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Seven Stories…Samantha Marble

CVLT Nation is proud to premiere our Seven Stories photographer feature, where we ask rad photographers to tell the story of seven of their photos. We are kicking off Seven Stories with one of our favorite NYC metal photographers, Samantha Marble.


I love the artwork on the Watain records. When Brandon Stosuy asked me to shoot them for his column on Stereogum called Haunting the Chapel I was stoked. When the day came to shoot the show it was bleakly cold and I had been walking around dead inside. That’s what got me through shooting these savages. The set was over an hour long and all the rumors are true. The stench was so thick that it permeated everything on you. It was worth being crushed by the sold out crowd while chunks of decaying meat and blood were splattering me and my camera from the front. The entire set was as much willing abuse on multiple senses as it was mesmerizing. I walked out with one of the best sets of photos, I think, I’ve gotten so far. This shot was my favorite though.


Eyehategod was one of the first bands I shot when I got back into shooting shows. I’ve covered them five times in the past year and a half. I’ve shot them in three states and have walked miles, after a full day of shooting, just to catch them one of their sets. I shoot them regardless of whether I’m asked to or not because at this point I just can’t help it. The intensity that they play to their fans with is honest, tangible and addictive. They’re genuine right down to each of their cores. They’re a great band, they’re authentic, they’ve been around for so long and an influence on so many bands, they’ve been though so much and they’ve always been really good to me. I was introduced to Gary Mader at a show in Orlando, FL. Once I told him that I was a photographer visiting from Brooklyn he told me that he knew my work and the band loved the shots I took of them a few months before for Brooklyn Vegan. From there he introduced me to Brian, Jimmy, Mike and Joey.

This is one of my favorite shots from one of their sets in Brooklyn. I’ve been through some shit while shooting their shows. I’ve had grown men flying over my head. I fell backwards off a table because I was trying to get a shot during one of their breakdowns and the crowd went insane. It’s kind of fun for me to make my way through the crowd. It’s like a dance and as long as you go with it and aren’t an asshole it’s fun. On this night though, I was a little worried because I had just gotten my camera back from getting fixed. Misery Index and Magrudergrind were opening. They have some of thee most violent crowds I’ve been caught up in. Jimmy told me to just come out with them and shoot from the stage, but I couldn’t stay put and only get one angle. In this shot I had at least 300 people behind me going ape-shit. I was getting crushed up against the stage and Mike spotted me and I shot a few before ducking out.


I had my camera on me because I was shooting Krieg and Woe playing in Brooklyn at midnight on the eve of Mischief night and Halloween. After the show some friends and I went to a bar around the corner. It was 3am in Brooklyn and the bars and people were coming in from Halloween parties. There was a tall, drunk flamboyant devil dancing his ass off. My friend Jared, who came to the show dressed up like King Diamond in a car salesman’s suit, jumped in and started dancing with him. There weren’t many people dressed up so this was kind of amazing entertainment to watch this go down.


Dixie, Shep & Keith comprise the motley crew known as Weedeater. I had shot them in Austin the month before for Brooklyn Vegan and fell in love with taking pictures of them playing. This portrait was taken backstage after they played killer set at Webster Studio last spring.


Brian just sat down to hang out after moving into his new studio all day. This is the most recent shot I took of him. Some of his recent works on paper hang in back of him. Until recently turning his attention to drawing he’d been painting on canvases as big as 9×27 feet of animals in a different, complex, chaotic scenarios against eerily beautiful landscapes. I can’t do describing his work any justice. You should really look him up
though. To me, he’s one of the most talented, underrated artists in our generation.

I’ve been taking photos of him and his work for over five years. We knew each other as teenagers going to hardcore shows in the 90’s but became friends after moving to Brooklyn. I was ready to give up on pursuing photography at that time. My apartment had been robbed along with my equipment. I was broken woman. Brian was getting ready to leave his job as an art handler to pursue painting full time. He encouraged me to save
up and start over and kept me inspired. For Christmas that year he gave me “I’ll Be Your Mirror”, a photo book by Nan Goldin. I’d never had someone give me such a nice art book. I had been working at a modeling agency and dealing with highly critical people so I was scared and stiff. That book inspired me to stop beating myself up as to what I thought I should be doing. I had a job canceled the first time I got my hands on a camera
again so I ended up shooting him. Shooting him was the most fun I’d ever had because he just didn’t give a fuck. He let me do whatever I wanted. From that night on I started capturing him through his ups and downs as an artist and shooting his work for gallery shows and press.

Two summers back we were both working on different projects loosely influenced by hardcore and metal bands from the 90’s. We were having lots of conversations about it. Like too many to justify to any normal adult. By that fall I was shooting bands for Brooklyn Vegan and Brian joined a grind band called Psychic Limb. They just had their first release, Queens, on vinyl. Colin Marston (Krallice, Dyrythmia, Gorguts) recorded it and Clairvoyant Records put it out. It’s the most pulverizing 9:29 seconds of your life. I’m glad he’s not in a band that I’m embarrassed of.


Kim called me that morning and said she needed a photo to give to NPR because they nominated her as one of the year’s best writers in metal. This shot was taken in my apartment after being outside in the middle of the night, after a post-apocalyptic blizzard. She and Karlynn came over that night. Karlynn is an artist whose been involved in the artwork, logos and sculpture for bands such as Krallice, Dysrythmia and Nachmystium, she is also Kim’s roommate and we are all friends that live a few blocks from each other. The three of us hung out, had a whiskey and talked about it. Karlynn had the makeup on Kim and we were out on my block by 1am, shooting Kim in snow forts.

I’m really lucky to have a group of talented girlfriends with similar interests. Our other friend, Justina Villanueva, also a metal photographer, is compiling a zine with work from Kim, Karlynn, myself and our friend Vanessa America, who is a grindcore aficionado. Some of these photos, along with tons of others, will be in there. It should be out in about a month.


Summer night in my sister’s backyard with my niece, Lily. We were kicking a big bouncy ball around. I had my camera on me and snapped this of her. I love it because she looks like spirit in the night holding hands with herself. I shoot her with the same passion I shoot Eyehategod and Brian Montuori with. I have a picture of her being born. My sister wanted to kill me for that one. One day she’ll have a whole book dedicated to her in the different phases of her life.

For more amazing photos, check out Samantha’s TUMBLR

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