Headbangersis a collection of Danish photographer Jacob Ehrbahn’s intimate portraits of the beauty and chaos of heavy metal rockers in the throes of musical ecstasy taken at European metal festivals such as Denmark’s Copenhell, Germany’s Wacken Open Air, and Sweden’s Metaltown. Heavy metal fans go totally berserk when listening to their music. Some shake their heads violently from side to side and back and forth, while others go all in and flail their entire bodies in time to the blast beats. In this collection Ehrbahn’s camera stops time and captures the surprising and life-affirming moments when the headbangers abandon all semblance of vanity and surrender to the rhythm. Ehrbahn transports us to an intimate world disconnected from time and space—a universe where it’s possible to transcend the frenzy and enter an altered state that brings calm, joy, and relief.
Jacob Ehrbahn is a Danish photojournalist who has been a staff photographer at the Danish daily national newspaper Politiken since 2003. He has received numerous awards for his work, including being named second and third place Newspaper Photographer of the Year by POYi in 2003 and 2011. He’s a two-time World Press Photo winner with second and third-place prizes in 2004 and 2013. In 2013 he was named Photographer of the Year in Denmark for the second time. Ehrbahn lives in Espergaerde outside Copenhagen, Denmark with his wife, Louise, and their children Anna and Gustav. From time to time, Ehrbahn delves into labors of love on the side, away from his full-time job.
Per Folkver (1953-2014) was for many years the Photo Editor-in-Chief at Politiken and a three-time member of the jury at World Press Photo. He published several books of his own photos, was a teacher and lecturer, as well as an invaluable source of inspiration for a whole generation of young Danish photographers.