Vive la Différence: New Interview Thinking Outside the Box

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We’ve got our hands on the May issue of Interview magazine, the first to be helmed by editorial directors Fabien Baron and Glenn O’Brien in the wake of Ingrid Sischy‘s departure. The magazine’s “brand-new format and design” won’t debut until September, note Baron and O’Brien in their editors’ letter, but “You’ll notice differences over the next few months, some new faces and voices…and a very special double issue for June/July.” As for the May issue, they describe it as “a little different.” Our verdict: Vive la différence!

The new issue looks less boxy than the Interviews of yore. Both stark and fresh, the tweaked design makes better use of the magazine’s lush 10″ x 12″ trim size (which is among the original Warholian specifications expected to be a casualty of the full redesign). Images are larger and given more room to breathe, with the revelatory full-bleed photos in articles and pictorials raising the magazine’s visual appeal to an all-time high. Meanwhile, the go-to, all-caps, sans-serif display typeface has pulled a Karl Lagerfeld: having gone on a drastic diet, it now dresses only in black (except for that pop of red on the cover). The versatile typeface is used in varying weights, sizes, and styles to create headlines whose black horizontals are echoed in chunky black rectangles that anchor pull-quotes and add life to pages of text, often in the staple Q&A format.

And the issue’s content is heavy on the art/design, with Tom Sachs interviewed by Ricky Jay, Calvin Klein designer Francisco Costa by David Colman, and a piece by O’Brien on Christopher Wool and Richard Tell. A standout is Gary Indiana‘s chat with John Waters, who having enjoyed a financial windfall from the musical version of Hairspray muses on possible musical adaptations of other films in his oeuvre. “I don’t know about Pecker,” says Waters, referring to his 1998 film about a young photographer who become an overnight sensation. “It’s about the art world. People singing about contemporary art, minimalism, discounts, and killing rooms–that’s maybe a new concept. I don’t know how wide-reaching it would be.”