After visiting the ruins of Tiberius’ Capri palace Glenn resumed writing a record that would eventually become “Bootikins”. A late reading of the Albert Camus play “Caligula” informed the writing of the title track and gave firmness to what had hitherto been a loose collection of misanthropic, humorous and occasionally devastating songs. Nobody was thrown off a cliff in the making of this record. Glenn shares the thoughts of the late Camus as Camus wrote and said things much better than Glenn:
"Caligula, a relatively kind prince so far, realizes on the death of Drusilla, his sister and his mistress, that "men die and they are not happy." Therefore, obsessed by the quest for the Absolute and poisoned by contempt and horror, he tries to exercise, through murder and systematic perversion of all values, a freedom which he discovers in the end is no good. He rejects friendship and love, simple human solidarity, good and evil. He takes the word of those around him, he forces them to logic, he levels all around him by force of his refusal and by the rage of destruction which drives his passion for life.
But if his truth is to rebel against fate, his error is to deny men. One cannot destroy without destroying oneself. This is why Caligula depopulates the world around him and, true to his logic, makes arrangements to arm those who will eventually kill him. Caligula is the story of a superior suicide. It is the story of the most human and the most tragic of errors. Unfaithful to man, loyal to himself, Caligula consents to die for having understood that no one can save himself all alone and that one cannot be free in opposition to other men."
The album BOOTIKINS is out now. You can order on CD and LP here. Exclusive to the Augie March shop, there is a bonus sticker with the CD and an artwork print with the LP.
After teasing with a lyric clip we finally have the official version for When I Am Old, a suitably aching and beautiful vision courtesy of Sunny Leunig, his two man crew, and the always magnetic Jack Charles.
“Though I look old, yet I am strong and lusty” which is as I would like it, sadly there are many down sides to ageing to which wisdom and viagra are but feeble and low barricades to an onslaught as assured as Death’s arrival, which, clippity clop, whirring scythe and ragged flapping robe, is close by always and It breathes heavy as the sand in the cup more empty slips, rapid ashes, down the dark funnel of dementia. So, fools, “play on; Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting, The appetite may sicken, and so die. That strain again!”
The When I Am Old lyric video is available in tee shirt. My extremely solid fx will only be available to oncoming traffic young people on acid who have noticed your tee shirt, or to you when you get home less 20 years off your life from one of our draining and life changing gigs, and unable to focus on your usual vain mirror check before you collapse into your cheap bed and worry about when you are old. Sleep in it, wear it the next day. It’s metal, it comes from real shit.
Probably the oldest song on the record, had a prior incarnation as a frenetic, high energy beachball-in-a-crowd-of-drunks style tune which, when recorded, sounded like a deflated beach ball covered in throw up. All for the best, reworked as a fancy demo at home and salvaged the only good thing about the early version which was Kiernan’s little Hammond organ tag. Mellotron sax drones do their work undermining the ostensibly chipper melody and reinforcing the droll and accusatory tone of the words which take aim through a cracked, opaque pane of glass at our nation’s increasingly tenuous day of ‘birth’. For those who hadn’t noticed, (because really, who would?), the title is a play on “Take Five” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet and the track is in that 5/4 time.
Originally a commission for a seperate project still underway, “Borrowed Verse”, this is an adaptation of the Kenneth Slessor poem “Mephistopheles Perverted, or Goethe For the Times”. I took a few liberties with the phrasing and dropped the odd word but nothing that alters the intent or even really the rhythm. The following is a very internet age summary of the poem’s theme from The Poetry Project :
“To creatures such as fleas, material objects have no value nor any meaning. Although, to humans, as this story shows by example of the king, material things are such to be proud of and flaunt. The king doesn’t know how worthless the sword that he possesses is, but he carries it high and proud. He only, really, cares how it looks to other people, for that is the truth about materialism; it is never for you, but for others.”
