11/12/2010 § Leave a comment
Alvin Carillo is a 20 year old photographer living in Los Angeles, California. He has been photographing live events, mostly bands, for the past 2 years. His ability to capture the emotion and energy of a hardcore show is amazing and he has met and photographed some very important people within the hardcore community. I happened to come across his work, by chance, through a friend who is also involved in the hardcore community. After seeing the photographs Alvin has taken and watching the videos he has recorded, I had to contact him for an interview. So I’ll start this off the same way my impression of his work started, with his video of Ceremony playing Throwing Bricks in LA.
I noticed most of your blog is live music photography. Has this always been what you’ve chosen to take photos of?
I was always interested in punk rock photography. Not necessarily the photography aspect of it, but photographing at punk rock/hardcore shows and capturing particular moments.
Why do you like shooting live music?
I’ve always been fascinated by photographs from the 80’s at shows and how the photograph is almost entirely amusing because of what’s going on and not necessarily the composition of the photographer.
What do you like photographing the most?
I don’t personally feel like I photograph many bands (due to work schedules, distance and such – YET!) although I’d absolutely love to, but if I had to choose what I liked photographing the most, it’d definitely be hardcore bands in DIY venues/locations.
What was your favourite thing you’ve shot?
Extremely hard question to answer. I really enjoy some photographs I have of my friends Dangers, who I’ve shot plenty but I think i’d have to say being able to and having taken a few photographs of Ian Mackaye was definitely my favorite photographing experience.
What kind of connection to do you have to the music? Further, what is it that makes you want to photograph hardcore rather than, weddings, portraits or other forms of traditional photography?
I feel a lot of sincerity at hardcore shows. Depending on which bands, there’s always a distinct connection of emotion/anger with everyone in the room and depending on how and when you hit the shutter, it shows. It’s not that I choose photographing music or hardcore shows/bands over weddings or portraits, I’ve just always felt like more of a journalist than someone who creates image. If I were to be documenting to my preference, music in general would be it.
A lot of people who know nothing about hardcore would look at your photographs and be confused, maybe even scared or bothered. What do you feel like they should know about your photos and their relation to the hardcore community in general?
I understand there are a lot of people who simply don’t understand it. My mother being one of them. Aside from various photographs she’s seen, she also saw the footage I recorded of Ceremony in Los Angeles at the 6th Street Warehouse doing “Sick” and had asked me, in confusion, why everyone in the room insisted on jumping on each other from half pipes and swinging around without regard. It’s not very easy to explain to someone the nature of hardcore shows. Whether it may look dangerous or just strange, it is really something you have to experience for yourself. I know that’s very typical of someone to say, but I think it’s honest.
The other day a friend of mine said something that really made sense to me. I was about to listen to a live audio recording of a band, I can’t remember who it was right now, but when I played it he seemed very uninterested. When I had asked him why he simply stated that listening to a recording or even just a hardcore record, without seeing it live, is almost like listening to live audio of a big play. It’s great, but you really have to be there.
Is there any bands, current or broken up, that you would really love to photograph?
This list could go on for ages, I honestly don’t know where to begin with bands who are current that i’ve missed, let alone broken up bands. All apologies in advance. Really just name anything I listen to or post about, and they’re who I’d like to photograph. Sorry for such a shitty answer!
For more of Alvin’s photos, videos and stories you can check out his blog Here
or follow him on twitter Here