Austin-based photographer Matt Rainwaters documented FunFunFun Fest. Rainwater’s answered a few of ILTP’s questions about this personal project.

You mentioned, that this was a nice return to where photography started for you — did you start with shooting music?
Yeah, it is sort of a return to where I started.  The not so short version is that I grew up in the San Fernando Valley outside of LA in the mid 90′s and everything was skateboarding and punk rock back then.  Through those circles I ended up good friends with the lawyer at Epitaph records and he would call in photo passes for me when I wanted to shoot a show.  So, from ’97-2005 that’s what I did with my weekends, just hanging out in crappy punk venues or rehearsal spaces shooting bands.

I can honestly say I have never felt as alive as I have with a camera in my hand shooting a band from the pit

I can honestly say I have never felt as alive as I have with a camera in my hand shooting a band from the pit. FFF Fest always happens at that time of year when things are crazy and you really need a break to recenter yourself… I consider shooting this work vacation and a real labor of love.  Shooting the backstage at the black stage felt just like home and I think this work really reflects the fun I had making it.

Were you shooting film or digital?
I bought my medium format digital set-up earlier this year so I was shooting with a Phase 1 system and a p45 back… probably not ideal for running around in the dust but the files are gorgeous.

Looks pretty wild! Do you have any crazy stories?
Nothing too wild or dangerous on this adventure…  For me the funniest part about this is that I taught high school for awhile in LA, and some of my old students are now in bands and touring. Now when FIDLAR, Anamanaguchi, and Baths cruise through town it’s like an old photo class reunion backstage.