Melanie Nissen’s iconic photos from the punk era for Slash magazine—including a ton of never-before-seen shots—have been gathered in a striking new book, Hard + Fast, coming this month from Australia-based Blank Industries. Several publications have run stories about the tome, including RollingStone.com—which posted a gallery of photos from the book last month—and Nissen was recently interviewed by Jim Ruland for the online edition of the L.A. Times.

Melanie, who also worked as a designer at ABC and A&M before heading art departments at Virgin, Atlantic and Warner Bros., is the better half of publishing exec Kenny MacPherson, the CEO of Hipgnosis Songs Group. Kenny photographed her by the pool of the couple’s home in the San Fernando Valley, which was picked up by the Times and appears in our rotating gif. So does a late-’70s portrait by Slash co-founder Steve Samiof.

“Melanie Nissen’s stark black-and-white photograph of The Damned’s singer, Dave Vanian, adorned the cover of the first issue of Slash, the arty-punk zine she co-founded..., ” Ruland writes. “The magazine inspired scores of local bands to pick up instruments, and over the years, Nissen’s images have spawned countless reinterpretations—most recently on the album art for Playboi Carti’s Whole Lotta Red mixtape in 2021.”

On the cover of Hard + Fast is a striking photo of Darby Crash of The Germs and Exene Cervenka of X. “This was taken at a Slash party on the roof of the office on Beverly,” Melanie recalls. “We had a big party. A million bands came. Darby was just sitting there and Exene was smoking. They are two people that were very important in the punk scene and, aesthetically speaking, I just loved how they looked. I can’t tell if they were bored. Exene was probably bored. I don’t know what Darby was thinking.”

When asked about punk as an enduring influence on pop culture, she responds, “I would have to say that, truly, punk never dies. It gets reincarnated in music, fashion, style and attitude. It’s become highbrow and lowbrow and all over the map.”