Interview with The Grates17:37
photo via The Grates website So not long after I blogged about The Grates' new album the inter...
So not long after I blogged about The Grates' new album the interview turned up in my inbox. I feel so incredibly lucky that this blog has given me the opportunity to interview a band I love, own ALL the albums of and have seen many times live. I even run around the house singing 'Inside, inside, inside, outside' when my dogs are driving me crazy wanting to go in and out of the house all day. I'm sure that's not what the song is about but it's fitting!
I was curious to find out more about the creative process behind choosing an album cover and collaborating with Australian artist kill pixie.
How did you come to work with Kill Pixie?
I'd stumbled across his paintings on the internet while we were writing the album, and really connected with them. When we finished the record and it was time to think about artwork, we asked if he would be interested in throwing a couple of ideas together for the cover.
Why illustration for the cover instead of photography? Do you feel there is a trend of illustration being used today?
We were thinking about using a photo for a cover for a while, but at the end of the day we come from illustration/design backgrounds and are far more interested in illustration than photography, and it's hard to pass up an opportunity to collaborate on a project with one of your favourite artists. There's a lot you can learn from working with other people.
What is it about the artwork that you think represents your new album?
I think Mark's art has a very careful balance of order and mania that struck us, and was definitely something we were thoughtful of when we were writing this album. It also fits nicely with the Secret Rituals theme.
How did you choose the final cover? Did the album artwork turn out like you envisioned?
After we asked Mark if he was interested in working on the cover, he submitted a bunch of ideas. They were all great, but the one that ended up being the cover seemed the most iconic to us. After that Mark reworked some of the drawings, but ultimately it was pretty close to the original draft he sent through.
Tell me about the process, were you guys involved or did you give the artist total creative freedom?
Apart from us picking this particular idea from the ideas he submitted, we didn't really have much direction for the cover. Though once we had the cover and back panel paintings completed we designed the logo, came up with the idea of having the main image float on a transparent sheet above the gridded paper and worked on the layout with Debaser.
The Grates use a lot of illustration in the album covers, web site and promos material. Is art a passion of any of the members? Can any of you draw or paint?
Yeah we're very passionate about illustration, and both really enjoy drawing. Every night after recording this album I would come home and draw to unwind, I think when you work on something creative for a living, it can be cathartic having another creative outlet that you don't rely on. It keeps everything in perspective.