I wanted this to sound something in the other-realmly realm of other-worldy, spacey rock, like “Brighton Rock” Queen or a speed enabled Donovan, and I think it got half way there. Very much a drums and bass Melbourne tracking followed by a Hobart pasting of noise, a patchwork studio creation. The maniacal laughter is me tracking about twelve times after a long night out drinking. Best fun I’ve had recording. My neighbours think I’m insane.
One of the tracks recorded live by Tony. Probably a favourite of mine going in, I think it’s a great recording. I’m not sure we got it as good as it could’ve been but as Tony was fond of saying, “It’d be nice to have a year, and Abbey Road”. His mix is brilliant and the song, a meditation on, well, the third drink, is pretty good too.
This was another demo we stuck some stuff on. Good home mix makes for a creepy soft apocalypse early in the album. Bushfires inform this one. Strange brew.
Obligatory pop song, I don’t know why. I felt like I wanted to be in Teenage Fanclub on a sunny afternoon and there you have it. Of course I’m not sure the Fanclub ever referenced the dense musings of Sir Thomas Browne though they did have an instrumental called “Neil Jung” if I recall. Jess Cornelius was not at all put out when she turned up to the studio for a backing vocal session and was told “ooh baby baby” were the main words. Instead she got in character and hit it right in the sweet spot. Some would say it’s a waste of a great singer, I say it makes the track.
The last track written and recorded. This was where the concept was starting to reveal itself, probably a little late given that you should have the concept prior to its execution if years of watching business people on tv have taught me anything. I’d written a bunch of songs whose narratives were those of repulsion, failure, wasted ambition, disappointment, regret, humiliation, and the general parlous state of human civilisation. But I hadn’t written a cool rocker for a while, and this came out of not listening to, but imagining early Marc Bolan, Bowie, maybe even some Paul Di’Anno era Maiden, but mostly that post hippy electric nonsense. Cool song. A cool song to tie things up thematically. Between starting this track by track and now editing it I had a nice interview during which I felt like I explained this better by using the metaphor of the Poena Cullei
“The person was first whipped, or beaten, with virgis sanguinis ("blood-colored rods", probably), and his head was clad/covered in a bag made of a wolf's hide. On his feet were placed clogs, or wooden shoes, and he was then put into the poena cullei, a sack made of ox-leather. Placed along with him into the sack was also an assortment of live animals, arguably the most famous combination being that of a serpent, a cock, a monkey and a dog. The sack was put on a cart, and the cart driven by black oxen to a running stream or to the sea. Then, the sack with its inhabitants was thrown into the water.”
Replace the parricide, which it usually was for this fate, and the poor animals with the other songs, and imagine the dreadful noise of them all sewn up and chucked over to the shallow sea of indifference that is our present culture*, you have Bootikins, the title track, the gut thread.
*This is verifiable
One of a few that were written as poems then later shaped into very simple compositions which I very quickly got to four track tape. Again, admirably translated to much thicker two inch tape by Tony Cohen, this is a good example of the riches that can be found on every Augie album if you just spend enough time with them. A good honest scout we have sent out into the icy wastes to freeze, die and get pissed on by zealots and ruffians alike. Completely live to tape, a good achievement.
Here’s something I wrote late at night a month ago. It’ll have to do. Years of doing this track by track stuff, I begin to suspect none of it gets read and jesus it’s a pain in the arse to do :
“The break in the song is something Glenn heard when he was in a campsite outside Addis Ababa 2016. It was claimed to be a recording of ancient people speaking, maybe even singing, recorded by a fluke of nature on spinning clay. Glenn recorded it on his mini tape recorder which was a small thing his father had given to him many years previous, and which Glenn only thought to carry as a talisman, maybe in the case of the worst events a means to get one last peerless lyric down. It ended up recording the most extraordinary noise and is now an interruption to his otherworldy guitar solo in the middle of the very odd song poem describing a moment or two in the exiled poet Ovid's life and contrasting it hubristically with his own inglorious expulsion from the darkening metropolis of Melbourne“
Stupid, like the rest of this nonsense. But if it gets anyone reading either or both of David Malouf’s “An Imaginary Life” and Christoph Ransmayr’s “The Last World” then euge! (which is apparently Latin for ‘hurrah!’ and not Trump for pants missile). To the track itself, it’s eugely known in AM circles that nobody else wanted the weird noise in the middle, but I held my ground like Varus in the Teutoborg Forest, and thusly was decimated - but only psychologically in my case - and history will show that the small non-musical interlude remained and would become as significant to our campaign as the afore alluded to massacre was to the reinvigoration of the Roman march north, which was headed by none other than Germanicus who did sire one Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, or, Caligula. Great, strange song, and I really like my mix, the sparseness is something I’ve searched for throughout the universe and was achieved incidentally by the combination of a hasty tracking and a stupendously lazy approach to processing on my end. False Modesty battles gamely against the horde of brittle but numerous Spruiks.
