After building up suspense over the past few days, it has come time for us to reveal our extremely fortunate opportunity to post our exclusive interview with the man behind all of the photographs highlighted in the clues.
Roger Sargent, savant photographer of some of British music’s biggest names EVER, graciously accepted an interview request from Reading Other People. This is the man who photographed everyone from Suede to Blur, from Paul Weller to Richard Ashcroft. And, oh, did I mention he’s the genius behind the infamous Libertines record we posted a few days back?
Now, for your reading pleasure, check out our intimate interview with the awesome-beyond-words Roger Sargent.
Reading Other People (ROP): First of all, I thank you a million times for allowing me to interview you. It’s an honour. Your portfolio is literally a whos-who of not only my all-time favorite artists, but a testament to timeless photography. How do you go about selecting your subjects?
Roger Sargent (RS): I literally go with what I’m currently buzzing off. I think throughout my life I’ve always retained that excitement for the new, it keeps me young (ish) and inspired. New bands are less jaded and still love being around each other. So largely I’m continuing to discover new bands the same way I always did – radio, word of mouth, YouTube. There are fewer and fewer magazines left now so I tend to contact the bands and labels direct.
ROP: How did you come upon a career in photography? You clearly have an innate talent to capture both the solitude and intimacy of your subjects.
RS: When I was fifteen I kinda new what I wanted to do – shoot for NME. I was lucky enough to achieve that about five years later having studied photography at university. I think one (of many) things that my course leader Daniel Meadows taught us was “if it’s not good enough, you’re not close enough”
ROP: Cat Power…The Libertines…true renegades of rock music. Is there something about their ferocity that attracts you?
RS: I like to feel (at first) a little intimidated by bands, great artists always have that spark and potential for chaos. The feeling that literally anything can happen.
ROP: How do you choose to style the shoot? Do you let the artist be organic, or is there more staging going on?
RS: That really depends on who. Some artists have an innate sense of self others need a little help. I like when bands look like a unit, that something gels them together. That can even be an abstract uniformity. It’s easy enough to tweak things but way more satisfying when it’s all “there”.
ROP: Is there a medium that is your true favorite? Photography? Video? An amalgam of both?
RS: At the moment video, but it’s still pretty new to me. The two have so many similarities. I’m a little down on the photography medium because there are increasingly fewer outlets for it to exist. But everything changes and it’s not like it will die. But it needs to be valued more.
ROP: You shot the Boo Radley’s! Were you able to get “Wake Up, Boo” out of your head at all whilst shooting?
RS: Ha! No! But happily so. I was there during the recording of the album. It’s still a great favourite of mine. Happy times. Though Martin (Carr) told me recently he still can’t listen to any of those records, which is a shame.
ROP: What’s your take on modern music today? Who have you been listening to?
RS: There’s loads of great stuff happening at the moment. I tend to listen to what I’m involved With. So, Sunflower Bean, a lot. Fat white Family, Sleaford Mods.
ROP:Who is your dream subject to photograph, either alive or dead?
RS: The Doors would have been fun. But honestly, it’s the next truly exciting talent I’m more interested in.
ROP: Your portfolio is like a scrapbook of my favorite artists. Where’s the Belle and Sebastian pic?
RS: I did shoot them live once….but back in the day they were incredibly camera shy and hated the NME. Two things that didn’t help!
ROP: If you had to choose three words to describe your style, what would they be?
RS: Honest, intimate, reflective.
ROP: What advice do you have for aspiring writers and photographers around the globe?
RS: Be unique!
Visit Roger’s website st https://rogersargent.carbonmade.com/ for more info about him, and to check out more of his portfolio.