Découvrez la pochette de Superunknown de Soundgarden en version complète

Publié le 14 juin 2017 à 15:25
Mathieu David Par Mathieu David
Rédacteur

soundgarden - superunknownLa photo qui a servi d’illustration à ce légendaire album refait surface.

Ces silhouettes troubles et mystérieuses et ces tons chauds, la pochette de Superunknown n’a laissé personne indifférent, tout comme le contenu de cet album, sorti en 1994 et contenant notamment le tube interplanétaire Black Hole Sun, encore joué jusqu’au dernier concert de Soundgarden, qui a eu lieu le 17 mai, avant le décès du chanteur Chris Cornell.

Le photographe Kevin Westenberg est l’auteur de cette pochette et a partagé sur Instagram la photo originale qu’il a utilisée sur l’oeuvre, accompagné d’un commentaire :

« J’ai eu la chance, lors de ma carrière, de travailler avec plein de directeurs artistiques de mes héros. Il y a eu plusieurs discussions concernant la philosophie de l’art visuel et de théories sur ce qui fonctionne et ce qui ne fonctionne pas. D’une certaine manière, cette pochette était un accident qui a connu la gloire. Il n’y avait rien de vraiment planifié le jour de la séance photo de Superunknown. La plupart du temps avec les musiciens, quel que soit le style de musique, il y a rien de planifié. […] Voici le cliché original de la pochette de Superunknown. En mettant mes idées en place, je ne m’attendais pas à correspondre au spectre fantastique des idées musicales de l’album. Il y a toujours une part de chance dans tout ça. 

Note du photographe : J’ai toujours été déçu que Matt [Cameron, batteur] soit coupé de la pochette. Ce n’est pas mon initiative. Et d’où vient le nom ‘Screaming Elf’ (cri de l’elfe) ? Ce n’est pas de moi non plus ! »

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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