David Evanko, also know as Minivan, is an amazing photographer and avid music fiend. He’s at every single show I’m ever at (and even the ones I skip) and consistently blows my mind with his live shots. He’s photographed almost every relevant band (Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, Kim and the Created), and still manages to keep his shots fresh, stimulating, even visceral, almost like you were there watching the show all along. Check out his gallery below and get ready to fall in love with live music again. —Maya Eslami
WHAT YOUTH: Do you remember your first photo you took?
DAVID EVANKO: Not exactly. I have an early memory of finding my parents’ polaroid camera and snapping away at anything I could. I don’t remember what I was taking photos of, just that it was fun.
Describe your approach to photography?
I love candid shots. Our demeanor changes when we know we have a camera pointed at us so I do my best to find honest moments. I think that’s why I focus mainly on live music, it’s such a raw form of energy and it brings out the organic side of people.
Were you classically trained at all?
I took an intro to photography class while in college. Aside from that, everything I’ve learned has been through experience and advice from friends.
Who’s work inspires you?
Glen Friedman’s stuff is what got me into photography originally and I find myself referring back to him constantly. I also meet a lot of photographers on the road who are touring around with musicians or just people doing cool shit and I really admire their dedication. I met Bob Gruen recently which blew my mind. He gave me some insight that allowed me to look at photography differently and re-stoke me on things I was getting burned out on.
Have you ever photographed something that made you uncomfortable or scared?
I shot a wedding once.
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What makes a good photograph?
Something that lets you feel like you were in that exact moment in time or allows you to view a subject differently.
I have a Vivitar 600 and a Pentax K1000 that have been through everything with me. I’ve recently started experimenting with instant cameras and I’m hoping to integrate them into my work more.
Interests outside photography?
I dedicate most of my time to surfing and playing music. I also love to skate but injuries have forced me to put that aside and I’ve become pretty big on rock climbing instead. Boredom makes me freak out a little so if I have a free weekend I’ll usually just drive out somewhere to climb and camp for the night.
What pushes you outside your comfort zone?
That thing I said about boredom freaking me out. I hate it, but it’s always getting me to try something new.
Why do you take photos?
I’m a bit of a hoarder, I think photography is my way of hoarding memories. I have piles of shitty photos that I can’t get rid of because I’ll stumble across them once in awhile and be reminded of something completely irrelevant but I’ll be happy. If future generations can look at my photos and feel any kind of connection with the things we’re enjoying in this era then I’ll feel good about what I’ve left.