Written on my phone as an email to myself, upright and leaning heavily on a sticky bulwark of a hot, hungover train on the way to Como, (note to travellers in rural Italy, do not buy the first class ticket, there is no first class, nor even seats), I picked one town and immortalised it in a song that nobody from that town will ever hear. This song is like a rare scent to me, and occasionally one of its delirious lines will waft up my mind’s nostril and take me to that place where I never set foot but whose tiny creek I know the temperature of in mid Summer, and whose people, in one dimension or timeline elected me mayor despite a run of extra marital affairs, or indeed because of.
Of course there are countless examples of “if only I hadda…”, “if I could turn back time…”, “in another life…etc etc” bullshit in pop music but they are to this track what “Sliding Doors” is to sophisticated multiple/alternative timeline fiction in film. That is, horrible schlock. Of course many will find the song tedious, doesn’t got hooks, chorus don’t pop, whatevs. But they’ll be wrong, this is my favourite song on the album. You know what’s tedious? Everything else.
“What strange cordials were propositioned me to taste,
And whose underwear would circle my waist?”
Best song title yet. Certainly one of the flag wavers for for the menacing, crass narrator present throughout the album; maybe a flag raiser too if you’re one of those busy online people fighting the good fight against any and all risque premises in the arts. He’s dreaming all the time, lost in a miasma of green rage. But he knows he’s dreaming, hence the story and his ability to tell it. The question is will he wake up and find that after those fifteen odd seconds of hypnogogic horror the waking world, blisfully, does not contain all the dismembered relationships and permanently offended love, or will it be the same nightmare only sans the fog?
I think this one chugs along alright and Tony got us good again, but it needed more drive so I’m not giving it the best pass today - because we didn’t give it the best pass yesterday. Still, I liked it from the demo on, and instantly heard Elvis Costello singing the backing vocals in that hysterical upper range. His manager declined to respond.
Not my favourite track and I pushed for an edit that removed the entire song with the exception of the sublime sax solo at the end. That didn’t fly. Best part along with the sax is Tony’s production, sounds like a million bucks stuffed into a Gladstone bag. The term I think originated with Mitt Romney and the text is pretty easy to read, just a bit of song mockery. Virus with legs and all that. Just getting dumber and angrier etc, so this is our contribution to the mess, a dumb, impotent down stroker. Augie tries to do Guided By Voices and ends up just doing Augie. People seem to like it. People, whatevs.
Hobart, Feb 18
MATT DUNN IS A VERY ACCOMPLISHED MULTI MEDIA ARTIST WHO APPROACHED GLENN SOME TIME AGO TO CONTRIBUTE SOME MUSIC TO A LONG TERM PROJECT WHICH IS STILL IN THE WORKS. GLENN SAID “OF COURSE, BUT FIRST YOU HAVE TO DO AN ALBUM COVER FOR ME”. MATT DID THAT AND MORE, WHILE GLENN HAS YET TO PRESENT MATT WITH A SINGLE NOTE OF MUSIC. GLENN ASSURES MATT THAT IT IS FORTHCOMING, MATT IS VERY GRACIOUS BUT IS PLANNING A LAWSUIT.
