Soundgarden《Superunknown》,暗無天日的火山森林

我們還沒從上週六槍與玫瑰的台灣演唱會醒來,特別是致敬Soundgarden 的片段,讓台下不少搖滾咖胸腔滿漲,鼻子忽然酸到不行。Soundgarden 是引領grunge 樂踏入主流並贏得商業性成功的傳奇樂團,去年離世的Chris Cornell 年輕時常穿Nirvana T恤,寄託的情感與敬意,也許聲音花園的樂迷們現在也能有所體會了。世界上有一種燦爛叫虛妄,必須踏入暗房,模糊日常周遭與自己的形體,才能用比較冷靜的思緒面對。不奢求未來,而是專注眼前的未知,默默採集自己需要的美麗。

▲美國搖滾樂團Soundgarden(聲音花園)於1984年由主唱兼節奏吉他手Chris Cornell、主音吉他手Kim Thayil、貝斯手Hiro Yamamoto(1990年由Ben Shepherd替代)在西雅圖創立,1986年加入鼓手Matt Cameron,1997年解散,2010年重組。本圖由Michael Lavine 攝於1990年,Chris Cornell 放入嘴巴的玩具是攝影師工作室裡的假槍,他和Soundgarden 先開喝,大家都有醉意後才開始拍攝工作。

▲Chris Cornell 穿Nirvana T恤。

1994年Soundgarden 發行第四張錄音室專輯《Superunknown》,共發行包括〈The Day I Tried to Live〉、〈My Wave〉、〈Fell on Black Days〉、〈Spoonman〉、〈Black Hole Sun〉等5張單曲,這張叫好叫座的唱片象徵Soundgarden 的生涯轉折,也是他們最暢銷的代表作。

▲Soundgarden 1994年專輯《Superunknown》封面由Kevin Westenberg 拍攝。

《Superunknown》封面有“Screaming Elf”(尖叫的精靈)之稱,影像由Kevin Westenberg 操刀。Chris Cornell 表示,這張專輯某程度來說與出生有關,在剛出生或瀕死之際,你被沖入某種一無所知的境地。Soundgarden 團名「聲音花園」讓人直接聯想一片欣欣向榮的花團錦簇,加入撲蝴蝶的孩子、追白兔的少女都不違和。樂團想顛覆這種樂園印象,乾脆來張火燒森林,再把驚心動魄的烈焰轟轟轉為灰階,上下翻轉,團員的面孔也一併加以扭曲,儼如鬼魂浴火的煉獄,在有機的組成中盡顯黑暗與冰冷。

「我小時候對這類型故事相當著迷,認為森林裡充滿各種邪惡和可怕的東西,而不是你去露營的快樂花園。」Chris Cornell 說道。

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I'm fortunate that during my career I have worked with many of my art director heroes. There have been many discussions concerning visual philosophy and theory as to what makes something work, and why the opposite holds true. In some ways this cover was just one glorious accident. There was no real plan on the day of the album shoot for SUPERUNKNOWN. Most times with every musician, no matter which style of music I was working around the world, there would rarely be a plan. During those jobbing years where there were crazy budgets and infinite patience on the part of all involved, a level of trust was earned. Looking back I suppose my level of trust in the business at this stage was fairly high. To the point where I would think of the atmosphere to create and the technical ability needed to achieve the vision and then we just go for it with the blessings of all the moneymen. The level of consultation and planning was also minimal, as you never wanted to let them see you sweat. It was all about the end result and as my confidence during all those prime years was never an issue, there were also never any moments where I took my foot off the throttle. I pushed myself to the point of exhaustion constantly. If there were no nerves before a big shoot like this one with SOUNDGARDEN, then you're walking dead. Forget it. I knew the stakes were high for this band that I loved so much. The absolute need to perform was there throughout. Also, as someone who was born in Seattle but had by then immigrated to the UK, it was even more important. Maximum creative pressure is never a bad thing. This here is the full frame used for the album cover for SUPERUNKNOWN. While constructing the idea, I never expected this to somehow ever equate with the fantastic range of musical ideas created on the album. There’s always an added bit of luck and happenstance thrown in as well. Side note; I was always disappointed that Matt was cut out of the cover by the crop. Not my choice. Also, where did the name ‘Screaming Elf’ ever come from? Definitely not my choice! Good Times. Photo: Kevin Westenberg. #kevinwestenberg #realfilmrealwestenberg #soundgarden

