FLESH & BONE
in the pursuit of artistic passion
DARIA GOLAB - SPENCER SUTHERLAND - JARED WRIGHT - THE RED JUMPSUIT APPARATUS
hover & click names for portfolios
INQUIRIES & SUBMISSIONS
THE T E A M FOUNDER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Brandynn L. Pope
DESIGN & LAYOUT
Brandynn L. Pope
Donald Kimber Rickie McCanna Brandynn L. Pope James Liam Ward
Ashley Atlus Rickie McCanna Brandynn L. Pope Brittney Tambeau
F E AT UR E S 06
A Theatrical Renaissance
Albums In Review
Illustration | Jason Lambidis
James Liam Ward
M US I C 14
Pure Noise Tour
Review & Photographs | Rickie Miller
The White Noise
The Story So Far
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Review & Photographs | Ashley Atlus Review & Photographs | Brandynn L. Pope Interview | Brandynn L. Pope
Interview & Photography | Brandynn L.Pope
Interview | Brandynn L. Pope
Interview | Brandynn L. Pope
Do y ou fee l t h a t cur rent arti s t i c trend s will b e looked b ac k u p on as uniq ue & / o r signif icant in time? The only way to judge something is question, “is it timeless?” It can be done. RANDY WINTER Most certainly. Consider the sexual revolution we are now currently facing and its representation in art. Explicit images are not only becoming more popular but are often celebrated. To say that the internet will not shift this movement in the future does not sit well with me. There will always be the negative force that rejects the significant change in the tide but that does not make the movement any less significant or real. What we talk about in art, music and in a social environment will shape our thoughts in the future even if they are an extention of what was once another person’s thought. BRANDYNN LP Musically we are just recycling trends. I feel like people are following artistic trends of viewing old art for the sake of proving a point. No one looks back to see how that art shaped the now but rather think of it as “look at this.” That being said, there are some new people coming out and showing something. CRAIG DAVIDSON
We never know what future will bring and we probably won’t live to see how current trents affect future art, but I’m sure it will be a significant art period in history. Art is growing, all the brilliant technologies are taking over the world and art. I’m not sure if it’ll be good or bad in a long run but it will definitely be significant. DARIA GOLAB I fail to see how [one] could think this era includes anything but recycled artistic trends, or at least partial hybrids of most preceding ones. JASON L
A Theatretical Renaissance
Dr. Julian Bashir: You’ve given me answers all right; but they were all different. What I want to know is, out of all the stories you told me, which ones were true and which ones weren’t? Elim Garak: My dear Doctor, they’re all true. Dr. Julian Bashir: Even the lies? Elim Garak: Especially the lies. (“The Wire.” Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Syndication. 8
May 1994. Television.)
n the course of history there are few moments thought of with more celebration than the Renaissance: a time when humanity remembered it’s own spirit, and began dreaming of the stars again rather than staring into the dirt. It was a time characterized by changes in the way people thought about their churches, the way they thought about art, and even the way they thought about themselves. It was during this time that humanity took perhaps its most decisive steps towards the future we live now; and now, I see the signs that it will be time again advancement. This paradoxical progression soon for us to recall the great responsibility mirrors the Renaissance in that, while of our ancestors and choose a path for advancement continue to increase, so does ourselves. the spread of Humanism. The Renaissance was a time of Renaissance scholars picked up on tremendous progress, but was equally as the fundamentals of Humanism from Plato, tumultuous. This confused flume of ideas, who theorized that humanity held inherent new and old, similar and contradictory, value, agency, and ability both individually and was the reason that the period produced collectively. Over time the concept has come so many fresh intellectual tracks. The to assert that humanity can judge outwardly, aforementioned “old ideas” were, for the using the self and one’s senses as a control thinkers of the time, those of the ancient from which to measure. This assumption Greco-Romans, and featured centrally were gives us the most basic platform from the works of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and which to perform the scientific method. In many more. Scholars of the Renaissance modernity, the concept extends even further sought knowledge from those they viewed to mean that humanity is valuable enough as their cultural predecessors, and as as to supplant all other forces, including the having a “truer insight,” somehow absent in divine. This idea has grown from theory into the milieu of their own time. Consider that an integral part of each of our personalities, everywhere, examples of the population’s for example: the intrinsic value of humanity turn towards culturally ancestral ideas are permits the exploitation of nature and animal clear: fashion styles from the ‘80s and ‘90s to be morally acceptable. The logic follows dominate, words like retro and folk have become interesting, distrust of mechanization that, despite that what is non-human does have value, its value is less than that of continues to grow, and popular music human, and so its destruction in favour of continues to recycle old tunes, revive old bands, and center itself around Jazz, Swing, our survival is preferable and ethically sound. Evidence of this binary opposition is plain to and acoustics while electronic music has see, but the concept has sunk even deeper experienced a downturn. All this is true into our culture than a simple justification. even in the midst of our startling rate of
series for good examples, especially the character of Falstaff.) Now, during another time of revolutions, acceptance of deviant sexual preferences, increased sexual promiscuity, and cross-gender presentation are all becoming more common. Acceptance of deviant sexual views have skyrocketed as people come to value humans more and break away from collective modes of decision making.
