Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kylesa re-issues.

Back in the Spring of 2005, Kylesa had just released To Walk A Middle Course as I was busy working on my first design for the band. In the 7 years since then, they've become great friends and tour buds and I've been able to provide them with a lot of art. So, when Phillip asked me to re-work the cover for "To Walk..." I was more than happy to get working on it.

Drawing the cover ended up being a lot harder than I had anticipated due to my reverence for the now classic and for my respect of Drew Speziale's original cover art. I had went through a few different designs and sketched out a few full covers, but none had the feel that I wanted. Phillip asked that when I started on my re-design, that I include elements from the original, so to re-work a new cover with the ideas already in place made things tough at first. Once I got into researching for the cover art, things started to get easier and I found a direction that I wanted to go open up. The title of the album set it all for me. Walking a middle course is something that I think everyone can relate to in those times in life when you are in between good and bad situations. It's also the reason for all of the action to be within the middle of the design.
 The hourglass, from the original cover, serves a the center subject of time. Within the hourglass are hundreds of beetles of all varieties filling and breaking free from their glass cage. One of the meanings in my research behind beetles was that they represent interference of one's life situations. Their overwhelming numbers breaking free from the hourglass was my idea of those situations multiplying and and not being contained or taken care of.
 In back of the hourglass, is a doorway to the unknown.  Like the Spiral Shadow cover, the idea of the unknown is up to the viewer and hopefully presents some kind of hope even in darkness. This cover is no different. One of the more obvious things in the design is the heart at the top of the doorway. In order to enter the unknown it's something you must possess.
 Out of the doorway, a murder of crows flies forth carrying ribbons in their mouths. I thought the ribbons to be pieces of one's self being carried by the crows to restore that person once they pass through onto the other side. The cycle begins with the crow in the lower left side of the cover that has dropped his ribbon and begun to consume the beetles. I tried to convey the idea of a cycle of introspect and purging for an eventual cathartic outcome. Through time, one's problems, emotions, and life will be tested. Most will come through with new understanding and faith once they have walked through the lowest valley in their pursuit of happiness and some will be stopped by their own personal walls. They'll allow the beetles to consume them.

To walk a true middle course is a trying time in anyone's life, to draw it isn't that hard once you've lived it.

The re-issues of Kylesa's To Walk A Middle Course & Time Will Fuse It's Worth will both be available on Alternative Tentacles on June 26th, 2012. If you didn't catch them on tour with Gwar and Ghoul, check them out this summer on the European festival circuit. 

Kylesa's Summer Festival Touring

1 comment:

  1. Santos, what a cool discussion of your work. Seems very applicable to my life right now, and my new relationship with you-know-who. Cheers!