Ask anyone over 40 to describe a Millennial and many of the same words will be repeated—lazy, spoiled, entitled, needy, unsociable, etc, etc, etc. On the surface these descriptions may seem accurate because perception is reality but many times these misconceptions are far from the truth. If you ever had any doubt, a conversation with Lane Dorsey will quickly debunk any Millennial myths you may be hanging on to. He’s an accomplished photographer, who runs a fashion brand, is also a musician, who dabbles in video, is a model and he does some acting—impressive. He’s the class clown, the cool kid, the rocker, the brainer, the skateboarder and the comic nerd all in one.
When I sat down to “interview” Lane, we spent the first 28 minutes talking about everything from David Bowie to MF Doom and Wacky Races to The Magic School Bus…then the interview started…and by interview, I asked Lane to tell me about himself, and Lane did what he does in every aspect of his life—he took the ball and ran. For the next 56 minutes he spoke about how things get done in his world—cut the crap and DIY.
Being an artist with no limits is the greatest thing because I am never truly bored. Throughout quarantine it’s been an interesting change of events. What I used to fill my time with was pure photography—hustling that, shoots, editing and really moving the machine of the photography career but that was literally hit with a big old pause button. It was an opportunity to try on the other career hats—things which I wanted to “level up” and get some experience in, basically like filling stats in a video game. Basically, like stats from a video game where I’ve been maining on the photography campaign and now it’s like, well if I can’t do that I may as well pickup on the music front, learn a bunch of shit, make a bunch of music, experiment, get interesting and learn as much as I can in that time…because I have the time. Also, I want to really focus on the branding and the speed of my fashion brand. Every day me and the boys were always talking about things. How do we keep it moving, keep it moving, keep it moving? It was like, “alright, what are we going to do today? I’m going to shoot content, let’s run a quick pop-up sale, let’s run an email blast….” It was just like battle command. In the mornings, I’d be doing music and later I would just be focusing on developing the fashion brand.
It was beautiful for the last four months of quarantine because the photography campaign wasn’t really paused but I was just applying it to the other things. I was applying my skills as a photographer to the music because I had to shoot music videos. Actually, two of them won awards. I entered a film festival that does quarantine specific art and I took second and third place. The photography hat fit over top of the music hat and the fashion company hat, so the photography never took a pause, it just got refocused.
I was doing a bunch of live performance videos for the music, shooting album covers, video graphics, I learned a lot about rendering video in 3D space and took it upon myself to learn a few techniques and get it done—that’s what the internet is for. Well, arguably where I was because I was in the sticks. If it was a rainy day, I wouldn’t have internet. I had to check the forecast, so if I had to do a 500mb upload tomorrow, I’d drive to my studio and do it there.
I feel that I was the last of the generation where our parents sent us out to go do stuff outside—go get your bike or your skateboard and figure it out. As soon as you hear (whistles), “sorry boys, it’s time to go home,” and you bike back from whatever house you’re at. When you’re forced to sit alone and do shit, I find that I can. I quickly realized that a lot of other people and not excluding creatives, cannot just sit there and create things or putz about with things or shoot things, to which I say, “well, why not?”
“Awww… I’m just not inspired”
To which I say, “well, why not?”
I get the fact that a lot of people draw inspiration from being with other people and cool, whatever, but if you can’t just sit there and develop something, what’s wrong with you? Cut the crap and just figure it out. It’s foreign to me that people were having a hard time in quarantine. They’d say things like “I haven’t seen anyone except my roommates and my parents and my siblings for like three weeks and it’s weird.” Well that’s eight people!
For the most part, the music is just me. I have two music projects—STANE is completely solo me and the other project is my band Hudson Rainer—where my band-mate and best buddy Mike does 90% of the song creation, all of the lead singing and all of the guitar work and I do the production, arrangement, piano, bass drums, strings. I record, mix, master and engineer—all the technical. It’s literally the perfect balance for that band project because I can produce pretty good for what I have. I feel I have a good breath of music knowledge and reference that I can really articulate an interesting arrangement, but I can’t play guitar worth a shit! (laughs). That’s where Mike comes in—I’m not a master of any instrument.
A lot of my songs for Hudson Rainer are indie-folk, old Americana, three or four chords, tops. My solo project is jazzier in design—a lot of diminished chords, a lot of super jazzy, super weird cinematic chords, mixed with trap low-fi/hip-hop drums. This is where the moniker of CRAP comes in—contemporary, rhythm, alternative, pop, because it’s a cool junction of two unseemly familiar genres. I feel like I did an interesting blend.