THE FOLLOWING IS A FRACTION OF THE BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THESE TWO TITANS OF INDEPENDENT ART STUFF WHICH WILL GIVE SOME INSIGHT TO HOW MUCH GOES INTO EVERY ASPECT OF MAKING A MUSIC RECORD WITHIN THE COTTAGE INDUSTRIES.
On Tue, Apr 25, 2017 at 11:41 AM, GAR wrote:
Hey Matthew, hope this finds you pumped up on Death of Many Young Men in Futile Campaign spirit. I've got a very, very infant notion to pass by you. As you know we're deep into making a new album and obviously I have to be thinking about artwork among other things. Now I've yet to determine a concept, let alone a title for the record but one of the stronger songs so far is called "When I Am Old", (yeah, I know that's already happened, but I'm talking bedsit, piss smelling old,) and an idea just came to me as I was doing a little rough mixing. I reckon it's been done before a few times so it's not earth shattering, but I imagine a single large face, a composite of the five of us in Augie March. The "wow" factor would come from the fact that we're also 40 odd years down the track, so it's a decrepit legion meshed together and forced to coexist in a decaying form. Pleasant no? I'd like to get your impression of the idea and your feeling for how you might go about it if you're at all keen.
Not that I'd push this direction necessarily, but for a while, when I was in a decidedly morose place, I had the attached Dave McKean pic for a desktop, rather like having a mirror to my work and life practices at the time. It might be a pointer, but at the same time I wouldn't discourage brighter perspectives - eye catching beauty within the ugliness, especially important when you're thinking album artwork. Get back to me at your leisure and have a good week.
I would love to work with you on this man, absolutely (thankfully email allows me to play it somewhat cool in my response, providing a virtual barrier from the reality which was me joyfully shouting from the studio "HOLY SHIT!!!").
I like the idea of the 5 fractured faces forming the 1 face, and I'm sure we can work out a way to capture that in a bold and dramatic manner. It could work nicely as a combination of a photographic collage with painted elements, with the photographic elements possibly being held in place by the paint and other things (string, sticky tape, etc). Another approach could be to have all 5 full faces, at different angles, merging together, which could be a bit overwhelming visually but if I refined it as an illustration could be a very stark and bold image.
GAH! The ideas are flowing thick and fast now.
So yes, I'll happily work with you to develop something and hopefully you'll be happy enough with the results to allow my art to grace the cover.
The last week and a bit have been quite stressful and miserable on this end, thanks for helping to lift my spirits today.
Hope you're well.
On 25 Apr. 2017 6:10 pm, GAR wrote:
Glorious stuff Matthew. Obviously early days but my strong feeling is space - much like in music - is paramount with an album cover for our band. We often clutter our music and it's something that we're trying not to do this time so bear that in mind also. A really strong image but the background is just as important, only I want a plain of quiet existence. If you look at the old card I used for Sunset Studies and the stains and textures that we borrowed from it to give everything a patina, that's a good start. I know it's restrictive but that's what can bring something memorable into relief. I'm telling you your job, last thing I want to do! Let me repeat what I said earlier, have at it, and treat it like an experiment, no restrictions, have fun with it. I'll get you words, music, other stuff as soon as I feel like it's going to help you along, which is very soon.
I've always appreciated the subtlety and textures of the Sunset Studies cover (I've still got my copy of the original release) and it was nice to see that in the larger vinyl format.
Building up a soft and subtle texture for the central image to float upon has many possibilities. I've often had my images floating in a sea of white or sinking in a wall of blackness but also really enjoy laying art upon some built up textures
One idea I've got kicking around in my head is combining some photography and painting as already mentioned, but having that sitting upon a concept sketch, nothing too stark, just a ghostly image gently fading out underneath the finished work. This could work nicely combined with a softly tea stained sheet of moleskin paper and other textures.
And don't ever feel like you're telling me how to do my job. I'm a big believer in the spirit of collaboration and any back and forth can only lead to a more exciting adventure and a better end result :-)
So after doing a quick ink/inkwash portrait of "Old" Glenn it would appear that in your later years you'll look somewhat like Kurt Russell.
