70,000 Tons of Metal music and visuals: Canadian artist, Nick Micho at the infamous Metal cruise!


Young Canadian artist, Nick Micho has been creating a niche for himself in the underground scene thanks to its personal visual interpretations of Metal bands and musicians. He appropriately calls these series of images “Headbangers, Babes & Blood.” For the second time, the artist was given the opportunity to exhibit this work on the acclaimed 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise which has become a unique chance to promote his images among fans and musicians alike.

Here’s a brief interview with Micho about his experience as part of this unique Metal Festival at the sea.

How this exhibit came to happen?

In 2013 I decided to go for the first time on the cruise of the insane event of 70 000 Tons of Metal. I thought it would be fun to exhibit my art on the cruise. I directly contact skipper Andy to propose him to add a visual aspect to his event. Surprisingly he immediately showed his interest of the idea. He saw how serious I deal with my business and the exhibit came to be.

Did you exhibit any particular series of artworks or just the Metal re-interpretations?

I only exhibit the Headbangers, Babes & Blood series, the interpretation of Heavy Metal icons. This was in line with that kind of event.

Did you meet with any of the bands you have painted? If yes, did you show them your work?

Unfortunately not that much, for this year exhibition, I had only 3 paintings with artists who were on the boat : Hansi Kürsch from Blind Guardian, Nergal from Behemoth and George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher from Cannibal Corpse. Also the cruise ship Liberty of the Seas, it’s the fourth world largest cruise ship with thousands of peoples on it, it make difficult to meet a specific person. I wanted so much to see Hansi because Blind Guardian is in my top 5 favorites bands. I did met George and he liked the illustration. I gave him my business card. I hope he will call me back, I always wanted to draw an insane illustration for Cannibal Corpse.


How was it people’s reaction (fans, bands, industry people) towards your work?

Most of metalheads like visual art. They are used to see beautiful artworks pockets from their favourite’s bands. So they really enjoy the addition of such event. 2015 was the second time I did such event and people’s enthusiasm was even greater than the first year.

Did you exhibit during the whole duration of the cruise?

Yes, immediately when I step foot on the boat, I go find the easels and set the exhibition and removed all the stuffs the last night.

Any plans to repeat this experience again or partnering with another festival in the future?

Of course, I have a good relationship with UMC (Ultimate Metal Cruise) they are professional and also they appreciate my art. We just need the OK from Royal Caribean. As for others festivals it would be fun but most festivals that I have interest are in Europe. That’s a little bit expensive because I live in Canada.


Was this experience any different than your previous exhibits given your were showing your work to a larger audience of Metal fans?

Very different, most of the time I exhibit in bars and the clients are not just metalheads, on the cruise I get to showcase my art to peoples with an interest in Heavy Metal music. Also I met amazing people from all around the world and after the cruise, I send illustrations in different countries for those who want souvenirs.

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).