LAMB OF GOD singer Randy Blythe opened his first photography exhibit, “D. Randall Blythe: Show Me What You’re Made Of”, this past Saturday (May 2) at Sacred Gallery NYC in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The show features dozens of images captured on the road and in Blythe‘s hometown of Richmond, Virginia.
A five-and-ahalf-minute video report on the exhibition opening from Artisan News can be seen below.
“I’ve been lucky enough to travel literally around the world several times for my job, and for the last few years I have carried a camera with me everywhere I go,” stated Blythe.
“‘Show Me What You’re Made Of’ [showcases] fine art prints of what I consider to be some of the most striking images that I have collected, both at home and during my travels. The body of work is quite diverse, and in an attempt to highlight that diversity, all the photos [are] shown in custom made frames made of reclaimed wood, adding to the individuality of each piece. The frames are made by my friend, Richmond, Virginia musician Greta Brinkman (former bassist for Moby, the Deborah Harry band, WHITE CROSS, and currently with RVA doom merchants DRUG LORD).”
In a 2014 interview with Noisey, Blythe stated about how he got into photography: “Fast forward to 39 years old, about four years ago, I decided I had enough of being on the Internet, and mobile phones and all that stuff in general. So I decided I was gonna take a year off from the Internet and mobile phones, and I mean totally. Not allow myself to use it at all. I would use a computer to make music, but no telecommunication skills other than a telephone line. If anyone wanted to interview me, they had to do it on tour or from a hotel phone; I was just not going to carry a phone with me.”
He continued: “So I was telling my friend Jamey Jasta, the singer of HATEBREED, about this while we were on a plane, that I was going to completely unplug for a year and write a book about it. So I tell him the whole deal, asking him what he thinks about the angle, and at the end, he goes, ‘Okay, here’s how we’re gonna do the movie.’ So he takes my book idea, threw it out, and, ‘You’ll do a documentary.’ So I was like, okay cool. So I figured I could film a lot of it myself, and I asked a lot of film guys I know, ‘What’s a cheap but not too cheap digital camera that can do high-def video?’ and they told me Canon ELS-60D, which is a prosumer camera, not quite the pro level. All of the sudden, one day, I was in my kitchen and I was looking at my French Press, which has kind of a domed chrome top, and I saw my reflection in it. I happened to be playing with the camera and said, ‘Well, let me try and use this what it was actually made for, not video, let’s see how it works.’ I put it on automatic, I pointed the lens at it, looked through the viewfinder, press click, and then I looked in the back of it at the picture and was, like, ‘That is fucking cool.’ [Laughs] And that was the end. Unplugging from the documentary, which I’d still love to do, was delayed when I was forcibly unplugged and spent a little time in a gated community in Europe a little while ago. I got arrested and had to keep my Internet and learn to keep up with lawyers and crap.”
Blythe added: “But photography was totally accidental. My first picture was of my coffeepot, and I was, like, ‘Wow, that looks cool.’ Unlike film, and I’m starting to get into film, I don’t have to wait to develop. I think it’s a really good learning tool in a monetary sense — you can suck a long long time as a photographer — and I think, especially with film, it can get really expensive while you learn just how to frame things and exposure; developing film is expensive. I’m not downing film at all; it just makes it economically feasible to shoot way more photos than I would have by now.
“I forgot who said it, but someone said, ‘Your first 10,000 photos are your worst.’ But now it’s, like, with digital, your first 100,000 are your worst! [Laughs]”
In addition to his work with LAMB OF GOD, Blythe is the author of the forthcoming memoir “Dark Days” (to be published July 2015 by Perseus/Da Capo Press in the USA, and Random House in the U.K. and associated territories), a music critic at the highly acclaimed TheTalkhouse.com, has acted in movies filmed in America and Asia, and periodically composes music for the Richmond Ballet.