The new Kylesa "Swans Of Black Ash" shirt design is a detailed beast, born of late night ideas between Phillip and I during the Sanctioned Annihilation Tour. With this design, I wanted to rightfully represent Kylesa and their life as a band while creating a piece that upped the ante when it came to the overall look and art itself. I also wanted it to be a design that was an answer to the beauty and brutality that I saw during the six weeks of touring.
For the design, the idea was to still use the central theme of "Spiral Shadow" and and make it a piece more personal to the band as a whole. The swan, of course, starts out life as an ugly gosling right out of the egg and eventually grows into a beautiful swan. As a band, they've had their ups and downs throughout the years and while their past contains many trials and pain, they've managed to hone their music into a beautiful balance of ideas and musicianship.
The tree continues the theme and grows from behind the egg, into the wings of the swan, and out of the top. It represents the roots set down by the band and the continuing ascension as the tree grows past the the beauty of the swan itself into the unknown. I also wanted the tree to resemble the vein structure of a pair of lungs. To see them play day after day and see the machine that they become once they start to play IS the feeling of several people breathing as one. One machine chugging along and drawing you closer with each breath until the listener becomes a part of machine themselves.
The snake is that touch of evil that everyone continuously encounters throughout our life and is wrapped around the swan and preparing to swallow the egg as to show the trials along the road to such a growth. Their cannot be good with out the bad in life.
The piece as a whole and the explanation of that piece is a personal letter to the people who have become my good friends over the years. Kylesa is a great band and an amazing group of individuals and having the opportunity to work with them on art and now, as a tour manager, just reinforces that there are still good people out there making incredible music.
There will also be a "Spiral Shadow" shirt design available on the tour, so go out to the shows starting January 13th in Atlanta, GA.
I get to sit back now and advance some shows. I hope to see some folks out there!