I was a DJ in New York City for a bunch of years before my old love of photography eclipsed everything. I'd prepare mixes like one would prepare a book: "What do I want to say? What's the mood? Theme?" I've found the same methodology while preparing and shooting projects so music is a HUGE part of my work. My photographs sound like the music I used to mix and make.
Here are the songs that are constantly played during my work for my St. Louis Cemetery Project.
1) The Soft Moon "Far" (Deeper 2015) -- I've been a HUGE fan of Luis Vasquez's work since the release of The Soft Moon's self titled debut in 2010. I took the album with me on a trip to New Orleans (prior to move) and spent the day traveling throughout New Orleans, making pictures and getting my brains blown by the subtle and not-so-subtle intensity of this great work.
So now it's 2015 -- another year and another release by The Soft Moon and it has once again accompanied me on trips to the cemetery. The new song "Far" is fucking great and if the rest of the album is like this then it will be on repeat and at +11 until I'm forcefully removed from my home. The full release is coming soon but you can preorder on iTunes and from Captured Tracks.
Whatever...forget my words. Just listen:
2. The Prodigy "The Day Is My Enemy" (The Day Is My Enemy 2015) -- These guys have never made a bad album. They don't know what it's like to put out shit and that's because of Liam Howlett's intense productions and obsessive work ethic (which inspires me tons). I don't know if it's because of hearing New Orleans music all over the place due to the local Mardi Gras action but the intro of "The Day Is My Enemy" reminds me of the percussion of "Iko Iko" or some similar tune. The song is powerful and exhilarating and adrenalin pumping so if I need kamikaze-like courage to ask someone on the street to do their portrait, I'd maybe play this beforehand. The album is coming out soon and I'm sure it's going to be another piece of excellent work...as always.
3. The Black Angels "Bad Vibrations" (Phosphene Dream 2010) -- A seductive, tour through the questionable recesses of the human psyche but enough about me! (Womp womp.) But seriously, this hypnotic treat entrances me and it actually changes the way I shoot. It's like a sacrifice to a dark lord who, in turn gives you the gift of creative insight. This is an older tune but it has never been off my iPhone or iPod. The song stands in defiance of time.
4. Dinowalrus -- "Wake Up The Void" (Complexion 2014) -- I really liked this band when I saw them perform at Grasslands (R.I.P.) in Brooklyn this past November. So I got the album and have listened to it over and over. If you get the chance to check this band out, please do so.
In relation to how it affects my work: I walk through the French Quarter to get to my destination. No photos. Just walk and then there's the bright sun, blue sky and multi-colored homes with the prospect of another great day of photography. So while I don't really listen to the song while taking photos, it puts me in that excitable place of picture-making time.
I couldn't find the song on Soundcloud but I found another one that gives you an idea of their sound.
5. Missing Persons "Walking in L.A." (The Spring Session 1983) -- I got real cute with this one -- instead of "L.A." it's "LA"...like Louisiana. I know. This is the oldest song on this list and it's a proven and tried classic. Instant good mood and fun for a walkabout. That's what it's for, right?
Well, that's it, folks. The new A Place To Bury Strangers album just arrived in the mail so I'm sure it will be added to my playlist. Happy Valentine's Day!