For fans of Soundgarden, the ultimate coffee table size book of photos has been assembled, Photofantasm: Nudedragons To King Animal, which as its title suggests, chronicles the group’s reunion tour. And in addition to killer pix, there are interviews and recollections throughout, including Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets, Chad Channing of Nirvana, and even yours truly!
The creators of the book, Jaye and Mike English, were kind enough to collectively answer some questions via email for Alternative Nation about how Photofantasm came to be.
–How did the idea come up to do the Photofantasm book?
We explain it in more detail in the Preface of the book so this probably
won’t do it justice. Towards the end of 2012 and after taking a multitude of
photos from countless SG shows in 5 countries, we wanted to share our
memories and collaborate with other fans and artists around the world to
create a book by the fans; something that had never been done before. The
name is a play on words; we’re guessing you can figure it out.
–Please explain more about where all the net proceeds of the book are being
We selected Canary Foundation (four star ranking and 501(c) (3), the first
and only charitable foundation in the world solely dedicated to the funding
of early cancer-detection solutions, as the primary benefactor for the net
proceeds of Photofantasm Soundgarden: Nudedragons to King Animal. We explain
in more detail on our website Photofantasm.com under Charity.
–How many Soundgarden shows did you see after they reunited? Which ones
were your favorites and why?
Well over 30 plus shows. Honestly each one had its own flavor so to speak
but obviously Seattle was epic, not only as a home coming but also due to
our friend Tiffany who was invited as a VIP guest by the Cornell’s (her
dedication in the book is called Keep on Rowing). Red Rocks had to be the
LOUDEST show we ever heard accompanied by the most beautiful backdrop
imaginable. We loved the shows overseas; it was a totally different vibe.
Milan in particular agreed with SG. It was also on a train in Italy (from
Milan to Rome) where we came up with the idea of Photofantasm.
–Please describe some of your favorite photos in the book.
That’s a hard question, (made obvious by how big the book is) but we love
the action shots. The images where you can feel the band feeding off the
energy of the crowd are the ones we prefer. A few of our favorites are Kim
in NYC flipping the bird caught intimately on camera, one of Chris at the
Gorge where he looks crazed like something out of a JCP video while
overlooking a fan crowd surfing in a wheel chair, plenty of Ben series
photos smashing his bass and beer bottles and Matt up front and center
engaging with the fans!
–Are you friends with the members of Soundgarden?
No, wouldn’t say that.
–Is the band aware of the book? If so, have they been supportive?
Yes and yes..of course the band and their team are receiving their own
–Is it ironic that ‘Photofantasm’ may be one of the heaviest books in my
collection weight-wise, and also, features photos of one of the heaviest
It was huge f*&%ing deal to have SG reunite and also why it’s a huge f*&%ing
book. So no it’s not ironic lol.
–Was interviewing Greg Prato for the book a clear highpoint of both your
Greg who?…. Seriously Greg has a shitload of stories collected from all
the books he has authored and is a true Soundgarden fan. It was an honor to
hear some of these tales and hope to hear more over a few beers.
For ordering info and a sneak peak, click here.