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Derek Rathbun Exhibits DIY in Everything He Does


In music, just as in life, there are those who do and those who do not. While some bands and artists who do not may have moderate success, the real tales of success belong to those who dared to try. Since we first met Derek Rathbun we knew that he was an artist who did. By self-releasing the album from his band Substance, booking his own tours throughout North America and Europe, photographing some of the biggest acts in music and creating graphic art for shows and more; Rathbun is the epitome of Do It Yourself. All of these reasons and more are why we interviewed him for our podcast Self Released Songs.


It all began with a show, catching Rathbun roll around on the pit stained and beer soaked floor at Walter’s Downtown with his band Substance. While he would go on to release the band’s album on his own, that wasn’t the allure to who Rathbun is. In a very short time frame he went from a kid from the suburbs of Houston to the go to guy for flyers, show bookings, photography, videography and graphic art. While Substance has played all over the Midwest, East Coast and Mexico, the self-booked tours proved that there’s power in informing yourself how to get out of your comfort zone.

For this magazine alone Rathbun has shot exemplary live shots of Thundercat, Drug Church, Hot Snakes, Maxo Kream, Eric Andre and Jimmy Eat World just to name a few. He’s also shot portraits of Kero Kero Bonito and Julian Casablancas for us as well. He has an innate ability to find the perfect shot with every shot while capturing the energy and emotion of the performance.

While his photography and videography are just another skill set, Derek also creates show posters, T-shirts and graphics for acts he’s in and acts he’s into. One of the few people you’ll meet that continues to grow, he definitely is someone who continues to do things bigger than most. Not even twenty one years old, Derek Rathbun is a name to keep an eye on. While Substance works on a new album, you can look for his name in the photo credits whenever you see an amazing photo.

You can stream or purchase music from Substance here. You can hire Derek Rathbun to create a poster, digital art, shoot your next event or portrait or shoot your band’s next video here. You can stream his episode of Self Released Songs on this website or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can support the podcast here.

Image Credits: Photo by Derek Rathbun, Photos by Derek Rathbun.

David Garrick

David Garrick has spent the last five years interviewing some of the most intriguing and engaging artists performing today. Everyone from Angel Olsen to Phoebe Bridgers, Wire to Yo La Tengo, Snail Mail to Soccer Mommy, Ghost to First Aid Kit, The Breeders to Protomartyr, and many more. He's a giant fan of music of pretty much any genre; but especially to the underdogs. He's been known to see more concerts in a week than many people will see in a year.


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