14/02/2010

Dance! Revolt! Disorder!

After working with Niek a couple of times on some posters for great shows, I wanted to know a little more behind the scenes info. Here Niek talks about the origins of the name, The 'Fall Of Efrafa' and gives advice to willing first time promoters.

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Where do you go to find poster artists?


Well, I use Myspace a lot to find new artists which I like and maybe work with in the future. Sometimes I see a cool poster and ask the promoter who did the artwork. Or mostly I find them myself. It's all about being lucky I guess?



What do you think makes a good poster?

In my opinion, from the perspective of a show promoter, I'd say a nice looking poster contributes to a good show. I experienced that having a nice looking poster makes people more curious about the bands that will play on that evening. Maybe it's hypocritical, I don't know, but maybe it gives bands and kids a decent view on how involved you are with doing shows if you put effort on every little thing.

For
me a good poster needs to have good bands on the bill and it has to look attractive. The artwork also has to be compatible to the kind of bands playing, I think.

© Ward Zwart

If you have any, who are some of your favourite illustrators or any favourite CD covers, T shirts etc?

Well, I'm have little knowledge about illustrators. My first thought will be Alex Bradshaw from the band "Fall of Efrafa". If I'm not mistaken, he is the one who did the artwork for the band. I have all their vinyls and they're masterpieces one by one. I like the fact how every little aspect about the band was one big concept, based on the book Watership Down of Richard Adams. The artwork, music, lyrics and meanings... I think that's very important.




Putting on bands is a pretty full time hobby, is there any advice you have for those wishing to start something similar to what you have yourself?

Good question. There are a lot of things. I won't lie: the bands I help out aren't big bands who attract a lot of people. I don't like to use genres. It's something
very delicate. But when you choose to set up shows for bands like the ones I book, you have to realize that you can loose money. Even though you tried your very best to promote the show.

Once you begin, a lot of bands will knock on your door for a show. Be selective. Set up shows for bands you really are motivated for. Consider
everything! Which city, try to figure out how popular the band is, try to book a good local band which you like and which attracts people. It are all things who might help in getting more people and lower your costs. I believe, that if you book shows for bands that you truly support, you want them to have a decent amount of crowd.

Plan everything into the little detail. There's nothing more satisfying than helping a band out, giving them the chance to get their music out. And most of the time you'll make good friends after wards. At least I did. It's all about giving the bands and
kids a cool show and see them leave with the records of bands you booked. It makes it all worth it. But I have a big philosophy about setting up shows but lets keep it with this. We could talk for hours on this subject, haha!© Sam Dunn

Where did the name Dance! Revolt! Disorder! Emerge from? its pretty demanding, I like it!

I started in 2006 with a show for Army of Flying Robots (Uk) and Trainwreck (Ger). But I didn't had a name. I wanted something that would describe the kind of bands I would book. So: Dance! for the more
'indie(pop)'-ish bands, Revolt! for the more 'fast/crusty' bands and Disorder! for the 'true screamo' bands. A good friend of mine came of with the "Disorder!" part since we already had Oh! Oh! Chaos! and Chaos Is Ours. So I didn't want to use the word Chaos. And so it happened, the name became Dance! Revolt! Disorder!

Back then it felt like you needed a name. Nowadays it's just a name for me though I still support it, but it has become less
important. But kids use it as a point of orientation. If they see the name on the poster, they now what to expect.


Do you have a favourite show that you put on?


Yes, a couple. For example: Daitro, Aussitot Mort & Heaven In Her Arms which was an amazing show with a lot of people. Also Pompeii who played one of the best shows I had seen in 2009. They were really intense.

© Sam Dunn


You worked with amazing illustrator, Ward Zwart, any plans to do more posters with him in the future?


Probably I will. I don't know him that well. I've met him a couple of times in the past. He's a really nice guy as far as I know him. And I always loved his work, so pretty sure, in the future I'll contact him again for doing posters for the more 'epic/darker' shows.

© Sam Dunn

Would you like things to carry on as they are or are there any plans to extend Dance! Revolt! Disorder! in the future?

