Thursday, May 31, 2012

TORCHE's sweet tooth.

Just in time for the second leg of the Corrosion Of Conformity tour, Torche has a new shirt design that ties in with the cover of their latest album, Harmonicraft.

Steve and I have been busy throwing around ideas for new designs and this was one that Steve wanted to see. A hot air balloon version of a Harmonster. The balloon shaped up pretty fast, but when I got to the basket area, I had to take a minute to think about who would be piloting the thing. Seeing as the Harmonsters are sweet fiends, I thought that a cute looking tooth would fit perfectly and keep this world a work of the fantastic.

Steve's ideas always are a blast and I'm happy that there's so much more to come.

Check out TORCHE w/ COC, Black Cobra, and Gaza on tour and pick up a shirt!

New LESBIAN album, new LESBIAN logo.

The new LESBIAN Forestelevision album will soon be out. With that, the guys have asked me to come up with another logo for the album and continue their tradition of getting a new one for every album.

 For this incarnation, Arik Roper will be creating the cover art and I wanted something organic to match his beautiful watercolor landscapes. The Lesbros said that they asked for a forest scene, so I wanted the logo to be made of wood and flow with whatever Arik comes up with. It's a definite progression from stiff feel of the 2 previous logos. Plus, it'll look good on a shirt.

For more on the band:

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

Box o' Torche!

I love it when I check my PO box and find that something cool has been delivered. Today was one of those days. Reid from Volcom mailed me all of the sick Torche Harmonicraft swag from the release. Cd's, LP's, posters, and a skate deck all adorned with the artwork from the cover, looks so amazing. Reid did an excellent job putting it all together and my day has been made.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Noisear's new piece of grind.

I always like working with close friends. There's something about the ability to work on a project for someone that you know lot about and knowing just what they're looking for. This has been the case with Albuquerque's NOISEAR.

This is now the 3rd full length cover that I've done for the guys and each time starts the same way. Dorian usually sends me an email with a list of random ideas related to the imagery that they would like to project. He gives me the working title and will send the music (depending on if it's recorded or not) to get me started. Then, Dorian and I usually go back and forth on ideas and call/text until we get the idea at a solid point. It's funny because when he gives me the title of the album, I tend to ignore the list of ideas that he gave me to start, and go with an image that fits the name of the album. Sure, i'll go and try to find a way to include something from his list, but it's worked out much better with just ideas based off of the title. Dorian never seems to mind.

To me, NOISEAR's Turbulent Insurgence was easy to work with considering the state that the world is in. All I have to do is pick up a paper or watch the news to see how one sided this world is becoming and the escalation of the police and military presence on the ground. The center figure is representative of the controlling corporate elite backed presidential pawn. A central figure who controls his people by spewing fear and lies while being backed up by the heavy hand of the police state. A drone stands behind his head as his "eye in the sky" and a symbol of the surveillance and fear from above. All of this while dealing with a population of prisoners who have become only another number beneath him. I'm not sure if people will notice, but The three figures are set within the shape of a spade. My thought on that was of the death card, the ace of spades. The death of free speech, the death of one's right to protest, the death of privacy, I could on and on, but I think that that symbolism speaks for itself. Also included in the cover is zia from the flag of New Mexico. Dorian always asks that it is represented somewhere. It's good to remember where you come from.

Willowtip will be making the announcement soon as to the release date of this slab of sun baked grind. Until then, you can see Dorian and Bryan tear it up with Phobia on their current string of shows. Those guys will always be a slaves to the grind.

New "Turbulent Resurgence" shirt design.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

KYLESA LP re-issue package!

Alternative Tentacles is re-issuing both "To Walk A Middle Course" and "Time Will Fuse It's Worth" on June 26th. The pre-orders are up now at several sites, but Indiemerch has come up with and awesome Hessian Collector's Bundle. Check it out and order yours today. Only 200 of them are available.

Hessian Collector's Bundle