SUICIDAL GROOVY MONSTERS – THE MAKING OF BLACK SHEEP WALL’S “I WANT TO KEEP MYSELF” COVER ARTWORK.

BSW

Black Sheep Wall’s  music is designed (purposely or not) to induce existential stupor, rage and introspection—all in equal parts. This is challenging, doomy, heavy music that can put the listener in a trance-like meditative mood or awake something distinctively dark. Their latest sonic offering, the 4-song sonic experience known as “I Want to Kill Myself” (now available via Season Of Mist ) is a fitting proof of the aforementioned description.

This new release is garnished with a cover art courtesy of American artist, Jeff Rogers . He has been collaborating with the band for many years now. His new groovy-infused creation for “I Want to Kill Myself” not only proposes a new milestone for the band’s visual legacy but also punches hard via a shocking effect: You would never expect to have two Sesame Street-like-stoned-looking characters next to such a lethal combination of words.

Drummer Jackson Thompson gave us some hindsight about the creation of this singular image and their ongoing collaboration with the talented Jeff Rogers.  

Who came up with the idea for this cover concept and what inspired it?

Jackson Thompson: I can only take the most minimal credit here. Jeff (our artist) asked me if I had any ideas and I just told him I wanted something similar to Admiral Angry’s album “Buster.” I’ve always loved that artwork, because it provides so much contrast to the music, and it makes the music even heavier in context. So I guess Admiral’s art was our main inspiration, but Jeff really took things into his own hands and came up with this mess. We love it. This one is my favorite. There is a really abstract lyrical tie in on one track, but we came up with that after hearing Jeff’s idea.

Were there any other cover concepts besides the one that ended up on the album cover?

Jackson Thompson: Not that I can remember… one thing that Jeff toyed with was having the green monster looking sorely disappointed at the news the pink monster was giving him. We decided to go with both of them smiling to make the atmosphere more uncomfortable.

This is Roger’s third artwork for the band. How did he become involved with you in the first place?

Jackson Thompson:  We met him in Reno, Nevada after he set up a show for us with his band Glacier. He showed us some of his work and we were hooked. Without him, we’d be lost. He’s an awesome guy who is like minded and really puts everything he’s got into his work. He’s meticulous and always comes out with an amazing finished product. Great guy all around.

It’s really unexpected to see these colorful, stoned-looking characters,  fronting the cover of a recording like this. In fact, it’s kind of shocking when you mix them with the title. Was that your intention, to create this kind of reaction?

Jackson Thompson: I can’t speak for Jeff’s intentions but I would imagine so, I’m more than satisfied and it’s certainly the reaction from myself. I love that it sticks out from the over-saturated skulls and scenic pictures often representing extreme music. It’s attention grabbing and thought-provoking, everything I’d want from an album cover.

The art also has a sort of ‘groovy’ psychedelic feel to it. Can you comment on that?

Jackson Thompson: Hmmm… I suppose it’s somewhat of an acid trip… huh?

What was your reaction when you first saw the artwork?

Jackson Thompson: We saw it in pieces, but we all loved it every step of the way. When it was finally done I was just beyond excited!

Jeff

About rmartos

Verteran journalist, Ramon Oscuro Martos, has been writing for several Rock/Metal publications for almost 20 years. He currently writes for Metal Underground.com, PureGrainAudio.com, MetalBandArt.com, HeavyMetalArtwork.com, etc. He also runs the facebook community about album covers, And Justice for Art https://www.facebook.com/pages/And-Justice-For-Art/123376774515018 (book coming soon) and the independent record label, Dark Canvas Records (www.darkcanvasrecords.com).