Photo courtesy of Xavier Vasquez
If you see a lot of live music in San Diego, there's a good chance you've seen Xavier Vasquez's work, possibly without even realizing it. The videographer and visual artist has made music videos for a long list of bands, and does live visuals at performances for many of those same bands. Yet his hypnotic, experimental and abstract visual style isn't the result of years of studying film or visual art.
Vasquez began his journey into filmmaking and projection after leaving a long-term position at KPBS, where his observation of others led to a spark of inspiration.
"That's where I got the bug to do video," he says. "I was watching all these guys with cameras, and when it came time to leave KPBS...I bought myself a camera and started teaching myself."
Initially, Vasquez sought to make documentaries, but realized it was more complicated than he was prepared for. But after being hired by Justin Pearson of The Locust and Three One G Records to digitize a decade of analog video material, he took on a new role in film, later making videos for Pearson's band Retox, and later others for Monochromacy, Hexa and Soft Lions. He also began doing live projections for bands and joined Die Miï¬‚bildungen Des Menschen as their full-time visual contributor.
"That's what got me started," he says of joining up with DMDM. "The whole experience of working with people who I don't know, which has led to so many other things, it's pretty amazing. I feel pretty fortunate to be working with those guys."