Monday, March 23, 2009

Rejecting bands Artwork?

Question: Have you ever told a band that they cant use their requested artwork for whatever reason? From:

Answer: We're not in the habit of rejecting artwork, but many newbie bands on this label need help and guidance in the art department. We follow the artists wishes for artwork on album covers, but oftentimes, new bands make unwise choices, they don't always respect the creator of the artwork, so we have to guide them on whats acceptable and what's not for an album cover.Earache cannot release artwork which we dont own the rights to, or obtain a legal license for, and thats where problems lie.

Mostly we sign bands because of their music - it can be months or years before artwork ideas are needed, the discussion only crops up when the debut album sleeve needs to be printed.We usually try to help new bands choose wisely, because a lot of bands are naive when it comes to rights and copyrights, they think any art found on the interweb is usable, which is wrong.Maybe it is ok in the early days, but there is a world of difference between using other artists artwork for say a gig flyer on the myspace which will be forgotten in a week or two, and using internet artwork on an Album which will be on sale for hopefully 20+ years.

The only example in recent years i can think where we rejected artwork outright was a design submitted by Evile for the T-shirt of their upcoming UK tour in April.We saw the artwork and it looked fishy to us- a familiar look to it, sure enough within 2 clicks we discovered it on google image search page 3.Using other peoples artwork is stealing and its a no no, so we asked them to deliver new artwork instead.

Another example could be Gama Bomb's artwork ideas for recent album Citizen Brain, the band's idea was to use an artist who'd worked on 80's Garbage Pail kids trading cards- they wanted artist John Pound to create the sleeve for Citizen Brain.We thought this an amazing idea and so contacted John himself to do commission him to do it.John was a nice guy and was totally up for doing an album cover, but we pretty much underestimated that the guy had designed cards which sold hundreds of millions in the 80's and his creations have become big business with collectors, some fetch six figure sums at auction routinely.
The price for his artwork was steep but we figured worth it, it was his waiting time which threw us- i think he said it was somehting like 8 months before he could start.Ouch, we needed art in like weeks, not months, so the band had to settle for second choice artist, of comic book fame- Jeff Zornow.

No comments: