Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Posted by xCHIPxSEM |
Today, Jake brings us an interview with photographer Dave Sine. Throughout the 90s, Dave consistently put out zines and is currently a regular contributor on Double Cross webzine. To see some his photography work, check out http://www.flickr.com/photos/tidbitsphotos/ as well as http://tidbitsphotos.blogspot.com/

When and how did you get interested in photography?
I got into photography mainly out of necessity. I simply needed and wanted photos for my fanzine. I had a friend provide me with some photos for my first issue but I just wasn't totally satisfied with the results. So, I went to a local department store and purchased a point and shoot camera. One good enough to take decent shots, yet small enough to not have to worry about it getting broken at shows. Plus it fit in my pocket for easy travel.

When you first started, who or what did you mostly take pictures of?

When I first purchased a camera, my main goal was to make photos for my fanzine. So for many years I mostly shot bands rockin' out at shows. The more I had my camera around the more I started to shoot various things that caught my interest. When I reached the limit of what I could achieve with the little point and shoot, I finally got around to upgrading to a manual SLR, and really started to expand what I shot. Since then I've got a growing collection of cameras with which to choose from to capture the world around me.

What was the very first hardcore show that you photographed?

The first show I brought a camera to was No For An Answer, Hard Stance, Headfirst and a few others in a little hall in the San Diego, CA area.

You did a few different zines in the late '80s and early '90s. Discuss those.

In my early years in the punk/hardcore scene, I had always thought that fanzines were done by people on a higher lever than I. That was until a friend handed me a copy of a zine he put together which really brought it all down to my level. It helped me realize that you didn't need fancy printing and all the other stuff to make a zine. All you need was some scissors, glue, and a copy machine. So that got me going in the zine making world. I looked through my records and other fanzines and starting writing to bands about doing interviews and together with my friend started putting together a zine. Since I was pulling in a different direction musically than my friend, we decided to make it a split issue. And that was the first issue of On Line Fanzine. Why I called it On Line, I have no idea. I guess I thought it sounded cool or something. I d id a second issue on my own. My friend Josh Stanton helped put together the third issue. We started working on a fourth, but Josh got busy doing band stuff. I still wanted to do a zine, but felt the need for a fresh start. So, I killed On Line and started Tidbit. I picked that name because it seemed like such a silly sounding word. I was able to put together six issues and a photo issue of Tidbit. Also, during this time I helped with various one off zine projects like Disgust, The Beast, and Slag. My zine making days came to an end in '97 when I moved to the east coast.

Who were some of your favorite interviewees for your zines and why?

Hmmmm, that's a hard question to answer. Everybody that I got to sit around with and ask questions were really cool and interesting people, so my main goal was to try and ask interesting questions in hope that it would make for a good conversation that others would read. And I tried not to limit my interviews to just bands. I tried to include people who did labels and zines, because they are just as important to a scene as a band is. Plus, sometimes those people are more interesting and just have more to say. As for deciding which in terviews were my favorite, memories of when and where the interview took place come to mind. Amenity was a fun interview. I did that interview in a parking lot after they played a show in a very v ery small practice space in San Diego. My friend Dan drove me down to the show. The show itself was amazing. Sense Field was fun too. Rodney gave me a ride to their practice. Aft er their p ractice we climbed in to their van, drove around and had a fun conversation. The interviews I did with Freebass, Ice, Conversion Records, and Blackspot were all done at a Denny's or a Spires restaurant. Those were fun. Actually, come to think of it, they were all fun.

You accompanied a number of bands on tour in the '90s. Do you have any funny or interesting road stories that you'd like to share?

I was lucky enough to travel with three really good bands: Hunger Farm, Farside and Outspoken. Touring is great fun and a great way to see the country and meet all sorts of people. I have tons and tons of fond memories from those travels. But I'm not sure if any stories I have are all that entertaining though.

Many photos of yours were prominently featured in the Radio Silence hardcore book that came out last year. How did you become a contributor to that book?

It was a pretty simple process. Anthony and Nathan knew of me through the hardcore scene world. Did an internet search, found my old website, and sent off an email asking if I was interested. We met up, discussed it. It sounded like a really cool project, so I lent them my negatives and they did their thing. And I thank them for allowing me to be part of such a cool project.

In addition to Radio Silence, you also regularly contribute photos of yours to the Double Cross webzine. How would you personally compare doing a printed hardcopy zine like you used to do to doing a webzine like Double Cross?

Well, my contribution to Double Cross is very small. I just scan a print or neg and send it their way when I've got the time. Tim and Gordo do all the real work. The biggest difference I see between web and print zines, is that with printed zines, you usually waited until you had everything together in one package before showing it to the world. With a web based zine, you can do it in parts and put it up on the web as you
go. And you get instant feedback from people too. No more waiting to get a letter in the mail or walking around a show with a stack of zines. Whether one version is better than the other is down to personal preference though.

How does photography in the digital age compare to photography in the '80s and '90s?

Well, with digital, you have instant feedback from the camera and a much quicker turnaround when it comes to getting the photos published. I mean, there are kids who take photos at a show and as soon as they get home, have them up on the web somewhere. It's kind of amazing. Instant memories. But also, it seems to me that it's now a very flooded market for photography. So many more people think of themselves as photographers not fully realizing all the help they get from technology. While digital photography can have an artistic feel to it, the actual art of photography is dieing off. At least in my mind it is. More likely though is that it's just changing in a very profound way that I don't particularly like. I prefer working with film. I enjoy the more hands on approach of film photography. Even if that means less of a chance to try and make a little bit of money from my photography. I love spending time in the darkroom and all the other manual labor involved in film photography. It brings me a lot more joy than being in front of a computer screen.

What bands/artists do you listen to the most nowadays and why?

I still listen to a lot of the same stuff I've been listening to for years. But I'm also always looking for new things to listen to, though a lot of the time, that doesn't mean it's music that's been recently made. There is so much music out in the world and I really enjoy searching out new gems.


ERIC SXE said...

Tidbit was a great zine. I've probably got a couple issues in the old zine box in the garage. Dave always had great pictures.