Posts Tagged ‘ vinyl ’

One Less On The ‘Things To Do In Life’ List

As someone who upon stumbling into adulthood discarded popular music for whatever I could find on the fringe that excited me, one name commonly underpinned most of what I was into. That name was Amphetamine Reptile Records (or AMREP for short). Unsane, The Jesus Lizard, The Melvins, Cows, Helmet and many more names were the most exciting bands that I had ever heard at the time – In some ways they still are almost two decades later.

Anyway, I’ll try to keep this post shorted than a novella. The music I make with my best friends is the also the music we love, informed by the music we love. So after playing music for only seven years, five of which were as part of No Anchor, AMREP head honcho Tom Hazelmyer (HAZEXXL to you) – who both new and had heard of my band – offered to release some of our music.

This my friends is about as lofty a musical aspiration as I’ve ever had!

Amrep-1

 

Amrep-2

And here it is. On 10inchs of vinyl with as a bonus, two woodcuts of mine. A lot of work, sweat, organising, fear, excitement and elation went into this. I’m super proud of it. Below is some snaps of the prints coming together as well as the limited edition versions which had hand-printed covers by me. The standard edition was printed care of Matt at 7th Disaster Screeprinting

Amrep-3

 

Amrep-4

 

Amrep-5

I’d include a link to where you can buy it but upon it’s release back in June the entire edition of 500 sold out in about five hours. Not bad for a underground noiserock band from Brisbane Australia. The best I can offer is two filmclips made by HAZE. I liek to think of them as insights into his demented genius…

HAZE also did a version of the record with his linocut artwork (as opposed to my woodcut artwork)…

Hazecover

I never thought my visual art or my music, both new things in my life would reap rewards like this. Remember, think big kids!

This was 2013

So this is how I spent 2013. If you didn’t see me, well it is because I was at home doing this!

31 woodcuts in total. 2 artist books, 1 zine, a 10″ Ep,  a t-shirt and 3 exhibtions. An honorable mention for the woodcut guitar that while started in 2012 was finally finished this year.

Also a big shout out to my friends in Harmony & High Tension for asking me to illustrate their records. It was an Honour!

Thanks to everyone for the kind words, comments and all round support towards all this. I hope your year was as good as mine and that next year will be better for us all.

Alex.

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Busier Than Ever

There’s so much happening that I might need to break things up into several posts. Heaven forbid I find the time to fill you in more regularly…

So my recent idea to turn one of my latest woodcuts into an affordable and comfy t-shirt was a resounding success and so a huge shout out of thanks has to go to everyone who snapped one up! I had a few extra made up and so there will be another chance to get your hands on one but more of that soon.

Front

Owl-Tshirt1

Back

Owl-Tshirt2

A big thanks goes to Matt Deasy of 7th Disaster for doing such a great job on the screenprinting of these. Really people, look him up for anything you want hand printed!

So a while back I said to stay tuned because I had lots of things happening before the end of the year. Well it’s all happening now.

I recently received the vinyl version of the debut album by High Tension when they came up to launch the album. Sure it looked great on the cd (see post below) but boy doesn’t it look better nice and big on vinyl? Stoked!

HTvinyl

And just last weekend I got my hands on the latest 7inch single by Melbourne band Harmony of which I (again) did the cover art for.

Harmony_1

It is the band’s third 7inch and the prelude to their second album which is out early next year through Posion City records. The band’s guitarist/vocalist/all-round-great-dude Tom Lyncoln is into sharks and so asked for a shark from me. Who am I to refuse? And so it was.

Here are all of the band’s singles, with the cover art for all of them done by me. Happy doesn’t even start to explain what it means to look at all these together.

Harmony_2

Sometimes doing artwork for great bands feels better (even though it is harder) than carving and making prints for myself but none of that comes even close to when something like this happens…

Robb Knaggs Tattoos

This is my friend Robb. Great guy and really talented musician. He recently took off to travel the world but just before he left he told me he wanted something that would remind him of home and this is what he wanted.

Printsml

Obviously the print represents something personal for him but I do find if nice that the Currawongs that hang around my house, gave me the feathers in question and that I captured in this print have unknowingly traveled so far.

CurrawongwoodcutThat also makes two people who have gotten a woodcut of mine tattooed. I think I might have to start planning to be the third.

That’ll do for now. More news soon.

