Austin, TX-based alternative rock trio Culture Wars are set to release their infectious new self-titled EP on August 11, 2017, which is accompanied by some visually stunning artwork. The captivating imagery was conjured up by Gary Dorsey, lead designer and art director at Austin's Pixel Peach Studio, who was kind enough to speak with us for an installment of And Justice For Art's "UnCovered".
What was the inspiration for the album's cover artwork? Gary Dorsey: After visiting with the band and listening to their music, we all agreed that the artwork should have a nod to the great music videos of the early MTV days. So, that was what I pulled from as a child of the eighties.
Please elaborate on the medium(s) used when creating the art. We'd love to know how the artwork was created. Dorsey: I always pull inspiration from a variety of stock photos I’ve collected over the years. Since the first single was titled “MONEY" I had this idea of showing how money takes over a person. That’s how I came up with the idea of half person – half retro cash register. I use Photoshop exclusively for my design work these days. I use a small Wacom tablet with pen as well. I haven’t used an actual mouse since the early '90s. I honestly wouldn’t even KNOW how to use one now. Haha!
Did the artist who did the cover art hear the album before hand? Or, what kind of input did you give him/her? Dorsey: Yes. I always ask the artist to provide music before we meet and talk art direction. This gives me a sense of how the music should be communicated in visual art.
With the increasing popularity of digital music, most fans view artwork as just pixels on a screen. Why did you feel the artwork was important? Dorsey: Actual cover art will always be very crucial, and in some cased the most important part of a consumer purchase. If it’s done well, it captures the listening audience before the music is ever heard.
When people look at the album cover artwork, what do you want them to see/think? Dorsey: I want people to feel a sense of nostalgia and also a feeling of freshness.
Have any favourite music-related visual artists? Dorsey: Yes. I won’t mention them all, but my favorite art/music video was done several years back by director Tim Hope for Coldplay’s “Trouble” video. Great stuff there. I’ve referenced that video so many times throughout the years for inspiration.
What are your thoughts and/or the pros and cons about digital art versus non-digital? Dorsey: Digital allows an artist to work faster and also allows to correct mistakes and make edits much easier.
Do you prefer having the most creative control when you get a project, or do you prefer when the band gives you a lot of input? Dorsey: I prefer that the band tells me who they are, what their fashion sense is, and what their music sounds like. Then I like to take it from there.
How do you think the album art will affect the listener's perception of your album? Dorsey: This art in particular sets the listener up for some bad-ass music. Haha.
Check out the video for the single "Money (Gimmie, Gimmie)"