Piper Ferguson’s ‘Indie Seen’ guide paperwork early-2000s rock

Piper Ferguson’s ‘Indie Seen’ guide paperwork early-2000s rock


If you happen to had been a teen on the flip of the millennium, likelihood is your musical style fell into considered one of two camps: You had been both a pop child, with the likes of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, *NSYNC or Future’s Baby in your Sony Discman, otherwise you had been a “new indie rock” child with posters of Pete Doherty or The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas in your bed room partitions.

The latter style was loosely outlined. Indie rock acts ranged in fashion and sound. The Libertines, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Modest Mouse and Amy Winehouse may all be thought-about a part of the motion, albeit in very other ways. What they shared, although, was an aura of cool — one which Los Angeles-based photographer Piper Ferguson spent a lot of her early profession capturing.

Ferguson’s debut guide “Indie, Seen” presents a uncooked and nostalgic take a look at the early-2000s, with behind-the-scenes portraits depicting artists from Interpol to Kasabian, Peaches to PJ Harvey. Collectively they kind what she described as “a set of ‘moments’ that actually seize what indie was all about again then.”

“I’ve a lot footage from these days,” she mentioned over Zoom. “To me, it was such a unbelievable, inventive period for the music business.”

Piper Ferguson

Johnny Marr, a detailed good friend of Ferguson, wrote the foreword for the guide. Right here he is performing with bandmates Iwan Gronow and Jack Mitchell in 2016.

Piper Ferguson

“Beck represents the indie spirit as a lot, or extra, than anybody,” Ferguson writes. This under-the-rain picture was taken outdoors a taco store in Hollywood in 2006, as a part of a shoot for ‘Mojo’ journal to publicize his album ‘Guero.’

Piper Ferguson

The Strokes, shot for ‘Rolling Stone’ in 2001 after their efficiency at The Troubadour in Hollywood. “The Strokes are to indie what Nirvana was to grunge” Ferguson writes within the guide.

Piper Ferguson

“Peaches wasn’t afraid to placed on a present,” Ferguson mentioned. She photographed the singer on completely different events, together with dive bars and unconventional settings, like this one, the place she’s singing with a DJ crew behind her, in 2003.

Piper Ferguson

Greg Lee of Hepcat, photographed within the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz in 1998.

Piper Ferguson

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs performing on the NY Parking Lot present in Williamsburg, New York, in 2002.

Piper Ferguson

” this {photograph} now I see a lady who was given an amazing present that she was sadly unable to deal with” Ferguson writes of a photograph taken of Amy Winehouse acting at Coachella in 2007. “Sadly, Amy’s gentle burned just a little too vibrant, and we nonetheless miss her.”

Piper Ferguson

“I bear in mind it rained for the whole shoot with Pavement” Ferguon recalled. “We had been in Portland, Oregon, and needed to do it indoors. Then, simply as we had been about to wrap up, the solar got here out, and a rainbow too, so we went out to an deserted lot and I took the picture.”

Perception Editions

Beck, who graces the quilt of “Indie,Seen,” is pictured in a shot for ‘Mojo’ journal in 2006. “He is such a form, humorous individual,” Ferguson mentioned.

Wild, laidback and enjoyable

Comprising some 350 pictures, a lot of which spent years languishing in submitting cupboards, “Indie, Seen” options stay photographs and occasion footage, candid snapshots and editorial portraits, all shot utilizing movie. Many had been taken at Ferguson’s personal LA membership Cafe Bleu, which she opened with finest good friend Shalyce Benfell within the late Nineteen Nineties, whereas later footage had been captured as she traveled the world to {photograph} festivals for magazines.

“I’ve at all times been into music — a lot in order that I initially needed to direct music movies. Images didn’t actually appear to be a profession possibility. Then I purchased a small Pentax (digital camera) and started capturing all of the bands that performed at Cafe Bleu,” Ferguson mentioned, explaining that she discovered her craft from pictures books bought at a yard sale. “I began taking the digital camera with me all over the place I went, simply snapping gigs, the crowds, the backstage. And I fell in love with it.”

In 1999, Ferguson had an image — a close-up shot of Rage Towards the Machine performing on the very first version of Coachella — revealed in a serious music publication, Spin, for the primary time. Extra journal work, from options to covers, adopted. Over the following decade, she established herself as a revered identify within the indie circuit and, on the time, considered one of its only a few feminine photographers.

