Posts Tagged ‘ No Anchor ’

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!

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

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 houseĀ  – 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?

Ready-to-wear

I had never really thought about my woodcuts ending up on clothing until recently. Then before I knew it in quick succession, I had three different woodcut images boldly plastered on complete strangers. It’s a funny thing standing at a gig (like when I went and saw Helmet the other week) and there is some fellow I’ve never seen before wearing a t-shirt with my woodcut on it.

This is a t-shirt for my band, No Anchor. When we released our record recently I did the cover art and it was decided by the band to take that cover image and adapt it to a t-shirt to go with said album.

Die On Planes are a relatively unknown but completely mind-melting band based here in Brisbane. They asked me to design up a t-shirt for them. I went with amps because Die On Planes are all about amps, lots and lots of amps. You should check them out live and take some earplugs just for good measure.

This one, I have to say is my favourite and came as quite a surprise. I was asked to do up artwork for a seven-inch single by the Melbourne band Harmony. This in itself was a great and rewarding experience but when the band arrived in Brisbane to launch their record a few months later, they pulled out a whole box of these t-shirts. I didn’t know they’d made them but lucky for all of us they’re great looking t-shirts and I was just stoked for my girlfriend and I to have one to wear. She looks great in it but I haven’t gotten up the courage to wear mine yet. It feels a bit to much like self promotion.

Who knows what’s next… teatowels?

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.