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Art CVLT Interview Series :
Andrew Gomez IV of Glory Kid

Q: Glory Kid has been active for over 10 years now, What was the inspiration behind starting a label in an age where the internet has completely ruined the music industry? 

Well, to be honest Brandon, it stemmed from being impatient and selfish. I have always been pretty controlling over my own artwork and  wasn’t going to wait around for someone else to recognize it and help me out. A lot of the first releases for the label were of my own bands. Demo cassettes and CD’s released under the assumed name “Down And Out Records”. But I ended up changing the name for there was a mediocre rap label that already owned the copyrights to that name. I like having the ability to release material of my own or for other artists when we want, how we want. The label serves as a catalyst to assist in the distribution of quality, genuine art. When running a label with this model profit by default is the last thing you strive to obtain.


Q: You’re constantly revamping the branding of the label, whether it’s with new websites, or online adverts. Do you feel that Glory Kid is an outlet for your design work as well? 

Yeah, it really has always been been there for me to have a reason to keep honing on my skills as a designer. Even if its making ads for upcoming releases or reworking the site’s design. I love consistently reworking the aesthetics of the label. I think some people are drawn to the fact the label is not a front to just release record but is more of a amoeba of ideas and concepts and its constantly leaving residue wherever it treks.


Q: I know when Old Wounds was talking to labels about doing our LP, we we’re especially intrigued for your love of a great looking record. You gave us no restrictions in doing too much with our record. Everything from the insert, to the jackets, to even the vinyl itself was well thought out between you and I. Do you try to push the creative boundaries with all of your releases? 

Always, when releasing a record (especially this day and age). You need to run your creativeness on all four cylinders. When music is so easily obtainable via download, the tangible format needs to have optimum attractive values for a collector. For when we get down to brass tax, its the collectors who will be buying the vinyl version of any record. The days of picking up a record from your local record shop just to check a band out is long behind us. The people who have stuck to that routine to this day are collectors, and fickle ones at that. Rightfully so. I absolutely loath purchasing a $18 record with no insert in it. its insulting and show be against the law somehow. Especially when I could have easily been a jerk and just stole the record via a online blog. You have to make the record worth buying now more than ever. Also in my opinion the artwork and packaging is seriously half the battle with a good record. The music can be awesome but if the artwork is sub-par, its a bit of a put off.


Q: A lot of your drawings look as if they’re highly influenced by Anime and Asian culture. Is that something you’ve always been into? Is it safe to say that is a huge influence in your life artistically? 

I am a hardcore punk kid from the 90’s. If I say my artwork is not highly influenced by Japanese anime I would be bold face lying. The funny thing is that I never try to emulate that style. Its really just a organic thing that happens when I design. I like a lot of work from Suehiro Maruo, his artwork has always impacted me in a deep way along with a lot of the woodcut artists from the turn of the century like Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward and even more contemporary artists like Aaron Horkey and Frank Kozik. But yes, I love anime. Always have and always will. Especially the older stuff from ’95 and back before they really started to introduce 3D special effects into the equation.


Q: How about influences within the music scene?

Well if this isn’t a loaded question. I would have to take this as a day by day situation. As of now I am going through a real “dad rock” phase. I have been obsessively listening to Thin Lizzy, Queens Of The Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, Taste, and Eagles Of Death Metal. But as of music that is more of “our scene” I would have to say this band called Tilts. They have released some stuff on Robotic Empire. Real Hollywood style rock n’ roll type stuff. Also been jamming a lot of Pallbearer, Bongripper, Seam, and Starflyer 59. Any type of music that I listen to on the regular is going to be a influence on me on that point of my life. Last week might have been in more of a trip-hop binge and the next week will probably be a Jazz week. Its all going to sway my perspective on how I will handle life at that moment. But as of this moment. I am just rockin’ and rollin’. You know what i mean, man? L-I-V-I-N brotha.


Q: From what I’ve seen you’ve always been behind the visuals for your bands (Where My Bones Rest Easy, Burn Your Life Down, etc etc). Where does the inspiration for the artwork behind those projects come from?

