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A trip to The Pinelands always brings the unexpected. This area of southern New Jersey is full of stories - from the home of the Jersey Devil to the dumping place for many an enemy of Tony Soprano. Usually for me, the unexpected involves just the natural world - the interplay of light, clouds, water and land in an ever-changing display of color. A friend and I spent a typical Saturday afternoon in the Whites Bog section of The Pinelands. By the end of the day, it became anything but typical. As the day ended, we were treated to mysterious and unexpected music in the Pines…

Music In The Pines!

It was closing in on 6pm and we were about to get the most beautiful light of the day. I couldn’t wait - three hours of hiking and scouting was about to pay off photographically! Except for one thing - the cloud bank that quickly formed on the horizon destroyed any hope of sunset and deep golden light.

After whining for at least twenty minutes, I decided that the photographic part of the day was over. So we packed up and started driving out. I took a slight wrong turn and we were soon lured in by the most unexpected of sounds - heavy metal music! In the Pines! It turns out the band Tallah was shooting a music video for their song, “We, the Sad”. We sat and listened to the loud music in what is usually a very quiet setting. They yelled over to us and asked if we wanted to be in the video, but we knew our hiking boots would make us look out of place and besides, we left our frown face robes at home that day! :) They were very gracious and let me take some photos of my own while they performed and shot the video. It was an incredible thirty minutes to cap the day. Thank goodness the clouds came in or we never would have seen this!

The Band Tallah

After the band was done with the video we talked to them a little and we watched them wrap up. I assumed I knew what heavy metal band members would be like. Yet they were normal people like you would find anywhere. With one exception - they are artists. They have a message and they communicate it through their music, their art. Some might not like it - just like some might not like impressionist paintings. But we should respect their skill, their work, and the fact they care enough to communicate. It was eye-opening in a way.

A big thanks to the band Tallah for letting us enjoy their performance. They were just signed by Earache Records and we were told the video shot in the Pinelands for “We, The Sad” would be online at the end of the month. For now, you can listen to the song here (it is extreme metal music - but have an open mind!) And many thanks to Paul Stamper who was producing the video and graciously allowed me to have some fun photographing this very unique event in the Pines! They all treated us well and allowed us to enjoy the evening with them.

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A short Photo Story from June 2019, by Brian Reitenauer.