“It was clearly a bit completely different being a girl in a really male-dominated area,” Ferguson mentioned. “However total, there have been far more individuals who had been supportive than weren’t. I believe that’s one of many issues that made the indie motion significantly nice: There was a collective sense of desirous to do one thing actually cool and assist others doing the identical. I used to be handled like a peer, an equal. Everyone was simply striving to make one thing good.”

This camaraderie is obvious all through “Indie, Seen,” which sees Ferguson weave collectively photographs with private, first-hand accounts and vignettes of her expertise capturing them.

Piper Ferguson

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs caught performing on the NY Parking Lot present in Williamsburg, New York, in 2002.

There’s Joe Strummer of The Conflict telling her “You may’t rush artwork, child” as she apologizes for a shoot taking too lengthy (“one of many biggest moments of my profession,” Ferguson mentioned of the playful remark); The Verve entrance man Richard Ashcroft driving her via a London park in quest of the proper backdrop for an image; and The Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr (who wrote the foreword to her guide) turning into a great good friend of hers after engaged on a number of shoots collectively.

“Principally, everybody was simply actually laidback and enjoyable,” Ferguson mentioned. “And a bit wild, after all.”

Sections of the guide are devoted to episodes that felt like significantly significant cultural moments — The Strokes enjoying at West Hollywood’s Troubadour in 2001, the yr the band’s debut album “Is This It” sealed indie rock as the following chapter of rock ‘n’ roll; or Coldplay acting at LA’s Chateau Marmont in 2002 shortly after the discharge of “A Rush of Blood to the Head.”

“I spotted I used to be witnessing historical past and tried to absorb every shoot,” she mentioned.

Ferguson additionally delves into quieter moments with seminal bands like The Killers, Pavement, Interpol and The Libertines. Whereas she mentioned all of the shoots felt particular, her favorites embrace a uncooked on-stage picture of the late Amy Winehouse placing on a ballet slipper whereas balancing on the opposite foot.

“She appeared so nervous and was shaking, as if she had no concept why the gang was going loopy for her,” Ferguson recalled, including that the late singer appeared “so susceptible.”

Then there’s the picture of Beck in a vibrant inexperienced jumper and floral tie, umbrella in hand, wanting immediately down Ferguson’s lens outdoors a taco joint in Hollywood. The picture, from a Mojo journal shoot marking the discharge of his 2005 album “Guero,” graces the quilt of Ferguson’s guide.

“He’s the good, most down-to-earth inventive child on the town,” she mentioned, “and the epitome of indie rock.”

In addition to capturing era-defining bands, “Indie, Seen” spotlights among the 2000s’ lesser-known — however nonetheless influential — bands like The Datsuns, Foxygen and The Bangs. For Ferguson, illustrating the breadth of the motion was key to curating the guide.

“Once I consider indie music from the early aughts, I consider one thing inherently completely different, creative and artistic,” she mentioned. “So many bands had been a part of that, and I believed it was essential to point out all of them. The scene was so wide-ranging.”

Piper Ferguson

Greg Lee of Hepcat, captured within the Los Angeles neighborhood of Los Feliz in 1998.

This could be one of many the explanation why the style thrived within the 2000s, regardless of being thought-about “different.” Eschewing strict categorizations, indie rock ranged from the catchy and high-energy tunes of The Cribs to the deeply intimate and introspective songs of Cat Energy, from Loss of life Cab for Cutie’s atmospheric albums to the folksy vibes of Iron & Wine, all artists Ferguson had the chance to {photograph}. Indie music had what Ferguson known as an “nearly DIY strategy” that, she famous, made it really feel genuine and open to experimentation.

The style turned the last decade’s soundtrack for a technology of millennials – and a few Gen X-ers, too. Nonetheless, Ferguson hopes the attraction of “Indie, Seen” extends past those that grew up within the 2000s.

“I’d love for youthful generations to select up the guide and go, ‘Let me go discover this or that band on Spotify,’” she mentioned. “Indie rock marks a reasonably influential interval of our music historical past, so I’d actually like for it to proceed to reverberate. I need ‘Indie, Seen’ to be a celebration. An invite to be impressed by these cool children from again then. Attempt issues. Don’t be afraid. Get on the market. That’s the indie spirit.”

“Indie, Seen,” revealed by Perception Editions, is obtainable now.

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