Over time, this concept has distilled down to the individual level, and ironically exacerbated its own mutation. Today, many individuals have, through ignorance and the subtle currents of cultural rhetoric, falsely extended the value Humanism places on humanity to themselves. Consider that this is the true power of Humanism: the individual gains more power and self-determinability than they have ever held before. In fact, the more we transfer the value of humanity as a collective onto the individual, the more sovereign we allow ourselves to become. The individual has become the nation and gives itself the authority to act as such. If the individual holds both the value of the collective and the only means of “empirical” interaction with the world, then we have become each a nation unto ourselves. Evidence of this new way of Humanistic thinking shows strongly in the changing sexual trends of today, just as it did during the Renaissance. During the Renaissance, issues of homosexuality arose everywhere, including royal politics, the Catholic/Protestant clergies, and in the works of William Shakespeare, (see his Henriad
Further evidence of this Humanistic trend comes from religious change. The Renaissance played host to the Protestant Reformation, a time in which members of Catholicism revolted against unfair practices of the church. The end result was that Protestants seized greater control over their faith, taking agency from collective or divine hands. Another, less expected result of the Reformation was the weakening of the concept of Augustine’s Original Sin. The Original Sin refers to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden due to their disobedience, but in relation to the theories of Church Father Augustine, also assumes humanity’s flawed nature and our inability to correct it. Despite prominent Protestant’s favouring the theory, religious reformation freed believers from the shackles of Original Sin. Now we are moving even further, and begin shaking off the bonds of religion and gods all together. As our own reliance upon systems of power, such as civic or divine decrease, so does our need to justify or “check” ourselves by these systems. As such, we become more self-sufficient and more prone to make unorthodox choices, instead choosing to rely on our innate value to guide us. We become more varied and radical in our intelligences, leading to more chances for interaction and the new.
In just the same way that our modes of thinking have changed, so too has our truest expression of ourselves: our art. In the late 20th century the postmodern movement was coming into full swing, and thanks to great minds such as Derrida, Foucault, Baudrillard, and many more, we find ourselves in a unique time. The theories of this school brought forward an unshakable reminder of the relativity of language, as well as its inherent artifice. These ideas lay bare the base-code of artistic mediums, and come to perpetually remind the artist of his subject, which can now only be the work of art itself rather than its content. These same theories have taught the falsity of genre division, highart hubris, and allowed for the deterioration of artistic correctness. By the former, I mean the judgment of art based upon set rules, traditions or classifications. The postmodernists have shown that great art can be genreless, nonsensical, ignore logical structures, and even fail to be aesthetically pleasing! We have been cut lose, casting off into space only to arrive in a nebula of newly viable artistic strains. Consider that if art no longer needs to subscribe to any boundary of classification, then each artist’s singular vision becomes paramount. Today we see works that rely solely on the pushing of boundaries and the perversion of norms, both social and artistic for their content. Simple examples like Family Guy, which aims specifically to offend our sensibilities in order to create good comedy. Another being the music produced by Tyler, the Creator, aimed at offense, poor style/taste, and even dislike
for its strength. These new works involve the simple allowance of an idea, thing, or situation that would normally be rejected by traditional systems of correctness. We have given ourselves a way to break free of our restrictions without feeling ashamed or alienated. We have become nearly sovereign beings, more capable of true creation than ever. More than anything, such periods in humanity’s history are about our own evolution. Today, perhaps tomorrow, could be the day that humanity rises to it’s feet after so many centuries of crawling through trenches in it’s infancy. In reality, I believe that time will have to wait at least a few more centuries yet, but the trick is that our tests are all cumulative and the key players have forgotten to include their names at the top if the page.
Capture The Crown Ashley Atlus
Pure Noise Tour P
ure Noise Records is an independent record label founded in 2009 in California, and carries prestigious bands such as The Story So Far, Counterparts, and Four Year Strong. Earlier this year the record announced their Pure Noise Tour 2016, with Hit The Lights, Seaway, Can’t Swim, Boston Manor, and Casey Bolles. Hit The Lights has been a pop-punk staple since the release of Skip School, Start Fights in 2008. Their most recent release, Summer Bones, hit shelves in March of last year and was their first studio album released under Pure Noise. Just Get Through to You, their acoustic EP, is still yet to come on May 6, 2016. The tour kicked off in Hit the Light’s home state, Ohio, at Ace of Cups in Columbus. It was a very diverse scene, with young people screaming their hearts out to Seaway, and old rockers full of energy for Hit The Lights. The crowd was amazing, always shifting and swaying to the music like a wild space-time plot. Hit The Lights understand shows and crowds so well after touring on-and-off for the past 13 years. Nevertheless, Hit The Lights is a sadly underrated band, and deserves more attention than a 150 cap room. Definitely catch them when they’re in your city.
The White Noise B
ursting on the stage, lead singer of The White Noise, Shawn Walker, sprayed the entire crowd with water to open The Mindsweep Tour. It is no wonder why Enter Shikari, a band that is infamous for their wild stage antics (whether it be walking on the crowd or swinging from ceiling rafters) included this band to open the show. With similar infectious energy, The White Noise classify themselves under the genre of aggressive rock, accurately representing their stage demeanor. Recently signed to the Fearless Records family, the band played a majority of the songs of their February EP release, Aren’t You Glad? and included new song “Bite Marks.” Walker continually invited fans to crowd surf and after many attempts, people started flying towards the stage. One fan even knocked over vocalist and guitarist David Southern’s mic stand. After a couple songs, the stage went dark, the band left, and when the lights came on the crew was prepping for the next band. The White Noise did what they needed to do in pumping up the fans for the headliner and left without a goodbye. We can only hope they come back to Chicago soon as they left the room wanting more.
