I am really excited to hear new material by these punk favs of mine…
Thanks to the fine folk at Epitaph Records for this:
Alkaline Trio has announced the birth of Heart & Skull, the band’s own label formed in partnership with Epitaph Records. The band will release its seventh album through Epitaph/Heart & Skull in early 2010.
Commenting on the formation of the new imprint, named for the band’s longstanding logo, Alkaline Trio singer/guitarist Matt Skiba said:
“We made the decision to form Heart & Skull to put out our own records after having been through every kind of label deal in the industry, big indies, small indies, majors. We knew it was time to adapt to the shifting tides of the music industry and we could not be more thrilled about doing that in conjunction with the team at Epitaph. Taking control of our own label situation was something we always wanted to do but never thought was possible, but now thanks to Brett Gurewitz and the fine folks at Epitaph, it is. All three of us in Alkaline Trio have always had the utmost respect for the music and the work ethic of the Epitaph, Anti- and Hellcat family and now we’re honored to be working together under one big happy roof. Heart & Skull/Epitaph is truly a dream come true for us.”
Alkaline Trio bassist/vocalist Dan Andriano added:
“For our band at this time it really makes sense to release our own records, but we wanted to make sure we could partner up with good people who we would want to share in something very special to us. When Brett called and said he wanted to be involved, that was it. Epitaph is a label I’ve admired and supported for more than half of my life! I couldn’t be more excited for how this is turning out!”
Alkaline Trio first emerged from Chicago in 1996 and has since released the full length studio albums Goddamnit, Maybe I’ll Catch Fire, From Here To Infirmary, Good Mourning, Crimson and last year’s Agony & Irony, which was the highest charting record of the band’s career to date. The band is comprised of Skiba, Andriano and drummer Derek Grant, all of whom are partners in Heart & Skull.
Here are some videos for your punk rock entertainment consideration…
I’ll still hanging in there kids. I will tell you though that I am tired of the patchouli smell that seems to be getting stronger day by day. Seeing dudes in dresses with nappy hair is a novelty for only so long. More on that in a moment.
I stayed up late night to post a hopefully composite music review on Blogcritics.Org:
Mind you I finished writing that around 5am so if it does not make sense my apologies. I think I could have left out my actual travel patterns and all but I wanted to just tell everyone what I saw from my eyes and if that included naming off every stage on the grounds then so be it.
One of the highlights of the day was getting searched by the local Drug Task Force. They said it was a random check and asked me to pull my car over to the side so they could search it. I was threatened if I did not fess up to my weapons and drugs and told if I lied they would throw me in jail.
I laughed the entire time they looked in my car looking for nothing. When they were just about finished one of the elder officers asked to look in my CD cases because, and I quote, “that is where they hide the weed.”
Who in hell would hide weed in a CD case? And why was my car pulled over and searched as at least fifteen stoners drove past me with glazed eyes and smiles that seemed to thank me for letting them in with their eight pound bag of weed without getting caught.
That right there pissed me off. I am drug free and for the time being alcohol free. Why me? Random my ass. I think Tennessee sees Ohio as a drug lord state and thought they hit the big one. Sorry boys, better luck next time.
So after that time delaying stop we made it to the day lot, parked the car, and started our second day.
The second day was actually the first full blown day of the festival with much more folk inside Centeroo. People from all directions were walking to and from checking out everything they possibly could. There was just so much to see and literally not enough time to see it all.
The three of us, yes Matt actually joined us, walked around for a moment and decided on what our plans were for the day. Shockingly Matt wanted a map and shade. He had his own plans for the day and was not too thrilled about many of the afternoon acts and wanted to just hang out. We would not see him until midnight.
I think Matt has something against hardcore hippies. I do too. I have had enough patchouli stink to last me a lifetime. When you are surrounded by a sea of people and that smell seems to get stronger and stronger it just gets plain annoying. I am also tired of hearing “hey bro!” screamed from one stoner to the next.
I have realized that I am getting old. There is no doubt about that. I think I am tired too, this is an angry, grumpy, tired post.
I have nothing against everyone having a good time and popping as many pills as they can fit into the palm of their hands. Let them be free, let them smoke weed, just stay the hell away from me and for the love of god quit asking me if I have have green! I was even asked by some girl “where can I find Molly?” With a confused face I looked at here and asked her what in the hell she was talking about.
