I was pretty psyched to be asked to tag along on the King Woman // Mother Room // Foie Gras tour as a documentarian. Combining my deep rooted need and love for live music with the incessant urge to constantly travel is an offer I could not pass up. These sorts of blessed adventures seem to awaken a certain kind of vigor I can seldom reach when grounded.
I truly can't express in words the sensation of pure magic permeating so many moments of this trip. The aroma of transformation was so vivid I could feel it like a rash.
King Woman are a group of the kindest and subtly wild people I have ever met. The energy and tension between them made me homesick for my brothers as it was so distinctly that of a bonded unit. Their heavy foundation and deep lyrics carried me into a state that I often felt I couldn't have willingly stepped out of if I wanted to- not that I ever did.
Foie Gras, the solo project of Iphigenia Gras, is as strange, raw and positively individualistic as the woman herself. I felt as the days went on that she slowly morphed into a Phoenix that just flew away gracefully on the last sleepy morning in San Francisco.
Mother Room is so intense that I often feared there was the possibility of losing my skin if I stood too close. Watching James made me feel like I was reading his journal without asking while being excitedly burned alive.
I leave this experience stronger, wiser and fuller. I cherish the inspiring work of these artists and the time I have spent with them. I honor Lady Fortune for smiling down upon us when life felt unbearable for all of us - as it did - at our own unique moments, relative to the madness.
I will carry this experience with me wrapped in fondness and gratitude always.
In addition to photographing the tour lightly, I recorded hours and hours of video footage and will be spending September editing the (K)Nights of Swords Tour Video.
More here as it comes.
Yours Devoted, MJ
Words and Photographs by MJ Bernier
Sky Madden also contributed to this post.
Thank you to Mikey and Sarah Lockhart of LCM, Iphi's friends in Sacramento with the big white house with the cat room with Batman Forever and Almost Famous, Adrienne and Willy and their bathroom, everyone at Orange St Studios, Jess Labrador, the ladies in the Zumba class in La Puente, the pizza parlor and the Stripmall of Bridgetown DIY, Everyone at The Dial in Murrieta and the gas attendant in San Bruno who wouldn't let us pee without spending money and who lied to us about someone "being in there." NO KEY!
AND A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO RICKY, R.I.P.