I had plans, or lets say ambitions in taking it to a higher level. At this very moment I'm booking my first tour for The Gentle Act Incident (Swe) and maybe in the future I'll do more tour bookings aside from the shows. Don't know for sure. For now I keep it intimate and DIY and try to make the genre I'm in more accessible. We'll see what the future brings!

| MYSPACE | FALL OF EFRAFA | WARD ZWART | ME! |

10/02/2010

Travis Kopach

I thought I had only just become familiar with Travis Kopach’s work after seeing the new AFI video for “Beautiful Thieves”. It wasn’t until I checked his site that I realized he had also directed Panic! At The Disco’s “Lying is the most fun…”, another stand-alone music video that is instantly recognizable.


Travis discusses life lessons, skateboarding, how the ‘fish tank’ idea was born, the friendliness of AFI, the music video industry and everything in between.


Great read and a great guy, definitely check out his work. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more great things to come from Mr. Kopach.


As you've previously stated, everything started from your love of music and skate culture. Do you still get a chance to film skate videos? Is this something you think you'll expand upon in the future?


I’d like to do an intro to a Skate Video somewhere down the line, but it would have to be something really unique. Spike has really killed it with the Girl videos and Alien Workshop has got the “Art Film” skate video down to a science. So it would have to be something really special for me to take it on…


As a side note… I’m actually just about to set up a board. Venice Park.



As far as influences go, can you name a few people that inspired you to get started in this business?


I love the Sam Bayer videos from the 90’s - I’m Only Happy When It Rains, Bullets With Butterfly Wings, Teen Spirit… They were so dark, yet so beautiful. They never beat you over the head, but you always got it and you always remembered the videos.


I think it was the 90’s in general is what made me fall in love with Music Videos. People really pushed it then. Smashing Pumpkins “Disarm”, when is the last time you saw something like that? It’s been a while and that is unfortunate. There needs to be more art in Music Videos. There needs to be more art in general.There needs to be a ban on video games. There also needs to be a ban/recall on people who think the “Gamer” was a good idea for a movie.




As with any art form, there are obviously many generic ways of making a music video. What you did for 'Lying is the most fun...' by Panic! At the Disco is definitely a stand alone visual and a video that is both interesting and unique, how did the 'fish tank' idea come about? Did the band have any involvement?


I’m not sure where the idea came from. I think I pitched it for Staind but ultimately ended up using it for Panic. It was an idea that was in my back pocket for a really long time, much like the “Naked Lunch” idea for the Thursday Video. It’s hard to pitch out their ideas, People are afraid.


Really, at the end of the day it’s just a love story. These people need water to survive and when the girl finds her boyfriend bleeding water and dead in the middle of the street she flashes back through their relationship and ultimately dies of heartbreak.The only way the couple will survive, the only way they will be together again, is if they are submerged in water, which is the ocean, which is a Sea of endless possibilities. A metaphor for getting back together again and starting over.


I’m pretty sure my lack of steady female relationships is due to thoughts like this.


If you could make a video for any song, current or past, what would it be?


That’s a tough question man. I really like Music, I don’t think it’s as much as what song it would it be, as when would it be. Music Video budgets are struggling these days.


I would have liked to make a video 10-15 years ago. I want to see the million dollar budgets of the past. I want to see how it was spent. I want to fly people in on helicopters and I want to sport a jerry curl.



What do you think has been your most exciting project to date? Are there any bands you where previously a fan of that you've had a chance to work with through your art?


They are all exciting man. From shooting on a aircraft carrier to building a freestanding plane out of plexiglass to killing people in a mansion and attacking Geoff with a giant cockroach. Everything is always new and challenging. I was always a Thursday fan, Full Collapses was a CD in my car when I was younger, Shooting the Pope Brothers ala the Koufax video was huge as well, Four Minute Mile was the album of my High School Years “Oh Amy Don’t Hate Me”.




As a long time AFI fan, I find the new video for 'Beautiful Thieves' to be one of their most exciting visuals to date. It's clean, sharp and takes the band into a whole new direction. Can you expand a little on the process of working with them?