The Story So Far O
n April 17th people lined up outside of Calgary, Alberta’s 18+ venue, the Marquee. The line remained consistently long from the moment the doors opened at seven o’clock, and continued well into the first set of the first opening act: Culture Abuse. Being the first time that the Story So Far has come to tour through this part of Canada, the excitement was at the peak of its intensity for their Calgarian fans as well as those who had travelled to the area to see them. Though the band themselves are not the most lively bunch, it was easy to see that the music spoke louder than any theatrics could. Each member grooved to their own music, taking it all in while the chaos of the crowd consumed the floor and stage. From their first song to their last, people were jumping across the barricade to get up onto the stage and dive back into the crowd. Groups of people rolled up, running across the stage and down. Vocalist Parker Canon had to speak up in between songs, reiterating that the crowd should be conscious of all the movement and be safe while they were doing their thing. He expressed his thanks to the crowd several times for their energy in the show, especially so in a city that they had never played in previously. Multiple people
found themselves floating over the hands of the crowd, enthusiastically singing to the ceiling. Even during their slower songs the crowd wanted to immerse themselves further in the show. The only moment of calm was when Canon asked everyone to raise their lighters up for their song “Clairvoyant.” The song gained popularity immediately after its release on The Story So Far’s split with Stick To Your Guns. The whole room sang along, and you could feel the weight of the lyrics, “don’t pain’t me black, I used to be golden” flow across the room. With sixteen songs played, the band touched base with absolutely anything that people wanted to hear, covering both their popular tracks as well as little-known gems from deep within their albums.
Spencer Sutherland SPENCERSUTHERLAND.COM YOUTUBE - INSTAGRAM
magine, if you will, a world where Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Chris Brown, Jason Derulo and Al Green all came together to conceive a child of talent. Though not in the literal sense, the inspiration taken from each other artist has created the singer and song writer, Spencer Sutherland. Taking in the different artists singing, dancing, performing and the crowd interaction he harmonizes it to create his own unique style. He is a soulful self-taught pop / R&B from Ohio who currently is residing in Los Angeles in pursuit of his musical career. For about three years now Spencer Sutherland has been working towards pursuing music as his full time career, though he has been singing all of his life. His love of music sprouted in his hometown of Pickerington as well as the city of Columbus. He gives praise to his Midwestern roots and the support system that helped pushing him towards his dreams. For a brief moment in time he had considered college and postsecondary, as he feels many contemplate on, but realized after a few online courses that it was no for him and his head, heart, and soul were focused on music. “I can’t imagine doing anything else, really,” he goes on to explain, “It just feels right. [I have] this crazy, out of my head, desire to make it in music and so I took all of this desire and put it into my songwriting, playing, [and] rehearsing. I knew that the better i get the better shot at making it.”
Hard work and persistence is definitely something that Sutherland has. He has produced multiple covers and original songs that are present on his youtube page with fans consistently listening in and commenting on his work. Sutherland really pushes his presence on the internet, stating the importance of connecting with his fans as he states are “the reason you get to do what you love.” At this point in his career he has already opened up for acts such as Emblem3, MKTO and Ariana Grande. At this point he has been looking towards sharing a stage with artists like Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, or Tori Kelly. He likes the idea of sharing it with a strong female vocalist. As for collaborations he likes the idea of working with Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, Bruno Marz, or Trey Songz. Of course, these are only a few names from the bucket that he would love to work with, emphasizing the amount of talent that there is these days. Now what we can expect out of Spencer Sutherland is a lot more touring. He wants to take more time with this, emphasizing how it is one of his favourite things to do, especially the aspect of playing in front of a live audience. His final statement being that he has “been [held] up in the studio with some amazing producers an want to share it with my fans.”
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus REDJUMSUIT.COM FACEBOOK - INSTAGRAM
n July 18th, 2006, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus released their first full length album Don’t You Fake It. The band quickly gained traction with catchy, powerful tracks such as “Face Down” and “False Pretence.” Almost any time the band gets brought up they instantly are remembered for the narrative of “Face Down.” Now the band has taken part of a world tour in celebration of their ten year release of a vital album in the alternative rock community. We were able to catch up with guitarist and supporting vocalist, Randy Winter, on the Canadian leg of their tour to see where they are now and what any fans should expect out of their future. After a collection of songs that took the alternative rock music scene by storm people started questioning what was to come next out of the group of musicians that comprised the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Winter comments how he remembers specifically telling people that they had never disappeared but rather, that they were not on the same label that they had released Don’t You Fake It on. While now there is a trend of bands being self made, rather than working alongside a label, back when The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus decided to make that move, there were not as many bands too enthusiastic with the idea, “people said we were crazy when we dropped the label,” Winter recalls. Truth be told, Red Jumpsuit realized that their label simply was not on the same page as them. There was a specific route that they could see the industry shifting into that they
realized the label was not willing to visualize. Even now, Winter expresses his opinion how most labels are treating bands as if they are disposable: feeding off of a single band and then moving onto the next “scene” thing. For him the labels cared little about the band themselves but rather focused on what could make the label money over anything else. The Red Jumpsuit just wanted to work with someone that believed in their band and message as much as they wanted to deliver it. That lead it all to the only decision they really felt that they could make and becoming self efficient. Being able to make their own decisions, the band came to the decision of touring Don’t You Fake It. Throughout the tour they feature different local city bands to open up for them, something that they originally were not sure on doing. For them, they really wanted to focus on creating an environment completely dedicated to the album. Kids could get ready by the stage, the band would come on, and they would just play it all start to finish (while also including their “hidden” track on the album). “We [were] really excited to play the record from start to finish,” Winter explains, “We didn’t do that before. It was not common to do that.” Especially now the band has found themselves in a different demographic than the one that knew this album. Whenever they play big shows their fans are far more familiar with their newest releases, including their fourth album appropriately titled 4. Winter continues that, “younger kids come to shows without even knowing the song ‘Face Down.’ They’ll listen to that single and their parents will be like ‘oh yeah, I have listened to that’ and the kids are like ‘wait, what? You can’t like this band, this is my band.”
