This is part 2 of the "pencil renderings of metal bands" series. If you want more background about how/when/why a 10-11 year old version of me (and my brother) drew these monstrosities, read this first. For those of you that already know the background behind these masterpieces, enjoy.
After moving to the United States, I had a very tough time adjusting. I didn't know the language, got hassled endlessly in school because of my mullet, my sweatpants, my gold chains and my Brut cologne. In retrospect, I guess an 11 year old with gold chains and Brut cologne is pretty funny, but how was I supposed to know?
I remember sitting in the front seat of the bus the second week of school in the United States. Back home, I had been a pretty cool dude (perhaps as a result of my gold chains and cologne) but here in the States I was starting way down in the pecking order, and I knew that. School had become a hugely stressful affair, and I was merely trying to make it through each day without making a complete ass out of myself...which was hard since I didn't speak the language and clearly looked like a damn foreigner. That day on the bus, I sat in the first seat quietly, and put on my heaphones. I began to play Master Of Puppets, and sat there looking at the back of the fat bus driver's neck, which looked like a packet of hot dogs with all it's undulating rolls of lard. Suddenly I noticed someone sitting next to me, which had never happened in the week I had been at that school. I looked up, and it was a girl in a full cheerleader's uniform. Back in South America, our school had no cheerleaders, no school did...so seeing that girl wearing that outfit was as odd to me as seeing a real life cowboy or something. I took off my headphones because I realized she was speaking to me. Taking them off made no difference, I didn't speak a word of English. I looked intently at at her, trying to understand what she was saying. She was very pretty, and seemed unnecessarily friendly towards me. She moved in closer to me as she spoke, and began to smile. I was a bit freaked out by this, because it didn't feel right, something was up. I told her in Spanish, that I didn't understand what she was saying. When I spoke in Spanish, she burst out with laughter, and as soon as she did I was hit in the back of the head with something that felt like a baseball bat. I looked behind me, dazed, and saw one huge kid standing there with his fist still behind my head. Along with him was every other kid on the bus, they were all laughing maniacally at this majestic set up I had fallen for. I guess I had fallen for something, to this day I still don't fully understand what happened, what she said and why he hit me right at that moment. It was a pretty good introduction to what the first few years in this country would be like for me. I know what you're saying "wah wah...poor you". But see, I'm merely trying to explain to you how my move to this country went down, in order for you to understand why I suddenly began making these drawings again.
As a result of this tough transition after my family moving here, I often reverted to doing things that made me happy back in South America when I was a bit younger. After not having drawn bands for well over a year (which seemed like an eternity to me back then), I went back to drawing a lot, as well as building plastic models of cars. In retrospect, how did girls not love me back then? Nothing says "stud" like a dude who draws and builds models. Am I right ladies? Anyway, this was all an attempt to revert to an earlier time, and a way to seek some escape from what I felt (rightfully) was a pretty dreadful and stressful living situation. I have no training in psychiatry to back any of this up, but the last time I was in Vienna I visited Freud's apartment, which I feel gives me enough insight to make these claims.
This drawing comes from that time in my life. As you can see, I was somehow introduced to the concept of perspective. I would like to say that this came about due to my admiration of the work produced by Diego Velazquez, particularly his masterpiece Las Meninas. Even if that's not exactly the case (and it isn't), this drawing was just as important in my artistic development, and like Las Meninas, it will be studied by generations to come.
As you can tell by the shirts that the band is wearing (Obituary, Morgoth), my musical tastes had changed radically. This drawing was highly influenced by pictures of a Death studio report I saw in Metal Maniacs, including shots of Scott Burns relaxing behind the board. It was also highly influenced by the pictures on the back of the Terrorizer album, which showed band members (Oscar Garcia in particular) using huge headphones as they recorded. As such, this would be a depiction of a made up death metal band recording at Morrisound. The name of the band, by the way, was Abnegation. I picked out the name from a dictionary, not knowing that an actual band would later use the name. As you'll see in future posts, I drew this band many times...but this is the only depiction of them in the studio.
- Plexiglass surrounding the drumset. Something I had seen on Saturday Night Live in order for the drum's sound to not bleed into other microphones.
- Check out the portable little tables that the guitar player's headphones hook up to. This is also from the Death studio report. One picture in particular featured such a table, which in reality was probably just a music stand.
- Classy track lighting at Morrisound Studios
- The logos on the bass drums are covered with tape, something I had seen in an old issue of Metal Hammer. It was King Diamond's drummer that had done this, probably because he was forced to play a drumset made by someone other than his official sponsor at a fest. You'll see this as a reocurring theme.
- Vocalist in the booth is wearing one of those Scum shirts that Barney always wore back then. Was that a club in England or something? I don't even know.
- Bass player is very clearly based on Frank Watkins, but his pose (sitting calmly while rocking the fuck out) is probably taken from Metallica's epic "Nothing Else Matters" video, which shows Jason wearing those rapist glasses that make him look like a Greyhound bus, as he plays sitting down. I always thought it was funny that, although he was sitting down, he felt it was necessary to use a strap that basically looked a damn sleeping bag.