Something to look forward to :-)
I'm doing some pieces like this to get into shifting back to brush/painted work after doing mostly pen-heavy work for months. Feels good to be holding the brushes again.
On 29 Apr. 2017 7:33 pm, GAR wrote:
Hey again Matthew,
Forgot to address your questions re the format, at this point it's hard to say. We aren't flush with cash but we'll probably go through Caroline again and they help defray costs of production. That said the less we spend on the physical the less we can charge for the vinyl. At this point I'd focus on the main image, but if it helps, I'd love to see the same treatment you gave my dreadful mug applied to the other guys. I'll try to source some good pics for you. For a start it'd give you a base to work from when trying to fuse the characteristics of each member, in whatever way you see fit, and also it'd be some great back cover art rather than just "Edmondo played this and that etc". My feeling at this early stage is we'd go for an inner double sided sheet with the lyrics and assorted infos. Here are the lyrics to what I believe will be the title track. There's some nice animal references, would not be disappointed to see a phantom lion or the wrack and ruin of a whale sneak in to the picture...
"When I am Old" by Snake Pliskin
When I am old, Not if, but when,
ailments will derail not end,
laments will fail not to upend
my later years which I will spend,
alone, when I am old, alone -
what is the male kind of crone?
old lonely men dress for court on their own,
nothing suggests I will not be alone when I'm old.
When I am old,
There will be no more lions
Only in prisons
Product of aeons of
bestial poems never told
Fire that does not rage is cold
Cold flames are the tongues that sing dying
There’s no point in lying about being
old men dress for the mall in the morning
nothing suggests i will not be forlorn when I’m old
Not if, ifs and buts, but whens,
I’ll take a wood load at roughly ten,
measure the hours by some Bushells blend,
read the papers from start to end
alone, when I am old, alone -
what is the male kind of crone?
I’ll give the obituary special attention
Which of my neighbours has earned a mention
When I am old
There will be no more whaling
Oh you cannot go whaling
When there are no more whales
in the tepid sea
my instincts have always been dull
Not that I ever listened at all
If I lay in a burning bed
I waited for the rain to fall
Old men see what they’re leaving behind
and thank small mercies for going blind
When I am old
I will have no companion
No mouser no spaniel when
all I could do is
to leave them behind
No spark to depend on my dithering lick
Sputtering sickly at candle’s end
No love to address
No missives to pen
When I am old
I’ll take heroin.
Those lyrics are amazing and that closing line is golden. I can't wait to hear this song man.
The idea of an aged Augie March, filtered through those lyrics and ideas so far, has put in my mind the image of a lone tilting fishing boat resting on the bottom of an empty sea, 5 old fishermen staring out at the numerous whale skeletons surrounding them. Or maybe they're using ropes to drag their boat through the sand and bones.
Or the same basics, but the ocean is still there, the ship has sunk, taking the old men with it who stubbornly refuse to leave their vessel. Whale skeletons float around them.
I also LOVE drawing people with animal heads, especially in suits, often looking sophisticated and aloof, so that's another possible visual.
We have a collection of old glass slides featuring photos of fishermen and their village, they have this wonderful rustic look to them that could work well as a framing device for the portraits.
I'm currently sipping whiskey and revisiting Twin Peaks. I sometimes forget how wonderfully strange it all is, it inspires me to embrace strangeness within my own art more.
MANY EMAILS AND IDEAS LATER, NEWLY WRITTEN MATERIAL AND VANITY GET THE BETTER OF GLENN AND THE ‘OLD GUY’ BIT IS CANNED, POSSIBLY TO BE RESURRECTED AT A LATER TIME.
On 16 May 2017 8:26 am, GAR wrote:
Morning Matt, a developing notion, dependent on whether I can pull another song out of the withered sack - oooh - Caligula (Bootikins), dissolute, astride his beautiful steed Incitatus, staring balefully at the 'camera', maybe just a hint of Don Quixote on Rocinante in that neither he or his mount are quite as grand as he imagines.
On a gumtree hunt for good old frames for some of your prints, loving this treasure trove. Plus stickers and badges, the way to any nerds heart. Thanks again.