As a group they have been able to reach out to different crowds of fans due to their relatable nature in song writing. Looking at the narratives of the different songs they are able to pick up on things that the fans internalize, regardless of how specific they are to the life events that vocalist, Ronnie Winter, writers about. Even Randy Winter comments on the “genius” of his brothers writing, how he admires the true narrative behind his brothers lyrical work. He sees this in other bands who have found their success in honesty. For Winter, and in a broader sense for the entire band of the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, they are strong believers in writing the music that they love, regardless of if it brings them all of the money and fame as people assume the life of a musician will lead to. Winter goes on to state his opinion that, “if you go into music to do it just for the money you should pick a new career.” It is not to say the passion of the work will not bring any money but the intention behind it all means everything. He speaks of seeing far too many artists going into it for the wrong reasons, pursuing the trends in music rather than that which they believe in, and seeing how it is only the passionate, honest, people that make any form of personal success, “look at bands like PVRIS,” he considers, “[they’re] true to who they are and that makes them unique.” That is one of the main themes that the band pursues even in their writing: the importance of self. Once all is said and done with the ten year anniversary tour the band has every intention of taking a break from touring and keeping that preservation of themselves. Each of them have important events within their personal lives they they wish to tend to, including the birth of Ronnie Winter’s child. Over that time the band intends to continue versing themselves in life experience, finding a fresh perspective in the narratives that they are known for writing. For now fans have to remain satisfied with all that released from 4 and prior, but come 2018 there is endless possibilities for new music. Now after so many years of touring, meeting different people in the industry, and playing on different festivals, the band reflects on all that they have done and what is to come next for them. Though they may be self sufficient now they are keeping their minds open to the possibilities of what is to come. Winter goes on to say that he wouldn’t “say that we would never sign to a label again, because if I said never it would most likely happen. For now I will say it is highly unlikely.”
Jared Wright ONLINE STORE - FACEBOOK - INSTAGRAM
Hey! So my name is Jared wright, im an artist from the tampa bay area, Florida. I’m a pretty normal guy, i like to spend time with my family, skateboard, play my guitars (poorly), fish and a ton of other stuff that i won’t bore you with. I draw and paint, and design clothing and skateboards for bands and brands. I just try to make art that i like and hopefully other people dig it too.
Are you formally educated in the arts? How were you introduced to the artistic world? I actually am currently enrolled in some college art courses, it just came to the point where i needed to expand my skill level. I was rolling through on just my small amount of talent and a couple highschool art classes. I HIGHLY recommend anyone interested in learning more about art, look into some local or online classes, they really make a difference. I was kind of introduced to the art world through social media, Its such a great to for connecting like minded individuals and sharing ideas. I get so much inspiration from my peers, Its really a great thing. I know it’s cool to bash social media and instagram and “its lame” or whatever but it has connected artists and fans all over the world in such an intimate and personal way. Ive met a ton of great people online and the social art community is super tight knit.
What sort of materials do you find yourself working with? What’s something that you have tried and would want to visit again in the future? Traditionally I’m a ink, watercolor and photoshop guy, but i’ve recently taken up charcoal and i love it. Its such a fun medium, its so much more forgiving than ink, It really makes it less stressful. I realised at one point that drawing was becoming tedious and not fun so i needed a change of pace. I think anyone stuck in a rut or feeling uninspired, just try something new. As an artist it’s easy to get frustrated when something isn’t working and that’s always when i walk away and clear my mind or start a new piece.
Recently you have collaborated with Modify Watches and Aluminati Skateboards. How do you go by deciding on who you want to collaborate with? How do you usually work on those collaborations? Well I get a good amount of offers and I can’t always accept, so when a killer brand like Aluminati or Modify comes by and asks you to collab, its hard to say no. I kind of lucked out too because they were both such great brands and super easy to work with. I think a big thing in deciding who to collaborate with is to just look at the brand and the effort they put into their product. If they put time and effort into creating a quality product and support independent artists, it’s kind of a green light to say yes and have some fun. Im very excited about how both those collabs came out and I hope to do some more cool stuff in the future.
