Angela Owens Interview


I swear, every time I leave Connecticut for a show I see Angela there taking pictures. I have been following her work now for years and, like many of us, I own a few records with a picture she has taken on the cover. After getting an interview with her good friend Sunny (Hate5six) last year, I realized how important and interesting it was to hear from the person behind the lens.

How did you get into photography?

My interest in photography is something that has built up over time. For most of my life I didn’t really think about it in a serious way, I just did it. I’ve always carried a camera with me, it never occurred to me that doing so isn’t normal.

What was your first hardcore show like?

I was a fairly young kid when my brother took me to see Sick of it All. I am fortunate to have the world’s coolest big brother. He gave me my first record when I was in middle school. At first he was reluctant to let me go to shows, I guess he was worried about me getting hurt. But I begged and begged and eventually he let me tag along with him and a couple of his friends to see SOIA. I stood in the back the whole time and just took it all in.

What was the first show you photographed?

I honestly have no idea. I would take a few photos here and there before I really became dedicated to it. My very early photos are long gone, which is probably for the best. They were horrible.

Give_angelaowensWhat made you want to start photographing shows?

I was looking for a way to contribute. When I looked around at my friends, they were in bands, booking shows, putting out our friends records, I felt like everyone was actively doing something to keep it going and I wanted to do my part. No one was taking photos at the time, at least not consistently, so I stepped up.

What is the most recent album you heard and were taken aback by?

I picked up The Flex – “Wild Stabs in the Dark” while I was at Damaged City and its been in heavy rotation since then. I don’t know when they’ll be in the US again, but if you have a chance to see them live, you absolutely need to do that. And the new YAITW record is phenomenal. I’m incredibly biased, but its true.

You are stranded on an island and you can only have 3 albums. What are they?

I’m gonna cheat and give you four.

Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
Cock Sparrer – Shock Troops
Agnostic Front – Victim in Pain
Tupac – All Eyez on Me

CokeBust_angelaowensDo you have a favorite picture you have taken, or are most proud of?

I am a very harsh critic. I hate every photo I’ve ever taken. But if I have to pick a favorite, it would be a photo of Coke Bust at the GSS house in Raleigh. Or any photo of GIVE. It’s impossible to take a bad photo of GIVE.

Is there a reason you primarily shoot in black and white?

In the past few years I’ve been playing more with how I use light and shadows, and I think you can see those details better in black and white. It removes distractions. And I like having a recognizable style. My goal is for you to be able to tell who took the photo without even looking at the credit.Many times girls in the scene are unjustly categorized as “being there for the wrong reasons.”

What is it like being a female in the hardcore scene?

It’s exhausting to constantly have your motives questioned. So much of hardcore is by men for men. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been physically pushed out of space, or how often I’ve been told what bands I can or cannot like because I’m female. The fact that anyone thinks they have a say in whether or not a woman has the right to be here is more infuriating than I can put into words.

Women are involved in hardcore for the same reasons as every other human. Anyone who thinks women are here “for the wrong reasons” should take a step back and think about what men in hardcore are like. You don’t get into to hardcore because you’re a good looking, well-adjusted, and successful member of society. We’re all fucked up. You’re not a catch. Women are not flocking to hardcore shows to meet you.

Or maybe that’s not you, maybe you are considerate and respectful. But your friends are shitheads. Call them out.

Women have been a part of hardcore since day one. We’re here whether you like it or not. If you feel the need to disparage another person because their anatomy is different than yours, then you’re the one that doesn’t belong here. Every woman in hardcore deserves a gold medal for refusing to be pushed out by the bro mentality that hardcore should be safe from.

What does the future look like for you and shooting hardcore shows?

I’ll be here.

Shout outs?

Kimberly (Boston’s superwoman), Sunny (hate5six), Crucial John (GIVE), and Jim (Fucking Invincible) are wonderful friends who have given me more support and encouragement than I deserve. Thanks y’all.


Angela’s Website

2 responses to “Angela Owens Interview”

  1. Todd says:

    I’m disappointed by the lack of pizza talk in this interview

  2. Krisi Metzen says:

    Angela Owens is someone I strive to be. It’s so refreshing to know that there are other female photographers out in the hardcore scene just trying to capture a scene and a moment. There is something really beautiful about being at a hardcore show. Thank you so much.

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