They are pretty much the nicest, most professional band you will ever meet. Davey came up with the idea. It was kind of like “What if we are at a party with all of these beautiful people/celebrities … and we poison them?”


I took Davey’s idea and ran with it. La Dolce Vita was referenced a lot on my end for the look as it’s one of my favourite movies and it’s all where the term ‘paparazzi’ was coined. We’re killing celebrities, might as well start from the invention of the celebrity chasing term.


Davey was great at taking direction. We shoot the entire video in 14hrs including the performance. It was a whirlwind experience but amazing at the same time. I really can’t say enough nice things about the guys, their management, the record label and the crew that helped bring it together. This is a big Internet thank you.





You cover a range of music styles, to compare say, the Thursday video for 'At this Velocity' with 3Oh!3's 'Don't trust me' it's clear that theres a difference musically but your video style stays prominent and is successful in both genres. Do you have any preference in music when shooting a video? Are some easier to realize than others?


Sometimes you listen to a song and you have an idea within minutes other times it takes me days. I’m a firm believer in everything happens for a reason so I try not to stress it if I don’t have a good idea, there are some things in life you can’t force… Ideas are one of them.


I grew up on Indy Rock, Braid, Hot Water Music, The Get Up Kids, but I also love The Boss & Fiona Apple. My musical taste of course expands from there but I think it’s both ignorant and boring to say I’m only going to do music videos for bands I like. Even if it’s something I would never listen too, I usually end up liking it or respecting it by the time the video is done.


Life lesson - Don’t limit yourself, and if people talk shit because you are something outside of the expected, tell them to fuck off.




Is there anyone you're looking forward to working with in the future?


I’m up for The Pretty Reckless video right now; she’s like the new Courtney Love, The new Shirley Manson. Other then that, I’m open to everything. From AFI to 3Oh!3. You never know what the future will bring.


But I do know that Steve from Thursday & I are currently writing a film, I think Beck from Glassjaw might get in the mix. One way or another it’s going to be interesting. Cheers, Travis.


You can see all of Travis' videos on his website, make sure you take a look!

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WEBSITE |

08/02/2010

Dan Mumford


In my opinion, one of the best current illustrators around in the music business.
I've followed Dan's work since the first Gallows release and remember purchasi
ng 'In the belly of a shark' to simply own the artwork itself.

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It seems like your work is constantly becoming more powerful and more colourful as you progress, yet always keeping the same style which helped you get recognized.
How important is it for you that your work has the same feel? Do you ever create something and feel like it just isn't you?


My style has just progressed quite naturally, i didnt intend for it to be like it is or anything, so its not been forced or anything. I just went with what felt right and drew how i wanted to. I have worked on things before and not been completely comfortable with them or felt that the work wasnt quite right for me, but then certain pieces i just dont put in my portfolio, its a learning curve.



Do you have a favourite piece that you created? Or somethi
ng that your most proud of achieving?

Not really, i feel proud that i have managed to sustain a freelance career for the past two years working mainly in the music industry. The biggest project i worked on was obviously the Gallows re-release of orchestra of wolves, that was a pretty crazy job, and it was a huge undertaking, im definitely proud of that Triptych of releases.


Your work hit the mainstream when Gallows gained more popularity in the UK music scene.
Do you think choosing your clients carefully got you to where you are now or could it also be down to a bit of luck?


Its a bit of both, theres definitely some Luck in there, and to be honest to begin with i wasnt able to be picky about clients, now i have a bit more choice obviously which is nice.


At the Gay For Johnny Depp gig in London, I saw someone wearing my shirt from the tour merch. It's such a nice feeling to see other people appreciate what you've made,
I often see your shirts and can instantly recognize them, can you remember seeing your work for the first time in public? Did you feel as ecstatic as I did?


Yeah the first time i saw one of my tees on a merch stand was great, the bigger thrill was walking into my local HMV and picking up one of my first CDs, that was pretty amazing, especially the Gallows stuff as it was everywhere. So yeah, it always feels good to see my work out there.