On 20 May 2017 5:46 pm, "GAR"wrote:
I'm firming on Bootikins as a title. The more I live with it the more I realise that many of the songs have different shades of the same fascinating and distasteful customer who is part my worst self, but more so the worst we have within us expressing itself too freely now. Which is not new, just the reddest, rawest rim of the cycle. Here are the words to the track. Keep well, and keep enjoying.
I'm back into the swing of things at home...... mostly.
I've been bouncing and colliding visuals around in my head based on the most recent cover ideas, images and lyrics you sent through. I keep coming back to 3 possible approaches, which I thought I'd send through basic descriptions of before I sketch anything up.
1. The main idea I keep coming back to is somewhat ridiculous, maybe too much so, but I think it combines the juxtaposition of how Caligula sees himself and how he is seen by others. I was thinking we could have him sitting tall and proud in the saddle, looking very regal and charming. However he could be seated on a pantomime horse (perhaps having the person in the rear of the costume peeping out of the gap between the front and back). It's an extreme clash of visuals, but it's certainly unique :-) I could illustrate it in an older inking style, giving it a look that's a mix of an old etching and something from Alice In Wonderland.
2. We could have Bootikins riding across the cover, with chains attached to his horse than drop down to reach the ground and disappear off to the right side of the cover. On the back cover we could see 2 poets carrying a large book that the chains connect to, writing on its pages as they walk.
3. Taking the front on approach we can see the figure atop their horse, slightly slumped and looking very heavy in their own skin. A shadowy figure. I've got an idea of how to capture this in a heavy and painterly manner, very inspired by the background screen on my laptop (from McKean's Black Dog, especially the right hand side).
So there's 3 more ideas to throw at the wall. Let me know what you think.
Hope you're doing well mate.
I've attached a file containing the 3 possible concepts. They're very quick sketches/mock ups but should provide a simple enough starting point for each of the ideas.
For the middle piece I've added some books being carried by one of the poets along with one being strapped to his back for the other to write into.
For the third design you can see the middle section where a man is peeping out, and there's also the hole in the front neck of the horse for the other person to see. For this one it could be approached so that the horse is obviously fake and pantomime in nature, or it could be made to look much more realistic aside from these gaps/holes, which would be quite a strange visual.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like me to start to put tighter versions of any of these pieces together.
Hope you're well.
On Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 9:38 PM, GAR wrote:
Quite enamoured of the first, has a dramatic something, but also like the panto idea of the 3rd. Bathetic I suppose is what we're after, which means there needs to be some residue of a greatness and heroism but in its failed state, which might be somewhat comic but hopefully equal parts tragic. And the result of him coming to know this state has him seething internally, but he won't show it if he can help it - it reveals itself in his outward show of disdain and menace. Of course none of this needs to be told or really even shown in detail, the trick (the art) will be in conveying any and all of it with a deft stroke! I already get it a bit with the pose of the first piece. Digging it Matt.
For the first piece, to try and capture that bathetic mood we could have the paint and textures be fading and crumpled, falling apart. I can also adjust his pose to give him a weaker, more slumped in the saddle appearance.
For the panto approach we can play up the trashiness of the horse, have it being an old worn out costume, lots of stitching holding it together. Dirty bare feet appearing from underneath the horses legs, etc. For this one it could maybe work to have his armour be laying discarded on the ground on the back cover?
If you like I can start to properly work up both of these pieces and see how they go. If one ends up being suitable for the cover the other could be used for something else (t-shirt or other merch).
I'm nearly finished with the texture build up on the canvas for the painting. Got some work done on the panto illustration, fucked it up by smudging it but kept going for the central areas so I could fire something through to get your thoughts on it. The actual piece will be larger so I'll be able to get some finer detail into it all, let me know what you think, especially in regards to his posture and pose.
Hope you're well.
