Wall of Sound presents: “2019 YEAR IN REVIEW” – by Wall of Sound Photographer Clinton Hatfield

I’m Clinton. I’m a pretty fresh face here at Wall of Sound, but I’ve been photographing live music for magazines and websites since about 2010. I’ve certainly come a long way in my time in front of the stage. From shooting Lil’ Jon on Auto settings with an old Nikon my Mum bought me, to standing next to David Guetta at his decks in front of 14,000 people and even travelling to Germany to capture scenes at Euroblast Festival. My music tastes have thus been affected greatly over the years and in many cases see me heading to most gigs alone. Am I weird?

Working with Wall of Sound in Melbourne has been like a breath of fresh air to me. In the past I’ve often been forced to shoot gigs I really didn’t want to be at, enduring excruciating heat to capture images of artists who didn’t capture my love of music, and at these times I often wondered “what the hell am I doing this for?”. The reason I got into this stuff is because I really love the experience of live music, and the opportunity to work with Browny and our incredible WoS team has reinvigorated my love of this industry and capturing it with my camera. SO my top artists/albums/gigs for 2019?

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5. Born of Osiris – The Simulation

In June of this year, I got to photograph one of my favourite bands. A band that I have listened to at least once a week for a couple years. They are loud, technical and tight as all fuck. What you hear recorded is what you hear on stage, but with so much more oomf. This was an incredible show and a fantastic record.

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4. Secret Band – Lightning / Rabbit Hole (EP)

March this year I got to see a band I wasn’t sure I’d ever actually get to see. Over a decade ago when I first illegally downloaded Downtown Battle Mountain by Dance Gavin Dance, I fucking loved it. I was conflicted though, it appeared as “Emo” in my iTunes playlist. Was I emo? Fuck knows. But I recently rediscovered these dudes and they rock really god damn hard. March this year I got to shoot these absolute wizards and was blown away. After the show I found myself listening more and more to their music. I discovered Secret Band in this deep dive, and it turns out it’s basically just Dance Gavin Dance, but they had a baby with The Dillinger Escape Plan. If you haven’t experienced Secret Band and you like manic, insane metal. Give em a spin. 

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3. Northlane – Al1en

This album needs no words from me. In short, it is a huge return to form for these guys. Back when Adrian fronted this band I paid hundreds of dollars to fly to Canberra to shoot them from an ACT based magazine, because I was new in Melbourne and didn’t have any contacts. I regret nothing. This year I got to shoot their intimate AL1EN launch show at Yah Yah’s and it was god damn incredible. Northlane will go down in history as one of Australia’s finest heavy bands.

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2. Dealer – Soul Burn

One of my first shoots for Wall of Sound was a new band, Dealer. First show ever in Melbourne. They sell out The Workers Club and almost tear down the fucking walls. I’ve received heaps of big hits in mosh pits over the years, but this show was fucking nuts. I had never heard of them, and since that day, I still find myself listening to their debut release as excited as the day I first heard it. (Revisit their debut Melbourne show here)

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1. Devin Townsend – Empath

Fucking hell this man is my god. I have listened to him since I was about 16 years old. This year I got to interview Devin before his acoustic tour (revisit that here), attended both of his Melbourne shows. I even surprised my Mum for Mother’s day with a ticket for his show and made her cry at work in front of all her friends, HAHA. This album is bizzare, a mind fuck in the most beautiful way. His acoustic show was indescribable, to me anyway, I’m no writer. Empath is a complex masterpiece and I cannot wait for the full Empath Tour to arrive in 2021.

Honourable mentions:
Love Fame Tragedy, Make Them Suffer, Windwaker, Diamond Construct and Gravemind.

Photo and Words by Clinton Hatfield. Insta: @ampd.agency
Please credit Wall of Sound and Clinton Hatfield if you repost photos.

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