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Интервью с Tony Koehl,

Tony Koehl

Our special correspondent Asel intruded to Tony Koehl's workshop to discover all his secrets. By the way she asked him to paint a portrait of her. Tony was a really hospitable dude and answered all her questions. But her portrait became a hostage until the interview would appear in Brutal Carnage web-zine. After that he would send it to Russia with pigeons. We are not able to postpone this stuff in this case. So here you are this hot interview.

Greetings, Tony! Thank you for your time! :)

Hi! My Pleasure.

So, you're among the most famous designers in the world of extreme music. You learned it professionally or are you self-taught?

I would say both. I've been drawing before I knew how to write, but I went to a few different art schools to try and become a better artist.

How did you promote your works? Which band was the first who ordered to design their CD?

Well back in the early 2000's I was very unimpressed with the artists that were working on album covers for the bands I liked, so I used MySpace when it 1st started to promote my art. I hit up every band and label for two years before I got any bands to notice. Goratory "Rice On Suede" was the 1st big band that gave me a chance. I also did a lot of live art shows at metal festivals around the Los Angeles area to promote my art and talk with band members. I just kept hitting up bands until they were sick of me, and they finally let me do work for them.

When some band ordering the design... They tell you what they want to see on the front cover of their CD or you do everything yourself? I guess that all happens in different ways... There are bands that come already with clearly certain requirements, and there are those who would like some ideas from you. Right?

Well it happens in three ways: a band might know what they want, or they kind of have an idea, or they just want me to work my magic, but most of the times bands have a clear idea of what they are looking for.

I know that you draw not only brutal stuff, but also some landscapes, portraits... everything. What do you like to draw most of all?

My OWN ideas. I have so many of my own ideas that are swirling in my head and I have to get them out on paper, but my problem is that I'm so busy working on other people's projects that I never can get to them... but that is all going to change very soon. I'm going to be working on my 3rd Eye Enigma series more due to the fact that I feel very stuck as an artist and I want to branch out and move more people with my ideas, thoughts and emotions.

How do you get the inspiration exactly for music artwork? Horror movies or maybe any literature... TV news...? Or is it all happening spontaneously?

I'm weird this way! I'm always struggling with dark thoughts and trying to suppress my hatred for most things in life. I find myself very lucky that I have an outlet for all of this malevolence in my soul. It seems to me that death metal is the sound track to my life, so it is a natural attraction. The sad thing is that in the back of my mind when I'm working on these covers I could take them to the next level but I'm always held back because of the client's ideas. My only goal when I work with a band is to make sure everyone in the band is happy with the art. So I hold back a great deal with my art (plus the budgets are so low) that it is hard for me to invest a lot of time into my illustrations.

Tony, you draw everything manually... by natural paints, pencil etc. What do you think about artworks which are made entirely digitally, on the computer?

I use every medium that I can get my hands on, but most of the covers I do are done all in Photoshop because it is faster for me to pump out work. This is still a job and the faster I can finish a cover the quicker I can start the next one. I think there are no rules just tools, so if there are artists that love working fully in digital, then by all means! I will say this, it's more impressive when you can walk up to an original piece of art than just a large glossy print.

Are there things that you would never have agreed to depict on the canvas? Are there any taboos?

Me? No, not really. I'm not into satanic art, I love to draw demons and gore but the satanic thing is the same to me as if I was to draw something for a church. If I had any taboos I wouldn't be doing extreme art for extreme bands.

Which of your works do you consider the most successful? The work that you could as the visiting card.

My 3rd Eye Enigma series for sure. I have more people giving me positive feed back way more so than any covers I do for other people. 

What artists do you like? Maybe you would like to learn something from someone or you aspiring to reach someone's level of skill?

There are so many artists that I like, but the problem with that is once I compare myself to them I get depressed and unmotivated because they are on another level. So I just work on myself and be happy with what I've done and can do. If I start to nitpick at myself I would quit doing art, due to the fact there are so many better artists than me.

What projects are you working on now?

Well here is the list that I have at the moment. These are some of the bands that I'm working with: Eternal Process, Eschaton, Parasitic Ejaculation, Wounded Healer, Cranial Impalement, Raped By Pigs, Ahamkara и Ripping Flesh. Plus my own pieces that I'm trying to find the time to do.

I know that you have finished paintings, which you sell to every band that need a logo or some artwork. Where these works came from? That's what you prepared for some band and they refused to take it or is it your spontaneous works that you draw for itself?

When a band hires me, we kick around ideas and I'll send over thumbnail sketches so we are all on the same page. Once again my goal it to make sure the clients I work with are happy with my services.  I do slight changes if needed but most of the time the clients are happy.