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▲《Superunknown》封面樂團原始照片。

1994年接受《Pulse!》雜誌採訪時,Chris Cornell表示,專輯名稱靈感來自某影片名稱“Superclown”(超級小丑),當時他意會成“Superunknown”(超級未知),深深為之驚艷。「我之前從未聽過、從沒看過,我被啟發了!」設計階段最棘手的部分是:要怎麼把專輯名稱“SUPERUNKNOWN”擺上去,最後決定讓“UNKNOWN”倒頭栽,和畫面一樣採取半反轉狀態。

▲《Superunknown》專輯名稱以“SUPER”結合上下反轉的“UNKNOWN”。

攝影師Kevin Westenberg 多年後回顧與Soundgarden 的合作,他說:「大約20~25年前,我認為對某些藝人來說,用黑白背景是最純粹的表現方法。在我看來,也代表反白背景,象徵商業化的反面,讓視覺聚焦在藝人的臉部表情,加強時代的黑暗情緒。」

「在我早期作品中,虛無與黑暗的區塊對我有更深刻的意義,而不是人們從照片中看到的部分。如果有符合這個前提的主題,那就是Soundgarden 了,這也是我對Soundgarden 作為樂團的看法。」

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SOUNDGARDEN have finally re-released the 20-year-old A-Sides Hits album on vinyl. In the end these two photos were included in the new package which was released on ‘Record Store Day’ 2018. I went through a period 20-25 years ago where I felt that with certain artists, a black background was the purest form of expression. In my mind it was also representative of the anti-white background. This represented the opposite of commerciality, which also allowed visual focus on the artists face, expression and enhanced the dark mood of the era. The void and black space always meant more to me in my earlier works, than the parts of the photo one could see. If there was ever a subject that would fit this prerequisite, it was Soundgarden and my vision of what Soundgarden was for me as a band. These two set ups were part of the 18 hour marathon shoot at the Ok Hotel for the DOWN ON THE UPSIDE campaign. The shot against black then also the shot of the boys at the bar were both photographed at the OK Hotel in Seattle. Good Times. Photo: Kevin Westenberg. #kevinwestenberg #kevinwestenbergphotography #realfilmrealwestenberg #soundgarden #chriscornell #benshepherd #kimthayil #mattcameron #hiroyamamoto #grunge #metal #love #throwback #instagram #badmotorfinger #ultramegaok #superunknown #downontheupside #asides #filmsnotdead #bw #blackandwhite #great #photography #best #classic #goodtimes #potd #photooftheday

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CHRIS CORNELL. LONDON. APRIL.12.1996. Originally shot for ‘Blah Blah Blah’ magazine as a feature. Haven’t looked at these for over 20 years. It’s a beautiful and clarifying thing to have so much time pass since then to recall it all in my minds eye. Even though this is only a contact sheet scan, I can see it has potential. I’ll get to it one of these days when I decide to dip my toes back in “the business”🔥this was my favorite Chris 1.0 period. All spikey, pissed off and wired. ‘Down On The Upside’ recording and artwork was finished. That album was due out just 5 weeks after we did this photo session as the follow-up the mighty ‘SuperUnknown’ so nobody knew what the hell would happen next. Press time, endless touring and drunken nights was the remedy and the cure! A year and a half after this photo was taken, the band would actually call it quits. We shot this in some hotel in central London on a miserable grey day in the Big Smoke! Hurrah! Good Times! 🐣 photo: Kevin Westenberg. #kevinwestenberg #kevinwestenbergphotography #realfilmrealwestenberg #chriscornell #unseen #susansilver #photooftheday #london #england #real #photography #love #instagram #instagood #bw #blackandwhite #corridor #blahblahblah #chrisashworth best #contactsheet #classic #spikey

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▲Chris Cornell(1964~2017)除了Soundgarden,也是超級樂團Audioslave 成員,對90年代grunge 樂發展有卓越貢獻。生前飽受抑鬱症折磨,2017年5月18日結束Soundgarden 演唱會表演後,早晨被發現在底特律旅館房間自縊身亡。

搜尋Chris Cornell 影像過程,時常可以看到他跟子女、狗狗的合照,他付出的愛與關懷也是如此之深啊!

▲Chris Cornell 與其子Christopher Nicholas Cornell。

自殺的原因究竟為何,或許當事人也不明白。世界是一團混沌,有時候我們也不想勉強自己發出求救訊號。只想安安靜靜的,希望在暗無天日的狀態,取得一方寧靜。累了就休息去聽花園裡的美妙聲音吧!我們都會沒事的。

撰文:蔡舒湉

來源:soundgardenworldkevinwestenberg