She ran away. Ha.
The second day of Bonnaroo not only was the first day of Bonnaroo for Matt but really the start to the festival with more artists playing throughout the day. The rain stayed away and the sun shone making for the perfect festival atmosphere.
One of the surprise acts of the day would have to be the Belleville Outfit. The jazzy cabaret folk act was just the type of band I was looking to discover and made a note to check them out some more once I returned home.
Santigold put on quite the show with their mix of rock and hip hop. Al Green was one of those experiences I am glad I did not pass up. I still can not believe I saw the Rev. Al Green live. I have always been a fan of his older material since I was a kid so seeing him live was pretty damn outstanding.
The Beastie Boys owned the main stage Friday night pushing through a long set full of classic material as well as playing a brand new song with special guest NAS. It was great to see the B-Boys again on the big stage doing their thing. Mix Master Mike also put on quite the show scratching the hell out of vinyl and creating some truly unique sounds.
Justin Townes Earl was another act that I randomly walked up to having no idea what to expect. I was blown away by his indie country mix and complete politeness to all who came to see him. I even went so far as to grabbing one of his Midnight At The Movies LPs after the show.
French act put on one of my favorite sets on Friday with their French indie / electronica / rock display. Having first heard of them on the Lost In Translation soundtrack I did not even realize they were playing Bonnaroo. We all watched the whole set and I know I enjoyed every single song performed.
Public Enemy was another huge highlight of the day. Seeing the twenty-plus year old band take the stage was something I was not sure would ever happen again. They played strong and looked good. The act even busted out their 1988 classic It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back from start to finish. Wow.
I can say that I am ready for today. I got some sleep, ate some delicious Shoney’s and am now ready to tackle day three of the Bonnaroo.
Until then, here are some more photos:
Tonight is going to be a long night mainly because of NIN playing a early morning set from 1am till 3am. That is going to be amazing yet will drain what little energy I will have left in me but I am ok with that.
Yea I guess it is a good day. Minus my dog Zeus and his terrible gas today has been just one of those days where I sit back and think of what to do… I have been having a rough week with personal stuff going on so I have been not doing much lately and think today should be a productive day.
I could get a tattoo.
In fact it’s been over a month since I last got some work done so this may be a winner. Persistence Tattoo is where I go. Ronnie and crew rule. I really want to finish up my sleeve. I also want a Dick Goddard tattoo…and I am dead serious. The guy is a Cleveland icon. Not sure if it will be portrait or not.
I could go to Half Price Books.
It’s only been 5 years if not more since I last stepped foot in one of those stores. I know, I suck but there is not one very close to me.
I could go to a park with the dogs and take a hike. It’s been raining non-stop today and is a wee chilly so I am pretty sure I am going to skip that idea.
I could listen to music all day. Well so far I have been listening to a ton of music today. I checked out the new Doves album which is amazing, listened to some rarities from Strung Out‘s latest release, rocked out to Iron Maiden, and now for whatever reason have decided to listen to Metallica‘s Live S#it Binge & Purge. Scratch that, I got sick of it and hit the random button…
I could hit up the local mall. The local mall scares me. In fact this city I live in right now scares me. The water must be contaminated. I have lived here for over 5 years now and only am friendly with my neighbors on both sides of my house. I do want a new hat though… I am torn. Every year for the last few years I get a Cleveland Indians hat even though I am not a huge fan like I used to be in the mid-nineties. I found one I kind of like for unknown reasons…it’s bright orange and Chief Wahoo is lime green. Yeah, I know, no team colors there.
I could make lunch. Food is always good.
I could play video games. I can not even tell you the last time I picked up a controller and played some games. Maybe today is a good day for that. My brother did challenge me to Guitar Hero: Metallica on Easter Sunday, I mean Zombie Jesus Day. As I still have yet to play that game I still have older ones and can work on my awesome finger tapping skills.
I could organize my vinyl. I could do that but I would rather not today. That requires a thought process and I am staying away from that right now.
I could…stop blogging about what I could do and get off the internet and do something… Yeah that is a good idea. I’ll be back later folks with some stuff to keep you entertained on this good Friday.