There's opinion that no matter how great is the artwork, eventually all laurels are however reached to the musicians. In your opinion, is it true? Do you get some gratitude for your work from the fans of the bands for those you made the artwork?

Absolutely! I'm helping these bands manifest a vision. I do get some fans that appreciate my work. When I do live art at festivals I get to meet all sorts of amazing people that care enough to let me know how much they enjoy what I do, it makes me feel like a rock star and I so appreciate it. When I show in galleries most of the people don't know what the art is for but when I'm at a show most of the people have seen my work and we can talk about it. I will have to say this, most band don't give me credit on the art I do for them, unless it is inside the CD booklet. If they post it online 76% of the bands never let people know that I did the art, so it makes it very difficult for me to get my name out there.

Tony, is such aspect as knowableness of your drawing style is important for you?

No, not really. I would like to try more styles but I kind of back myself in a corner on what I do, style wise, but I hope that I'm original, that is my goal. I don't want to be like other artists, I just want to do what feels natural and not try to follow anyone's foot steps. 

Tell us about your music career? :) Do you participate now in some projects? I heard you did something with Fishing For Neptune?

I love to play drums so I'll play with anyone that will let me. Fishing For Neptune is a funk rock band I started with my oldest friend Mike Harryman (I've known him since third grade). When we get older it is harder and harder to find the time to spend with people that you love, so I figured if I'm in a band with him we can hangout more and it will give me an excuse to play my favorite instrument. At the moment we are slowly working on our album. Hard to do because this is just for fun and we all have families and jobs that take away from what I would like to do. I love it, though I know it must seem weird that a death metal artist is not in a death metal band, but the truth is that I don't have the time to study extreme drumming. Plus I have more fun in a band that is designed just to have fun. I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone I just want to make music with my friends. I have a few other musical projects that I'm going to be kicking around in the near future. I just need to handle one goal at a time.

What would you advise to young artists, your parting words?

DO NOT DO ART FOR FREE!!!!!! If you give away your art then it means it is worth nothing. The true artist out there I don't have to say anything to because they are just going to do it. Some helpful advice is study nature and human anatomy.

How do you deal with such shitty thing, when you have some crazy, sick ideas in your head but you cannot depict it on paper?

I try to figure out what in my life is making me feel that way, but most of the time I can get it out on paper. If not then I just deal with it the best I can, find a loved one that I respect to talk it out. 

Well, finally, the last words for our webzine? :)

I appreciate that you guys found me interesting enough to do an interview on me. If anyone doesn't know who I'm you can go to my website www.SketchTheSoul.com I'll be updating it with more art and info. Or you can reach me at tonykoehl@gmail.com I'm also on Facebook, just type in my name. I thank you for all that you do for the scene, we need all the help we can get in this genre.

Вопросы—Asel Ayazbaeva


ZHEK, 2012-09-26 08:36:06
Daemorph, все имеет свою цену, ты прав. Другое дело кто как относится к своей работе, к своим клиентам и к той сфере, где он вращается.
Ну ладно, я побежал чай пить, мама зовет!!
Daemorph, 2012-09-26 08:12:58
ZHEK, ну у тебя же не вызывает вопросов и возмущения тот факт, что, чтобы записать крутой хеви-метал-братский альбом, нужно оплатить время в студии и работу звукорежиссера? Как бы владелец студии или звукорежиссер ни любили хэвиметал. Так вот здесь то же самое.
ZHEK, 2012-09-26 04:42:17
А как ты догадался?(( так и есть( вы мне тут детсадовские мечты метоллиста разрушаете *ругаюсь сильно*
Очень радует, что серьезные взрослые люди по достоинству оценивают шедевральные картины Тони, он Бог!
Daemorph, 2012-09-26 04:04:42
Да, видно, что ZHEK - совсем еще... юноша, живущий с родителями :)
Kelzo, 2012-09-22 11:29:47
Узнал о этом замечательном художнике благодаря вам. Спасибо на этом ;) Да и само интервью приятно читать, граммотные вопросы и немного своеобразные ответы.
Aspid, 2012-09-21 01:21:06
"мне довольно трудно стать знаменитостью" - в заголовок надо бы )
Картинку ну совсем посредственные, интервью как всегда на уровне. Всем хэйлы в этом чатике.
Asel, 2012-09-18 16:59:56
вам спасибо за чтение )
chemgerr, 2012-09-18 16:10:34
и вообще ,почему всех так колышет вопрос чужого бабла? Мне например все равно, продавец он или нет - арты его очень круты и точка.
chemgerr, 2012-09-18 16:02:07
Асель, потрясная работа, спасибо за труды:) По Коэлю - я щитаю, что Тони один из столпов нынешнего брутал-оформительства. Обложки для Slaughterbox, Epicardiectomy, Putrid Pile etc. - щедевры
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