What do you find the main difference is when you are creating for yourself and when you are doing commissions with others? I think the main difference is just how creative you get. When i’m doing a personal piece i start with a pretty loose concept sketch and kind of make up the rest as i go, adding and removing stuff as i see fit. When i work with clients there’s less control on my end so it sometimes limits my creativity, but not always. Sometimes the structure helps me stay focused and every now and then a client piece sparks a fire under me to try something new. I think the main drawback to client work is when you’re hyped on it and the client isn’t, or visa versa, that’s always a bummer.
What sort of themes do you like to pursue in your illustrations? How would you describe your style? I’ve kind of had this little bio on my site for a while that describes my style as “natural substances, conveyed with heavy lines and bright colors, with a sense of whimsy and no regard for logic” or something like that, but i think i need to update that. I think that used to describe my style well but lately i’m drawing a lot more man made objects and trying to incorporate them into my work more. I think i kind of stayed away from them before because a man made object has a much higher margin for error when trying to draw it, so i would just avoid them altogether. I try not to let an idea intimidate me, i think that’s a good rule of thumb. Beside that i just try to create something that will be interesting to look at.
What is it about using bold line work that you find so attractive? How did you come to finding this method of drawing? I’m not sure why i’m so attracted to bold linework. I guess it just helps my mind deconstruct the piece a little easier and it just feels good on the eyes. I love when someone like John Biazley does a highly detailed figure and then encapsulates it in a bold outline. It just looks right. I think i just noticed a lot of my favorite artists using bold outlines and it was a natural thing to try and incorporate it into my own work. Once you realize what draws you to your favorite artists or pieces it’s easier, i think, to find your own style.
A lot of your art work has been adapted into tattoos. Do you feel that this could of always been an end goal for your work? Honestly it never crosses my mind at all until i see someone with a piece tatted, and it always blows me away. I’m always hyped to see it and share it though, i hope to see some more this year.
Is the a certain audience that you like to appeal to? Where would you like to see your art work in the future? I think when you try to appeal to a certain audience, you can easily lose sight of the goal, which is to create a piece you like. I like to just do a piece that i think is cool or fun and if anyone does like it i’m hyped. I have a variety of different followers, from old women to young kids who skateboard, to fellow artists etc. The great thing about creating for yourself is to see who digs it, it’s almost like you’re both in on this secret, or they just get it to. Every now and then, wether it be art, music or film you’ll find a piece that just blows you away, and you feel closer to the artist, like you both just “get it”. It’s a great thing, i think it happens more often with music because it’s such a emotional experience.
DARIAGOLAB.COM - INSTAGARM
My name is Daria Golab (Golab in polish means pigeon and it became my symbol). I’m an artist and illustrator from Poland. I’m a 90’s kid and I’m 25 (but not for long now). I currently live in a small town in eastern Poland, enjoying perks of living close to nature. I work with various techniques but recently I’ve been falling in love again with ink. My main subject is human and flora, I’ve been exploring the bond between human and nature and searching for meaning of human nature
You have a Master Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning, but did you ever take formal education for your illustration work? Do you find that some of what you learned during your masters has transferred over into your illustrations and paintings? What pushed you to decide to start working artistically? Yes, I have a Master Degree in Architecture and Urban Planning. Before that I’ve spent almost 2 years in a weekend art school learning perspective, urban scapes, concept art, design and many other things, which allowed me to pass all the exams and get into the faculty. I’ve been taking classes in local community centre since I was 8. In art world it’s not considered as formal education but I think that having a teacher who can guide you through different techniques, styles and possibilities is really helpful. Many people think that there is a lot of drawing and “artistic activities” on architectural studies but that’s not the case. Despite that I’ve always been pushing myself to learn as much as I can from people arround and possibilities I get. I was stubborn enough to bring hand drawn architectural visualisations to project reviews when everyone expected realistic 3D renders. But I have to say, I’ve learned a lot about design, digital techniques, and of course understanding 3d forms. It’s not visible in the art I chose to make but I know I have a knowledge to do many other things than just portraits. I use it often in clients work and I’m sure I’ll use it in my personal art and illustrations some time in the future. Art was always my biggest love, I chose architecture just because I was worried that I don’t have “it” to be able to live as an artist. I buried this love deep inside me for the sake of becoming a responsible and reasonable adult. But well, it came out and I couldn’t fight it. I told myself that at least I have to try and that’s what I’m doing.
You have a lot of different processes displayed in your portfolio. What sort of tools do you use most frequently? Is there a specific process / medium that you prefer doing over others? Is there and mediums you like to mix together? How do you decide what you want to do in which way? I use a lot of techniques and sometimes I think it is a flaw of my art. But through my journey I’ve learned so many of them and I just like to go back to different ones from time to time and rediscover them. I feel the most confident with pencil, recently I fell in love once again with ink. Watercolours are my long love but they are tricky and sometimes I can’t work with them for months. I recently realised that I like to change techniques with every series of works. I like to keep things fresh and I could never settle on one tool, it would feel like staying in one place and not moving forward. But definitely for now it’s ink. When it comes to mixing, I like to experiment but I don’t feel confident to do in on a daily basis. For now, mixing traditional drawing with digital colours worked best for me. Is there anything that you have ever been very impatient about in terms of your creations; do you find something more tedious than other parts of the process? Is there and process that you have tried but never really found much enjoyment in it?
