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I know Daniel of xDUDEOFDEATHX illustration now for nearly seven years. As I found out by doing this interview: The very first shirt design he did was for a shirt promoting my first fanzine, which I find pretty amazing. In this fanzine was also an interview with his band Evenworse, then still playing fast Thrashcore in the vein of DS-13. So the circle closes once again: In this interview for CVLT Nation we focused on Daniel’s work as an illustrator – as you can easily see by the pictures, he definetely has his own, very recognizable style. Here’s what he has to say:

DudeOfDeath LogoCVLT Nation: Daniel, how old have you been when you started to do artworks and what made you do so initially? What were the important or most memorable steps of your career (if you’d call it that way) as an artist?

Daniel Ehrlich: Phew… good question. I think I really started this whole artwork thing around the age of 20. Before that I just drew stuff for friends or at school. I think I did the first shirt design for your very first fanzine, Final Expression. I wouldn’t say that there were some overly important steps. I think the most memorable step was the huge process for the Destroyer | Borderlines lp for Goldust

Let’s talk about your influences: Which artists left an impact on your way of working and how?

I love every single artist who still sticks to pen and paper. Mike Bukowski definetely had a huuuge impact on me, he is still one of the best. He brought the “thick outline” thing. I’d say that also John Dyer Baizley, Godmachine, Dan Mumford or Belanger are incredible, I am soooo far from having their skills. In Germany: Florian Schommer (also singer in AYS). He ripps. Also Unas and Killerartworx, nice dudes and incredibly talented.

Most people knowing any of your work might know it from stuff you did for various Punk and Hardcore bands. What’s your connection to this scene how is it reflected in your art? Do you often do artworks for people or institutions outside that scene?

I don’t know if it’s a good or a bad thing, but mostly I just do art “for the scene”. I’d like to do something outside that, but it can be a huge pain in the ass. I don’t want to move layers around for a stupid agency. I mean, sure, you also draw stupid ideas on paper, just because some band said so, but only a happy customer is a good one. And they also know that I love to draw dark and scarry stuff, in that case I have my freedom.

I am deeply rooted in the scene. I love Hardcore and Punk. It is still my “way of life”. I still play in a couple of bands and sometimes promote shows. Just keep it alive.
Which one of your works took the longest time to finish? Do you prefer doing smaller, quicker jobs or do you rather enjoy taking your time and working longer periods of time to finish one single piece?

Definetely the Destroyer | Borderlines lp from that band called Goldust. Like I said, it was a loooong and huge process, but it came out great! Personally, I love to do smaller things sometimes, skateboards, shirts, whatever. But doing huge artworks is always a challenge and a lot of fun. If the customer’s idea is a good one I could work on it for years and it would still be cool with me.

Artwork for Goldust - Destroyer | Borderlines

Artwork of Goldust's "Destroyer | Borderlines" by Daniel

What technique do you prefer? You obviously draw a lot, but do you also work with photography for example?

I learned a lot of techniques during artschool/university, but I prefer working with ink, pen and paper. After the lines are done, I scan it and color it using Photoshop. I hate wacom boards, I own one, but I don’t use it that often.

If a band wants something with photos, they can have it, but most of the people around me know that I am an illustrator.

You’re really fanatic about music (like everybody who’s cool), what are your records of choice to listen to while drawing/painting/whatever?

Yeah! Music is my fuel, man! Unfortunately, I’m also a very moody person. It also depends on what I am going to draw. If I want to calm down, I listen a lot to old Jadetree Records stuff, when I’m drawing something really dark, I love to listen to Black Metal or droning instrumental stuff.

Currently my bands of choice are: Basement, Diamond, Lantlôs, Seahaven, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Future Islands and so on. It’s really mixed.

As far as I know you try to avoid working with Photoshop as much as possible, why so?
Because it seems like everyone around me is doing it! A lot of kids don’t even know how to hold a pen anymore. Everything is based on computers. There are really good artists out there who are using a lot of picture-ps-layout-whatever methods, but you don’t have to learn it in that way. 
It’s not a bad thing in general, I have to use it as well, like I said. But the very first lines should always be handdrawn. Period.

What’s the most remarkable design you’ve done so far? And what was the most remarkable thing you have designed, anything special like, I don’t know, shoes?!

Tough question! Most remarkable design… hmm. The last Blackstone record was a good one, the newest Evenworse record will include a completely rounded artwork, too. But I try to keep the quality as constant as possible, there should not be no “not as good as”. I always love to do skateboards. I did some boxes for skateboard bearings and a whole bedtime story book for kids. Really old school with ink and watercolors. I still love to read it.

How did that happen?

I had the idea. Actually it was for my final exam in communication design/illustration. I decided to take an old bedtime story of my grandma and illustrate a whole book, plus rewriting the whole story, concept for the caracters, drawing and coloring with aqua, layout and print. I made a really good graduation with that. Actually I’m still looking for a publisher. Maybe it will happen someday.

Would you like to live of doing artworks and designs, by working for an agency for example?

Yes. But it’s a long walk. And an hard one. I’d love to do that. Maybe someday. Dream on, dreamer.

What are you working on right now and what are you looking forward to?

Currently on a 7″ for Scarred Mind, it will be released on Worship Records in the beginning of 2012. Looking forward? Hmmm… getting more customers?!

Daniel Dude Of DeathDaniel lives in Schweinfurt, Germany, sings in Evenworse, plays guitar in White Fields and besides illustration he loves to lift the irons. Check out his work at, write him at

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