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How Memories Are Made – Now Open

If you follow this blog at all then you will be well aware that everything for me over the last few months have led to my current exhibition that opened last night. Well It was a really great night with so many friends and new faces coming by and having a look at what I’ve been up to for the last few years. Once all the prints were on the wall, I was as amazed as anyone at this collection of work. I hadn’t realised I had done so many colour prints. So much for a narrative though, I guess I’m the narrative and this is how varied my life is at times…

Exhibition prints

Exhibition prints detail

Exhibition prints detail-2

…and on the opposing wall was the show’s centerpiece. The Fender telecaster that became a woodblock and then returned to being a guitar. It was fun last night to see people walk up and strum the stings only to them seem genuinely surprised when it made a sound. Exhibition-2

For me the music I make and the art I make are one and the same creative past-time.  So it was good to show off some of where my prints have gone.

Exhibition

Exhibition-3

As per usual though, I took these shots at the start of the night before anyone showed up and the forgot to take any photos as the night got underway. The artshow is up for the next few weeks and is open every day so if you are down in Fortitude Valley you should stop on by.

k.O.M.A. Project Gallery
Upstairs at Ksubi
Shop 2/30 James St,
Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

A few people have asked about some of the limited Artist Books and records I made to coincide with the show. These are not in the gallery but are now available online here…

A SAVAGE GOD 10INCH VINYL

HOW MEMORIES ARE MADE LIMITED ARTIST BOOK

…and in the lead up to last night i even spent a few minutes having a chat on local radio 4BC about the show. You can go have a listen to that HERE

A big thanks to Matt at Mild Manners for helping put it together!

Making Records For Woodcuts (Or The Other Way Around)

I’ve got to say it is both fun and a lot of pressure doing artwork for albums or singles or any music to be released. Trying to match the sounds to images and translate other people’s thoughts on the music they have made is not always a seemless process. Luckily for me, my latest project has been my own. By that I mean I’ve been calling the shots which has made the final outcome that much more important to me.

The back story is late last year, one of my closest friends and I made some music together of which I thought it was good and decided to make it something more than just a few jams in a room. From there I got more friends to help me extract what I heard in my head and even went so far as to learn a new instrument (the musical saw no less). Now I am happy to be in possession of the 10-inch record below. It’s a little country, a little heavy and kinda weird but I dig it!

10inch-1

Now that might have next to nothing to do with printmaking or woodcuts. But you see, I get no greater pleasure than when I’m creating something out of nothing. Playing drums, playing instruments that belong in a hardware store, carving a woodblock or making a book – when you step back and look at what you’ve made, it’s pretty cool.

So apart from the 100 copies of the record that I hope to eventually send out into the world, I decided to spend the last few days making a single copy of the record that had all my creative loves fused into one artifact. I am really proud of what I finished off today, to me it’s an artist book, it’s a record, it’s some of my best woodcuts to date and as someone who also likes collecting records, it’s the most deluxe release I could come up with (with some ink, paper, tape and scissors).

It is hardcover and adorned with four original woodcuts and I’ve even put the test-pressing of the record in there. This one-off creation will be on show (and available) at my exhibition opening on the 23rd May (see the invite below) even though I really would like to keep this one for myself!

Front and back cover

10inch-6 Inside gatefold10inch-5 Back cover10inch-4

Front Cover10inch-3 Inside 10inch-2

HAZE XXL

As someone who is devoted to printmaking as much as I am to music. I find that a lot of the people who inspire me don’t necessarily come from the standard cannon of historically successful artists. Sure I can look at Hiroshige or Durer and appreciate what they helped create but in this day and age it’s the hands on artists that I love the most. Mix into that the DIY aesthetic that fuels punk rock music and you get people like Tom Hazelmyer from Minneapolis in the US – quite easily the person who’s artistic perspective I admire above anyone else. Everyone needs people to look up to so they can say to themselves “I can do that” and “I want to be as good as them” – and that’s not coming from a style perspective but from one of attitude.

Here’s a really cool clip I just watched on Tom that showcases his printmaking endevours. You don’t need to like the music to like where he’s taking art but it certainly helps…

and here’s a linocut poster that Tom made that hangs above my stereo.

Lino-poster

New Found Harmony

Back in 2011 one of my favourite bands in Australia asked me to do up the coverart for their debut 7″. I was both excited and nervous at the prospect of working with Melbourne’s Harmony (which I elaborated on here).

Well, clearly I did something right because late last year they asked me to have another shot with the first single from their second full-length album.

Harmony

…and this is what arrived in the mail a few days ago. Not to boast but wow it came up great. Harmony are a band that always make good looking releases and I think they did a great job turning my woodcut into the cover illustration of their single.

The image came from listening to the two songs on repeat, in particular the second track ‘ I Wait All Night For You…’. Their music  a strange mix of beauty and torment – kind of like a georgous woman standing on the railing of a bridge… you want a happy ending but it might not likely come.

Their new album will be out in a couple of months. Until then you can get the 7-inch from their bandcamp page and you should before its limited run sells out.

