just stemmed from there. Those shots that you are talking about, I believe that’s some of my finest work to date and if the chance had come again then I would love to shoot them. They’re a great band.’

“So, you’re one of the few photographers to work with Black Honey, what’s it like to work with such an eccentric character like Izzy?”

Damon – ‘Izzy is one in a million to work with, there’s not many people like her creatively I feel, I just love how she comes up with all these incredible ideas for the band not just for the music but it’s like the music, the Merch, the photos,the imagery, the videos, the fashion. Etc. It really is inspiring to see. To be involved in a project like Black Honey really means a lot to me, I’m very lucky. We have a great relationship and friendship and believe we share the same ambitions in what we want to achieve. It’s a strong working connection.’

 

“Do you have a favourite picture of all those you’ve taken? One that stands out amongst the rest?”

Damon – ‘I think personally there was one I had done where Black Honey had played Manchester Arena. It’s not my favourite image as I could never pick just the one, each photo of mine that i have done have certain meanings and they are my best for different reasons. It’s like for example deciding who’s your all time favorite band. I just cant decide on one but with that Manchester Arena one, Every time I look at it, it just gives me goosebumps. It’s the one where Chris brings his guitar behind his back and while he was doing that, I just saw in my head a perfect shot there. My idea was to try and capture the venue at the time of doing so and give the image a ‘David & Goliath’ feel to it. It was always to be a dream of mine to play that venue when I was in bands, as I had gone to gigs there before in the past and Manchester holds a special place in my heart as I’ve got many friends who live there still to this day.’

Manchester. What a night! #blackhoney #royalblood #atthedrivein #manchester

A post shared by Damon Peirce (@damonjpeirce) on

“You recently toured with Royal Blood, how was that as an experience?” Damon – ‘For me, I’ve been very lucky to experience a lot of things in my photography career so far but when I was approached to do that tour, I really couldn’t believe it. It was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. It was a lot of fun with a lot of incredible people, so many amazing memories and an incredible opportunity to learn my craft and just focus on keep improving.’   “What’s your greatest memory from the tour?” Damon – ‘I know this may be a cliche answer but honestly every night! The crowds and shows, every night was just phenomenal! If I could pick one moment though, it would be the first date when we arrived in Lisbon as that was the first night of the tour and we had arrived the evening before. We headed straight to the venue once we touched down from the airport and saw this massive Black Bus outside the venue. It was the band’s first ever touring bus and you could imagine it would end up being a big night. It was a real moment.’

“Is there anyone you aspire to work with during your career?”

Damon – ‘If I wrote you out a list on the amount of bands & artists that I would like to work with, we could be here a very long time. I’m a very big fan of all kinds of music whether it’ll be Indie, hip-hop, pop. etc. I would like to work with more bands on portraits shots. If i can name you a few bands, I would love to do Arctic Monkeys. That’ll be a dream for me, I think i could work with them as I believe the imagery the band use matches mine and believe it would be a great collaboration. Jack White, The 1975 & The Killers would be up there as well. Personally, I just want to work with as many artists and bands as I can and show the world how ambitious I am with this, I’m not here to sit on the fence and settle when I’ve reached a point I’m satisfied. I want to work hard everyday and keep grafting and improving in something I enjoy and that’s where my kicks from. I just want to give good content to the people who have supported me all through life and keep trying new things with my work.’

 

“Do you have any exciting projects coming up this year?”

Damon – ‘You’ll just have to wait and see, I’ve got a good feeling about 2018. I’m ready and can’t wait to get my teeth into it.’

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