Photo Talk: Debi Del Grande's Photography w/ SPOON

Music photography captures moments in time that fans can look back on and either remember a concert they attended, or one they wish they had. From documenting live music, to candid moments off stage, this series of interviews is meant to hand the mic over to the photographers who are capturing these moments in music history.

We spoke with LA based photographer Debi Del Grande. Check out her favorite photographs and memories with the band below.

How did you meet Spoon and start working with them as their photographer?

I have been extremely fortunate and honored to call Spoon my friends and they let me tag along. To clarify, I’m not commissioned by Spoon. In 2013, Britt and Alex were in the band Divine Fits while Spoon was on hiatus. I shot a few shows of them around the LA area. Their management contacted me to see if I would be photographing Coachella (which I was) and wanted to do some photos of the band before they hit the stage and afterwards. They were looking for potential EP cover photos. This is when I met Britt and Alex and the other members of Divine Fits (Dan Boechner and Sam Brown) who are the coolest guys.
Looking back, it was quite funny because I also took their portrait near the lake there and I was not used to doing portraits at all. I had no idea how to direct, etc.

The photo after they came off stage from their set was used for their EP cover. I was thrilled! But more meaningful to me, was Britt contacting me and saying he liked my work and if DF or Spoon ever play a show, I’m more than welcome to go and take photos. I don’t think he was prepared for how many shows that would actually entail.

Can you show us your favorite live photo of Spoon that you've ever taken? What do you love the most about it?

Hmm. There are a few, but two stick out in my mind at Lollapalooza in 2017. The skyline at the park is beautiful and there was a big thunderstorm coming in so I knew it was about to rain hard (it did immediately after their set).

and one of Gerardo Larios on the keyboard. What he was doing, the light – it was just perfect.

Is there a portrait you're the most proud of making? Can you set the scene of where you were and how you interacted with the band?

The Sasquatch Festival which is sadly no longer. There was a spot that has an incredible view that only the photographer of the festival was allowed to shoot there for his portraits. Well, Brit pulled some strings and I was able to shoot them in that spot.

From candid, live or portrait photography- do you have a preference on which you enjoy the most when you're shooting Spoon?

Candids for sure! I get giddy inside when I see something happen in the moment, but that also happens on stage. There are always little moments between the guys that I love to try to capture and document. They get along so well and get goofy off or on stage. Alex is definitely the instigator. Live would be next. I like the unexpected and the energy. I haven’t done a lot of portraits of Spoon. It’s hard to wrangle them all together, but I’ve done a few with the different lineups. Hopefully, I can gather them for one with the current lineup.

Can you share a random memory with Spoon paired with a photo?

Red Rocks 2017. I have always wanted to go there and shooting was icing on the cake. Britt wanted a group photo at the end of the set with the crowd in the back. He mentioned to make sure I get their attention as someone will always walk right off the stage. Sure enough, that started to happen. It was so magical to do that at that particular venue. Also, when I was backstage about to take a photo, Gerardo was holding an oxygen mask to his face with a tank and I thought “Oh no. Does he have some kind of disease or something that he needs that?” I better not take a photo. That would be rude. Come to find out, the incredible tour manager, AJ Faber was prepared for the altitude changes in Colorado and was taking care of the band and crew. So lesson learned. Always take the photo!

When did you first begin taking an interest in music photography?

After a really bad breakup 2008-2009, I started going to many many concerts with my point and shoot and would stand in line early to get to the rail and absorb everything I could. I loved the feeling I would get at a show (therapy) and tried to capture it on my point and shoot, but didn’t know how to get a professional camera inside. I would watch the professionals walk in the photo pit in front of me and knew they were shooting for a publication, but didn’t know how to start. There were very few publications and blogs at that time. I went to see Wild Beasts in New York and spoke to a photographer there and he asked if I wanted to shoot for their blog and so I did!

What was the first concert you photographed?
I remember well. Level 42 in 2010 at Club Nokia which is now The Novo here in LA. I have much love for so many British bands. I was so nervous. Three songs and you are done.

Are there bucket list bands you hope to work with next?

Lots of bands, but bucket list/dream bands: The Cure (my favorite band of all time), Rolling Stones, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Arctic Monkeys. Notice the British theme?

What was your favorite concert you've ever photographed?

That is hard because I’ve photographed so many incredible concerts. I can’t pinpoint just one. They are all so different and unique and I’m still grateful to be there.

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Last updated: 3 Mar 2024, 03:58 Etc/UTC