The recording and release of California rock band The Silent Comedy’s latest record, Enemies Multiply, was anything but conventional. Despite its recent release, it was in fact ready to see the light of day for years. It felt just too personal to band leaders, and brothers, Joshua and Jeremiah Zimmerman who couldn’t bring themselves to truly engage with it. Then the 2016 American presidential election occurred, and we all know how that played out.
The election results and subsequent aftermath made the musicians realize that it was a moment in history such as this that made for the perfect time to release Enemies Multiply. The desperation and unease that spread across the country helped Joshua realize that people could now truly take comfort in the songs he had written for this album and he finally felt like he truly wanted people to hear what he and his brother had created.
Check out the lyric video for the title track to Enemies Multiply.
Enemies Multiply finally dropped on October 19th order a copy here and, along with the actual music, the group took a laser focus on the design direction and inspiration for the album’s packaging and photography. The Silent Comedy have made this so much more than a piece of music, with elaborate packaging from designer Paul Drohan and photographers The Joelsons. Here, today, with this guest blog, is The Silent Comedy themselves offering an inside look at the photography and packaging that is included with their masterful piece of artistic creation.
Guest Blog by: Joshua Zimmerman:
“Enemies Multiply is a big evolutionary step in the sound of The Silent Comedy, and we wanted the visuals of the album artwork to represent that change as well. In the past, we were against using photography in the album art. We either used paintings from the artist Mike Maxwell, or artwork that my brother Jeremiah and I did. Looking to change that pattern, I had some ideas for photographic imagery that represented the feeling of the songs.
The cover artwork as found on Enemies Multiply, which dropped on October 19th, 2018.
I enlisted the help of our long-time visual collaborators, The Joelsons, and we set out for a test session with a medium format camera, loaded with grainy high ISO black and white film. We really enjoyed the shots from that session, but they were always intended to be a starting place, rather than a finished product. I tried some design ideas based on them and wasn’t happy with the result.
That’s when we decided it was time to call in a pro. We had always been a fan of Paul Drohan’s work and contacted him about the project. I was curious where he would take the themes and imagery we had already established. He took the photographic materials, spent some time with the music, and got back to us a while later. The initial deck presented two design directions that incorporated the same themes but had a very different feel. We liked elements of both, but were immediately drawn to the first direction, and chose to move forward with that.
Many elements of it were unexpected, and nothing we would have done ourselves, but they were somehow completely in line with the feeling that we were going for. It was really amazing to see the themes of the album through another artist’s eyes. That’s the beauty of collaboration. In this case, the work of three different entities combined to make something really special, and get us out of the stylistic box we had created for ourselves. We are happier with this album design than anything we have done in the past.”
Have a look at this wicked, behind-the-scenes “making of” video for the single “Avalanche,” also off Enemies Multiply.