My most recent High on Fire poster was a pretty exciting job to get. The call for a tour series went out late, so like Judge Harry Stone from Night Court, I got the call after everyone else didn’t answer the phone. Not only was this their big hometown show, but it was being held at San Francisco’s amazing Regency Ballroom. It’s a big time venue and absolutely littered with the gig posters from living legend Chuck Sperry. I wanted to do a poster that was as big and bombastic as High on Fire.
Were folks expecting another picture of a barbarian? A devil lady? Another skull with a helmet? Well, they got my poster instead: a 24×24″ pseudo-drug filled black light induced nightmare of form and function. This is not something I was able to spin out of whole cloth, but from a myriad of inspiration.
My wife is a once-a-month DJ at the Monday Metal nights at the Golden Bull in Oakland, CA. Recently having acquired a quality video projector, I thought we could gimmick her night up a bit by showing movies along with the metal. Horror movies, of course. Who needs sound when you can just watch Herbert West reanimate corpses?
The only issue was where to project the movie? They have a screen at the Golden Bull, but it faces sideways. I wanted the screen to be visible down the long room from the door to entice people (as if the tunes shouldn’t be enough). I had to build my own screen to sit on stage next to the most super hot DJ ever.
I guess Yo! MTV Raps is a weird way to get into hard rock and heavy metal, but that’s how it worked for me. In junior high I dutifully recorded every episode of Yo! MTV Raps to learn to dance and be cool. Guess what? It didn’t work! But the first time I heard Faith No More was on that program with their metal / rap blended song “Epic”. I bought the CD and was hooked. When Angel Dust came out, it was the soundtrack for my freshman year of high school as I grew my hair out while the other brats listened to shit like Pearl Jam and Spin Doctors. Imagine my pleasure when Secret Serpents threw me a bone and accepted my begging to be part of the current Faith No More tour poster series.
The poster series for Faith No More‘s current tour is entirely published by Secret Serpents. That meant, for once, I was on the clock while printing my own artwork. It also means the posters all belong to Secret Serpents and they just went on sale this week exclusively through their website, www.secretserpents.com. I hope it sells well for them, of course, as I busted my ass to get this thing done on time!
Justin from Secret Serpents asked me about participating in an upcoming Swans tour-poster series and asked, “Do you want any weird places?” Well, yes. I chose the show at Yugong Yishan in Beijing, China. This will mark the first time my art has appeared in a communist country; unless you count Impaled’s Death After Life printing in Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which for all intents and purposes, might as well be the U.S.S.R. I’m just as giddy as a school girl halfway around the globe. One of my favorite bands is playing a show in Red China and this little piece of art will accompany them:
You’re probably thinking, “I’m going to go buy this poster right now from the Sewage shop,” and then noticed that the poster features a lot of non-English. Is it because I’m a cunning linguist or a polyglot? Yes to both. But I don’t speak Chinese. The Internet, however, does speak Chinese. In fact, it speaks Chinese almost as much as it speaks English (and more than Spanish). With the help of some faceless forum members and my Wacom tablet, I created the poster above. Thanks, Internet.
Some time back, my English friends asked me to design a tee for their band with “some gnarly riot cop with a beer gut and snarling face.” With the 2011 English race riots still fresh, I opted for a more wicked idea: a riot cop inspired by the movie They Live. I wanted to eventually do an art print parodying the “Keep Calm…” poster. It is the most They Live-ish poster design ever. You don’t even need special sunglasses to see the message of subservience. A few years later, I’ve finally gotten around to making that poster.
This very limited art print is for sale in my shop right now. It was kind of a bitch to print and I lost about half the prints. That’s because that bright red is actually a metallic ink and it ain’t the kinda shit you can go buy in the art store. It was specifically formulated at our shop, Monolith Press, by moi for another job. I had plenty of ink left over to make a kick-ass poster of my own, though.
My good friend (name-drop) Cremator hosts Ghoul’s Burning Questions show. I feel like you should check out the latest episode. Quite a few of their live antics are included in this one. I think he makes many reasoned and cogent suppositions on the show. Quite a handsome fellow, too.
When asked about being part of a tour poster series, I have to think with my (empty) wallet. Almost all of these tour poster series are pay-to-play. After I get assigned whatever city, I have to come up with a poster I think I can sell on my own after the show. It would probably be easier if I had a bunch of pictures of mystical goats and sacred geometry lying about to slap a band logo on, but I don’t. This is what Atlanta gets from me for a Melvins poster.
Yes… some kind of sign and two crushed beer cans. Inexplicable, right? Well, after a show I played last fall in Atlanta, we went to this place called the Clermont Lounge. It’s a world famous dive and strip-club known for its older, wider strippers. One of its most notorious acts is Blondie, a mature BBBW who crushes cans with her boobies. The next day I asked Amos of Atlanta’s Death of Kings what was notable for a gig poster in Atlanta. “Well, you just went to the Clermont Lounge.” Duh.