CHECK OUT HARMONY

BUY THEIR NEW SINGLE

From One Hand To Another

Most prints I make for myself. Sometimes I do a couple for friends but the hardest are the ones I do for albums! I’m in a band, it’s only a small group and we do it cause it’s fun – end of story. We also pretty much do everything ourselves – in house  – including recording our music, putting on our own shows, doing all our own artwork and self-releasing our albums. It’s often easier and cheaper that way and we get to do as we damn well please with it all.
So last year we released an album called Real Pain Supernova. I did the artwork and wrote about it here. This time round I tried a lot of different things and themes but everyone in the band liked the recurring elements of the woodcut below. And so it became the basis of the next albums coverart…

…and this is the original print.

I’m really happy with how the illustration turned out. I spent a lot of time trying to place the drama and the pain of the action into the skin and tendons of the hand – that one blinding moment. I’d like to think it worked. As with everything where there are multiple voices, elements were changed, suggestions were put forward and everyone seemed happy when that became this:

The album is called The Golden Bridge and this will be its coverart. It will be coming out on vinyl and digital in two and half weeks time. We’ll start pre-selling the album this weekend. While there will be 250 copies of the album made on vinyl, chances are I will most likely only ever print two or three prints of the original woodcut. It’s nice to know however that what I made will make it to the far corners of the earth.

The album is going to be housed in a gatefold LP sleeve and another print of mine (below) will also adorn the inside on the album. As with the coverart, the end result has turned out a bit different to the original print below but I think it works nicely.

Usually that would be the end of it. But no, not this time, I decided that anyone who pre-orders my bands album will go into the draw to win a deluxe version of the album. So I’m amassing a whole bunch of extras to go along with the vinyl and yesterday I decided to encase it all in a special one off box. This meant going full circle and pulling the wood out again. Plywood coated with hardwood this time round to lighten the load.

I also recarved the coverart into the lid of the special box. Usually I only recarve an image because I mucked it up on the first try. Eitherway, I did this one in the negative to the first woodcut.


And there you have it. A customised woodcut all ready for one of the records – which should all arrive at my door in the coming days from the pressing plant. I love how the whole thing has ended up looking. Now I cross my fingers that folks will like the songs housed inside?

Magnetic North

Ahhh… the tumbling, tumbleweeds. It’s been a bit like that around here lately.  After the flurry of activity from the art show in February, I’ve had to have more downtime than I wanted. Last month I found out that my swollen left wrist was actually a ruptured tendon in said wrist. Apart from the fact that I’m left handed, this was a bit of a kick in the pants and has meant a severe curbing of my bike riding, playing the drums, lifting heavy boxes and of course… doing any woodcuts! In fact I haven’t made one woodcut since January and I’m not too happy about it either.

Thankfully there’s no shortage of good books in the world to read! And good music to put on whilst reading. I am happy to say that one great thing that’s happened this week is that I’ve received this…

This is the new album by my friend and talented musician Kelly Lloyd. Last year she had me work on the coverart for her latest solo album (above). She has spent a long time working on this album and before that even longer in her band Screamfeeder. All worth your time as far as I’m concerned.

The album is out in a few weeks time (24th April) . You can find out more and have a listen by heading over to Kellie’s BANDCAMP page.  The cover is inspired by a tune that’s on the album… three guesses on which song it is?

Exhibiting In Record Stores

I have lots of fun hobbies, most notably here being the woodcuts I make. Some others include collecting records from my favourite bands and playing drums with my friends in our band. The band is called No Anchor and over the last few months we’ve been making our own record (our third studio album). All of my hobbies recently converged when we decided to turn our album into a double LP release. After a few failed attempts, everyone in the band responded positively to my design idea and cover image which you can see below.

It has been one of the most rewarding pieces that I’ve created even though it was most certainly not the hardest or most detailed piece I’ve attempted. We’ve now made up 150 copies of the LP (50 copies in each colour) and a good friend of mine hand screenprinted the artwork in the most glorious silver ink. To be honest, I’m glad I didn’t have to print 150 album covers, I don’t think that would have been fun.

This is the original print below. The edition is of 30 and the first 25 copies of the album come as a deluxe edition with a trimmed version of the print included with the record. Considering the deluxe version is going to retail for $40 (Aus) and the standard $25 (Aus), I guess that’s a pretty good deal for the people (mostly our friends) who buy the album.

The image is titled ‘Salute #2′ with the first in the series being this one:

The No Anchor album goes online to order from tomorrow morning (Wed 27th April) with release date two weeks later and an album launch on 13th May. If you’re interested in seeing/hearing/finding out more, you can head over to www.noanchorband.com where we’ve put up more details.

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