This last weekend, I was helping my wife out taking some band photos of our friends’ band, Serpent Crown. At one point I hoisted her on my shoulders to try for a bird’s eye view. I was reminded of seven years previous, going through some similar extreme measures to get photographs for Ludicra’s The Tenant. I wasn’t blogging at the time, stupidly, so here’s a Throwback Thursday post about this cover.
At the time this came out in 2009, some people commented “why did they photoshop a dumb door onto the water?” Well, fuck you. First, don’t use a product name as a verb in a sentence. Second, Photoshop was not involved in editing this door into a body of water. It was me and my own damn two hands what did the work putting a real door into a real body of water.
While I wait for a bunch of other cool shit to appear, this release follows hot on the heels of the last Sodom re-issue that I did layouts for. Persecution Mania: Sodom’s second full length (and really superior to the first) available for order now from Wax Maniax.
This is quite a cool package. Doubly vinyl, gatefold, full lyrics, etc. This release has never been better. But it’s not for want of trying to be worse. It seems that when it comes to the 1980s, there was a little to be desired in terms of archiving all the media that went into creating such a milestone record of thrash metal.
Well, this was quite an honor… doing layouts for the re-issue of Sodom’s first LP, Obsessed by Cruelty. I got the gig thanks to my good friend Dan at Mammoth Sound Mastering. He introduced me to the fellas at Wax Maniax. My first gig (not my last) for them was just for, oh, I don’t know, one of the best thrash bands ever? All in all, I think it came out quite smashing.
This version includes both recordings of the album, one that was released on vinyl in Germany and the other that is pretty much the only version most people have heard. It’s a long story. In any case, I got to sift through photos provided by Tom Angelripper and make a bad-ass photo collage. I tried my damnedest to correct the shoddy, original lyrics sheet, and did a lot of photo correction. Even the LP labels reflect the original releases’ designs of Metal Blade and Steamhammer Records.
This beauty sold out in just a couple weeks, but I’m sure they’ll eventually have more over at the Wax Maniax website.
If you’re in the Boston area, I’ll be part of a group exhibition featuring some amazing artists. Putrid, Mark Richards, Lucas Ruggieri, and Dan Seagrave are just a few of the talents that my wholly crappy work will be put up next to. I’ll just have a couple prints on exhibition and for sale. I won’t be able to attend myself, unfortunately. Here’s the information if you can.
Eridanos Tattoo & Gallery
36 Prospect St.
Cambridge, MA 02139
It’s weird to get an email from Universal Music Group, but that’s the manufacturer used by Willowtip Records for the Impaled “The Dead Still Dead Remain” CD. So, I get the same mass email from them as someone doing layouts for Los Tigres Del Norte and probably Adele.
The gist of this latest email has something to do with HD digital media and a lot to do with Apple. The standard requirement of art provided for an album used to be for CD cover layout size of 1:1 print at 300 DPI. The streaming companies are now asking for cover art to be available in 600 DPI at minimum 5×5 inch. This makes a lot of sense when you consider people are digesting their music more and more digitally and throwing it up on big, oversize monitors and flat screens.
It also means bigger file sizes and my personal need for better photo gear. Shiiiiiit. Well, you need some damn big art as LPs take prominence in the merch market these days, anyway.
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.
The SOMArts Day of the Dead Exhibition is an annual celebration based on the traditions of Mexican culture. In this case, a bunch of arty farty types put their twist on it in a gallery in San Francisco. The entire warehouse space is transformed into a bunch of cells with some really amazing work by different artists. Some are more traditional, honoring specific dead people, but by and far the most exhibitors honor the death of ideas. Hey, they’re arty farty. This year, I was able to help my friend Lia realize her installation and it came out smashingly good.
We made Grandma’s house, replete with decay and creepy furniture. The installation itself took shape based upon the photos included in the piece. Lia owns a couple of amazing wolf-dogs (20% dog, 80% wolf). She employed my lovely wife to be her model in a Day of the Dead version of Little Red Riding Hood. Do you want to take a trip to Grandma’s house through scary West Oakland?
While I’m sure some of it had to do with the fervent fan base and maybe even partially the music, it’s nice a record I did the design and layout for was voted Pirate’s Press “Record of the Year” by Facebook voters. Ghoul’s Maniaxe LP won the prize, but let’s be honest…. it was mostly ’cause of the layout, right?
Doing the layouts on a 10 year old record is no joke. A lot of people were waiting for Ghoul’s second full-length to be on vinyl for a long time and expectations were high. I didn’t want the packaging to disappoint. It wasn’t easy because 10 years ago no one bothered to make sure everything was prepped for this big-assed release.