On Wed, Jun 21, 2017 at 9:44 AM, GAR wrote:
Hey Matt, I love this. Panto Horse is beautiful, and Caligula is pretty much perfect. Gleeful menace, he's passed through enormous grief, has established his philosophy well and truly, suffers increasingly from brain fever but delights, when he's able, in whimsical adjudication atop his steed. It's a great pose. Reminds me just a little of the genuinely scary giants from Attack on Titan! Very exciting. I'm interested in what tones you've worked up. I'm sure you're already well progressed but when I was in Naples at the Archaeology Museum I was astonished by some of the Pompeiiean frescoes they'd salvaged - didn't realise how much there was and how advanced some of the techniques were - but for texture and ageing they're certainly ballpark. Great stuff man!
OCCASIONALLY MATT AND GLENN WOULD SHARE ANECDOTES CONCERNING THEIR WORK OUTSIDE THE ALBUM COVER, MATT’S ARE REDACTED FOR PRIVACY BUT GLENN’S ARE FASCINATING AND BITTER, LIKE A GOOD NEGRONI ON A BLISTERING HOT DAY.
On 26 Jun. 2017 9:25 am, GAR wrote:
Jesus man, really sorry to hear about this. What a fucking prick. It's not the most valid comparison but it does remind me of the times over our career when the person we'd been working with at a label was suddenly fired or promoted and all the plans we'd made, budget etc went out the window and we were shuffled back in the queue behind some Oz Idol muppet or Delta Goodrem what have you. As if being a creative, and I mean that in the way it used to be used, isn't precarious enough you have dolts like this guy who obviously didn't run his business well holding you to ransom. There's a whole couple of generations growing up observing that being a complete arsehole, ruthless, unkind and selfish, is the best way to get where you want to be. And sadly they don't appear to be wrong.
I might need another coffee...
On 29 Jun. 2017 6:33 pm, GAR wrote:
Stunning Matt, I really like (and fear) this figure, starting to feel like he's becoming real. I can also see details being appropriated for more prominent use. I'm inclined toward the ink but love the woodcut also, I'd defer to you and what you think will be most effective in terms of what you can work into it. I'll give the colour some thought and get back to you as soon as I can.
I find myself imagining the people inside the horse suit verbally taunting Bootikins as they ride along haha maybe that's just the mindset I'm in with all these publisher woes.
I think the ink piece will sit nicely on top of the textures and some inkwash/watercolour. The chisel tip style might actually work well incorporated into the painting a bit as it plays into the abstract details nicely.
Started to play around with some potential approaches with the illustration. Just throwing things down digitally to see what works. Textures on the canvas are all down and dried so I'll be able to start laying down some paints soon on that one.
Hope you're well.
On 6 Jul. 2017 7:35 pm, GAR wrote:
Dig it. Sorry I didn't get back to you regarding textures/colours but you're close to what I was thinking - the ochres, terracotta, black smokey smudges, blood reds, maybe occasional azure - pompeiian colours. They do a good job of approximating what things probably looked like in 'Rome' the series, which is a great watch if you haven't seen it. Looking awesome. I'm buggered, been tackling several fronts at once but getting a lot done and feeling pretty positive about things. It's getting so that I'm viewing this weekend - tax weekend - as a bit of a holiday! Hope you're well too Matt.
Hey Glenn, glad you're happy with the direction it's heading. Once I nail it down digitally I'll be transferring the artwork onto the textured papers to create the whole thing as a single piece to photograph.
I've started applying some grit and tone to the canvas. Tweaked the figure a bit as well for what will be the painted version and attached a sample for you to check out (Just basic line work, the final will have some lovely heavy shadows). Shifted the angle a little so we can see a bit more of the horse to add more weight to the image. This also gives is a better view of the rider and their posture.
AWKWARD EXCHANGES HERE AFTER GLENN GOT POST TAXES WEEKEND DRUNK AND SENT MATT SEVERAL ONE WORD EMAILS ALONG THE LINES OF “MOVED” “BALLSY” AND “TRIHJKL”. MATT RESPONDED WITH AN ABSURD AND DOUBTFUL ACCOUNT OF PURCHASING A COMIC CALLED “BATMAN VS ELMER FUDD”. BACK ON TRACK AFTER THAT, FEELING LIKE THE RELATIONSHIP HAD SHIFTED A FEW DEGREES TO THE PECULIAR.
