By Sarah Stanley-Ayre
Adam Degross has been documenting various subcultures in the Twin Cities for close to a decade. In January 2013 he self-published a photo collection titled “Pay Attention,” and his work is housed at the Andersen Historical Archives at the University of Minnesota. He recently co-founded Siege Booking, a tour booking company, and is also an in-house booking agent at the Triple Rock. He continues to book local DIY shows and can be found on any given night taking photos of live music.
City Pages recently held a poll for the best music photographer in the Twin Cities and DeGross was one of 20 choices for pollers. He received 35% of the votes and was awarded Music Photographer of the Year.
Tell us about Pay Attention.
Pay Attention is a photo book that spans almost a decade of Twin Cities subcultures. From the live shows, to the lives of these people, this is an in-depth look into the underground that many people don’t get to see.
Q: What prompted you to start taking photos?
A: I started taking photos in 2005. I was talked into buying a small camera right around the time I started booking shows, so I just started taking photos of the shows I booked.
Q: What about your photography career was an especially memorable experience?
A: I was offered a trip to Europe to document a tour for a band called Al and The Black Cats. I had never been to Europe, so I jumped at the chance. It was awesome knowing that I wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity if it wasn’t for my photos. I never would have been able to afford going to Europe, and the travel cost if I wasn’t with this band. This all happened just because I randomly met their singer once at a show, and he liked my photos.
Q: What’s Siege Booking?
A: Siege booking is a company I started with my partner James Claypool. We are a US tour booking agency, which means we represent a number of bands and book their tours for them. Not many show goers know that there are a series of agencies that represent a lot of touring bands, and make everything easier for the bands who want to actively tour. We seek out promoters, get them the guarantees for the shows, make sure everything is being promoted correctly, and then just hope that the show goes well. We took off really fast, and its been going well.
Q: What’s next for Adam DeGross?
A: Just keep going. I never expected any of this, so I will just see what’s going to come next. I’d like to make another book, and there are talks of another photo exhibit.
Q: Where can we see your work and how can we contact you?