The idea of taking two things that are polar opposites and hitting them together to see what works, was so fun and interesting. Typically, a lot of my music is guitar or synthesizer based. I love the piano I had to record a 100-year-old piano that I got tuned up last fall and it has so much character which I think you can hear it in the music—the warmth and the analogue tendencies of the piano and mixing that with more contemporary, kind of left of center rhythm…it was a cool kind of dissidence and it works for me. That EP was really fun to make, and I still have loads of solo music ready to come out. After I made the solo EP, I thought, “OK, did that. Got a whole bunch of singles for after the fact. I’m pretty happy with that.” I feel like I can put a ribbon on the box of that experience and say, “yup, this is what I made in quarantine, now on to the next thing.”
Now it’s full force on with the photography, it’s go-time. Try to pick up where I left off. Clients poking their heads up in emails asking if I’m shooting yet and the answer is absolutely! I did an awesome shoot yesterday for a film production company. I shot a group of 7 people and it was a big, “whoa! That’s the most people I’ve seen in five months.”
It’s great getting back on set and back in the studio. I realized that I love my job…I love doing photo-shoots…I missed this so much. So now I’m making up for lost time—just trying to shoot some interesting things, get some money back in the account.
All these new restrictions and requirements are curve-balls but that’s okay we can still shoot. I love my job…if it made me millions of dollars or just enough to survive, I’d still be doing that…and where I’m at right now, is one of those things (laughs).
HOW TO BECOME BETTER…
It’s about getting out there and doing stuff. Even if they’re not great photos or art, it’s all a stepping stone. I get emails and phone calls from followers and fans asking how to get better—what’s the one tip I have, and I say honestly, figure it out. You cannot bypass the hours in the saddle to ride this shit right in to where you need to go. You can learn all the theory but get going. It takes 10,000 hours to become a master at something, so get cracking and start now—don’t expect it to all happen at once. There is no sure-shot thing that will propel you into becoming a better artist. You become a better artist through trials and experience. Get messy, make mistakes and cut the crap.
ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA…
I say thanks to social media, because none of these endeavours would be so fired up if the fuel of social media didn’t exist. There’s a lot of dickery on social media but I find you can use it as a tool or be a tool using social media. It is an absolutely fantastic marketplace to exhibit anything. It’s a great platform, and I’m not saying it will only end up there, but it’s a brilliant way to exhibit your work. It leads to more work and it’s just fuel to the fire, but I try to live by the moniker that if Instagram goes down, will you still be relevant? Able to do business. Some people only shoot for Instagram, and that’s their final. Do you have a website? An email list?
When I started the fashion brand, I did research and developing the Instagram is great, but we needed to grow the email database just as much because that’s an unadulterated, unfiltered, direct access. We can send a message where on Instagram, it’s possible 10% of your audience won’t see it.
People like to think they know the lucky jackpot winning way to operate on social media…well, no. Just get it out there and keep moving
ON THE FASHION BRAND…
Master Supply Co. was started by me and two buddies 2 years ago. We tried different designs—jackets; we shopped around different factories and cuts and textures. We launched Friday the 13th in December 2019 and it’s been an absolute eye opener. We designed all the pieces and referenced things we liked—This needs to be a cool, vintage motorcycle cop from 1955; I want this jacket to look like it’s a cool rock and roll Montana rancher who plays awesome guitar; I want to reference all these things and amalgamate them into a single construct and it’s been so satisfying when people reciprocate. Considering it’s a new company, out of the gate, sales have been absolutely great. Everyday we’ve been focusing on developing jackets and accessories, hats, bags, shooting content, collaborating with our friends—all this stuff is in the cooking pot, right now.
We have a line of spring/summer for 2020 and all the hard work I’ve been putting into developing the brand has really started to be fruitful. Everyday I’m working on things—taking my skills and applying them to the fashion brand. I even developed the music for the fashion videos. What an excellent opportunity to exhibit, apply and execute my skills as an artist and personify it within a tangible product.
It’s become apparent to me that if we keep growing at this rate, this fashion tree that I planted two years ago might overgrow the photography tree that I pull all my fruit from to feed me. The idea is interesting because I never thought anything could do that.
It’s extremely satisfying because it’s just me and my boys going for it! Of course, every day there’s bullshit but every day there’s successes. Every day has been better than the last, and I love it.
It’s like the Avengers meeting up—when Lane Dorsey the fashion director meets up with Lane Dorsey the photographer/director meets up with Lane Dorsey the music creator (explosion sound) to make this really cool product that is undeniably mine. Something so cool to look at the finished products and say, “I made this.” Not from a sense of narcissism or vanity but purely from a sense of accomplishment.
It’s fun, it’s rewarding, and I look forward to tomorrow—with everything. I love looking forward to what I’m going to work on tomorrow…not to discredit today. I love going to bed with a plan and waking up with a purpose—really cool words that I heard a few years ago and I like to live by. Tomorrow is always seen as a glimmer of hope, like something will happen to make my life better, but you should be that insightful force making the change.