Nick Zinner interview

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' guitarist tells us about his new book

Nick Zinner interview
Nick Zinner interview Image #2

The new three-way collaboration between Nick Zinner, fellow musician Zachary Lipez and book designer Stacy Wakefield portrays heavy nights as a bartender, rock’n’roll partying, wayward youths, bizarre moments in time, facts, humour and musings about New York City. We caught up with Zinner to get the lowdown.

This is your fourth book with Zachary and Stacy. How did you get into publishing?
We met in Brooklyn in the late ’90s. Our old bands were playing the same parties at the time, and Stacy was working as an editor. We just decided in a bar that we’d do a project and make a book together. We put out our first book [No Seats on the Party Car] in 2000, which was essentially black-and-white photos of mine and Zach’s poetry at that time. What it comes down to is the pure love of the process and the object.

Who buys the books? Is it the same people that listen to your music, or a whole new audience?
A lot of the people who hear about this will get it from the context of the band, but there are plenty of people who have just stumbled upon the books and were unaware of my band. That’s really cool.

Which is the most intriguing photo in the book?
People often react to a photo I took of a crowd my band was playing to. Everyone was wearing masks and you don’t necessarily know what it is. It’s an immediate but ambiguous image; confident yet quaint. It’s evocative and can be whatever the viewer wants it to be.

Is it art for a purely visual sake?
I’m not really trying to say anything; rather, I’m trying to present something that hopefully is interesting or beautiful. I’m just looking for striking images that have an emotional side to them, or an intensity to some degree. Or maybe images that are sort of humorous, but they’re definitely not meant to be a statement on anything. It’s really just art for art’s sake.

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