Lyrical content. When it comes to making artwork for bands that I am in I want the work to be cohesive with the lyrical content. The art should translate what you are attempting to convey in the music. Now more than ever we live in a age where visualizations are a key part on how humans process information. I want the art to work for the album. I design it to elaborate on the subject that the music can’t, working in tandem. Artwork should be the significant other to music, finishing each others sentences in a conversation.


Q: You’ve sang in all of your previous bands aside from WMBRE, would you design the imagery for those bands based on the lyrics you’ve written? How does that work for WMBRE, as you play drums in that project.

Well with WMBRE its a bit different. I have pretty much relinquished all lyrical duties to Anthony. He writes amazingly colorful and deep lyrics which has helped me come up with newer ways to design. Me and Anthony have been writing music together for a while (Burn Your Life Down) and I like the working relationship we are in right now since we both understand where we are coming from concept wise. For the most part we trust each others vision so there is little friction on getting things accomplished.


Q: What does a typical playlist look like when you’re designing? Does that playlist usually change when working on label related things? 

Yes and no. I like to listening to the band I am commissioned for periodically throughout the design process so I can stay on track on how I want to perceive the artist in the work at hand. I like to move the playlist into other albums that get me going creative wise too. I like to listen to a lot of artists that have longer, deeper tracks like Angels Of Light, Mercury Program, ISIS, Wolves In The Throne Room, Wovenhand, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Slint. Stuff like that. I like music that I can get lost in while working. Nothing I have to really keep attention on but rather have it guide me, keep my mind entranced while I work.


Q:  As a dude who’s been around the hardcore and punk scene for quite some time, what is your take on how the music scene has changed from say the late 90’s / early 2000’s to now the early 2010’s? Say even the graphic design behind music from that era, to now?

I would like to say the visual concepts for hard have gotten more advance. I would like say that. But like any genre there is always good work and bad work. The good work can be phenomenal and the bad work is not necessarily all that bad but just comes off as lazy. With all the technology and access to great artwork now versus pre-internet era designing. There is really no excuse for having bad artwork. I look back on some of my favorite records that got me into punk and hardcore and it always came down to the artwork that initially attracted me to that specific band. There are are a lot of bands out right now that understand that and are making great things. So as long as there are some striving that hard to create. I can say its still a pretty exciting time for design work in indie music.


Q: If you could design for any band, past or present who would it be? 

The Appleseed Cast. Their music and artwork as has always had a special place in my heart. I would to contribute to their work.


Q: What are some of your favorite pieces that you’ve curated yourself? 

One of favorite pieces I made would be the Trial t-shirt design I made for them a while back its a adaptation from a Kafka story called The Metamorphosis. Its a bug-man I hand drew. It me forever to complete it. Another favorite right now is the work LP art I am designing for the upcoming WMBRE record. Unfortunately its still in the stages of infancy and I can not share that.


Q: If you could sign any band to Glory Kid before they put out their big record, who would have been? For example, Sub Pop putting out Nirvana’s Bleach… 

Queens Of the Stone Age self titled LP. Or Foo Fighter’s self titled LP. Easy.


Q: Any projects that you have in the works that you would care to shed some light on? Design or Label related. 

Working on the upcoming WMBRE LP artwork, drawing up some layout ideas for Colony and there are a couple other jobs I can not mention at this time.


Q: Alright, that’s all I got for ya. Thanks for taking the time to do this. Shout em out!!! 

The pleasure is all mine Brandon, I would like to give a shout out to my friends and family. You know who you are. Bob at Mayfly Records, Gabe at Merch Connection, he is doing some great things over there that I can only dream of doing. Wayne at Toxicbreed for always being a supporter of the label and my work. Alex, Mike, and Daniel from Silver Snakes. Mike over at Escapist Records, Mel at Melotov Records, Loren at Scene Point Blank, Gavin at Tight To The Nail, Zack at American Aftermath and anyone else I forgot to mention.


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