Although you're an established illustrator, did you ever any doubts that things may not work out so well and illustration could never be a full time job, or was it a pretty smooth ride to the top?


I wouldnt say it was smooth necessarily, i certainly never thought i would be able to sustain a career like this, when i think about what i actually do for a living it does blow my mind a little bit. I have a had a few bumps along the way, a few times when i thought i might not be able to pay the bills etc, but i think im getting a hang of this freelance lark now.


Can you remember the first piece of work you did for a client?


Not precisely, but i do remember one of the first was for a band called break the sky, and a tee shirt for I Killed The Prom Queen. Those were definitely in the first few jobs.


I guess self analysis is the best way for growth so are you self critical? do you ever look back at something and wish you'd done it totally different?

Yeah, definitely! Pretty much every job i do i wish i could do differently, but then i dont think any good artist should ever be completely happy with their work, you always have to think about what you could do better, but at the same time you cant be too self defeatist about it either.


Anything you're really excited about that you're working on now?

Yep, new S&R stuff is coming along nicely, really want to try and see where we can take that, and also got a new little self project in the works which should see the light of day within the next three months, should be fun!

WEBSITE | MYSPACE | STORE

all illustrations © Dan Mumford

Energy

Energy are one of my favourite bands around at the moment. With two full length albums and one more release in the works, vocalist Tank talks about Bill Hauser's illustrations for the band, His choice of iconic designs in the music industry and the future of Energy with Mike and his side project, Children of the night.



Bill Hauser's work is insane, how did you come to work with him? And do you have a favourite piece by him?

Kris Mission, the owner of our first label, suggested Bill to me and got in contact with him for us. I was particularly impressed with his artwork for the Negative FX tribute, so I was more than excited to work with him. I came up with the concept for the Punch The Clock artwork and told Bill to just take that idea and add his own touch. For Invasions Of The Mind I just messaged Bill and said that unlike Punch The Clock, I didn't really have any exact vision as to what the cover should look like, so I sent him all of the lyrics to the album and told him to interpret them his own way and to just go nuts. I would think as an artist that must be pretty cool having 2 different approaches to a band's artwork like that. 2 different challenges you know?

I'd say that my favorite artwork by Bill is probably the scarecrow on the back of the Invasions Of The Mind L.P., or obviously the cover. I only say the scarecrow because it was not planned really, I had just mentioned to him that we needed back cover art as well, and when he sent me that I was just totally caught off guard.


Initial sketch for the back cover of invasions of the mind courtesy of Tank!

All illustrations © Bill Hauser



What are some of your favourite music related designs?

One of my favorite album covers is The Smashing Pumpkins "Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness". That and the visuals from the Tonight, Tonight and Thirty Three videos are amazing. Samhain's "November-Coming-Fire", Slayer's "South Of Heaven", and a lot of Jesse Michaels' stuff are some more of my favorites. I am also a fan of Simon Bisley's work with Danzig on Thrall-Demonsweatlive, Satan's Child, Lost Tracks, and the new stuff he's doing for Danzig's lyric book.



How is the new Energy record coming along? Do you think you will use Bill Hauser as cover artist this time?

We're slowly chipping away at the new Energy stuff. We have a lot of ideas, but only a few that are concrete. Now that Mike from Children Of The Night is in the band, he has, and will be writing a lot with us. There is one new song that is going to be a part of our live set from now on called "Walk Into The Fire". It is a collaborative effort between Mike and myself. No word though on whether our next release will be an E.P. or an L.P. or when it will come out. It usually takes us a while to write. We aren't the type of band that just whips up a batch of mediocre songs as an excuse to get out on the road and tour, the songs themselves are the most important part of the band.

I like the idea of a continuing theme through the years with our artwork. For example, if you look at the artwork for Punch The Clock, there is a dark thicket in the background, and behind the tree on the cover of Invasions Of The Mind, is the same thicket, foreshadowing Invasions Of The Mind, and maybe suggesting that the idea for that album was there all along, just not fully realized.

