When publishing new stories on Noisecreep, one name that pops up over and over again is Jeremy Saffer. In the last few years he has easily become one the most sought-after photographers in the heavy metal ecosystem. Saffer’s work has also appeared on the pages of Revolver, Decibel, Alternative Press, and many more music magazines. He’s recently signed with Maria Ferrero at Miss Management and besides giving photography seminars he’s also working on a book of nude models in corpse paint. A huge metal fan, Saffer took time out of his jam-packed schedule to take part in Noisecreep’s ‘Five Albums That Changed My Life’ series.
Michael Jackson (1987)
“This was the first tape I listened to over and over again. I remember seeing the cover, seeing this person with a leather jacket with metal buckles all over it, and thinking, “This is badass,” as one would when you’re about 8-years-old. My favorite track was always ‘Dirty Diana,’ because it was so heavy, and still holds up as one of the best hard rock songs Michael recorded. Shortly after discovering ‘Bad,’ Jackson’s ‘Dangerous’ album came out. I saw the video of Slash from Guns N’ Roses playing ‘Black or White’ and it was my first real listen to hard rock music, though that’s not exactly what the song was. I knew Michael was going to be a staple of my musical taste, having pop songs, hard rock songs, and everything in between. And though my love for metal certainly overshadowed any other genre, Michael, to me, is still the best performer who ever lived.”
“I was about 9 when I first came upon the ‘Enter Sandman’ video. I immediately decided Metallica was the best band in the world. When I was 10, I got to see them with Guns N’ Roses with one of my best friends. At that point I knew four songs from the self-titled album and was really excited when they played them, but I look at this record as my gateway into Metallica and furthermore into metal. My first guitar was even a black Gibson Explorer, because I wanted to be James Hetfield. Though their legacy has truly been tarnished or destroyed at this point, their first few records will always hold up as holy grails of heavy metal.”
“I saw an episode of ‘Beavis and Butthead’ where they mocked the video for ‘God of Emptiness’ within about 3 seconds of seeing a demon bow down and hearing the riff over “Bow to me,” I was on the way to the music store to get this record. They were everything I could have imagined for extreme metal. Slow and sludgy riffs over thunderous fast double-bass with the most evil lyrics and vocals I’d ever heard. Opening with ‘Rapture’ and ending with God of Emptiness,’ this CD just exuded evil!”
“This was the first black metal record I ever heard. I actually picked it up the day it came out just because I was huge into Elizabeth Bathory. I was 14 at the time, and the second I heard it, I swore off anything that wasn’t black metal. Mixing symphonic parts with metal? And even more evil than Death Metal? I found my proverbial home for my taste in music. I had never heard of a concept album before, and seeing all their lyrics written in Old English (I guess?) was awesome. It had everything on it too. Some slower songs, some fast songs, but all very dark and very evil, so this was the point where my CD collection would start including anything from Norway in corpse paint.”
“About a year into my still ongoing obsession with Norwegian black metal, ‘At the Heart of Winter’ came out. At first listen, this was the best black metal band I had ever heard. Their music was both simple and complex. There are only three dudes on this record, but it sounds like an 8-piece band, with a wall of sound that could never be duplicated by any other power trio. Their music directly reflects the album artwork and lyrical content, with riffs as big as the mountains, thunderous drums, and the most evil and cold sounding vocals in black metal. As I was finishing up my tenure as a musician before making the shift to photography, Immortal was everything I strived to imitate. Now, years later, Immortal is still one of the very few bands I have not yet done a photo shoot with – one day!”
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