UPDATE: (For all of you who were biting your nails wondering what I was going to do…)
So after listening to some more music I opted to make a nice lunch for the lady and I. After watching an episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations I decided to call my tattoo guy at Persistence Tattoo and set up an appointment for later in the evening.
Since the weather never cleared up we ventured to Half Price Books to see if we could find anything cool. I searched through the records and found an English Beat Wha’ppen LP and also grabbed a copy of Swingers as a certain someone in my household had never seen it. I love that movie.
Before we headed for some tattoo fun, we stopped at Roly Poly in Mayfield Heights. If you like your sandwiches fresh and healthy check this place out. Annie had mentioned it to me in the past and said they make wraps and sandwiches. We split a Nut & Honey wrap that was amazing. It was a wrap with cream cheese, raisins, sunflower seeds, cashews, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, avocados, sprouts, and honey mustard dressing. Needless to say it was delicious.
Running late we arrived to Persistence Tattoo in Eastlake where I got a beheaded St. Valentine on my right arm. I’ll take a picture once it heals up if any of you are interested. I think it looks sick and had a great time while getting it. When I say great time I am not referring to the actual tattoo as I hate getting tattooed. The fun was had in the conversations between all of us in the shop. Crude, rude, and hilarious.
Headed home we decided we needed a dessert before watching Swingers so we made a pit stop at Handels Ice Cream and grabbed some deliciousness.
So it was a good Friday after all. It really was the day I needed to end the week in a positive way.
One of my goals this year was to have an article I did featured in a magazine. I achieved that goal earlier this year with help from Cleveland artist Derek Hess. He was kind enough to answer some questions and the article first appeared on DeviantNation.com (NSFW 18+). To my surprise I submitted the article to a music magazine and it appeared in a June 2008 issue of Hails And Horns. I was thrilled to have the article take up three pages of a metal magazine that was in color. The issue is now a back issue now but I am sure you can grab a copy on Interpunk.com.
I thought I would post it here for anyone interested:
Derek Hess is one hell of an artist. Throughout the years, this pro-Cleveland resident has created some memorable works of drawings, CD cover art, and even concert fliers that have art collectors going mad. His work is commonly known through the music and tattoo scene and is even featured at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Louvre in Paris.
The easiest way to describe his art is to see it for yourself with help from the Derek Hess website. His art is a little dark and a little ingenious. Some works are dark lines morphed into faceless humans holding bleeding hearts while others show more empathy and detail.
Many bands have had the privilege to have Derek Hess’ art grace the covers of their CDs. His art showcases have traveled the globe entertaining many. There really is not anyone quite like him.
Not only has he has great success with his drawing abilities but Derek Hess also launched the successful clothing line Sthress Clothing and even helped formulate the Sthress Fest music festival.
Recently I had the opportunity to chat with Derek Hess. He was more than kind to answer some questions I have been pondering over for quite some time.
First and foremost, I am just curious how you got your start as an artist.
I booked a club here in Cleveland [called] the Euclid tavern from 1989 through 1995. At the same time I was studying printmaking at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Since the shows were my responsibility, I started making fliers to promote them, which then became prints. The two came together beautifully, the union of two of my favorite things, music and art.
Do you have any artist influences that helped motivate you?
My father, Heinrich Kley, and Gil Kane all were big influences on my art.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up? Were you into the music scene as a kid in Cleveland?
Metal. I was born in 1964, so when I turned 13 it was the big three: Kiss, Queen, and Aerosmith (only up to draw the line), which then lead to Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, UFO, Judas Priest, AC/DC, [Led] Zeppelin, etc… I was into the scene here when I got a little older, mostly the metal scene, then in the mid-eighties there was an awesome crossover scene where the metal kids and the hardcore kids would attend both shows. One night I might be at a Voivod or Raven show, and then the next night Circle Jerks or the Dead Kennedy’s.
I remember when I was a kid seeing your concert flyers of your work posted all over the concert venues and coffee shops (Arabica coffee house in Coventry). Most notably Cop Shoot Cop and Helmet stick out the most to me when I think back. How were you able to create these posters for these now classic artists?
Those were shows I booked at the euc [Euclid Tavern].
When did the concert flyers become less of an advertisement and more of an art? How did this come to be?
