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EXCLUSIVE: Mayhem in Atlanta With the Black Lips


Riding mattresses down the street and lighting guitars on fire may be wild shenanigans for the average Joe. But for Atlanta’s Black Lips, a band known for outlandish stage hijinks including nudity and vomiting, it’s just another hometown photo shoot.

While capturing images for our July issue, SPIN photo director Michelle Egiziano and photographer Ture Lillegraven visited frontman Cole Alexander’s home in Cabbagetown, just outside Atlanta. It was Egiziano who suggested pulling the quartet around town on a mattress tied to the back of an SUV.

“They said, ‘Sure!,’ no hesitation,” recalls Egiziano. “They acted like we were asking them to drink beers by the pool.”

But the fiery shot that made the magazine cover was the band’s own idea. “When we got to the studio for the cover setup, Cole quietly approached me and asked, ‘Hey, do you mind if I set this guitar on fire?'” says Egiziano. “I could poll every photographer, photo editor, creative director, and editor-in-chief on the planet, and this question would make them all cry with tears of joy! I promise. I said ‘yes’ like I have never said ‘yes’ before.”

Watch behind-the-scenes footage in the video below, plus an interview with the foursome.

This clip originally appeared on SPIN Play, our new iPad app, where you can find exclusive clips like this one every month, plus 60 streaming songs, daily news, album reviews, SPIN magazine stories, photos, and other goodies. Find out more.

Photo Opp: The Black Lips