On 18 Jul. 2017 5:51 pm, GAR wrote:
Sometimes you really want to write these words, "get fucked". Just gotta have your ducks lined up first.
Anyway, negative energies and all that. Great to hear things are still moving, and very much in line with the record which is 3/4 there and just waiting on me to apply my own idiosyncratic, (read amateur), and frequently 'surprising' mix to the last 3 songs before it can go to mastering. I dig the grim, almost heroic were it not for the malicious glint in the eye, Bootikins, although his ‘mischievous and unhinged’ from an earlier horse bound one is still how I see him most. Camus' Caligula is worth hunting down at a library, shortish play that depicts him almost sympathetically as a philosopher king, albeit an increasingly demented one. I don't think that's quite who this guy is though, you're on the right path with him, there's a bit of a gangly scattered teenager in there with that Quixote element as well. A brand new Caligula methinks.
That's great that the album is so far along, I can't wait to hear it! I should have the ink/watercolour on paper piece finished next week, and the painting probably has another few weeks to go on it, then I can take it in to get photographed.
Were you wanting me to help assemble the digital files/text etc for the album as well? I'm happy to do so if you don't have anyone else who normally handles that.
Some underlying sepia tones and aging taking place.
On 19 Jul. 2017 5:12 pm, GAR wrote:
As for the text side of things we have a guy who works with the distributor who does all of that and he's got it down to an economical art with all the formats and then postering etc so it's most appreciated but best kept in house at Caroline. That doesn't negate actual font design and choices at an aesthetic level. We'll get on to that soon but worth keeping in mind, my top of the head thinking is somewhere in the realm of a gothic invasion of the roman classical with some kind of decrepitude but that's my metal roots showing.
Love the sepia texture, bit of rust, bit of decaying metal bolt crying into stone. Verdigri'd brass might make its way into that...
LIFE AND DEATH RUDE INTERLOPERS AS EVER.
On 3 Aug 2017, at 7:32 pm, Matthew Dunn wrote:
Hey man, hope your week is going well. Attached the latest progress shot, refining bits and pieces, removed the reins as they seemed at odds with the rest of the image, hope you don't mind that change. I had to restart a big chunk of it as one of the medium layers I'd applied didn't work as it was supposed to with the ink, but it's back on track and getting closer to the finish line. A lot of this progress stuff ends up buried under so much more ink and paint, but it all adds extra depth and tone to the piece. I've worked in a more solid layer in pencil work under it as well which gives it a bit more weight on the canvas.
Anyway, that's most likely just me rambling away in an effort to convince myself that I know what I'm doing at the moment.
On 3 Aug. 2017 8:39 pm, GAR wrote:
It's beautiful Matt. You'll have to bear with me, some upheaval last few days. Not my usual expressive self.
Tony Cohen, our engineer and mixer for some of the best stuff we've done for ages, passed away. I'll get back to you, sorry Matt. Just got to be down for a bit.
On 3 Aug 2017, at 11:44 pm, Matthew Dunn wrote:
Ah man, I'm so sorry to hear that Glenn. My condolences and thoughts to you and everyone else touched by his passing.
On 3 Aug. 2017 11.49 pm, GAR wrote:
He’d been a bit ill but he'd made a habit of coming back from things so it was a cruel shock when he didn't this time. He did really great work with us and his contribution and yours are two of the highlights of the project.
On 3 Aug 2017, at 11:52 pm, Matthew Dunn wrote:
Thanks for the kind words Glenn. It is a genuine honour for me to be a part of the new album. The whole experience has been a source of creative and personal inspiration and I can't thank you enough for inviting me to collaborate.
I was reading an article on Tony today, the man was involved in so many amazing albums, truly remarkable.
Also available, THE ART OF BOOTIKINS, an A5 sized booklet showing the creative process behind the Bootikins album cover, designed by Matthew Dunn.