This one is a collaboration. Actually, it's pretty much all drawn by my brother except for the drumset. Wow, where do I start. You see, back in 1988 my brother and I started a "band". Why do I put the word "band" in quotes? Because we didn't own any instruments, didn't know how to play any instruments, and we were basically little kids pretending. Still, after having heard The Exploited, we figured it wouldn't be too hard to play music and put out an album. Much like other kids play house, we played band. Along for the ride came my friend Alejandro, he was our guitar player. The extent of the band was the fact that we once played along to a bunch of Maiden and Alice Cooper songs for my family to watch. This is insanely embarrassing, but painfully true. It took us about a week to prepare for it, and we put fliers up all over the house. We prepared lighting, and made a drumset out of pillows from the couch. I was the drummer, and under me, pointing up, was one of those super hot red light bulbs intended for muscle pain. My brother's bass guitar was made out of cardboard and my dad's old T-square. Luckily, only days before our big concert, Alejandro's dad actually bought him a real guitar. So there we were, in our family room pretending to play along to the music on the stereo....with my parents and my sister watching. In front of us was a Union Jack flag that my brother made as his batik project in art class. In my last trip back to the old country, I sat around with my friend Alejandro and laughed about these memories until we cried. The whole thing was absolutely insane. Along with this concert, we also made an album cover, which my brother drew with color pencils on white cardstock. We even took one of my mom's Donna Summer albums, and covered the center label with one of ours. We came up with a bunch of song names, and eventually tried to record a couple of them with my dad's stereo. The songs that were recorded were "Huecos" (which translates to "holes") and Brain Putrefaction. Yes, the last song was in English. If you're going to ask if tapes of these songs exist, I have to tell you (sadly) that they don't. The recording session amounted to my brother's Casio keyboard providing a shuffle beat, and my brother merely singing the lyrics into a pair of headphones. Since I was the drummer, I was allowed by my brother to hit the "fill" button, which made the keyboard to this absolutely awful shuffle drum fill. "Huecos, huecos para esconderte...huecos, huecossss" was the song's chorus. In case you're wondering, this means "holes, holes for you to hide in, holes holes....." I know, it makes no sense. This is yet another topic that will need an entire post to really get into. Particularly because my brother has digital pictures of the album's cover, which Alejandro still has. Anyway, the drawing above is a fictitious concert from our fictitious band. My brother is on bass, Alejandro on guitar, me on drums.
- Backdrop behind the band says "The Nightmare". Maybe there was other Nightmares around and we wanted to let everyone know that we were THE Nightmare?
- The date on the backdrop states that the tour was in 1999. I guess this is what we dreamed we'd be doing in 1999. Boy were we wrong.
- My brother (on bass) is wearing Haro pants? We didn't really ride BMX or anything...but we did share a knock-off Mongoose bike, which I pretended to ride the Tour De France in every summer....so the Haro pants are a bit of a mystery to me. Maybe he can clarify.
- The double cross symbol on my brother's shirt (and the "just die") message were like his signature. The symbol on the center bass drum was my symbol. This, I think, the idea for these symbols came from a bunch of places. The most important source would have to be the signature/symbol that was in all Maiden covers (the little circle with the arrow pointing down which was artist Derek Riggs' signature), as well as maybe Led Zeppelin's Runes album...although we weren't Zeppelin fans.
- Logos on the bass drum are covered up, since the drumset I was playing was not supplied by my official sponsor..and I didn't want to get in trouble for playing a different kit.
- Alejandro's boots say "Kiss", as he was a huge Kiss fan. Aside from being into metal, he was also into a lot of 60s music...hence the peace sign.
When I first saw Slayer's performance in the Ultimate Revenge video, back in 1988, I was floored. The music sounded nuts, the solos were noisy and almost painful. The image must have stuck with me, because I went on to draw it a few times over. This is perhaps the better of the Slayer pieces. If you're familiar with that video, you probably remember their outfits and instruments. I'm happy to say that I got most of it pretty damn right. Kerry King's outfit, and partially burned guitar are correct (even if the shape of the guitar is off.) Araya's shirt is spot on, as are Jeff's guitar (including the little chains all over it.) and leather jacket. I did miss the Agnostic Front shirt, and Jeff's hair is dark...but hey...not bad. Also, I'm not sure why I chose ADA as a brand name for amps. This was either me getting confused with DOD pedals, or a result of having seen a commercial for ADA security systems.
- Kerry's pedal
- Uncut guitar strings
- Araya's face is as large and round as a flour tortilla, so it's pretty accurate.
- Lombardo just hit one of his cymbals, and it's still moving as a result. Damn, I had mad art skills.
There are many more drawings to go. Maybe way too many to post them all. Still, I'll probably do a couple more posts in the next few weeks, culminating with the grand opening of our online store, which will feature lithographs of these pieces, signed and numbered by yours truly. Not really...but hey...we can all dream.