Musician & Photographer
Fraser Taylor aka Fraser Laser is a talented musician from London. You most likely know him from the Indie Rock Band, Young Guns, but he is starting to make his name within the photography world.
We spoke to Fraser midway through his UK and European Tour to find out more about his photography and how he balances that alongside his busy music schedule. He also kindly left some tips for those who aspire to be photographers or touring musicians.
Read his interview below!
KNEWYU: WHAT IS YOUR NAME, WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
FRASER: Fraser Taylor, London, musician and photographer.
K: YOU HAVE BEEN TOURING A LOT WITH YOUR BAND, YOUNG GUNS WHO I LOVE AND WAS SAD TO HEAR WHEN BEN LEFT. IT WAS THROUGH HIM AND HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH JENN (CLOTHESENCOUNTERS) THAT LED ME TO FINDING YOUR BAND. SO WHAT IS IT LIKE NOT HAVING HIM AROUND AND DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR THE TOURING MUSICIAN?
F: Ben will always be family to us so although it was a shame that he couldn’t commit to being in the band anymore we respect his decision. Life takes people on different paths and that’s ok. We’re happy and busier than ever which is important for us as a band. I guess my tips would be don’t forget about the people you leave behind when you’re travelling but mainly make sure it’s fun otherwise there’s no point!
K: I THINK IT’S SAFE TO SAY THAT MUSIC IS YOUR JOB AND PHOTOGRAPHY IS YOUR HOBBY? SO HOW DO YOU FIND TIME TO BALANCE THE TWO?
F: I think it’s more a case of music being the most demanding aspect of my life at this point in time. I have turned my hobby of photography into a second job but the best thing about it is that when I’m not on tour or in the studio I can keep myself busy with pictures. I’d probably say they were both hobbies in the beginning. There’s a lot of similarities between them.
K: WALK US THROUGH A DAY IN YOUR LIFE? WHAT DOES A TYPICAL RECORDING SESSION LOOK LIKE?
F: That can change drastically depending on the situation. At the moment I’m on tour so it’ll start with breakfast, of course. Then we usually have a bit of a journey to whichever city we’re in next. I spend that time editing photos or learning software for the most part. We arrive, soundcheck for the show, watch the other bands, play and then meet and hang out with anyone that has the desire to do so. That’s kind of the basic touring lifestyle. Depending on the journey and if time allows I’ll go find some nice food or just go ride my bike somewhere.
K: I READ YOUR BLOG POST TALKING ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE COVER OF YOUR LATEST PROJECT, ‘ECHOES’ AND I WAS SURPRISED THAT IT WAS YOU WHO MADE IT AS I DIDN’T REALISE YOU WERE SO GOOD AT GRAPHIC DESIGN AS WELL. IT LOOKS AMAZING!! DO YOU THINK THAT ALBUM ART IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WILL CONTINUE TO PURSUE OR INCORPORATE INTO YOUR ARTISTIC PRACTICE?
F: I’d very much like to. I’m not the biggest ‘people person’ so there are obvious challenges to being on stage or taking photos of people. I’m probably happiest setting up and experimenting with different abstract shots. As far as graphic design goes I would say that I have no clue what I’m doing on that front. I’d love to learn more about the typography aspect especially. Hopefully it’s something I can add to my skill set at some point.
K: I ALWAYS LIKE TO ADD A FASHION QUESTION IN MY INTERVIEWS SO, DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVOURITE DESIGNERS/BRANDS AND/OR A GO-TO OUTFIT THAT NEVER FAILS YOU WHEN PERFORMING?
F: I wouldn’t say I gravitate towards any specific brands. I love my Nikes. But on the whole I tend to wear a lot of oversized vintage t shirts that I pick up from various places. I’m a creature of comfort so if I can find an outfit that’s comfortable but doesn’t look like it too much then I’m set.
K: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR? (MUSICALLY AND PHOTOGRAPHY WISE)
F: It changes so often as different things happen. Musically, Warped Tour this summer was one of my favourite things we’ve ever done. Although it was not the biggest show we’ve ever played or anything like that, the atmosphere and experience of touring with that many bands and crew was something I’ll never forget.
In terms of photography highlights, I’m not really sure, I’m still finding my feet on the commission based aspect. It’s awesome to start seeing shots I’ve taken appearing on posters or just online but in a similar way to music if I’ve taken a photo that I love that’s kind of all that matters to me.
K: WHAT TIPS CAN YOU GIVE TO AN ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHER? WHAT TIPS CAN YOU GIVE TO AN ASPIRING MUSICIAN?
Again, I’d say the two are very similar. People obsess over what camera you use or what guitar pedals you have but none of that really matters. You get out what you put in. Read books, learn things, write and practice as much as possible and be hungry. There will always be people willing to work harder than you. You can’t rely on other people to work for you either.