Where would you say a lot of your inspiration comes from? Is there any specific themes that you like to attach to your work? Is there a topic that you are really passionate about when it comes to seeing in art work? Most of my works are portraits and figures. For me, human face is one of the most beautiful things in the world and there is so much I can say by just drawing a face. It’s been my main theme for a long time and I think it might stay that way for longer. Recently I’ve been incorporating flowers into my illustrations and slowly immersing the subject (human) it flora. Starting from petals flying around, flowers growing from body parts finally into burying them in flowers. That’s where the “buried in flowers” series came from that will be exhibited 14th May 2016 in Vienna as a part of group exhibition “weltenflucht”. Because I draw people, I usually follow artists interested in the same topic, I love seing how many creative ideas can come from just drawing/painting a human being. What is it about the movies and television series that makes you want to create something inspired by them?
Cinematography is something I really love but don’t know much about (I wish I did), I feel like studying movies and tv series is a great exercise for illustrators. I myself am not confident with my use of colour and watching I used to be so impatient that if I didn’t finish a a movie I look closely at all the details, colour work on one sitting, I’d never come back to it. changes, composition. Filmmaking is art, it’s It was horrible because I just couldn’t do big always been inspired by other arts like fine projects. But one day it just changed, now arts, comic, illustration, but I feel that there is a I can work on something for days or even lot we artists can learn from movies, directors come back to unfinished works after months. and filmmakers. And as weird as it may sound, I enjoy the whole process, every single step. I think every artist have a technique that just didn’t click with them, I’d say for me it’s acrylics but I may come back to them in a few months and suddenly just enjoy them.
Is there any specific art work of your own that you are most excited to have created? What about it do you enjoy the most? I am definitely most excited about “buried in flowers” series. It was something I worked on for a long time, it’s bigger then what I was used to doing and I feel like it took me to another level in my journey. I’ve made many mistakes, I’ve learned a lot and I’m not gonna let go of this subject. It’s going to stay with me for a while. Where would you like to see your work integrated or displayed? Do you have any projects that you are most excited on working on or something that you want to do in the near future? I am so unsure of my own future that I just can’t imagine any place that I’d like to see my works in. All artists would like to be displayed in galleries around the world but not many get the chance. All I want is to be able to continously create and any opportunity that will come along the way will be an amazing part of the process. I’ve just wrapped up the work for an exhibition I mentioned earlier and I’m ready to start new projects. It’s this magical time when I can go back to all ideas I came up with along the way, look at things with a new mindset and just start fresh. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.
Albums In Review A compilation of albums that are explored through James Liam Ward’s insight.
4 A$AP FERG ALWAYS STRIVE + PROSPER 22.04.16
the back half of this record that really hurt me; Big Sean’s feature is mind numbingly repetitive, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed Chris Brown’s singing, and the closer has “Now that you are no longer a lord the most garbage attempt at an emotional that is trap” indicated to me that A$AP hook I’ve ever heard. Repeatedly moaning Ferg had plans to grow out of his well“I’m Talkin’ bout ma Grandma” does not established, banger filled sound and into reinforce to the listener how much you love some unexplored sonic territory on his your grandma, it just reinforces to me that second commercial album. As an artist I I don’t need to revisit this album anytime encourage growth; it is important to explore soon. different sounds and ideas to come up BEST TRACK: “Psycho” with something truly unique and different. However in that exploration I feel that A$AP Ferg abandoned the style that made him 5 BEARTOOTH unique and interesting in favor of a generic, AGGRESSIVE 04.03.16 commercialized sound that desperately tries to appeal to the lowest common Beartooth’s songwriting has always denominator. followed a very specific formula; there must be at least one tough-guy breakdown and This album has an incredibly rocky start; to counteract the “brutality” there must “Hungry Ham” is a run-of-the-mill banger also be three nice-guy choruses. On with a hook that is so annoying and Beartooth’s sophomore album Aggressive, repetitive that it takes away from the beat they stick to this formula so closely that it that actually isn’t too bad (congratulations doesn’t really have anything new to offer to Skrillex for not being the worst thing listeners who have been following the band on this album). The next track is the up to this point. song “Strive”, which is Ferg’s attempt at a motivational anthem that is so painfully Aggressive does little to live up to its radio friendly that it hurts my soul trying to name. In fact, this is probably the least make it through the not even 3 minute run aggressive release the band has put out time. After the last couple of monstrosities, so far. