Anything But… with Zac Farro

Interview: Anything But… with Zac Farro

We talk travel, photography and more with the HalfNoise and Paramore man.

We all love music. It’s why we do what we do and why you read what we do. Sometimes, though, it’s nice to dig into the past of some of our favourite bands and find out what really makes them tick, without a single mention of the music. That’s exactly what we’re doing with our feature, Anything But…

The latest DIY fave to delve into their lesser-known passions is HalfNoise and Paramore man Zac Farro. From travel to his new-found obsession with photography, we delve into the drummer’s non-musical obsessions.

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So, a couple of years ago you lived over in New Zealand, right?

On and off for two years, yeah. The first time I went over there, it was for a trip with my family and I saw my friend who I’d met back when I was 15, and it completely changed my life. I loved it, it was really beautiful, and I needed that in my life, to go somewhere and be like a normal person. I had dropped out of high school and never really had that group of friends in high school, or in college, that people have.

I felt so weird – I felt so grown up because I had lived in this 25 – 45 year old world since I was 13 [to tour with Paramore], through to when I was 20. I was really unbalanced; I was really mature in some ways, but then as far as life experience goes, I just didn’t have it. There was no better place than to go there and reset. I started skateboarding, surfing and I felt like a teenager again. I would do road trips and bought a van; I would literally sleep in my van and I lived in it for nine months.

Did you stay over on the North Island or the South Island?

I did a tour and went to both, but I mainly stayed on the North Island. I was based in Auckland. That’s where I really started [working with] photography. It’s so beautiful everywhere. I had always loved taking film photos, but over there, I realised I really loved doing it.

“I was really unbalanced; I was really mature in some ways, but then as far as life experience goes, I just didn’t have it.”

Recently, you’ve shared a lot of your own photography online. What was it that got you into photography more recently?

I never really saw myself as a photographer, but I was on the way to LA and was with my manager and he showed me a collage of film photos that he was working on. I was saying that I loved them and wished I could take them, but I just didn’t feel good enough. He said, ‘Course you are – you’ve just got to figure out what your style is.’ He told me to go buy a bunch of disposable cameras and to not have any rules with it, and that was the turning point for me, and where I started to develop my style of photography. It’s very on-the-go and very impromptu. It was really freeing to just get all of those cameras; they really did just feel disposable so there were no rules to follow.

And a great thing about disposables – and film generally – is that it really captures a specific moment?

Yeah, the best thing about film is that it feels like it’s alive. With a film photo, even if it’s blurry or something, it has life within it.

What do you actually shoot on at the moment?

This is a Contax G2 with Carl Zeiss lenses. My friend Phoenix, he got one of these too and it’s just a really cool film camera from the 80s. I just use the automatic [settings] so it’s just like a glorified disposable. The other one I had was a Contax too but it just broke when we were out in LA. I always try to have at least two or three cameras with me though.

HalfNoise’s new EP ‘Flowerss’ is out 4th May via Congrats.

Fancy some more wonderful chit chat about anything and everything non-musical? We’ve got you covered - head here to check out our Anything But… series.

Taken from the March 2018 issue of DIY. Read online or subscribe below.

Photos: Emma Swann / DIY

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