I haven't spoken with Bill about doing anything else for Energy, but if he's interested in doing it, I'd love to have him on board. I did however talk to him about doing the artwork for the Children Of The Night L.P., and he's currently working on that.

© Bill Hauser

How different is the recording and writing process for Energy and Children of the Night?

The writing process of Energy before Mike joined was almost always this: Joe and or myself writes the music, I write the lyrics and vocal melodies. Children Of The Night is more along the lines of: Mike writes all the music and most of the vocals and lyrics, and I have some input with vocal melodies and lyrics. Now that Mike is in the band, I imagine that it will be a mix of Mike, Joe, and myself writing and coming up with ideas, then bringing the songs to practice and having the other members add their own touches.

With recording, Energy did our first E.P at The Outpost in Stoughton, MA, and our first full length with our friend Chris Curran at his house. For Punch The Clock there just wasn't a big enough budget to get any good takes, and I consider it unlistenable. The recording quality was good, but quality doesn't really matter if the songs aren't played right.

With Invasions Of The Mind, we had all the time we needed to record, and got all the takes as good as we could, but there were complications during the mixing and mastering process that made it sound a LOT different than what you hear on the album. Everything that was supposed to be on IOTM is there, but it's just terribly mixed/mastered. We hope to someday be afforded the opportunity to have it mixed and mastered the way it was meant to be heard, and re-release it.


As a fan of both bands, I hear Energy constantly being compared to AFI and I think this brings a lot of negative criticism. I see Energy as a modern expansion of a genre AFI are noted for, just as they created something new from what the Misfits had previously done. What do you think about the whole situation?

I don't really care too much. We all love A.F.I. and they were definitely a huge influence on what we wanted to sound like when we first started the band, but I don't think we sound like them that much, and neither do most people that have brought up the subject to me. I don't see how being compared to a great band in their prime is a bad/negative thing anyway. We have never stolen one single vocal melody, lyric, guitar, bass or drum part from them, everything we write is our own, we just took influence from them. I dare someone to name a band that's around now that hasn't taken influence from other artists. You can't. Our songs don't sound anything like A.F.I.'s, our style is just influenced by theirs.

All of that bullshit aside though, I have been told by people who have heard some of Energy's new demos that we have completely strayed from anything that sounds at all like A.F.I., and that we are really coming into our own and fully realizing our sound. So if for some reason us sounding like A.F.I. has prevented you from liking what we've done before, maybe you'll like our newer stuff more. Either way, we write what we think is good, and that's that.

And on that note, what do you think of Crash love, more importantly the gold cover? Who would of thought a band using Alan Forbes as an artist in 2000 would have changed their style so drastically over the years.

I think the album sucks, and I think that the artwork sucks. I enjoyed DecemberUndergound because the songs and melodies were good. I just don't think they are writing very enjoyable melodies anymore. It's not a style thing either. If they were writing good songs in the style that they play now, I would love it, but they aren't so I don't. I think Black Sails, All Hallows, Art of Drowning, and Sing The Sorrow are all amazing albums, but they just don't do it for me the way they used to. I think the shift in artwork style clearly ties in with the shift in sound.


In what direction would you like to see Energy or Children of the night heading? Are there different goals for the two projects?

I hope to eventually be like the Smashing Pumpkins in the sense that they can play many different types of songs, but it's still The Smashing Pumpkins. I want to branch our sound out as far as possible and reach as wide of an audience as we can while being true to our sound, and still being Energy.

Children Of The Night is a project that Mike and myself have been working on since before Energy was a band, and once we release our self titled full length, we will probably just be a relatively slow moving side project from now on. I would like to play out live as Children Of The Night, but now that Mike is in Energy too, it's more likely that you'll hear Energy playing Children Of The Night songs live simply because it's more convenient. I also have a feeling that a few COTN songs will end up being Energy songs, and possibly vice-versa.



MYSPACE | WEBSITE | TWITTER | STORE

RELATED

BLOOD LUST - an affiliate of Energy releasing Children of the night's first record!


BILL HAUSER - Artist for the past two releases and current Children of the night record