It [fliers] happened in the 60’s with the psychedelic posters. The counter culture at the time was just that, counter the culture, so they made the poster works of art to go against the gain of strict graphics.
You seemed to have kept a low key for a while and soon your artwork exploded all over the music and art scene. Can you tell me a particular piece you drew that possibly gained you a lot of attention?
I guess there were several things, a story in Newsweek in the early 90’s, the Louvre [in France] requesting a body of my work around the same time, the grand opening concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame poster, and the two Converge CD cover[s] are a few that come to mind.
Speaking of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Louvre in Paris, some of your artwork is showcased at both locations. How does it feel to have your work on display at these two impressive museums?
Well, very honored and lucky.
Seriously, what has kept you in Cleveland all these years? Seems to me when people get big in this area they usually pack up and leave.
I’m pro Cleveland. The people here are real, most tours stop here, and the Browns have no logo on their helmets. They play on natural turf in an open air stadium on the shores of Lake Erie in the elements as it should be. I’ve been to many places, but nowhere else I’d like to live, except Germany, Switzerland, Detroit, and Omaha.
One thing I have always admired about you is your prices for your work seem to be affordable. I have been to recent shows and have purchased posters for a mere $15. Friends of mine have gotten actual prints for less than $300. Not that I am complaining, but why do you sell your work for so cheap?
I feel art should be available to the masses. Not everyone has the money to purchase big ticket items but they still want a piece of art. Prints only cost so much to produce and artist that charge huge prices for prints and posters are being unfair to the buyer.
Your art has also become a staple in the tattoo community. How does it feel to have your artwork become a permanent piece on someone’s body?
Speaking of flattering, you were voted one of Cleveland’s sexiest men of 2007. Any thoughts on that?
Yeah, must have been slim pickings last year.
Your clothing line Strhess is amazing and I see a lot of people including myself sporting it. How did the idea for a clothing line come about? How does it feel to run into someone on the street wearing your art?
We realized not everyone could afford $200 for a print or even $50 for a print so we wanted to develop something that was in a price range that everyone could afford. It always feels good to see someone wearing Strhess [clothing], but at the same time I can’t… like… it’s a little weird…ha ha.
You helped illustrate some comic books in the past. Can you give me a little incite of how that came to be?
I’ve only done three covers for Captain America which was a huge honor since he’s been my all time favorite [super hero]. They [Marvel] came to me about the job which was really cool. Apparently one of the Marvel guys saw an interview I did in a tattoo magazine and they showed one of my cap [Captain America] tattoos, so he hit me up.
Aside from creating prints and shirts you also have drawn out CD covers for bands. What are some of your favorites? I myself dig the Converge cover you did.
Yeah, I like that Converge one too. The first Murder Your Darlings from 2005 [is another]. I’m pretty happy with the In Flames one too.
Do you still do artwork for any bands? Can you tell me who you may have recently worked with?
Yeah, but I really haven’t been doing posters much anymore. I’m working on a CD cover right now for Since Yesterday, they’re a hardcore band from Turkey.
You actually had some of your artwork banned by Wal-Mart. I believe it was the Methods Of Mayhem CD cover art? How was it working with Tommy Lee?
It was very cool, and Tommy was the easiest client to work for. Everything I sent him he was all about [with] no changes. They [Tommy and crew] were “off the hook, go with it”.
You seem to surround yourself around the emo, hardcore, indie scene. What is it about those genres of music you like so much?
Well, it’s fresh (or was when it started). The content of the music is solid, as is the presentation.
What was it like to be on LA Ink? Did you see more people checking out your website after that episode premiered?
It was cool. I was a little weirded out having my shirt off for the country to see….maybe I’ll get some modeling jobs out of it 😉 The web site did get a ton of hits the night it aired and the MySpace page got like 600 new friend requests. TV is good.
You have a lot of art shows worldwide these days at various galleries, where was your first overseas show and how did it turn out?
May of 1999 in Hamburg, and it was great. I’ve always done well in Germany. You can check out all shows, past, present, and future in chronological order in my exhibits page (off of my news page) on www.derekhess.com.
What is next for Derek Hess?
We have several books in the works, and [will] continue to do the gallery shows.
If someone has never heard of you, Derek Hess before, how would you describe your artwork to them?