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing the album picks up with the track “Psycho”; because I find myself gravitating towards a laid back joint about Ferg’s crazy uncle the happier, more upbeat tunes on this containing the best hook on the record record anyways. Catchy cuts like “Sick of and an ethereal, lonely saxophone hanging Me” have more of a pop punk vibe, and in the background. Past this point, Ferg I think this sound suits the band much and his producers serve up a series better than all of the flaccid, dime-a-dozen of bangers that ride the line between breakdowns. “However You Want It Said” decent and boring. “Let It Bang” and proves Caleb can still write a catchy “Swipe Life” both have good beats and chorus, and I would encourage the band features from Schoolboy Q and Rick Ross to further pursue this lighter, sweeter sound respectively, but I find the track with Future on future albums. This is because a lot of and especially the posse cut with A$AP the heavier tracks aren’t really doing it for Mob to be incredibly underwhelming and me on Aggressive - the riff at beginning of uneventful. the title track is great and I don’t mind the end of “Rock is Dead”, but that’s about Now that we are officially halfway through, it. I refuse to listen to the song “Loser” this album just becomes unbearable. The ever again; the juvenile lyrics and weak beats are uninteresting and Ferg sounds instrumentals are stomach churning and soft as baby shit, which takes away from the fact that he occasionally has something although I appreciate the song’s message, the track is far too preachy for my taste. compelling to say. But it’s the hooks in
If you’ve heard the first two tracks off of Aggressive, you’ve essentially heard everything the band has to offer. I still recommend checking this out if you’re a fan of Beartooth because there are some decent tracks on it, but nothing that wasn’t done better on their first two releases. BEST TRACK: “Sick Of Me” 6 PIERCE THE VEIL MISADVENTURES 05.13.16 Fangirls rejoice! Everybody’s favorite Mexicans are back with a new album, and to my surprise it’s actually not bad. Misadventures is essentially a rehash of what Pierce The Veil are great at; providing catchy, high energy, pop-flavored posthardcore with just enough edginess to love. The band brings the heat on the first few songs - tracks like “Texas is Forever” are Pierce The Veil at their best. This song and many others are delivering fast paced tracks full of dissonant, groovy breakdowns and catchy choruses. But it’s the slower songs on here that really bore me; there’s nothing wrong with bringing down the tempo and the band has done it well before, but I don’t think they bring very many interesting melodies or musical passages to the table on Misadventures. Of all the slow jams on here, the only one I really enjoy the whole way through is “Bedless” because of the detailed instrumentation and Vic’s decent melodies. The song “Circles” is reminiscent of their beloved ballad “Bulletproof Love”, except with much less interesting instrumentation and a god-awful chorus – after 4 years of studio silence I expected a little more than “woah-ohs”. The ending of this album is also pretty whack, it just comes out of nowhere with some of the worst lyrics I’ve heard this year and leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. Overall I think this was a decent release for Pierce The Veil, and I respect them for sticking to their guns and putting out a
record that still has balls. Even though this album is not blowing me away personally, the band has definitely proven that they are still the most worthwhile act to come out of this wave of poppy post-hardcore groups that blew up in the early 2010s. BEST TRACK: “Texas Is Forever” 7 BEYONCE LEMONADE 04.14.16 Lemonade is the latest record from the beautiful Beyoncé, which has her sounding both contagiously confident and surprisingly vulnerable. I have never really gone balls deep into a Beyoncé record, but I always found her singles to enjoyable. As a whole, Lemonade is consistent in quality but varied musically; Beyoncé and her producers explore a variety of styles from hard rock to country with some pretty good results. Lemonade’s opener is as gorgeous as it is melancholy, and the subtle MLG horns on “Hold Up” are a dank touch. The features on this album are all great; The Weeknd fits quite nicely onto his track, James Blake sounds stunning, and Kdot drops a fire verse as usual. Beyoncé’s lyrics on Lemonade are incredibly personal, most of which focus on her rocky relationship with Jay-Z. While I do not expect much of these lyrics to be genuine, the delivery certainly is - especially on the heart wrenching, piano driven ballad “Sandcastles”. However my favorites moments on Lemonade are when Beyoncé is singing over more modern production, like “Love Drought” or the hardhitting closer “Formation”. The lyrics on Lemonade make it a good break-up album, but the production and performances make it a great break-up album. Although I’m not in love with a lot of the music on here, this is Beyoncé’s most consistent and mature record to date, and I look forward to Jay-Z’s diss album as a response. BEST TRACK: “Love Drought”
EATEN BY WORMS Nothing
TEXAS IS FOREVER Pierce The Veil
4 KING OF THE WORLD Weezer
7.5 NOTHING TIRED OF TOMORROW 02.23.16 Relapse signees Nothing are back with one of the most diverse and blissful shoegaze records I’ve heard in awhile. Vocals usually take a backseat in bands like this, but that doesn’t stop the frontman from delivering some incredibly catchy and intoxicating vocal melodies. Everything just sounds so pleasant – the guitars are dreamy and melodic, the drums are punchy, and the reverb effect on the vocals sounds fantastic. The beginning of this album is full of highlights - “Vertigo Flowers” has a great energy to it and the lyrics on the chorus of “ACD (Abcessive Compulsive Disorder)” are particularly moving with the line “I always knew I’d eventually hurt you”. I even enjoy it when the band throws some ballads into the first half - the lazy guitar chords and eerie delay effects hanging in the background of “Nineteen Ninety Heaven” complement the vocalist wonderfully. Just beyond the halfway point of the record, the band breaks out the fuzz pedals and commences the 90’s worship. These tracks certainly aren’t bad, but to me it is the least interesting part of the album both vocally and instrumentally. The song “Eaten By Worms” particularly bugs me in that the vocals and chord progression bear a striking resemblance to Radiohead’s “Creep”, to the point where it just seems uninventive.
