Behind the Lens with Andrew Boyle
Andrew Boyle got his start shooting editorials for electronic music magazines in the early 2000’s at raves and hip-hop events in Melbourne, Australia. As his technical skill grew, the stature of his subjects rose accordingly and Boyle captured iconic images of many of today’s major stars. When he relocated to New York City to work for Milk Studios in 2007, Boyle committed himself to capturing live performance in a way that brought his subjects to life. Inspired by notable photographers like Mick Rock, Anton Corbijn, and Jim Marshall, Boyle tries to avoid the all-too-familiar approach of flatly documenting a musician on stage. Whether he’s working in the studio, or bumping shoulders in a festival photo pit, Boyle is always on the hunt for the perfect moment to snap the artist in front of him in a new way.
From Devo’s instructions to always shoot the group “From Up High,” to a watching a moment of intimacy between Patti Smith and Michael Stipe, Boyle shares memories from some of the highlights of his career. Click through his incredible photographs above and check out his website to see more of his work.
Patti Smith and Michael Stipe
"Patti was joined on stage by the REM frontman to sing "Everybody Hurts" as part of a small poetry reading at a photography exhibition. It was magic to watch these two legends share a private moment together, as Patti was crying as she sung with him. It felt like you were part of a rare moment of understanding between two accomplished musicians."
"These guys are one of those great success stories. Transitioning from festival side act to headliners, their slowly thumping late night music translating perfectly to an open air environment. Out of all the pics I snapped that night, to me this summed up Jamie and Roma's unspoken back and forth musical dialogue. It was an intimate moment shared with 10,000 fans."
"This was a recent one at this year's Coachella. Diplo and company took reaching the crowd to new levels by walking across the crowd, Flaming Lips style, in giant plastic balls. Their set was like a huge spring break party and I managed to snap this one in the frenzy, backlit by the setting Coachella sun."
"This was in 2004 and my first music festival as a photographer and a dream come true to shoot these music heroes of mine. They moved so fast that I missed so many shots changing lenses (I learned to carry two cameras after this). It's sad to see them have to end things after MCA passed, but for me Mike D here is the personification of their larger than life stage presence. I think I ended up giddily watching them more than I shot."
"Rock The Bells 2007 was the first festival I shot in New York and it rained all day. Wrapping my camera in off cuts from a trash bag, I was awe-struck to be standing in front of one of the most important rap groups of all time. Although having all the prerequisite wide angle shots of the group, this one of Flavor Flav feels to represent his stature as an icon in his own eccentric way."
"The duo blew up very quickly a few years back, demand for their strobe lit visual assaults high. Every second frame you shot didn't expose properly thanks to the frantic lighting but this is my favorite shot of vocalist Alice Glass, who usually writhes and screams on stage. She appears momentarily peacefully poised to unleash hell."
"Insanity is one word that really describes a Die Antwoord performance. Part manic rap shot, part rave, they are one of the most entertaining acts to shoot. I machine gunned through about 3000 frames of the duo in five minutes, a huge throng of party kids going bananas behind me. The picture here makes me think the impish Yo-Landi Vi$$er is contemplating something rather sinister."
"In 2008 I was sent to Brooklyn's wonderfully dilapidated McCarren Park pool (now fully refurbished of course, and shut as a venue) that used to house fantastic open air concerts, to shoot the legendary Devo. I biked frantically over the Williamsburg Bridge, camera and lights on my back on a hot summer night. Arriving thoroughly drenched in sweat, I met the guys who were very nice and scaled the temporary backstage guest area pavilion to get this angle. I was instructed to always shoot them from up high."
Iggy and The Stooges
"A friend's mother was managing The Stooges and I was invited up to Harlem to a newly refurbished theatre to shoot their show. I was brand new in New York City at this point and after getting my shots, my friend signaled for me to come on stage. I stood six feet from Iggy as he came backstage to psych himself up for the encore, growling like a madman, not knowing what I had done right in life to warrant seeing Iggy up this close."
"In 2005 MIA was simmering as an artist to watch, still yet to explode globally. We did some portraits on the streets of Melbourne Australia (at that point she could still walk down the street relatively unrecognized) the day after her first festival appearance down under. We strolled around, kept it chill. She was very gracious and sweet. Arular was one of my favorite albums at the time, and I asked if she'd sign my CD. She wrote 'Pull up! Thanks for the photos! xx MIA'."
"This was the last live show I shot on film. I believe it was 2004 and marked the first time Pharrell Williams had come to Australia. N.E.R.D played a spectacular theatre in Melbourne called The Forum. He stood shirtless on a speaker stack gazing out, a little awestruck, at an audience completely losing their minds. Although already well established, Williams was fresh and doing new things with hip-hop. He looks like he is enjoying himself here, a little giddy and happy to reach fans as far away as Australia."