Wow, what a year. In 2015, we were fortunate to sit down with some of the world's most important artists, musicians, photographers, trouble-makers, truth-seekers, and cultural warriors. Here are choice quotes from some of our best interviews of the year, featuring Alan Vega, Genesis Breyer P'Orridge, Roger Ballen, Albert Hammond Jr., and Jack Walls.
1. Alan Vega, Ghost Rider Motorcycle Hero and founding member of electronic music duo SUICIDE
"SUICIDE sort of summed up the world we lived in: Nixon, the bombings, and the war, and what the hell! People thought we were describing our own suicide, but it was the only appropriate name."
2. Genesis Breyer P'Orridge, English singer-songwriter, performance artist, poet, occultist, and healer of civilization
"[Counter-culture is] the think tank—always has been, always will be. In any culture, at any point in the history of our species, there are those who feel dissatisfied with the power structures, the dynamics of who has control over what resources, and who decides what the moral taboos are and are not."
3. Roger Ballen, photographer & filmmaker of unimaginable worlds
"A lot of people in this business grew up in the newer generation and they tend to try to find new angles and edges that are basically technological, that are focused on just the idea rather than the substance of the idea.
The substance of the idea, to me, is crucial to good art. You don’t hear about that too much. You don’t hear about metaphor, depth, indescribably parts of the psyche. It’s gimmick of the gimmick."
4. Albert Hammond Jr., guitarist for the Strokes
"As he [Carl Sagan] pulls away from the planet, you see how tiny and meaningless everything is. We create meaning. To me, that allows for change, allows for the human element, for mistake. It lets us learn...
People are fighting for a fraction of a dot to become momentary masters. Nothing is permanent. Even when it feels so permanent, it isn’t."
5. Jack Walls, writer, artist, cultural survivalist, former partner of Robert Mapplethorpe, mentor to Dash Snow, Ryan McGinley, & Dan Colen
"GRIEF AND ROMANTICISM ARE THE SAME THING. IF YOU CAN ROMANTICIZE GRIEF - I DON’T WANT TO SAY YOU HIT THE JACKPOT - BUT YOU REALLY HAVE SOMETHING. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, WALLOW IN IT?"
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