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Zoran Orlić - Brilliant book - The Frames behind the glass - True Rock and Roll
Zoran Orlic is a Croatian-born fine arts photographer with a flair for revealing the many moods of rock photography. Orlic's passion for the camera and music has led him to capture rock bands on film for the last seventeen years. Most recently noted for his work with Wilco, Orlic's snapshots have appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, websites and music packaging.
Reflections from behind the glass:
This book almost ended in December 2004 when I met the lads in New York City for what was to be a final photo shoot. I realised after seeing those images that this book needed to end in Chicago, The Frames' second home. So I returned to Chicago and waited until they came to me.
In March 2005 Glen played a few solo dates before joining the rest of the band for a short festival stint across the United States. For the first time in what seemed like ages, Glen performed to a small, rapt audience at Martyrs. Every note rang out in a flurry of passion, piercing the eerie silence of the pub where even the typical clanking of bottles at the bar had succumbed to the music. Struck by a strange sense of deja-vu, I reminisced about the years past and felt a twinge of nostalgia as Glen hauntingly serenaded us with 'Rise', which was recorded in 2000 on a dark Thanksgiving night with Albini.
The entire band returned again in November 2005 to play at Park West with Josh Ritter opening, creating a new memory in the rich history of their performances. Former Frames' drummer Dave Hingerty, my US tour co-pilot, now stood on stage with Josh's band, and all of a sudden these worlds came full circle in a sentimental experience.
I staked my position near the front of the stage to collect some images. Behind me, an uninitiated fan politely inquired if I was going to stand there the whole night. Trembling from the idea of seeing live this band that he stumbled upon in his favourite online magazine, he anxiously waited for The Frames to fulful his high expectations. I chuckled to myself remembering those innocent days, having graduated from the same school of heady fanaticism. But I held off and maintained my veteran credentials while I gently warned him that he was about to get his fucking mind blown away.
The lads didn't disappoint. Glen's emotional voice sailed through the vast, dimly-lit hall like a lone ship in the darkness of the ocean. A natural storyteller who is alternately quiet and funny, he referenced both a raving lunatic and the Bible in his discourse with the audience. Admittedly selfish, I mourned the days when it felt like I had The Frames all to myself. Things are different now. Manoeuvrings around the stage trying to capture multiple angles of Glen and the lads in rock star poses is close to impossible. Gone are the days when a few loners would stalk the front row with apprehension while the rest hung back in the spotlight's shadows. Today, fans clamour for the best spot and my camera and I are forced to compete with them. These emotions are hard to explain without sounding unsupportive of their success. Maybe this sense of loss is similar to what a parent feels when watching a child grow up and leave home to explore the world. It's a bittersweet combination of pride and anxiety.
Today, it all makes sense to me. I became aware of a powerful musical force and attempted to share this discovery with others by lining up gigs and documenting the artistic process unfolding. It's a sweet feeling when I can capture a fleeting moment of passion through the lens while watching new faces surrender to something unexpected colliding with their innermost emotions.
As a chapter ends for The Frames and myself, a new one also begins. Throughout the years, friendships have been forged, romances kindled, wisdom gained, foolishness and folly expelled, all through the spectrum of my uncommon relationship with The Frames. Their music has provided the soundtrack for a good portion of my life as it has for many fans. I'm honoured and privileged to have been a small part of their evolving career. As more fans emerge and larger venues vie for the band, I'm anxious and waiting to view The Frames behind the glass.
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