By: zach.smith Posted in: featured, interviews, listen, lists On: Thursday, June 12th, 2014
The Atlas Moth‘s new record is one of my favorites so far this year. But, as you’ve probably heard by now, the artwork and packaging–two things that some bands still care about–is something to admire in and of itself. So vocalist/guitarist Stavros Giannopoulos was kind enough to tell us about some other albums whose covers and packaging he backs. You can also glean some pretty insightful and interesting art-related tidbits about his band’s last two efforts. Pick up a copy of the Chicagoans third LP, The Old Believer, here.
5. Brightblack Morning Light–Brightblack Morning Light (2006)
I am self admittedly a sucker for 3D glasses. The vinyl version of this came with an old school cardboard pair sporting weed leafs on it, so I was immediately sold. One of my all time favorite records and is quite awesome to listen to and check out the artwork through the specs.
4. The Ocean–Precambrian (2007)
Honestly, any of their packaging could have made this list, but I picked Precambrian as it was my introduction to the band. It’s a multi-disc set, with the first disc being a fan CD, a much under used effect in my opinion. A high gloss booklet, spot varnish, die cut–this is the real deal in the packaging world. We just toured with The Ocean back in March and [guitarist] Robin [Staps] and I had many chats about our feelings on physical packaging. In this day and age of file sharing, there should be great lengths taken by bands to make someone actually want to buy a CD. This is an ideal that The Ocean have been behind since day one and I agree strongly with.
3. Pink Floyd–Animals (1977) and Wish You Were Here (1975), etc., etc.
The undisputed kings of fantastic album artwork, brought to you by album artwork God Storm Thorgerson. I can’t really narrow down a particular piece of Storm’s as my favorite, but either of these will get the point of across. The greatest part of his artwork was the fact they are not graphic designs but staged photos. The guy on fire on the cover of Wish You Were Here? He was a dude they set on fire. The pig flying in the sky on the cover of Animals? A giant pig balloon released into the sky and a photo taken of it. All of his works were sets built and photos taken. I highly suggest everyone on the planet sees the documentary Taken By Storm. Watching him work meticulously for decades on rock album artwork and realizing how much of it was practically done and completely real gave me an even deeper respect for a man that already had all of my respect.
2. Led Zeppelin–In Through The Out Door (1979)
I would say that this wouldn’t have been number two until we started getting the artwork for The Old Believer together. In the previously mentioned documentary, Taken By Storm, Storm and Robert Plant are interviewed about the artwork for this record being water reactive. When the album cover got wet, the regular sepia tone photograph turns technicolor. I had never even known about that, let alone the fact that something of that nature was an option! I talked to Chris from Profound Lore about the possibility of doing that for our next record and he put me in contact with Rich from A to Z Media, the company that presses all PFL releases. Rich went to work on trying to find the paper stock and while on the search he came across the water reactive paper that we wound up using for The Old Believer. Storm at one point was going to work on the artwork for An Ache For the Distance and I was planning on reaching out to him again to see if we could work out something for The Old Believer, but while we were on tour in Europe last year, he passed away. The record itself is lyrically and emotionally based in the loss of loved ones, so I feel like using this kind of effect was The Atlas Moth’s way of paying tribute to the man.
1. Tool–Ænima (1996), Lateralus (2001) and 10,000 Days (2006)
What do I really need to say about these? I recall in junior high when Ænima came out, a friend of mine brought the CD to school and a group us were trying to figure out what the guys from Tool were watching that guy do. Ah, to be young again. I recall ditching a class in high school to go buy Lateralus the day it came out and sitting in a Best Buy parking lot getting stoned and listening to the record while thumbing through the see-through plastic anatomy booklet. Tool is meticulous down to every detail of their band and it’s quite inspiring to me.
*Photo by Mark Dawursk
**Order a copy of The Old Believer here.
***Past Decibrity entries include:
Eyehategod (Part 1) (Part 2)
Junius (Part 1) (Part 2)
East Of The Wall
Drugs Of Faith
SubRosa (Part 1) (Part 2)
God Is An Astronaut
Scale The Summit
Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) (Part 1) (Part 2)
Mouth Of The Architect
Call of the Void
Saint Vitus Bar
Soilwork (Dirk Verbeuren) (Björn Strid)
Ancestors (Part 1) (Part 2)
Kowloon Walled City (Part 1) (Part 2)
Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride) (Part 1) (Part 2)
All That Remains
A Life Once Lost
Witchcraft (Ola Henriksson) (Magnus Pelander)
Vision of Disorder
Anders Nyström (Katatonia) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Rush (Part 1) (Part 2)
Greg Mackintosh (Paradise Lost) (Part 1) (Part 2)
“Best of” Meshuggah
Shane Embury (Napalm Death) (Part 1) (Part 2)