4 DISINTEGRATION ANXIETY Explosions In The Sky 4 CHARGING THE VOID VEKTOR
Weezer is by no means reinventing the wheel; the band is writing the same chorus driven pop-rock that they always have, but as this album progresses, every song becomes more fun, more infectious, and more memorable. This is a record you should listen to on a warm, sunny day; the track “(Girl We Got A) Good Thing” is a perfect example, with its love-struck lyrics and upbeat tune. Frontman Rivers Cuomo has written some of his best melodies on White Album, with absolutely killer choruses and harmonies on tracks like “King of the World” and “Summer Elaine and Drunk Dori”. Weezer manages to keep things interesting towards the end of the album by changing up the time signatures or adding some new instrumentation. “Jacked Up” is a piano driven ballad that has a great build towards the end of the track, and the finale is a pleasant acoustic ballad that is just as catchy as the rest of this album. This record is nothing mind blowing, but it isn’t trying to be – White Album does a damn fine job of being catchy, summery, and enjoyable as Hell. BEST TRACK: “Do You Wanna Get High?” 8 EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY THE WILDERNESS 01.04.16
The Wilderness is the latest LP from Texas post-rock outfit Explosions in the Sky, and features some of the most patient, subtle and atmospheric material the band has ever delivered. With the addition of some Fortunately the album quickly slows awesome electronic elements, Explosions things down again for a strong ending. in the Sky is able to rejuvenate the sound The additional instrumentation on the final that made them so beloved in the first tracks of Tired of Tomorrow is just what the place, while also experimenting with new album needed to keep things interesting. sonic ideas. The addition of massive The acoustic guitars and descending sounding organs and synthesizers really pianos on “Everyone is Happy” as well add a lot of color to the mix, and help build as the arranged instrumentation under tension before the band explodes into the piano-driven title track are particularly driving grooves or overwhelming and noisy blissful. This is a very enjoyable record, crescendos. In fact, my favorite moments and I think if Nothing further distances on this record are on tracks where the themselves from their obvious influences, band experiments the most, like on the and continues to experiment with additional serene, ambient electronic piece “Losing instrumentation, they have the potential to the Light”. put out a truly amazing record. Explosions in the Sky has done numerous BEST TRACK: “Vertigo Flowers” soundtracks before, so it isn’t difficult to imagine vast scenes of nature or space 7.5 WEEZER while listening to The Wilderness – I THE WHITE ALBUM 01.04.16 personally think a lot of the songs towards White Album signals Weezer’s triumphant the end of this album could fit quite return to form, with some of the catchiest snugly into the soundtrack of a movie like material they have written since the 90’s.
Interstellar. The multifaceted penultimate track “Colors in Space” has a very intense and noisy ending that transitions beautifully into the pianos on the final track. “Landing Cliffs” is a decent closer, but far from the bands best and leaves the album on a slightly underwhelming note. The Wilderness is a gorgeous sounding record, and I admire and respect Explosions in the Sky for being able to create such subtle instrumental music while still being exciting and engaging. BEST TRACK: “Losing The Light” 8.5 VEKTOR TERMINAL REDUX 06.05.16 After half a decade of studio silence, blackened thrash metal outfit Vektor has finally returned to take us back to Planet Shred. Terminal Redux is astronomical in size and scope, delivering a detailed, and impressively technical album in both concept and instrumentation. Vektor has never failed to impress me with how they compose music that approaches and pushes well past the 10-minute mark, while still remaining engaging and electrifying throughout the entire performance.
Frontman David DiSanto is far from the best singer, but his clean-vocals are a nice change of pace and complement the soft and melodic guitar passages that remind me of a bit of Metallica’s “One”. The album’s finale “Recharging the Void” brings back a lot of elements from the opening track, such as the unique female vocals, but on a much grander scale across its 13 minute run time. Terminal Redux is by far the most ambitious album Vektor has ever created, and is another great addition to the band’s very consistent discography. With now 3 great albums under their belt, Vektor has firmly secured their place as one of the most compelling and exciting acts in modern metal. BEST TRACK: “Pillars of Sand”
The beginning of the song “LCD (Liquid Crystal Disease)” has a blistering tapping solo that never fails to put a smile on my face. The preceding track “Cygnus Terminal” is incredibly melodic throughout - indulging in light speed riffs and eerie clean guitar passages. This album is well over an hour long, and while I understand their importance to the lyrical narrative of Terminal Redux, I find the songs towards the middle to be musically redundant. But that is not to say this section is without highlights; the dueling solos between guitar and bass on the track “Psychotropia” are both fantastic - it is rare that a record lets every band member’s technical proficiency shine in such a fascinating way. Vektor’s last album Outer Isolation was full of more concise and catchy tracks that ended up being some of my all-time favorite Vektor songs, and I didn’t get a track like that on Terminal Redux until “Pillars of Sand”. The chorus on this track is incredibly catchy, and the blast-beat embellishments are fantastically melodic – I’m so pleased that Vektor was able to bring back their influences from 2009’s Black Future in such a satisfying way. “Collapse” is not only a crucial moment in the narrative, but Vektor’s first-ever ballad.
June / July Playlist 4
LAURA PALMERâ€™S THEME Xiu Xiu
WILD CHILD Cardiknox
WORST TOGETHER Norell
KOOL THING Sonic Youth
DEATH FROM ABOVE Thrice
OLD FRIENDS Pinegrove
SOUR GRAPE John The Ghost
PIANO PLAYER The Hotelier
FLESH & BONE in the pursuit of artistic passion