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Collective Crowd Records
How did you come to provide the artwork for this split?
Christian Oldham (artist): "I was friends with Gaurav [Bashyakarla, CVLTS] for quite a bit beforehand but wasn't familiar with their music. I was familiar with Umberto, having heard their 12-inch on Not Not Fun, Prophecy of the Black Widow. Gaurav sent the songs for the split on CD-R, but it was pretty easy, as he wanted an image I had already done. It was part of another piece — actually, if you look, it's the background image on Twitter. Gaurav was like, 'I really like this part of the image. Could I have this as the cover, but darker?' "
What's the advantage of releasing something on vinyl, as opposed to CDs or MP3?
Matt Hill (Umberto): "The advantage of releasing something on vinyl is that records are larger than CDs and cost more, so they make a bigger impact on the buyer's life, and if the record sucks, they can resell it. Also, it's fun to watch them spin around!"
The Record Machine
So was it you who designed the cover?
Brock Potucek (vocals and guitar): "No, it was actually Sarica Douglas [vocals, guitar]. We went through, like, four different designs. We never actually got all the records from the record label. I don't think they ever actually followed through and gave all of them to us. They were supposed to do 300, but we only got 25. So with that set, we made a really fast preliminary, really fast cover, just for the 25 that we got. Then when we got the rest of 275, we were going to redesign it and have, like, a back sleeve and an insert and all this stuff. So the cover of that, everyone knows, is actually just a predecessor, or for something that never came to be, which is a weird side note, but yeah, Sarica designed it. It's based off a portrait of Drew Barrymore, and it's kind of akin to Roxy Music album covers."
There's another 7-inch coming. Does that mean you guys like doing that the best?
"Yeah, we do. I think we'll do one EP release every year, along with, like, two cassettes and live stuff and other compilations. So we're going to stick to, like, the four-song, six-song EP format. ... But financially it's kind of hard for an independent band, unless someone picks us up."
What does the aesthetic of the vinyl record do for the music?
"I think, in general, album art is wonderful. It's one of my favorite aspects of music — album art and kind of looking through stacks of albums. I think it's just as important, if not more important, than the music itself, because sometimes the album art has struck me more than the music."
How did you determine the concept for the cover?
Kenneth Kupfer (artist): "Brad [Shanks] told me pretty much exactly what he wanted for the concept: people walking into the Replay and walking out as monsters, and then going to kick it at the Jackpot. When I drew it, I added lots of little details of my own. I think the monster theme is about being seduced by booze and rock and roll.
"Depending on what the piece is for, I will either paint it by hand or do a drawing, and then trace out all the different color layers with a brush pen. Then I just scan that shit into Photoshop and colorize it and put it together. I approach it sort of like screen-printing."
Swift Way On 7-Inch
The Record Machine
How did you get into designing albums?
Andrew Heubeck (cover designer): "I run a small music label from home. As an armchair design enthusiast without a real budget for art, the logical solution was to design many releases myself. I think my real strength as a 'designer' isn't in the choices I make but rather the ones I avoid. I'm an amateur — really a phony when it comes down to it — and I don't kid myself about my worth as a designer. I get ideas and I do my best to realize them. The only concern I have is creating the right visual context."
"Anxiety" b/w "The Creeper"
In the Red Records
Zach Campbell (drums): "Everything sounds better on record. It's warmer. MP3s are fine in a pinch, but CDs are pretty much useless, in my opinion. I don't think I'm the only one who can say they are still sitting on top of boxes and boxes of their old band's CDs."