Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sound and Vision: Talking Photography with Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady

If you know anything about the Hold Steady, it wouldn't surprise you to hear that lead guitarist and co-founder Tad Kubler is a top-notch guitar player. Playing the more zen-like ying onstage to lead singer and (the other) co-founder Craig Finn's spastic and hyper yang, Kubler's playing really gives Hold Steady songs a fullness, creating a sound that, to quote a friend, "smells like pure testosterone."

So you might know Kubler is a guitarist, but it might surprise you to hear that Kubler is also a top-notch photographer as well. Starting out in Minneapolis, MN shooting for ad agencies before the band got going, he still shoots whenever he can. Kubler's been involved with press materials for The Hold Steady and occasionally, does work on the side for publications like Rolling Stone (for instance, Kubler's responsible for this great shot of Leonard Cohen)

I discovered all of this when I was doing some reading on The Hold Steady after finally experiencing The Hold Steady live at SXSW this year and stumbling across Kubler's photography site ("woefully outdated," he says). I'm relatively new to the photog field but there were things in Kubler's approach to composition that I found myself really relating to, because they seemed to run congruent to things I found forming in my own work that I'd like to expand. Plus, I was super interested to hear just how exactly he scored such wonderfully rich colors (answer: it ain't digital). So Kubler very graciously found me some time before their recent 930 Club show here in Washington, DC to discuss his background and the wonders of film.

Be sure to check out the links that follow each segment too.

PART 1/4

Take a Look:
* Two big influences:Krissy Drake, Mark Seliger
* Photographers mentioned: Judson Baker, Doug Ordway, Max Vadukul

PART 2/4

Take a Look: Yashica camera, Hasselblad cameras

PART 3/4

Take a Look: Tad Kubler Photography

PART 4/4

Take a Look: A Positive Rage (DVD/Live Album)-The Hold Steady

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