WHAT’S WITH THE AXES?
by Andy Roman
It wasn’t until our fourth album, “The Voice of Treason,” that we finally decided to put a picture of the band on the album cover – although our second album (Acoustic Treason) does feature the denim-clad derrière of Mr. Steel clutching an ax. (Does it get any better than that?)
And speaking of axes (see how smoothly that transition went?), this brings to mind one of the most asked questions we here in the Elm Treason camp get: What’s with the girl holding the ax on the cover of the “Days of Reaction” album?
Other inquiries quickly follow….
What does it mean?
Who is the girl?
Why an axe?
Is this some kind of message?
Does this shirt make me look fat?
(Not that last one so much…)
In truth, the shot used on the first album cover was an accident.
A long-time friend of mine – let’s call him Shane (which works out well, because that’s his name) – offered to take some pictures based on an idea that came to him out of nowhere. He was going to carve the band name in a small piece of tree trunk with an ax, then take a picture of it.
Bobby and I kind of liked the notion, so we said, “Carve away!” and let him do his thing.
After he had masterfully completed the carving, he concluded that some “atmosphere” was needed to accompany the rockin’ stump. He set out into the woods with his wife and daughter in tow for a photo shoot.
Several pictures were taken, including one that actually did wind up as part of the album’s artwork.
During the shoot, with Shane’s daughter holding the ax, she crouched down to rest. The image seen on the album cover was captured by an accidental snap of the camera as she was getting instructions for the next layout. She just happened to be picking up the axe as the shot was taken.
When Shane sent us the pictures from the shoot, he included the photographic fluke… as a joke. “I was ready to delete this thing,” he told me, “but I thought you’d dig it.”
He certainly never expected it would be the album’s new cover.
However, Bobby and I loved the picture and decided it had to be the one.
A meaningless moment in time forever captured and enshrined.
P.S. – You may ask… why then is Bobby holding an ax on the “Acoustic Treason” cover?
“Come on!” you may be saying with a hint of incredulity, “Even if the first album cover was an accident, the second cover clearly was no accident! What’s up with that?”
It’s simply one of those “just because” things. We figured people would wonder about the first album cover, so we decided to pretend we had a deeper intent on the second album cover. We didn’t. We did it as a kick… although there is a theme to the artwork used on the “Acoustic Treason” cover.
I’ll tell you about that next time.